Important Note: Due to the large number of submissions we receive, queries that do not follow our guidelines will be deleted.
We always accept submissions via referral. Otherwise, see below for our open submissions status:
Fiction: We are closed to submissions of all fiction (YA and adult).
Nonfiction: We are accepting submissions of narrative nonfiction and essay collections from own voices authors only. If you are unsure what own voices means, read this article in Al Jazeera that features Blue Crow Books.
Updated April 2020.
Who are you?
- You have a manuscript that is polished and ready to go, between 50k and 80k words.
- You know how to use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and you are willing to get even better. You provide your social media information in your query letter.
- You have an author website and newsletter, or are willing to learn how to create them once your book is signed. You provide a link to your author (or other) website in your query letter.
- You can articulate your author platform and marketing strategies, and you can do so in your query letter.
- You live in the U.S. or Canada.
What are we looking for?
- You have read our statement of beliefs, so you know that we believe that great writing is not limited by genre. We are interested in books ranging from literary fiction to romance to thriller and everything in between—all brought together by compelling storytelling.
- Own voices, only, please. “Own voices” means that if you are writing a main character who is part of marginalized group, you are part of that marginalized group. If you are writing a trans* main character, you are a trans* person. If you are writing about an American Indian main character, you are American Indian. If you are writing about a disabled main character, you are disabled. And so on. Please mention if you are an own voices author in your submission, and give an explanation. Read our blog post here to learn even more.
- We are interested in narratives that center those who are normally excluded from or marginalized in stories.
- We are, by the way, unabashedly feminist, anti-racist, anti-ablest, pro-LGBTQ, and pro-social justice.
What are we NOT looking for?
- Stories with main characters from marginalized groups written by authors who are not of that marginalized group. Learn what own voices means, and why we only take own voices manuscripts.
- Stories with a female main character written by a man.
- Stories with a POC main character written by a white person.
- Stories about a disabled main character written by a normate.
- Queries that use “own voices” improperly. Learn what it means. (Search our website, or just use google.)
- Stories that use disability, including mental illness, as a metaphor for something else, whether monstrous or magical. We don’t want Jigsaw (Punisher) or Daredevil.
- Submissions that don’t follow our guidelines or the standard guidelines for query letters. Here’s great advice on query letters.
Please follow these query submission guidelines
Queries that do not follow our guidelines will be deleted.
- Submit a query letter by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use this email subject line: Query for [Editor Name]: [Title of your book] by [Author Name]. **This is really important: You must put the word “Query” in the subject of ALL emails with us so that we can find your emails, even if we’ve been corresponding.
- Include the first 10 pages of your manuscript with your submission
- PASTE everything into the body of your email—NO attachments, please
- Include in your query letter the following items, in addition to the standard query letter stuff:
- a short bio that includes your social media information, author platform, and anything relevant to your writing of this book
- how you found out about Blue Crow Books
- whether you are an own voices author if your main character is from a marginalized group
To hear early announcements about our reading periods, subscribe to our newsletter: bit.ly/bcpletter.
If we ask for your manuscript, please follow this manuscript submission guidelines
- Submit your manuscript in MS Word or Apple Pages (preferred, actually) format
- Indents should be made by using the first-line auto-indent feature, not by using the tab button (this is more important then you would think)
- When you submit, please reply to your query email to keep the email thread alive
- Please allow 6-8 weeks for us to consider your submission
Important: If your work is accepted elsewhere, please let us know as soon as you can. We spend a lot of time and energy reviewing manuscripts. We do not expect you to submit to us exclusively, but we do expect you to let us know when you aren’t going to accept our offer of publication.
Do you want to be the first to know when our submissions periods open? Subscribe to our newsletter.