PictureFirst Snow by taenaron, deviantart.com
There can be no doubt about it, the digital revolution has changed the face of publishing.

Random House, one of the Big 5, is getting on board with its Hydra digital science fiction imprint (better late than never).

HarperCollins has also joined the fray with its Voyager imprint, and Simon & Shuster has launched Simon451 (both of these are now closed to submissions).

Below are four established science fiction publishers accepting eBook manuscripts from authors.

Make sure to read their submission guidelines carefully before you submit.


AboutTor.com is a short fiction market edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer, and Ellen Datlow, with support and reading from Carl Engle-Laird, Cory Skerry, and Bridget Smith (and occasional others).

What they are looking for: Tor.com welcomes original speculative fiction short stories and poetry, including SF, fantasy, horror, alternate history, and related genres. They are particularly interested in stories under 12,000 words.

How to submit: Don’t query, just send your story. Submissions should be emailed to (tordotcomsubs)(at)(gmail.com)—the first part spelled out (“tordotcomsubs,” not “tor.comsubs”). They should be in something approximating standard manuscript format and be sent as *.doc (not docx), *.rtf, or plain-text attachments. They should not be sent as text in the body of the email. Read full guidelines HERE.


AboutHydra is the digital science fiction imprint of Random House. 

What they are looking for: They are interested in short content (customarily between 15,000 and 30,000 words) and full-length works (customarily between 40,000 and 60,000 words). Unlike tor.com they are open to previously-published manuscripts as long as the submitting author now controls all electronic and print publishing rights. 

How to submit: Submissions are through a form on the website that asks for basic information and a 1500-word excerpt from your book. Expected response time is 2-4 weeks. Publication is subject to execution of a mutually acceptable publishing agreement. The form is here.

Harlequin Digital First

About: Harlequin (now a HarperCollins division) is best known as a romance publisher, They began to branching into digital publications in 2013. Science fiction is new on the Harlequin scene.

What they are looking forSpace opera, sci-fi, and fantasy stories (10,000 words minimum).

How to Submit: Submit only completed, fully polished manuscripts along with a query/cover letter and synopsis. In the subject line of your query, please type the manuscript title, your name and the genre of the manuscript. Queries must include the following and will not be reviewed if any piece is missing:
  • In the body of the email: a brief, introductory query letter including genre, word count and a short description of the book, as well as any pertinent information about the author, including both legal name and pen name, full mailing address, and any writing credits.
  • As an attachment: the full manuscript saved as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file, with file name TITLE_MANUSCRIPT where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
  • As a second attachment: A 2–5 page synopsis of the book, detailing character development, plot and conflict/story resolution. Attach as an RTF, DOC or DOCX file with file name TITLE_SYNOPSIS where you substitute your book's title in place of TITLE.
Please be sure to put the following information on the first page of all files: manuscript name, author pen name/legal name, email address, full mailing address, phone number, genre and word count.

Submissions should be sent to:  Submit_HDigital@Harlequin.com

Baen Books

About: Baen Books was founded in 1983 by science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen (now deceased). Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author. Publishes in digital and print format.

What they are looking for: Science fiction with powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are essential for science fiction submissions. For fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Manuscripts should be at least 100,000 words. 

How to Submit: Send your manuscript by using the submission form at:  http://ftp.baen.com/Slush/submit.aspx

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

Your submission must include your name, email address*, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. *[If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service.] Include a plot outline if possible.

Click HERE for more details.

If you are a children's or young adult author, you have the option of submitting your work directly to a number of publishers without needing a middleman. While most of these are small to mid-range publishers, some are big names in the industry.

As always, go to the publisher's website and read their lists to see if your work would be a good fit. Read their submission requirements very carefully. If you don't follow their submission guidelines to the letter, they will not read your manuscript.

Be forewarned that if you submit your work directly to a publisher, and are rejected, you can't backtrack later and submit it again through an agent. Most agents will not represent works that have been previously "shopped" to publishers.

Albert Whitman & Company has been publishing award-winning children’s books since 1919. Albert Whitman’s special interest titles address subjects such as disease, bullying, and disabilities. Submissions: Albert Whitman and Company currently has an open submissions policy. They read and review unagented manuscripts and proposals for picture books, middle-grade fiction, and young adult novels. Email submissions only. Note:They will not review any submissions that do not follow their submission guidelines.

Arthur A. Levine Books was founded in 1996 as an imprint of Scholastic Press. Since then, they have produced more than one hundred seventy-nine works of hardcover literary fiction and nonfiction for children, teenagers, and adults. Submissions:  Picture Books: Query letter + the full text; Novels: Query letter + the first two chapters + synopsi;, Other: Query letter + five page samples (five poems, five nonfiction pages, etc.); Illustration: Three sample illustrations via attachment, and links to online portfolios. Do not send full manuscripts.

August House focuses on world folktales and the art and uses of storytelling. Submissions are by regular post only. Please review their guidelines before contacting them about publishing your work. They do not respond unless they are interested.

Boyds Mills Press is the trade division of Highlights for Children, Inc. They publish their books under five imprints. SubmissionsPicture Books: Please submit the entire manuscript of your picture book; Middle Grade Fiction: Please submit the first three chapters (do not include chapters from the middle of the book) and a plot summary; Nonfiction: Include a detailed bibliography with your submission and a detailed explanation of the books in the marketplace that are similar to yours. Regular mail only.

Capstone publishes both fiction and nonfiction books for struggling and reluctant readers. They have four imprints and three separate divisions with over 3,000 books in print. Submissions: Most of Capstone's books are produced in-house, but they are also interested in receiving writers’ manuscripts and reviewing artists' portfolios. Fiction submissions should be sent via email, nonfiction by regular post only. They respond only if they are interested.

Charlesbridge publishes both picture books and transitional “bridge books” (books ranging from early readers to middle-grade chapter books). Nonfiction books focus on nature, science, social studies, and multicultural topics. Fiction titles include lively, plot-driven stories with strong, engaging characters. Submissions: Please submit only one or two manuscript(s) at a time. For picture books and books, please send a complete manuscript. For fiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed plot synopsis, a chapter outline, and three chapters of text. For nonfiction books longer than 30 manuscript pages, please send a detailed proposal, a chapter outline, and one to three chapters of text. Regular mail only. No simultaneous submissions. Read guidelines here.

