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SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN

We are always looking for great new stories to publish. If you are an author or agent interested in submitting, or an indie author seeking services, please get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

What We Publish:

  • Most sub-genres of Romance

  • Cozy Mysteries

  • Thrillers

  • Horror

  • Paranormal Lit

  • YA (if it has paranormal , horror, or romance elements)

What We Don't Publish:

  • Historical or Sci-fi (romance or otherwise)

  • Inspirational or Amish (romance or otherwise)

  • Poetry

  • General Literature

  • Memoirs

  • Non-fiction

  • Self-help

  • Cookbooks

  • Children's books

  • Middle Grade fiction

What We'll Consider:

  • Fantasy (on a case-by-case basis)

  • Women's Fiction

Word Count Guide:

YA= 50,000-80,000

Fantasy= 80,000-120,000

Romance= 55,000-95,000

Horror/Thriller= 85,000-110,000

Cozy Mystery= 70,000-90,000

Paranormal= 55,000-100,000

Novellas (all genres except Fantasy)=

20,000-50,000

SEE THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE FOR WRITING TIPS

Submission Guidelines:

  • Please do not query more than one editor. A rejection from one is a rejection from all.

  • Please see each editor list below of what genres, subgenres, and tropes each of us accept to make sure you query the right editor for your project. 

  • You should know what genre/subgenre your manuscript is before submitting.

  • Your manuscript should follow our word count guidelines.

  • We do not accept manuscripts glorifying themes of bestiality, bodily functions, degradation of women (e.g. rape), pedophilia (sex involving underage characters), racism, homophobia, hate toward groups of people, or incest.

  • Not following these guidelines could result in an automatic rejection.

  • Sending us manuscripts for genres we don't accept will result in immediate rejection. 

  • Please put your name and title in the subject line of the email.

  • The body of your email should contain your cover letter with credentials (if any), the genre/subgenre of your manuscript, word count, a blurb (back cover), if the MS has been published before and with whom, your bio, your social media channels, and your contact info (email, phone number, address).

  • In an attachment, please send a 1-2 page synopsis (full breakdown of the story, all major events, including the conclusion), and only the first 3 chapters of the manuscript.

  • Do not send any images or art.

  • Manuscripts should be completed, polished, and as clean as possible before submission.

  • Formatting of the manuscript should be a Word doc, 1" margins, Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12 font, double or 1.5 spaced, have chapter headings, with a new chapter starting on a different page.

  • Please allow up to 3 months (usually less) for us to review your submission. If 90 days has passed and you have not received a response, you may follow up by email.

Submit
to Kelly

Kelly Accepts:

Paranormal Romance (ghosts, witches, demons)

Contemporary Romance (rom-com, angsty, suspense)

Paranormal Literature

Thrillers (especially PNR or dark)

Horror (especially: cult, pulp, ghost stories, splatter, monsters, or serial killer)

YA (any but especially: horror/thriller)

Women's Fiction

BIPOC & LGBTQ+ Welcome!

Submit  to
Shelly

Shelly Accepts:

Romance (dark, mafia, MC, contemporary,

suspense, erotic, pnr)

Thrillers/Suspense (especially female MCs)

Cozy Mysteries

Fantasy 

Diverse stories welcome!

Submit
to Katie

Katie Accepts:

Contemporary Romance 

Paranormal Romance

(shifters, vampires, fae, angels, witches)

Cozy Mysteries

YA (if a romance)

Diverse stories welcome!

Submit to  Shakera

Shakera Accepts:

Contemporary Romance 

Paranormal Romance

Cozy Mysteries

Women's Fiction

Fantasy (Fairytale, Low-High, Mythology, Urban)

*especially seeking diverse voices and strong female leads

Writing Tips per Kelly ©:

READ OUT LOUD: Ignore the dog's crazy eye and do it. Seriously. Reading your MS (manuscript) out loud will help you find problem areas and smooth out your flow.

CLICHES: Avoid them like the plague. Enough said on that. Right? Right.

