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.
Carina Press: Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, is on the hunt for what she calls “contemporary crack.” These are contemporary romances that, according to the editor, contain “high drama, high intensity, often multiple conflicts (relationship conflict and another external conflict, along w/hero and heroine internal conflicts), loving relationships between hero and heroine, sensual sex scenes, frank language. Think a bit of soap operas, with situations that can be a little over the top (except your story should have a happy ending).” You can learn more about this addicting romance genre and learn how to send James your contemporary love story here.
Avon Impulse: Heard of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo)? Well, Avon's digital arm, Avon Impulse, is hosting NaRoWriMo: National Romance Writing Month! You can find Avon editors on the NaNoWriMo forums all month long, and Avon Impulse will be taking novel and novella-length submission through this form on their website (Be sure to mention NaRoWriMo in your submission!). Submissions close December 10.
Amazon Montlake: Amazon publishing’s recent romance imprint, Montlake, is still accepting unsolicited manuscripts. If you’ve got a quality love story — historical, contemporary or paranormal — that would be perfect for both digital and print release, you can learn more about Montlake here and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with submission inquiries.
Figment Fiction: YA author Laini Taylor was nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for her book Days of Blood and Starlight, and she’s celebrating by offering young writers and fans of the genre a YA prize pack, as well as a chance to work with Figment Fiction staff! The challenge? Write a story in 1,200 words or less about someone who hurts the person they love the most and submit it to Figment! The deadline is November 19 so if you want to enter, it has to be soon! You can learn more about the contest, Figment and the author here.
OakTara: Do you have the love of God in your heart? Does it inspire your writing? OakTara is a Christian publisher that releases both print and e-versions of inspirational fiction. Currently the publisher is seeking YA fantasy, sci-fi, what they call “realistic fiction,” medieval fantasy stories written for boys, as well as “issue fiction” and tales by teen writers. You can learn more about their guidelines for writers and how to submit your manuscript here.
Entangled Publishing: It might be November, but Entangled Publishing is currently on the hunt for short erotic stories to fill their 2013 Valentine’s Day anthology to be released through the publisher’s Brazen line. If you’ve got a steamy tale with a Valentine’s Day theme that features a sexy alpha hero and contains a satisfying HEA, as well as utilizes familiar romance tropes, your story may be the perfect fit for this collection! To learn more about this specific call and how to submit your manuscript, visit Entangled’s website here.
Cozy Cat Press: If the thought of cozying up with — or writing — a delightful cat cozy mystery has you chasing your tail in excitement, consider submitting your cat cozy manuscript to Cozy Cat Press. This publisher releases exclusively cat cozy mysteries, and they want to get their paws on your story! Who knows, your fantastic feline sleuth could be the next Midnight Louie or Sneaky Pie Brown! Click here to learn more about Cozy Cat Press and how to submit your story right meow.
Cleis Press: Author and blogger Mitzi Szereto wants your erotic short stories for her Cleis Press anthology The Darker Edge of Desire, which is set to release in fall 2013. In the author’s own words: “I am looking for atmospheric and high quality stories with a distinct Gothic flavour that explore our more forbidden desires and contain plenty of added kink.” So if you’ve got an original dark tale, perhaps with a touch of paranormal flair, with a good dose of hot sex scenes send it to Mitzi! Submissions close March 15, 2013. You can learn more about the collection and what Mitzi wants here.
Bottom Drawer Publications: Independent publisher Bottom Drawer Publications accepts unsolicited romance and erotic romance manuscripts and are interested in an array of sub-genres including paranormal, mystery/thriller, steampunk and more! The publisher accepts stories of all lengths and currently has special calls for their upcoming New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day collections. So if your story is fit for either celebration, or if you’ve just got a great love story that’s dying to be read, you can submit it to Bottom Drawer here.
Literary Agent: Literary agent Erin Skolnick has recently made the move from Irene Skolnick Literary Agency to Folio Literary Management, but she’s still seeking great new authors! Skolnick says she’s mainly looking for literary fiction, but loves a wide variety of genres including mysteries, thrillers and books that include a touch of magic. The agent will also be attending several upcoming writers conferences, which are perfect for writers who want some one-on-one time with publishing professionals. To learn more about Erin, how to send her your manuscript and which conferences she will be attending, click here. And don’t miss your chance to meet with agents, editors and other industry insiders at the 2013 RT Booklovers Convention!
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.