Dial Books for Young Readers is a hardcover division publishing approximately 70 titles per year for children of all ages, from preschool through young adult. It is currently a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. Submissions: Dial accepts entire picture book manuscripts, and for longer books a maximum of 10 pages.When submitting a portion of a longer work, please provide an accompanying cover letter that briefly describes your manuscript's plot, genre (i.e. easy-to-read, middle grade or YA novel), the intended age group, and your publishing credits, if any. Regular mail only. Read guidelines here.

Free Spirit publishes nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people. They do not publish fiction. Submissions: Proposals to be considered must be sent by mail (not by fax or email). Include the following: A cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise; A current résumé; A detailed chapter-by-chapter outline; At least two sample chapters. (If a full manuscript is available, you may send it.); A market analysis with a comprehensive listing of similar titles and detailed explanation of how your project differs from available products; A description of your personal promotion plan for the proposed book (including both in-person and social media outreach). Read guidelines here.

Holiday House specializes in hardcovers, from picture books to young adult, both fiction and nonfiction for ages four and up. They do not publish mass market books, including pop-ups, activity books, sticker books, coloring books, or licensed books. Submissions: Holiday House only responds if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please send the entire manuscript, whether submitting a picture book or novel. All submissions should be directed to the Editorial Department, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. They do not accept submissions by email or fax.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers are the oldest publishers in the world. They publish a range of fiction and non fiction books for adults and children.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers and Clarion Books are hardcover imprints. Submissions: They do not respond unless they are interested in publishing your work. Response time is twelve weeks. Manuscripts should be typed and submitted via regular mail. They do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax. For picture books and novels, please send the entire manuscript. For nonfiction, submit a synopsis and sample chapters. Please submit exclusively to one HMH imprint only.

Ideals Children’s Books publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books for children ages 4 to 8. Subjects include holiday, inspirational, and patriotic themes; relationships and values; and general fiction. Submissions: Manuscripts should be no longer than 800 words. CandyCane Press publishes board books and novelty books for children ages 2 to 5. Subject matter is similar to Ideals Children’s Books, with a focus on younger children. Manuscripts should be no longer than 250 words. Ideals magazine welcomes the opportunity to review your poetry or prose. Complete manuscripts only, sent by regular mail.

Just Us Books publishes children’s books that celebrate the diversity of Black history, culture and experiences. Submissions: Just Us Books is currently accepting queries for chapter books and middle reader titles only. Please send a query letter pitching us your manuscript, 1-2 page synopsis of your manuscript, 3-5 sample pages of your manuscript, a brief author bio that includes any previously published work, self-addressed stamped envelope. (Submission guidelines are located on Contact page.)

Kane Miller is expanding its picture book, chapter book, and middle-grade fiction lists. They are interested in all genres (mystery, fantasy, adventure, historical, etc.), especially those with particularly American subjects. Submissions: Please send either the complete picture book manuscript, or a synopsis and two sample chapters of your fiction work. Electronic submissions accepted.

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. Their Jewish-themed imprint, Kar-Ben, is the only division accepting submissions. Submissions: (Scroll down page for PDF submission guidelines.) Kar-Ben accepts unsolicited manuscripts by regular post only.

Meadowbrook Press specializes in pregnancy, childcare, children’s poetry, juvenile novels, children’s activities, party planning, and adult humor. They are also the number one publisher of baby name books in the country, with six baby-naming books in print and total sales of over eleven million copies. Submissions: Fiction writers, please send a cover letter, your credentials and market analysis along with a table of contents and a sample chapter. Poets may send completed (funny) poems. Postal submissions only. Response time: six months.

OnStage Publishing publishes chapter books, middle grade novels and young adult novels. They do not publish picture books, short stories or poetry. Query first for non-fiction. They only publish fiction books for ages 8 to 18. Submissions: Fiction: If under 100 pages, submit the completed, double-spaced manuscript. If over 100 pages, submit the first three chapters and a plot summary. Cover letter with market analysis required. Submissions may be sent via regular mail or email. Please read author guidelines here.

Pants On Fire Press, located in Winter Garden, Florida, publishes picture, middle-grade and young adult books. They are always on the lookout for Action, Adventure, Animals, Comedic, Dramatic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Supernatural and Suspense stories. Submissions: Pants on Fire is acquiring Chapter Books, Middle-grade and Young Adult fiction. Please read complete author guidelines here.

Once upon a time, children's book publishers in the US accepted manuscripts directly from writers.

Now, most US publishers require agents. Children's book publishers in the UK, however, seem to be carrying on the tradition. Most of these are small, specialty publishers, but some are big names in the industry.

As always, make sure you examine their lists to see if your work would be a good fit, and read all of their submission requirements carefully.

(Go here for the Top 5 Resources for Children's Book Writers)

Andersen Press

Andersen Press specializes in children's books. They publish picture books, approximately 500 words (maximum 1000), juvenile fiction 3-5000 words and older fiction up to 75,000 words.
Submissions: Please send all submissions on paper, by regular post, along with a stamped, addressed envelope. They do not accept International Reply Coupons. Click here for details.

Buster Books

Buster Books is the children’s imprint of independent publisher Michael O’Mara Books.
: Submissions of fiction and non-fiction ideas are welcome from authors, compilers and illustrators. They do not accept picture book or poetry submissions. Synopses and sample text are preferred. Please do not send original text, illustrations or artwork in case of loss or damage. Submissions by email or post. Click here for details.

Candy Jar

Established in 2010 by Shaun Russell and Justin Chaloner, Candy Jar Books publishes both children's and adult titles. Marston Book Services Ltd, one of the leading independent distributors in the UK, is responsible for distributing their titles.
Submissions: They are currently only accepting non-fiction ideas with a strong market appeal. Click here for details

David Fickling

For nearly twelve years DFB was run as an imprint – first as part of Scholastic, then of Random House. Now they are an independent business, DFB Storyhouse. They publish 12-20 titles a year.
Submissions: Send the first 3 chapters of your writing (or just 3 samples of your artwork) attached to your cover email as a PDF document or by regular post. Click here for details.

Floris Books 

Floris Books is an independent publishing company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They publish books in two main areas: non-fiction for adults, and books for children. Within their non-fiction list, they focus on books that cover all aspects of holistic and alternative living.  Submissions: Scottish themed books only for ages 2-15. Printed submissions by regular post only (no emails). Click here for details.

