Limited time opportunity: Accepting paranormal romance proposals (no full manuscript needed)

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Submitting to Carina Press has always—with a few exceptions—required a full manuscript and detailed synopsis. We’re pleased to announce that we’re living lighter this year and relaxing those restrictions for several proposal calls in 2017. We want to see what’s been brewing in your mind and have a taste of your fresh works in progress!

From April 13th to June 4th, we’re accepting proposals for paranormal romance.

Maybe you’ve heard that no publishers want paranormal, that paranormal is dead or that readers aren’t buying paranormal romance? Wrong! Carina Press is actively acquiring and publishing paranormal romance—and readers are buying it. So bring us your shapeshifters, your vampires, your fae and demons and witches. We want to read your paranormal romance proposals, because we love this genre and readers do too!

Details on this limited-time-only proposal call can be found below. You can also keep an eye on our blog and Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up-to-date on all our submission calls.

Submission link: https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/82046/paranormal-romance-proposal-call

Closing date: June 4th, 2017 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)


Requirements for this proposal call:

  • Your book must fall within the paranormal romance subgenre, but can be of any heat level or pairing, including same-sex/multiples.
  • Paranormal elements should play an important role in story development, plot and characterization.
  • We will look at paranormal romances in different time periods and unique settings—they do not need to be contemporary or based in the US.
  • Your proposed book must be a completely new work and not have been previously published in any form, whether self-published or released via digital or traditional publisher. Only new material will be considered during this submission call.
  • You cannot submit a project you have submitted to Carina Press before.

Materials needed to participate:

  • A query letter with a 1-2 paragraph book description, plus an introduction of yourself as an author/your writing and publishing history.
  • Three complete, ready-to-send chapters of a WIP. If you have more than three chapters, you can certainly send more!
  • A thorough, well-thought-out synopsis that is at least 5 pages long. The synopsis is extra important with a proposal because we need to see progression of plot, character arc, storyline and, also really crucial—how it ends! See more about writing a synopsis here.
  • You may submit more than one project! However, please submit only one proposal per series.

How to submit:

  • If your book meets the guidelines above and all your material is ready and properly formatted, please use this link to submit.
  • Direct your submission to the editor who has advertised an interest in seeing manuscripts like yours! In doubt? Direct your submission to Editorial Director Angela James or Senior Editor Kerri Buckley.
  • We will consider all proposals that fulfill submission call requirements and are received by 11:59pm EST on June 4th, 2017.
  • All eligible proposals will receive a response within 12 weeks of submission.

Not going to be ready in time? Not to worry. We remain open to full manuscript submissions all year long via bit.ly/write4cp, and more submission and proposal opportunities are coming in 2017.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at submissions@carinapress.com.

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit bit.ly/write4cp.

We can’t wait to get reading!

74 thoughts on “Limited time opportunity: Accepting paranormal romance proposals (no full manuscript needed)”

  1. Enisa Hasic (w/a Enisa Haines) says:

    This is a wonderful opportunity, one I will definitely respond to. And soon. Thank you, Harlequin!

  2. Kimber Li says:

    I’ve been discouraged from submitting Paranormal Romance anywhere, because it seems like only dark themes, graphically sexy, vampires and witches are wanted. That’s judging by the new and recently released. I can’t help but think, “They’re not going to want my wise-cracking, time-traveling elves.”

    1. Angela James says:

      @Kimber I love Molly Harper. Her vampire series is still a favorite of mine!

      1. Kimber Li says:

        I’m grinning now!

  3. Kimber Li says:

    I haven’t read this subgenre in a long time for the same reason. I’ve gone back a few years to find something I like and I’ll be reviewing it this Saturday, in fact. ‘How to Run with a Naked Werewolf’ by Molly Harper

  4. D D Line says:

    Dear Carina Press,

    Is this opportunity available for novellas as well as novels?

    Thank you.

    Dannielle

    1. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi Dannielle,

      Yes, novellas are most welcome! This proposal call is open to works of 20,000 words and up.

