14 January 2011

RainTown Press Seeks Middle-Grade/ YA Manuscripts

Post date: 14 January 2011
Are you a writer looking for something different from your publishing house? Do you want to break away from the East Coast assembly-line style? To be more involved in the publishing process? In the thunderstorm of publishing options, let us be your umbrella.

RainTown Press is Portland, Oregon’s premier independent publisher of middle grade and young adult fiction. We are now accepting submissions for both fiction and non-fiction. We are looking for stories that will inspire, excite, and quite possibly blow the minds of our young readers. We have a West Coast approach to publishing and treat our authors like one of the family.

Submission Guidelines

We are looking for highly-crafted and well-written Young Adult fiction. No specific genre is completely off the table, but we should say we are not looking for stories that are overtly over the top science fiction or romance. We think it’s perfectly OK to have elements of a story contain bits of romance, or sci-fi if they drive the story along, but if the overall feel of your story sounds like it should have a cheesy muscle bound beefy man cake on the front, OR you have dialogue that is written in a language you specifically created for your story, we are probably not interested. Additionally, we have little interest in reading stories that are obviously trying to rip off some current fad. Basically, vampire stories are DONE, at least for the next 5 years.

This will increase your chances: We like dystopian society stuff a lot. If your story is unique and well-written, your chances are high we’ll be contacting you. The boss is also a sucker for boy books, coming of age stories, and modern realism (Think Mark Twain for modern times).

Keep an eye on this section. As our editors come to us and say, “You know what we really need…” we will put those ideas here, and you can go to town.

Electronic Submissions: Honestly, we really prefer that all submissions come in electronic form. It’s faster, cheaper, and is MUCH better for the environment… which fits in with our green mission. We prefer electronic submissions SO MUCH that we have created a separate submission page really close to where you found the link to this page. It is self explanatory, but here is what we expect when you submit:

1) Your Contact Information: If we can’t find you, we can’t publish you.
2) Your Query Letter/Story Synopsis: This is where you can show us what you’re made of (and not crazy). We’d like to know a little about you, if you have any websites or blogs we can check out, and what your story is about. Please be succinct. Long, detailed descriptions are not necessary at this point. We are just looking to see if we will play well together. Don’t think of this as your opportunity to send us your documentary, just your highlight reel.
3) Your First Paragraph: We are pretty confident your first paragraph will tell us everything we need to know about your writing. In this paragraph, you should essentially: give us a sense of what’s happening in the story, who the main character is, and make us want to turn the page. That’s it. Tons of background character detail is unnecessary. That will come later.

If we like what we see, we will contact you fairly quickly with an explanation of what we’d like to see next. We will try to respond with a personal note with each submission, but that may not always be possible. If you don’t hear from us within 30 days of submission, assume we are busy. If you don’t hear from us within 6 months of submission, it is safe to assume we’re probably not interested.

Paper Submissions: If you absolutely, positively, cannot submit electronically, go ahead and submit by mail with a note explaining why you did so. If you simply don’t have access to a computer or the internet, we won’t fault you for it. If you think submitting on paper will get you noticed more quickly, you’re probably right, but it won’t increase the likelihood of getting published, only recycled. The only exception to the No Paper Rule is the Conference Rule. If you met us at a conference or other book event and we asked you to send us a writing sample, you’re off the harsh hook.

Here is our address:

RainTown Press
I Have A Really Good Reason For Submitting Paper Department (AKA “The Conference Rule”)
3110 NE 33rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97212

More information here.
This blog is no longer updated. Please instead visit Writers For Diversity for new opportunities for women/ LGBT writers and writers of color. Thank you.