The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”Linus Pauling


I’m back after a couple of weeks of chaos, with more market news to share. This past weekend I attended the wonderful Colorado Gold conference put on by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Always a terrific con and this was no exception. I sat in on an editor panel and wanted to share what I learned there.

Erika Imrany from Mira Books works on upmarket women’s fiction for this trade paper publisher, a division of Harlequin. She looks for complex plots with strong female protagonists, with more literary writing that will appeal to a mainstream audience. She’s drawn to strong voices and strong characters. She only works on about a dozen books a year, so she’s able to give a lot of attention to her authors. She’s not interested in chick lit or light mystery. While Mira’s official policy is to not take unagented submissions, she will read a short email query, and will only answer if she’s interested.

Liz Pelletier from Entangled Books almost needs no introduction, since I’ve written often about Entangled. Entangled currently publishes 9 category romance lines in digital only, a single title romance and a teen line in both digital and print. The company is growing and actively acquiring. The editors are especially interested in seeing contemporary romance, YA, and fiction with strong romantic elements. She’s not interested in urban fantasy. Entangled’s guidelines are here.

Peter Senftleben, Kensington Books edits mainstream and women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, gay fiction and young adult fiction. He’s not interested in seeing any “terrorists, sci-fi, fantasy or westerns.” He’s open to unagented submissions. Query him via email, and don’t spend a lot of time in the query on your credentials. “I want to know what the book is about.” Find Kensington’s guidelines and Peter’s contact info here.

Jim Minz, Baen Books loves strong, epic fantasy, action adventure and urban fantasy with strong heroes. Baen has found many bestselling authors through its slush pile; they have dedicated slush readers and are wide open to unagented submissions. Send the complete manuscript, not a query. “The bar is very high” for military fantasy and science fiction — Baen’s list on these is very full, but he’s always looking for other stories that fit Baen’s action-adventure focus. Baen’s submission guidelines are here.


Kensington Books also launched a digital first imprint this summer. eKensington plans to publish three to six titles a month, with a mix of originals and reprints. eKensington does not pay an advance; authors earn 30 percent royalties on the first 10,000 copies sold and 50 percent after that. If Kensington later decides to put out a print edition of the book the author will receive an advance against the print royalties. Editorial director Alicia Condon heads up the eKensington program and is open to submissions from both agented and unagented authors.


Nightmare Magazine reopens to submissions beginning September 15. Nightmare publishes horror and dark fantasy stories, 1,500 to 7,500 words (under 5,000 words preferred). They strive to publish a diverse group of stories and pay five cents a word, on acceptance. See their guidelines here.


Liternational is hosting a contest for previously unpublished writers of fiction and creative nonfiction. The Santa Claws contest is seeking both horror and suspense stories and fantasy stories for two different anthologies. The deadline to submit horror and suspense stories is October 1, 2012. Do not submit holiday fantasy stories before October 15 — the deadline for these stories is December 1st. Stories should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. The editors prefer horror stories in the psychological thriller or “weird fiction” vein, as opposed to gore; the holiday fantasy stories should present a new take on Santa Claus. There is no fee to enter the contest, and you can submit your stories online. Winners will receive cash prizes of $500 for the first place winner and $250 for a runner-up in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Find all the info here.


As always, feel free to share the information from this blog, reprint it and pass it on to others. Please give me credit as the source and provide a link back to the blog. Thanks! Cindi Myers