So we noticed a pretty interesting news item on Twitter recently…

After watching the video a couple of times, we decided to take a closer look. Here’s what we found out.

Direct submission opportunities

The Berkley imprint at Penguin Random House in December announced that they had launched the Berkley Open Submission Program for 2022.

The popular publishing house stated that they are interested in publishing commercial fiction that reflects our current world. They are looking for stories that represent all “backgrounds, experiences, and unique perspectives.” With the new Berkley Open Submission Program, they have created a way for potential authors to submit directly to them to find these great stories.

Berkley is actively seeking submissions from all writers to include those with underrepresented stories regarding age, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

“We believe in publishing books from a wide variety of voices and hope giving un-agented authors easier access to our submission process will help us discover work from the widest possible community of writers. The Berkley list is strongest when it reflects the diversity of the world we live in,” said Berkley Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Claire Zion.

Berkley is seeking full-length adult novels in the following genres: romance, women’s fiction, mystery, suspense and thrillers, horror, science fiction, and fantasy.

How it works

Berkley plans to open the submission window for the program at regular intervals throughout 2022 without prior notice. As soon as the current window closes, they’ll announce the dates for the next open submission window on the program’s page.

The rules for participation are also detailed there but it’s pretty simple. They will only accept submissions during the open submission windows. Authors submitting to Berkley using the program must be un-agented. They do give you the option of seeking an agent for representation before negotiations if they make you an offer for publication.

You can only submit any given project once to the program. They ask that you only submit completed works.

Submissions should include a single-page synopsis, the first 10 pages of the manuscript, an author bio, and a query letter with links to your social media accounts, if applicable, and other information you’d like editors to take into consideration.

They define a query letter as being a single page letter that tells the editor about the story, the author, and why Berkley should consider your book for publication.

Next steps?

The program’s first open submission window closes January 9th, 2022.

A link to the submission page and a complete list of FAQs is also available on the program page.

We’ve got our fingers crossed that the program works just as the publisher hopes and here at TRS, we’re very excited about all the wonderful stories likely to be discovered as a result.

Good luck!