Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Novel Submissions Open!

Third Person Press is now open for novel submissions from Atlantic Canadian writers.

We hope to keep receiving submissions on an on-going basis, but if we get inundated, we will close until we catch up. Before submitting, please check here to make sure we're still open. As always, be sure that you've read and followed all guidelines.

 We are NOT accepting short story submissions at this time. NOVEL EXCERPTS ONLY.


Who: Writers from Atlantic Canada
What: The first 3 chapters or 50 pages of your completed 70,000-100,000 word, speculative fiction novel AND a synopsis (3-5 pages)
When: Only after it's been thoroughly revised and polished!
Keep Reading:

What We Want

Completed, edited, polished speculative fiction novels, YA or adult, of between 70,000 and 100,000 words. (If you have a novel manuscript that's a little longer or shorter, you may query us by email to see if we are willing to take a look at it.)
  • Do not send us a first draft no matter how good you think it is. There will be other calls for submissions. Take plenty of time to review and edit it before submitting.
  • Do not send the entire manuscript. We only want to see the first 50 or so pages. End your submission at the end of chapter--if that's a little less or a little more than 50 pages, that's okay. Please do not send us a lot more or less.
Submissions must be speculative fiction--science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, paranormal, steampunk, and all their various sub-genres. Manuscripts that combine genres, such as mystery and science fiction, or romance and fantasy, are welcome. If you are unsure what constitutes speculative fiction, or want to increase the chances that we’ll love your submission, please read our general guidelines. You might also want to check out this essay and our series of blog posts aimed at helping writers fix story problems.
What we do NOT want:
  • stories or chapter books, or novels for younger readers.
  • fan fiction, graphic novels, pornography, erotica, or excessive/gratuitous vulgarity, violence or gore.
  • collections of short stories, mainstream novels, memoirs, unfinished novels

Submission Format

Email only to thirdpersonpress (at)
Include the words NOVEL SUBMISSION and your last name in the subject heading. 
Include a short cover letter in the body of the email (see #4 below) and 
Include two attached files:
  • three-to-five-page synopsis of your novel
  • your manuscript file consisting of the first 3 chapters or 50 pages of your novel
Your files should be attached in .rtf or .doc format and named: LastName-KindofFile-TitleorPartialTitleofNovel. So:
  • Lastname-MSExcerpt-Title.rtf (or .doc)
  • Lastname-Synopsis-Title.rtf (or .doc)
If Shelby Montgomery were submitting a novel excerpt titled "The Way of All Robots" her synopsis file would be named something like Montgomery-Synopsis-AllRobots.rtf. Shelby's novel manuscript file would be named Montgomery-MSExcerpt-AllRobots.rtf.
Your cover letter should be in the body of your email, giving us a one-paragraph pitch for your novel, and telling us a little about yourself and your writing. If you are from Atlantic Canada but do not live here now, please tells us. Keep it brief so we'll get to your manuscript faster!

Manuscript Format

Use standard submission format. If your manuscript deviates very far from this, we're not likely to read it. You should:
  • set a 1 inch (that's 2.5 cm) margin on all sides
  • include a title page with ONLY the following information: 
    • your name
    • your email address
    • your mailing address
    • the title of the novel
    • the word count of the novel
    • the genre (adult science fiction, YA urban fantasy, etc.). Don't stress about classifying your novel--this is just to give us a general idea.
  • include a header in your manuscript so that it appears on each page (we don't mind if this header appears on your title page as well). The header should include your last name, the title of your novel in ALL CAPS, and the page number. Italicize it if you'd like. Like this: 
    • Montgomery THE WAY OF ALL ROBOTS 165
    • or this: Montgomery THE WAY OF ALL ROBOTS 165
    • DON'T create a header by using hard returns and spacing around it--use the "header" feature in your software to set it up. If you don't know how to do this, go online and find out! Trying to hand-format a header leads to a terrible mess the second one of us opens it in a word processor different from yours.
  • start each new chapter on a new page. The chapter number (and chapter title, if you use them), should be in ALL CAPS, like this: CHAPTER 1--AWAKENING. Space down four to six lines to begin the chapter text.
  • double-space the entire text
  • indent paragraphs--DO NOT use block paragraphing with white space between paragraphs.
  • use a standard font (Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier) in 12-point type size. Weird or hard-to-read fonts will make us annoyed with your manuscript before we even start reading it, and who wants that?
  • use standard italics (not underlining) if italics are included


Please double-space your synopsis, use a 12-point font and 1 inch margins. 

Your synopsis should show the flow, arc and completeness of your story; how one thing leads to another, how your characters act and react, how it all comes together in the end. Concentrate more on that than on style, if you're having trouble. Do not leave out the exciting bits or the ending for the sake of "suspense." Your potential editor/publisher should know all the important things that happen in your novel.
They aren't easy or fun to write. Here are some helpful links: 

Response Times

You will receive a prompt acknowledgment of your submission. If you haven't heard from us in a week, please ask. 

Our response time for your manuscript will depend on the number of submissions we receive. If you haven't heard from us after three months, please query.  We promise to write back.

We look forward to seeing your work!

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