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McClelland & Stewart: Reading Period Opens

January 1, 2023

Free

McClelland & Stewart is excited to open our submission policy as part of our ongoing commitment to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and racialized writers, as well as those of other traditionally underrepresented communities. Effective immediately, unsolicited and unagented work can be sent directly to editors within the M&S division at mcclellandsubmissions@prh.com. Our hope is that this will go a small way toward removing some of the barriers that have existed for writers developing their craft outside of the traditional avenues of literary exposure.

M&S Submissions Best Practices

To help you get your work to us in a way that makes it as easy as possible for us to get back to you as soon as we can, we’ve put together some guidelines and tips for submitting a manuscript or book proposal. Every publishing house is different, but here’s what we like to see at M&S.

What We’re Looking For

In particular, our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We encourage you to visit our about us page to learn more about our mission and the books we publish. Please note that we do not accept screenplays, stage plays, young adult fiction, or picture book queries. You can take a look at the work we publish here.

Please note that poetry submissions will close for the year on April 30. We will open for poetry submissions again on January 1, 2023.

What We Love to See

Although you don’t necessarily need to include all of these elements, a great submission typically includes:

A strong letter of intent that tells us about your project

A list of a few book comparisons (“comps”) that gives us an idea of the literary company in which you see your project living. These don’t need to be perfect matches, just some of the work that you love and that you feel has a kinship to your project.

A bio! Tell us about you and why this project means so much to you.

The work. As much of the work itself as you’re able to share with us, either as a .doc attachment or a PDF. For fiction and poetry, we encourage you to submit the full manuscript. For non-fiction, we typically expect to see a preliminary chapter list with a short one to two sentence blurb about each chapter to give us a sense of how you plan to address your topic, along with a writing sample.

What Happens Once You Submit

Our editorial team will discuss your submission and get back to you within four months if we’re interested in the project.

Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we won’t be able to respond to every submission, but please know that each submission will be read and considered with care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long should a submission be? Is there a maximum or minimum word requirement?

A: For a full manuscript, there are no strict restrictions on length. As a guideline, fiction and non-fiction works often fall between 80,000 and 100,000 words. For poetry, 7,000 to 10,000 words is ideal (about seventy pages and up). If you are submitting a proposal, a writing sample of at least ten pages in addition to your chapter list and letter of intent would be perfect.

Q: Is there a deadline to submit my work? Does the submission process close for any length of time throughout the year?

A: No, the submissions inbox is open year-round. Work can be submitted to mcclellandsubmissions@penguinrandomhouse.com at any time.

 

Q: Can I submit more than one project to this address?

A: To monitor the volume of the inbox, we recommend submitting one work per genre (ie. if you have a fiction and a poetry manuscript, feel free to submit both).

 

Q: Can I submit if I do not have Canadian citizenship?

A: At the moment, we don’t see a need for any restrictions based on citizenship or residence. The submissions inbox will be open to anyone.

 

Q: Are there any types of work that you do not accept?

A: At McClelland & Stewart, we do not accept screenplays, stage plays, young adult fiction, or picture book queries. In particular, our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. You can take a look at the work we publish here.

 

Q: Do you allow simultaneous submissions?

A: Yes, simultaneous submissions (sending your manuscript to multiple agents and/or publishers) are absolutely permitted. If you receive offers of representation or publication for your work during our twelve week consideration period, we just ask that you let us know via mcclellandsubmissions@penguinrandomhouse.com.