How to submit a novel to TOR UK

Your questions answered.

We do like to chat to our readers and, during one such conversation on Twitter, we asked you what sort of things you'd like to know about publishing. With the aim to perhaps dispel some myths, maybe impart some unknown information - that kind of thing. One of the most popular questions aside from, 'How do I get my novel published?,' was 'Do you have a direct submission policy?'

Submission pile

Until recently Tor UK followed the submission policy of Macmillan in that we didn't accept direct submissions. To be honest, with so many submissions from agents, plus manuscripts from existing authors and actually publishing books – there’s little to no time to actually go through what we used to fondly designate the 'slush pile'.

However, we do know how frustrating it is for non-published authors to try to get their work into a traditional publishing house. With so many publishers and agents having closed their lists for submissions, many writers feel that the only option is to go down the self-publishing route. And while that works for some writers, trying to get the visibility for a novel amongst the sheer numbers of other writers all attempting the same thing is never going to be easy. Besides, hopefully, there is still a fondness for having the book edited, packaged and published by us traditional types… :-)

As editors, we’re very aware of just how much work goes into creating a novel, the nerves and anticipation involved with getting someone else to read it and then that long and tiring search looking for someone in the professional industry to actually take a look at it. So we, at Tor UK, have decided to throw the doors open and invite writers to send their novels in. The submission guidelines are below.

Now we can’t guarantee a fast response, or any kind of editorial feedback. This is because there are only three of us and, despite the popular idea that all editors do is drink coffee and read all day, the fact is the vast majority of submission reading is done in our spare time.  But, your novel will be read  – and if we love it, we will get in contact with you about it.

If you have any questions or queries then just drop us a line. Happy writing!

What sort of books is Tor UK looking for?

For direct submissions we only consider complete and unpublished science fiction, fantasy and horror novels, written in English of between 95,000 - 150,000 words. 

We don’t publish non-fiction, poetry, short stories or novellas. If your work falls into any of these categories we regret we are unable to help.

How should I send you my novel?

Only emailed submissions can be considered (please see below for the email address). The email must include the novel’s title in the Subject line. The body of the email should contain a short synopsis and biographical note (including details of any previously published work), and the entire novel should be attached to the email as a single standard word-processing file, preferably Microsoft Word. Please do not send typescripts as individual chapter files, or as ‘compressed’, ‘zipped’ or password protected files.

Can I send more than one novel at a time?

If you wish to send multiple novels for consideration please send each one as a separate submission.

Do you accept hardcopy (printed) submissions, or submissions on disc or CD?

No, and unfortunately we are unable to return any typescripts sent to us in this way.

Will you consider incomplete novels or proposals for as yet unwritten novels?

No, we can only accept finished novels.

Do you accept submissions from authors whose work has previously been self-published, ‘vanity’ published or published electronically/online?

Yes as long as they follow the guidelines set out above, including the provision concerning word extent.

Does Tor UK accept submissions from outside the UK?

Yes. But again, they will need to comply with the above guidelines.

Will Tor UK consider translations?

No. I’m afraid we’re only, at this time, looking for full and complete works written in English.

How long will you take to decide if you want to publish my novel?

If we would like to publish your novel, we will let you know within twelve weeks of receipt. Unfortunately, due to the large number of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond to unsuccessful submissions. If you have not had a response within sixteen weeks please assume that we have, regretfully, decided not to publish your novel.

How should my manuscript be formatted?

We prefer 12-point, Times New Roman, double line-spaced.

Can I resubmit a novel which has been declined by you in the past but which has been revised?

No, regrettably a decision to decline must be final.

To whom should my submission be addressed?

There’s no need to address it to a specific individual: if it is eligible and sent to the email address below it will be read and assessed by one of our team of editors.

I am a literary agent. Can I send you my client’s novel?

Yes, please follow the submissions procedure described above.