Open submissions: May Update

By Anne Perry

Posted on May 5, 2016 in News with tags Open Submissions

Hello! A few of you are still waiting to hear back from us about the open submissions window and our decisions. Let’s get to the update!

First: the numbers.

We have officially responded to about 95% of all novels that were submitted to us last August. The Hodderscape team have not yet made their final decisions about the remaining 5% of submissions.

Last week, I wrote in the comments to one of the previous updates that we planned to have the final decisions on that last 5% by this week. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish all the reading over the long weekend, so I’m sorry to say those of you who are still waiting will have to wait just a little longer. We hope to have made our final decisions on the remaining 5% by next week.

Those of you who are still waiting to hear from us: you are waiting because your work received a positive response from your first reader, and we have shared your novel with the rest of the team for second reads. We will not proceed – either by turning your manuscript down or calling the full manuscript in – without a consensus from the readers. It’s a slow process, but it’s hugely important to us that we consider every work submitted to us thoughtfully and thoroughly. You worked hard to write it; you deserve no less consideration from us.

I absolutely understand how long and agonizing the wait has been for everyone who submitted their work in August. On behalf of everyone at Hodder, I’d like to thank you all for your patience and ask those of you who are still waiting to hear to bear with us a little bit longer.





50 comments on “Open submissions: May Update”

  • Douglas Pierce says:

    Thank you for the update, Anne. I for one, deeply appreciate the time and consideration you are giving to our submissions.

    It is agonizing, but it is a good kind of agony to know that my submission is receiving such consideration from your team.

    Thank you for keeping us informed!

  • S R Jones says:

    Thanks for the update! I got a little bit giddy reading it- I’m so pleased at least one person liked what I wrote! 🙂

  • Michael R B says:

    Woo Hoo!

    Glad for the update – understand completely that if all need to read them then that takes time but if we get accepted – What a commendation!

    Looking forward to to finding out if it’s onwards and upwards or the end of the line – to get this far, after such consideration is a booster!

    Thanks to you, Anne and the Dodo team for this opportunity.

  • Jackee r says:

    Thank you for the update, Ann. Thanks to everyone at Hodderscape for giving our work this level of consideration.

  • Sue Burrows says:

    Thanks for the update Anne. The thought that any one person let alone several people are considering my work to this point is amazing, terryfying and … yay. Thank you so much.

  • Sara Ragnarok says:

    Thanks for the update! I don’t mind waiting if it means I’m still being considered, haha! This has been an exciting motivator for me if nothing else. 🙂

  • Cecilia Satterthwaite says:

    Thanks for the update, Anne.

  • Ashfae says:

    Thanks for the update, Anne! Good luck with the final hurdle. =)

  • Michael R B says:

    …. and …. I’m out…. Hope y’all left have better luck.

    Thanks for the opportunity, Anne & Co..

  • Ashfae says:

    Well, this is nail-biting. Is anyone else still waiting on tenterhooks?

  • KMcK says:

    yeah, still waiting here too, Ashfae, and trying just to wait for an email rather than checking in here 😀

  • KMcK says:

    & thank for the update too 🙂

  • Ezra says:

    Hi Anne and team…
    Firstly a massive thank you for all the work that you have already put in.
    Is there any way for you to let us know the submissions still under consideration? It is just that all I currently have to go on is an automated response received back in August. I am sure that I am not alone in worrying that I may have slipped through the cracks somehow! I appreciate that anonymity will need to be maintained, so maybe just the titles still under consideration? After all, I would hate to have waited all this time simply to have fallen prey to an IT error! Many thanks!

    • Anne Perry says:

      We have 70 submissions left to make a final decision on. Once we officially announce that we’ve made our decisions and all emails have been responded to, we will ask you to get in touch if you haven’t heard from us. If you received the initial email saying we’d received and logged your submission, you can trust that you have not slipped through the cracks – it was not an automated response, but an email I personally sent to every single person who submitted a manuscript.

      So far I have had only one bounceback from all the emails I’ve sent.

