Because of the many submissions we receive, we must strictly adhere to word-count requirements and the descriptions that follow. We are currently acquiring only the following: romance, horror, Westerns, historical fiction, and thrillers. Specific guidelines for each category follow, but generally:
Please mail a cover letter, synopsis (roughly 5 pages) and the first three chapters of your work—no complete manuscripts unless specifically requested.
At this time we do not accept queries via e-mail.
Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope (of sufficient size) for possible return of proposal or manuscript. No material will be returned without an SASE.
All material must be typed and double-spaced.
Name, address, phone number and e-mail of author should be on the first page of the manuscript, and a header for subsequent pages should contain the author’s first name and title.
Retain a copy of all material sent in case the original gets lost in the mail.
Our review process typically takes 6-8 months.The elements of a ROMANCE
All Romances should be approximately 80,000–100,000 words.
We are seeking sensual romances with intriguing plots, strong writing, and a pace that grabs readers’ attention from page one and holds it to the very end. We look for interesting, three-dimensional characters who are separated by emotional conflict or the twists and turns of the plot. But in the end they overcome the barriers keeping them apart and live happily ever after. We particularly enjoy humor where appropriate, and originality—either in plot, character, or writing style—that will differentiate the story from others of the genre without losing the distinct flavor of a romance.
We are currently acquiring the following categories of ROMANCE:
HISTORICAL: We’re looking to be swept away to a different time. Though historical detail and period costume should be accurate, the main focus should center on the developing relationship between the heroine and hero.
There are no restrictions on settings, but we prefer the book to take place before 1900.
FUTURISTIC: Futuristics contain all the elements of romance—beautiful heroine, dashing hero, some conflict that separates them, a happy ending, etc.—but they are set in lavish lands on distant worlds. Avoid science-fiction-type hardware, technology, etc. The greatest challenge of a futuristic is building a world that is unique and yet accessible to the reader.
TIME-TRAVEL: A hero or heroine travels through time and falls in love. For present-to-past time-travel, traditional guidelines for historical romance apply. The challenge here is to maintain credibility during the transition between the present and the past. The fun is seeing another way of life through the eyes of someone from a different time. The conflict and resolution of the romance arise from the fact that the hero and heroine are from different eras, but should involve more than the secret that one comes from the future.
Beware of philosophizing about the meaning of time, and how the past affects the present. No time machines, please.
PARANORMAL: Either a historical or contemporary romance with magic, witches, ghosts, vampires, etc., as a subsidiary element. The tone can be humorous or dark, but it must have a happy ending.
CONTEMPORARY/ROMANTIC COMEDIES: Fun and whimsical, these books should showcase your sense of humor and focus on a modern couple in a zany situation.
CHICK LIT: The fundamental distinction of chick lit is the author’s voice. We’re looking for a fresh, witty and conversational tone, usually in the first person. Many times chick lit is combined with other subgenres, such as mystery, time-travel, or paranormal. Although romance does not have to be the primary focus of the book, it should be one of the elements. We’re looking to go beyond the typical “small town girl moves to the big city” plot—so be creative.
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE: This genre blends all the action of a page-turning thriller with a highly charged and sensual romance.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN ROMANCE: The authors are allowed to use their imaginations when writing a traditional contemporary romance novel for Dorchester Publishing. The characters should both be of African American heritage, the heroine should not be physically involved with any man at the time of the couple’s meeting and the hero should not be emotionally involved with any other woman. The couple can be involved in a contemporary drama, mystery, adventure or suspense. The story can be sexy or sweet. The couple must end up together at the story’s end.
The manuscript should be approximately 90,000 words or 400 double-spaced typed pages. The submission must include a detailed synopsis.
Please forward queries and materials to:
Dorchester African American Romancesc/o Monica Harris522 East 20th Street, #6DNew York, NY 10009917-584-6915
Exciting novels set in the Old West (before 1900 and west of the Mississippi River) with three-dimensional characters and strong plots. Historical accuracy is important, but should not eclipse the story. In addition to traditional heroes, Native Americans, women, African Americans, etc., are fine as protagonists.
