May 4, 2018

Announcing: The Melville House Nonfiction Open Reading Period!


Hello out there, utterly nonfictional internet friends!

Update: The Open Reading Period has now closed. If you haven’t submitted, you’re too late. Sorry, Charlie!

It’s May 2018. Do you know where your great nonfiction ideas are?

Hopefully in our inboxes! That’s right: Melville House is excited to open up the ol’ submission email account ([email protected]) for a reading period, beginning today and lasting until June 5th.  Our editors will be actively considering proposals and pitches for book-length nonfiction manuscripts. Itching to write a definitive history of, oh, something? Hankering to explore a Striking Cultural Construct, Fascinating Topic, or Important Object?  This is your chance! You don’t need an agent. You don’t need to have written the whole book yet. All who stick to the following guidelines are eligible:

  1. Please, for God’s sake, familiarize yourself with our list before submitting! Is your work appropriate? For example, you notice we don’t do how-to’s, right?
  2. Submissions are open to both authors with nonfiction ideas and translators of nonfiction manuscripts. Studies, biographies, journalistic investigations, history, and fact-based intrigues welcome. While we’ll consider subjective approaches, we’re looking for work that reflects upon objective subjects.
  3. Proposals must be no longer than 3,000 words. Each should include an opening descriptive pitch that outlines your idea in comprehensive detail, including a synopsis of the idea, your angle, and a proposed length; a chapter breakdown, a sample chapter, a detailed author bio (showing us, in particular, why you’re the right author for this book), and any other relevant notes. The inclusion of previously published writing, by attachment or link, is encouraged.
  4. The topic of the proposal should appear in the subject line of your email.
  5. If your idea is to expand upon a previously published work, link to that piece in the pitch, or attach it.
  6. No submission that is potentially libelous will be considered.
  7. Sorry, we’re not considering co-authored entries. Single-author proposals only.
  8. Only one pitch per writer. Choose wisely.
  9. No third-party submissions, please. Each submission must be made by the author or translator of the work.
  10. With regrets, we can only reply to those pitches we’re interested in hearing more about. We can’t provide any editorial feedback on rejected pitches.

And that’s it! From now through June 5th, send those submissions to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!