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 ten 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.
Entangled Publishing: Liz Pelletier, co-founder and co-owner of the company that houses Entangled Publishing, has a vision and needs a writer to help her bring it to life! She’s hiring a “writer on spec,” which is basically a writer hired to pen the story you want. What story does she have in mind? Pelletier explains she’s dying for a “ … paranormal upper YA similar to Buffy during the Spike years plus the Scooby Gang.” Think you can pen her dream tale? Get the full details and learn how to submit here.
Liz isn't the only one at Entangled with a dream story. Entangled’s team of editors shared what kinds of stories they’re hoping will land in their inbox, and we have a feeling they still might be wishin’ and hopin’! So whether you’ve got a fun, flirty contemporary romance for Stacy Abrams or a dark, tortured vampire hero for Lauren Ruth, Entangled editors are dying to have their wishes fulfilled with exceptional manuscripts. Learn more about what they’re looking for here.
Random House: You may have already heard about the kerfuffle between Random House and the Science Fiction Writers of America, but for those not in the know, you can read about the dispute over contracts here. In response, Random House has by adjusted its terms, allowing authors a choice between an advance or profit share model and removing the fee. You can read the policy changes and learn how to submit your tale to one of Random House’s digital imprints here.
HarperCollins: HarperCollins’ UK division recently launched Harper Impulse, a digital first imprint focusing on romance and women’s fiction, and they’re looking for stories. Editors are asking for “ … new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines.” Think you’ve got a winning novel? Submit your manuscript, a cover letter and brief synopsis via e-mail to email@example.com. More details here.
Adams Media: Have you ever wondered what Jane Eyre would’ve been like with a little more spice? Have you thought about what went on between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett behind closed doors? If you’ve put these fantasies on paper, Adams Media may want to publish your story. The publisher is seeking submissions for its Wild and Wanton series, which will feature erotic romances based on classic literature. Unfortunately they’ve already contracted a story based on Pride and Prejudice, but don’t let that stop your imagination from running wild! Get the full submission guidelines here.
Cleis Press: If you’ve got an original short gay romance, it may be the perfect addition to Cleis Press’ Best Gay Romance 2014 anthology. Editors Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane are looking for tales that are 6,500 words max and put the emphasis on romance, whether it be “the wooing and the winning, the blush of a crush [or] the details of a date.” Get more specifics on what the editors want and how to get your story to them here.
Agent Alerts: Meet new literary agent Margaret Bail of Andrea Hurst Associates. She’s a young agent on the hunt for adult fiction, specifically romance, sci fi, thrillers, historical fiction and fantasy. She’s willing to consider any adult fiction that is not steampunk, Christian/religious fiction, or chick lit! If you’re in the market for a new agent and have a story for Margaret, you can learn how to contact her and what to include in your query letter here.
Need an agent that shares your passion for YA? Then Brittany Howard of Corvisiero Literary Agency is your girl. This new agent loves a teen story that features a “ … strong voice, good storytelling, and fascinating relationships between characters — romantic or otherwise.” However, one thing Brittany avoids is any sort of “YA issue” book, a la Go Ask Alice. If you think you’ve got a fun, intriguing Young Adult story for Brittany, learn how to send her a query 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!