Open Submissions: The Guidelines!


By Anne Perry

Posted on July 2, 2015 in News with tags Open Submissions, Writing Advice

Back in March we announced that we’d be opening for submissions in August. Well, August is nearly upon us! So it’s time for us to share our submission guidelines with you. Please read these carefully and remember that we absolutely will not read anything submitted to us before August 3rd.

Good luck polishing your manuscript – we can’t wait to get stuck in!

What we’re looking for:

We publish a wonderful, exciting, diverse list of SFF here at Hodder – and we’re always on the lookout for new talent.

Specifically, we are looking for novels (50,000 words or more) that contain some element of the speculative or fantastic. Simply put, we’re looking for awesome science fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

This open submissions period is a chance for unagented authors to get their manuscripts in front of us.

If you have an agent, please do not submit to us during this open submissions period. Ask your agent to send us your manuscript via the usual channels.

How to submit:

The submissions period will open at 12 am GMT on 3 August, 2015, and will close on 16 August, 2015, at 11.59 pm, GMT.

We will NOT read anything submitted outside this period.

During the submissions period, please send your submission with the subject line ‘submission – TITLE – your name’

  • For example: submission – A THANE OF GROANS – Anne Perry

Please include only the following attachments:

  • The first 3 chapters or the first 15,000 words of your novel, whichever you prefer.
    • make sure your pages are numbered
  • A single cover page with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your contact information
    • The title of your novel
    • The word-count
  • A synopsis of your novel. This must be no more than two pages long.

PLEASE NOTE that you may attach the cover page, synopsis and first three chapters as a single document or three separate documents.

Do not send us your entire novel.
If we would like to read the rest we will contact you to call it in.


Multiple Submissions

Multiple submissions are allowed. If you would like to submit more than one work, please:

  • send a separate email for each submission using the subject line template above.
  • let us know that you have submitted more than one work.

If you are submitting several related works, say, three novels that make up a trilogy, please let us know the following information in the synopsis and on the cover page:

  • what number the specific work is in relation to the others (for example: Book 2 of 3)


  • Word docs only.  Both .doc and .docx are fine.
  • Please use Times New Roman in 11 or 12-point font.
  • Please double-space your submission.

What to expect:

We will first send you an email to confirm that your submission has been received. If you do not receive a confirmation email from us within two weeks of your submission, please email us at the above address.

We will read through every submission that we receive. We will make every effort to get back in touch with you by 30 September, 2015, to let you know our decision.

Please do not email us to ask whether we’ve read your submission yet.

The Nitty-Gritty:

We are not open to poetry, children’s fiction, non-fiction, short stories or novellas.

We will accept YA/crossover submissions, but:

  • your submission must contain an element of the speculative or fantastic, and
  • your submission must be firmly crossover.
    • That is, your novel must also appeal to non-YA readers. You’ll have to use your good judgement here, but if we feel the submission skews too young, we’ll reject it.

This is only a submission; by sending us your manuscript you are not granting us any rights to your novel.

If we pass on your manuscript, we will delete your email and all attachments.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and we’ll answer!

Answers to FAQs:

  • We are open to submissions from anywhere in the world, not just the UK.
  • If you would like to submit a previously self-published novel, please let us know in your email that it was previously self-published.


310 comments on “Open Submissions: The Guidelines!”

  • Erin Paterson says:


    For your open submissions that you’re offering between August 3 and August 16, are you accepting submissions from outside of the UK?

    Thank you!

  • Daniel says:

    This is probably a stupid question, but by double space do you mean double line spacing? Double spacing after a full stop? Double space between each letter?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Don’t worry; it’s not a stupid question. Double-spaced refers to the line spacing. Please do not put double spaces between each letter. Double spaces after each full stop are up to you.

      Here is a good website with 16 tips for formatting a manuscript nicely. (Although we request that submissions be written in Times New Roman, not Courier.)

  • Jon Ayre says:

    Does the novel have to be finished?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Nope. We only require the first 3 chapters or 15,000 words. If we like it and we call it in, and it’s not finished… well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

  • Vaughan Stanger says:

    Does the synopsis have to be double-spaced?

  • Cassie says:

    How much detail are you after, synopsis-wise? A full outline, or better to keep it concise?

    • Anne Perry says:

      We’ll want to know the plot of the entire novel – but as you only have two pages for your synopsis, you’ll have to be concise!

  • T Talbot says:

    What if the story has already been self-published, for example, on Amazon?

    • Anne Perry says:

      As mentioned in the instructions above, please tell us that the novel was previously self-published when you email us your submission.

  • Michael R B says:

    Hello Anne,

    A quick question – if you’ve been scribbling away for years just for an open submission call like this – are you open to multiple submissions or should we submit only one of our projects?

  • Holly Heisey says:

    Would you consider a novel that is currently being serialized on Wattpad (but isn’t yet available elsewhere), if the serialization would continue after the novel was submitted?

    • Anne Perry says:

      If we liked the novel and wanted to buy and publish it, we would probably ask that you stop serializing it.

  • Jericho Geronimo says:

    Does the novel have to be standalone, or can it be part of a larger series?

  • Gina Storm Grant says:

    How do you feel about steampunk?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Steampunk has elements of the speculative and/or fantastic categorically built into it – so we’re on board!

