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Submissions Call: Guppy Books YA Novel Open Submission

Writing.ie | Resources | Getting Published | Submission Opportunities
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Submission deadline: 11th-15th May 2020 only

From 11th to 15th May 2020, Guppy Books will be unbolting the portholes and welcoming submissions of young adult fiction from unagented writers. We are looking for an exciting and fresh new voice in young adult writing.

Please email your submission to submissions@guppybooks.co.uk between 9am GMT on Monday 11th May and 5pm GMT Friday 15th May. We would particularly like to encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

To submit, please include the first three chapters (or 2000 words) of your YA novel, plus a synopsis. Please don’t worry too much/spend much time on the synopsis – we want to see it in order to get a sense of what happens in your story, but we would prefer work go into the novel itself!

Please email as a Word document. Entry is free. One submission per person.

We will shortlist down to a list of ten by mid June, and a winner will be offered a contract with Guppy Books in the summer. A team of judges will be announced shortly.


Bella Pearson, founder and publisher at Guppy Books, comments: ‘I have been passionate about books for young adults since I was a teenager and lucky enough to be the right age when the Puffin Plus imprint first appeared. The YA community is vibrant, its readers passionate about books, and I would love to find another fabulous young adult author to join the Guppy list. I’m looking for a voice that sings, that leaps off the page, that provides a vision looking forwards for young people in a world which seems increasingly fragile. A carefully-selected team of judges and myself will choose the winner and offer a publishing contract with Guppy Books to the one we love the most.’

She adds: ‘It is not perfection that I’m looking for, but an understanding and way of telling that is truly representative of the teenage experience and of the breadth of our life today. We especially encourage writers from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.’

Pearson launched Guppy Books in 2019 with critically acclaimed YA novel Gloves Off by Louisa Reid. The verse novel (which has just come out in paperback) has been nominated for the Carnegie and received rave reviews, including Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week. Having worked in children’s publishing for more than 20 years, Pearson has acquired worldwide bestselling and award-winning titles such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss, Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay and Before I Die by Jenny Downham. She won the Branford Boase Award with Siobhan Dowd for A Swift Pure Cry in 2007.

More information, including on how to submit and terms and conditions, can be found at www.guppybooks.co.uk.


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