Finished manuscripts should be 70,000–90,000 words.
Sweeping sagas set in the Old West, containing all of the general elements of Westerns, but with a larger scope and greater cast of characters.
Finished manuscripts should be 80,000–100,000 words.
Suspenseful, terrifying novels with dark atmosphere and chilling plots. Contemporary settings are preferred, but historical settings are possible if well done. Supernatural horrors (ghosts, vampires, demons, monsters, etc.) are preferred, although psychological suspense and killers on the loose can work if well-handled and original, and if the focus of the book remains horror and fear, not mystery. Please avoid science fiction, fantasy and mystery novels.
Finished manuscripts should be 80,000–100,000 words and addressed to the attention of Don D’Auria, Executive Editor.
These are exciting, fast-paced novels filled with high tension and gripping characters. Finished manuscripts should be 80,000–100,000 and addressed to the attention of Don D’Auria, Executive Editor.
TECHNOTHRILLERS: Action-filled, contemporary or near-future thrillers with emphasis on cutting-edge technology, frequently featuring advanced jets, submarines, weaponry, etc. Conflict should be on a large, usually international, scale.
SUSPENSE THRILLERS: A dangerous criminal is on the loose and it’s one man’s (or woman’s) job to stop him before more people get hurt. Please note that this is not a Whodunit-type mystery. The question should not be who the killer is, but rather will he (or she) be stopped before killing again.
POLICE PROCEDURALS: Similar to a suspense thriller, but additional emphasis is placed on police methods, forensics and other means of tracking and capturing the killers. Sense of authenticity is important, and all details must be accurate.
POLITICAL THRILLERS: Fast-paced novels filled with intrigue and danger, usually set at least partly in Washington, but often with international scope. Authenticity is important and these novels should provide an insider’s view of the corridors of power.
LEGAL THRILLERS: Compelling novels of suspense in a legal or judicial setting. Avoid mysteries or Whodunits. Emphasis should not be on identifying a killer, but rather on a danger or threat to the main character.
MEDICAL THRILLERS: Exciting, fast-paced novels in a medical or scientific setting, usually dealing with a race to counter a medical threat.
ILLUSTRATIONSPlease send non-returnable tearsheets to the attention of the Art Department. We do not accept e-mails or portfolio showings.
SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO:Dorchester Publishing200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2000New York, NY 10016
Unless otherwise specified, your work can be addressed to the attention of the Editorial Assistant, who will make sure that it gets in the hands of the proper editor. Remember to include a SASE if you wish to have your materials returned. It might also be helpful for you to include a postcard that we can date and send back at the time your package is opened so that you know it arrived safely.
We do not accept submissions via e-mail or fax.
For more information on our current books, call 1-800-481-9191 for a free catalog or browse the Web site.
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Submit your work to:Dorchester Publishing200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2000New York, NY 10016Unless otherwise specified, your work can be addressed to the attention of Editorial Assistant, who will make sure that it gets in the hands of the proper editor. Remember to include a SASE if you wish to have your materials returned. It might also be helpful for you to include a postcard that we can date and send back at the time your package is opened so that you know it arrived safely.We do not accept submissions via e-mail or fax.
Book Orders, Book Clubs & General Customer SupportTelephone Number: (800) 481-9191 (10:00 AM - 9:00 PM EST)Dorchester Publishing Co., Inc.P.O. Box 6640Wayne, PA 19087 or e-mail us.
Editorial, Marketing, Production, Rights, and ContractsDorchester Publishing Co., Inc.200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2000New York, NY 10016If you have a question for our Editorial Department click here.Please note that we will not respond to e-mailed proposals or queries regarding the status of work already submitted. If you have any other questions that have not been answered in our FAQ section click here.Special Bonuses
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