We are currently closed to unsolicited queries until February 2014.
World Weaver Press seeks quality fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction projects that engage the mind and ensnares the story-loving soul.
We believe in great storytelling. We believe in challenging genre boundaries and engaging the fundamental human drive to tell stories that resonate emotionally. The way we do it is by partnering with great writers to craft the best fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction stories possible. By creating beautiful, well designed paperbacks and ebooks. By growing their publicity. And by fostering a family of authors excited to work with us. We just happen to make great books.
World Weaver Press publishes digital and print editions of speculative fiction at various lengths (novels, novellas) and in various formats, including collections and themed anthologies (short stories and novelettes) for Adult, YA, and New Adult audiences. We do not accept submissions of individual short stories (except for open themed anthologies).
In 2014, we will accept unsolicited queries (for novels, etc.) only during the months of February, June, and September.
If you’re arriving here via #PitMad, #PitchMas, or some other online pitch festival: If we’ve asked you to send material, that means we’ve solicited material and you do not need to adhere to the windows for unsolicited queries. Please proceed by following the guidelines below but remember to add the name of your pitch event to your email subject line.
Electronic submissions only.
We are not a market for middle grade, poetry, picture books, or plays.
We don’t pay advances, only royalties (see FAQ).
Art. Send us an email with a link to your portfolio: submissions at worldweaverpress.com. Let us know if you’re looking to have pieces commissioned, and/or interested in licensing preexisting pieces. (Art inquires accepted year-round.)
We’ll consider any novel or novella length work of speculative fiction (we suggest reading the hyperlinked definition). But there are definitely avenues of speculative fiction which are very hard to sell us on. Not that it hasn’t been known to happen.
We’re more interested in:
- Protagonists who have strength, not fainting spells
- Intriguing worlds with well-developed settings
- Characters that are to die for (to drool for is okay, but we’d rather find ourselves in love than in lust)
- Reconstructed folk/fairy tales
- Urban fantasy
- Space opera / space-travel SF
- Paranormal romance
- Contemporary fantasy
- Contemporary SF / near future
- Mythology mashups
- Second-world fantasy / epic fantasy / high fantasy / sword and sorcery
- Soft SF / Hard SF
- Vampires / werewolves / shape-shifters / other magical or paranormal creatures
- Fantasy-mysteries / SF-mysteries
- Fantasy-romances / SF-romances
- Supernatural or paranormal horror / dark fantasy / dark SF
- Pulp fiction throwbacks / Grand Tradition SF stories
- Hopeful SF
- Humorous speculative fiction
- LGBT protagonists
- Young adult (YA) that incorporates some of the above
- New adult (NA) that incorporates some of the above
We’re most likely not interested in:
- Focus on being Men and doing Manly things (note the capital M’s)
- Giant bugs. Or giant swarms of bugs. — They squick us out. Please don’t send.
- Ghost novels (ghost short stories are okay, but not longer works)
- Alternate history set between 1800-1950 (unless steampunk)
- Decay of society SF
- Second-world fantasy where most of the novel is the characters riding/walking while on a Quest
- Psychological horror (Why we consider horror an aesthetic to be applied to F/SF)
- Magical realism
Other genres and cross-genres:
We are not a market for strict realism. We are willing to look at multiple genres (romance, mystery, western, etc.) if they also possess speculative elements which are integral to the plot. We are a bastion for crossover fiction. A paranormal mystery with witches using their powers to solve murders sounds interesting; an otherwise earth-like world where it occasionally rains goldfish for no good reason sounds like something we’d rather not read.
Project Length / Submission Procedure
For information about standard formatting, see William Shunn’s guide to Proper Manuscript Format.
Fiction over 40,000 words that displays speculative elements. See above sections for editorial preferences regarding content.
Send a formal query letter and the first 5,000 words to Editor Eileen Wiedbrauk at submissions[at]worldweaverpress.com, subject line “Novel Query, [title of your novel].”
There are many brilliant websites and blogs about writing query letters to agents and editors; we will not repeat their advice here. Instead, we suggest you visit Query Shark, Book Ends LLC, Pub Rants and any of the other great such resources which they recommend.
Please include in your query letter:
- Pitch us the story. This is not the time to talk about its themes or inception; if you have a publishing history do not list more than the handful of accomplishments you’re the proudest of, we don’t need your entire résumé — check out those brilliant query writing websites listed above for more info on what we mean by “pitch.”
