Open Door

Angry Robot is now closed to unagented submission. We expect to have another Open Door period in 2014, but we don’t yet have a date in mind. Keep checking back.


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


We’re looking for science fiction, fantasy and fantasy of all flavours for an adult readership. No YA, no middle-grade.

There is a LOT to read on this page, and it’s going to take you 10 minutes or so to read and digest. If you don’t want to read through all this, click here, instead.

What we’re not looking for:

  • • Anything that could be reasonably described as “wacky” or “zany”.
  • • Anything other than science fiction, fantasy (including urban fantasy) or horror (in their many guises).
  • • Paranormal romance.
  • • Book 2 or later in an existing series.
  • • Books that have already been published elsewhere (including self-published as eBooks or print-on-demand).
  • • Books that have not yet been completed.
  • • Books that have previously been submitted to us, even if they’ve undergone extensive rewriting.
  • • Children’s books.
  • • Anything shorter than novel length (for us, that’s approx 75,000 to 140,000 words).
  • • Fiction based in other companies’ or authors’ worlds (no Batman fan-fiction, please).

What we are looking for:

We’re publishing novels, either standalone or as part of greater series. We’re not looking to publish your novellas, short stories (individually or collected in book form), poetry or non-fiction at this time. Our novels are for adult readers; we’re not currently looking at work aimed at young teens or children.

All our books are “genre” fiction in one way or another — specifically fantasy, science fiction, horror, urban or modern fantasy. Those are quite wide-ranging in themselves; we’re looking for all types of sub-genre, so for example, hard SF, space opera, cyberpunk, military SF, alternate future history, future crime, time travel, and more. We have no problem if your book mashes together two or more of these genres, but they must have that genre foundation.

Our books will be published in all English-language territories — notably the UK, US, Canada and Australia — so we’ll be buying rights to cover all those. If you are only offering rights in one territory, we will not be able to deal with you. We will be able to offer e-book and audio versions as standard too, plus limited edition and multiple physical formats where appropriate. We are not contracting any work-for-hire titles; we offer advances and royalties (and no, we can’t tell you at this stage what the advances offered will be – we’ll need to read your work, first).

Beyond all of this, what we’re really looking for in your writing is this:
A “voice”, that comes from…
• Confident writing
• Pacy writing
• Characters that live, have real relationships and emotions, even in extreme situations
• A sense of vision, a rounded universe that lives and breathes
• Clever construction, good plotting, a couple of surprises even for us jaded old read-it-alls
• Heightened experience – an intensity, extremity or just a way of treating plot or situation in a way we’ve not come across before. “Goes up to 11″, if you know what that means.

Do all those, and it will be almost irrelevant that your story is one or other sub-set of SF, fantasy or horror!

We require a brief (two pages) summary of characters, plot and your intentions/inspiration, in that order — plus the opening five chapters. No more, no less. DO NOT send us the opening chapters of your unfinished manuscript – we’re only interested in novels that have been completed. We also want a one-sentence summary of your book. Yes, you read that right.

This should sent to us, either as Word or RTF files (we prefer RTFs) using the links, below. Please don’t just send us a complete manuscript. Please note that we do not accept hardcopy manuscripts. Single- or 1.5-line spaced please, in English. Single, preferred.

Your opening chapters will then be read by one of our editors. If they like what they read you will be asked to submit the full manuscript.

You say you want the first 5 chapters. Does that include the prologue I’ve written?
If your prologue is very short, send it, along with the first 5 chapters. If it’s chapter length, send it, along with the first 4 chapters.

What if my chapters are all very short or very long?
Send us the first 10,000 words, or so.

What if my chapter ends partway through at 10,000 words?
Send to the end of that chapter.

What is your preferred length for submissions?
The ideal novel length depends on the genre in which you’re writing, as well as what is the right length for the specific book you’re writing. In general terms, we’re looking for (approximately) 75-110,000 for SF, or 95-140,000 for fantasy.

What about the font? What font should I use?
Doesn’t matter. Use the font you prefer to write in (though if that’s Comic Sans we might call in some medical professionals for your own good).

My book isn’t really science fiction, fantasy or horror, but…
Sorry – it’s not for us, then.

Hang on, I hadn’t finished yet. Even though it’s not scifi, fantasy or horror, it’s got a really cool…
Nope – still not for us. We publish science fiction, fantasy and horror. If it ain’t grounded in one of those (or a combination, thereof) we’re not interested. It can combine elements of other genres, of course, but it must have some sf, f or h.

Will I get a response?
Yes. You will definitely get a response, whether it’s “No, thank you – it’s not for us”, “No, thank you – but we’d like to read more of your work” or “Ooh, yes please – just what we’re looking for”.

Will I get feedback?
Possibly. Probably not much.

How long will it be before I hear from you?
You know – we’ve absolutely no idea. We don’t know how many manuscripts we’re likely to get during this two month period. As a general rule of thumb, it generally takes us 3 months or more to respond to agented manuscripts. Yours might take longer. On the other hand, it might be sooner. You will get a response, though. Feel free to drop us a query if you’ve not heard anything after 6 months.