Frances Lincoln

Frances Lincoln is part of Quarto’s UK publishing unit, the Aurum Publishing Group. It publishes over 100 new books a year for both adults and children. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books publishes picture books, multicultural books, picture books and information books.  Submissions: Proposals must be sent by regular post. Click here for details.

Hogs Back Books  

Hogs Back is a small publishing house with a short list. They publish picture books and YA novels.
Submissions: For children’s books aged 0-10 years, send a complete manuscript along with a cover letter or email. For young adult novels, include a synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. Click here for details.

Little Tiger

Little Tiger is a small publisher with four imprints. Little Tiger Press has been publishing children’s books for over 25 years.
Submissions: Manuscripts need to sent by regular mail with a detailed synopsis and include the first three chapters, plus a cover letter with any relevant information about yourself. Send hard copy of your manuscript, in double line spacing in a plain font on white paper. No submissions by email or on disk. Click here for details.

Mantra Lingua

This publisher specializes in bilingual books designed for teachers. No poetry - it is very hard to translate. Keep the word count to about 800 for children up to 7 years, and not over 1400 words for readers up to 12 years. They also need translators for Bengali/Sylhethi, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Hindi, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam and Panjabi. They are always looking for good translators in all languages. Worldwide distribution.
Submissions: Submissions should be sent via email. Click here for details.


Maverick Arts is a picture book publisher in both print and Nook formats. They accept poetry or prose. Preferred style: "quirky." (Their website is suitably whimsical.)
Submissions: Maximum word count – 800 words, but under 600 is preferable - submitted either as a PDF or in a Word document. Postal submissions accepted. Double line spacing, legible font, text running from one page to another (i.e. not one sentence/stanza per page). Click here for details.


Mogzilla and Caboodle books are two independent publishing companies that share a commitment to creating brilliant books for young readers. They've created a new imprint, Mogboodle, for authors and poets. Submissions: No submissions for the under 6 age group. Email them at info@mogzilla.co.uk and provide details of your proposal and they will send you the submissions address. Click here for details.

Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow is a small, independent company established in 2011. They publish commercial fiction and non-fiction books for children aged from 0 to 14 by well-known authors and illustrators and by new talent. "We’re looking for “parent-friendly books”, and we don’t publish books with explicit sex, drug use or serious violence, so no edgy YA or edgy cross-over. And whatever New Adult is, we don’t do it."  Submissions: They prefer email submissions, though regular postal submissions are also accepted. For novelty/picture books please email the full text. For longer works, you should submit a short synopsis plus the first chapter (double-spaced). You should also send a cover letter containing all relevant information about you and your work. Click here for details.

O'brien Press Ltd.

O'brien Press is an Irish press publishing children's fiction, children's non-fiction and adult non-fiction. They do not publish poetry, academic works or adult fiction.
Submissions: For works of 1000 words or less, submit your entire manuscript. For anything over 1000 words, send a synopsis and 2 or 3 sample chapters. Regular post only. (No email submissions) Click here for details.

Phoenix Yard

Phoenix Yard is a socially aware company that is"spectacularly proud to be an independent publisher because it means we can be innovative, responsive and have a lot of fun." They belong to the Independent Publishers Guild.  Submissions: Submissions by email only. If you do not include a full cover letter, a synopsis and the required number of sample chapters, they will not consider your submission. Click here for details.

Piccadilly Press

Piccadilly Press publishes new titles in these three areas: 1) Picture Books for young children (2 to 5 years old). Texts should be 500 to 1,000 words long. 2) Children's and Teenage Fiction, mainly contemporary and humorous, dealing with the issues and problems which teenagers face in their own everyday lives. Children's books can range from aiming at 6+ to 8–12 and can vary in length –generally longer for older readers; books for teens are intended for 11–15-year-olds. and they are usually between 25,000 and 35,000 words in length. 3)Teenage Non-Fiction, mostly humorous, giving practical and sympathetic advice.
Submissions: By regular post only. Click here for details.

Ransom Publishing

Ransom Publishing specializes in books for reluctant readers. They produce easily accessible, high-interest books for older teenagers and adults which have a very low reading level.
Submissions: Ransom does not include submission guidelines on their website. To receive submission guidelines, send an email to general enquiries on the contact page and request information about submissions. Click here for details.


Robinswood books are aimed at increasing literacy, especially for those who 'don't do books' (e.g. people with learning disabilities). Submissions: Send a bio (see Becoming a Robinswood Author page) and a summary of your book: A synopsis – the story or content – some short extracts, a list of characters and their descriptions, and practical data like proposed number of chapters, word-count, the expected number of pages. Send everything in a single email. Click here for details.


Strident publishes a broad range of fiction. They license their books internationally. Most of their titles are available as ebooks. Strident accepts fiction aimed at ages 8-12, teenagers (13-16), and young adults. They do not accept submissions for:non-fiction, poetry, short stories (unless in a themed collection), or pre-school picture books. Submissions: Do not send manuscripts. Send an email query stating what you have written, appropriate age range, word count, blurb, books yours may be compared to, why your book stands out. Click here for details.



Templar is part of the Bonnier Group. Founded in 1978, Templar has become one of the world's most respected publishers and packagers of illustrated children's fiction, novelty and picture books. They have an extensive backlist built over 30 years and sell their products in over 25 languages in more than 50 countries.
Submissions: Templar is currently accepting Picture Book and Novelty Book submissions. They are not currently accepting fiction submissions. Click here for details

Top That

Top That books caters to pre-school children. They focus on pop-up books, magnetic books, felt books, and other novelty books. They do not publish "regular" fiction. Top That Publishing Ltd is a Tide Mill Media PLC company.  Submissions: Send submissions via email. They buy worldwide rights in all languages. No simultaneous submissions. Click here for details.



Walker is a large company, publishing over 300 books a year in the UK alone. Its sister companies are Walker Australia and Candlewick in the USA. They have a wide-ranging list, but they do not accept submissions in every category. Submissions: Walker accepts illustrated picture-book stories and/or artwork samples via post or email. They do not accept fiction manuscript submissions. Click here for details.

Speculative fiction publishers have a tradition of accepting manuscripts directly from authors.

