So you want to submit us your work? That’s great. We’ll tell you how to do that at the end, but we’d like you to read this FAQ first.

Last time we ran this, we received a little under 1,200 book proposals. That vast pile took a lot of reading, mostly in our spare time. Of those, however, a good 300 were rejected pretty much immediately, because they broke the rules.

So we insist: please, please read what follows carefully. If your book doesn’t follow these guidelines, it will be more likely to be rejected.

If you have a question, read these notes again and also have a look in the already-answered comments. If you’re sure it’s not been answered, post it in the comments below and we’ll both make it visible and reply as soon as are able. (Note: We won’t be able to answer questions on the FAQ that are posted elsewhere or emailed directly to us.)

We want novels
We don’t want poems, plays, collections of short stories, comic books, a clutch of linked novellas, non-fiction textbooks, vignettes, oratorios or themed haiku. The work must not use someone else’s setting, or be set in the world of a famous TV show or movie.

Previously published OK?
No. Only unpublished novels will be considered. If you’ve self-published the whole book, sold it or given it away previously, even if you’ve substantially rewritten it, it’s not for us. If it’s book two or whatever of a series we can’t take it. If you’ve shown off a small portion online or in an anthology that’s not a problem.

I have an agent so…
Get your agent to send it through the normal channels, not this event.

Co-authors?
If there’s two of you, for example, who co-wrote the novel that’s not a problem. Only one of you need send the proposal in.

How long?
We’re only accepting novels between 70,000 and 130,000 words. No exceptions.

Yes, that’s an arbitrary number but that’s what we’re after, and we’re going to be strict. Shorter than that, we’re into novella territory, and longer than that it will probably need trimming anyway. Yes yes, Angry Robot has published books longer and shorter than that, but that’s irrelevant. If you’re over or under, you’ll be rejected.

Age range?
We publish books for an adult readership. So, no children’s books, middle-grade, no young adult. There will be grey areas – there are plenty of books for adults that include teenage characters without being teen-specific YA – but we’re not going to debate it.

Full manuscripts only
We want you to send us the entire novel, so it will need to be finished. If we contract it for publishing, there will be the usual editing rounds, but as you can imagine the better it is, the less reasons we will have to reject it.

Which languages are acceptable?
We can only consider books written in English.

And something to note: if English isn’t your native language, we’d really appreciate it if you can ensure that your writing, spelling and grammar are as strong as they can be before sending your book in. We’ve had the disappointing experience in the past of reading a promising synopsis of a book that was unpublishable because of the poor quality of the language.

How should I format my manuscript?
We want everything in one single document. Don’t attach multiples files – that will be an instant reject.

Make one Word document. Use Times New Roman, 12 point, double-line spaced, left aligned. Include page numbers. Use page breaks for clarity if you like. Make sure chapter headings and section breaks are clear; centred, left, right, whatever.

Include the following, in the following order, in your one document:

  • Your name and contact details.
  • The name of your book, and the word count.
  • A one-sentence summary of your book.
  • A synopsis of the book: maximum 2 pages as formatted above. Just the basics.
  • If the book is the first of a series, summarise further volumes in one paragraph.
  • Tell us about yourself in one paragraph. Include anything notable in the SF community, and any social media links
  • Finally, the full text of the novel.

Do you require a query letter?
No. Put what you have to say in your proposal, as detailed above.

Illustrations, photos, and/or maps?
No. Do not include any in the Word document, do not send separately.

Resend proposals rejected in previous Open Door events?
No, do not send anything we’ve seen before, even if substantially rewritten.

How many proposals can I send?
One. If it’s part of a planned series, it must be the first book.

Multiple submission?
Judging by last time’s huge pile of entries, we are going to be inundated. So if you want to also send your novel around to agents or other publishers at the same time, feel free to do so. Just remember to let us know if you go with another publisher, you lucky thing.

What type of books do you really want?
We want Science Fiction and Fantasy.

These are wide genres with many, many subgenres, so to be clear: we want anything broadly in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. This includes: alternate history, military SF, space opera, epic fantasy, steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, silkpunk, anypunk, grimdark, utopian fiction, modern fantasy, cli-fi, unclassifiable SF/fantasy mash-ups, and so on. To reflect our interests and to help divvy up the workload for our readers, when you submit, you will be asked to indicate whether your book is SF, Fantasy or WTF?! (i.e., somewhere inbetween).

We do enjoy getting submissions that are hard to classify, especially if they’re innovative blends of various genres. It’s the Angry Robot way. So if you’ve written a science fiction novel set in an unexpected location – the Stone Age, or Urban Outfitters, say – great; maybe you’ve found a way to write a novel that combines your interests in cryogenics, social media, and the Mongol Horde. Don’t be afraid to send us your extremely unusual science fiction or fantasy novel – as long as it would sit in that section of the bookshop, we’ll consider it.

Angry Robot tries hard to find and publish fiction from a wide range of ethnic, gender, sexuality and lifestyle perspectives, but we know we can do more. We are also aware that some folks feel that their voice is unlikely to be heard. We are deliberately saying: We want to see diverse books, so please don’t hold back.

We’ve also posted some more detailed discussion from various members of the Robot family about what they are especially looking for – see the links elsewhere.

What books do you really not want?
We do not want novels that would fall into the Horror, Occult or Supernatural category, alas. We have nothing against horror novels, but we’re not looking for any. If your horror novel has also got science fiction or fantasy elements, to be honest that’s still a problem. A fantasy novel with horror elements might be okay, but a horror novel with fantasy elements will be declined. In the end, we know this is a grey area, so don’t worry away at it – use your best judgement and submit it, or don’t.