      • Ezra says:

        That works for me! Many thanks!

      • Amy Blaze says:

        Thank you for the update, Anne Perry, as one of those hairs in the biscuit (still hanging in there!) I sincerely hope y’all get this wrapped up in June so you’ll and Team Dodo have time to rest your peepers before the next open submission cattle call. Best wishes and much appreciation to all at Hodder!

      • Ashfae says:

        I can’t believe how much this project exploded into hugeness…it must be so exhausting for all of you! I hope you’ve found some great ideas to make it all seem worthwhile. Thanks for the mini-update here. =) May all your team get absolutely amazing summer holidays with tall cool drinks by the ocean, or whatever else seems desirable, given all the work you’ve done.

      • Douglas Pierce says:

        Thank you so much, Anne, for the update on your progress, and the clarification on the process.

        It is both terrifying and exciting to contemplate whether or not you guys will ultimately determine whether my submission is worth further consideration by Hodderscape.

        Good luck to all of the others who had made it so far, and to those who didn’t as well. Keep writing and creating the worlds and characters for all to enjoy!

  • Douglas Pierce says:

    Thanks for the update, Anne, both on the progress to date and on clarifying the process.

    I can’t wait to learn if my manuscript is chosen for a closer look.

    Good luck to everyone else still being considered, and as well to those who have received their notifications! Keep writing and creating!

  • Naoko says:

    Just wanted to say Thank You for the updates! You guys have been nothing but professional and awesome and I hope the last part of the reads go smoothly for you all! 😀

  • KMcK says:

    thanks for the info, Anne. In the last 70! I can’t believe it!

  • Cecilia Satterthwaite says:

    I’m out. I managed to get into my old e-mail via g-mail and found a lovely rejection dated 14th May.
    Thank you Anne and team for your encouragement and commitment.
    Good luck to all still in the running.

  • KMcK says:

    I begin to wonder whether I accidentally delted my rejection sometime in the past few months. This waiting is sooooo hard!

  • Douglas Pierce says:

    I’m sure we’re getting close to another update. Trust in your work and in the process.

    Thanks in advance to Anne and the whole Hodderscape team for all of the diligent efforts!

  • Amy Blaze says:

    As a yankee in the glorious Southland, “I just can’t think about this right now, if I do I’ll go crazy,” and then my imaginary ‘good fella’ will show up with his greasy hair, face like a fist full of keys and badger me to ‘FORGETABOUTIT!’ Y’all are welcome to borrow him if you like.

    Best to all,

  • Elizabeth Hopkinson says:

    Does anyone know how many books will get chosen? Or is that totally dependent on the whims of fate?

    • Anne Perry says:

      The scary truth is this: ultimately we may decide not to publish any of the open submissions we have read. Every time we call in a full manuscript, read the full novel, and then decide to move forward must still pass through the usual acquisitions process: it must be circulated to the entire company for feedback and presented to the board, who will then consider what the market is and what they think we can reasonably expect sales to look like. If the editor who presents it (in this case, me) is then given permission to make an offer for the book we still have to negotiate with author (or if he or she is agented, the agent) and it’s still not certain that the book will be published by us.

      So I can’t make any promises about which or how many of the original open submissions we will eventually publish, I’m afraid!

      • Amy Blaze says:

        Thank you for the update and the honesty, Anne Perry. The disturbance in the Force I felt earlier must have been some of the other hopefuls’ pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth; between open subs and Brexit, I certainly don’t envy you your position!*

        As for my fellow hopeful wordsmith wanna be’s, until we’re officially rejected, we’re still in the running, and we’ve all got that going for us, which is nice. So be cool, it’ll be alright.


  • simon says:

    How many are left?

  • Mike says:

    Given that it was 70 on May 23rd, may I ask how many of the original subs are still awaiting a response, for good or for bad?

  • KMcK says:

    I’m still scared I’ve missed the rejection somehow, and wasn’t waiting for promises – submissions sent on wings & prayers, so thank you, Anne Perry!

