Submission Guidelines

Candlemark & Gleam is currently publishing primarily by invitation and referral, but we will also consider unsolicited submissions.

We’re looking for completed, polished novel-length work (approximately 65k and up), primarily science fiction. Cross-genre/interstitial and SF/F hybrid works are fine, ones with mythic/historical echoes even better. We are also interested in collections of linked stories (for example, within a secondary SFnal universe). Works that lend themselves to serial distribution are welcome. Please note that we do not publish poetry; also, we want to see works for adults (not YA or children’s fiction), though we will not consider works whose content is solely explicit erotica.

To get a sense of what we’re most likely to consider, please check The Other Half of the Sky. However, if you’re convinced you have a great story that doesn’t fit the description above, send it! We’re open to innovative new ideas and original visions. We want to see books whose universes, societies and characters are diverse in all or any respects, but originality of imagination and quality of craft are the paramount criteria. We’re not an “issues” press.

For novels, we are not presently reprinting already-published work, regardless of whether it is traditionally published or self-published. We will make exceptions for out-of-print works tied to a new novel that we publish. For linked story collections, we will consider a mix of reprints and originals, provided the ratio is close to fifty/fifty.

There’s no need to query first. Here are the submission logistics:

  • Send us 10 (+/-1) pages of your manuscript. These can be the start of the novel or a section that you feel gives a strong sense of the work.
  • Send a separate file that includes the title, table of contents (if necessary), and a one-page synopsis of the work you’re submitting. This file should also contain a brief biography (half a page or less) and your contact information.
  • Send the files as DOC or RTF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Double-space your manuscript. Formatting details are at your discretion within reason, though the publisher/primary editor dislikes the Courier font family.
  • If you have italics in your manuscript, use italics. Please do not underline.

To ensure there’s enough paper for making books, Candlemark & Gleam only accepts electronic submissions. Email submissions to eloi AT and in the subject line put “Submission: [Title of your work] by [Your Name]”.

Because evaluation is intensive and time-consuming and our crew tiny, we will not be able to accept simultaneous submissions. Unagented submissions are not merely fine but encouraged! All submissions will get an auto-responder message when received. Please allow one to three months for a response to your submission. If we’re interested in your manuscript, we’ll request more.

General Guidelines

Some things to keep in mind when submitting, no matter where you’re sending your work:

  • Go over the work carefully. Read your story through at least once before sending it out. Get others to read it, too. We encourage you to get 3-5 people to read your manuscript before submitting it anywhere. Don’t just have them read it through, either – choose people who will give you good suggestions for improvement.
  • End thesaurus abuse now! There’s a difference between having an extensive vocabulary and a good grasp of wordplay and being overly clever especially for its own sake. Trust us, “her violet orbs welled up with viscous, salty fluids” does not, in fact, work as well as “her eyes brimmed with tears.”
  • Wait for us to reply. This could take awhile. We know you’re eager to find out if we’re interested in your manuscript, but giving stories a fair evaluation takes time. If you haven’t heard from us within three months, please e-mail us to follow up.
  • Always keep a hard copy and a few electronic copies of your work. Don’t trust all your hard work to one place, or one hard drive!

Pay Structure

Like most small presses, Candlemark & Gleam cannot (yet) afford to pay advances. However, we compensate with a generous author profit-sharing structure and painstaking hands-on care of the works we decide to publish, from editing to divider ornaments.