Category Archives: Opportunities

Opportunities in writing, such as competitions or publishers looking for submissions

Australian publishers who accept online submissions

I’ve been reading a fair bit lately – both offline and online, a book, other people’s blogs, agents’ and publishers’ websites, etc. – and found that more publishers here in Australia accept unsolicited online submissions than I would’ve expected. I thought I’d list some of the barebones facts here for anyone interested (NB: always check the publisher’s website for detailed instructions by clicking on the name before submitting anything). If you have a similar list for the UK or US, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post to link to your site.

Publisher When Accepts Details
Allen & Unwin: The Friday Pitch On any Friday No poetry, picture books, straight romance, short stories, or scripts

See their website for more details and a link to their “What we publish” page. There are separate instructions for academic submissions and for children’s/YA books.
Email with title information sheet (see website), first chapter and 300-word synopsis attached in Word format (PDF for illustrated work)
Austin Macauley Anytime Almost anything (as far as I could tell) Email cover letter, 400-500-word synopsis, three consecutive chapters
HarperCollins: The Wednesday Post Every Wednesday No plays, poetry, mind body spirit, religious titles, health and fitness, children’s books and educational texts Webform: synopsis, upload first 50 pages or three chapters, short note about yourself
Pan Macmillan: Manuscript Monday First Monday of every month

Note: Submission only open between 10am and 4pm AEST
Commercial fiction, literary fiction and non-fiction, children’s/YA, commercial non-fiction; no scripts, plays, poetry, or romance Webform: form fields, upload first 100 pages, upload 300-word synopsis
PanteraPress Anytime No picture or illustrated books, children’s, cooking, self-help, health/well-being, travel, poetry, plays/scripts, short stories, compilations, novellas, or chapter books Email details, attach up to two-page synopsis, full manuscript, and up to two-page bio, all as PDFs
Penguin Books: The Monthly Catch

Note: Penguin and Random House are the same company but have separate publishing divisions and therefore separate submission processes. Random House only accepts snail mail submissions.
1st to 7th of every month No poetry, educational textbooks or plays/scripts; separate instructions for children/YA Details in email body, with 300-word synopsis and full manuscript attached separately in Word format (up to 3MB total)

As of yet, I’m undecided whether it would be a good idea for me to approach publishers directly (i.e. without securing an agent first) or not. Agents can’t pitch your work to a publisher who’s already said “No” to you. On the other hand, if your work is good enough….

Did I forget anything, or get any details wrong? Know of another publisher I should list here? Let me know in the comments.

Opportunity for aspiring authors… with a catch

Searching around for blogs and other useful information for aspiring authors (if you know any I should be checking out, please let me know in the comments – blogging newbie here!), I came across this opportunity from Bloomsbury on Writers & Artists:

It sounded really great at first, until I read that:

  1. it’s digital-only, and
  2. they’re accepting “between 25,000 and 60,000 words”.

Ouch. As someone currently struggling with what some claim is conventional wisdom that fantasy manuscripts, especially from first-time authors, should be between 80k and 100k (more on that later), that’s a bit of a kick in the nuts.

So my question is this:

Are these word limits as artificial as they seem to me, that is, do they exist mainly to discourage new writers from blabbering on without getting to the point to save printing costs, or do people really want to read shorter stories?

Because personally, when I go to the bookstore to find the next book I want to delve into, I don’t even look at the little narrow ones. I want characters to be developed, not just the bare bones of the story. I want the story to last, I want to find the first part of a series worth getting into. I want the details, the thought-processes, not just the action. Those doorstopper-sized books aren’t usually much more expensive than the little ones. Maybe I don’t know enough about real-life printing costs, and am naïve about costs to proofread manuscripts (which people don’t seem to do a good job at, I can’t read past errors without my eyes starting to bleed), but is there really good cause to want authors (ones who can otherwise prove they can write well, of course) to limit themselves by that much?

I’d love to hear other people’s comments on that.