New Call for Submissions: Open to Proposals!


We’re pleased to announce that we’re opening our submissions to proposals once again. We want to see your WIPs while they’re still in progress—no full manuscripts required to submit!

This proposal call is open to any of the genres we publish, as outlined below. Have a mystery proposal you’ve been dying to pitch? Writing a contemporary romance? Or maybe you’re looking to publish a paranormal romance? We want to read it!

Please note that this call is running simultaneously with our Male/Male Romantic Suspense Proposal Call, which has different requirements. Please submit your male/male romantic suspense proposals via that call.

General open proposal call submission link:

Closing date: April 29, 2018 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)

Requirements for this proposal call:

  • Your book must fall within any of the romance or mystery genres we publish but can be of any heat level or same-sex/multiple pairings.
  • Your proposed book must be a completely new work and not have been previously published in any form, whether self-published, posted on a writing community site (example: Wattpad) or released via digital or traditional publisher. Only new material will be considered during this submission call. If you have a previously published title for consideration, please submit it via our regular submission channels.
  • You cannot submit a project you have submitted to Carina Press before.

View this post for the dozens of genres and tropes our editors are dying to read.

Materials needed to participate:

  • A detailed query letter with a 3-5 paragraph book description, plus a short introduction of your writing credentials and publishing history.
  • A minimum of the first 7,500 words of a WIP. If you have more than 7,500 words, you can certainly send more! Please note that due to a great number of questions received re: desired words per chapter, we’re revising our guidelines for 2018 to reflect requested word count vs. chapter count.
  • A thorough, well-thought-out synopsis that is at least 5 pages or 1,600 words 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.
  • If you are proposing a series, a brief series outline can also be uploaded. This is not required. Series outlines usually consist of a 2-3 paragraph overview of the series arc, plus a 1-2 paragraph description of each proposed book. Please upload this as a separate document.
  • You may submit more than one project! However, please submit only one proposal per series.



  • Times New Roman, 12 pt, black font, double spaced.
  • Please put your manuscript title and name in the header information on each page of your proposal and synopsis.

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, Senior Editor Kerri Buckley, or Associate Editor Stephanie Doig.
  • We will consider all proposals that fulfill submission call requirements and are received by midnight EST on April 29, 2018

Not going to be ready in time? Not to worry. We remain open to full manuscript submissions all year long via, and more special opportunities are coming in 2018.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit


72 thoughts on “New Call for Submissions: Open to Proposals!”

  1. Rebecca Laurence says:

    I have a proposal that was published on Wattpad but I have since deleted it and it has had a major re-write. Can I submit via this proposal call? Happy to submit via regular submission channels.

  2. Kerri Buckley says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    And thanks for your Q. Wattpad counts as previously published for this particular call, but you’re more than welcome to submit via regular submission channels. Please just use the category your WIP most appropriately falls into–no need to submit it as Previously Published. Thanks!

    1. Kim says:

      I’m a bit confused by this, because following the link for this event it’s stated ” If your book was placed on Wattpad, critique sites or other similar crowd-reading sites, we do not consider that as previously published.”

      Mine is currently in progress on Wattpad, so if you can clear this up, I’d seriously appreciate it! I do have another idea for a M/M paranormal-ish (reincarnation theme) that I haven’t posted anywhere.

      1. Angela James says:

        Hi Kim, I think this is just a case of “we changed our minds” and you can go ahead and submit something that’s been on Wattpad, but not something that’s previously been sold.

        1. Kim says:

          Got it! Thanks Angela!!! :)

  3. Erin says:

    What will your turnaround be for book proposals?

    1. Kerri Buckley says:

      Hi Erin,
      We are working to get back to everyone within our standard 12 week response time. As you might have seen, we’ve upped the editor count around here–we’re ready to go! Thanks for your Q.

  4. Kimberley Bailey says:

    Can I submit a proposal for a Contemporary Romance and a proposal for a Paranormal Romance, if I wanted to? Thanks!!

