ROXANE GAY BOOKS IS CLOSED TO UNAGENTED SUBMISSIONS UNTIL JUNE 15, 2022.
ROXANE GAY BOOKS ACCEPTS submissions from both agented and unagented writers. This imprint publishes three (3) books a year, so when submissions are closed to unagented writers, it is because my slate is currently full.
Please, please read these guidelines and follow them.
I am going to publish books I love from interesting writers. That could, of course, mean anything. I am looking for beautifully written, compelling books that challenge, delight, and entertain readers. I love literary fiction but your story has to have an interesting plot. Things have to happen. I want books I simply cannot put down and that, when I finish, I can’t stop thinking about. I love stories about difficult women. I welcome your so-called unlikable protagonists. I enjoy dark, gritty stories but I am also open to happy, joyful but unsentimental stories that reflect faith in the overall goodness of humanity.
I will consider novels, short fiction, memoirs, essay collections, and nonfiction. Most genres are welcome but my tastes skew to not only literary fiction but contemporary romance, and science fiction and fantasy. I am always open to being surprised but I will not likely be drawn to stories about sad white people marriages or autofiction. I am not interested in police propaganda narratives. Historical fiction, Westerns and the like will be a hard sell and there are other imprints that are a better fit for those stories. I am not currently seeking YA, middle-grade, or children's books. Only non-fiction will be considered on proposal.
Poetry is a vital art form we love, but we are not considering any poetry, without exception.
Roxane Gay Books prioritizes underrepresented writers and does so, proudly. Reparations, if you will.
I hope to develop deep relationships with writers and help them navigate the process of bringing a book into the world from manuscript acceptance through and beyond publication. I am interested in working with writers who understand that publishing is a business and are willing to approach it as such. The writers who will be best suited to this imprint will want to actively promote their book and will do so without apologizing or diminishing their work as if it doesn’t matter. They will be confident in their writing or, like many of us, (ME) able to project confidence while dealing with overwhelming self-doubt.
There are no fees for submitting a manuscript. I will respond to every submission though I cannot respond to every submission personally. I will respect your work and the time you have put in to get to this point. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a large social media following or a platform. You do not need blurbs from writers for your manuscript or proposal because it is ridiculous that the market would ever expect that for an unsold project. It is an unnecessary hoop and there’s no need to jump through it for me. You don’t need to hire an editor to edit your manuscript before you submit though you do, of course, want to send your best, polished work.
All I really care about is what you put on the page.
Submissions will only be considered via Submittable. I will not consider e-mail submissions. I do not ever do business in DMs. I hope to respond within three months but may take up to six months.
THE AUDACITY, my newsletter, features an emerging writer twice a month. I define emerging writer as someone with fewer than three article/essay/short story publications and no published books or book contracts.
Please submit your best nonfiction and nonfiction only. I am interested in literary essays and memoir. Please submit only one essay at a time. Essays should be between 1500 and 3000 words. We may take up to eight weeks to respond but we will respond to all submissions.
All essays are paid a flat fee of $2,000.
Submissions will only be accepted at https://gay.submittable.com/.
I am interested in thoughtful essays, beautiful, intelligent writing, deep explorations, timelessness, and challenging conventional thinking without being cheap and lazy. I am interested in provocative work but we are not interested in senseless provocation. You don't have to cannibalize yourself to tell a compelling story. The essays in Unruly Bodies or that I have preciously published in The Audacity might give you a sense of what I like but I am always open to being surprised. I am not looking to publish anew what I've already published.
Again, I am only interested in nonfiction, which is to say no poetry, fiction, or anything else that is not nonfiction. I cannot stress this enough. I am only interested in nonfiction for the Emerging Writer Series.
Applications for the JOEL GAY CREATIVE FELLOWSHIPS can be submitted below, in the appropriate category, until midnight on February 10th.
Please submit a cover letter and full-length manuscript as a PDF.
There are few guidelines for the kind of essays I am looking for. i want nuanced, thoughtful work where the essayist looks both inward and outward. I am particularly interested in well-researched, voice-driven writing. Personal essays and cultural criticism are warmly welcomed.
Submissions should be between 1500 and 3000 words. Writers are paid a flat rate of $2,000.
Submissions are only open to emerging writers. You can only have three publications or fewer and no books or book contracts.
PLEASE SUBMIT ONLY ONE ESSAY AT A TIME.
In partnership with Substack, I am establishing the Joel Gay Creative Fellowships to support three emerging writers over the course of the year as they develop and publish a newsletter on the Substack platform.
Fellows will receive a $25,000 stipend, paid monthly from the initial publication of their newsletter, as well as up to $15,000 in services from Substack, including editorial support, design assistance in developing a logo for your newsletter, access to Getty Images, Substack Defender, and other business support services. Fellows will contract directly with Substack for the stipend.
Additionally, I will meet with fellows once a month over the course of the year to provide mentorship on both craft and navigating the business of writing. The fellowships are open to writers from all backgrounds but I am prioritizing writers from underrepresented communities.
To apply, submit a brief proposal detailing the newsletter you would like to create and why as well as brief summaries (100 words or so, each) of five potential newsletter issues (essays). Please also include a prose writing sample (fiction or nonfiction). The entire application should be no more than 2,500 words. Submit your materials in a single PDF via gay.submittable.com, using the Joel Gay Creative Fellowship submission category. This fellowship is open to any writer who does not yet have a book published or under contract. There are no other requirements.
Applications are due by midnight on February 10th, and the selected fellows will be announced by March 15th.
These fellowships honor the memory of Joel Gay, beloved son, father, brother, and husband. He was passionate, creative, and ambitious–all qualities the selected fellows should embody.