Submission Guidelines

Candlemark & Gleam publishes by invitation and referral, but we also accept unsolicited submissions. Unagented submissions are not merely fine but encouraged.

Long works: We’re looking for completed, polished novel-length work (~65K and up), prose only, primarily science fiction. We are also interested in collections of linked stories (for example, within a secondary SFnal universe). Long works will be published in both print and digital format, and will have a professionally commissioned cover.

Medium works: Starting in 2017, we will also consider novelette/novella-length works, prose or poetry (12-42K) for our new imprint, The Reckless. These will be published exclusively in digital format, on the C&G website and on Amazon, and will have one of several professionally designed “concept” covers that fits their subgenre and content (there will be an option for individualized covers as well); their royalties structure will be identical to that of the longer works.

Content: Speculative fiction, broadly defined. Cross-genre/interstitial and SF/F hybrid works are fine, ones with mythic/historical echoes even better. Please note that we want to see works by adults for adults (not teen or children’s fiction), though we will not consider works whose content is solely explicit erotica and stories whose main trope is horror will be a hard sell.

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 any or all respects, but originality of imagination and quality of craft are the paramount criteria. We’re not an “issues” press.

Previous publication: As a general rule, we’re not presently reprinting already-published work, regardless of whether it is traditionally published or self-published. We may make exceptions for out-of-print works tied to a new novel that we publish. For linked story collections or poetry we will consider a mix of reprints and originals, provided the ratio is close to fifty/fifty, and also provided that we can edit the reprint portions to our satisfaction.

Submission logistics: There’s no reason to query first.

  • For long works, send us 10 (+/-1) pages of your manuscript. These can be the start of the story or a section that you feel gives a strong sense of the work. For medium works, send the entire story.
  • 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 DOCX, DOC or RTF. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Double-space your manuscript. Formatting details are at your discretion within reason, though the publisher/lead 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 “Long Submission: [Title of your work] by [Your Name]” or “Reckless Submission: [Title of your work] by [Your Name] for long or medium categories respectively.

Because evaluation is intensive and time-consuming and our crew tiny, we do not accept simultaneous submissions. 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 long work, we’ll request the entire text.

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.