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Woodneath Press

Woodneath Press Logo

The Story Center has been publishing titles through the Library's publishing imprint, the Woodneath Press, since 2014.

The Woodneath Press serves the greater metropolitan area of Kansas City, Missouri, and publishes scholarly, literary, and general interest books on many subjects and in various genres. 

Submission Process

Author Eligibility

In order to be considered for publication with the Woodneath Press, at least one of two geographic criteria must be met. Either:

  • Local Author: The author must reside in one of MCPL’s reciprocal public library systems.
  • Local Content: If the author resides outside of the above-mentioned region, the Woodneath Press would consider submissions regarding content within the aforementioned Kansas City metro area.

Publishing Packet

If the author/manuscript meets the geographic guidelines, then they must submit the following items as part of their publishing packet. These items must be submitted in both an editable electronic format (i.e. Word, .doc, .docx, etc.) as well as a hard copy.  Manuscripts will not be reviewed until all items have been submitted:

  • Query letter: explains why WN Press should publish the work.
    • If nonfiction, explains author’s credentials in addition to what the book is about.
    • If fiction, explains what the book is about.
  • Proof of professional editing: goes beyond only copyediting, such as developmental editing. Shows the author had the work evaluated and critiqued and made appropriate changes to improve the work. This ensures that the work has value and quality.
  • First 10 Pages of the manuscript: for Woodneath Press and The Story Center to review. The author will be notified if further pages are requested.
  • Reviews: of the current work being submitted or previous work by the author.
  • Business/marketing plan: of the author to sell and market the book.

Note: Submitting all required criteria to the library for publication of a work does not guarantee that it will be published by the library or its imprint.

Additionally, any supportive documentation must be submitted with the publishing packet for consideration.  All documentation must be submitted in writing, and may include (but is not limited to):

  • Licensing for photos, images, illustrations, etc.
  • Permissions for written excerpts (including but not limited to newspaper/magazine articles)
  • Support from a recognized historical organization speaking to the accuracy of the work
  • Anything further the Woodneath Press deems necessary to assist in the publishing decision.

Quality and Scope

Once it’s been decided that a publication meets the requirements for publishing with the Woodneath Press, there are two overarching criteria being evaluated within the manuscript: Quality and Scope.  These criteria are measured in the following ways:

  • What is the community impact?
  • Is it marketable?  Does it lend itself to programming?
  • Is there an audience?
  • Does it fit the mission of The Story Center and MCPL?  

Ways to Submit

Woodneath Press will receive submissions in one of three ways (listed below). In the case of multiple submissions, preference will be given in the following order:

  1. Story Center Certification
  2. In conjunction with a  partner organization
  3. Unsolicited submissions

The Woodneath Press will accept submissions on a quarterly basis.  Final decisions will be made and authors notified no later than two months following:

  • Q1: Submission accepted July 1 – September 30
    Final decisions made and authors notified no later than December 1
  • Q2: Submissions accepted October 1 – December 30
    Final decisions made and authors notified no later than March 1
  • Q3: Submissions accepted January 1 – March 30
    Final decisions made and authors notified no later than June 1
  • Q4: Submissions accepted April 1 – June 30
    Final decisions made and authors notified no later than September 1

A maximum of three submissions will be accepted for review each quarter. A maximum of one submission will be published each quarter. If two or more submissions are deemed acceptable within a given quarter, the top submission based on order of preference will be accepted within that quarter and the additional manuscripts will be placed on the next quarter’s publication cycle and so on.  

Other Book Requirements

Submission rubric (these three points apply to all submissions regardless of genre):

  • Priority of submissions: certification participants, MCPL service area, greater KC metro
  • Grammar, punctuation, syntax
  • Content, flow, ease of read, engaging/interesting

Children’s book submissions:

  • Age appropriate a) content, b) vocabulary, c) illustrations
  • Consistent quality of illustrations

Nonfiction book submissions:

  • Sources sited, facts verified/curated, licensing secured for images, etc.

Fiction book submissions:

  • Identifiable genre/audience
  • Length (word count and/or pages) for audience

Once a manuscript has been accepted, the Woodneath Press will implement a six-month publication timeline with the book release scheduled at the end of the six-month period.

The Woodneath Press Editorial Board will use a variety of questions to assess the manuscript.

For questions regarding the submission process, please contact the Story Center Publication Manager, Dave Burns at or by calling 816.883.4774.


Tales from the West Bottoms about cowboys, railroads, and how it became Kansas City.

The First Beverly Hillbilly

Paul Henning created the beloved rural comedies of the 1960s including The Beverly Hillbillies (September 2017)

Front Lines to Headlines

Front Lines to Headlines is a narrative review of the complete collection of 218 overseas World War I dispatches.

Grow A Reader

This children's book explores the importance of reading through a fun tale featuring Marty the Martian, MCPL's mascot.

Life's Too Short for Anything But Love

A collection that inspires readers to feel—and want to join in the movement of—the spirit of life.

Peter Porcupine and the Peanut Butter Lies

Discover how Peter Porcupine spins tales and lies to convince his mother that he only wants to eat peanut butter.

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