  • Debbie says:

    Can we submit more than one novel?

  • LisaJ says:

    Hi Anne,
    Are multiple submissions allowed?

  • C Bott says:

    Would you accept multiple submissions from one author, in particular a fantasy and a science fiction?

  • Cees van Bronkheuvel says:

    Poor, brave, slush reader. You have my sympathy for the grinding task ahead, my admiration for taking it on and opening the doors, and my most profound jealousy for when you find something magnificent. I wish you the very, very best of luck

  • Vaughan Stanger says:

    When it comes to formatting, should italicised words and passages be shown as italics or underlined?

  • David Britton says:

    A couple of quick questions if I may – you mentioned Steampunk, how about comic Dieselpunk? And science fiction comedy in general?

    Secondly, there is already at least one author out there with the same name as me, if I wanted to be published under a pseudonym would I have to put that as the name on the submission? Or would that be something to be dealt with later?

    Thank you.

    • Anne Perry says:

      Any -punk is fine, as long as the submission contains some element of the speculative or fantastic.

      Please submit under your real name; if you’re concerned that we’ll be confused, let us know in your email that you have the same name as a famous author but you aren’t that person. (As someone with the same name as a famous author, I understand!)

  • Kate Edwards says:

    Would you accept a book previously published by a now defunct indie publisher?

  • Emma says:

    Is dystopian fiction acceptable?

  • RC says:

    Hi there, quick question. Are you looking for professionally edited submissions?

    If so, are there any editing companies that you would recommend that I hire prior to submission?

  • DL Blake says:

    Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

  • Sara Jane says:


    I didn’t see any rule stating that the manuscript needed to be complete. Mine is nearly there, but I wanted to check just in case. Generally, I feel they should be completed, but I’d like to take the opportunity to submit to you if its not done by then all the same!

  • Piper McDermot says:

    Probably a silly question, but I’d rather ask than get it wrong. For the one page cover letter, aside from including the required information above, should we also include a query-letter style paragraph or two presenting the story – or do you want only that basic information and the attached full synopsis and chapters?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Please include only the basic information requested above on the cover letter. We should be able to get the flavour of the novel from the partial you submit and from the 1-2 page synopsis.

  • Barbara Mayo-Neville says:

    Do you want plot spoilers in the synopsis? The story I am hoping you will love has a twist at the end—do you want to know what it is?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Yes, please tell us how the book ends! Even if that spoils the twist – that’s the price we pay as commissioning editors!

  • Peter Lewis says:

    With regards to the cover information, you request word count, is that the word count for the submission or for the completed novel, im sure it’s a daft question, but would not want to make a simple mistake. Thanks

  • T Talbot says:

    Hope you don’t mind me asking another question!

    You said “Word Docs” – Word has two formats, the earlier.doc and newer .docx….which one would you like?

  • Leo Hevia says:

    What is the policy on books that are co-written? As in two people worked on the story together.

    Also what is the policy books that would have an occasional illustration drawn by a third party?
    Like If I asked a friend to draw the cover art and a few illustrations per every 5-8 pages

    • Anne Perry says:

      Co-written is absolutely fine; please make it clear in your submission that there are multiple authors.

      Please do not include a cover image or illustrations with your submission. If you wish to let us know that you have already generated these or feel, for example, that internal illustrations are necessary to the novel, please let us know in the 1-2 page synopsis.

  • Ken Preston says:

    Hi Anne,
    Thank you for answering all these questions, but I have yet another one for you!
    I will be sending you the first book in a series, and I have already written the second one. Can I send you the first 15,000 words of both and both synopsis, or would you prefer just the first one?
    Also, for multiple submissions, (I’ve been busy) would you prefer each one attached to a separate email, or all attached to one email?
    Thank you!!

    • Anne Perry says:

      You may send the second one as well, as long as you make it VERY CLEAR in the synopsis that it is the second in a series and you’ve also submitted the first.

      One email per submission, please!

  • GW says:

    Two quick questions:
    1 – You ask for the first 3 chapters or the first 15,000 words…can it be somewhere in between the two? (i.e., more than three chapters, but fewer than 15,000 words, just to a logical breaking point)
    2 – What level of contact information do you need? Just email, or full address?

    • Anne Perry says:

      1. Yes, that is fine.

      2. We require at least an email address; you are welcome to include more contact info if you wish.

  • Kyle Anand says:

    I am wondering about mature content. Sexual material, swearing, violence ext… will a little of these elements done in a tasteful fashion be unacceptable? Are you guys only looking for books geared towards young-adults?

    • Anne Perry says:

      As mentioned in the submissions guidelines above, we are not only looking for books geared towards young adults. Mature content is completely acceptable.

  • Karen says:

    Good afternoon.
    I would like to submit my manuscript to you, but originally it was a 5000 page, single spaced novel, which I’ve had to break down i into 12 shorter books. Which ending should I include? The ending of book 1 or 12?
    Thank you.

    • Anne Perry says:

      If you are submitting the first of the twelve books, please only submit the first 3 chapters or 15,000 words, as above. In your synopsis, please let us know that it is one of a twelve-book series but describe the plot of only the book you are submitting.

  • Craig Saunders says:

    Hi Anne – I understand multiple submission are fine – are separate emails preferred, or one email inc. all submissions? Thanks in advance.

