BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

HURRY! Two week window to submit to a mainstream publisher

manuscriptTinder Press – part of Headline publishing group – have announced that for two weeks authors without an agent will be able to submit a manuscript directly to them.
The open period is today March 2nd to March 15th. You have to submit 50 pages (double spaced, Times Roman 12 point, double spaced – I’ve said that already but these things matter), an outline and an author biography. (Written in the 3rd person, by the way.) All this can be sent by email.
Only previously unpublished writers of fiction can take part, and collections of short stories as well as novels will be considered.  BUT self published authors can submit and they welcome international submissions. Tinder are not looking for children’s or Young Adult fiction though.

Read all the rules HERE and stick to each one like glue. If editors like the first 50 pages they will ask to see the rest so it should all be done and dusted. (But see the comments below…)

UPDATE: March 11th Trinder Press was on Radio Four’s Front Row this evening – they had received 900+ submissions so far and expect to get 1000 by the time the window closes on March 15th. Don’t let those figures daunt you – they are committed to reading each submission even if it takes a couple of months through the whole pile. There isn’t one “prize”: they are looking for anything that jumps out  and fits into the range of adult fiction they publish so that could mean more than one… They also have no objection to an author finding a literary agent after they have been selected.

 If you like this post why not sign up for my creative writing newsletter – see the column on the left. It’s full of submission opportunities, news and writing ideas, and comes out every six-weeks (or there abouts).

photo credit: What 185,000 words looks like, copyedited manuscript for MAKERS, the office, Clerkenwell, London, UK.JPG via photopin (license)

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16 comments on “HURRY! Two week window to submit to a mainstream publisher

  1. June Rendle
    March 2, 2015

    Wow! What a great opportunity! Thank you so much, working on it now.

  2. Norah
    March 2, 2015

    Sounds great. Unfortunately I don’t have anything ready.

    • bridget whelan
      March 3, 2015

      I suppose the only answer is get writing! And these opportunities seem to come up frequently than they did before (presumably they work for publishers…).

      • Norah
        March 4, 2015

        And writers too, I hope! 🙂

  3. Suzanne
    March 2, 2015

    Brilliant, thanks Bridget, have my novel just waiting for this sort of opportunity! Will get onto it right away!! How exciting!

    • bridget whelan
      March 2, 2015

      Good luck!

      • Suzanne
        March 2, 2015

        Thank you! If nothing else it will mean that the first 50 pages get yet another edit before submission! So nothing to lose really… 🙂

  4. A.K.Andrew @artyyah
    March 2, 2015

    Bridget, Ive been meaning to ask your opinion on this. Presumably entries will come mostly from authors having a hard time getting an agent. Will that not put one at a severe disadvantage in terms of negotiating a decent contract even if one was lucky enough to be picked up? I suppose while at first I was excited now I can’t quite see the advantage of doing this rather than trying to get an agent. Can you enlighten me? I think I’m probably missing a vital piece. Thanks so much.

    • bridget whelan
      March 2, 2015

      You raise a very interesting point and i’m not sure I have a complete answer, but this is my take on it.

      Tinder Press say that they want “to reach out directly to authors at an early stage in their careers… and that… we’ll find an author we can go on to work with in the future.”

      Why the direct approach? Not I think because they hope to save money on the agent’s commission or negoiate deals that put new authors at a disadvantage. My feeling is that they know that there is a lot of talent in the slush pile but usually it stays there because no one has time to read it. Instead they use agents as a kind of quality control – they act as a filter.

      Organising a blitz of unsoliciated submissions may allow publishers to organise staff and resources so everything is read. Rubbish won’t be read after the second paragraph: the boring won’t be read after the first page. There’s going to be thousands of entries – anything that stand out in that flood is going to have to be good. I don’t know if it works but these opportunities seem to be happening more often so I’m presuming that publishers do fine it worthwhile.

      And for authors? The way I see it there’s nothing to lose. Entry has to be by email so there isn’t even the cost of printing to be considered. It’s a chance to be read by a good publisher – you come with no recommendation, no plug from an agent who has already decided to invest time & energy in you. You’re being judged and you’re naked. You’re getting nothing but the chance to make a first impression on (probably) the most junior staff in the publishing house. But being read is better than not being read.

      It will take a big dollop of luck to get through this process (as well as talent and a fantastic story) but to be lucky you have to be in the right place at the right time, so you might as well press the send button…and know that you’re adding a layer to your already thick skin, an essential characteristic of any writer.

      • A.K.Andrew @artyyah
        March 2, 2015

        I think your points are all valid Bridget & as you say it does give them an opportunity themselves to sift the wheat from the chaff. And if I was lucky enough to be chosen I suspect I’d have little to be worried about. Thanks so much for your detailed reply- & of course the reminder:-)

  5. bridget whelan
    March 2, 2015

    As I don’t think authors can lose I say gor for it, but it does make me wonder if agents are feeling more vulnerable…Good luck on your submission. And of course you can still submitt elsewhere and do all the things you want to do with your manuscript…

  6. Carol Balawyder
    March 3, 2015

    Thanks for this tip, Bridget! 🙂

  7. Mikeverdi
    March 3, 2015

    A question if I may…. I have a novel almost finished (about 60,000 words in) Could I send in hope…?

    • bridget whelan
      March 3, 2015

      Publishers would say no, it should all be fiinished and ready to go and that is sensible advice BUT life is short.

      I say send in the 50 pages and keep working hard on your novel – if nothing else it’s great motivation. And if they should ask to see all the manuscript well, you can do without sleep or friends or oprdinary life for a little while…

      (I sent my novel to an agent before it was finished and then he asked to see the rest…wrote and wrote and wrote and lied about computer problems. Wrote a rubbish ending too. He still took me on.)

      A friend always asks herself what is the worst that could happen before making any big decision.

      What’s the worst that could happen here?

      You could turn out 20,000 words that weren’t of the same quality as the first 60,000 but the agent will have a pretty good idea of you as a writer by that time and may feel you’rte someone worth working with…if nothing else you’ll have a complete novel that you can edit into shape.

      Go for it…!

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