We don’t want books that are only very loosely “science fiction” or “fantasy”. A thriller using a few SF trappings is not for us. For example, if you’re written a spy novel book that happens to feature cloning or artificial intelligence, but otherwise is almost entirely a realistic caper set in 21st century USA or wherever, that’s not for us. The key here is that your novel needs to be primarily in the science fiction or fantasy categories. No Dan Brown-clones, no occult historical artefacts or Biblical secrets. No books featuring famous mythological figures or legendary gods having adventures out-of-time (or in their time).

Humorous books will struggle. One person’s idea of hilarious (and frankly, this almost always involves a talking toaster, oh hold our aching sides) is another person’s stony-faced torture. Don’t.

We’re not looking for erotica that just happens to use an SF/F setting. Just because it’s a book about hot sex between robots doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a science fiction novel.

It should go without saying that we are not looking for crime books, thrillers, romances, literary novels, historical sagas or anything outside of SF/F – but every time we get sent them. Instant rejection.

Support from fellow Open Door folks
The Absolute Write website is full of advice for writers old and new, so you should have that bookmarked already. Every time we run one of these, they kindly host a thread on their forum dedicated to the Open Door. Angry Robot author Peter McLean, discovered via an earlier Open Door, is one of the moderators and other AR authors have been known to pop by, but please note that we Robots stay away except in an emergency. Also, it is an independent website and not connected to us, so you use it at your own risk. Anyway, you may find it helps ease the anxiety of waiting, just sayin’.

The Rewards
We are looking for books to buy for Angry Robot to publish as part of its regular schedule. There’s no quota – we might pick up five authors or two, just one or even none if nobody impresses us. The reward will be the offer of a book contract, to publish your novel (as physical book, ebook and optionally an audiobook) in the US and UK. This will pay you a professional advance and royalties, and it will be a standard AR contract.

If we do offer to publish your novel, you are more than welcome to then sign with an agent to oversee arranging the final deal and contract, or sign with us directly if you prefer. This is not work-for-hire and you will retain all copyright in your work.

So good luck! We know it’s tough to get your foot on even the lowest rung of the publishing ladder. Hold tight, you can do this.

Submitting Your Manuscript
Use the form right here, which will allow you to upload your manuscript. The door will close again at midnight on 31st December 2017 (GMT). If you make a mistake, re-send your submission and we’ll delete the older version – but even better if you double-check everything before you press Submit.


Open Door 2017 Submission Form

All fields are required.

Your Name

Your Email

I've Read the FAQs
Yes 

Genre of Your Submission select the most appropriate
Science Fiction Fantasy WTF  Horror ⛔ Other ⛔

File Upload one file, .doc or .docx format only


If you have further questions, post them here and we’ll answer them as soon as we are able. (Don’t email or Tweet them at us.) Thanks for all the kind words too – we read them all even if we don’t make them visible.

196 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m trying to upload my manuscript, following your guidelines, but I encounter that my file is too large (that’s the message I’m receiving). The reason behind this is that it has some embedded graphics (Application Forms and letters my character receives – on the style of S by JJ Abrams). These were originally created in powerpoint, and I can transform it into text, but I’m not sure I can place all the options my character is faced with, and later if you’re interested in the story, I can send you the full, original version as is now. Alternatively, can you please provide another way to send the file, or if you’d accept a zipped file?
    Thanks in advance!

    • BM: The file size limit is deliberate, to ensure no manuscripts include graphics. Please find a different way to present the unusual graphics within your document.

  2. Hello Mark,
    Reading through the comments, I saw you have no problem with author submitting the manuscript to other agents/publishers; nevertheless, I would like a confirmation and, in my specific case, if I could still submit if I’m querying my book in my native language as well (the first chapter was professionally edited and I was reassured there were only minor grammar and orthography issue).
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    Kindest regards,
    Rosanna.

    • Rosanna: We have no problem with you sending your book far and wide, in whatever language. If you manage to get a deal elsewhere, let us know.

  3. I can’t see this question, but sorry if it got asked before. So no YA, does that mean a proposal with a teenage character gets an auto rejection? It may be a gray-area story, teenage protagonist but primarily written for adults with an adult subject matter.

    • Oilman: It’s right there in the FAQ – “We publish books for an adult readership. So, no children’s books, middle-grade, no young adult. There will be grey areas – there are plenty of books for adults that include teenage characters without being teen-specific YA – but we’re not going to debate it.” So, your call.

  4. Hello again. I have an aboriginal “welcome to country acknowledgement” on my title page as my sci fi story is set in a future Australia and I wish to pay respect to the honourable ancestors. Doesn’t really fit with your strict submission guidelines though. Would you recommend that I remove it and re-insert later should I win the lotto and receive an offer to publish? Don’t want my act of respect to disqualify my submission and dump me in the “Next” pile.

    Thanks Shel (excited) Calopa

  5. Hi Marc
    I have a finished 120,000-word novel about 2 people who start the story in each other’s bodies. It doesn’t go into the science of how; the novel is about the struggle to find out what caused it and how to get back into their own bodies (whilst being another gender). At some point they occupy the same body. Is this sci-fi enough as a premise? I’m not sure it qualifies and don’t want to waste your time.
    Thanks for any advice.

    • “M”: We would have to read it to know for sure, but it does potentially sound more metaphysical and literary than something that would sit on the SF shelves the way you describe it. On the other hand, perhaps it’s in the tradition of something very SFnal like Robert Sheckley’s Mindswap. It’s your call as to whether you submit it. We won’t hold it against you if you do send it in but we don’t care for it.