  • Robert Long says:

    I just saw this. I’m part way into writing a book which is intended to be the first of three 70-80k word long novels telling a single fantasy story set in the modern day. I have outlines for all three (in diminishing detail, but all three book endings are there). Would you be interested and if so, what would you want to see – 15,000 and the outline for all three, or just the first?

  • Desiree S. says:

    Hi, If the book has illustrations and a specific artist is currently doing the drawings, should the illustrations be included in the submission?

  • E.A says:

    Should we put the cover letter, synopsis and first three chapters into 1 document and attach it to the email or would you prefer three separate attachments?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Either is fine. Just make sure, if they’re all different attachments, that your name is clearly marked on each document.

  • Dunstan Power says:

    I use a different font (aerial) at one point to indicate that the text is from a newspaper – is that acceptable?

  • C Bott says:

    Do you want a covering letter with pitch as well as the cover sheet, and if yes, should it be in the text of the email or attachment only?
    Statements about multiple submissions – in the email or in one of the attachments?

    • Anne P. says:

      All we want is
      – one cover letter
      – one 1-2 page synopsis
      – 1 word document containing the first 3 chapters or 15,000 words of your novel.

      All must be ATTACHED to the email, NOT included in the body of the email.

      You may make them a single attachment or three separate attachments, whichever you prefer.

      You may make multiple submissions but each submission must come via a separate email.

      • Anne Perry says:

        Re. telling us about the multiple submissions: please include that information in the body of your email.

  • Laura H says:

    This might be a stupid question … does the cover page have to be the first page in the word document or does it have to be a separate page?

  • Nigel Nessling says:

    Hi, can I just confirm that it is ok for the synopsis not to be double spaced? Formatting it that way makes ours just over two pages. Also you mentioned in an earlier post that you don’t accept cover illustrations. My daughter, (And co-author!) and her friends spent a lot of time and effort creating a conceptual cover for our book. Do you really not want to see it?!

    • Anne Perry says:

      Yes, the synopsis can be single-spaced.

      No, I’m afraid we are not accepting cover illustrations.

  • Brandy Miller says:

    I might have missed this mentioned in the guidelines or the comments, but do you want headers–page number/author name/title of manuscript on each page of the document? Or should those be omitted–I’ve heard that it can mess up the format if they’re included. Should we delete them before submitting?

    • Anne Perry says:

      I didn’t mention it, which I should have. Yes, a header with author name and page number would be helpful.

  • Brandy Miller says:

    Another question–what is the cap on word count? Do you accept manuscripts longer than 120,000 words? My manuscript should fall between 130,000 and 140,000 by the time it’s completed. Do you accept manuscripts that length?

    • Anne Perry says:

      I tried to be very clear in the guidelines above that we will ONLY ACCEPT the first three chapters or 15,000 words. DO NOT SUBMIT THE FULL MANUSCRIPT.

      • Brandy Miller says:

        I know that! I meant, normally, when it comes to your published novels, what is the word count cap? I understand that for the competition you’re looking for only the first three chapters/first 15,000 words. I just wanted to make sure that, if it turned out you were interested in the manuscript, that the word count wouldn’t turn you off. That’s all–the confusion was my fault, since I didn’t make myself clear enough. Sorry about that.

  • Brandy Miller says:

    Question three (this is the last question, sorry for taking up so much time): Should we consider prologues as one chapter if we submit three chapters?

  • Louise Natsworthy says:

    Hi, strange question, but I’d want to use a pseudonym if my book were to be published, should I use my real name on the cover page etc, or the name I plan to use? I know that’s a bit of an odd question, but thought it was best to ask!

    • Anne Perry says:

      Please use your real name for the time being – the most important information for us is your contact information.

  • Victoria Osborne-Broad says:

    Someone asked earlier about headers with name and page number. My page numbers are in a footer at the bottom right of each page. I could also include a header with my name for each page; but isn’t that distracting for the reader?
    Please advise – thank you.

    • Anne Perry says:

      It’s not distracting, I promise!

      • Victoria Osborne-Broad says:

        Thank you for the reply re headers.
        Please would you clarify re word count. If the novel is, say, 86,745 does that count as 87,00 or if 86,312 as 86,00, i.e. rounding up or down to the nearest whole 1,000.
        Thank you.

  • Taylor C says:

    I was just wondering, in the two pages explaining the story, would you like me to explain just the storyline of the first book or do you want me to explain everything of the story since I planned it out to be a trilogy?

    • Anne Perry says:

      That’s up to you, though I suggest you spend most of the space you have describing the synopsis of the book you’ve submitted and limit the talk about the rest of the series to a sentence or two.

  • Ani Bell says:

    Hi Anne,
    Would you also consider submissions for sample fantasy art?

  • Widdershins says:

    I’m afraid this might also fall into the stupid question pile, but is the 15k words/three chapter requirement exclusive? If three chapters are longer than 15k words is that acceptable or is 15k a hard limit?

  • John Collick says:

    Hello Anne – should the synopsis continue from the end of the first 15000 words/three chapters or cover the whole story, including the first part? – Thanks.

    • Anne Perry says:

      Definitely include the first 15,000 words/3 chapters in the synopsis, even if it’s only a line or two.