WANDERING BODY PARTS: I don't mean in a possession kind of way. Body parts cannot move of their own accord.
Example: His hand reached for the glass.
Correct: He reached for the glass.

DIALOGUE TAGS: These are he said/she saids. Most of the time they're not needed and you can go deeper into the story by not using them. Replace (in most cases) with an action.
Example: "I'll do it," he said.
Action: He took the envelope from her. "I'll do it."

SHOW, NOT TELL: This is the hardest to learn, without a doubt. Also described as narrative, you can easily slip into this without knowing. There are "tell" words to look for, such as: heard/hear, saw/see, felt/feel, watch/ed, etc.
Telling: She watched his face change and felt scared.
Showing: His expression darkened as his eyes narrowed, and her heart stopped beating.

BODY LANGUAGE: This is key to making your characters dimensional and alive to the reader. Your characters' mannerisms say a lot without speaking a word. It can show the reader when someone's scared, pissed off, or bursting with fruit flavor in glee. In saying that, each character should have their own language that's solely theirs. For instance, if your main character rubs his neck when frustrated, your secondary character should do something else, like pinch the bridge of his nose.
Example: He clenched his fists, sucked in a breath, and ground his jaw.
Says exactly what's going on, doesn't it?

POV: Point-of-view (POV) should be clear at all times, especially after chapter and section breaks. This is who's telling the story in that particular instance. Though this is up for argument, most editors do not want head-hopping, so stay in one POV per scene. Your book should also not contain a POV for every character. Stick to your main characters only. With regards to POV also comes knowledge. If you're in Main Character A's head, Main Character B won't be privy to certain info. They can only know what's shown.
Example: (We're in Character A's POV) Character A glanced at Character B as Character B thought about her mother.
Correct: Character A glanced at Character B and figured she was thinking about her mother, as she always got that haunted look when she did.
See the body language as well as the POV fix? Character A can't possibly know what Character B was thinking. Remember that when writing.

RESEARCH: And I mean everything. If your main character is a fireman, you better know terms and job specifics, including equipment. If your setting is Texas, you better learn the climate, the slang, and everything down to trees and flowers. Research. It makes your book accurate and readers will know when you haven't. Period.

DIALOGUE: There's two types: Internal and External. External is what's actually said. Every conversation the characters have should move the plot along.
"How are you?"
"Good, and yourself?"
"Not bad."
Are you bored? I'm bored. Cut out the fluff and meaningless. Get to it. External should also imitate actual conversation and reflect your character's personality. With regards to external dialogue, remember people speak in contractions.
Example: "Do not go in there."
Correct: "Don't go in there."
Internal dialogue is what's inside the character's head, but isn't spoken. This is usually what the character thinks between conversation or when alone. Internal should also move the plot along. Too much and it bores the reader.

PACING: This can also be difficult to learn. What helps is writing out a generic timeline for a book ahead of time. Jot down a few notes on what you want to happen in each chapter. It helps find slow spots and keeps you on task too. Your book should start with an action scene. The character should be doing something, in other words. It hooks the reader. Mix up dialogue, action, and internal for good balance or your pacing is off and slows things down. Things should progress slowly through your MS. Not all at once. Don't wrap everything up in a tidy bow either.

END ON A WOW: Chapters should end with a cliffhanger or a revelation. Newbies often want to wrap things up like a mini sitcom and go on. You want the readers to say, "Okay, one more chapter," not put the book down. Keep them interested. Keep them turning the page.

BACKSTORY: This biggest problem for newbies…they want the reader to know everything right away. Guess what? The reader doesn't. Not really. Backstory should be worked in slowly, dropped when appropriate, and fed in small spurts. The reader needs to know what's going on, yes, but if you give it to them when and where it's necessary, it makes for a much more clever read. Make them work for it!

LESS IS MORE: There are a lot of words that usually aren't necessary to a sentence: that, had, up, back, and down. Most of the time, delete them. Your writing should also be clean, clear, concise. Avoid excess verbiage.

