Monday, August 23, 2010

Penguin UK (briefly) accepts electronic submissions: Really?

The news is all over Twitter and the blogosphere: from August to October 2010, Penguin UK is accepting unsolicited queries – electronically.

No agent, no SASE, no full manuscript – just a covering message and a synopsis in an email.


Sure enough, there it is on the website:

People frequently ask us how to go about getting published. Our company policy is to not accept unsolicited manuscripts or synopses and we cannot enter into correspondence about unpublished work. However, for a limited three-month period from the beginning of August until the end of October 2010, we will be inviting submissions to be sent in electronically to the following address:

We ask that email submissions comprise a brief covering note and synopsis and not a full manuscripts. Please do not send attachments, please write out your cover note and synopsis in the body of the email. We remain unable to accept hard copy submissions and will not return or be responsible for the safety of any that we do receive, so please do not send any original or hard copy manuscripts to us. We will not contact you with feedback on your submission and will only enter into email correspondence with you if an editor within Penguin is keen to progress your idea.

So here are my three questions for Penguin UK:

1. Will your Inbox overflow and crash?

2. Are you aware of how many unpublished authors will be hitting the Send button in the next few months?

3.  How are your poor acquisition editors going to keep from drowning under the deluge?

And here is a thought for writers considering taking Penguin UK up on its offer:

You’ve planned, written, revised, shed blood and tears over your manuscript. You love it/hate it at the same time. It’s part of you and you want to share it with the world.

How can you win if you don’t have a ticket?

Send, Unpublished Authors, send!

I can’t wait to hear whose pitch makes it to the top of the pile – and how Penguin UK deals with the sudden spike in submissions.

How will this story end?