Harper Voyager Submission Form

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530 thoughts on “Harper Voyager Submission Form

  1. I’m currently have been having trouble finding the guidelines for submitting on Oct 1st. Can you please help me as every where I’ve looked, it brings me here where I can’t seem to find the guidelines.

  2. i have read your FAQ thank you . I just wondered what abpout completed manuscripts of the first part of the trilogy but the 2-3rd books are not finished. Is that accepted?

    Thanks Lizy

    • I would assume you simply conduct it as if you were querying in a similar condition. Yes, you can submit the first manuscript. You’ll want to mention in the query letter that it’s intended as part of a trilogy/series. But considering that many authors who have written trilogies and series are published without having written the entire series/trilogy beforehand, I don’t think it’s going to set you back. If they like the concept, they’ll want to stick with you for the trilogy, after all.

  3. Hello,

    This sounds like an exciting chance for authors. I did have a few questions that I didn’t see in your FAQs:

    1. Are manuscripts sent to this subject to any sort of contract by submitting them? Are we prevented from querying our manuscript to agents or others publishers who allow unsolicited submissions?

    2. Will there be a royalty and/or advance offered?

    3. In the event that a manuscript is the first of multiple books (whether two, three, or more), will submitting the manuscript here limit the chance of being able to publish the continuation of the story? If Harper Voyager decides not to publish the full series, will the author be able to publish the rest of the story elsewhere?

    4. If the manuscript is accepted and has an ebook run, but Harper Voyager chooses not to publish it in print form, will the author have the option to publish a print version elsewhere, even if it is after a set amount of time?

    Thank you for taking time to read through and answer my questions, I appreciate it, and hope this opportunity goes well for both Harper Voyager and the authors involved. :-)

    Stephanie Flint

    • I’m just another author and not affiliated with Harper Voyager in any way, but I did see in the FAQ that this is a royalty-only (no advance) opportunity, and is not open to simultaneous submissions. They want a limited exclusive.

      Common sense dictates that authors submitting manuscripts are under no contractual obligation until they agree to a contract. Most of your questions would be answered at that stage.

  4. Good morning

    The time is 10:04 1st October 2012 and it seems that someone forgot it is a public holiday in some parts of the country …. 😉

  5. It’s interesting to see how many people ask questions that are answered in the submission requirments. I read through them twice and they seem to have been very complete.

  6. hmm… Young Adult or Adult fiction? I’m not sure what mine could classify as. I’m leaning towards YA, but my characters are not young, they’re in their mid-twenties a the least and I have some F-bombs thrown about. What’s a good general rule for this?

    • I went with young adult. I read a lot of young adult. Theme is more important than f-bombs. Mine has some sex . . . I’ve read several YA with characters in their early twenties.

    • YA can have cuss words. It’s all about the feel of the story. But it needs to involve teens. If the main characters are in their 20’s this isn’t a YA. YA is about teens, their lives, and their first experiences, whether they are humans, descendants of aliens, or hundred yr old vampires trapped in teen bodies. 😉

  7. Is the validation correct for the query and synopsis text areas? Only 1500 characters for a synopsis, and up to 4500 for a query. Should it not be the other way around?

  8. Just for clarification – submitting a manuscript by using the above form doesn’t lock people in to any contractual obligations does it?


    • Yes, and how would e-publication with Harper Voyager affect the author’s print rights? Would the writer maintain all other rights to the material – or is that determined in a contract between Harper Voyager and author if the material is accepted?

      • I’m also interested in this. I assume that if a manuscript is chosen the author would still have the option to decline, since it’s stated above that a contract will need to be signed, but I’d like to know we’re not locked into anything if the terms turn out to be not what we expected.

    • I’ve received an email submission within a few minutes of clicking the submit button. That is today that’s how it worked. I tried submitted last night and never received an email so I may have jumped the gun on the submission start time. Hope that helps.

      • On submission you will get a short email saying – Thanks for your submission and due to the large volume of entries, only those who will be considered, will receive further contact.

