We’re delighted to announce that The Future Bookshelf has acquired three books from authors who submitted through our first ever open submission scheme. Chosen from a total of over 750 submissions, all three authors and their works went through the normal acquisition process before being offered contracts and signing with their respective publishers.
The three authors are: Eleni Kyriacou, Elizabeth Okoh, and Robert Hamberger, and their works were acquired by Cicely Aspinall (editor at Hodder & Stoughton), Francine Toon (commissioning editor at Hodder & Stoughton) and Kate Craigie (editor at John Murray) respectively. Eleni Kyriacou is represented by Niki Chang of The Good Agency. All authors were given one-on-one advice and information regarding agent representation.
Nick Davies, chair of The Future Bookshelf said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to The Future Bookshelf from our colleagues, from the wider industry and, of course, from the 757 debut writers who submitted their work. It has been a privilege to read so many fresh and diverse new voices. Congratulations to Eleni, Elizabeth and Robert. This is just the start for The Future Bookshelf and these three writers embody what a more diverse, inclusive and exciting place publishing can be.”
To hear about what each of the authors and editors had to say, more about each of the acquired projects and read an extract click on the title below:
|SHE CAME TO STAY||THE RETURNEES||A LENGTH OF ROAD|
|by Eleni Kyriacou||by Elizabeth Okoh||by Robert Hamberger|
Set up in 2016 as part of Hachette’s Changing the Story diversity scheme, The Future Bookshelf aimed to provide a year’s worth of tips and exercises on writing a book and to help demystify the business of publishing. Content was provided by a range of authors, literary agents, and staff. In December of 2017, The Future Bookshelf held an open submission for unagented and unpublished authors of fiction and non-fiction who felt they were underrepresented by the publishing industry. A personal statement as to why the author felt underrepresented was submitted along with a sample of the author’s work. The top 5 reasons why applicants felt they were underrepresented in the publishing industry were, in order: race, sexual orientation, age, disability, socio-economic status.
The open submission scheme saw 757 submissions and were read by 59 in-house readers from across Editorial, Marketing, Publicity, Sales, Audio, Rights, Contracts and Production who have worked throughout 2018 to select submissions that were deemed strong enough to go through the normal acquisition process.
Two-thirds (66%) of the submissions fell into either SFF, Commercial, Crime/ Thriller or Women’s Fiction.
As well acquiring authors from its open submission initiative, The Future Bookshelf has also committed to mentor a number of aspiring authors who submitted their work. Not an original part of The Future Bookshelf scheme, the mentoring programme was recently added to help authors who were seen to have potential but needed a little more guidance from a publishing professional. Mentees will receive up to 6 hours of one-on-one mentoring; a package of creative writing books; a visit to Hachette, for face to face meeting with mentor, and informal presentation from members of the wider publishing team; and a free creative writing workshop with Helen Corner-Bryant the Founder of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and the author of On Editing.
The authors who will be mentored are:
- Suzette De Coteau-Atuah, THE FORGOTTEN ART OF LETTER WRITING – mentored by Ella Gordon (Headline)
- Tara Nabili, ALL THINGS END IN YES – mentored by Francine Toon (Hodder)
Next Open Submissions
Moving forward, the 2019 Future Bookshelf open submission will expand to include Hachette’s Orion and Little, Brown divisions. The 2019 open submission will invite unagented and unpublished authors to submit their work after the London Book Fair. Exact dates will be advertised in the New Year on The Future Bookshelf website.
Who was involved?
The Future Bookshelf steering committee are:
Managing Director, John Murray Press
and co-chair of Changing the Story
Editorial Director, Two Roads
Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Marketing Manager, John Murray Press
Senior Publicity Manager, John Murray Press
Senior Commissioning Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Digital Marketing Manager, Headline
Editorial Assistant, John Murray
Editor, John Murray
Commissioning Editor, John Murray Learning
Editor, MacLehose Press/Quercus
Commissioning Editor, Hodder & Stoughton
Publisher, Tinder Press/Headline
With special thanks to Aimee Oliver (former Marketing Manager, Hodder and Stoughton) and Nelima Begum (former Future Bookshelf Administrator).
Authors who contributed to The Future Bookshelf are:
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Sergio De La Pava
Bret Anthony Johnston
Agents who contributed to The Future Bookshelf are: