Fairlight Books’ Submissions Process

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What happens to your manuscript after you’ve sent it to Fairlight Books submissions?

We know how nerve-wrecking it can be to wait for news on your submission. That’s why we try to respond as quickly as possible. To help with the wait we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at our submissions’ process.

What can you expect after sending your manuscript to us?

First, you’ll receive an email confirming our receipt of it. As per our Submissions’ Code of Practice we pledge to acknowledge and consider every manuscript. We’ll respond to your submission within three months or less, and give frequent updates if the process is taking any longer.

We don’t have a slush pile at Fairlight Books – we log every submission into our system so there’s no risk of your manuscript being set to one side and forgotten. We understand how much work and passion goes into the stories we receive and we treat them all with respect.

Once we’ve received your submission and emailed you a confirmation back your manuscript goes onto the ‘to be considered’ list.

But what are we doing in those three months between receiving your submission and responding with our decision?

We’re reading!

Actually, we’re doing a lot more than sitting around reading all day, as nice at that would be! We don’t outsource readers so a lot of our manuscript-reading takes place outside of business hours. We really enjoy seeing what people have sent us. Publishing is a long and personal journey and we want to individually select the stories we feel passionate about.

What are we looking for?

We enjoy reading exceptionally drafted literary stories, experimental writing and well-presented genre fiction of any length. We focus our attention on unique voices, compelling characters and effective narratives.

The submissions team will then discuss it.

The team have regular meetings with the MD to discuss the submissions, which manuscripts they want to request full versions of, and their thoughts on full manuscripts they’ve already read.

Their decisions will be shared in our weekly company meeting, where the entire Fairlight Books team is updated on which full versions of manuscripts are still being considered so that everyone can also read them and give their thoughts.

This process can take several weeks and many weekends are spent reading.

Occasionally, the process can take longer, especially if we particularly love a story but aren’t sure if it’s right for Fairlight Books.

Everyone’s thoughts and opinions are then shared in the weekly company meetings. Unfortunately, even if the entire team really enjoys a story, we may still have to reject it if it doesn’t fit within the Fairlight Books’ brand.

The submissions team takes note of all of the feedback and makes final decisions.

This is when you’ll be contacted.