Archive for Submissions


Submissions door still open until midnight

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Due to the high volume of submissions (well over 100 in the last 3 days, alone!) we have reached the maximum number of submissions that can be sent via the online submission form. Instead – and only until midnight tonight – email your submissions to: incoming [AT] and mark the subject heading one of the following three subjects:

SUBMISSION – Science Fiction
SUBMISSION – Other cool stuff

Remember to read our guidelines on our Open Door Page first, though.

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Open Door 2012 starts tomorrow

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Don’t forget – if you are an unagented author with a completed Classic Fantasy novel, we’d love to see it – but you only have 2 weeks in which to send it to us.

Starting tomorrow, until the end of the month, we are accepting submissions for Classic Fantasy novels (standalone books and series).

This page contains everything you need to know, and a magic uploady button (apologies for the tech-speak) will appear tomorrow morning – some time between 5.30am and 7.00am (UK time).

Good luck!

Categories : Angry Robot, Submissions
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The Return of Open Door

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Yes, you heard correctly – we’re running another Open Door submission period this year.

Last year we relaxed our submissions guidelines, and opened the door to unagented authors who had written novels they thought would interest us. Throughout March we received an average of 32 submissions a day! And that’s in addition to all the great work we had being submitted through the usual channels!

So far we’ve contracted three authors (a minimum of six books) from that process:

Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, The Assassin’s Curse)
Lee Collins (The Dead of Winter, She Returns From War)
Lee Battersby (The Corpse-Rat King, Marching Dead)

and we’re not quite finished, yet!

This year, we’re going to narrow the focus, somewhat. Angry Robot are specifically looking for classic fantasy (high, epic, medieval, magical, etc etc), and Strange Chemistry (our YA imprint) will be looking for all forms of sf and fantasy YA. The doors will be open from April 16th through April 30th.

Full details can be found here.


Another win for the Angry Robot Open Door Month!

We’ve just signed debut novelist, Lee Battersby for two books in a new fantasy series. The first title – The Corpse-Rat King – will be published in the autumn of next year, with the second to follow in 2013. The deal included world English rights in physical and electronic formats.

In the highly imaginative The Corpse-Rat King, readers are introduced to Marius Helles as he plunders the bodies of the dead after a major battle – a crime punishable by death. The dead tell Marius that they need a King – the King is God’s representative, and they need someone to speak to God and remind him where they are, thank you very much! He doesn’t actually want the job, but when the alternative is to deny a legion of angry corpses, it’s that or find a suitable compromise – and quickly: the dead aren’t known for their patience…

The deal was negotiated by Angry Robot editor Lee Harris, and Battersby’s agent Richard Henshaw of the Richard Henshaw Group, after The Corpse-Rat King came to Angry Robot’s attention during their first Open Door Month open submission period, in March this year.

British-born Battersby, who now lives in Australia, said: “To publish a novel has been a long-held dream. To achieve it with such a progressive and forward-thinking publisher, based in the town of my birth, just makes it all the more special. Angry Robot think about speculative fiction the same way I do – that it is a warped and twisted fabric that should be used to pervert the minds of the young and the innocent.”

Editor, Lee Harris stated: “Lee’s twisted worldview is ideal for Angry Robot’s many followers. The Corpse-Rat King is a great read – funny, exciting and very, very addictive – and by making sure Lee is busy writing, we’re keeping him away from decent folk!”


Note on the next Open Door submission period
Following the success of this year’s Open Door Month (we’ve signed three authors from it, so far), we’re likely to run it again in the spring. We’ve not yet decided exactly when, or what format it will take. Keep your eyes peeled for more info, though, as details will be posted here, closer to the time. In the meantime, our standard submissions policy applies.

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Life’s a Pitch

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magazineFinished writing your masterpiece? Wondering what to do next? Head on over to SFX and let Uncle Lee ease the strain with some hints ‘n’ tips on smoothing the path to the agency/publisher’s door…

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What is “genre-enough”?

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spacesquidsI stated in my previous post (“So, Uhhhh…  Hi”, below) that we had recently rejected some manuscripts that were not “genre enough”, and received a question back “what does the angry robot think is ‘genre enough’?”.

A thoroughly deserving question.

There are many criteria we use when deciding whether a book is suitable for Angry Robot (a major one being, of course: did we enjoy reading it? – it’s often such a subjective game). The question of whether a book is “genre enough” is an important one.

I can’t go into details about the rejected books themselves, as the authors will still be seeking suitable publishers, so I’ll talk in general terms.

Let’s look at the Bond movies. They’re usually reviewed in SF magazines and forums as they tend to contain gadgets that don’t exist, yet – an invisible car, a jet-pack that actually works, etc. There is an argument to say that these are science fiction films. I’d argue against that, and say that while they contain future-technology, the films are straighforward spy thrillers/action movies. The SF elements don’t actually matter to the plot – they’re just there to make the viewer think they’re watching something cool. Remove the invisible car or remote-control helicopter, and the film is still intact.

If you can remove the genre element without harming the flow of the narrative, it’s probably not genre enough.

For a book to be considered suitable it must not only wear its genre credentials on its sleeve, but probably on its underwear, too. It may even be tattooed on its buttock.

If your main character happens to live in a haunted house, and enjoys regular conversations with the ghost that’s based there, that’s a supernatual element. However, if the ghostly conversations add nothing to the plot (eg. if the ghost could be switched with a mundane, human flatmate, or simply removed completely without disrupting the plot), then the story is not genre enough. The fantastical elements of the story must not simply be a painted canvas against which the rest of the story takes place, they must be integral and vital to the tale being told.

Similarly, if your book is about the break-up of a long-term relationship, and your protagonist just happens to be a werewolf, that’s probably not enough to make it “genre enough”. Why is it important that he’s a werewolf (it’s important to him, obviously)? Is is lupine nature critical to the story being told, or is it merely a detail added to make the character more interesting?

The other answer, of course, is similar to the classic response to the question “what is science fiction?”

What is genre enough? We can’t give you a 100% complete answer, but we know it when we see it.

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