      Thanks,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

      1. D D Line says:

        Thank you, Ms Van de Vooren. :)

        Regards,

        Dannielle

  5. Giovanna Adams says:

    Dear Carina Press,

    Is this opportunity open to Young Adult novels?

    Thank you.
    Giovanna

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Giovanna,

      No, we don’t publish YA, so sorry!

  6. Jasmyn Duncan says:

    Dear Carina Press,

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity! Question do the submitted chapters need to be fully edited? Or are working drafts acceptable, as you are accepting unfinished manuscripts? Help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Piper

    1. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi Piper,

      The submitted chapters do not need to be fully edited. We would hope that they would at least be proofread to be free of typos, spelling errors and the like. While we are reviewing unfinished manuscripts, the first three chapters give us a peek at your writing style and quality, so keep that in mind when submitting :)

      Cheers,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

  7. Hope Middleton says:

    Do,you accept co-authored pieces?

    1. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi Hope,

      Yes, we accept co-authored works for all our submissions.

      Best,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

  8. JJ King says:

    I’ve been searching your site and I noticed that your editors aren’t looking for mythology right now. Is that a set in stone thing? I have a hot new take on Medusa work in progress that I’d love to submit.

    1. Kimber Li says:

      Wouldn’t that qualify as Fantasy genre? I think they do accept that. I hope so.

    2. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi JJ,

      We’re open to mythology-themed stories as well. Please do submit your Medusa work. We’d be happy to review it!

      Best,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

  9. Dominica says:

    I’m just curious, what will happen if you do accept our submissions for this?

    1. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi Dominica,

      We will most likely request to see the full manuscript before accepting a submission. We won’t have a deadline for you to submit your full, as we understand this is a proposal call and we want you to take your time completing your manuscript.

      If we feel that the proposal is very strong, we might accept on proposal and present an offer of publication. From there, we would work out all the usual publication details, including a date for delivering the completed manuscript.

      Cheers,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

  10. Enrico Lamet says:

    One of my pussycats is named Carina and it would be interesting if Carina were to have her own publisher. For that reason, my Carina is sending you the first and last chapter of her first Romance. She thinks that I, as a published author in the US and Europe, deserve your attention.
    I will be traveling between April 19th and May 25th but might be able to receive emails in Europe.
    Please note the manuscript of STANLEY’S LOVERS, while completed, has not yet been edited. The story illustrates the irresponsible lifestyle of a wealthy bachelor squandering his wealth on one-night stands and making us witness of his many explicit sexual experiences.
    waiting to prepare a detailed synopsis and submit a number of chapters upon your request, I am
    Cordially,
    Enrico Lamet

  11. Enrico Lamet says:

    I thought I just submitted a comment, however the box has blanked out. Did you receive my message? Please Stephanie, I will gladly submit a submission is yo will accept a well prepared manuscript but not yet professionally edited.
    61000 word,

  12. Rika says:

    Would mermaids be considered as paranormal? If so, this would be so perfect for me!
    Much thanks!!

    1. Carina Press Editorial Staff says:

      Hi Rika,

      Yes, we’re open to mermaids!

      Thanks,
      Stephanie Van de Vooren
      Editorial Assistant, Carina Press

  13. Dominica says:

    Are dragons considered paranormal?

    1. Angela James says:

      @Dominica Definitely! We love dragons.

  14. Does the paranormal romance call require werewolves and vampire type plot or does it include every day people with gifts to see a paranormal world?

    1. Angela James says:

      Katie, paranormal has a very broad range, including psychics and ghosts.

      1. Great, thanks for getting back to me. I just wanted to be sure of your definition before I submitted :)

  15. Hello Carina Press,

    Thanks for this awesome opportunity. I’m in the process of developing a new PNR series concept for this proposal call and wondered if an alien world setting would be out of bounds for this call and put the story into the sci-fi category instead of PNR. If so, I can rework in these early stages to include an earth-bound location.

  16. Angela James says:

    Hi Traci, we’ll say that alien world setting is fine. We don’t want anyone re-writing and changing just to fit the parameters of this call.

