Written by Emily Harstone October 8th, 2015

The Poisoned Pencil: Now Accepting YA Manuscript Submissions

Poisoned Pencil Press is a publisher of young adult mystery novels. They are an imprint of the respected publisher Poisoned Pen Press, and they are both based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Poisoned Pencil Press is currently open to unsolicited submissions of manuscripts. They use the same easy to use online system (Submittable) for authors as well as agents.

They do not publish authors that live outside of North America or authors who have previously published young adult mystery novels.

They are a relatively small imprint having so far published only seven novels. However, their editor Ellen Larson has over 25 years of experience. Most of the books they have published so far are part of a series. Their covers are a bit of a mixed bag – some are well designed, the majority are not.

They publish traditional and cross genre mysteries. They do not consider books that have serial killers, excessive gore or horror, or heavy supernatural, science fiction, or fantasy content. Minor supernatural or fantasy elements are possible as long as they are nuanced.

They publish print and eBook editions. They are able to offer their authors a $1,000 advance. They encourage teen authors to submit.

They are looking for novels between 45,000 to 80,000 words in length. They define a a young adult book as “a book with a protagonist between the ages of 13 and 18”.

They do not allow simultaneous submissions but they do try to respond to all submissions within 4-6 weeks. Make sure to submit a cover letter, a synopsis, and your full manuscript. Detailed guidelines are available on their Submittable page.

To learn more or to submit, visit their website here.


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