Hi friends! Last week I published a list of agents who represent scifi, but as I said, you can publish a book without an agent. Here are a bunch of publishers who accept unagented submissions, along with comments from editors on what they’re looking for. All the tweets here date from late summer and fall 2015.
Clicking on the name of the publisher will take you straight to the submission guidelines. I often hear agents and editors say that simply adhering to all the guidelines will make your submission stand out.
I’ve mostly focused on publishers of novels, but I’ve included some publishers of short fiction, too. I’ve noted when a publisher is exclusively digital.
By including a publisher on the list, I am not endorsing them. I don’t know anything about most of them. The SFWA has a great overview of small presses in particular and how to distinguish them from vanity publishers. If you have any concerns about a publisher’s business practices, please let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
After I posted the agent list, a few people asked me why I was doing this. It just occurred to me that a lot of writers were probably duplicating efforts my making their own lists of potential agents and publishers. I figure if one person does the research and shares it, that gives writers more time to write.
That being said, this isn’t a complete list, so please let me know if you think I should add something!
Full-length novels. Angry Robot is kind of a big deal (if memory serves, Chuck Wendig used to be with them), and they have open door periods a couple of months a year when they accept unagented and unsolicited submissions. Their current open door period ends January 31, 2016, and you can keep an eye out for future ones.
“Aqueduct Press publishes works of feminist science fiction as well as works about feminist sf or of particular interest to readers of feminist science fiction.”
Novels over 50,000 words. “All subgenres including speculative, dystopian, apocalyptic, and dark fantasy stories. Unconventional concepts, world-building and diverse characters are always a plus.” “We aim to maintain an inclusive space where topics like race, gender and class are handled with reasonable care. This does not mean that we only publish radically forward-thinking literature, but we will pass on books dominated by socially regressive tropes.” No YA.
“100,000 – 130,000 words. Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words…” “Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions.”
YA, NA, and MG. (NA stands for New Adult and MG stands for Middle Grade.)
Digital only. Science fiction romance, 35,000 words and up. I don’t believe they accept scifi without romantic elements, although the linked page contains contradictory statements about this.
This distinguished imprint is part of Penguin Random House. “The average length of the novels we publish varies, but is almost never fewer than 80,000 words.”
40,000 words and up. “We are currently accepting SCIENCE FICTION, including Hard (Science) SF, Space Fiction, Sci Fi, Future Fiction, Lost Civilizations, Utopias, Dystopias, Disaster Novels, Alternate Histories, Time Travel, Parallel Worlds, etc. …”
“We’re seeking imaginative, idea-filled science fiction and fantasy short stories. Stories should be accessible, with strong plots and compelling characters, written with a good knowledge of the science fiction or fantasy canon.
We pay for selected stories starting at $0.05 per word or a mix of an advance and a royalty. Stories should be at least 7,000 words. Stories will be published under a new electronic imprint from East of the Web, one of the world’s leading publishers of short stories.”
Novel-length books between 75,000 and 100,000 words.
“We particularly like stories with:
- depth and insight
- great writing
- original ideas
- interesting characters who have believable behaviors, motives, and relationships
- believable dialogue
- strong plots
- solid science or magic systems
- unique settings
- well designed, innovative alien life forms and environments, and
- richly detailed and original cultures.”
They say not to submit on floppy disk. Hahahaha.
YA scifi romance for the Teen Crave line. 45,000 – 60,000 words, with protagonists who are 16-18 years old.
Adult, YA, and MG. I know nothing about these guys, but they have a fun attitude:
“Give me your aliens, your pirates,
Your giant robots, yearning to break free,
The finished stories of your teeming mind
Send these, the homeless, the publish-toss’d to me.”
This is Random Houses’s digital-only imprint for scifi, fantasy, and horror. They want novels of 40,000 words of more. The SFWA and other writers criticized Hydra’s original contracts, and Hydra changed them as a result.
“I’m primarily looking for Science Fiction and Fantasy containing solid worldbuilding that fires the imagination, especially worldbuilding that is the backdrop for large, sweeping narratives that dig into complicated situations regarding politics, relationships, or conflicting character goals. Diverse books, where MOGAI characters and characters of color are full participants in the action, are a particular favorite of mine.
Also, I’m partial to adventure (either epic or smaller-scale), and to stories with a lot of emotional impact, forward momentum, and focus and drive toward a goal. Novels with a solid sense of place, where the world could easily give rise to who knows how many more untold stories, are my kryptonite.
I’d really love to see space operas, near-future science fiction, fresh takes on urban fantasy, high fantasy with a darker tone, and settings that play with their worldbuilding to highlight, contrast, and explore contemporary culture in new and fascinating ways.”
Pyr is the scifi and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books. I assume it’s pronounced like “pyre,” since there’s a flame in their logo. Send them your long book! “We are not currently looking for short story collections, anthologies, novellas, or nonfiction. We prefer novels in the 100,000 to 130,000 word range. For science fiction, we do not consider material under 85,000 words in length.”
“We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction… Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words.” Click the link and scroll down for upcoming anthology themes and reading periods.
A giant in scifi and fantasy publishing. Novel-length books. Scroll way down for the submission guidelines. Tor.com is also open to submissions of short fiction and poetry in a speculative vein, particularly stories under 12,000 words.
An eclectic press, digital only. Here’s a link to their scifi titles.
Novels, novellas, serialized fiction, and collections of short fiction by a single author. Adult, NA, and YA. They also have calls for short stories for anthologies. Their list of things they don’t want includes “no giant bugs.” Closed to submissions until February 2016.
I’m going to do roundups next month for agents who represent fantasy and for fantasy publishers that accept unagented submissions. (While there will be a lot of overlap with the science fiction lists, I think it’s most helpful for writers to have them as separate lists.) If you don’t want to miss it, sign up to follow the blog — there’s a button on the lefthand side of the page. I might do roundups for other genres, too, if I get a lot of requests!
Thanks for stopping by, and happy writing!