9 UK and North American Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscript Submissions 2021

We've reached the middle of the year so I thought it time to release into the world another list of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscript submissions in 2021 (you're welcome!). For those who don't know, unsolicited just means you can send them without going through a literary agent.

Unlike my last list, which focused on publishers accepting fantasy submissions, this includes publishers accepting submissions in a variety of genres. I'll add which ones to each of the publishers below.

So without further ado, I'm going to jump in. First up, we have 5 UK publishers accepting submissions at the time of writing this (June 2021).

UK Publishers Accepting Submissions in 2021

1. Agora Books

Genres: Psychological suspense (thrillers), book club fiction (literary fiction), historical fiction

Agora Books is a digital first publisher established in 2015. They are looking for full length novels in the above genres, but only for an adult audience. They aren't currently accepting YA or children's fiction. 

When submitting to them, you'll need to email them:
  • The first 10,000 words of your completed manuscript (Not sure they're quite ready for the submissions process? I offer a copyedit and critique of the first 10,000 words of your manuscript that'll help increase your book's chances of catching a publisher's attention)
  • A one-page synopsis
  • Both of the above in either Word or PDF format
They aim to respond to every submission within 3 months. For more info about them and their submissions process, click here.

2. Bookouture

Genres: Commercial fiction (e.g. contemporary romance, mystery/thriller, crime, historical fiction saga, historical romance) - for more info about what exactly commercial fiction is - here's a good article to read

Bookouture is another digital publisher, but their focus is on commercial fiction, where they seem to excel.

They're looking for full-length novels and don't accept children's fiction, poetry, short stories or film scripts. With Bookouture, they ask for your full manuscript, along with a couple of sentences to pitch your book. In this, they really like you to compare your book to some of their published titles, as it shows you've actually done some research about them.

They have a whole list of tips and submissions guidelines over on their submissions page, so I'd recommend having a thorough look before sending your manuscript off, as this will increase your chances of getting a positive response.

3. Linen Press

Genres: Literary fiction, top end commercial fiction, memoir, biography

Linen Press publishes books by women, for women. They accept unsolicited manuscript submissions in the genres above, as long as these stories are relevant to women's lives.

From the publisher: "We do not publish children’s books, illustrated stories, romantic fiction, chick lit, fantasy, science fiction or horror, and will only consider collections of short stories and poetry by Linen Press and other previously published authors."

While they have their own requirements for submissions, one unique part of the Linen Press process is that they require you to buy one of their books before you submit to them. If this is an issue in terms of finances, they will consider exceptions as long as you let them know that this is a barrier to getting your book published.

4. Holland Park Press

Genres: Literary fiction

Holland Park Press accepts submissions in English and Dutch, for novels, novellas and short stories, memoirs and poetry collections. They simply state that they're looking for books that make a unique contribution to literature.

For a full list of the Holland Park Press requirements, check out their submissions page.

5. Honno

Genres: All genres of adult fiction (particularly literary fiction, crime/thriller, commercial women’s fiction, science fiction and fantasy) and certain non-fiction (biography, memoir, nature and travel)

First and foremost, Honno only publishes books written by Welsh women. If not born in Wales, you have to be a resident in Wales at the time of submissions. 

They will also only accept full length manuscripts between 60,000 and 120,000 words for an adult audience. They don't accept children's fiction, poetry, novellas and short stories from a single author. 

For their full submissions guidelines, click here.

North American Publishers Accepting Submissions in 2021

6. Baen Books

Genres: Science fiction and fantasy

Baen Books are pretty serious about science fiction and fantasy. If you have a science fiction book you're looking to submit, it must have a strong plot with a solid scientific foundation and philosophical underpinning.

If you have a fantasy book, it must have a strong and coherent magic system that is central to the plot and it must strive for some originality.

They prefer books in the word range of 100,000-130,000

For a list of the more technical submissions guidelines, head over to their FAQs here.

Note: They can take up to 15 months to respond.

7. Blind Eye Books

Genres: Science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance (featuring an LGBTQ protagonist)

Blind Eye Books accepts manuscript submissions between 70,000 and 150,000 words. They may take up to 4 months to respond, and if you haven't heard from them after this time, you're more than welcome to give them a gentle nudge.

Blind Eye Books accept both paper and electronic submissions, and for a full list of their guidelines, click here

On this page, it's worth checking out their 'what the editor prefers' section as they have a list of certain themes and tropes that they don't like.

8. Carina Press

Genres: Adult romance (contemporary, erotic, paranormal and urban fantasy, science fiction and fantasy, romantic suspense, historical)

Carina Press was created in 2010, and is a digital imprint of Harlequin.

Romance is their speciality, so to submit to them your story must have a romantic relationship that is central to the plot and the story must have a happy ending for the couple. (Note: they don't accept faith-based inspirational romance stories.)

They accept manuscripts in the range of 25,000-125,000 words, and they even have a list of things that they particularly want to see in the stories submitted to them which they update periodically here.

If you think you have a romance story that fits, check out their submissions guidelines for more info about the process.

9. Page Street Publishing

Genres: All genres of YA fiction, a select range of non-fiction (e.g. cooking, sports, science, nature, interior design, crafts, and parenting), and picture books.

Page Street Publishing is a US-based publishing house and distributed by Macmillan. They have differing submissions guidelines for YA fiction, picture books and non-fiction, so depending on what genre your manuscript falls into, it's worth checking those out.

They don't respond to every submission, so if you haven't heard from them after 3 months, it's likely you haven't been successful. 

Right, that's all I have time for today. If you're an aspiring author and are looking for editorial help before your submissions process, I have a bunch of blog posts dedicated to writing that are there to help you self-edit your work.

But if you're looking for an experienced helping hand or simply want some professional guidance on whether your manuscript actually needs a critique or polishing up before you embark on the submissions process, get in touch.

I'm currently offering a 10% discount on my services (excluding the copyedit and critique of 10,000 words) for the month of October, so if you want to get your book critiqued, copyedited or proofread in that month, mention the code 10APOI when you reach out. 

Until the next time!