The Tiny Ghost Newsletter, edition #13, August 4, 2022
Hey freaky friend!
We're on the hunt for new submissions and so this week I wanted to talk a bit about our submissions process, about our approach to accepting submissions, and what types of things will get our spooky senses tingling.
It was really important for me when conceptualising Tiny Ghost that our submissions remain open for every author (aspiring or established) out there. Despite the growing number of queer books on shelves, and the growing number of agents and publishers looking for queer books, the opportunities for queer authors are still drastically fewer than those of their straight counterparts. Agents and publishers alike are looking for books that appeal to them as readers and people, and for projects that have big success potential in the existing marketplace. So it's easy to see why a non-queer agent or editor may be less inclined to sign up a queer author. Of course there are amazing allies out there in the publishing world and the needle is, for sure, moving in the right direction, regardless it is naturally harder to find your path into publishing as a queer.
This is a big part of why we accept manuscripts from authors without representation. That and we just wouldn't want to miss out on a real opportunity simply because that author hasn't found the right agent just yet.
I also want to make sure that we are reading and responding to every queries we receive. We may not always have good news and we may not always have the time and bandwidth to give individual feedback. But, having been on the other end of the dialogue, I never want to leave an author hanging.
So what exactly are we looking for? And how can you get it to us?
The most important thing we look for is queer. That's a great start. By this we mean the book foregrounds queer characters. They can be of any identity from within the queer community and we would love to expand the representation in our catalogue by including as many identities as possible. We prefer own voices, meaning the author is also queer, but we don't have a problem with queer people writing other queer identities and we also make a point of not asking people whether or not they are queer or identify as queer. Maybe you're still figuring it out, maybe you're in the closet, maybe you know you're not straight but you're not sure where exactly you fit. Maybe you've just written a cool book with queer characters that has nothing to do with your own identity. That's cool and that's none of our business.
Right now we're really interested in expanding the diversity of our catalogue. We would absolutely love a trans MC, we'd love a sapphic story, we'd love some ACE and ARO rep. And we'd also like to expand our representation to be intersectional, meaning we're seriously looking for books from POC authors and neurodivergent authors, featuring characters with similar backgrounds.
Our books are also exclusively young adult or YA. For us we're looking for stories for and about teens, with a teen protagonist, who is usually on a journey to figure at least some part of who they are. We don't have a preference for first or third person (we've never had a book submitted in second person, but we'd still consider it!), nor present or past tense. Write in whichever the book demands.
Finally, we ask for a spooky twist, and this is by far the most flexible requirement. This could mean full out horror, a ghost story, a monster story, but it doesn't have to. We're obsessed with paranormal romances; speculative elements that are out of this world; cosy mysteries; contemporary rom-coms with a goth-y love interest; urban fantasies with magic and adventure; and honestly just about anything. If your book isn't scary at all but it's an amazing queer story for teens then we'll jump at the chance to publish it. That being said as we build out our catalogue we're looking for stories that will complement and expand on the stories we already have. The spooky twist could simply be a new, fun way to explore a theme or a character; or it could be a cut and dry, everyday, terrifying serial killer. So the best thing to do is to check out our available and up coming titles and see if your book would be at home with them.
Is all that a bit vague? Sorry, I know, but honestly if it's good and queer, we'd love to read it ,and if it's on brand, even better! If you're looking for more specific hints I know someone out there is writing a slasher story with a fun cast of queer characters and a super cool lesbian final girl. I'd love to see a demon fighting trans MC. Bisexual spies too perhaps. And on the flip side, some things that don't light my literary soul on fire are high fantasy or period pieces unless they're super character driven and bring something unique and fresh to the table. We're also pretty well catered for in the witch and werewolf departments, but don't let that deter you if you think your book is different enough from our current offerings. There's a reason witches and werewolves never go out of style.
In terms of submitting to us the process is really straight forward and you can find all the details on our submissions page. But essentially send over the first three chapters of the your manuscript, a one page synopsis, and short cover letter telling us a little bit about your book and yourself. The cover letter can read almost like a blurb for your book, and really we're more interested in what drives your passion for writing then where you've studied it. You can check out the guidelines in more detail here. We endeavour to reply to every submission but please be patient with us and if we haven't responded to you with 4-6 weeks feel free to give us a nudge.
I think that about covers it. We're on the look out for more great books to add to our catalogue and we'd love to hear from you if you think your book would be a great fit.
One of the most amazing things about being in publishing is seeing just how many talented people are out there writing wildly different and equally amazing stories. I can't wait to read your submission!
P.S. As we continue to grow it's so exciting to see who's along for the ride but we're also really interested in what people are keen to see more of. What would you like to see covered in this newsletter? What sort of books would you like us to publish? Which communities would you like to see represented? Let us know if the comments, and help us build a reader focussed publishing experience!