        If you did not receive this email as soon as you clicked the submit button then they didn’t get it.

        I hope this helps :)

  9. I think someone already asked this, but is that 1500 max character synopsis correct? I just want to make sure it isn’t a mistake.

    • I agree, I’ve written what I believe to be a fairly standard novel submission synopsis – brief outline, themes and descriptions of the main characters – and it is nearly 1000 words.

      • It looks like this is the real deal, so I got the plot down to a 250 word paragraph. There’s only enough time to give the main characters, the setup and the resolution, but I don’t think the synopsis is make-or-break here anyway. The manuscript is.

        • But how much can they tell about a novel from 1000 words, without a synopsis? Friends who are pubished novelists say that the synopsis is usually more important than the extract in selling a book!

          • I think for this submission, because they’re getting so many entries, they can’t afford to have longer synopses. What your synopsis does is give them a very general idea, so I’m guessing that for this submission, your extract is much more important. That has to be chosen with care. I’m just assuming here, of course.

    • Same question here, and I also have a different novel under contract with a publisher…I’m assuming as it’s not going to be released until next fall some time that doesn’t count as published, but you know what they say about assumptions.

    • Personally I am going to say yes, I dont’ see why short stories shouldn’t count as long as it’s in a proper publication.

        • Published is published, regardless of the genre or field.
          That old chestnut about being published by a ‘professional’ publication is way past its use by date.
          The only publishers who continue to wax lyrical about being a professional publication are those still mired in the pre-internet days of last century.
          Many well known ebook authors have never been published by a major publishing house, yet their work is just as good as anything published by a major press.
          It’s like the many print publishers who still demand a manuscript be printed out in its entirety and posted to them.
          Forget that rubbish, this is the 21 century and email rules supreme.
          If the publishing house can’t keep up with modern tech, then go say hello to the Dodo.

  10. I am having trouble trying to figure out which genre my book falls under. It’s a young adult supernatural romance. There really isn’t a selection like that so I’m a little confused as to what I should choose. Any suggestions?

  11. And thus it begins.
    Harper Voyager you are a legend.
    As all us first timers know, breaking in is a time consuming battle for recognition and if only a few of us hardy souls get pen to paper, paper to book and book to public… WOW… Thus begins another blockbuster.
    Thanks guys

  12. Kudos to Harper Voyager for this digital-specific approach, which is of mutual benefit to Harper Voyager and the authors. Harper can afford to take more leeway on digital-only titles than on traditional paper titles, and I’m sure a few of these “gambles” will pay off nicely. Especially in Harper Voyager’s genres, where e-books are already a high percentage of the readership. With this open submission program, I would say Harper Voyager has found a perfect middle ground between self-publishing and the full traditional publishing process. Voyager can take more chances on new authors this way, so authors who would not otherwise have the chance to be with a major publisher can get their foot in the door right here. The person at Harper Voyager who thought of this open submission idea should get a nice raise!

    Thank you, Daven Anderson

        • I haven’t received confirmation email either, or a reply from an email to the address supplied for if you haven’t received a confirmation – I’m think their system may be struggling with an unexpectedly large response…?

        • I didn’t get a response email so I resubmitted after waiting a number of days. I had the same thing happen with another publisher and they hadn’t received my submission. As it is only a short window it doesn’t seem sensible to wait, particularly if it not easy to check with them that they have received. it.

    • Having the same issue. No auto-response after submitting; followed the instructions re: not receiving confirmation; still no auto-response. And I’ve been checking my spam folder frequently. It’s frustrating not knowing if the glitch is in their system or my email client.

  13. I submitted twice and received no acknowledgement, not even in my spam. I tried using a different email account the third time and got an email immediately. Gmail may not be letting the email go through so if you are having problems use a different email.

    • There was an on-screen thank-you for the submission but nothing in my email either. I sent them a message like it says in the FAQ but haven’t received a response to that either. they must be swamped with submissions.

