Please read everything on this page carefully to ensure your best opportunity.
Melius Scripto Press International, Ltd. currently has an open submissions policy. All authors are invited to query, including unrepresented authors and new unpublished authors.
We strive to get back to authors as quickly as possible; however, please expect four to twelve weeks for a response to your submission.
Please no simultaneous submissions. Submit your work to only one publisher at a time.
We will accept previously published works but only if the author holds exclusive rights.
Pause. If you have just typed the last word of your first draft, you shouldn’t be preparing to submit anything to us or any publisher or agent. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and your writing to us. Make it count. Make sure that your manuscript has been painstakingly edited and polished before you query.
What We Will Never Accept
We are not interested in stories promoting or glorifying sexual violence, physical, or mental abuse—particularly in a romance. The promotion or glorification of bigotry or violence against existing (real) races or genders of human beings is also not something we want to publish. The key words here are promoting and glorifying. The following is a non-exhaustive list of other topics we are not interested in:
- Bestiality (shape-shifters excepted)
- Bodily functions (golden showers, etc…)
- Abuse of minors
- Consensual sex with minors
- Porn (erotica excepted)
Please read the following guidelines carefully. At this time we are only accepting electronically submitted queries. This allows a timely review of your submission.
Please allow at least three months for a response. Do not call or email the Melius Scripto offices.
We will not review any submissions that do not come to us in the following formats:
For All Novel Manuscript Submissions
Include a standard query letter in the body of your email.
- Please include titles for up to three comparative books published in the past five years. These should be books that have a similar audience to your book and that you feel will compare with your book in the marketplace. Briefly explain how your manuscript is different from these books.
- Include complete contact information with phone number.
- At the end of the query, insert a few lines and include the first five pages of your manuscript. DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS. Emails with attachments will be deleted.
- Subject line must be formatted as illustrated below. Emails that do not use the subject line formatting may be considered spam and not read: <GENRE> : <story title> by <author name>
Send email to: Contact@MeliusScriptoPress.com
For Picture Books, Comic Books, and Graphic Novel Submissions
Note: Unrequested materials sent to us via postal mail will not be returned. We cannot be responsible for the loss or damage to submissions. Please do not send original/irreplaceable materials or items of value.
Your submission should be targeted to teens or adults. We are not publishing children’s illustrated books at this time.
Cover letter (in body of email) should include the following:
- Synopsis of the story, including the ending
- Short bio mentioning your previous publications or other relevant background information
- Please provide titles for up to three comparative books published in the past five years. These should be books that have a similar audience to your book and that you feel will compare with your book in the marketplace. Explain how your manuscript is similar to and different from these books.
For Picture Books, Comic Books, and Graphic Novel Submissions Cont.
- Send no more than five sample illustrated pages as PDF attachments. Total file not to exceed 4MB.
- It is NOT necessary to provide illustrations with the story text. However, should we accept your project, illustrator services cannot be provided for free or as part of the contract at this time. We have a network of freelance illustrators, but you may also want to find your own.
- If the story is illustrated, we will evaluate text and art separately. Note that we may be interested in either the story or the artwork, but not necessarily both.
- Subject line should read: <PICTURE BOOK (or COMIC BOOK or GRAPHIC NOVEL)>: <genre>: <story title> by <author name>.
- Send email and attachments to: Contact@MeliusScripto.com
Manuscript Format Policy
If we request the full version of your book or story manuscript, please be sure it is formatted as described below.
- Submissions should be in Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier New 12pt. black
- Double spaced.
- Indent paragraphs ½ inch (1.27 cm).
- No spaces between paragraphs.
- The margins should be 1″ all the way around.
- Use a title page
- Don’t number the title page. Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the book, usually the introduction, prologue, or chapter one.
- Contact info: Aligned left and single spaced, near the top of the page, include contact information: Your real/legal name, address, phone number, e-mail address. Follow with the word count. Alternatively, you can set word count apart by listing it at the top of the right side of the title page.
- Title and author: About 1/2 the way down the page, centered, enter the full manuscript title (all caps or mixed caps); on the next double-spaced line, type by or a novel by or a story by; on the next double-spaced line, add your pen name or your real name plus your pen name—Alexis Chesterfield writing as Billie Thomas.
Manuscript Format Policy Cont.
- Subgenre: For some genres, including romance and sci-fi, you can include the subgenre, such as suspense or Regency. Include this information either above or below the word count.
- Use a header on each page, including your last name, the title of your novel in all caps, and the page number. Align the header to the right, so the information doesn’t interfere with the text of the manuscript. (Jones/Taming the Monster/1)
- Start each new chapter on its own page, one-third of the way down the page.
- The chapter number and chapter title should be in all caps, separated by an M-dash or two hyphens: CHAPTER 1—THE BODY.
- Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
- If you use scene breaks, indicate them by inserting a blank line and centering the number sign # in the center of the line.
- Center a number sign # on an otherwise blank line one double-spaced line down from the final line of text of the final chapter or epilogue at the end of the manuscript. Or simply write The End.
- Use a single character space only, not two spaces, between sentences. If you forget this one, we won’t turn down your manuscript because of it, but it’s just a good habit to get into, especially for those of us who learned on typewriters and always added two spaces between sentences.
Notes on Manuscript Length
We do not accept works less than 20,000 words for general submissions. From time to time Melius Scripto sponsors an anthology or other compilation book of poetry, flash fiction, or short stories to feature new talent. Watch the website for these announcements and contests.
This is a popular subject of debate among writers. In general, your manuscript should be long enough to properly render its plot while telling an outstanding story. However, literary industry gurus know that readers’ attention spans have limits that are challenging to surpass. To give your story its best chance, we strongly recommend that you understand the general guidelines below:
- Picture Books – 500 – 700 words. The standard is text for 32 pages. That might mean one line per page, or more.
- Flash fiction is generally 100 – 500 words. These word counts are often provided with each opportunity.
- Short Stories are 1,000 – 10,000.
- Novellas are 20,000 – 50,000.
- Novels are 50,000 and up. Most novels fall between 40,000 and 120,000 words. It often depends on the genre:
Notes On Manuscript Length Cont.
- Young Adult – 50,000 – 80,000.
- New Adult – 60,000 – 85,000
- Adult Novels: Commercial, Women’s, and Literary – 80,000 – 110,000
- Sci-Fi and Fantasy – 100,000 – 120,000
- Westerns should be around 65,000.
- Horror – 80,000 – 100,000
- Paranormal – 75,000 – 95,000
- Romance and erotica – 40,000 – 100,000
- Novels in any genre longer than 120,000 words in length need to be amazing. There is just no other way to put it. Research has demonstrated time and again that readers’ attention spans are growing shorter. You not only need to earn that attention, but you must keep it with consistently good writing.