by Sarena Ulibarri
When I took over as editor-in-chief in early 2016, one of the first things I did was close submissions. A lot of writers weren't very happy with that, but I had to—between next-in-series and recently accepted books, we already had a full slate for the next year and a half. We still have a pretty full slate, to be honest, but the schedule loosened up enough that I felt comfortable opening to general submissions in February. Below is a highly unscientific tally of what we received by genre, length, and audience. I didn't keep close track of trends, but thinking back over the queries, I remember seeing quite a few portal fantasies or alternate dimension tales. There were also a lot of fairy tale-inspired stories (which is totally our jam, by the way), and more than a few cyborgs.
Total Queries Received: 119
Science Fiction: 34
Identified as “Romance” or “romantic elements”: 20
Novel: 82 total -- 31 Fantasy; 2 Non-spec; 6 Paranormal; 22 Science Fiction; 21 Spec-other
Novella: 26 total -- 10 Fantasy; 1 Non-spec; 1 Paranormal; 11 Science Fiction; 3 Spec-other
Other or Unsure: 7
YA: 33 total -- 18 Fantasy; 3 Non-spec; 2 Paranormal; 4 Science Fiction; 6 Spec-other
New Adult: 12 total -- 8 Fantasy; 3 Science Fiction; 1 Spec-other
Adult (or unspecified): 74
Partial Requests: 4
Full Requests: 4
Partials upgraded to Fulls: 2
Revise and Resubmit: 2
How does this stack up to previous submission windows? You can see the numbers yourself in the blogs below, but in short, we received more submissions than ever before, and we requested fewer than ever before. And that is absolutely no reflection on the quality of submissions—submissions were just as high quality this time around as ever, and we passed on a number of great pieces that will probably find homes elsewhere.
So what gives?
In the 2015 submission windows, the assistant editors (including me at the time) were still feeling out what they were looking for, what kind of books they wanted to define their work with World Weaver Press. Now, they've substantially zeroed in their interests. It's always possible to be surprised by a fantastic query, but for the most part, we can tell pretty quickly if a project fits what we're looking for or not. Hence the fewer requests, and the high percentage of revise-and-resubmits.
Also, I specifically said we were only looking for standalones, and yet we still received a significant number of queries for the start of series. C'est la vie. These weren't auto-rejects, but they had a big strike against them from the get-go, since we weren't looking to commit to any new series during this window (and the authors clearly didn't read our submission guidelines).
How about that one acceptance? That was THE CONTINUUM by Wendy Nikel, a wonderful time travel novella that Rhonda Parrish and I had a virtual arm wrestling match over. (That's how we always resolve editing disputes here at WWP.)
We were eager to add some more science fiction to our catalog, but what a couple of our editors really wanted was romance. So we're re-opening for submissions in September 2017 for speculative romance only. That might mean paranormal romance, but it could also mean steampunk romance, or space opera romance, or epic fantasy romance. If it's speculative and it's a kissing book, please send it our way. Full guidelines are here. After September, we'll take another look at our publishing calendar and decide when we'll open again, and what we'll be looking for then. Keep an eye on our social media, or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
Previous Submission Statistics Blogs:
February 2015: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/blog/february-2015-query-stats
June 2015: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/blog/june-2015-query-stats
February 2014: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/blog/february-query-stats
June 2014: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/blog/june-2014-query-stats
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.