Six months? Seriously?
We never joke about time. Well, not unless we have a really great time-travel comedy, and then we might.

What happens if your editor likes my work?
If they like your work, you’ll get a polite rejection. You might even get feedback (but that’s not guaranteed).

Ok, ok, Dr Nitpicky – I meant love my work. What happens if they love my work?
If we don’t have anything too similar in our list, and if it’s something we believe fits with the Angry Robot label, and if {insert another arbitrary condition} then we’ll take it to the rest of our acquisitions team, and recommend we make an offer. During this acquisitions meeting, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the book, along with its chances of commercial and critical success, and if the consensus is that we should make an offer, that’s what we’ll probably do.

And then I can quit my day job?
Ummm… no. Well, only if you have an independent income stream. Most professional novelists hold down jobs in addition to their writing. At a later stage in your career you may decide to write full time, but we would not advise it at the outset, unless a life of poverty appeals (but hey – great research for your next novel!)

You guys are making it sound like the chances of my novel being accepted are really slim
We wouldn’t want you to submit under falsely high expectations. It’s amazing that you’ve managed to get all those words down in the first place, but the road to getting published is another, longer haul entirely. But if you’re brilliant, it will happen, either with us or another open-minded publisher.

What if I have some more questions?
Drop your question into this thread. We’ll get to it, eventually.


How to submit:

We require 2 files.

File 1 should be three pages long.
Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. This is your synopsis file.

Page 1: Your name, your book title, your email address and snail mail address, your Twitter handle (if any), Facebook page (if any), website or blog URL (if any), your book’s genre, your book’s wordcount.
Pages 2, 3: A 2-page synopsis. This should include brief details of all major characters and all major events. Do not end your synopsis on a cliffhanger – tell us the full story in 2 pages.

File 2 contains your sample chapters
As with the synopsis file:

Page 1 should contain your name, your book title, your email address and snail mail address, your Twitter handle (if any), Facebook page (if any), website or blog URL (if any), your book’s genre, your book’s wordcount.

The rest of the file should contain your sample.

Notes on formatting.

  • • Single-spaced entries are preferred.
  • • If your manuscript contains italics, use italics. Do not underline, instead.
  • • Start a fresh page for new chapters.



You will get an automated response, confirming we have received your submission.

  • • Do send us both files.
  • • Do not send us your full manuscript at this point.
  • • Do not send in multiple submissions (if you have more than one book ready, send us what you consider to be your best work, or the work you think best suited to Angry Robot).
  • • Do not resubmit your file if you discover a few typos you want to address (we’re not worried about the occasional typo).

We are expecting a large number of submissions, and it is likely that it will take us quite some time to work our way through them. If you’ve not heard back after six months, feel free to contact us (though read our CONTACT page first, as if we are experiencing longer timescales than anticipated, we’ll put a note up there).

If you have not followed the guidelines, above, your submission might be rejected without even being read, so give yourself the best chance of success.

What happens next

Your submission will be read by an editor at Angry Robot. That’s the plan, at least. If we get far too many submissions to read we might call in the services of some trusted colleagues.

If the editor thinks your sample might be suitable, he or she will contact you to ask you to send in the full manuscript.

After sending in your full manuscript the editor will then make a decision whether to reject the novel, or to recommend it to the rest of the Angry Robot team for acquisition.

If your novel is accepted for publication…

Now, we don’t want to offer any unreasonable expectations, here.  The chances are slim. We reject the vast majority of manuscripts we receive, and many of these are from established writers, or writers who – through their agents – have already had their novels polished. However… your manuscript may well be exactly what we’re looking for. If so, this is a summary of the process you and your book will go through:

1. Submit partial manuscript.
2. Receive email from editor, asking for full novel.
3. Editor reads full manuscript.
4. Editorial team get excited by another great find.
5. Editorial team prepare documents for the Acquisitions Team, and supply them with the first few chapters of the novel
6. Acquisitions team (including Angry Robot editorial team) discuss the manuscript. The team includes representatives from Sales (UK and US), Marketing, and Licensing.
7. A decision is made to make an offer. Terms of the offer will depend on the projected sales (paperback, eBook and licensing).
8. An offer is made to you.
9. After accepting the offer, a contract is drawn up and signed by both parties.
10. We open an imaginary bottle of champagne to celebrate (you’d rather we spent the money on marketing your book, right?)
11. Your novel is placed into the publishing schedule (probably some point in 2015, though possibly a little earlier).
12. We work with you on polishing the manuscript, and work with you to develop your public profile.
13. We publish the novel, and bask in the critical and commercial success.*

Remember: we’re accepting submissions all the way through till the end of the year. Don’t send your manuscript early if you think it still needs a final coat of paint before being read. Doors close on December 31st, midnight GMT.


Good luck – we hope we’ll be working with you, soon!


*Not guaranteed, unfortunately.