This is a genre that has a market of readers who think in terms of possibilities, and who don't, as a rule, like to follow the mainstream.

These readers also have their own networks, which means a science fiction novel can achieve fame strictly through word-of-mouth ( e.g. Wool). Publishers in this genre realize that mavericks have a place in the sci-fi world, and are thus willing to work directly with writers.

Because many sci-fi houses publish fantasy as well, fantasy writers also get a break.

As always, go to the publisher's website, and read everything on it before you submit your work.

Baen Books 

Baen Books was founded in 1983 by science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen (now deceased). Baen was one of the first publishers to use the Internet as a means of "spreading the word" about a book or author.

In addition to publishing emerging authors, Baen republishes older science fiction in collections and omnibus editions, such as the works of the 1960s authors Christopher Anvil and others.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy. Powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are essential for science fiction submissions. For fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Manuscripts should be at least 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Reporting time: usually within 9 to 12 Months.

How to submit: Complete manuscript accompanied by a synopsis. No simultaneous submissions.

Electronic Submissions: Send your manuscript by using the submission form at: http://ftp.baen.com/Slush/submit.aspx

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

Your submission must include your name, email address, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service. Include a plot outline if possible.

You may include your ideal cover treatment, including cover copy, a teaser page, and whatever else you would like.

Hardcopy Submissions: (for those who cannot submit electronically)

Standard manuscript format only: double-spaced, one side of the page only, 1 1/2" margins on all four sides of the page. We will consider photocopies if they are dark and clear.

Font must be seriphed or at least semi-seriphed, 12-point or greater.

Title, author (last name only is okay), and page number at the top of each page are mandatory. Include your name, mailing address, and telephone number on the first page.

All submissions should be accompanied by a stamped return envelope. Submissions from outside the U.S. should be accompanied by sufficient International Reply Coupons.

Send manuscripts to:

Baen Books
P.O. Box 1188
Wake Forest, NC 27588


DAW is part of the Penguin Group.

From the website: Founded in 1971 by veteran paperback editor Donald A. Wollheim, along with his wife, Elsie B. Wollheim, DAW Books was the first publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science fiction and fantasy. Now more than 30 years and more than a thousand titles later, DAW has a well-deserved reputation for discovering and publishing the hottest talents in the industry. Many stars of the science fiction and fantasy field made their debuts in the pages of a DAW book, including Tad Williams, C. J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, C.S. Friedman, Jennifer Roberson, and Tanith Lee. Despite its high profile, DAW is still a small private company, owned exclusively by its publishers, Elizabeth R. Wollheim and Sheila E. Gilbert. Betsy and Sheila are strongly committed to discovering and nurturing new talent, and to keeping a personal "family" spirit at DAW—something they feel is all too rare in today's world of international conglomerate publishing.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy novels. The average length of the novels is almost never less than 80,000 words. They do not want short stories, short story collections, novellas, poetry, or novels in other genres.

How to submitDAW does not accept electronic submissions. Send the complete manuscript with a cover letter. Manuscripts must be letter-quality computer-generated. Clear photocopies are acceptable. The manuscript should be on 8 1/2" x 11" paper or a close equivalent, double-spaced, with at least 1" wide margins all around. Please use only one side of the page, number your pages consecutively, and put the title of your novel at the top of each page if possible. Manuscripts should always be unbound.

Type your name, address and phone number in the upper right hand corner of the first page of your manuscript. Right under this, please put the length of your manuscript in number of words.

Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your submission for our correspondence. Manuscripts will not be returned,

Send manuscripts to:

Peter Stampfel
Submission Editor
DAW Books
375 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014


TOR was founded by publisher Tom Doherty in 1980. It was sold to St. Martin's Press in 1986, making it part of the Holtzbrinck group. Tor has published more award-winning and -nominated science fiction books

than any other publisher.

What they are looking for: Science fiction, as well as other genre fiction. Imprints include Starscape: science fiction and fantasy for middle grade readers ages 10 and up (grades 5 and up), published in hardcover and paperback, and Tor Teen, science fiction and fantasy for young adult readers ages 13 and up (grades 8 and up), published in hardcover and paperback. All titles are age- and theme-appropriate. Some editions include reader’s guides and other supplemental materials.

How to submit: TOR has an open submissions policy. Every proposal is reviewed by at least one member of the editorial staff.

Please note that these guidelines are intended for writers who do not have agents.

Your submissions packet should include:

The first three chapters of your book, prepared in standard manuscript format on white paper. (If your chapters are really short or really long, or you don't use chapter breaks, you may send the first 40-60 pages of your book, provided you stay under 10,000 words.) The submitted text must be made up of consecutive pages and should end at the end of a paragraph, not in mid-sentence. Standard manuscript format means margins of at least 1 inch all the way around; indented paragraphs; double-spaced text; and Courier or Times Roman in 10 or 12 pitch. Please use one side of the page only and do not justify the text. Do not bind the manuscript in any way. Make sure the header of the ms. includes either your name or the title of the book and the page number (on every page).

A synopsis of the entire book. The synopsis should include all important plot elements, especially the end of the story, as well as aspects of character development for your main characters. The synopsis should run between three and ten pages in standard manuscript format.

A dated cover letter that includes your name and contact information and the title of the submitted work. Briefly tell us what genre or subgenre the submission falls into and mention any qualifications you have that pertain to the work. Please list any previous publications in paying markets.

A self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope for our reply letter. Unfortunately, it's no longer possible for us to return submissions due to a change in postal service policy that requires packages weighing more than a pound be mailed at a post office. Since we use a company mailroom rather than a post office, when we try to return submissions, they are sent back to us by the postal service or disappear in transit. We recycle your proposals. (That's not a euphemism for being tossed in a wastebasket--we recycle all white paper.) If you live outside the United States, please go to http://www.usps.com/onlinepostage to see internet postage options. If you do not include an SASE, you will not receive a reply at all.

Please send only one proposal in each submissions packet. If you have written a series, send a proposal for the first book only. If we like what we see, we'll ask for the rest.

Many people include postcards for us to return when the proposal reaches us. Unfortunately, we don't open submissions until we're ready to read them, so you'll likely get the "I got it" postcard the same day you receive our response to your project.