  • Emma Dawson says:

    Dear Ms Perry,

    My novel would probably belong in the speculative genre, but as its genre is a little ambiguous, I thought I should check before sending it. It is partly set in an afterlife in which the dead allocate the fates of the living. The narrator is dead. Each chapter begins in the afterlife following one character who works in a particular department of allocation. They allocate a fate to a particular individual. The chapter then follows that individual from birth to death until they die and then begin the next chapter as an ‘allocator’ in the afterlife. Would this be acceptable to submit or is it a bit too lacking in fantastical/speculative elements?

    Yours sincerely,

    Emma Dawson

  • Brandy Miller says:

    Hi. I just thought of another question I’d like addressed–if we’ve written up a Glossary of Terms/Proper Nouns for our fantasy submission, would you like this included? Or should we avoid attaching this to the document?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!

  • Ann Bradbury says:

    Dear Ms Perry
    If my submission should not be successful, when would I know please, so that I can submit the MS elsewhere, e.g. to an agent?

    • Anne Perry says:

      We will try to let you know about the status of your submission by 30th September. You are more than welcome to submit your manuscript elsewhere while you’re waiting.

  • Ann Bradbury says:

    OK thank you very much for confirming that. And for letting us know too, as other open subs I’ve seen didn’t email – basically said ‘if you don’t hear from us, assume you weren’t successful’, which always makes you wonder if they did receive the submission.

  • Jo Thwaites says:

    Dear Ann,
    I’ve read through all the questions, but I’m afraid that I need another answering.
    Would you accept a finished novel that is an alternative history, science fiction romance (not erotica)?
    Thank you for taking the time to answer questions, it’s much appreciated.

    Jo Thwaites

  • C Bott says:

    Once submissions have closed, just wondered if it would be possible for you to post an occasional progress update on here – as in “we have now replied to all people who submitted on 4th and 5th of August” – assuming you are working in date order. That would be helpful – allow folks to track if an email has gone awry.

  • Jude B says:

    Hi Anne
    I’ve got a novel set a few years in the future with a dystopian/dark feel. Would that fit your criteria?

  • Steven Ludlam says:

    Hi, I just have a question about the following:

    We will accept YA/crossover submissions, but:

    – your submission must contain an element of the speculative or fantastic, and
    – your submission must be firmly crossover.
    That is, your novel must also appeal to non-YA readers. You’ll have to use your good judgement here, but if we feel the submission skews too young, we’ll reject it.

    It mentions you will accept YA/Crossover but then further down it implies it must be firmly crossover, does this mean it can just be YA or does it have to be Crossover YA?

  • J Mace says:

    Hi Anne,

    I have a question about word-count in the covering letter. If the manuscript is still in progress, would you prefer the current word-count, an estimated final word-count, or both?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Current word-count, please – might as well mention that it’s in progress, too. You could add an estimated final word-count.

  • C Bott says:

    I’m sorry, I’m still a little confused about the emails – whether or not any text at all is OK in the body of the email. I’ve understood that the covering page to your specification, plus synopsis, plus 15,000 word sample is to be attached (either as 3 documents or one) and NOT pasted in the body of the email. Generally, I also put two or three sentences in the body of the email along the lines of “Dear Ms Perry, Please find attached my fantasy novel, xxxx, in which…. ” unless the instructions say to leave the body of the email blank. Do you want the body of the email to be completely blank?

    • Anne Perry says:

      No, the body of the email does not need to be completely blank – what you suggest above is fine.

  • Loni Townsend says:

    If my submission was previously self-published, do I need to make sure it is not for sale through any venue before I submit?

    • Anne Perry says:

      No, you can leave it up. If we accept your submission and buy your book, then you’d have to take it down… but for now, leave it up!

  • R Gordon says:

    You mention that you will be accepting submissions that have previously been self-published. What about submissions that are imminently going to be self-published (i.e. basically at the same time as submitting for your consideration)?

    I’m very keen to submit to this open call, and thank you for allowing us to do so, but I don’t feel like I can delay until October an advertised self-published release that is scheduled to happen in the coming fortnight!

    • Anne Perry says:

      Go ahead and self-publish! If we call in the rest of the novel and then decide to make an offer for it, we can discuss taking your self-published edition down then.

  • Gavin E Parker says:

    Is the Times New Roman required for the three chapters / 15,000 words only, or for all three documents?

    I’m asking as I don’t partiularly like it; I’d rather use another font for the cover page and full synopsis if possible.

    Also, could you just confirm that the start time is 01:00 am BST on 3 August?

  • Michael R B says:

    Thank you for your answers to all the questions above but I’m afraid I have another one.

    There seems to be two schools of thought regarding the synopsis, one that it should be quite factual and deal with the plot in a matter of fact kind of a way whereas the second school wants to see an emotional understanding of what the characters are going through.

    I was just (at this late stage) wondering which approach you’d appreciate most regarding the synopsis.

    My thanks for your patience with us all…

    • Anne Perry says:

      Whatever works best for you – I’d say go for whichever appraoch you think best encapsulates your work!

  • Jonathan Waite says:

    I’m sorry, I have a question too. My chapters are quite short, so I’m going for the 15,000 words, and the question is: how hard is a hard limit? Should I cut off in mid-sentence, or may I go over a bit to get to the end of a scene? Or should I stop short and be a few hundred words under?

    • Anne Perry says:

      To the end of the sentence/paragraph, I think. Or stop a few hundred words under, whatever you think reads better.