  6. Brian James Mooney

    Hello Marc,

    Two days ago I finished my third draft and thought that I only needed to do a copy-edit read-through. However, I am now seeing a need for some additional line edits and will be scrambling to get a fourth draft completed before the closing date of December 31st. I do not have the luxury of waiting until the next open submission period, so does AR take into account that the two-month window may encourage writers to hasten their manuscripts? Obviously if purchased, AR will run a manuscript through further edits, but I do want this as good as I can get it before submitting. If that is something taken into consideration, it will give me some peace of mind. Otherwise, I shall do my damnedest and hope for the best. An additional issue is that I have almost done as much as I can for now; I need fresh eyes to critique my work.

    As always, just trying to get the clearest picture I can of the situation. Thanks for your patient support.

    • Brian: No book is ever finished, any author (and publisher) will tell you that. Sooner or later, though, you have to decide to send it in, or not. It’s your call.

  7. Charles Moritz

    Hi Marc,
    This one sentence summary of our book….is this supposed to be a hook? Or a simple Joe X meets Jane Y and they save the world together…?

  8. Tarin Elbert

    Hi Marc:
    In the auto response I received after submitting my entry was a copy of the manuscript. I cannot open the copy, so I am wondering if that means you won’t be able to open the original I sent in. May I resend if this is the case?
    It was sent as a Word doc.
    Regards,
    Tarin

    • Tarin: It came through fine, all 89k words of GG are readable. (If we hadn’t been able to read it, we would have asked you to re-send. We’re not monsters 😉

  9. I’m concerned my novel may fall under – occult / paranormal – though i would call it Military Scifi blended with PsiFi which includes psi fantasy with cyborg plasma tanks vs NATO, a minuteman nuke strike in Colorado, and Nerve agent strikes in Tokyo. A small psi related excerp is below:

    “Delirium or future shock clouded every thought, with a new world vision that included an active psionic realm, strange metaphysical aliens, bionic-enhanced cyber-psi terrorists, deadly shadow creatures, and now parasitic thought feeders.”

    Is this too much para-strange for an Angry Robot?

  10. Jennifer Lee Rossman

    If I received an offer of publication for the novel I submitted here, how do I withdraw it from your consideration?

    • Jennifer: Just drop us a note with name and submission title, via the contact page or just by leaving a comment here, and we’ll do the rest.

  11. I wrote a Si/Fi Fantasy fiction about 80,000 words. Is it OK. if the theme and the plot of my fiction came from my published short story (in theThai language back in Thailand)? Now I am living in the United States as an American citizen. The story, the futuristic and apocalyptic one, was developed and elaborated from 10 pages of a short story to 80,000 pages manuscript. Thank you for giving us a very kind and precious offer so that we may have a chance to see our dream come true. Thank you.

  12. I jumbed in without polishing my three parts novel fearing the door would be closed soon.is that alright?

    • Alsir: As I’m sure you’ve now noted from your close reading of the FAQ, the event doesn’t close until December 31st. In other words, if you want to polish your work further and re-send it in a couple of weeks’ time that will be fine.

  13. Hey Marc: First off, thank you so much for posting on the Absolute write water cooler site; I had just become a member the beginning of the month, and found your post about the open door. One question I haven’t seen in the FAQ’s or the comments: Before I realized the door had opened, I was working on a totally different novel, which got shoved aside to do a rewrite on the one I submitted (I find rewrites need a bit of time to gain perspective).
    So, would it be better to begin the next book in the series now, on the slender chance it gets picked up (barring a fatal heart attack by the author upon hearing the news, of course), or wait to see what the editors say as to where the series should go? Thanks again for the opportunity!

    • David: We could not say – it’s a question better suited to that forum – but just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean to say every publisher will think the same.

  14. Matt Clemens

    Hello, I am transitioning out of the military in March and also happen to own Azimuth Media. We normally do movie scripts but one of my writers wanted to do a book. When I last edited it for him (before we sent it off to a professional two weeks ago), it was 130,744 words, counting the 1299 word epilogue and chapter headers.

    I’m going to encourage him to submit the manuscript, are you going to count the artwork, table of contents, and back cover against him for the word count? If so, I’ll axe those and edit it down to 129,999 or something like that…this one’s out of my normal publisher’s wheelhouse.

    Already been approached by an outside investor to potentially adapt it into a movie–very tentative, I haven’t seen a check yet. I’d prefer to do the book first, and we were planning to self-publish in December / January. If you’d like a look, just tell me if you want to screen it now (pre-pro edit) or after the edit comes back.

  15. Hey

    I don’t have a website, but to be short, my sci fi novel is a bit of a dark piece takes place in a not so distant future in the US that tackles on themes of corruption, emasculation, and the dangers of politcs, and political correctness. Apparently the novel is a reflection of the problems happening in society. Though I only live in the US, I wonder if AR will be interested on books that target against political correctness, even if the publishing company I’ve selling my offer to is in the UK?

    • Jinkazama: We regard “political correctness” as “treating people with respect”. If your novel is somehow going to “target against” that, it won’t be for AR.

  16. Another question, I’ve formatted in SFWA, with underlines for italics and hashtags for some smaller breaks, Is this disallowed?

  17. Hey,

    I was going over the guidelines, but I have a question. Since Angry Robot expects us to send the 1st five chapters before the manuscript, does this include the prologue(along with the five, by any chance)? Also with character summaries, can I just combine it with the proposal in one document or should I do it separately? Thanks.