- An approximate word count for the novel rounded to the nearest thousand.
- Your best approximation of the genre of the novel.
- Sign the letter with your real name (not a pen name). You can use a pseudonym for the byline, but we need to know who’s legally offering us the project.
- If you know us via Twitter, include your @Name.
Both query and first 5,000 words should be included in the body of the email. WE WILL NOT OPEN ATTACHMENTS in query letters. All submissions bearing attachments will be returned unopened.
Why do we want a query and the first 5,000 words (or only the first 5,000 words, depending on how you think of it)? The query should possess your idea for the novel. This is the chance to hook us and give us enough of the novel to make us interested in the premise — think of it as containing the 1-2 paragraphs on the back of the book. Those paragraphs often decide whether you, the reader, take the book to the cash register or put it back on the shelf — the same thing happens with editors and query letters. We use the query letter to judge whether or not we’re interested in your project — is the premise interesting? is it the right fit for World Weaver? do we have an editor who wants to work on this project? We use the first 5,000 words not to judge your story but to see if your writing is at (or near) a publishable quality. If word 5,000 falls in the middle of a sentence, go ahead and give us the rest of the sentence.
Do not send the entire novel with your query. If we ask to see a full or partial manuscript, then you may send the submission as an attachment. We only open attachments that we’ve requested. Please use standard manuscript formatting when you send your manuscript; see William Shunn’s guide to Proper Manuscript Format.
Novels should be completed before querying. “Completed” means you’ve finished writing the first draft, you’ve edited it, and you’ve had someone else read it and give you feedback whom you are not related to by blood or marriage. (See our FAQ as to why we recommend this.)
Please inform us if this work has been published previously in part or whole (print or digital). Additionally, if you don’t hold rights to ALL formats at the time when the query is sent, please let us know who holds what. (More information on reprints below.)
If you’re worried that your email client has deleted your paragraph indentations when you copied and pasted the first 5,000 words, use the commonly accepted email format of an extra space between paragraphs. If you don’t know the find and replace commands to quickly do that, the magazine Heroic Fantasy Quarterly kindly wrote out a quick formatting shortcut for just this reason.
Same submission guidelines as novels above. We are interested in novellas that are speculative works of fiction 17,500 – 40,000 words long. Query Editor Eileen Wiedbrauk at submissions[at]worldweaverpress.com, subject line “Novella Query, [title of your novella].”
Serialized fiction is crafted with the notion that a new episode of the story will be released periodically — think of it like a TV show whereas a novel would be a full length feature film. We have no firm guidelines on the number of episodes a serial must have, although if there’s not at least three episodes, it’s not much of a series. A single episode’s length may vary greatly from one to the next as it should be determined by satisfying the plot, not word count. That said, we anticipate episodes that are less than 30,000 words and form a complete story. By “complete story” we mean it introduces a conflict/problem which it solves by the end of the episode, while also furthering the overall series narrative. For World Weaver Press to be willing to take on a serialized story from an author we’ve not worked with previously, a whole “season” of installments would need to be completed at the time of querying. All the editorial preferences at the top of the page apply to serial fiction. Query Editor Eileen Wiedbrauk at submissions[at]worldweaverpress.com, subject line “Serial Query, [title of your serialized story].”
Collections of Short Fiction
Collections are works of short fiction (short story through novella length) written by a single author. We are open to queries for collections that include a writing sample of two short stories. Before querying a collection, please consider that we are looking for collections where at least 2/3 of the content has been previously published by magazines or anthologies. In the query letter, please state which stories have been previously published, when, and with what venues. Author should possess electronic rights to all work (exclusive/first world rights not necessary for collections).
Rights sought: Exclusive world-wide right to publish in the English language in electronic book and print. (Collections of short stories: exclusive right to publish collection, non-exclusive right to individual story reprints.) We do not seek audio, film, or foreign language rights at this time.
Previously Published Novels, Novellas, and Collections
We will consider fiction which has been previously published but request that you inform us of the following information in your initial query: when the work was published, with whom, and in what format(s); what rights you hold, what rights the previous publisher(s) held which have now reverted back to you, and what rights the previous publisher(s) still holds if any; and all of the regularly requested information for project queries (see above).
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