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Update on the Gollancz Direct Submissions

Slush Piling 2First, of all, thank you for your patience!

Second, we hope you have just a little more left in you and ask that you bear with us for a little longer.

Gollancz’s direct submissions period was an outstanding success in numbers terms with around 1800 submissions received in the three weeks we were open. However, this success has translated into a rather longer sorting and reading period than we’d initially estimated. Which is why we appreciate your patience!

If you’re wondering how on earth it could take a crack editorial team like Gollancz four or more months to get through the direct submissions we thought we’d break it down a little just so no one feels like they’re being ignored. Please know we are doing our best and are matching the enthusiasm with which the submissions were sent, which means taking our time and responding to the vast majority of you. Another reason it’s taking a little longer.

With 1800 submissions, each with a cover page and synopsis in addition to the 50 pages of your book, that’s 93600 pages of text. An average page has 300 words on it, so that 28 080 000 words, yes, TWENTY-EIGHT MILLION words to be read. Or, put another way, the average fantasy book is 120 000 words/400 pages. That’s 234 books worth of submissions.

And there are six of us in Gollancz editorial.

Fortunately, Orion is a wonderfully collaborative team and we’ve had help, so during one of our reading sessions there are anywhere between four and ten people reading for at least half a day, but still . . . 234 books is a lot especially when it has to be done on top of already full workloads.

So, we hope you understand why it’s taking us a bit of time.

We’re responding to nearly every submission with a hand-addressed note, and sometimes editorial feedback where we feel it is appropriate. We feel like you deserve this time from us after putting the effort into sending us physical submissions, even if it does make things take a little longer. This is also why we didn’t open for digital submissions – it is very easy to send an email, but that little bit of effort to post a manuscript means that generally only those who are committed to submitting will do so rather than taking a chance gamble on sending something that’s not really ready.

The quality has been incredibly high and our pile of ‘maybes’ gets higher with every reading session. We’re about 80% through the main submissions with around 100 on the ‘maybe/second look’ pile, so if you haven’t heard from us please be patient. We expect to take about another 2 months, and if you still haven’t heard from us after that then feel free to contact us.

We hope all this makes sense and you also understand a little better what the process is now.

We’d just like to thank everyone again for submitting and let you know what a pleasure it’s been to read the incredibly diverse range of material you’ve all sent in. The genre community is in good hands with you!

All the best

Team Gollancz

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