  • Patricia says:

    Thank you so much for doing this, and I really appreciate all the comments in this post.

    I have a somewhat “snowflake” question: I’d like to submit about 15,751 words because that includes an additional chapter and introduces the last POV of the novel. Or should I just skip that and stick to the hard 15,000 word count?

    Thank you for your patience and I apologise for being daft.

  • Cathleen Ross says:

    I’m trying to submit three chapters and I’m getting a bounceback message.
    Can you please advise?

  • Alexander Hamilton says:

    Having giggled my way through the questions I find I have to ask one! I can’t find your Email address, probably can’t see for looking.

  • Alexander Hamilton says:

    Ha! clot that I am, have found it in the address bar! see, can’t see for looking!

  • Richard Clay says:

    I self-published a science fiction novel nine years ago. A small, now-defunct company called Poetry Monthly Press printed it for me. Though I was the actual publisher, in that I paid for it, a copy or two is available on Amazon, where the publisher is listed as ‘Poetry Monthly Press.’ In the light of this, would you accept the book as a submission?

  • Lizzythebrit says:

    hello! My novel is YA (With crossover appeal, I believe) and it’s teens who travel in time to a magical version of WW2. Is this acceptable? I haven’t heard the term speculative before so am a little uncertain….

  • Kynndra-jo says:

    I’m curious, will there be another open submission anytime in the future?

  • Kaitlin says:

    Hi! First off, thank you so much for doing this. I hope your editors have lots of coffee and infinite patience and I appreciate what you guys are doing for us unagented authors from the bottom of my heart.

    I would like to know if this needs to be an exclusive submission though. If we have our MS on sub to other agents/publishers, do we need to withdraw it to enter or can we continue to sub elsewhere?

  • John James Overton says:

    I have heard that some publishers do not like prologues to novels, what are your thoughts on this?

  • Pete says:

    Hi. Does the synopsis also need to be double spaced?

  • Jason says:

    Hello there.

    Alright. I have a stupid question too. I am sending the first three chapters of my novel, which adds up to 12 633 words. I would really like to include the prologue though, which I feel is quite important to understanding where the story begins. By adding the prologue, the word count becomes 16 444. Would this be a problem? I’d like to avoid cutting the third chapter – it’s a pretty good chapter.

  • Niki says:

    Hi – I have a book I’m thinking of submitting. The first four chapters come to less than the 15k. Is it okay to send all four? It breaks the story at a better place, I think. I suppose I could make my chapters longer but the chapter breaks make sense where they are so I’m hesitant to do that.



  • Jason says:

    One last question before I send these off to you – is there any specific way you would like our attachments to be named? Should our name or the Title be in it, or can we simply name them “Cover Page” , “Synopsis” , “Chapters” ?

    • Anne Perry says:

      how about ‘TITLE – cover page’ ‘TITLE – synopsis’ ‘TITLE

      • Jason says:

        Perfect! Thank you for the prompt response. I’ll be sending them now. I look forward to hearing from you. Good luck with all the reading!

  • Sarah says:

    Dear Ms. Perry:
    I can’t seem to find in this submission request what rights are on offer. Electronic only? British? European? North American? Or do we only find that out if you purchase our manuscript? Thank you for any light you can shed on this matter.

    • Anne Perry says:

      We’ll be looking to purchase full volume rights, including physical, digital and audio throughout the world, but will be open to negotiation once we make our first offer.

  • Laura Hole says:

    I haven’t seen this asked yet, so I’m going to.

    When you say you’ll let everyone know by end of September does that mean you’ll send all the emails out at the end of September or gradually email people as and when you’ve read their MS?
    I’m horribly impatient! But totally understand what a humongous job this must be for you all! You have my utmost respect 😀



    • Anne Perry says:

      We hope to have replied to everyone by the end of September, and we won’t begin sending out responses until the submissions period has closed.

  • Shannon says:

    Hi, Anne!

    This will be my first submission, so please bear with me…
    Regarding Chapter Titles, would the following formatting be correct?

    *Start each new chapter one-third of the way down the page
    *The Chapter Number and Chapter Title should be in all caps, separated by two hyphens:


    *Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the Chapter Title.


  • S Kelleher says:

    Do you need any readers? I’d love to offer my services if you do

    • Anne Perry says:

      Very kind of you, thank you! We’ve got a whole crew working diligently away, but thank you for the lovely offer.

      • PJ Lightning says:

        Hi, one last question – a very basic one, and sorry if it seems stupid, but this will be my first submission anywhere. When you say 2 pages for the synopsis, Is that A4 pages?

  • Amanda d'Adesky says:

    Hey there! I’m curious about something that I cannot seem to find in this post. Could you tell us what rights are on offer with this call for submissions? Are we talking electronic only? North American? Euro zone? Some combination thereof or hitherto unmentioned? Or is this something you can only share with those who are selected out of this particular crop of talent? (Thank you for this opportunity!)

    • Anne Perry says:

      We’ll be looking to purchase full volume rights, including physical, digital and audio for the world but are, of course, open to negotiation once an offer is made.

  • PJ Lightning says:

    Hi, how complete need it be? I have 5 volumes I’ve been working on for years. Vol 1 is almost ready for self-publishing, but the punctuation of the rest is all over the place (as I have concentrated more on the first 2. I’m going to spend the next few days fixing that on my submissions, but may not have time for all of them. Will it matter?