  17. What if you have a great idea (fully fleshed out and ready to pitch) and an established audience/platform, but you don’t have chapters yet? Are chapters absolutely compulsory? Would you consider hearing the pitch without seeing the chapters? I have the most charming champagne-bubble, three-book, light-paranormal series idea, but I have deadlines to meet until October…I hate to miss out on this open call!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Katy, we’re willing to look at just the synopsis/pitch idea and let you know if we’re interested. However, the way the system is set up, I don’t think it will let you complete your submission in Submittable without chapters so please go ahead and send your info to submissions AT carinapress.com and reference that I asked you to send it there.

      ~Angela

      1. Angela…I just got a message from Stephanie Van de Vooren saying:

        “Dear Katy,
        Thank you for your email.
        However, we do not accept submissions sent directly to this email address. All non-agented submissions received at this email will be deleted and will not be reviewed. You can submit your manuscript to us through our website here…”

        Can you confirm that you received it? I can send the pitch to a direct email address if that’s better.

  18. Zoe says:

    Dear Carina Press,

    Is it okay to submit my novel for this proposal if I already submitted another manuscript (a contemporary romance) to you but haven’t received a reply yet? Or are two simultaneous submissions discouraged?

    Thank you!
    Zoe

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Zoe, we allow simultaneous submissions, so totally okay to submit a second.

      1. Zoe says:

        Thank you, I’m glad to hear that.

  19. Enisa Hasic says:

    Hi. I have my query letter and chapters ready to submit and am now going over the synopsis of my paranormal. You state 5 pages minimum for the synopsis length but I haven’t found any information about correct formatting. Is the synopsis to be double-spaced with indented paragraphs? Or is the requirement for single-spaced text with non-indented paragraphs separated by double space?

  20. Angela James says:

    Hi Enisa, formatting should/can be doublespaced. We don’t have any requirements about indents/versus non-indents. In truth, we’re pretty easygoing about formatting in general as long as it’s in a format that’s easy on our eyes!

    1. Enisa Hasic says:

      Thank you for clarifying. I had conflicting opinions from others.

    2. Cat says:

      Just to clarify, should the synopsis also be double-spaced?

      1. Angela James says:

        Cat, synopsis double-spaced is perfectly fine.

  21. Ashley Jeffers says:

    I have a PNR that I’ve been hoping to complete by this summer, but it is book two in a series of three (book 1 is self published). Could I submit the proposal for this, or would it not fit the parameters? Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Ashley, it would be fine to submit the proposal for book 2. Are you also looking to place book 1?

      1. Ashley Jeffers says:

        I would be interested in submitting book 1 for consideration. What would be the best way to go about doing that?

  22. Angela James says:

    You can just go ahead and submit both the first book and the proposal together. Use the previously published category, as it has places for extra files.

  23. Enisa Hasic says:

    Hi Angela. The story I want to submit is the first of a planned trilogy. I state this in the query letter. Books 2 and 3 are not yet written. With my submission do I include a separate file with details of books 2 and 3? If yes, is a blurb-length description of each enough or do you need more? I didn’t find any information relating to this. Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      For books 2 & 3, you can just include a blurb length overview of the book/plot. You can put them both in one document, along with a blurb that gives an overview description of the series and world as a whole.

      1. Enisa Hasic says:

        Thanks so much for your assistance with my queries. Much appreciated. Definitely taking this opportunity to submit.

  24. Ann Reed says:

    Hi!
    If we have a complete PNR manuscript, can we submit it under this call, or through the regular submission channel?
    Thank you!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Ann, if you have a complete manuscript, go ahead and submit it through the regular PNR category!

      https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/28322/paranormal-romance

  25. Jo says:

    Hi Angela,
    Does an unsuccessful submission for this proposal mean it’s not suitable for Carina at all? So i shouldn’t bother to submit the full manuscript when i’ve finished it?
    Thanks

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Jo,

      If you submitted and got a pass letter, it can mean the craft was rough, the pages started in the wrong place, the storyline wasn’t for us or any number of things. You are still welcome to try with the full manuscript, but in that case, I usually suggest taking a hard look at the opening pages and getting critique partners/beta readers to give you feedback and see where you can revise.