If you want to be sure that your manuscript was delivered to our offices, please ask for a return receipt or a signature confirmation when you post it.

Here are some tips to help the whole process work smoothly:
  • Don't send a query letter. It's practically impossible to judge a project from a query. We'd rather see your proposal.
  • Don't send submissions or inquiries by email or fax. We do not respond to emailed or faxed submissions, queries, or inquiries about the status of submissions.
  • Don't send disks. We want to read words in black type on white paper. And it's not that we don't trust you, but your system might have viruses you don't know about.
  • Don't send us the only copy of anything. Things get lost in transit.
  • Don't send interior or cover art or an author photo. There's time for that later, if we like your project.
  • Don't send jewelry, food, toys, 3-dimensional representations of anything, or anything that might be construed as a bribe.
Send submissions to:

Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010


Note: Ace appears to have changed its policy. It is no longer accepting submissions directly  from writers.

ACE Books is the oldest continuously operating science fiction publisher in the United States. It is now part of Penguin Group. It issued some of the most outstanding science fiction writers of the 1950s and 1960s, including Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robert Silverberg. Ace was known for marketing innovations such as the Ace Doubles, which contained two short novels bound back to back, and for the critically acclaimed Ace Specials edited by Terry Carr.

What they are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy. (The publisher recommends that you look at their list to see what they publish.)  Ace and Roc do not accept submissions of short stories, non-fiction, children's books, poetry, or artwork.

How to submit: The usual length for a manuscript is between 80,000 and 125,000 words.

All work should be submitted by emailing a query letter with the first ten pages of your book pasted in the body of the email. Do not attach any documents. Text should be formatted in the industry standard of Times New Roman 12 point font.

Our email address is sff@us.penguingroup.com. Please note that we no longer accept paper submissions.

No simultaneous submissions.

Reporting time: 5 months for a reply to an e-mail query.

These publishers accept manuscripts directly from writers. As is the case with most publishers that don't require an agent, they have a narrow focus. But, if your work falls into the categories they publish, you will have a good chance of having your proposal read. As always, go to the website, look at their other publications to see if yours will be a good fit, and follow all of their submission guidelines carefully.
Small Beer Press

Small Beer Press was founded in 2000 and is run by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link. It publishes books as Small Beer Press, Big Mouth House, and Peapod Classics, and occasionally chapbooks and a zine - on recycled paper. 

They also have an ebooksite for indie presses: Weightless Books.

Generally, they publish 6-10 books per year. They pay a small advance and standard royalties. Their ebook royalty rate is 40% of net receipts. While their catalog is not extensive, they do have two short story collections by Ursula LeGuin. 

What they are looking for: Fiction (leaning toward the speculative), both short story collections and novels. No poetry.

How to submit: Print format by post only. 

Please send a query with the first 10-20 pages of the book (not the full manuscript) in standard manuscript format, and an SASE (with a Forever Stamp or an international reply coupon) by mail to:

Small Beer Press
150 Pleasant St., #306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Phone: 413.203.1636
Email: info at smallbeerpress.com

Allworth Press

Allworth Press publishes business and self-help information for the general public and creative professionals.  They share distribution with Skyhorse Publishing, using W. W. Norton in the United States. Allworth Press titles are now distributed in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Southern Africa, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Books from Allworth Press have been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Japanese. Allworth Press currently has 300 titles in print.

What they are looking for: Graphic Design, Business, Performing Arts, Interior Design, Art, Theater, Web Design, Book Arts, Photography, Crafts.

How to submit: Prospective authors should submit a book proposal that includes a query letter, synopsis (1-2 pages), annotated chapter outline, market analysis, sample chapter (or two), bio, and SASE. 

Send all submissions to: allworthsubmissions @skyhorsepublishing.com. If they are interested, they will get back to you within 4-6 weeks

City Lights

City Lights Publishers is famous for launching several poets, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, but this press also specializes in literary fiction and nonfiction. City Lights publishes 12 books a year. 

From the website: For over fifty years, City Lights has been a champion of progressive thinking, fighting against the forces of conservatism and censorship. We are committed to publishing works of social responsibility, and to maintaining a tradition of bringing renegade literature from other parts of the world into English. In our function of discovery, we will continue to publish cutting-edge contemporary literature and brilliant new non-fiction.

What they are looking for: Fiction, essays, memoirs, translations, poetry, and books on social and political issues. They do not publish New Age, self-help, children’s literature, how-to guides, or genre works such as romance, westerns, or science fiction.

How to submit: City Lights does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but they do accept proposals. Prospective authors should submit the following: 
  • A one to two-page letter that describes your book and includes your resumé, with a list of any prior publications and information about your relevant writing and professional experience.
  • A sample (10–20 pages maximum) of your work.
  • An additional outline and table of contents for a nonfiction work.
To receive a response, you must enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). You will receive a reply from our staff within six months letting you know if they want to see a complete manuscript. Telephoning or e-mailing will not speed up the review process.

City Lights takes no responsibility for the loss or damage of submitted materials. Please do not submit irreplaceable materials.

They do not accept proposals by e-mail or at the front desk at City Lights Bookstore.

Please mail proposals to:

Editorial Department
City Lights Publishers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco CA 94133

Chicago Review Press

Academy Chicago Publishers is one of the oldest publishing houses in Chicago. They publish both fiction and nonfiction and have more than two hundred published titles on their list. Academy Chicago publishes about 60 new titles yearly under five imprints: Chicago Review Press, Lawrence Hill Books, Ball Publishing, Zephyr Press, and Academy Chicago. 

What they are looking for: Chicago Review Press publishes general nonfiction on a wide range of subjects including history, popular science, music, film, biography, autobiography, DIY, craft, and travel, as well as an award-winning line of children's activity books and young adult biographies. Lawrence Hill Books publishes nonfiction on topics of African American interest, progressive politics, Middle Eastern studies, and feminism. Ball Publishing specializes in gardening books, and Zephyr Press publishes professional development titles for teachers. Academy Chicago publishes memoirs, mysteries, and other exciting, new, and well-crafted fiction and nonfiction. 

