Submissions

Thank you to everyone who has submitted to Blank Slate Press.

In order to get through our submissions backlog,
we will close to unagented submissions on February 1.

Check back for news on when we’ll reopen. 

 

Blank Slate Press was founded in 2010 to discover, nurture, publish and promote emerging writers from the greater St. Louis region. Defining that region has been a little harder than we first thought. After all, everyone’s a Cardinals fan, right? So, while we are still focusing on writers in the St. Louis region, we have stretched our definition of the region to include a bit more geography…and that includes where you live (as long as you live in the US of A). Check out our listing in Poet’s & Writers.

Because we are so small (i.e., micro, nano, itty bitty), we can only publish a limited number of books per year . Although we hope to be able to grow, we must do so slowly so we can maintain the quality of each book and the attention we give to each author. We do know that success breeds success and by expanding our list, we hope to expand and share our initial success with additional authors, but we anticipate our growth to be slow and methodical. Now, let’s get down to business.

To be considered for publication, you must follow our guidelines carefully or your manuscript will not be read. And, you must fill out our funky and unique online submission form. Also, keep in mind that all our submissions must pass muster with our reader/reviewers (a.k.a., BSP’s Supreme Court of Literary Wonderfulness) and the BSP team must really love it. The worst thing for an author would be to work with an editor and publisher who was only ho-hum about their manuscript. If we don’t love it, you’ll be better off finding another home for it. So, read our guidelines carefully.

Fiction Submission Guidelines The Blank Slate Press imprint is genre-blind but with a literary sensibility. We accept adult and young adult genre fiction and literary fiction submissions, and we are looking to publish a few non-fiction titles. The bottom line is great writing, intriguing characters, and a little extra something to stand out in the crowd–even for non-fiction. BSP seeks excellent writers who are committed to and excited about marketing their book, fostering their author presence online and off, and building a community of readers. You do not need to have an agent to submit your work. So, to repeat: We consider all genres and literary works for adult, young adult and middle grade, but the writing must have what we call a “literary sensibility.” In other words, we love genre fiction, but we’re not just looking for good storytelling. We’re also looking for writing that is insightful and moving, and that will stay with the reader long after the book is closed or the device turned off. Note:

  • We do not publish poetry.
  • We don’t accept novels less than 50,000 words. Preferably, the ms will be at least 60,000 and no longer than 120,000. (Exceptions can be made but only in extraordinary cases.)
  • We don’t accept short story or poetry collections.
  • We are looking for non-fiction, but are only interested in the outstanding memoir.

Submission Checklist

  • We only accept manuscripts in Microsoft Word and will only read them if they are formatted properly.
  • Fill out the Submissions Form here.
  • After you fill out the form, upload your your 2-page summary and your full manuscript and hit submit.
  • Remember, we’re tiny and there are only so many hours in the day, so please be patient and keep submitting to other presses and agents.

Formatting checklist:

  • Advice: Set up your document using Microsoft Word Styles. It makes life easier for you (once you figure it out) and life easier for us (and other agents and editors) as we go through the reading/editing process and as we format the interior of the book. We want to consider your writing, not your taste in fonts.
  • Double spaced Times New Roman
  • Five-space paragraph indents (set up in Paragraph/Styles)
  • Header and body styles (to easily create a Table of Contents) set up in Styles on the Home tab
  • One inch margins
  • New chapters start approx. half-way down a new page
  • Name, title, genre, page number in the upper right hand corner of the header

>> To submit your manuscript, click here. <<

What makes a great manuscript  for BSP: Excellent character development. Characters must be fully fleshed out, and the reader must sympathize with characters in some way whether or not they are “likeable”. They should be interesting and relatable, with emotional depth and personal histories. Secondary/tertiary characters are not exempt from good characterization. Sense of place & creative world buildingWhether this place is in a city, in outer space, or a characters mind, there should be grounding evidence of where this story is happening. This includes description, dialogue, contextual events, etc. Place influences character personality and vice versa, so its importance should not be underestimated. A life-changing struggleThe character’s struggles and evolution must be important—to the reader, to society, but especially for the characters. Whether or not a character changes for the better, readers must understand the journey and their motivations. Makes the reader thinkThemes and conflicts relevant to universal human struggle, societal issues, or philosophical values. Or all three. Characters should battle serious demons. Creative storyThe book must be engaging and keep us turning the pages. Good, solid writingThis means realistic dialogue, sensory descriptions, clear narration, purposeful word choice, and few grammatical errors. We recognize that no one is perfect and that typos and grammatical booboos will slip by unnoticed–that’s why editors and proofreaders exist. That said, a manuscript with too many blatant errors and careless misspellings will not be considered no matter how wonderful the story. That’s it. We look forward to reading your book! Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about our fiction submissions guidelines. E-mail submissions @ blankslatepress.com for answers. (Make sure to delete the spaces in the e-mail address.)

>> To submit your manuscript, click here. <<