  18. Grant Everett

    My manuscript is slightly over the maximum length at 148,000 words. Would I be wasting your time by submitting it?

  19. HI, I was concerned about your illustration policy. Are a couple of black line drawings of symbols okay if they are central to the plot?

    • Scott: Where it says “No. Do not include any in the Word document, do not send separately.” that means… “No. Do not include any in the Word document, do not send separately.”

  20. Do you have plans for another open submission period?

    **Queue Angst**

    I am concerned my novel simply isn’t polished enough to make it – yet. I will finish my current edit, and possibly another before your deadline. But, I know I don’t have time for as much as I would like – thanks to that nasty real world bill paying job of mine.

    If you have another Open Door planned I hate to jump the gun with this story and lose my opportunity to submit a more perfected version. BUT, I will jump in with both feet if another opportunity isn’t likely.

  21. This may have been asked already but there was a lot to read through. If we get asked by another publisher to sign but we want to hold out for your reply would you move the ms reading up in the line?

    • Brittany: If you find yourself in that amazing position, by all means drop us a line immediately. No promises, but subject to workload, we would do what we could to advance you up the line. (NB: if you already have an offer on a book before you submit to us, don’t chance it.)

  22. Armel Dagorn

    Hi Marc,

    I hope this hasn’t been answered yet – I watched Mike’s wish list video, and my manuscript seems (if I can modestly say so!) to tick a few of its boxes. Can I address the submission to him in particular, or do you not work like that?

    Thanks for you time, and the opportunity.
    Best,
    Armel

  23. Brian Mooney

    Greetings Marc,
    My novel is to be followed up by at least one sequel, and I am conceptualizing how subsequent additions could go. In the paragraph detailing the remaining arc of the series, will it be fine to explain the vision I have and note that some of the ideas are still up in the air? I’ve still much research and plotting to do.
    Thanks.

  24. I’m getting a “File too large” error when I try to upload. The file is 2.9M; the novel is 125k words. What should I do?

    • Vicka: We have set a maximum file size of 2 Mb, to ensure that no one breaks the rules and tries to send a file containing illustrations or maps. If you have anything like that in your Word file, take them out. Looking at comparable Word files here, we would expect the size on 125k words to be no more than 500-600 Kb.

  25. Are simultaneous submissions allowed? As in, can I send out my novel to agents while also submitting to this open call?

  26. Marc,
    There are a lot of comments to go through, so I’m not sure if anyone else has asked this, but during the reading period (4-6 months) is it okay to submit queries to agents or should I consider my submission as an exclusive to Angry Robot? Thanks!

  27. Two questions, if I may:

    1) My book takes place in America in the near future, so dialogues sound current. Modern day abbreviations, slang terms and idioms are present, including (mild and infrequent) profanity. This could mean “c’mon” instead of “come on”, and “that ain’t gonna happen” instead of “this isn’t going to happen”. Is that OK?

    2) I don’t have Microsoft word. I use wordpad. Double spacing and Times new roman are present and accounted for. However, there’s no page division. It’s one continuous stream of text, though chapters are very clearly divided. Is that a rejection?

  28. Ashley Mitrano

    After reading the comments on this page I see that you’ve said you hope to have reviewed all the manuscripts within 4-6 months. Will you only start reaching out to authors you’re interested in after you’ve read all the submissions or will you be reaching out to them within that 4-6 month period?

    • Ashley: We are already reading. We will not wait to reach out to authors who excite us. We thought it polite, though, not to start rejecting peoples’ hard work ten minutes after they sent it in, however, so that will start in a week or two.

  29. My former agent submitted a novel to AR in 2015. It was rejected, but got praise. It’s been retitled and rewritten since then, and I am no longer agented. Can I submit to the Open Door? (Asking as I wasn’t previously rejected in an Open Door itself, which the rules state.) Also, can you submit another novel if you’ve ever had a novel rejected by AR?

    Thanks!

  30. I uploaded my file but wish to do a different one that is slightly better formatted. is that ok to do? I do apologise. It was flicking between word online and word that caused me the issue. May I please re-upload?

  31. no matter the nationality I can send my proposal?

  32. Hey i just want to know if my manuscript I submitted that the format was ok and nothing was jumbled together. Did the book in open office and when i open it on a different pc in my house it looked weird.

  33. Hi Marc,

    Do I have to use indents?

    Thanks,

    Vin

  34. In reading your FAQs about what you don’t want, I was a bit dismayed to see something so strikingly familiar to my manuscript: I indeed DO have a novel that deals with cloning but takes place entirely in the 21st century. It isn’t a thriller, but it might have elements of that as well. At the core, it is science fiction, but some who’ve read it have classified it as “literary science fiction.” Do you think I should submit or is this too eerily similar to exactly what you’ve said you don’t want to see. I wouldn’t want to waste anyone’s time.

  35. Hi Marc.
    If contracted by you, I am interested in working with a popular artist I know to do the illustration for my book cover. If I contact this artist and commission him for the job, would Angry Robot Publishing cover the cost to pay this artist? Or is this something I would have to pay out of my own pocket? He’s a fantastic concept artist, and I think his work would help sell my book. And by the way… I did see the link to the Artist guideline to your site weeks ago… but I think you accidentally had taken it off. You might want to check. I’m also getting involved with more social media outlets to get the word out.

    • Richard: We can’t promise to use an author’s choice of artist, but we’re open to suggestions. The publisher pays for the cover, and gets final say on artist and design.