How to submit: For non-fiction send:
  • A brief synopsis of your proposed book in 1–2 paragraphs
  • The estimated word count of the final manuscript
  • The estimated completion date
  • Author biography or resume specifying credentials and publication credits, where appropriate
  • Approximate sales of previous books published, if any
  • A complete table of contents and/or a complete outline of the proposed chapters
  • 1–2 sample chapters
For children's activity books, include a few sample activities and list the others
  • Any information regarding photographs or artwork for the book
  • A description of the target audience and any information about the market
  • A list of competing and comparable titles and how your book differs—be sure to tell us what makes your book unique
Please e-mail your proposal to frontdesk@chicagoreviewpress.com

Their turnaround time on reviewing proposals is about 4–6 weeks.

Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books  "We're always looking for the new and unusual." Chronicle Books publishes 90 titles per year.

What they are looking for: Art and design, art, craft, graphic design, interior design, photography, food and drink, kids and teens, literature, lifestyle, pop culture.

How to submit: They review all proposals. However, they do not personally respond to unsolicited proposals unless they are interested in pursuing the project. Chronicle accepts submissions by mail or e-mail. Please allow three months for the editors to review a proposal.

What to Include in Your Proposal:
  • Include a one-page cover letter giving a brief description of the project, why you think Chronicle should publish it, what's included in the package, and your contact information.
  • If your proposal is a simultaneous submission, please indicate this in your cover letter.
  • Include an outline, introduction, sample illustrations or photographs, sample captions, sample recipes (if cookbook) or projects (if craft book), and text/sample chapters.
  • When submitting artwork, either as a part of a project or as samples for review, please do not send original art, as it will not be returned. Anything from photocopies to tear sheets will do.
  • Include a market analysis of the potential readership for the book. Who is the reader? What trends does the title speak to? Include a list of similar titles including the publisher, date of publication, and a brief explanation of how your book differs what's currently available.
  • Include author/illustrator/photographer biography that includes publishing credits and credentials in the field.
  • If you would like confirmation of receipt, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard for the editor to put in the mail upon receiving your proposal.
Please send submissions to:
Chronicle Books; Submissions Editor
680 Second Street
San Francisco, California 94107

Lee & Low Books

Lee & Low Books  is a children’s and young adult book publisher focusing on diversity. As of 2012, Lee & Low Books has published more than 650 titles in hardcover, paperback, lift-the-flap, and board book formats. Many titles have also been adapted for Spanish editions. They publish 12-14 titles per year. 

What they are looking for: Lee & Low focuses on titles for readers age 5-12. Tu Publishing is an independent imprint publishing diverse fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for middle grade and young adult readers. Children's Book Press (CBP) publishes bilingual books. 

How to submit: Manuscripts should be typed doubled-spaced and accompanied by a cover letter that includes a brief biography of the author, including publishing history. The letter should also state if the manuscript is a simultaneous or an exclusive submission. They will respond to a submission only if they are interested in the manuscript. If you do not hear from them within six months, you may assume that your work does not fit their needs. Only submissions sent through regular post will be considered.
  • Picture book manuscripts should be no longer than 1500 words for fiction and 3000 words for nonfiction. Please send the complete manuscript. Do not include illustrations unless you are a professional illustrator. Do not send irreplaceable materials.
  • For middle grade manuscripts of more than 10,000 words, please send a query letter with story synopsis and chapter outline. Do not send the complete manuscript.

Submissions Editor
95 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Until quite recently, it was nearly impossible for writers to submit their manuscripts to publishers without an agent. The success of self-published ebooks has changed all that. Even big publishing houses now have mechanisms in place for writers to submit ebooks without a middle man.

Small publishing houses, on the other hand, have always been open to direct submissions, which means if you write for a niche market, it is not difficult to find a publisher.

Here are four specialty publishers that accept manuscripts directly from authors. (Make sure you read their guidelines carefully. If you don't follow them your submission will be rejected.)

Career Press, Inc.

Mission Statement: It is our mission to publish and distribute quality, nonfiction books for adult readers seeking practical information to improve themselves in careers, college, finance, parenting, retirement, spirituality, and other related topics. We strive to deliver well-written, comprehensive books that inform, advise, and educate the reader.


  • Business
  • Career
  • Job Search
  • HR & Work Place Issues
  • College Preparation Small Business/Entrepreneurship
  • Motivation/Self-Help
  • Management
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Negotiation
  • Study Aids
  • Reference
Submission Guidelines: Authors may submit a completed manuscript or a full proposal. Please read the submission policy HERE.


Gryphon House, Inc. 

Mission Statement: Our goal is to publish books that help teachers and parents enrich the lives of children from birth through age eight. We strive to make our books useful for teachers at all levels of experience, as well as for parents, caregivers, and anyone interested in working with children. The staff at Gryphon House cares deeply about children and about teaching them appropriately and positively. We also believe that spending time with children is a valuable and fun thing to do. Our books reflect these beliefs.

Note: Gryphon House does not publish children's books at all.

Submission Guidelines: Gryphon House prefers to receive a letter of inquiry and/or a proposal, rather than the entire manuscript. That means you don't have to wait until you've completed your book to send it to us. Click HERE for complete submission guidelines.

Your proposal should include:

  • The proposed title
  • The purpose of the book
  • Table of contents
  • Introductory material
  • 20-40 sample pages of the actual book

In addition, please describe the book, including the intended audience, why teachers will want to buy it, how it is different from other similar books already published, and what qualifications you possess that make you the appropriate person to write the book. If you have a writing sample that demonstrates that you write clear, compelling prose, please include it with your letter.

Send all materials to:


Gryphon House, Inc.
PO Box 10
Lewisville, NC 27023


Ripple Grove Press

Mission Statement: Our mission is to create picture books that come from life experiences, elegant imagination, and the deep down passion in our hearts. We want each Ripple Grove Press book to enlighten a child’s mind with fun and wonder. We look for stories that flow word to word, where we cannot wait to read the next line. We search for art that complements the narrative; whichever medium is used, we look to create magic that shines on each page. 

We are looking for picture driven stories for children aged 2-6. Please do not send early readers, middle grade, or YA manuscripts. No religious or holiday themed stories.

Submission Guidelines: Ripple Grove accepts submissions by mail and email, as attachments.

Submit a cover letter including a summary of your story, an age range for the audience, a brief biography of yourself, and contact information. Please submit your manuscript as a PDF attachment.

Send PDFs to: submit@ripplegrovepress.com.

If submitting by mail include a SASE to have your materials returned.

