HarperVoyager has invited submissions of 80,000–120,000 words (preferred) using an online portal, 1–14 October only. Details are on the website. The limited move follows a popular shift among legacy publishers to consider manuscripts sent in by email — there’s a list here. The program is for digital rights only and does consider reprints, as long as the author has the rights, naturally. It seems to be part of the push into the digital realm flagged by Publishers Weekly in July, involving HarperCollins’ ramping up output from its digital-only imprint, Impulse.
Romance icon Harlequin is also seeking digital content for its Escapes line, across all subsets of romance, and will consider self-published titles.
Submissions for Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror Vol.3 are now open, looking for work published in 2012. The second volume is now available.
Hachette Australia has joined the ranks of legacy publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Unlike its contemporaries, it has not restricted when submissions can be sent, and promises a three-week response (or rejection by non-response) for fiction, non-fiction and children’s. They’ll look at the first chapter or 50 pages; non-fic needs a chapter breakdown. Sorry, poets: no joy for you.
Others accepting submissions: Penguin’s Monthly Catch on the first week of each month; Pan Macmillan’s Manuscript Monday and its e-only arm Momentum’s Momentum Monday; and Allen & Unwin’s long-running Friday Pitch.
The finalists of the Arthur C Clarke award
for best science fiction novel published in the UK last year include China Mieville for Embassytown
, the fifth time he’s been nominated and what could be he his fourth win.
The interesting comment from the chair of the judging panel, Andrew M Butler, quoted in the Guardian, for those worried about over-genrification:
“It’s got something for everyone: alien contact, post-apocalyptic disaster, near future cyberpunkish police procedural,” he said, adding that the variety demonstrates the health of the SF scene. “It’s exciting because you can’t fit it in a box.”
Others in the running are Charlie Stross, Booker longlisted Jane Rogers, Drew Magary, Sherri S Tepper and Greg Bear.
Says Butler about the dystopian line-up,
“We’re in a dark place at the moment and SF writers are responding to that. These are not books to turn to for escape – they’re not afraid to confront the dark side of life.”
The award is announced in May.
Canberra’s Nicole Murphy, author of the Secret Ones, has launched an interesting project in which she mentors a writer to develop a 2,000-word spec fic story each month, publishes the finished story on the project’s website and, eventually, makes 12 available as an anthology. The chosen submission each month scores $100 and a cut of the anthology royalties.
Also taking submissions in April is UK publisher Angry Robot, who have an open door for classic fantasy and YA SF&F.
Stephanie Smith has stepped down from her role at HarperCollins Voyager, where as editor and publisher she has overseen the growth of Australia’s fantasy industry, Bookseller+Publisher reports. She’s quite the icon on the local scene and will be missed. Her replacement is respected editor Deonie Fiford, starting on April 2. OMG that’s Monday! Where has the year gone? Voyager’s farewell message is here.
The Gold Coast Literati event in May has announced its line-up, including spec fic authors Stephen M Irwin, Marianne de Pierres, Trent Jamieson, Louise Cusack, Kylie Chan and Rowena Cory Daniells, as well as talented comics creator Queenie Chan, crime writer Katherine Howell and many more. It looks like most of the bases have been covered, from YA to poetry to non-fiction. It’s held the same weekend as Melbourne’s Emerging Writers Festival kicks off. See the calendar for more literary events.
Hot on the heels of Penguin’s new open door program, British press Angry Robot is again appealing to unagented authors — they signed three debut novelists from last year’s program — but this time are being quite specific about what they want: classic fantasy and YA SF and fantasy. The submission period is April 16-30 using a website uploader. Details are here.
Tansy Rayner Roberts is sharing the love — a combined book launch with Margo Lanagan for those lucky enough to have easy access to Hobart (Lanagan has riffed her Sea Hearts novella from X6 into a novel, how tasty!) — and a reprint that shows even a story written for a specific universe can have legs outside it (and indeed, TRR’s yarn breaks more boundaries than that little piffle).
Alan Baxter has shared his love, too: the forthcoming ‘paranoirmal’ anthology Damnation and Dames from Ticonderoga with its whoop arse cover and two collaborations in its TOC. I look at the bare scraping of confused and contradictory notes on my hard drive and lament; there are two more upcoming titles I doubt I’ll be able to submit to, but they’re worth a look: issue 7 of Midnight Echo, closing this month, and another paranormal anthology, Bloodstones, open February–May.
And here’s pause for thought in the aftermath of Australia Day, in which Lit-icism considers the call for renewed focus on Australian literature. The part that especially struck a chord with me was this, from Italian academic Tim Parkes:
Parkes laments what is essentially a globalisation of literature in which novels provide no authentic sense of place at all, but are instead tailored to a global market by dealing with ‘universal’ – read: more widely marketable and international prizewinning – themes.
This is partly why I took up the pen with a view to being published — to see my country, my culture, reflected in the types of stories that I like to read. It’s heartening to see authors such as Trent Jamieson able to set their fiction in Brisbane — Brisbane! — and still find not only a wider audience, but an overseas publisher willing to run with it. It’s pleasing to see someone send some Aussie sensibility across the water, rather than regurgitating a trope-laden backdrop of New York or London.
It’s not just eucalyptus trees (hey, they have plenty in California, anyway) — it’s viewpoint. It’s attitude. It’s how we see the world. Sharing these things is how we help us all to understand each other — not just the different priorities or approaches we might take, but also the similarities: parents what a better world for their children, for instance. Language plays an incredibly powerful part in informing culture, and where else to find its evolution than in literature?
Parkes is talking about more than setting: he’s talking about themes and those, he suggests, can be culturally specific and deserve attention. Sure, though I’m not convinced that domestic themes don’t have wider resonance.
Australia doesn’t have the history of European countries in dealing with certain social ills, for instance — no civil war, no religious schisms — but the social history of those events can still impact on us; we can see movements here, we can relate to the humanity of the issue, we can learn a lesson.
And I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss universal themes. Harking back to Australia Day, is the Australian experience of colonialism, from invader or invaded viewpoint, any different to that of Canada or South Africa? How? What does it do to us? Perhaps a culture’s, or a subculture’s, response to those universal themes is equally important as those purely domestic discussions (assuming they exist).
, which does a lovely job of highlighting scam and unprofessional publishing enterprises, has launched a page of handy advice
about sifting the small press market. Limited exposure, incompetence and lack of advances are some of the issues the page highlights. Well worth reading if you’ve got a short you’re wondering where to send.