  36. I’ve completed an odd hybrid novel and I wonder if you’d consider it. It is primarily a paranormal thriller. The paranormal involves telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, a little witchcraft, and the occasional spirit of the dead. There is a strong romance element that includes some erotica and a happy ending, but the romance is not the main plot, which is foiling a coup by a some bad people. The title, Saving Atlantis, refers to a four-year-old girl.
    I have three published novels already, two are fantasy.
    May I submit?

    • Fred: We can’t discuss the detailed content of proposals in this Comments section. Read the FAQ and if you decide it doesn’t fall into the Horror or Paranormal novel categories then submit it.

  37. Gilad Meiri

    Hello

    My book takes place in the United States and I’m not an American. If I’m lucky enough to get published by you, do you have an American based extension or imprint (or whatever the correct term might be) that can help me market the book there in more ways than just a blog or website?

    While I would love and cherish a British audience for the book, I would expect it to be most popular in the country where it takes place.

    • Gilad: In North America we’re proud to be sold and distributed by the mighty Penguin Random House. US presence will be no problem at all. (Top tip: always pays to research your prospective publisher, e.g. by reading the About Us page on their website.)

  38. Here’s one I don’t think you’ve covered. I submitted to one of these in the past, and heard nothing back at all. Does that count as “rejected,” thus precluding a resubmission, or do you think it was just lost or missed?

  39. Sir–

    I have read all of these, and I have two questions that are for clarification, as they’ve already been partially answered– I’m just looking for specifics.

    I’m mildly autistic, which has drastically affected my ability to socialize, even online (as example, I have a whopping 32 friends on Facebook). I don’t know that I could maintain a regular blog or author site. Would that be a problem?

    And, since pen names are okay, do I need to decide on one before I submit, or can it wait until after my novel is chosen for publication, should that miracle actually occur?

    Should this pop up twice, my apologies; I thought I had submitted it earlier, but it never showed up on the page….

    Thanks much!

    • Christopher: This is in a similar vein to my reply earlier – the most successful authors are those who are able to support their work, but there are those who have made it without. It’s not an instant rejection, far from it. On pen names, we don’t mind.

  40. Luke Tarzian

    I submitted, but upon receiving my confirmation email realized I had checked the wrong genre (should have been fantasy instead of science fiction). Am I able to re-upload? Apologies for the inconvenience.

  41. Peter Clark

    Marc,
    I mistakenly uploaded the wrong file when submitting my novel. I have since resubmitted with the correct file. Will this disqualify me?

  42. I’m submitting this second question in a slight panic and in an effort to triple-check.
    Am I automatically disqualified if I have given a draft of my novel to a beta reader to review?
    It’s not self-publishing, so I assume I wouldn’t be disqualified. Is that correct?

    • Kaitlin: Re-read the FAQ. It clearly says only if the entire book was already published or in any way issued for the public to acquire. Giving it to someone to read is not that.

  43. Hi, just double checking: Would Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance fit the guidelines? Emphasis on Urban Fantasy. Romance is absolutely not the focus nor the driving force of my manuscript’s plot, but the characters just happen to have an attraction to each other.

  44. Hi Marc,
    How would the AR team feel about a Sci-Fi novel based on a Biblical character? I’ve written a retelling of the story of baby Moses set in space.
    There’s nothing in the FAQs about Christian Sci-Fi, so I thought I’d better check first.

  45. Question: I have a manuscript that was previously published but the publisher closed their doors and signed all rights back over to me. Now I need to republish it. Would it be acceptable for me to submit it to you as a “second edition” or some such? I really don’t know what to do with it now. It is the first book of a trilogy, the second book was also published but I now have the rights again, and I’m nearly finished with the final (third) book. May I enter the first book manuscript as if it were an unpublished manuscript?

  46. Hi..
    My question is this: my books are based on the zodiacs. There are elements of magic of talents/telekinisis/ mind reading etc/ space travel , knights, wizards like, tarrot and gypsy types. and so forth. Each book has a mystery element too. First book is more the eye opener: history, talents, how it began, evolved..would this be considered along the lines of occult?

  47. Hi Marc,

    While writing my book I submitted the prologue to Writing on the Wall’s ‘Pulp Idol’ competition. I reached the final, which meant this prologue was published as part of an anthology with the first chapters of the other finalists. Would this disqualify me for submission? Thanks for your time!

  48. A short story drawn from the first chapter of my unpublished climate fiction novel will appear in an online anthology self-funded by a group of authors this December. Does that disqualify me from submitting my novel to your open call? If so, might the novel be admissible if I were to substantially revise or eliminate that chapter? I was hoping that exposure of my story in this collaborative work would help me find an audience and engage readers to pick up the longer work. Thanks!

  49. Renee Meland

    When you say “left aligned ” do you also want chapter headings left aligned or can they be centered?

  50. Michael Pascoe

    How long does it take to get a response after submission?

    • Michael: As per my previous reply to this question… Response time will depend upon the number of entries and external workloads for our various staff and readers. We hope to have reviewed everyone within 4-6 months but this is only an estimate. We are happy for folks to submit their manuscript to other publishers at the same time if they wish.

  51. Hi. I may have missed it in the FAQs but I don’t think I did; could you tell me how long the submission window is open for?
    I have a few final tweaks to make to my mss and don’t want to miss out if I can help it.

  52. I have multiple first installments of different series.

    Is it one book per author (per open submission period) even if the novels/series are completely unaffiliated with one another?

