From the Editor’s Desk: Writing and Submissions Resource Roundup


Here at Carina, we’re always looking for new authors to sign, publish and build. But we recognize that putting your manuscript out on submission can be an intimidating process. How do you make your manuscript stand out, from the query letter to the last page? We’re here to demystify the submissions process by giving you some insight into what a Carina Press editor looks for when she opens up a submission for review.

Welcome to another edition of From the Editor’s Desk! We’ve been doing these posts for more than six months now, so we decided to do a quick round-up, a one-stop blog post for writers looking to improve their craft and get some quality submissions advice. Make sure to bookmark this one–we’ll update it as we write new From the Editor’s Desk posts.

We’ll start off with some craft advice…

Writing Effective Romantic and Sexual Tension, by Rhonda Helms

Writing a romance? Romantic and sexual tension is integral to a successful romance novel. Editor Rhonda Helms is here to help!

How to Add Tension and Suspense to Your Writing, by Libby Murphy

Whether you’re writing contemporary romance, suspense, mystery or fantasy/sci fi, having tension in your writing is vital if you want to keep readers hooked until the very last page (and into the first pages of your next book!). Editor Libby Murphy wrote this thorough post to help guide you through your revisions.

Pacing, by Deborah Nemeth

Does feedback on your manuscript often include comments about pacing? Are you unsure what that means, or how to fix it? Editor Deborah Nemeth has laid it all out for you, including helpful, practical tips.

Dialogue, by Rhonda Helms

Good dialogue can often be the difference between a book readers enjoy and a book readers (and editors!) love, remember, and recommend to others. Check out Rhonda’s expert advice on this topic.

Working with an Editor on a Series, by Alissa Davis

You may have noticed that our submission calls often ask for stories with series potential or series plans. Editor Alissa Davis teamed up with Carina author Julie Moffett for this post, where they talk about what it’s like to work with an editor over multiple books in a series.

All finished drafting and revising, and ready to submit? Congratulations! While Carina editors read for a great story above all, a great submission package can move your manuscript to the top of the pile. Be sure to check out these posts before you click “submit!”

Writing a Synopsis, by Libby Murphy

What works, what doesn’t? What exactly IS a synopsis, and are you supposed to tell us how your books ends? (Yes.) Find out in this extremely helpful guide.

Query Letters, by Stephanie Doig

Oh, the query letter. It’s the first thing an editor reads when she opens your submission, and for that reason alone they can be intimidating! Assistant Editor Stephanie Doig tells you what works—and what doesn’t—in this post.

Revise and Resubmit Requests, by Angela James

Have you received an R&R request? It’s not a rejection! Find out more in this post from editorial director Angela James.


Thank you for reading—we hope these tips have you excited to submit your manuscript to Carina Press! Here are some quick references to help you through the submissions process:

  • We’re always open to submissions!
  • We respond to all submissions within 12 weeks.
  • Have a question and can’t find the answer on our guidelines page? Email us at and we’re happy to help.
  • Looking to target your submission to a specific editor? Find out more about editor submission calls here.


Looking for more information on our submissions process? We’ll have more posts coming in this series, and in the meantime, you can read about our acquisitions process here, and find out more about what an editor does here.

Ready to submit? Click here to start your publishing journey with Carina Press!

3 thoughts on “From the Editor’s Desk: Writing and Submissions Resource Roundup”

  1. Lora Sawyer says:

    My book is about a horrific tragedy which happened January 25, 2016.
    Shocking surrounding communities, it made national news. The 26 year old
    grandson of a pastor shot and killed his father, mother, sister, brother
    grandmother, and then shot himself. The police could not determine a motive.

    I am the other grandmother. I know the motive and circumstances involved,
    including the aftermath of grief and coping with the death of loved ones.

    What genre would my book fit? It may be difficult to find a publisher.
    What do you think? Would your company be interested?

  2. Lora Sawyer says:

    Please leave reply by e-mail.

  3. Lora Sawyer says:

    Please send reply by e-mail.

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