      1. Jo says:

        Thanks for the prompt reply, Angela. I shall be giving my opening pages hard scrutiny even now!

  26. D.D.Line says:

    Apologies for what’s probably an obvious question.

    Would Carina Press prefer an email with attachments for the query letter, synopsis, and sample chapters or everything in the body of one email?

    Thank you in advance.

    Dannielle

    1. Angela James says:

      Dannielle,

      We don’t accept submissions by email. Please visit the submissions guidelines (link at top of the page) and read through them for all information on submitting.

      1. D. D. Line says:

        My apologies.

        Thank you for replying, Ms James.

  27. I have a PNR submitted currently, from Feb. 26th Call for Proposals. What if I don’t hear back before June 7th? Can I pitch it anyway?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Yvonne, can you clarify what you’re asking?

  28. Amanda says:

    Do the three complete, ready-to-send chapters need to be the first three chapters of the book, or can they be three from later on?

    1. Angela James says:

      Amanda, we do prefer the first three chapters, yes.

      1. Amanda says:

        Thank you!

  29. Savanna says:

    I only have 4 actual chapters done for my WIP. I know where this story is going, what my characters need to go through, etc. This will be a series as I already know what book 2 is going to be about. Can I submit 3 chapters still if they’re ready to go only having 4 chapters actually written down? Or does that screw up the synopsis since I don’t have the entire book written already?
    Thank you!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Savanna, the purpose of a proposal call is to let authors submit work that’s unfinished, so you’re okay :)

      1. Angela James says:

        Sorry, Savanna, let me clarify, though, the synopsis needs to cover the entire plot/outline of the book, not just the chapters you have written. The synopsis takes the place of having to write and submit the entire work.

        1. Savanna says:

          Got it! Thank you so much! I look forward to submitting my work to you guys! :)

  30. Rosanna says:

    Dear Angela,
    I’ve just seen your proposal call for Paranormal Romance and I was wondering if you would accept a proposal even if the first draft has been posted on a website (I.e. Wattpad and FictionPress).
    Thank you in advance for your time and reply.

    Kindest regard,
    Rosanna

    1. Angela James says:

      Rosanna, that would be fine.

  31. Hi Carina Press,

    I’m in the final stages of tweaking my proposal for submission and I’ve researched all the editors and read the latest update to the What Carina Press Wants blog post. However, I’m still not certain which editor might be the best fit for my story. (It seems to tick several boxes for what several different editors say they’re looking for…LOL) My question is, if we submit to one editor, but perhaps the story isn’t quiet what they’re looking for but they still feel it has merit or might fit better with another editor, will the story be passed on to them for consideration?

    Thanks so much for this awesome opportunity!

    ~ Traci :)

    1. Angela James says:

      Traci, editors do recommend for another editor to read if they think a submission has merit but is simply not to their taste, yes!

  32. Sherry says:

    If I submit my WIP and you decide to publish, will I still retain rights to it? I understand you only do ebooks through this particular publishing company name but I would also like to see it in print. Plus I plan to edit the completed work to be YA friendly. Or will you own it and I lose all rights to work with it in the future?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sherry,

      When you sign a publishing contract, you are giving the publisher a license to use the rights contained in the contract. You don’t lose your rights, but you’re giving the publisher the use of those rights for a certain period of time. During that time, you would not be able to utilize the rights granted to the publisher. So if you grant print rights, you would not be able to utilize those. Same with creating alternate editions. For most publishing contracts, this would be a breach of contract.

      In regards to our rights, we in fact don’t do ebooks only, some of our works do go into print & audio, so our contracts do take audio, print and digital rights. This is definitely something each author must take into consideration before submitting to a publisher or accepting a contract.

      Please let me know if we can answer any other questions.

      1. Sherry says:

        Thank you. I guess I need to submit my proposal and be accepted to know if your contract is right for me and my work. I am about 1/4-1/3 of the way through book 1 now. I’ll start working on the proposal now.

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