I’ve developed a new line for writers which should open the door to many more getting a significant boost in acceptances.
It’s a streamlined way of gaining my attention as a publisher, and should mean that I am able to throw open the doors of Clarendon House Publications to ANY work - not just short stories for anthologies, or items for the magazine, but any work that you might have completed or indeed still be working on, with a view to having it assessed and possibly accepted for publication.
It’s based on over a year of experience now as an independent publisher. Over the last year, I’ve received probably over a thousand submissions of one kind or another, and I’ve been able to make observations about them ranging from their format to their subject matter to their overall shape. All of those observations add up to being able to make certain judgements about whether or not individual pieces of work are viable as publications. Viability is based on questions like ‘Does this work have an audience?’ ‘What is the likely commercial size of that audience?’ and ‘Is there enough potential here to warrant the time and effort involved in publishing it?’
When you submit a work to a publisher in the ordinary fashion, those are the kinds of question which are being asked. Yes, of course, the technical accuracy of the writing and whether or not it’s a carefully crafted piece, whether or not it has some kind of ‘soul’, these all matter - but from a publisher’s perspective, they often lead to more practical questions: is this going to be worthwhile commercially?
The problem is that all of this takes time. A publisher’s desk quickly becomes loaded with unread submissions, and reading is one of the few things in the world which can’t be sped up to any great degree: pages take a certain amount of time to read properly. Most publishers therefore try to reduce this factor by asking for the first couple of chapters of a longer work, hoping to be able to make a judgement based on those as to whether or not to proceed further.
The New Clarendon House Fast Track Submissions Process circumvents a little bit of this, while also improving the chance of gaining acceptance by answering some of the later questions sooner.
It means a certain amount of homework needs to be done by the writer before submitting the work. But that preliminary work would be valuable in its own right, whether it produced an acceptance or not.
Anyone wishing to use this process is expected to fill in the standard form below. This is for ANY work OTHER THAN short stories to an open anthology. To repeat: submitting short stories to an open anthology does NOT require this form.
What it means is that you can now submit ANY OTHER WORK by following this process.
Please note that Clarendon House offers services which may assist with the compilation of data required for filling in the form below, notably editing services and an Audience Locator Service (see the Guide to Products and Services). (You are not obliged to use such services, but the data is nevertheless required.)
The New Clarendon House Fast Track Submissions Process
1. Writer’s name:
2. Contact details (email essential):
3. Name of Manuscript:
4. Theme(s) of work:
5. Other works that have some similarity with this:
6. What makes this work different to other works in the same genre or sub-genre?
7. Writer’s 50 word blurb about manuscript (this is the blurb as it would appear on the back of a published book):
8. Writer’s assessment of target audience and marketing:
•Who is your target public?
•What other interests might that target public have? Include other works that may be of interest to them.
•What is your estimation of the size of your work’s audience worldwide?
•How do you plan on marketing the work so that it reaches its particular target group? (Note: in the case of acceptance, you will not be solely responsible for the marketing, but this information enables an assessment to be made about the book’s viability.)
9. Your 1,000 word story synopsis, providing details about the characters and plot as much as you can as follows (please note that a more thorough understanding of these concepts can be obtained through the books How Stories Really Work and 7 Secrets of Successful Stories):
•Are you making some kind of use of the character archetypes used in all fiction?
•Is your plot constructed in such a way that the reader is pulled along, glued to the page and engaged in the action, using Momentum, Mystery and Morality?
•Does the closing of the story match the tone and genre patterns which the rest of the tale would appear to suggest?
10. Your author bio (up to 200 words including past publications):
11. Please attached Chapters One and Two and the final chapter if available (or any other chapter, if it is not) in Shunn format.
12. Is there any past history in relation to this work? e.g. have you tried to get it published previously? Have you had any editing work done on it? Has a cover been designed? and so on. Please summarise this or write ‘Not Applicable’:
Based on my assessment of the above data, I will request a full manuscript OR return your form with specific pointers as to how the submission could be improved, what particular marketing points might be needed, how to improve the blurb and story synopsis and so forth. That gives you the option of revising the work and re-submitting it.
Please note that, while I will endeavour to reply to all submissions as soon as possible, sending me a submission does not oblige me to look at it or to respond within any given time period. Please also note that using the form does not guarantee acceptance.
I am open to receiving any questions you may have about the New Clarendon House Fast Track Submissions Process or the associated services available from Clarendon House. You can always email me here:
I look forward to hearing from you.