    1. Kerri Buckley says:

      Yes. You may submit more than one project! However, please submit only one proposal per series.

      1. Kimberley Bailey says:

        Great!! Thanks!!

  5. Are you all accepting WIPs if they are the second book in a series (first book self-published)? Please let me know! I look forward to submitting!

    1. Kerri Buckley says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Yes, but in this case the series outline would be very important. Please include one, along with info re: the first book in the series. Thanks, KB

  6. reena says:

    I am currently writing a romance in which the male lead is a prince while the female is a commoner based in India. Which category should I target contemporary romance or desire since it will have at least two or three full fledged lovemaking scenes

    1. Kerri Buckley says:

      Hi Reena,
      I can’t answer that question for you, unfortunately, but I would recommend reading Desire’s submission criteria alongside that for Carina and seeing which line better suits your WIP.


  7. Susan says:

    My manuscript is completed but I only submitted a partial because I thought the response time would be less than the standard 12 weeks for this call. Should I withdraw my submission and resubmit the full or can I hope for a quicker response than the standard? Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      @Susan, it’s always better to submit the full if you have it. The “proposal” part of this is more meant for those who have an idea or work in progress they want to try submitting. Full manuscripts don’t delay the process, they remove a barrier for the editor if they want to continue reading past a few chapters.

      1. Susan says:

        Thanks, Angela. I have put in a request to edit on submittable.

  8. Lisa Mandina says:

    Making sure that I meet the requirements, just checking to see that the synopsis needs to be 5 pages long? The link you give above talks about a synopsis being 2-3 pages, so don’t want to over-do that part or not send enough.

    Also, you say at lest 7,500 words, or more if it is available, but do you want all of the manuscript? And how far along in editing does it need to be? If we’re not finished writing, then I would assume you’d expect it to not be perfectly edited. But if it should be ready to go, then I would only want to submit portions in order to have it all ready by the submission deadline.

    Thanks for your time!

    1. Angela James says:

      @Lisa if you’re submitting a partial manuscript, we require a longer synopsis, because the synopsis will be our only gauge of how the story, plot, character arcs, etc proceed and develop.

      If your manuscript is complete, then we encourage full manuscript submissions. If it’s not complete, we encourage sending what you have.

      That said, you always want to put your best foot forward, so don’t send a rough draft. You’ll want to have made enough editing passes on what you send to ensure your voice and the story are shining through!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I have a series in which the R&R of the first book of the series was rejected. If a subsequent WIP from that series is standalone (same setting but otherwise no obvious connection to the rejected R&R), is that acceptable to submit to the open call? Or does the initial rejection count as a rejection on the concept as a whole?

    Thank you.

    1. Angela James says:

      Jennifer, if you have standalone books, you’re always welcome to submit another. We encourage it, as often people’s craft and storytelling strengthens book over book!

      1. Jennifer says:

        I didn’t receive any feedback on the R&R so I wasn’t sure if a manuscript from the same series would be an automatic rejection. Thanks for the response.

        1. Angela James says:

          Because we’ve already given so many editorial comments and suggestions in an R&R, we often don’t have a lot of feedback when one doesn’t work out in the way we hoped. Often, the answer really is “this didn’t work out the way we hoped”.

          1. Jennifer says:

            I understand, and I didn’t expect feedback on the R&R. It’s business, your time is limited and you have to go with what fits and what will sell. I just didn’t want to submit something I shouldn’t.

            Thank you for the information, it’s much appreciated.

  10. Tara Smith says:

    Are we supposed to address a specific editor in our Query letters?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Tara, addressing a specific editor isn’t required, unless you think there’s a particular match. Otherwise, we’ll match for you!

  11. Laura says:

    What a great opportunity.

    Does Carina consider a Scribophile post to be a prior publication? They describe themselves as a “writing group and online writing workshop.” I proceeded on the basis of their own guidance, which is that they don’t count as they are a
    “members’ only site that requires a log in to access.”

