For print issues and online publication
We are looking for novel excerpts (3000 to 5000 words) from emerging fiction writers who have yet to publish a book with a major press (i.e. one of the big five and their endless imprints). Excerpts should feel complete in arc and momentum... that is to say, somebody should be able to pick up and read it without much need for an explanation of what happened before. A brilliant first chapter, or a standalone chapter from later on in the book. An episode, in TV speak. We don't care if you cut us off at the end, leaving us wanting more. This is a good thing actually. Entertain us. Immerse us in a world, make us laugh, break our hearts, and suspend us in a timeless fictive dream.
Submit your novel excerpts (work in progress or small press) via Submittable (opening on Sept. 1st, 2023!)
Send a Word doc attached in standard format (Times New Roman or Garamond, 12 pt font, 1 inch margins, double spaced) along with a brief bio and short synopsis of your novel.
The short bio may include: publication credits, academic laurels, weird hobbies, predilections, life achievements, or any other nonsense you'd like to send us. However, since part of our mission here is to distribute the print magazine to literary agencies, don't be too daft as the Brits would say.
If selected for publication, we acquire one-time rights for the publication in EXCERPT magazine (a shorter version for online and the full excerpt in print). At this time, we aren't able to pay contributors, but we will be sending copies of the print issues to the top 10 literary agencies in New York.
A note of Genre with a capital G
We're looking for literary fiction, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate speculative or genre elements if it's well written. Hard sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc is a difficult sell, however. We do not publish poetry, short stories, or creative non-fiction. Novel excerpts, that's it.
A caveat about racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.
People aren't perfect and characters shouldn't be pristine model moral citizens either. Everybody's got their issues. We appreciate fiction that challenges and lampoons the complexities of how our culture deals with racism, sexism, and any other complex issues in the inherent oppression of our capitalist patriarchy of a society. However, if your excerpt is unironically or unapologetically racist, sexist, or homophobic in any way, no, it's a big no. We aren't going to cancel you. But we aren't going to publish you either, and we would probably respond with some book recommendations for your own education.
Agented submissions and books under contract
EXCERPT is primarily for emerging fiction writers hoping to land an agent through publishing their work and generating interest in a work in progress. Therefore we won't be publishing novel excerpts from agented authors or authors with books already under contract with a major press. That said, if you have a novel coming out from a small press, we will consider these excerpts for publication (with written permission from the publisher) because we are very passionate about small presses and want to support the incredible work they do to publish and promote emerging fiction writers.