Adventures in the Slush Pile: 8/31/15 Edition

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Submissions | No Comments

Pages of a Book by -JosephB-


As August comes to an end and September looms, transitions are on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Kids go back to school, leaves start to fall, the scorching heat of summer gives way to pleasantly cool breezes and stormy nights, and another batch of post-its shifts into the overdue pile on my Infamous Wall of Post-it Deadlines. But there’s also something exciting in the wind: REUTS Publications will be open to submissions again!

One more time for the people in the back:

Starting tomorrow, REUTS will once again be open to submissions!

Our brief hiatus from the slush pile is over, and the doors will be flung wide. We’ve been working behind the scenes to create an improved submissions process, and we’re eager to test it out. It’s more automated, more streamlined, and should help dramatically improve the response times. You will have to create an account, but don’t worry, it’s completely FREE. And it absolutely will not be used to spam you unnecessarily. You’ll receive correspondence pertaining to your submission and nothing more. You have our promise on that.

**For those of you still waiting to hear from us, please be patient. We’re working our way through the list and should be in touch shortly. You do not have to resubmit.**

What should you expect from this shiny new system? Well, everything you expected before, just better.

  • Wait times for queries (and hopefully full manuscripts) should be significantly shorter
  • We will still respond with a personalized response to each and every query (a lack of response does NOT equal “no”)
  • We will still accept manuscripts without agent representation (but we’re always happy to see agent submissions as well)
  • We’ll give you an insider look at our tastes and thoughts via #REUTSsubs and this weekly blog post series

So, all in all, sounds pretty good, right? We’re excited about it; hopefully you are as well. #REUTSsubs will be kicking off this week, so be sure to watch my twitter feed (@kisawhipkey) if you want to catch those in real time, otherwise, the first compilation post will go live next Monday. But for now, I’ll give you a little preview of what we’re looking for, the official REUTS Publications Manuscript Wishlist, as it were. We’re always open to anything that falls within the YA or NA category, but these are specific requests from our acquisitions panel.

  • New twists on paranormal creatures (bonus points for vampires or zombies)
  • Dark fantasy in the vein of Uprooted by Naomi Novik or Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • Thriller/Suspense (think Gone Girl for a YA audience)
  • Intricate, multi-layered narratives a la Inception or The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack
  • Science Fiction (space opera or soft sci-fi, specifically)
  • Dystopian in the style of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or Legend by Marie Lu
  • Mythology/Fairy Tale infused fantasy (Preferably not urban fantasy or paranormal romance)
  • Gothic fantasy and/or romance (Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux are personal favorites of the team)
  • Historical fiction (any time or place, as long as it’s accurate)
  • Contemporary fiction (romance is fine, but not required)
  • Paranormal satire in the style of Christopher Moore

Remember, those are specific requests, and they certainly aren’t the only things we look for. So if I didn’t list your genre, but you feel like it could still be a good fit, go ahead and submit! We’d love to see it. After all, our next favorite read might be in a genre I haven’t listed above. All we ask is that it be original, innovative, well-written, and contain emotional resonance. How you achieve those things is entirely up to you.

— Kisa Whipkey
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