  14. The 70,000 word minimum is a little over the top for a Young Adult novel. YA goes from 40k to 60k unless you’re JK Rowlings, and her first was a fluke that it even got considered at that length.
    Also, my submission form will only allow me to enter 234 words into the synopsis field. What’s up with that.

    • I started with 52,000 words and decided I wanted to enter my book so i pushed myself to get over 70,000 words. Now i am at 77,000 words and VERY happy with how it turned out. Read over your book, you never know, there might be areas that could use more detail. I never thought id make it to 70,000 but i did! :)

      • same here, my work felt rather sparse and skeletal at 55,+ words seems more filled out now. My proof reader girlfriend agrees. Did 17,000 words in two weeks.

    • A ridiculous statement! Go to a bookstore and look in the Young Adult section. ALL of the books are closer to 100K. Learn the industry or you will be submitting for years with no results. Obviously, you are not even close to having a publishable novel. And you do yourself a disservice by trying before you should. It only closes more doors in your face. Doors that won’t open for you again when you do have something real to offer.

    • I know this is a super-late reply, but I could’ve sworn I heard somewhere that The Philosopher’s Stone was originally a LOT longer and the editors made J K R cut it down because they thought it was too long.

      And as a “young adult” myself, I’m pretty sure that many of the books in the genre actually have pretty high word counts. Maybe that’s just my taste in reading, though.

  15. First time ever submitting. I’ve read that query letters normally include a synopsis as the second paragraph. Is this necessary for Harper’s call since they have a separate field to include a synopsis? Why write two different versions? Thanks in advance for any enlightenment on this!

    • I think, considering they’ve given so much room for query letter, you can just use that space to expand on your idea in the query. My synopsis is pretty skeletal, but I’ve put more ideas in the query letter. Altogether, it should do the trick…

      • I’ve done the same as KR. Bare bones in the synopsis, themes and characters in the letter. It’s not what I would normally do but given the length restrictions and the complexity of my plot it was the best I could do.

  16. I have a question about the 1000 word best scene portion of the submission form.

    The manuscript for the scenes in the two novels I am submitting both contain underlining to indicate italics in the published book, but I lose the underlining when I paste the text into the submission form.

    Is there a way to indicate underlining (or italics) in the scene submission? If yes, 1) should I use standard HTML tags to indicate underlining/italics, and 2) do the tags count towards the 8500 character limit?

    I am only asking about the best scene portion of the form, not the submitted manuscript itself.


    • Just send it. For a 1000 word “scene” I doubt italics and that sort of thing will matter. The main goal here is to get them to take a look at your manuscript, I’m sure they won’t care too much about formatting in the submission form.

      • The italics (underlining in the manuscript) do matter for proper understanding of the scenes I originally selected from both novels I am submitting because they convey a character’s inner, unspoken thoughts. However I’ve gotten around the problem by choosing scenes that don’t use this technique.

        Thanks for your suggestion!

  17. I already sent this question, but there were no answer: do you accept manuscripts written in Italian Language? And also synopsis and other information may they be in Italian? Thank you

      • may I submit manuscripts in Italian language? Thanks

        September 26 at 1:06pm · Like..
        Harper Voyager Books Only English language submissions

        September 26 at 3:49pm · Like
        Yes there it is. Hope this helps!

        • Yes, but it was in USA site. I think that an international submission in Europe would be accepted also in other languages, but no one answer to my question

          • I really have no idea then. I believe your manuscript will be read by US, UK and Aus and thats why they want it in English?

  18. It’s so difficult to choose a “best scene” from one’s book. Does one choose the most humorous one? The one with the most dramatic tension? Or the first scene, which begins the story? I finally just rolled the dice and chose one in the middle, a tense scene between two characters. Wondering if this choice was as difficult for everyone else or if your “best scene” stood out as being the immediate, logical choice?

    • It took me forever to pick a scene! I ended up choosing a scene three chapters in where a dead character comes back to life as a ghost.

