Submissions Exceptions

We are currently closed to unsolicited submissions. This is largely due to the fact we can only publish a few books each year and are a very small team (most of us have other jobs, too).  This is also partly due to the fact that many writers who submit do not seem to understand what it is we’re looking for and have not looked at our existing catalogue. With that in mind, we want to make it easier for those writers who are appropriate to reach us, and easier for us to handle the number of submissions.

We consider solicited submissions to be those from existing Dog Horn Publishing or Polluto writers, Dog Horn Masterclass students and graduates, writers recommended by our authors and peers, writers represented by an agent, writers with publishers whose work has links to our own (i.e., they publish similar genres or similar authors), and writers who are members of a professional organisation (e.g., SFWA, HWA, BFS, BSFA, etc). Until further notice, we will also consider submissions from subscribers to our newsletter and/or Polluto as solicited, for the simple reason that our subscribers should at least have a good idea of what kinds of things we publish.

Here’s what we want if you are ‘solicited’:

  • -a cover letter, explaining who you are and what your publishing credits, if any, are;
  • -a one-sentence summary of your narrative or project, which should indicate your main character, their main conflict, and the resolution (for -example: Snow White is a young girl who must defeat her evil stepmother, find her true love and overcome death to live happily ever after) where appropriate; OR
  • -a one-sentence summary of the idea behind the book, where linear narrative does not apply;
  • -a breakdown of your plot, being as concise and direct as possible (no more than a page);
  • -why you count as ‘solicited’ (if you’re a newsletter subscriber, please put ‘SUBSCRIBER’ somewhere in your subject line);
  • -your contact details.

We are interested in character, voice and narrative, among other things. We do, however, enjoy experimental and unusual books, too.

You can now contact us BY EMAIL, but only for this query stage. Then we will decide if we want to read more. If we do, we’ll either ask you to email it to us or post it, depending on how much clutter we have in the office (READ: my living room) and how strained our eyes are feeling this week (staring at computers to read a novel is a bitch).

What We Want

We publish a range of genres, but prefer work that tends to the speculative and bizzare, or work that is striking and experimental. Authors such as Jeff Noon, Kathy Acker and Kim Newman would find a great home in us. We also like writers such as (on the speculative side) Jeff VanderMeer, J. G. Ballard and Angela Carter; and (on the literary side) Chuck Palahniuck, Bret Easton Ellis and Hunter S. Thompson.


We offer all our writers a 20% net royalty, one or more free author copies, and generous discounts on additional copies.

Typically, we ask for a three-year exclusive contract to publish in print, electronic and/or audio format. This contract begins from the day of publication and shall not expire until a minimum of three years has passed and written request for a reversion of rights issued, and/or until both parties agree to terminate the contract. During this period, we reserve the right to distribute your work through any and all appropriate channels (print, ebook, audio) and may include excerpts for promotional purposes, including at Dogcast Central.

Anthology and magazine rights vary, but typically involve a one-time publication deal (first print rights or reprint rights) or an exclusive right for a limited time only (6-12 months), followed by non-exclusive reprint rights. As with our book contracts, we reserve the right to publish excerpts for promotional purposes, including at Dogcast Central.

We understand there are always special circumstances (e.g., simultaneous publication in other parts of the world or specific rights which you have already licensed to a third party). These terms are offered as a guideline only. Please let us know in writing (preferrably prior to publication) where you cannot meet our standard terms. Individual contracts that take into account your specific requirements can, of course, be offered and will be tailored to meet individual authors’ needs.


DON’T email us if less than three months have passed. If more than three months have passed, it’s probably a good sign. We usually confirm receipt of emailed queries and emailed mss within a week.

DON’T send any attachments without permission. Query only.

DO read these guidelines. Anything that doesn’t meet these guidelines WILL be deleted. We no longer have the patience to bother with you if you can’t be bothered to read our submissions page.

DON’T send us typical genre stuff. We want books that break the rules and make some new ones. We want cross-genre, slipstream, bizarro, postmodern, surreal, illustrated, experimental, punky, spunky, collaged madness. No vampires, zombies, emotional drivel or realism, or we’ll get our nailgun out and stick a hole in your forehead. There are always exceptions, but we’ve yet to encounter any.

DO study us and our publications before you submit. Really think about this. Can you see yourself working with us? Do you like our other authors? How do you think our covers match your own sensibilities? Be absolutely positive we’re right for you. This is a big deal. Don’t just get excited about the prospect of being published. Get excited about the prospect of being published by the right people. We will work with you as much as possible, and give you input at every stage, but we can’t offer the same deal as, say, Random House.

Usually, projects take a minimum of 12 months from acceptance to reach publication. This is because of the work involved in editing, marketing and distributing the final book.


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Filed in Uncategorized on April 17, 2012