    I only have one chapter up and it can be deleted but given your wording above I thought I should clarify. Bummed out that I may have missed out on being able to submit to this call. :(

    1. Angela James says:

      Laura, it’s fine, go ahead and submit your chapters/synopsis.

      1. Laura says:

        Thanks Angela!

  12. Liz says:

    Hi Thanks for this opportunity. I have been attempting to attach my MS and Synopsis however it is not being accepted despite being in a word doc. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Liz,

      It’s a little hard to troubleshoot but it’s usually one of a few things. One, make absolutely sure you’re trying to attaching files that end in .doc or .docx. Most often people think they’re attaching docs but it ends up being something that looks like it, but isn’t. Just take a peek at your file name, to doublecheck.

      The second thing is, they system requires one attachment in manuscript, one in synopsis. Sometimes people accidentally try to upload in the “extra files” area without attaching in those two first, and the system will not allow you to proceed if that’s the case.

      Last, there’s no attachments allowed in the Previously Published category, so in that category, proceed with just a query letter in the space provided.

      1. Liz says:

        Hi Angela,
        Thanks for responding.
        I’ll get the files checked. My system recently updated windows so maybe the docs are no longer compatible.
        I’ll keep trying.
        Kind regards

  13. Kimberley Bailey says:

    Are title pages required for this proposal? Also, should the synopsis be double spaced or single spaced?

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Title pages not required, no! Double-spaced is best for the synopsis.

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. Kimberley Bailey says:

        Thanks so much!

  14. Samna says:

    What is the minimum word count for this particular proposal call? Thank you in advance.


    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Samna,

      A minimum of the first 7,500 words of a WIP is required. If you have more than 7,500 words, you can certainly send more!

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  15. Jennifer Nichole says:

    Does it count as published if you only posted a few chapters on a site, for advertising purposes and feedback? Is it considered previously published if not in entirety?

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Jennifer,

      That’s fine, please just make a note of it in your query letter.


      1. Jennifer Nichole says:

        Thanks again Stephanie!
        Again, in that case I will be submitting.
        I was so embarrassed when my comments kept double posting! Lol.

  16. Jennifer Nichole says:

    Does it count as previously published if you only posted a few chapters on a site, for advertising purposes and feedback?

    1. Jennifer Nichole says:

      Wow, idk why it posted twice… sorry guys! :)

      1. Jennifer Nichole says:

        Oh, I see why. I worded the question one way and it said the question had already been asked. I figured that meant it wouldn’t post so I re-wrote it and it posted both anyhow. Weird.

      2. Jennifer Nichole says:

        Oh, I see why. I worded the question one way and it said the question had already been asked. I figured that meant it wouldn’t post, so I re-wrote it and it posted both anyhow. Weird.

        1. Jennifer Nichole says:

          LMAO… your system is wacko today! …today, today…

  17. Lorraine Linthicum says:

    I have 2 spicy short stories that I have been working on that have not reached to required 10k minumum, but have around 7 to 8 thousand words. Could I submit them to see if it is what you are looking for?

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Lorraine,

      7 is a bit short; if you’re still working on the stories it’s best to wait until they’re complete and at the required word count before submitting.

      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

      1. Lorraine says:

        These 2 WIPS are in response to Carina Press’s Dirty Bits. Can I submit these?

  18. Sara says:

    I know Stephanie responded to this, but if the synopsis is double-spaced, should it still be five double-spaced pages, or should it be 1,600 words? If it’s double-spaced, 1.6K is going to be more than five double-spaced pages. I hope I haven’t confused you with my question!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Sara, don’t get too bound up with those parameters. The synopsis needs to tell the story, tell us what happens, let us get to know characters and plot. As long as it does all that, we will accept it, whether it’s four pages or 6 pages!