    • It took me forever to choose a scene, too! The limit of 8500 characters (or 1,000 words) meant that only one of my 35 chapters was short enough, and I almost chose that one except it was mostly dialogue. My first chapter and opening scenes are way too long. So many other scenes to choose from, I finally picked an action scene from another short chapter, a scene where my protagonist almost gets killed and I briefly swtich to an his attacker’s viewpoint.

    • It always makes me laugh when people agonize over which scene to use in a submission. The answer is too easy. They want to see the opening scene of your book. The opener is always your best scene and always should be. It is what hooks your reader into buying and reading your book. It’s what lands you an agent. It’s what lands you a publishing deal. Your first scene is everything and always will be. Until you learn that … you’re just pretending to be a writer. Because a real writer knows this and uses it to their advantage. And until your first scene becomes your best scene, you will never be published and you will never be sucessful.

      • I agree with Christy. If the first 1000 is dull they just won’t take it, even if they initially liked your in-the-middle scene. After all, how many of us read the first few pages of a book before deciding to buy it? Lots!

      • Uh oh, I’m only pretending to be a writer, then. I won my last contest with a middle scene, and my agent found me through that submission (I’m published, too, incidentally). Just because I chose to submit a middle scene doesn’t mean my first scene wasn’t stellar. It was. Sometimes there are too many good scenes to choose from, depending on what kind of writer you are. Harper Collins says to submit first scene OR best, depending on your judgment. But hey, Christy, you’re the expert.

        • Dear Wannabe,
          It’s always difficult to choose the right scene; perhaps that’s why Voyager have since changed the form so that it’s just the first 1000 words now.

          Also, did you see where the guidelines state that they’re looking for unagented works? Hope this doesn’t disqualify you, since I’m guessing your present submission is unagented.

          Best of luck.

      • Christy,
        This is the second comment of yours that I have read, and both have come across as rude/condescending. You know what they say: if you can’t say something nice…

    • I guess I will just submit my less than 70k manuscript regardless. If I add more, it will just ruin the integrity of my story. What’s the worst that can happen? Disqualification. I am willing to take that. At least I am pushing my dream through.
      Besides, shouldn’t it be about quality over quantity anyways?

      • No, it shouldn’t be about quality over quantity. If the guidelines say the minimum word count is 80,000 then the minimum word count is 80,000. They won’t accept anything less than that.

      • I would submit it anyway. The worst that can happen is they reject it. But if you don’t submit, it for sure won’t be considered. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

  19. I haven’t been able to find what format is required for the uploaded manuscript. Word? PDF? I should hope PDF as it allows embedded fonts. Anyone know?

    • Word or rtf only. Follow the link to their submission guidelines at the top of the submission form and it’ll tell you all you need to know.

      • When I submitted and it rejected my format (I use an iMac, so it was a .docx format), it rejected it and asked for PDF, rtf or Word. I sent PDF and received a confirmation email.

  20. Is the synopsis a full length synopsis, condescending the entire book from beginning to end in a page or two? I just want to make sure I get this right before I submit. Thanks.

  21. I’m a little confused. What is supposed to go in the “Query letter”? I’ve seen several comments saying that they used it as a continuation of the synopsis or best scene but none explaining just what you are expected to put in the query space. Thanks.

    • A query letter is a standard in the industry and has a very specific format. Look it up! You’ll never be published if you don’t know what you are doing.

      • Was it asking too much to for an actual explanation instead of ridicule? You could have simply said “Here’s a link, it’s too long to explain it here”.

          • I cannot be the only one who has never submitted anything for publishing. I planned to research it but thought posting the question here first was the better options. Excuse me for being new at this sort of thing.

      • Definition of Internet troll: an inadequate individual who posts a message, often in response to an honest question, that is intended to upset, disrupt or simply insult the group. Should be ignored as a passing nuisance.

