Carina Press Spring 2012 call for submissions!


Note: please note that the submissions guidelines must still be followed in order to submit a manuscript in response to this call. Please visit our submissions page and follow the directions there.


Hellooooo! So, the freelance editors for Carina decided it was time to do another call for submissions. We love doing these, because we get so many awesome stories in. Of course, PLEASE note that in the end, what we really want is a good story—so even if yours doesn’t fit the descriptions below, don’t hesitate to send it to us anyway! Sometimes we don’t know what we want until we get it in our inbox. You can find out more info on all the Carina freelance editors on this page.

Rhonda Helms: I’m open to almost every genre, with or without romance. But there are certain types of stories I’m eager to read more of right now, including:

military of any genre (esp. romance, thriller, sci-fi), steampunk (haven’t had a good one in a while!), atypical fantasy with great world-building and intriguing rules/uses of magic, westerns (esp. ones that use western elements to blend genres), sci-fi/futuristic with aliens and technology, romance (any steaminess level), stories with a mythological element, historicals (esp. if they feature real historical figures/events), stories set in unusual locales of any genre, super-funny romances that make me laugh until I cry, books of any genre with kick-ass heroines, deep and resonant tear-jerkers that move me but still have a satisfying ending, stories that blend genres to create a fresh and compelling world, and anything with a strong multicultural facet (please—want!!).

Melissa Johnson:

While Melissa is eager to read submissions of any genre, she currently yearns for a romance that crosses class or culture lines—whether contemporary, historical or paranormal. She feels it takes a particularly thoughtful author to make these conflicts deep and sensitive, and is thrilled when someone pulls it off. In general, she loves characters who learn from each other, see and love each other’s flaws, and grow over the course of the story.

Alissa Davis:

I look for books I can’t put down and characters I can’t forget. I edit lots of m/m, erotic romance, contemporary romance and historical romance and would love to see more of those. I also wish authors would send me medical romance, erotic historical romance, and m/m fantasy romance, and runaway bride romance. I have a weakness for geeky beta heroes, but mostly I hope to see sympathetic, well-drawn characters with real issues and a legitimate conflict keeping them from finding their HEA.

Mallory Braus: Mallory looks for characters first. Three-dimensional characters—with depth and vulnerabilities and quirks—pull her into a story faster than anything else. She’s looking for all genres, but there are a few things she’s especially keeping an eye out for:

–A zombie hunter romance!

–Psychics – Especially if you have psychic FBI agents or members of a special government agency…

–I’ve been keeping an eye out for quirky characters. Nerdy/dorky heroines or heroes. Funny relatives. Etc.

–Dark romantic suspense or gritty thrillers.

–Historical Mysteries. I’m especially looking for any late 19th to early 20th century mysteries.

–“Band of Brother” type series. Examples would be Nora Roberts’s trilogies, Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters, or J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Where an emphasis is on the building of multiple characters’ relationships over the course of multiple books.

–Stories with unique worlds/setting, including, but not limited to: steampunk, post-apocalyptic, futuristic sci-fi and urban fantasy.

Alison Dasho: Alison wants:

–Sci-fi, especially future humanity dealing with first contact, alien class issues, or cyborg/android integration. What defines humanity? Do robots have souls?

–Fantasy adventure, especially lighter, funnier worlds. I’d love to see a manuscript that tells a rollicking quest story, maybe with trolls and wizards and unicorns and dragons, and has superb worldbuilding and a quirky sense of humor.

–Mystery and crime, especially dark tones and morally ambiguous issues. I’m interested in how the victims cope with the crime after the fact, or how the criminal who maybe got away scot-free in terms of legal justice is forced to contend with karmic justice. I tend not to like paranormal elements in my crime fiction, but will make some exceptions. I would love to see kidnapping fallout stories. Is the kidnap victim grown up and how is s/he dealing with those memories? Is the kidnapper in jail, or contacting the victim for some reason? I’d also love to see wrongly-accused stories — not necessarily like The Fugitive, where the protagonist himself must prove he didn’t do it, but more explorations about how the protagonist feels when faced with an accusation. Powerlessness, reliance upon a flawed justice system, etc.