  53. Hello,
    In the genre options of the submission form, you have WTF. I know what I think WTF means—more or less gobsmacked incomprehension. Could you clarify, please? I was going to send my alternate history/epic Iron Age fantasy with mythological overtones as Fantasy. WTF might suit it better though.

  54. Hey, AR!

    My fantasy novel is influenced by Chinese mythology, including their version of Hell, where my main character, inhabited by the spirit of a dead assassin, finds himself. Too much supernatural?

  55. Arg – just thought of one more: any stipulation or preferred convention re. name of submitted file?

    Eg “title_author_date”, or similar?

  56. Dear AR,

    Thank you for doing this for we poor, unrepresented but eternally hopeful souls!

    Here’s a couple of quick questions on formatting, as I don’t want to cock things up on a technicality.

    Chapter headings: must these also be 12pt TNR?

    Any rule re. text being justified or left aligned?

    Parts of my manuscript are set in particular ways to achieve certain effects – things might not be as clear if it’s all reduced to 12pt TNR – can you make exceptions?

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    D.

    • Doug: Headings should be clear; beyond that, as you wish. Ideally text should be left aligned, not justified. Typographic effects should be as they need to be – but note that our metal eyebrows are now half-raised.

  57. Hey Marc,

    What’s your stance on monsters in layman’s terms might be described as “Lovecraftian-esque”? I know. Probably self-explanatory but I wanted to double check with you. Straight horror or is there dark fantasy wiggle room? Thanks!

  58. Edward Aragon

    Hello. I am currently writing a book based on a character having telepathy and telekinesis. From the research I have done, I am seeing some conflicting categorization for this. Some list this as SF, others as just Fiction. Would this be acceptable to submit?

    • Edward: As the power of telepathy does not currently exist in a provable form (YMMV), your book sounds like science fiction or even fantasy to us.

  59. Hi Marc
    I have one final question before submitting to you; and its a very important question. In the event that if I am contracted by Angry Robot, am I obligate to go on book tours and do chapter readings? The reason I ask is because I have a medical condition. I had two serious head injuries as a youngster and I’m not a good reader at all. I stumble on words. Its an unfortunate outcome for me. On my website I do have a reading I recorded. It sounds good because of repetition of reading the chapter and very good editing on my part. While I’m not able to do that on site, I can still write a hell of a great story. Does my medical condition disqualify me?

    • Richard: Sorry to hear that. Good for you, sir.

      While many writers do increase their fame and sales through personal appearances, others – especially those in more remote parts – help build their fan following by writing interesting blog posts and being engaging on social media. Your condition does not disqualify you, and thank you for mentioning it.

  60. Hi. While I haven’t published anything of my book officially, I have put portions of it up on scribophile and other writing websites. Would that disqualify me from submitting it? (if I submit it. I’m still wondering if it’s good enough).
    I’d also like to stand by my previously offered message of help.

  61. Marc,
    I was excitedly checking off boxes on your criteria list before the stance on humor gutted my hopes. Should I roll the dice and submit my troll caper fantasy despite its humorous intent or would that be wasting your time?
    Thanks!
    Sarah

  62. I face the “if you replace every individual plank on a boat over time, is it still the same boat?” dilemma. 🙂 I submitted my book to the Open Door two years back; didn’t make it. Since then, I have thoroughly revised and rewritten, and we hired an actual editor. The plot is *largely* the same, but few of the original words remain.

    May I re-submit? I am guessing that I am still operating under the “No re-sending previously rejected submissions” constraint, but it never hurts to ask. 🙂

  63. How long do you expect the response time to be?

    • Michael: Response time will depend upon the number of entries and external workloads for our various staff and readers. We hope to have reviewed everyone within 4-6 months but this is only an estimate. We are happy for folks to submit their manuscript to other publishers at the same time if they wish.

  64. Joel Schroeder

    Do you want the manuscript itself to have a cover page as per standard manuscript format?
    Do you the page numbers to begin at the begining of the document or at the begining of the manuscript?

  65. Hi Marc,

    I’ve always imagined my MS as part of an ongoing saga, and have mapped out the first five books for the series. Above you mention:

    “If the book is the first of a series, summarise further volumes in one paragraph.”

    I just want to make sure I’m not selling myself short by summarizing five books in one paragraph or if I should provide a brief, one paragraph, summary of the planned direction for each subsequent novel.

  66. Is Hard SF an acceptable option?

    Also, if you have blurbs already from NYT authors for this (e.g. Greg Benford, Robert Sawyer, William C. Dietz, Kevin J. Anderson, etc) do you want to know about it in the proposal?

  67. Robert Easterbrook

    What’s email address for submission???

  68. Hi Marc
    I’m all done with the Grim Seeker book. Just have to go through a good edit. I should have it for you by December 10th. I was thinking of making the Grim Seeker book – book one of the series, and changing the sub title to the “Alamptria Chronicles. Starting a fresh new series. But the Quantum Heights book I wrote, which is actually book four of the “Dead Path Chronicles” I’d like to rework, making a new story out of it, and just use a bit of that old information to make sense to what I wrote in the Grim Seeker. it would then be book two of the “Alamptria Chronicles. With more sequels to follow. I’f I’m contracted by Angry Robot publishing… could I make these changes in giving it a new start in a new series?