Send submissions to:

Ripple Grove Press
Attn: Submissions
PO Box 491
Hubbardston, MA 01452

Please allow 3 months to review your submission. Click HERE for complete submission guidelines.


Necro Publications and Bedlam Press

Necro Publications is a long-standing publishing house with a niche market in dark horror novels and novellas.  They are only interested in work with a modern voice. Violence, sex, gore and disturbing elements are fine, but they expect good character development and story progression. 

Bedlam Press is looking for everything other than dark, brutal horror. It can be science fiction, but they especially love humor, dark and bizarre. Light humorous horror is fine. They also want urban fantasy along the lines of Jim Butcher's DRESDEN series and Simon R. Green's NIGHTSIDE books, books that are dark with an infusion of humor and shows new worlds, monsters and creations. Our favorite authors include: Christopher Moore, Matt Ruff, and A.R. Martinez.

Weird West Books is looking for novels and novellas that are westerns with a horror, fantasy, sci-fi element. Think Joe R. Lansdale and King's THE DARK TOWER series.

Submission Guidelines: Those interested in Necro or Bedlam should query David G. Barnett with a description of your project at dave@necropublications (dot) com. Please read their full submission guidelines HERE.

Small publishers are more apt to accept manuscripts directly from writers than large publishing houses. Generally, this is because they have very few books on their lists, and are eager for more. And in some cases, the publisher may have a narrow focus that warrants a more open submissions policy.

If you are thinking of submitting to a small publisher, always check to see what they have published, and by whom. See if they have a catalog, and check online to see if there have been any complaints. (Preditors and Editors is a good source of information.)
BlazeVOX [books] BlazeVOX [books] is an independent small press publisher located in Buffalo, New York. It began in 1999 as a college project. To date, BlazeVOX has published 280 books and over 1000 writers in their online journal and other publishing outlets. Their authors include Bill Berkson, Anne Waldman, Clayton Eschleman, Lee Ann Brown, Tom Clark, Ray Federman, Barbara Henning, Michael Boughn, Gloria Frym, Ron Silliman and Steve McCaffery.

What they are looking forFrom the website: "BlazeVOX [books]presents innovative fictions and wide ranging fields of contemporary poetry. Our books push at the frontiers of what is possible with our innovative poetry, fiction and select non-fiction and literary criticism. Our fundamental mission is to disseminate poetry, through print and digital media, both within academic spheres and to society at large."

How to submit: BlazeVOX has a year-round open submission period. Potential authors should submit via e-mail: editor@blazevox.org or use the online submission form. All submissions will be reviewed and the author will receive feedback.

Filbert Publishing. Filbert is a very small, Print on Demand (POD) publisher located in Kandiyohi, Minnesota. Most of their titles consist of how-tos for freelance writers (many of which were written by the editor). They have only four novels and three nonfiction titles on their list. Essentially, this publisher is just one step up from doing it yourself. But, if you'd rather have a publisher's backing than self-publish, this is one avenue you can take. They release all books initially as ebooks. Don't expect an advance.

What they are looking forFrom the website: "We really like to publish books that creative people can use to help them make a living following their dream. This includes books on marketing, books that encourage living a full life, freelancing, we’ll consider a fairly wide range of subjects under this umbrella. We also will also give consideration to books on healthy living, and plant based cooking. Make sure your cookbook has a strong hook. We’ve got a few awesome books in this category on the horizon and are anxious to extend that line."

How to submit:  Potential authors should send an e-mail with a query, synopsis, and manuscript information.

Rio Nuevo Publishers. Rio Nuevo is a non-fiction only publishing house located in Tucson, Arizona. They focus exclusively on the American West. Their list of publications includes 69 back titles and 13 new titles. Be sure to look at their catalog when visiting their site. (This is how a small publisher's catalog should look!)

What they are looking for: From the website: "At Rio Nuevo Publishers we present the best of the West in words and pictures. Our award-winning books focus on arts and crafts, cooking, history, gardening, memoir, Native America, nature, spirituality, and travel."

Founded in 1999, Rio Nuevo Publishers is an independent regional press and family business owned by Ross Humphreys and Susan Lowell, located on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River in the historic heart of Tucson, Arizona. Our new building stands on the site of a former brickyard close to the home Susan’s family built in Arizona Territory a century ago. Instead of bricks we now make books as bright and beautiful as the West itself.

How to submit: Queries may be sent via e-mail to info@rionuevo.com or by post to: Acquisitions, Rio Nuevo Publishers, PO Box 5250, Tucson, AZ 85703. Do not send email attachments. Your snail mail query should include a SASE.

This brief article appeared today in Publishers Weekly. Obviously, a lot was left out of this success story. For example, self-published authors usually don't get into the world's largest book fair.

So, how did Seskis get to Frankfurt?

Interestingly enough, Seskis' book, One Step Too Far, was published, not by Amazon or Smashwords - like most self-published ebooks - but by Kirk Parolles, an imprint that proclaims: "Gone are the days when agents, publishers and bookstores decide which books reach the reader. As publishers we may not always like it, but the truth is the books that sell may not be the ones we would have chosen – they’re the ones that people connect with, will talk about, will stay up until 3 in the morning to find out what happened.Those are the books we seek out at Kirk Parolles, and those are the ones we’re committed to publish."

What is truly fascinating about this publisher is that it has only two books on its roster, One Step Too Far, and Seskis' next novel, A Serpentine Affair. What's more KP is closed to submissions. Obviously, Kirk Parolles' publishing commitment has exceptionally narrow limits. Did Seskis set up a publishing house in order to get her book to Frankfurt?

You betcha. Authors who set up "publishing houses" to legitimize their work are rife in the industry. In fact, if you want to waste a few hours tracking down the owners of small publishing houses, you'll find their names often appear on the titles in their inventory.

Very clever, Tina.

(I am thinking of naming my new publishing house Random Penguin. What do you think?)

Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: HC Wins Self-Published Novel In Major Buy

SourcePublishers Weekly, By Rachel Deahl Oct 10, 2013

Self-publishing was one of the big topics at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, and at least one self-published book caught the eye, and wallet, of a major publisher. In what is rumored to be a deal worth $500,000, Jennifer Brehl at HarperCollins’s William Morrow imprint bought North American rights to Tina Seskis’s novel, One Step Too Far.

