Small Press Points: Split/Lip Press

From the May/June 2024 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

For ten years Split/Lip Press has been dedicated to publishing “boundary-breaking prose” in chapbook- and full-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid texts. Founded in 2014 as an offshoot of Split Lip Magazine, the press began with “a punk ethos” and a mission to create a forum for “gutsy, edgy work that needed to be in the world,” says Kristine Langley Mahler, Split/Lip’s director and publisher. Though the press and magazine are no longer affiliated, the punk aesthetic is still central to Split/Lip, which publishes four titles per year, all discovered through open submissions. The press is currently reading chapbook submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid texts through June 1 with a $10 reading fee. The charge helps pay honoraria or stipends to everyone on the Split/Lip team, including readers, who receive a portion of submission fees each reading period, says Mahler.

Split/Lip’s mission statement articulates the press’s preference for writing “that questions the concept of truth and work that reinterprets what we think we know.” Recent titles include Sean Enfield’s Holy American Burnout!, an essay collection published in December about the experience of being a Black educator and student during the Trump era, and Jillian Danback-McGhan’s Midwatch, a story collection that blends “military literature and feminist horror,” published in February. In addition to pushing the boundaries of genre, form, and common knowledge, Split/Lip also literally traverses state and national borders: Mahler is based in Omaha, Nebraska, but the editorial team of nearly forty people hail from across the U.S., Canada, India, and South Africa.