  19. Lisa says:

    I am writing a third book in a series which is new, but it would be the third book, where the first two books were previously published by a respected publisher. The rights to the first two books have been returned to me. Would you be interested in something like that? They are menage romances.

  20. Lisa says:

    I mean would you look at something like that, or maybe not because the first two books are previously published.

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi Lisa,

      The best thing to do for a submission like this is submit it under our Previously Published category.

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  21. Elise says:

    If this is open to all the genres you publish can the book be a m/m? As well are we limited to submitting only under one pen name? I have two names I write under and would like to submit one for each name.

    1. Stephanie Doig says:

      Hi, Elise,

      Yes, we are certainly open to m/m romance across genres. You are welcome to submit under different pen names, but please mention the other submission/pen name in your query letter so we know it’s the same person.

      Thank you,
      Stephanie Doig
      Associate Editor, Carina Press

  22. Gina R. says:

    I am considering submitting the sequel to my debut novel (published Dec 2015 through Carina UK)for this open proposal call. The sequel is about the second brother (in a three brother series), and can stand alone, but I’d like to write the third brother’s story if this one is picked up (I’ve already got the basic plot down for it). If I pitch this as a series, should I mention the first (published) story? Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      @Gina always a good idea to mention if you think of this as a series and the first has already been published elsewhere.

      1. Gina R. says:

        Okay. Thank you!

  23. Jocelyn says:

    For a paranormal suspense, would you prefer H/h POV only, or could the limited POV of secondary characters at certain points be included? Thanks.

    1. Angela James says:

      @Jocelyn, we are open to secondary characters having a POV, if necessary to the story.

  24. Dalfonzo Williams says:

    I had fifteen copies of my manuscript printed using Createspace for a critique group beta read. None of the books were made available to anyone outside of the critique group, and most copies were returned to me with notes that I used for revision purposes. Does this count as being previously published? Thanks in advance for your response!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Dalfonzo, previously published = a book previously put up for sale. If it wasn’t for sale, it wasn’t previously published so you’re in the clear!

  25. B. Leslie Tirrell (Tiffany Avery) says:

    I tried this last year and missed the deadline by a half hour. I got the It’s Too Late reply. Can I submit the same project? It’s never been published and I’d love to actually make the deadline this time since I have thirteen days to make it instead of the week I had before.

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi, Tiffany, you’re welcome to pitch the same project on Wednesday.

  26. Kimberley Bailey says:

    I noticed on Twitter that Angela is interested in holiday/winter themed stories for he Dirty Bits, and she said she would accept them for the proposal call. I asked but haven’t received a reply. For the word count, should it be 5k or 7,500? And the synopsis, 2 pg or 5 pg? Also, do they have to have a holiday theme to them? Thanks!

    1. Angela James says:

      Hi Kimberley, sometimes it takes a bit to respond on social media because we don’t have notifications on/are working on other things, so please be patient for responses! For this TDB proposals somewhere within 5-7500k is fine, and a 2-3 page synopsis. I am only accepting proposals for those with holiday themes because they are time sensitive. For all other TDB, a full is required.

      1. Kimberley Bailey says:

        Thanks so much! I know y’all are busy, very busy. I just thought maybe something was wrong with my Twitter account. Would New Year’s Eve count, or would it need to be just Christmas? Thanks again!

        1. Angela James says:

          We open it up to “holiday” theme because there are many holidays in the winter months, not just Christian ones!

  27. Kimberley Bailey says:

    Thanks! I thought it might be all the winter holidays, but I wasn’t sure because Christmas is referred to Holiday sometimes.

  28. Bebe Willoughby says:

    Keynote: Hopeful Bebe Willoughby

    I want to enter the Carina proposal call. Would this be the order all in one document: Query, Manuscript pages, Synopsis? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

  29. Helen Ellwood says:

    Hi there,

    I notice you accept DOC and RTF files. Do you accept docx files?

  30. Alfreda says:

    will Carina have another proposal call for submission coming back up again?

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