    • Anne Perry says:

      You are welcome to submit as many books as you like but the submission MUST be ONLY 15,000 words or three chapters. We will not read complete manuscripts at this stage in the open submissions process. I’d suggest you tidy up any submission before sending it in; typos inevitably sneak into any manuscript, but lots of typos can turn off the person who’s reading and reviewing your submission and result in a turn-down.

      • PJ Lightning says:

        Thanks. Yes I read that it’s 15000 words, or 3 chapters, only and have split them out from the start of each volume. I’ll do my best. Is it ok to send each one in as it’s ready or is all 5 at once better?

  • PJ Lightning says:

    Thank you. I think I’ll be burning the midnight oil for a while. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

  • PJ Lightning says:

    Hi, one last question – a very basic one, and sorry if it seems stupid, but this will be my first submission anywhere. When you say 2 pages for the synopsis, Is that A4 pages?

  • Keir B says:

    Quick few questions, sorry for asking them during the submission time.

    1: When it says provide a word count for the total manuscript, what do you do if it isn’t finished yet? Do you give the current word count or a projected one? Mine is nearly finished, but I don’t know if it’ll be done before the submission deadline.

    2: Are working titles okay? Should it be marked as a working title?

  • Fred N says:

    I have 2 questions please:

    1. Is the deal on offer a traditional you publish in all territories & the author gets royalties for each sale?

    2. I’ve only just seen this & don’t think I’ll be able to finish 3 chapters within the time frame as I was working on a non SFF novel until very recently. I have an ending & a synopsis, I just haven’t started writing it yet. Do you know when your next open submissions will be?

    Thank you

    • Anne Perry says:

      1. The deal will be subject to negotiation.

      2. We don’t yet know when we’ll be re-opening for submissions, but it won’t be for another year at least.

      • Fred N says:

        Thank you for replying. Perhaps I didn’t ask clearly enough? What I’m aiming to discover is are you aiming to ‘buy’ or ‘license’ our works? There is an important distinction between the 2 & therefore of the value of what you’re offering & negotiations or no, there must be a baseline

        Subject to negotiation makes me think I need to get a solicitor

        • Anne Perry says:

          We are looking to buy the right to publish manuscripts throughout the world. ‘Subject to negotiation’ means that, if I offer for a manuscript, I will offer to publish it in particular territories at particular royalty rates and for a particular advance, and the person with whom I’m negotiating will counteroffer, and we’ll continue until we can agree terms, at which point we will sign a contract giving Hodder the right to publish under those terms.

  • Krista Cagg says:

    What is your average pay rate per word, and do you offer any advances on royalties? Thanks!

    • Anne Perry says:

      We will offer for the manuscript in full, regardless of word-count, and advances and royalties are subject to contract and negotiation.

  • Jonathan Waite says:

    Oh my goodness. I’ve just realised that in my second submission I forgot to add the header with the information and page numbers. May I resubmit?

  • Deborah Ecob says:

    Hi Anne, just read through the comments and you say all 3 documents should be in Times New Roman? I have submitted my manuscript in TNR but not my cover page or synopsis. Should I resubmit?

  • Deborah Ecob says:

    Hi Anne, I aw in an earlier comment that all 3 attachments should be in Times New Roman? I have submitted my ms in TNR but not my cove page or synopsis. Should I resubmit?

  • Deborah Ecob says:

    That should be ‘saw’, doh!

  • Chris Kneipp says:

    Hi Anne. Firstly thank you for the opportunity. I have been working on my Synopsis and hope to submit by the 8th. A couple of questions. Should the synopsis be double spaced and is a prologue and three chapters okay if it comes in at under 15000 words? (<13000 words)

  • Bret Allen says:

    Hi- would ‘no short stories’ also discount a novel-sized collection of short stories? They’re really good, by the way 😉
    – Thanks, Bret.

  • PJ Lightning says:

    HI, this one really is the last question. I decided to just go submitting my volume 1 (just the 15,000 words.) I am still working on volume 1 though, including possibly some edits to come of the beginning. Any new edits after submission will be saved into a new file. My actual question, is:-
    Does this information (that volume 1 is a second draft and still a work in progress, and that the rest of the story is written but very much a first draft) go into the cover page or the email?

    • PJ Lightning says:

      Finally found a relevant reply higher up. I see that the information goes into the synopsis, not the cover letter.

  • Keith Watrous says:

    Hi Ms. Perry:

    Only half of my novel is finished. I’m assuming that it will be between 180-200k words by the end. Do you want an estimate or what I have already (90,000).

    Also, it’s the first of a trilogy. Do you need brief blurbs summarizing books 2 & 3 included in the Synopsis?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Tell us the word-count for what you’ve completed already and also include an estimate for the final novel. And if you think your synopsis would be strengthened by including summaries of books 2 and 3, please include them.

  • Paul S says:

    Do you want to see prologues included in submissions?
    If yes, would a prologue count as one of the opening three chapters?

  • Paul S says:

    Hi Anne
    Just seen your reply to one of the later queries which answers my question about the prologue, so feel free to ignore the previous question.

  • Seph says:

    Would you rather receive 11k words that finish neatly at the end of a chapter, or 15k that cuts off weirdly in the middle of something?