–Contemporary romance, especially complicated. Both hero and heroine with pasts — maybe she’s a widow, maybe he’s got a criminal history. I love stories where everyone is opposed to the hero and heroine being together at all, let alone earning a HEA.

Denise Nielsen: I’ve had a hankering to read any of the following


  • Dark, edgy historical – Victorian or Edwardian era, gothic elements, steampunk, suspense
  • Classic historical – vikings, highwaymen, revolutionaries, sea captains – strong female leads
  • Jazz era historical – think flappers, luxury


  • Modern reinterpretations of old stories (myths, legends, history) in a believable contemporary setting
  • Unlikely hero-heroine relationships that work out against the odds
  • Open to the interweaving of parallel stories past and present

Jeff Seymour:

In addition to my usual requests (SF/F, unusual romance, mystery, thrillers, horror, anything you’re afraid doesn’t fit neatly into a genre), I’d love to see some short, fast-paced adventures with series potential. Elements of any other genre welcome—just introduce me to a character and a world I can devour in an evening and still want more of.

Deborah Nemeth: I love intelligent writing, stories that make me laugh or cry (or both), and sharp, motivated protagonists. I’m particularly drawn to exotic settings, rule-breakers and multicultural characters.

I’d like to acquire some unusual historicals, m/m fiction, thrillers, and steampunk. In mystery/suspense I’m always looking for an interesting sleuth(s) to build a series on. I enjoy everything from cozy mysteries to romantic suspense to procedurals. I’d also love a mystery series set in the past (any historical era) or in a future space opera/space western setting. I’m also seeking contemporary romance with strong conflict and strong protagonists—SEALs/Rangers, firefighters, cops, carpenters, cowboys, activists—in any heat level. I love epic fantasy that combines adventure with compelling characterization and unique world-building. In paranormal and urban fantasy I’d rather see a fresh twist on ninjas, superheroes, dragons, fae, ghosts, djinn, Norse gods, psychics or fairytales than vamps, werewolves, demons and zombies.

Angela James: My list is mostly full, but I have a few specific things I’m still pretty avidly looking for, and all center around a good story. I will overlook a lot in writing if the voice, characters and story are compelling:

An erotic contemporary novel-length (70k+) stand alone or series, m/f or multiples, but I’m not seeking GLBT only at this point. A space opera or futuristic romp with strong romantic elements, unique, maybe with some of the Western flavor of Firefly, but with a definite adventure feel. Sports-themed contemporary romance, any sports (yes, racing and MMA are sports!) where sports play a role in the book, whether through the characters or setting of books. Novel-length (70k+) contemporary romance trilogies or series (not stand alone contemporaries), setting can be small town, big city or exotic locale, I’m open in that regard. I’m just looking to build my contemporary list in general!

So, if you have anything that fits the editor requests (or just a great book in general!) to submit, visit our submissions page and follow the directions there. You can address your submission to one of the editors above, or the editorial staff in general. Thanks, and we look forward to reading your manuscripts!

20 thoughts on “Carina Press Spring 2012 call for submissions!”

  1. David Neely says:

    Just out of curiousity for those who might have something that still needs polishing, how long is this open for?

  2. Angela James says:

    Hi David, we’re always open to submissions, and we love authors who take the time to polish their manuscript, so there’s no expiration date on this submissions call. While the different editors’ specific desires might change over the months, there will always be an editor looking for a manuscript in the genres we publish, so don’t feel rushed. Polished is better than rushed any day, in our opinions!

  3. Mary Barrett says:

    I have three stories almost ready for submission. Monster is a twisted fairy tale full of mmf action. It crosses the line between romance and horror. Blood wolf is an erotic paranormal historical romance. Captive is an erotic futuristic romance with a dark side. Have rough drafts done on all three and two of them almost ready for submission. Which book would be the best to send and to who?

