Raven Publishing, Inc. specializes in, but is not limited to, “True Fiction*” for readers ages 8 and up. We are now also accepting submissions for adult fiction and memoir that follow similar guidelines.We prefer submissions in the form of a query letter, a two-page synopsis, and the first chapter sent by e-mail to our acquisition editor (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will also accept queries with a cover letter, synopsis and sample chapter by mail: Florence Ore, Raven Publishing, Inc., PO Box 2866, Norris, MT 59745. DO NOT send queries or proposals by fax! Following are criteria we look for:
- A story that snags the reader's attention on the first page and doesn't let go until the last page
- Stories that address issues that readers may face in their own lives, today
- Esteem-building and encouraging, and or educational themes wrapped in a story without the slightest hint of didacticism or religiosity
- Authentic portrayal of natural human emotion and reactions
- No degrading implications to any culture, lifestyle, or group of people
- Fully developed characters
- A satisfying and believable ending
- Concise writing in active voice with careful attention to point of view
*Why True Fiction?
We at Raven called our main genre "True Fiction" after statements made by Wallace Stegner, Oakley Hall, and John Gardner.
Stegner said, "It is fiction as truth that I am concerned with here, fiction that reflects life rather than escaping it, stimulates rather than deadens."
Hall said, "Truth, not fact, is the business of fiction."
Gardner said, "True art...seeks to improve life, not debase it." and it "ought to be a force bringing people together, breaking down barriers of prejudice and ignorance, and holding up ideals worth pursuing."
For Nesting Tree Books (books by kids for kids) add the following guidelines:
A child, seventeen or under, must be the author. (It's all right to have an adult help with editing, but the story must be the work of the child.)
The story may be as long or as short as you like. It should follow the same guidelines as above, but may also include such other genres as poetry, books with animals as main characters, stories with animals with human characteristics, fantasy, and true stories.
Submit your book or story according to the guidelines above if it contains several chapters. If less than twenty pages, you may send the complete manuscript. When you send your manuscript by mail, be sure to send a self-adressed, stamped envelope for our reply. If you want your manuscript returned, include enough postage on the envelope. For very short works, hand-written manuscripts are okay.