We’re nearing the end of our first open submission period for Forest Avenue Press. The deadline is March 1, and we will not consider any manuscripts that come in after midnight on that date. Read more about how to submit here.
As a novelist-turned-publisher, I understand the weight of submitting a manuscript to a small press, especially a new one like ours. Since January 1, we have received many queries for novels that have been written and revised and revised again, cared for by their authors, and by those authors’ friends, mentors and readers. These are books that have been read and loved and reread–all before they have been published. Each query in our submissions inbox feels like such a gift of those individuals’ time and attention.
When one sparks our interest, we’ll request fifty pages. Why fifty and not the whole thing? Again, putting my novelist hat on, I expect anyone who requests a full manuscript to actually read it. At this early stage, with so many great queries, we’re working toward narrowing down the field by more fully investigating the stories that seem to be the best fit for Forest Avenue Press.
What has surprised me most about this process is finally understanding that age-old rejection line, “This isn’t for us.” At this level of craft, our decisions are based on multiple factors, and merit is only one of them. Every reader has different tastes, and as we’re working through the submissions as an informal committee, we’re factoring in our own tastes and what kind of books we want Forest Avenue Press to be known for publishing. That means, unfortunately, saying no to some worthy manuscripts.
In the next few weeks, we’ll announce our first work of fiction, slated for a September release. That book was submitted and considered outside this quiet novel query period, and I can’t wait to share the specifics.