    • Anne Perry says:

      That is entirely up to you. If you think the whole 15k is more representative of the work, include it. If you think the 11k is a better stopping-point that will leave us gasping for more, send that.

  • Emma says:

    I will be submitting the first 15,000 words of a completed novel, however I am also considering sending on its sequel. The sequel is about three chapters from completion, and as is my way, I haven’t yet titled it. Would I be deemed terribly unprofessional if I was to submit the partial as ‘untitled’? Thanks.

  • Elaine says:

    Hi Anne,
    Quick question. is a word count of 48,288 too short for a story to be submitted? Thanks

  • jeff says:

    Just wanted to say that you should delete the period at the end of the email address:

  • Shonna White says:

    Anne, your patience is saintly! Thanks for all the information.

  • R Gordon says:

    Hi Anne,

    I’ve tried to send through a submission, and received a response from your team that it was caught in a spam folder and so I needed to resubmit. I have done this, but haven’t received any confirmation that this second (and third) attempt arrived safely.

    I’m wary of sending in the same submission too many times, what do you advise as the best approach at this point?

    Thank you!

    • Anne Perry says:

      We haven’t had a chance to log and respond to the subs recently, so please be patient; if you don’t hear from us by the end of the open submissions period, leave another comment here or email us without attachments and we’ll be in touch!

      • P.J. Lightning says:

        That’s reassuring to read. I’ve been refreshing my email every hour (almost) since I submitted on Friday, and I was beginning to worry.

      • R Gordon says:

        Many thanks for the quick reply, that’s good to know and I’ll be patient for the next week!

  • Ashley B. says:

    Hi Anne–I’ve written a novel and have a completed first draft. But I’m in the process of seriously revising it (the villain has been significantly changed, which of course is altering aspects of the plot). I can certainly give you an outline of how I intend things to go, but would you still want the word count for the original soon-to-be-defunct draft?

  • Emma says:

    Hi – if you accept unfinished novels, is it ok to NOT send a synopsis with those? I’m not a plotter, so won’t be able to write a synopsis for something where I don’t know what’ll happen. (I mean, I have a vague idea, but not good enough to write a coherent synopsis!)

    • Anne Perry says:

      I’m afraid we’d really need a synopsis to get a sense of where the book is going to go. You wouldn’t have to stick to it as you finish the novel, but if we like the chapters you send in and we want to know more, that’s going to be very helpful for us.

  • King says:

    I notice that manuscripts which aren’t quite finished can be submitted. Because it’s not complete yet, I can’t really say what the final word count will be. Is that okay?

  • Jonathan W says:

    Hi Anne, just a quick question. Would I be okay to send in the first four chapters?(totaling around 12k words) I feel like the best represent the world, at least better than if I left the fourth chapter out.
    And thank you in advance for your reply 🙂

  • Jonathan W says:

    Hi Anne, I was wondering if I would be able to send in the first four chapters (around 12k words) as I feel they best represent my novel.
    Also thank you for replying to everyone here, it’s been very helpful!
    (Also slightly worried I might have double posted as I didn’t see my first comment show up.)

    • Anne Perry says:

      We must have crossed wires – I just replied as you were resubmitting your comment! Anyway, my answer is as above.

      • Jonathan W says:

        Ah I thought so haha, thank you very much though. Can’t wait to submit, just trying to polish my synopsis.

  • Jim gargan says:

    Hi Anne,
    If the three chapters are shy of 15, 000 words, does that matter? mine will come in around 8,000. If so, should I send the fourth as well?

  • Tony Hamby says:

    I hope I’m not beating a dead horse, but I have to ask. Three chapters for me comes in closer to 30K words. Apparently I have large chapters. Should I stick with the 15K and just send that, or would you prefer the whole three chapters?

  • Lee Brandrick says:

    Should we add any headers/footers to the manuscript that contain our name?

  • George T. Anderson says:

    I have a weird situation. I prepped my novel for self-publication, to the point that I assigned an ISBN in Bowker. The book was *never* published. However, d*** Google Books is pulling a listing as if it was actually published.

    Would you consider this “previously self-published?” And if so, should I explain this situation in the email body, or in the cover page attachment?

    Thank you! *submitting SOON*

  • George Anderson says:

    Not sure if my other comment went through–apologies if this is duplicate.

    I prepped my book for self-publishing, to the point of assigning an ISBN and uploading a cover image to Bowker. Though the book was never sold in any format, Google Books is pulling the cover, author, ISBN, etc. in search results for my title, listing June 2015 as the publication date.

    The book was *never* published.

    Should I notify you of this bizarre situation in my submission? If so, should I notify you in the email body or in the attachment?

    Thank you!

  • Mike says:

    Hi, Anne, I am agented but have a REALLY cool project underway that’s unfinished. It’s also a bit experimental and having a ‘yes, we’d love to see more’ would be very meaningful given the length of the process. One of the coolest parts of this open door is the ability to send in unfinished work. Would you take a sub even though I already have an agent and would at some point be able to submit later? Thanks for your time.

  • Daniel says:

    Hi, just wondering, would 45,000 words be okay? Or is the minimum strictly 50K?