  69. Many years ago, I self-published an e-book. It was very amateurish and poorly written. About a dozen copies were bought by friends and family before I attempted to take it off the market. When I found this couldn’t be done, I instead obliterated the title and changed the author to “anonymous.” (I am still trying to have it removed completely.)
    Over the years, my writing skills improved, and I wrote a prequel to that book, which completely altered the entire scope of the story. Consequently, its planned sequel now bears only a tiny resemblance to the (crappy) original.
    So my question is this: Can I submit the prequel that I just wrote (never published), with the intention of publishing its new sequel (different story, similar settings) in the future?

  70. Hi Marc
    One of my chapters in my book Grim Seeker has a lengthily excerpt from my book Quantum Heights. What it is, is that the main character is taken into the future and imagines things happening that haven’t occurred yet. It is almost like a dream. It is important to this book as it sets up introducing the character from his dream who appears in this novel. As I said, this is only an excerpt from another book which the character imagines. Can I still submit the Grim Seeker to you?

  71. Hello! What makes a book fall in the adult genre? I’m trying to get a better understanding of what makes a book adult and not young adult. Currently working on a book right now in hopes to send it in for the open submissions, my book features adults but I’m not sure if the situations they are in are “adult” enough.

    • Bridget: That’s a judgement call. If they are adults, rather than teenagers, and the situations are not those typical of YA – first romance, first adult situations, coming of age, coping in an adult world – then you’re probably OK.

  72. i was wondering if, when you mentioned that the writer retains all rights to the book; does that mean I could turn this into script for a movie,? Would you get part of the royalties? or is it not allowed at all?

    • Hayley: If we contract with you for your novel, we would agree with you which rights you want us to represent. Book formats are obviously part of the basic deal, but if you wanted our rights team to help sell rights in translation to other languages or film/TV, that would be optional. If we did represent – and we represent such rights for about 60% of our authors – we would take a percentage.

  73. Edward Buchan Wilson

    Word Count. I keep my novels in 12 point Courier New, ten words per line (60 spaces) and have a line count (You don’t get to see it). Your MS is per your request TNR, but do you want the M$ word count? Otherwise the standard SFWA header w/my email address. Just checking.

    • Edward: Thanks for following our format. Meanwhile, a word count is required. (I think you missed this among the instructions.)

    • Edward Buchan Wilson

      I am lead author (Ed Buchan) but I have a writing partner. You only get my email in the proposal, are extra names in the ‘author block’ an issue? If it is an issue is Ed Buchan (Inc.) OK?

      And Three Highland Lads WILL go to a copy editor before I send it to you.

      But what other editing rounds are there in Angry Robots Process? (I will include usual prefaces, and they will not be included in word count).

      Note one alpha reader warned me that I had not-Americanisms in it ( e.g.: Grade 8 not Eighth Grade) do you have an editor to catch those? I will ask my Copy Editor to do what she can.

      • Edward: More than one author is permissible; I’ll add that to the FAQ. All successful books will be subject to our usual development rounds like any other manuscript: structure edit and development > professional copy editor > a clutch of proofreaders.

  74. Jamie Kamlet

    How long is this open Door 2017 open for? (from November 1, 2017 until when?)

  75. Hey there- very excited for this oportunity, my question is if this new novel I’m wrapping up is the second installment in a series… Can I send it to you? I self published the first book but want a proper publisher for my second book which continues the story… Does this still qualify? It is high fantasy, and as far as I can tell it meets all the other requirements..

  76. Hello Marc
    To your comment about using cloning in the 21st century… and you do mean 21st century I guess, in my book which is set in a 23rd century world I have two very small scenes using two cloned individuals. However, this book is not about cloning, it is simply cloning two people to use them as imposters. As I said, they are very small scenes. Would you allow this? Also, my book IS science fiction fantasy with an element of horror. When I say horror… I’m saying I’m using vampires as the enemy, who are out for world domination. An agent is dispatched to stop the plague from happening. And an ally of of the vampires also seek to destroy mankind. There are scientific elements and more. Is this the sort of book you feel is unique and different enough that Angry Books would go for? After all… you want to be angry.

    • Richard: Cloning was just one example of a notionally SF theme used in a modern-day thriller, the point being made that such a book really is a thriller not an SF novel. If you think your book is definitely science fiction, the door is open to you.

      Note to everyone: Don’t sweat the small stuff! It’s not about the detail at this stage, it’s about the overall theme and intention. Many of our published books include elements that are not “pure” SF or fantasy – but they sit squarely on the SF/F bookshelves.

  77. Hello Marc
    My book – the Grim Seeker is nearly done. I may make it for the open door. From what I read in your guidelines, you prefer books in science fiction with mixed genres. My book has all the elements your looking for. Science fiction woven with Cyberpunk, Steampunk and a bit of horror. In that order. This is book three of the series. The first two books were self published. So I know you won’t except those. And to let you know, all three books are entirely different stories. So it doesn’t matter which book a reader starts off with. And there are still at least five more books in the series with possibly more. Would you consider this new book three with a number of sequels to follow?

    • Richard: We wouldn’t know until we read it. We’re not looking for books that belong to existing series, but if you say it has no connections with previous books, well… it’s a judgement call. Up to you.

  78. Howdy, Marc.

    Very exciting stuff.

    Is there a list somewhere of previous Open Door acceptees?

    Best,
    Paulo

  79. Hello.
    I have just one question; I want to make sure if I understood you correctly.: You don’t want erotica nor romance novels, but erotic and romantic threads in a SF/F book are okay, right?
    Best wishes,
    Sam

  80. ‘No books featuring mythological or legendary characters’ rules out a hell of a lot of fantasy. Does this only apply if the book doesn’t also have a significant fantasy element, or is it an insta-reject?

