HarperCollins’ sci-fi, horror and otherwise otherworldly imprint Harper Voyager has announced that, for the first time in over a decade, it will be accepting un-agented submissions from authors, with a view to building a backlog it can then publish as monthly e-books. For the fortnight spanning 1 October to 14 October, new writers can head to http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com/ and, having filled out the accompanying form and checked that they have complied with the publisher’s guidelines, submit their long-brewing masterpiece about the grim dystopian future where the hair cuts you!, or whatever.
Some of the more immediately important of said guidelines: only completed, full-length manuscripts should be submitted (i.e. at least 70,000 words, although 80,000-120,000 words would be preferred). Multiple manuscripts can be submitted, although each should be submitted as an individual application (in case you’ve got several completed novels sitting around taking up space and the thought has only just occurred to you to check that someone else might want to read them). If you’ve already submitted a manuscript to another publisher, tough noogies – should have waited a fortnight. Tell your agent, if you have one, not to bother using the submission form and to submit manuscripts in the usual manner. If your work has previously been published (presumably by yourself, if you’re still looking for a big-time publisher), that isn’t a barrier to its being published by Harper Voyager, so long as you yourself own the rights to it.
Emma Coode, Harper Voyager’s UK deputy publishing director, says of the initiative: ‘No other publishing company has done a coordinated submission period for un-agented authors across three continents, and all of us at Harper Voyager and at HarperCollins Publishers are absolutely thrilled to the launching this new opportunity. We look forward to discovering and digitally publishing many new exciting voices globally at Harper Voyager.’ Or, how about a parallel universe where new exciting voices discover and digitally publish Harper Voyager! Sci-fi-ey! I may need to work on a new idea-generating model before proceeding with this.