  4. Angela James says:

    Hi Mary,

    You don’t necessarily need to specifically send it to anyone. We provide these calls so you can if you’d like to, but your submission will be read even if you simply send it and let me decide who will read it. If you have something you think fits one of the editor’s wishlists, please feel free to address it to one of them, but that is never a requirement in our submission process.

    Also, you might want to take a read through our submissions guidelines and FAQs, lots of good info there, but I will tell you that we accept multiple submissions (please send each in a separate email, however)

  5. Michelle Ribarc says:

    Doh! currently working on 2 different stories, plus an f/F for when I get writer’s block on the other 2 and now, reading those ideas, I think I’ve got about another 7 or 8 story plots trying to cram into my brain!!!!!

  6. Incy Black says:

    I subbed to CP about 6 weeks ago and have another title ready and waiting in the shadows. This second one is linked to the existing sub but the ‘series’ doesn’t run in Book 1, 2, 3 order because they were written to stand quite separately. Should I hold back on the subbing as part of this call for submissions until I hear back, or should I sub anyway?



  7. Angela James says:

    Hi Incy!

    If the books stand separately, and you’re okay with contracting them individual of one another, feel free to submit to the editor looking for your type of work!

  8. Jo says:

    I see that romance has been mentioned quite a few times. Do any of your agents have an interest in Contemporary Christian Romance? Thanks :)

  9. Hi, all. :)

    I wondered if works in the Clockpunk genre qualify for consideration by Carina editors? Thanks. :)

  10. Angela James says:

    Hi Jo,

    We don’t publish inspirational/Christian romance (also, we’re not agents, we’re a publisher, so we don’t have any agents at all ;) )


    We’re willing to consider all niche subgenres within the larger genres.

  11. Full-on books or novellas?

  12. Rhonda Helms says:


  13. Oh yeah, deadline? I have a pre-quel novella military/sci-fi romance and working on the full book now.

  14. Rhonda Helms says:

    There is no deadline. It’s an open call. :D

  15. Beth says:

    I see in the guidelines that same sex relationships are okay, but I am wondering if that only means m/m stories? Or m/m/f…curious if Carina accepts just f/f same sex romance stories?

  16. Marimah says:

    Hi I have submiited a space opera novella in May but never received a email confirmation. Do I resubmit? or wait.
    Really excitied to see this call.

  17. Angela James says:

    Hi everyone, just a couple notes. First, if you’re submitting, make sure you’re following the submission guidelines. Please read them carefully. If you don’t follow them the first time, we’ll ask you to resubmit, but after that, we don’t read incomplete submissions.

    Second, while we’re happy to answer questions in this thread, I’d also ask that you read the submissions guidelines, the FAQs and browse around the site. A lot of information is available to you just on this site alone.

    We also encourage people to know the publisher they’re submitting to, both by doing research and also by reading a book or two from that publisher. It’s the only true way to judge the quality of a publisher. Why submit to a publisher you yourself don’t want to read books from? If you’re not interested, why would your readers be?

  18. Angela James says:

    Beth–we also publish f/f.

    Marimah–you only get the autoresponder once every three days. Did you send more than one email? That may be why you didn’t get the autoresponse. If you’re concerned, you can send a follow-up email asking if it was received. Please don’t resubmit–sometimes the actual attachments do prevent us from receiving an email and continuing to resubmit still won’t get to us!

  19. Marimah says:

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you for your answer to my question.I will definitely send a follow up e-mail. I did ask this question in the Harlequin forums but was unable to get an answer. My c.p mentioned that her sub to Carina had received an auto response the same day. So my very confused state of mind on what to do. This was my first submission to Carina but it won’t be the last.

  20. Tiffany says:

    Does the author retain the rights to his/her manuscript if it is accepted to be published and does he/she receive royalties for the published work?

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