    • Jess: Perhaps what we thought “mythological or legendary characters” meant is unclear. We mean, we aren’t looking for any books retelling the stories of characters from Roman, Greek, Hindu, Japanese or other myths and legends, whether in ancient, modern or future settings. We don’t have a problem with a book featuring centaurs, trolls, giants or whatever (except the obvious potential for unoriginality).

  81. Brian James Mooney

    Oh. And for using a pseudonym, is the format to state my legal name, then “Writing As:”? Thanks.

  82. Brian James Mooney

    Marc, thank-you so much for your replies. I thought I’d be able to leave you alone after the last batch, but nope! I know you only accept unpublished works. If I have sent my manuscript elsewhere and am still waiting to hear back, can I submit the same MS to Angry Robot so long as I inform you immediately if it gets picked up by the other publisher?

    Thank-you.

    • Brian: Manuscripts out on submission elsewhere are fine. Just ensure you contact us and withdraw the submission if you sell it.
      Brian: Pseudonyms: If you like, whatever you decide. Just make sure your real name and contact details are on the submission somewhere.

  83. I self published book one of my series. Book two will be ready just in time to submit to the Open Door. Would you consider book two of the series?

  84. Marc, thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

    I have a quick question in regards to mythological creatures.

    The novel I plan on submitting is very much a fantasy (albeit with steampunk elements) and takes place in a world that is very much not our own, but has various mythological creatures (centaurs, as an example) added for flavor–along with other things. Most of the major characters are human and it is about human struggles. Would this type of thing get me disqualified?

    • Joey: We would have to read it to know., but it sounds like a fantasy that uses a few mythological flavourings, not a book that is totally about, say, an Egyptian goddess who is reincarnated in 21st Century USA. In short, it’s probably OK.

  85. Brian James Mooney

    Apologies for this addendum, but I have to clarify:

    Getting my stories published is important to me, so I would participate in promotion where necessary. Would it be premature to ask how much an author can be expected to participate in this process? I would like to be mentally prepared so we’re all on the same page should you pick up my book.

    Thanks.

  86. Brian James Mooney

    Okay, thank-you Marc. I do believe I can manage some social media activity if I keep myself focused and limit how much I do per week so as to be able to properly work on my next story. For the submission format, can one include a pseudonym under his or her name? While I would love to publish under my own name, I recent realization has left me questioning the logic of that. Thank-you again.

  87. Jeff Kloepfer

    In regards to the manuscript, do you want a final draft version or will you take a draft at any stage of editing?

  88. Do you accept illustration submissions separate from this open door event? I looked for artist guidelines and could not find any.

  89. Brian James Mooney

    Greetings. In my soft sci-fi, u/dystopian novel, there are some passages that are heavier on action than the majority, and even fewer of those that MAY be classifiable as belonging to a thriller. Is this fine? At its heart, it is a sci-fi tale, and from what I have read above I feel confident AR will view it the same. However, I want to make certain. Also, I do have mystical elements, such as a brief allusion to chakras that I want to build upon in the second book. To me, their inclusion is an element of fantasy rather than the supernatural. Would AR agree? Should I preserve the concept, but do away with the words we know from OUR reality and make it even more my own idea? My desire is to subvert New Age expectations, so I do not at all intend for my version of “chakras” to match those of OUR reality.

    Aside from the actual story, I do have a concern about your potential expectations of me regarding social media. I recently returned to Facebook for the sole purpose of promoting my book, but due to my extreme introversion and the nature of my creative process, I have already realized my need to terminate my presence on that site. Am I expected to moderate my own Facebook and/or Twitter account(s), or does AR understand that it is detrimental for some writers to participate in social media?

    Thank-you so much!

    • Brian: We can’t know in detail what’s in your Ms until we read it. Assuming you’ve read our guidelines, we’re going to have to leave it to you to decide whether to submit or not.

      As for social media, just to say that the art of writing suits an introvert very well, but the very different task of selling a book and themselves in the commercial arena brings far greater demands. As a business, we require authors who can partner with us to promote their name and their books.

  90. I submitted the first book in a fantasy series for your last Open Door, but it was ‘Not for us’. I’ve just completed the third which is stand-alone although it contains some elements from the previous two. Can I send this one?

  91. RoadsidePicnic

    Hello, I have a question – my novel includes a short (2 pgs) Forward/Intro written by an established genre filmmaker praising the novel and describing his reaction to it – is this okay to include with the novel submission?

  92. Hello,

    If we’re submitting from the U.S., are you okay with the American spelling of things (i.e., honor vs. honour, color vs. colour), or would you prefer our manuscripts be formatted to UK standard? I’m looking forward to submitting with yourselves.

    Thank you.

  93. Hello. Excited. But Australian. You publish in US and UK, what happens with the rest of the English speaking world? Sorry it this is obvious but first timer.

    Thanks.

    • Shel: We print editions in both the UK and the US. Those editions are distributed to the rest of the English-speakingw world – we are sold in Australia and New Zealand by the mighty Simon & Schuster, and also have distributors in South Africa, India, Ireland, Singapore and elsewhere. – M

  94. Brett Walpole

    I have self published my sci fi novel. If I remove it from kindle can I submit it to you?

  95. My question is about the extent to which a portion of it can have been shared before. I posted an unedited and un-revised version of my completed novel on my website, in an attempt to force myself to actually finish a novel and see if it was any good. It was not sold or given out in a complete format, or in any single document. Does this disqualify the work from being sent in, or does the fact that it will have been substantially edited, compiled, and revised fall under the exception in the FAQ?

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