  • Mike says:

    Hmm. My question of a few days ago seems not to have uploaded. Basically it was asking where things stand at the moment – that is, how many of the original submissions are still awaiting response, good or bad? From the comments above, there certainly seem to be a few who are still in the dark. I’m sure an update would be gratefully received by all. Many thanks.

    • Anne Perry says:

      We’ve got about 25 manuscripts left to make decisions on, which means we have contacted slightly more than 98% of everyone who submitted to us.

      We are moving as fast as possible, and I absolutely appreciate how agonizing the wait has been for those of you who have not yet heard back from us. I hope to do a final update soon, letting you know that we have made our final decisions on all 1500 submissions, but we are not quite there yet.

  • KMcK says:

    Thank you, Anne Perry!

  • Douglas Pierce says:

    Well, I’m out. Just got my notification today. Thank you Anne and to everyone at the Hodderscape team for reading and considering my book!

    Good luck to all of you who remain in consideration.

  • Simon Cairnes says:

    I’m out too. I enjoyed the ride, shame it’s over

  • Ashfae says:

    I’m out too, as of today; truthfully I’m relieved, the book needs a lot of work. I’ll resubmit it once it’s better. Thanks so much for the opportunity, and for what has to be the most flattering rejection form letter I’ve ever received. =) Good luck to those who remain!

  • Amy Blaze says:

    I probably shouldn’t feel so excited, but I got got my VERY FIRST R at last! : ) Rereading my submission, I look forward to using what I’ve learned since then to rework and carry on!

    Many thanks to everyone at Hodder for all their hard work, making it this far has been the encouragement I needed to see that my scribbles could be more than a silly hobby, that maybe some day someone will tear through the pages of one of my own stories the way I’ve torn through the works of others.

    Best to all!

  • Michael R. Brush says:

    Hello Anne,

    Thanks for the whole process, including all the updates and advice on writing.

    I’m sorry to ask you this, given that it might be difficult to answer. However, in your earlier comment on the 28th of June, regarding whether you might publish anything, you said part of that decision would be based on what the market was like and the reasonable prospect for sales for that novel. In light of this remark and that I’m probably not alone in having a few ideas about what next to do – could you give us any advice on what kind of thing you would be looking to publish in about two years time?

    Many thanks.


    • Anne Perry says:

      Hi, Michael,

      I’m afraid that’s a very difficult question to answer. My main advice is always, always, to write the kind of book you want to read. Don’t ever try to write for ‘the market’ or ‘on trend’ or ‘to become a bestseller’ or anything like that. What will attract editors and agents to your work is your love, your drive, your passion, and your sincere faith in your own work, none of which will be present if you’re trying to guess what people might want to read or what the market might look like two years from now. No one in 2010 could have predicted 50 Shades of Grey, after all!

      And please don’t lose hope. Just because a manuscript we may have rejected didn’t work for us, that doesn’t mean it will never find a publisher, or that the author should give up and stop writing. There are a thousand reasons we rejected manuscripts during this period, but every single author demonstrated clear talent, drive and ambition.

      So, in the end, my only real advice is that you have to keep writing, and you have to keep writing the books you love and you want to see in the world. Keep submitting them to agents and to publishers holding open submissions periods, and don’t give up hope.

      All the best,

      • Michael R. Brush says:

        Hello Anne,

        Just a note to thank you for getting back so quickly and for your encouraging remarks.

        My two ‘rules’ if you like when considering whether to entertain an idea for a book are 1) Is it a book I think I could write, do the idea justice? 2) Is it a book not only I would enjoy reading, but also writing?

        I’ve got a few ideas bumbling around in my head that have passed those two. I guess that there’s no-one else in there that can help me out in this regard…

        Once I strip out my over abundance of ‘buts’ out and split my chapters into two, I will be sending my submission back out into the big, wide world with hope in its sails. I was thinking of gearing up for the sequel, but until it finds a home working on another project is, I believe, the best thing.

        Thanks again for all your advice and time. I hope you find a gem or two from mining that huge mountain of submissions I and my fellow writers provided you with….

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