Our 2020 submission period begins on Thursday, Jan. 2, and will run through Tuesday, Feb. 4. Our committee of women and nonbinary readers will be looking for two manuscripts to publish in 2022.

We only accept submissions through Submittable. Any queries or manuscripts sent by email, physical mail, text message, or social media will be ignored.

Please include a description of your novel in your query letter as well as information about why it’s your story to tell.

Forest Avenue keeps its catalog small because we believe in building strong author-publisher relationships and maximizing the dollars and hours we put into each release. Our titles are distributed nationally and internationally by Publishers Group West.

Adult literary fiction only, preferably in the 60,000-to-80,000-word range.

No short story collections, novellas, poetry, or nonfiction.

We are only able to work with authors who currently reside in the U.S. due to our locally focused publicity and marketing strategies.

We are always seeking to authors of color to our catalog. We’d also love to see submissions from disabled authors, LGBTQ authors, and others who have stories to tell that subvert the dominant paradigm. If you have written an #ownvoices novel, please mention that phrase in your cover letter.

Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Just let us know if you get an offer while we are actively considering your project.

Agented submissions are fine; if the author submits through his/her Submittable ID, the cover letter should reflect the fact that the submission is agented and include contact information for the agent.

We do not work with authors who feature Amazon links heavily on social media. Our authors are expected to support other authors and their local independent bookstores. (Learn more about our Main Street Writers Movement and take the pledge here.) Please do share information about how you’re active in the writing community, because we most want to amplify those who are actively engaged in supporting other writers and artists.

We are intrigued by genre mashups, especially those with magical elements. But we also love contemporary fiction and the occasional historical novel.

We love novels by poets.

Our committee usually seeks some sort of joyous quality in fiction, whether that’s humor, whimsy, or interesting language. That’s not to say we want happy stories, but we like it when we can tell the author is deeply engaged in the process of writing and not holding back.

Bodily function scenes aren’t our thing. Same with gratuitous sex or violence. Books intended to shock or surprise with highly sexualized content probably aren’t right for Forest Avenue.

When we’re evaluating many manuscripts at once, we’re much more likely to offer a personal response to authors who are familiar with our press, especially if they have read one of our existing titles. Our books are available at your local bookstore, online in our Forest Avenue bookstore (which earns us money with every sale, even if you buy a non-Forest Ave title), your local library, or wherever books are sold:

This Particular Happiness by Jackie Shannon Hollis

The Alehouse at the End of the World by Stevan Allred

Parts per Million by Julia Stoops

Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum

The Hour of Daydreams by Renee Macalino Rutledge

City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales edited by Gigi Little

Froelich’s Ladderby Jamie Yourdon

The Remnants by Robert Hill

Landfall by Ellen Urbani

Carry the Sky by Kate Gray

The Night, and the Rain, and the River edited by Liz Prato

The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne

A Simplified Map of the Real World by Stevan Allred

Reminder: fiction only. While we have published our first memoir in 2019, we are not open for memoir submissions at this time.

These things must happen for Forest Avenue to make an offer on a manuscript:

  • We have to fall in love with the material.
  • We have to have a clear sense of its potential and how to work with the author to make it even stronger.
  • The target market must be an audience that Forest Ave can reach.
  • The author has to be willing to address any editorial concerns and be an active and engaged participant in every step of the publishing process.

Best of luck! Questions? Contact us here.

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