Aspiring authors, we know that it can be disheartening to look out into the abyss of potential publishing houses and only see the same old phrase, “no unsolicited manuscripts accepted.” These days many of the major publishing houses rely on their ties with literary agents and in-house promotions to find new authors. But don’t despair; today we’ve come up with a list of nine places — from off-the-beaten path publishers to special back doors of the big-name houses — that would welcome your query letter, manuscript or submission.
Avon Impulse: From sweet and romantic to super steamy, Avon is looking for a variety of stories for their digital-only line, Avon Impulse. Currently the imprint is accepting manuscripts about America’s favorite pastime, baseball — and the hunky men who play the spot. The e-book imprint is also on the lookout for contemporary tales about New Year’s Eve, short stories for their Christmas anthology and more. You can get all the specifics and learn how to submit here.
Harlequin: If you have a knack for telling heartwarming tales about medical professionals and their quest for love, Harlequin is bringing back the Fast Track program for their Medical Romance line. No need to spend ages waiting around for a response, Harlequin’s editors are jumpstarting the publishing process and providing rapid feedback within a month of receiving submissions. So, if you want your medical romance published stat, submit your story today.
Prime Books: Love to write edgy speculative fiction? Prime Books is currently seeking dark fantasy and horror stories for their upcoming anthology, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2013. If your writing is filled with eerie creatures, dark danger and unexpected twists and turns, consider submitting your short story here.
Forever Yours: Avon isn’t the only publisher with a digital arm that’s hungry for new manuscripts. Forever Romance’s Forever Yours e-only line is currently in the market for stories from across the romance sub-genres. Long or short, contemporary or paranormal romance, if you think your completed short tale could find a forever home with Forever Yours, get it into their editors’ hands today! You can learn more about submission guidelines here.
Scholastic UK: If you’re on the other side of the pond and are looking to publish your story for young readers, Scholastic Children's UK division wants to hear from you. To find out the process of turning your manuscript into a full-fledged YA novel for tots with accents, visit the Scholastic UK website.
Sourcebooks: Do you have a passionate paranormal, contemporary, suspenseful, historical or erotic romance that’s just itching to be read? Consider Sourcebooks as a potential publisher. If your manuscript is between “90,000 to 120,000 actual digital words”-long it might be the kind of fresh romance Sourcebooks is looking for, read their guidelines.
Breathless Press: This publisher is on the hunt for steamy stories. The e-book publisher that is currently asking for short e-reads to fill up several upcoming anthologies. These broad topics include male/male romance, vampires, shifters and more! The publisher also is home to several lines that publish romances of all lengths. To learn how to become part of the Breathless Press family, check out their guidelines.
Torque Press: Love comes in a rainbow of different flavors. If you have a flair for writing same-sex romance, Torque Press wants to read it! The publisher is specifically hunting for stories about mad scientists, birthstone themes and tales inspired by spices and herbs! If you think your work is a perfect fit for this small press, find out how to submit here.
BookEnds Literary Agency: Publishers aren’t the only ones looking for new talent. BookEnds literary agency currently has three new calls from different agents. What they are looking for ranges from erotica to steampunk, cozy mysteries and beyond, a true assortment of stories. The agents will be dedicated to helping you find the best publisher for your work. To learn more about the agents on the prowl, their respective tastes and how to submit your work, click here.
Did we miss one of your favorite places to submit work? Let us know in the comments below. For more suggestions of establishments that may be a good fit for your manuscript you can check out our Agents List or our Publishers List. And of course, you can always find author advice, writing tips and more on our Aspiring Authors Page!