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Submission Guidelines

Please follow these submission and formatting guidelines carefully and check back for updated guidelines when submitting new manuscripts.

What are we looking for?

  • Fiction only. We will consider any genre, any length (including short stories).
  • Your best work. Don't send an incomplete manuscript, and don't send your first draft. While we will edit the manuscripts of our Dead Key-ers, if there are too many mistakes in a manuscript, we will give it a pass.
  • Strong characters and plots.
  • A willingness to work. We will do our best to promote you, but we work best as a team. We expect our authors to promote their own work, using their own websites, Facebook page, Twitter and blogs, as well as pursuing speaking engagements when available.

  • Submission Guidelines

  • Email submissions only. Email your query to Cher Smith, editor. If you wish to direct your submission to a particular reader, please place his or her name in the subject field.
  • Put "Query" and the name of your manuscript in the subject field.
  • Your query should include a brief bio, your writing background and publishing history, if any. State the genre of your novel and word count. Give us the elevator pitch for your novel (about three sentences). All of this can be in the body of your email.
  • Attach a sample of the first five chapters along with an extended summary (think of a back page summary).
  • We accept Microsoft Word files only.
  • Multiple submissions are fine, but please let us know.
  • Allow two weeks before sending us a reminder.
  • If we ask for your full manuscript, please format it according to the guidelines below.

  • Formatting Guidelines

  • Send manuscript single spaced only as a Microsoft Word document. (No space either before or after paragraphs.)
  • No headers, footers or page numbers.
  • When you need a scene break, do either two hard returns (no more than that!) OR one hard return, ***, and another hard return.
  • Start each chapter on a new page with no extra lines above or below the chapter heading.

  • Send all email to Cher Smith, editor at Dead Key Publishing