The debut, which was originally published in April as a Kindle e-book, went on to hit #1 on Amazon. Seskis, who grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in London, followed the e-book publication with a paperback release, and that print edition went on to hit the bestseller list of the British bookstore chain, W.H. Smith.

One Step Too Far follows a lawyer named Emily Coleman who inexplicably abandons her life. Despite what appears to be an idyllic existence—a beautiful two-year-old son, a lovely home, an adoring husband—Emily wakes up one summer morning, grabs her passport, and hops on a train bound from London to Manchester. Determined to leave her old life behind, Emily meets a croupier named Angel who becomes her only new friend, and who also leads her into a dangerous new existence.

Brehl told PW that Seskis likes to refer to the book as a “whydunit,” because it leaves a host of questions about its heroine’s actions unanswered. The novel, which works up to a final secret-reveal, was something Brehl said she picked up one night and “didn’t put down until I finished it the next morning.”

John Elek, with the British firm United Agents, represents Seskis.

I've never entered a writing contest for the simple reason that I consider writing contests to be scams. The people who run these contests know that unpublished writers will - usually without the active participation of their high faculties - shell out their meager funds for any chance of recognition. In the end, these contests always earn much more money than they award.

But this contest is different. For one thing, it's free. For another, it represents yet another interesting alliance between an amateur writing platform with a huge readership - Wattpad - and a well-known publisher (Harlequin). And for yet another, the prize is publication with the well-known publisher. Finally, the award process is surprisingly democratic, relying on votes from the public.

How did this unusual partnership come about?

Basically, the New Adult genre is terra incognita. It is  the publishing world's response to an as yet largely unexploited marketing niche - college students, and those who have recently graduated from college. The themes that publishers imagine this niche will be interested in include "life decisions" and, of course, the mainstay of romance novels, sexual tension. (Hence the active participation of Harlequin.)

If you write for this niche, or think you can write for this niche, start typing. Even if a gazillion other people enter this contest, getting your work up on Wattpad, and getting it widely read, is worth the effort. (Much more rewarding than NANOWRIMO.)

(Plus, have I mentioned this? IT'S FREE!!!)

Here are the details (taken from the Wattpad website)

Wattpad is partnering with Harlequin to present the New Adult category in this year’s So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest . Writers from Wattpad are invited to write a first chapter (max 5000 words) for a New Adult story, as well as a 100-word description that details your concept, plot, characters, conflict, and setting. If your story is loved by the public voters and picked by contest judges, you could be signing a publishing deal to write for Harlequin!

So, if you think you can write enter the contest today

About New Adult

Stories submitted for this contest must reflect the Harlequin New Adult themes. This genre focuses on characters between the ages of 18 and 25, who are dealing with a time of choice, independence and risk-taking. The characters face significant change: college, new jobs, falling in love, sexuality, military deployment, moving from depending on family to being self-reliant. It is a time of taking risks and discovery

Overall, New Adult stories contain a level of sexual tension between the protagonists, but whether you write love scenes or prefer to fade to black, the choice is up to you and your characters. Romance is the most important emotional element. As well, the hero and heroine should have strong and important connections to secondary characters who add depth to the story. However, as a writer your most important task is to create characters with whom readers will fall in love

To learn more about the New Adult category, visit the So You Think You Can Write blog on Thursday September 19th at 12pm EDT to listen to hear what Harlequin and Wattpad have to say about this exciting new genre

How To Enter

To enter your work in the contest, upload the first chapter of your story to your Wattpad user profile and tag your work with “SYTYCW”. For more details on how to submit your story, please click here.

Please note that stories should be complete or close to completion before entering the contest as you will need to submit the completed work (of 50,000 words) by November 6, 2013 if you are chosen as part of the top 25 entries.

For entries that are already posted on Wattpad and are longer than one chapter in length, please tag only the first chapter. This will be the only chapter that will be read and judged in the first round.

A book cover is not required to enter the contest but is highly recommended.

For more information, please read the full contest rules.

Key Dates

September 23: The contest opens for submissions. Send in your first chapter and 100-word pitch. All entries will be posted on Wattpad for comments and voting.

October 28: The contest closes for submissions. The top 25 ranking chapters will be shortlisted for the editors who will request the full stories from those writers

October 29–November 6: Editors will request the full stories from those writers in the top 25.

October 29–November 26: The editors will read and evaluate all the full stories.

December 4: The four winners will be notified and their names posted on our website.

Contest Guidelines

The contest is open to both published and unpublished writers residing in the UK, the US, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. We are looking for fresh, original stories that will fit the New Adult Romance line.

Your story should be finished—or close to completion— in order to be considered by the Harlequin & Wattpad editors. We are accepting only one entry per person, and it should be 50,000 words in length.

Last November, Random House announced the inauguration of three new digital imprints: Hydra for science fiction, fantasy and horror; Flirt for "new adults"; and Alibi for mystery and suspense. Random House, of course, has many imprints, but what was unusual about these imprints is that they were digital only. Even more unusual was the fact that authors could submit their manuscripts directly to Random House - without an agent. Major publishers have not allowed unchaperoned authors to enter their hallowed halls for decades.

The announcement, though welcomed by potential authors, was received with skepticism by those who knew better; In the publishing industry the deck is always stacked in favor of the house. The House, in this case, was offering "revenue sharing" in place of an advance. Random House was also requiring authors to foot the expenses of production, and, most onerous of all, demanding rights for the term of the copyright. (Why even have a copyright in that case?) John Scalzi called the Random House conditions "a horrendously bad deal" and advised authors to "run away" as fast as their legs could carry them.

Random House eventually bowed to pressure and offered a more traditional deal for writers. Apparently, that deal was sweet enough to attract several new authors. Of the six titles Alibi will release next year, five are by debut authors.

RH Imprint Alibi Announces Debut Titles

Publisher's Weekly, August 14, 2013

Alibi, the digital-original mystery and thriller imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, announced the acquisition of its first six titles. The new publishing program will launch with The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick, the first novel in the Darla Cavanaugh mystery series.

Alibi senior editor Dana Isaacson has also acquired the following titles, scheduled for release in late 2013 and throughout 2014: The Garden Plot, by Marty Wingate; The Final Age, by Pierre Ouellette; Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch; The Travel Writer by Jeff Soloway; and A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage.