24 January 2011

Querying With Avalon Romances

Post date: 24 January 2011
Writer's Guidelines

Avalon Books imprint, Thomas Bouregy & Co., Inc. is a publisher of hardcover Romances, Mysteries, and Westerns focusing primarily on the library market. There is no explicit s3xual content or pr0fanity in any of our novels. It is the author’s responsibility to heighten the romantic atmosphere by developing love scenes with tenderness, emotion, and perception.

We publish sixty books a year in bimonthly cycles of ten. A cycle consists of four Contemporary Romances, two Historical Romances, two Mysteries, and two Westerns. Books range in length from a minimum of 50,000 words to a maximum length of 70,000 words.

Please review the Guidelines carefully before sending your query letter.


GENERAL INFORMATION: We do not want old-fashioned, predictable, or formulaic books. We are looking for contemporary characters and fresh, contemporary plots and story lines. Supporting characters and subplots should be interesting and realistic, and they should add an extra and interesting dimension to the book. Strong, believable dialogue and character interaction are crucial to making the romance work.

HEROINES: Every Avalon heroine should be an independent young woman with an interesting profession or career. She is equal to the stresses of today’s world and can take care of herself. She should be smart, capable, and likable.

HEROES: Avalon heroes should be warm, likable, realistic, sympathetic, understanding men who treat the heroine as an equal, with respect for her intelligence and individuality, and with courtesy. The hero should be a fully-realized character, someone the reader can warm up to and be happy to see with the heroine.


Time, period, and setting for the historical romances are the author’s preference. Writers should take care that all description is authentic and indicative of period and place. Use of appropriate expressions and phrases, as well as authentic dialogue are key to bringing the reader into the world of the heroine and hero. Accurate depictions of the values and behaviors of the time are also essential. Historical Romances may be set in a variety of time periods up to the 1940s, around the time of the end of World War II. Heroines and heroes should be depicted much the same way they are for our contemporary romances.


GENERAL INFORMATION: The element of suspense is very important, but it is equally important to have a tight, well-researched, believable story line. Avoid contrived, predictable, mechanical plots and old clich├ęs. The main protagonist should be someone compelling and interesting to the reader. Avoid the "info dump." Too much exposition can ruin a story—part of the enjoyment of a mystery is the puzzle. Supporting characters and subplots should be handled carefully; characters should behave in a manner that is consistent with real life and not used simply to further your plot. Do your research! No matter what your story is about, it is a crucial point of a mystery that police work be handled realistically. When dealing with tense, highly-charged plot points, dialogue should reflect the emotional content of the scene.

HEROES: The hero can be male or female or a team of people with sound values. The hero must be someone for whom the truth is paramount.


GENERAL INFORMATION: All Westerns are historical novels. It is important that characters and setting be placed in time and that the background is carefully researched. Avoid using words and phrases that were not part of the language at the time your Western is set. Though it is important for flavor and authenticity to use some Westernisms in dialogue, overuse of dialect is to be avoided. Plots should be suspenseful and action packed. Stereotypes are to be avoided.

HEROES: The hero must be a strong individual with sound values. He’s excellent with his fists and his gun, but not overeager to use either.


We do accept unagented material. When submitting we require a query letter that briefly introduces your story, the genre you are submitting it under (only genres listed above will be considered), and your manuscript's total word count. Also include a 2-3 page (and no longer) synopsis of the entire manuscript and the first three chapters. All submissions must be typed and double spaced. If we think that your novel might be suitable for our list, we will contact you and request that you submit the entire manuscript. The length of time for response may vary from a week to a few months.

Please Note: Unsolicited submissions will not be returned and queries that do not include an SASE will not be answered. If any of the above guidelines are not met your submission may not be reviewed. The only exception to the SASE rule is for authors living outside of the United States, please make sure to include a valid e-mail address so that we may respond to your query.

We do not publish nonfiction, racy romances, general fiction, poetry, YA, illustrated children's books, or any genres not described in our Writer's Guidelines. There are no exceptions to this.

There is no need to send your partial to any specific editor at Avalon. The editors read all the genres that are listed above. Address your letter to: The Editors. We are not accepting e-mail queries at this time.

The address for submissions is:

The Editors
Avalon Books
160 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016

More information here.
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