  • S R Jones says:


    I am submitting today (a little close to the line, I know!) and I was wondering if it is ‘safe’ to make submissions from ‘gmail’ addresses, or if these will be caught by your spam filters. Also, how long should I wait for a confirmation before assuming that my message has been sent to a spam folder? And if that happens, will I still be able to re-submit if the deadline has passed? Thanks for your help with this!

  • S R Jones says:

    Because I am amazingly clever, there’s a chance that I’ve sent you a duplicate submission. I had a glitch with my e-mail and may have either sent you an e-mail with no attachment, or an attachment with an empty e-mail (or possibly I sent nothing at all the first time- there’s nothing in my sent mail folder, but that might not mean much since my browser crashed while all this was going on). 🙁 I apologise profusely for that, but I thought it would be safer to just send it all again rather than hoping that the first one went through! I hope it won’t be a problem.

  • Joel says:

    Silly question, but I’ve emailed my submission to you at but have just noticed on your site the address is listed as (extra full stop at end). Did I get the adress right first time? thanks!

  • HopeI'mNotTooLate says:

    Hi Anne,

    I just submitted my three chapters at 1:41 PM PST today; however, on the cover page, I realized I made a small mistake on my address (I put the zip code before the state). Will I be dinged for that mistake?

  • sylvia mcivers says:

    You’re accepting stories until mid August, and expect to read them all by end September? I recommend cucumber slices for your aching eyes, and thank you very much for the speed!

    sending a bit late because of internet problems ;(

  • Shabana says:

    Hi Anne,
    As I submitted my work late last night I figured this may be a reason to why I didn’t get a confirmation but can I ask if you did receive it. Thank you.

  • Donna says:

    Hello Anne, will you be doing another open submission in the future? I ask, as my work is too rough to submit at present!

    Kind regards

  • Cathy says:

    Hi, Anne. I submitted at 1:30 AM (GMT) on August 3rd, and I haven’t received a confirmation e-mail. Is this something I should worry about?

  • Alex says:

    My internet server froze last night as I was trying to upload and when it decided to start again it was 12:17 a.m. does this mean that I have missed the window, or will my submission still be looked at?

    • Anne Perry says:

      I’m afraid that may be too late. Don’t worry; we’ll hold another open submissions period in the future!

  • Diana says:

    Hello, I received an email saying I submitted my entry too late, and we already had some email correspondence about this, but I think I figured out what the issue is. In the guidelines you said that the cutoff time was 11:59 pm GMT, which would be 7 hours ahead of my timezone, but it seems at this time of the year the UK is on BST, which is one hour more than GMT, making it 8 hours ahead of my timezone. This would explain why you received my submission at 12:56 am and not 11:56 pm like I thought. I’m not sure if this will change your decision, but I thought it was important to point out.

    • Anne Perry says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. In the future we will be careful to differentiate between GMT and BST if necessary.

      Unfortunately, our decision stands.

      • Diana says:

        Is that fair though since the information in the guidelines was innacurate? You posted the cutoff time in GMT but you’re using BST, which means everyone who submitted in the final hour did submit their entry by 11:59 pm GMT, but will still not be considered.

  • Joel says:

    Many thanks for your earlier reply concerning my daft email address question! Received my submission confirmation email today ,thanks. Apologies for sending you several identical submissions, wanted to be sure they had reached you ok! cheers

  • Thomas Worthington says:

    I sent my submission in on the 11th Aug but got no response. I sent an email on the 22nd, and another one from a different email address on the 29th. I’m just back from holiday and I still haven’t received any response to any of these, so I thought I’d try here. Did my submission get through?

  • Nigel and Deanna Nessling says:

    Hi, you mention in your post that you will try to let everyone who submitted know by Sept 30th if they had been successful or not. Since we have not heard anything can I assume we were not lucky enough to have been selected to forward our complete MS?

  • Lee Wirth says:

    Hi, I missed open submission period. I didn’t find out about it until it had already closed. Will you be having another? Any idea when? Thank you.

  • Jennifer says:

    A quick question, if you do decide to publish do I incur any fees?

    • Anne Perry says:

      Absolutely not. We’re a traditional publisher which means that, if we decide to move forward with a project, we would offer a traditional publishing contract, including an advance and setting out royalty payments. We are not a self- or hybrid-publishing house and we absolutely would not charge any author anything.

  • Partha Pratim Das says:

    Dear Editor,
    I have penned a novel which comprises various elements like those of unobserved corners humanity, of magic realism, thriller and to some extent those of science fiction. It would be exclusively unique, I can say, in its narrative structure and style regarding its genre. Would I submit this to you in this time span you announced for the men of letters? Thank You, Best wishes….

    • Anne Perry says:


      I’m afraid we are not currently accepting submissions, but we plan to hold another open submissions window later, so please keep an eye on the website and our Twitter feed for any updates!

      • Partha Pratim Das says:

        Thank you for the reply. That was my mistake. My secretary mistakenly informed me about that. I think, it was of the previous year. But one thing I want to ask, if I want to submit my manuscript in a normal procedure what steps should I take ? Thank You

        • Anne Perry says:

          Please have your agent send it directly to me at Hodder – I’m reluctant to give out my private email address here, but if your agent doesn’t have it, he or she can send the submission to the Hodderscape email address and I’ll pick it up from there.

  • Patricia ilich says:

    today is 26 Sept. 2018 – are you open for submissions at this time?

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