CONFLICT: Both Internal and External conflict are important. So are your characters' goals. What's keeping them from achieving what they seek? Conflict should also resolve by the end of the MS, realistically, always. Always! External conflict often refers to outside influences, and internal refers to personality or character conflict. As stated before, your characters should "grow" throughout the book. Without conflict, nothing keeps the reader turning the page.

METAPHORS & SIMILES: Use them very sparingly. Too many and it pulls the reader out. Strong writing can do without them.

ADVERBS: This is up for debate as well, but most editors see adverbs as a sign of weak writing. These, of course, are LY ending verbs. Action and detail are better. As I said, show, not tell.

WHITE SPACE/POWER SENTENCES: When used correctly and sparingly, these can really punctuate a point and nail a reader to their spot. These are one word or one short sentences that stand by themselves. Here's an example from Kelly's "Phantoms" series. (This is copyrighted). Note the two last lines stand out by themselves, adding power.
    Before a word could be uttered, five thunderous slams resounded from the second floor. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. All in succession. So loud, with such force, the floor shook, the walls vibrated and his ribs rattled. The hairs on his arms rose as his limbs locked. His lungs emptied.
    Five bedroom doors crashing hard against their frames.
    With no one up there to close them.


5 SENSES: Use them. Learn them. It puts the reader where the characters are. This can be done subtly, and usually should. Smell, touch, taste, sight, sound. Add them without telling the reader.
Example: As he enveloped her in his solid arms, she inhaled his familiar earthly scent and the tension drained from her shoulders.

REPETITION: Avoid it. Do not repeat yourself. Repeating yourself makes readers mad. Give them credit. If you told them, they'll remember. If it's something that bears repeating, or is pivotal, incorporate it into the story in a different way than the first time. We don't need to know 50 times in a manuscript that she was abused as a child or that he went to work at 5 a.m. on the day his daughter was kidnapped. This also is true for word repetition. It's a weakness most authors don't notice they do. Be aware of it.
Example: She walked across the street, dodging several cars until making it safely on the other side. Several cars honked at her in her attempt to cross the street, making her nerves leap.
Not only does this repeat itself, it uses the word "street" and "cars" twice.
Correction: She walked across the street, dodging several cars until making it safely across, but the loud honks made her nerves leap.

OXFORD COMMA: Use it or don't. An editor will tell you after contract which they prefer. Just be consistent in using it or not in your MS.
Oxford: Blind, deaf, and dumb.
No Oxford: Blind, deaf and dumb.

LOOSE ENDS: Tie them up, people. Do not leave loose ends in your MS. If your character's dog gets locked in a warehouse in chapter 5, there should be a mention of how he got out or rescued by the end of the book. Your readers will remember and it'll make 'em mad.

TIMELINE: Know your timelines and know them well. If your character is 50 years old at the start of your MS, and in chapter 7 it mentions he's a WWII vet, then you have a problem, Batman. If her eyes are blue in chapter 1, but in chapter 3 they're green, you have a problem. Make sure everything lines up and it's accurate. Consistent. Some authors do a character chart. It lists ever character, main and secondary, along with their info such as: age, characteristics, job, etc. Try it. It helps.

CRITIQUE PARTNERS: Get one. In fact, get two. CPs are wonderful tools. They can spot problem areas and tell you everything from where they're confused in your MS to what they like. They help you tweak and make it your best work possible. Your CPs should be writers too, published or not (pubbed is better), and should write in the same genre as you. They should be honest, but not brutal. You can find fellow writers on any social network and approach them with respect.  Send each other our manuscripts, chapter by chapter, and use Track Changes in Word to make comments and changes. We also suggest a writers group. There is one for nearly every genre, such as: Romance Writers of America, Midwest Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, etc. Attend workshops and conferences if you can.

EDIT, EDIT, EDIT: Writers only get better the more they write. Every MS is stronger than the last. You should also read in the genre you write. Most of the issues we see with Indies is hitting "the end" and uploading. The edit process is important. After two rewrites and revisions,  reading the MS backwards helps find problems. As writers, you know your MS pretty well, so doing this puts the MS in a different perspective.

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