Last week I shared a list of agents accepting submissions of fantasy novels, but here are a bunch of publishers who accept unagented submissions. This list is mostly the same as my list of science fiction publishers, but there are some differences, and I figured it’s more convenient to have a list just for your genre.
Clicking on the name of the publisher will take you straight to the submission guidelines. These are mostly novel publishers, but I’ve included a couple of publishers of short fiction.
I’m not endorsing any of the publishers on this list, because I don’t know enough about most of them. The SFWA has a great overview of small presses and how to distinguish them from vanity publishers, and it’s worth checking out.
If you have any concerns about a publisher’s business practices, please let me know by email at email@example.com. Also, let me know if there’s someone I should add!
This prominent publisher has 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.
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. “…for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality.”
YA, NA, and MG. (NA stands for New Adult and MG stands for Middle Grade.)
Digital only. Fantasy romance, 35,000 words and up.
Tad Williams, Mercedes Lackey, and Tanith Lee all got their start with this imprint 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.
“After reviewing our subs for the remainder of the 2016 release schedule, we at DDP have decided to move away from Sword and Sorcery type stories for the time being. This is not to say that we will not return to this sub-genre, but for the time being, we will focus on Science Fiction, Horror, Thriller/Suspense and Dark Fantasy.
Dark fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy which can refer to literary, artistic, and cinematic works that incorporates darker and frightening themes of fantasy. It also often combines fantasy with elements of horror. The term can be used broadly to refer to fantastical works that have a dark, gloomy atmosphere or a sense of horror and dread.”
“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.”
Adult, YA, and MG.
These guys publish some big authors, including Raymond Feist. Although they don’t usually accept unagented submissions, they do have open calls now and again. You can bookmark the linked page or follow them on Twitter to find out when they are.
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.
A UK publisher of YA, including fantasy.
Pyr is the scifi and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books. “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.”
“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 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.
ETA: a reader let me know that after January 7, they will no longer be open to unagented submissions for shorter fiction. Thank you!
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. Annual open submission periods are February and September.
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