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How To Streamline Your Submission To A Clarendon House Publication

I wanted to expand upon, clarify and improve the submission guidelines for Clarendon House so that a) you have a better chance of gaining acceptance and b) the processing of submissions gets faster and more efficient.

Please study the following points if you wish to send anything to me for possible publication. Though there are no anthologies open at present, there soon will be.

1. Where To Submit

Please send all submissions to the Clarendon House Publications email address:

Please don't post me anything, as I work through email only.

I should point out at the outset that Clarendon House Publications is not a ‘vanity press’ and that there are no fees charged for publication.

2. Editing Submissions

Please edit and proofread your submission prior to sending it.

Of course, some proofreading and possibly some editing will probably take place once the submission is received, but submissions with fewer errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax and the like are more likely to be accepted.

It is a condition of submission that you must be open to suggestions on how to improve your story in order to get it published. In other words, you must be willing to accept feedback and make changes as needed, if you want to appear in any Inner Circle Writers’ Group Anthology. As an editor, I am here to help you make it as a writer and all suggestions will be made with that in mind.

If, after receiving feedback, you do not wish to proceed, that is fine and will not bar you from future consideration for publication.

3. Send Only Your Final Version.

Any submission you send to me must be the FINAL version as far as you are concerned - I will not be able to entertain any adjustments to documents (other than proofreading or slight editing fixes as above) once they have been received. Any requests to adjust a submission after it has been sent will therefore be refused.

4. The Order In Which I Consider Submissions

i) First in line for acceptance will be those authors who are active members of the Inner Circle Writers’ Group. This group is free to join here:

ii) Next in line will be members who have taken certain courses with me or who have at least read How Stories Really Work. The courses and the book are NOT a prerequisite to being accepted, but obviously if someone has completed one or more of them, they will get preference over someone who has not.

That’s because the courses and the book teach the fundamentals of storytelling and guide writers toward being more successful and satisfied as writers.

5. What I’m Looking For In General

I’m looking for well-crafted stories.

That means stories which have been designed to appeal to readers, not long, rambling first drafts or shapeless, incomplete collections of words which don’t make internal sense.

Detailed guidance on what can be considered a ‘well-crafted story’ is given in my book How Stories Really Work.

Please note that I do not consider novel excerpts, or anything with illustrations or photographs.

6. Important Formatting Points

All submissions must be sent to me as Word documents using Times font, single-spaced. Anything more exotic will be refused.

They MUST include the following information:

• Your NAME as you wish it to appear if accepted. This will avoid any confusion if you are using a pen name or have recently changed your name for some reason etc.

• A short BIO highlighting some key facts about yourself, to be included with your submission in the publication, if accepted.

• Correct contact details

If any of these points are missing, a submission may be rejected without being read.

7. International Submissions

Clarendon House Publications is based in the UK, but accepts submissions from authors all over the world, as long as they are in the correct format outlined above.

8. Rights

Some publishers ask for first serial rights on any story they publish, which means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online. (This includes publication on an author's own website.)

When I publish a story, I only ask that that story not be tangled up in any other prior agreement and be exclusive to Clarendon House Publications for one year after the date of publication.

You may wish to extend that period at the end of a year, or take your work elsewhere.

Copyright at all times remains with you.

I don't ask for other rights, or place any limits on what you can do with your story after the exclusivity period.

This means that, if Clarendon House publishes something that you have written, you must seek its permission for that piece of work to appear elsewhere. This is in your best interests - the more focused the appearances of particular works, the more chances that the book in which they have appeared will sell.

9. Word Count

Most of the stories I publish are between about 2,000 and 5,000 words. I used to take up to 10,000 words, but any longer than 5,000 words experience has shown becomes unwieldy to both process and read once published. Some exceptions may occur from time to time.

10. Payment and Awards

This is the section which is a little bit different - and a little bit more exciting - to what you might find elsewhere, so please read carefully.

Anthologies at present do not pay, but you receive a free e-copy of the complete anthology upon publication. As you can imagine, in an anthology with 10 to 12 authors, payments to each author are never going to be huge.


Inner Circle Writers' Group anthologies each have a competition, in which the readers vote for the best story in each volume.

The author of the best story in each volume is then offered an opportunity to publish a collection of his or her short stories with Clarendon House Publications - upon which royalties are paid.

In other words, if you submit a story to an anthology and it gets voted the best story in that volume, I will then offer you a chance to get a volume of your stories published (any genre), and will offer you royalty payments on that.

You therefore have a path to becoming a paid author.

Amounts of money are not going to be huge, unless the books really sell well, but it is at least a career path of a kind - and who knows? Your stories might strike a chord and become best sellers.

This means the onus is on you to write the best quality story that you can so that the door can be opened for you.

The ideal sequence would therefore go like this:

Write a top quality story, using the secrets of master authors as revealed in my book How Stories Really Work; abide by the guidelines above; get the story accepted; win the most votes from readers; get your own paid collection.

11. Marketing

I do ask that accepted authors follow some simple marketing advice in order to try to ensure that production costs are covered, but I do not want to demand that you buy a certain number of copies or something like that, because then I'm positioned as one of those 'rip-off' publishers with whom it costs money to publish.

I will recommend actions you should take to boost sales so that your own name gets out there. The more authors follow this advice, the better it is for everyone.

11. Multiple And Simultaneous Submissions

Please don’t submit more than one story to each anthology.

I understand if you want to submit to more than one publisher at a time, but obviously I must know immediately if a story you've submitted to me has been accepted elsewhere. The earlier you can let me know, the better.

Why don't I take multiple submissions? Because if I'm offering writers a chance to win a paid anthology, it's only fair that all included authors get one chance to win.

12. Response Times

I aim to reply to all submissions within four weeks, although I will sometimes go over this during busy periods. If you're waiting for a reply from me, please keep an eye on your junk mail folder, as some replies do end up there. If you grow concerned, or have any questions about anything, you can always email me at

2019 will see the publication of another set of anthologies to which you will all be invited to submit.

These will include the following working titles:

Blaze: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Flash Fiction Anthology 2019

Tempest: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology 2019

Maelstrom: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Literary Anthology 2019

Portal: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Children’s Anthology 2019

Poetica: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Poetry Anthology 2019

Gleam: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2019

Glamour: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Romance Anthology 2019

Paradox: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Crime/Mystery/Thriller Anthology 2019

Lantern: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Christian Stories Anthology 2019

As I say, these are working titles at the moment. They may change. It’s a distinct possibility that more will be added.

Due dates will be announced in the near future.

Please do contact me if you have any questions. I am not in this business to make a fortune (thought that would be nice) - I'm here to help you become a successful writer. And these guidelines are part of that.

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The Inner Circle Writers' Group is all about fiction: what it is all about, how it works, helping you to write and publish it. You can keep up to date with live contributions from members, upload your own fiction, enter competitions and so on:
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