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Angry Robot want your Manuscripts… Again!

angry-robotIn 2011, a genre writer came across the Angry Robot Open Submission window and sent in the manuscript he’d been working on. He made a friend via the AbsoluteWrite forums who had done the same and the two of them shared e-mails and Skype conversations about how painful the wait was and how high/low their expectations were. Out of the one thousand (ish) manuscripts that were sent in to Angry Robot that year the two of them made it through the slush pile to the editorial team. One author was signed up right away, whereas the other was asked to do a little bit of work on the book they’d sent in and had her work snapped up shortly after they’d done it. Regardless of the slightly lengthier path of one over the other, as the result of the Open Submission process, the two friends had their novels printed under the Angry Robot umbrella by 2013 and by the end of 2014 both had signed six figure deals with publishers that look to go a good way to securing their futures as writers.

It’s about as close to an SFF version of the X-Factor as you can possibly get. Oh, and the names of the two authors? You’ve no doubt heard of them: Wesley Chu and Laura Lam – both of whom have picked up a huge array of award nominations and wins between them.

Wesley ChuIf you’re someone with a completed or almost completed manuscript sitting in a file on your PC/Laptop and Wesley and Laura’s stories appeal to you, then I suggest you do your research on other Angry Robot Open Submission successes too: Anne Lyle, Pete McLean, Cassandra Rose-Clark, Lee Battersby to name a few of them. Although I won’t list their individual deals, book releases or the monetary value of their contracts, I can tell you that they’re not doing too badly either 😉

So, where am I going with this? Well, Angry Robot Books have once again announced that they will be opening their inbox to SFF submissions from 1 December 2015 until 31 January 2016.

Savvy readers and those suddenly panicking that they are a way off completing their manuscript will be comforted by the fact that this date sits nicely post-NaNoWriMo. I’m sure Anne Lyle’s story on the road to publishing her historical fantasy trilogy (in which NaNoWriMo played a big part!) could inspire you as to the benefits of this kind of timing (Google it!).

Every year I get asked: Do you recommend submitting to AR? The short answer is YES. Angry Robot is one of my favourite Publishers. I don’t like every single book they publish, but that’s because they are bold, ambitious and they break away from what is safe. Take a look at their list and you will find an incredible array of titles that don’t sit neatly alongside other genre books that are easy to label as ‘Epic’ or ‘quite a lot like Abercrombie’, etc. That’s not to say you won’t find fantasy adventures, science fiction novels set on ships, etc – it is just that they don’t have a specific ‘that works so lets find and publish more of it’ mentality (in my opinion) and, as a result, they’ve been responsible for finding incredible authors and, I’d go as far as saying, playing an important part in shaping where the Fantasy genre is today.

I think it speaks volumes that in addition to announcing the open submission period, Angry Robot wrote the following:

Our track record at AR speaks for itself, but we can do even better. We also know that writers from diverse backgrounds are sometimes hesitant to submit. So we’re saying this in big letters:

We want to explicitly invite writers from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to submit to this Open Door.

Several of our most commercially and critically-successful books have come from writers speaking from diverse backgrounds and/or about diverse characters.

This genre belongs to everyone, and we at Angry Robot want to be a part of making that maxim true in practice by championing diverse voices and helping them reach a wide audience.

So everyone, send us your best work. Show us worlds real and imagined with all their glorious complexity and diversity, that reflects the reality of today’s culture. We can’t wait to see what stories you all have to share.

Finally, you may be asking whether your novel fits the Angry Robot criteria. Well, I hope you’ve picked up on the fact that Angry Robot are open to pretty much anything so long as it fits in with the ‘SF, F or even WTF’. They want full-length novels, not short stories, novellas, epic poems, comic book scripts, etc. They also only want books for adults. Although Laura Lam’s title mentioned above was a Young Adult, at the time AR had a Young Adult label – right not they don’t, so they’re not open to middle grade or young adult themes this time round.

So, the short of it is:

Angry Robot Opens doors to submissions December 1st 2015
These doors will close on January 31st 2016
You must only send full-length science fiction and fantasy novels for adults
They are looking to offer a contract for the best of these books
This has worked in the past and authors have gone on to pick up awards & big deals

The Angry Robot marketing team has done such a good job spreading the word about the Open Submission period that at time of writing – 2 months before the doors to submissions even open – their bandwidth has been exceeded (oops!). Hopefully, by the time you read this the tech-guys would have sorted things and if you check HERE their site should be restored so that you can read their press release yourself.

Good luck my writerly friends – do let us know if you plan to submit in the comments! 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Now I really want to submit, but most of my current manuscripts are YA. Then again, i am hoping to do a condensed NaNo… We’ll have to see! Thanks for the post–I will definitely be sharing!

  2. Avatar Daniel says:

    I wonder if they’ll allow previously self-published works? This announcement comes just after I published my book on Amazon. I guess the best way to find out is to ask them directly.

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