Open Submissions 2015: FINAL UPDATE

By Anne Perry

Posted on July 14, 2016 in Books, News with tags Open Submissions

We’re finished! We have read and responded to slightly under 1,500 authors. So here’s everything you need to know now.

What if I never heard from you about my submission?

If you submitted during the open submissions period only, and you received a response from us telling you that we have received and logged your submission, and you then never heard back from us about our final decision, please drop us an email at

If you did not submit during the open submissions window, and if you did not receive an email from us confirming receipt of your submission, please do not email us asking why you didn’t hear from us.

We received multiple submissions outside the open submissions window and made every effort to let those authors know that we could not accept their manuscripts.

How many manuscripts did you call in?


What will you be doing with those manuscripts?

I will read the entire manuscript and decide whether or not to move forward with it. If I do decide to move forward with it, then I will circulate it amongst my colleagues in editorial. If they like it, I will circulate it to the entire company to get their thoughts, and take it to an acquisitions meeting and present it to the Hodder board. If they like it, I will then put together an offer and get in touch with the author, to see if they’d like to publish with us. It’s a long, multi-step process, and there is no guarantee that we will eventually publish any of the books we have called in.

It’s crucial that the entire company be united behind a project, which is why it’s so important that so many of us here read these manuscripts before we even consider making an offer to an author.

What about me? What should I do now?

Don’t give up! Just because we decided that your work wasn’t quite right for us doesn’t mean that you will never be published, or that your book will never find a publisher. Keep writing, keep submitting. Keep going.

A comment on an earlier post asked what we thought the market might look like in two years’ time. This question is almost impossible to answer, so my suggestion is that you not try to guess what will be trendy in a while and write that, but instead to write the book you want to read. I can’t emphasize this advice enough. If you love the book you’re writing, and you pour your passion and your energy into it, your readers will pick up on that love and passion and love it themselves. That’s what sells a book to an agent or an editor: that ineffable, impossible-to-define sense that we all get when we read a book that we love.

Hundreds of things go into making, for example, a bestselling book – and at the end of the day, neither you nor I can control all of them. What you do control is what you write and how you write it.

So write the very best book you can. Write a story you love, something that has haunted you since you first dreamed it up. Do multiple drafts. Get beta-readers you trust, and listen to their advice. Check for typos. (Seirously.) And if the end product doesn’t get picked up by an agent or an editor, that’s not the end of the world. Keep writing. Every sentence you type makes you a better writer. Keep going.

That was a little intense.

Sorry. Here’s a puppy.

Will you be holding another open submissions period?

Yes. But we don’t yet know when!

Keep an eye on Hodderscape and our Twitter feed, where we’ll make any announcements.

Any last words?


To each and every one of you who submitted your work during our open submissions window: we were absolutely blown away by your imagination, your talent, your skill and your commitment to storytelling. This process has been incredibly fun and we all feel hugely privileged to have been a part of it.

On behalf of everyone here at Hodder & Stoughton,



4 comments on “Open Submissions 2015: FINAL UPDATE”

  • S R Jones says:

    I seriously debated replying to my rejection to say this, but I wasn’t sure if it would be inappropriate to do that so I’ll say it here:


    Thank you so much for giving us all the chance to show you what we can do! Getting as far as I did in the process has given me a huge boost of confidence, and I am now seriously approaching agents for the first time. You and your team have been amazing, and it’s been a fantastic (if nail-biting!) experience.

    I hope one of those lucky eight ends up on the shelves. 😉

  • Barbara Mayo-Neville says:

    You and your team really did make this one of the most pleasant open submissions. Thank you for all your hard work.

  • Margaret says:

    I also want to say thank you! It was such a great opportunity, and I now feel encouraged enough about my work to start looking for lit agents. I appreciate all the time and effort you and your team put into reading manuscripts, and I hope at least one of the eight is published. Congrats to those eight!

  • Michael R B says:

    After all your effort and advice – I only hope you get some blockbuster from that collection. This process, it cannot be repeated enough, was a challenge, a blast and a weirder and longer ride than anybody probably banked on.

    Thank you for this whole experience – it’s definately been a longer curve of it’s own type – a small window into the publishing industry and you – Anne, and your team, have been kind, understanding and professional throughout.

    I look forward to submitting to the next time – if I don’t find an agent or publisher in the meantime. Cheers for the encouragement.

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