    • And if you continue to be so sensitive to criticism, you’ll end up crying in a ball in the corner after your first rejection. You have to be tougher than that if you want to be here.

      • Thank you, that was helpful. And Christy, there is no reason to be nasty. Other people have asked question despite the answers being provided on this website and nobody else felt the need to verbally bash them. Your acid is not appreciated nor is it encouraging to other aspiring authors.

        • Agreed. She’s been posting nastiness all over this site. Someone should tell her that if this is the way she builds an author platform, no publisher will touch her with a ten-foot pole. Probably a bitter hack.

      • Thank you, El Toupee. I just stumbled across this thread and was beginning to think compassion was an extinct aspect of aspiring authors.

        May all of us be there for someone who needs a little guidance. One day, that someone may be us.

        • I agree – Bullying and nasty comments should not be posted on threads where others are trying to do their best. Asking questions are a natural process of learning. They should be encouraged not made to feel small and useless. I am a first time writer, doing my best to learn about the industry. Not only do you need to research, but those with experience are a valued source of information.
          I hope Christy and those that feel, rude comments are part of the learning curve should wake up and remember that, they to had to take that first step.

    • I’m with Christy on this. You’re just wasting everyone’s time if you’re submitting without knowing what you’re doing. It’s not about being all warm and fuzzy and fair for everyone. You have to be good and you have to know what’s going on. And one website isn’t going to give you enough knowledge. You’ve got work to do.

      • Everyone has to start somewhere. Authors aren’t born knowing what is needed, but those that make snippy, harsh comments? Well they may just be birthed like that, then the talent is cultivated with enthusiasm.
        I also think people should be encouraged to ask questions without being made to feel stupid.

  22. I would just publish on amazon directly. With no advance there is little benefit other than exposure and a professional editor by going with harper’s minor league label. The big publishers are going extinct slowly and will try anything to stay alive. They should just to stick to celebrity chef cookbooks and actor’s bios. Do yourself a favor and slowly build your name on your own. At least you won’t be led in the wrong direction by the dinosaurs and you can write exactly what you want, how you want.

  23. I’ve seen a lot of postings about the synopsis and how it seems too short a requirement. But professional writers agree. The powers that be want to see your talent. And the talent to put your entire story into a couple of paragraphs while still making them want to read more and hooking them into your story is the height of talent. And that is why your synopsis and query letter are even more important than the manuscript itself. It is the ultimate expression of a talented writer. And that’s why they request it in so few words and that’s why you have to work on it for months and revise, revise, revise! It is the heart of any submission and the testament of your skill with words.

    • You’ve said it well.

      Probably all of us hate writing synopses at first. I certainly did, at least until my first try writing a synopsis for my first novel. I couldn’t get the synopsis right until I realized that the problem was the novel had a major piece missing. I added it and it not only solved the problem, it contained some of the most interesting scenes in the novel.

      We need to look on the synopsis as an opportunity to show off our writing skills. It’s not easy to compress a 100,000 word novel into just a few hundred words, but if we can do it while conveying the heart of our story and writing it well, not just as a recitation of names and events, it’s proving our chops as a writer and bringing us one step closer to making a sale.

      • I do freelance copywriting for a living, and write my own “stories” at nights and on weekends. What my work experiences have taught me in this regard are in the way of keeping it short and simple, but with a powerful impact. So when it comes to pitches and queries and synopses for my fun stuff, I compare it to writing a movie trailer for my story. What would make ME want to go see that movie or read that book? If you can do that, yes, you’ve already sold them on your writing and that’s more than half the battle.

  24. A Query Letter, is you basically selling yourself and your work to them. It is not a continuation of the synopsis. What they are asking you, is why should we sign your book, and why would we want to. From there, you make them believe they need your book lol.

  25. This is my first time at attempting to become published. I have spend years writing, and going through the process of rewrites, proof reading and corrections. Readying myself, with writing a short and concise synopsis, a query letter and so forth. I have read threads and blogs, asked advice, from other writers and authors / published or not. Set up a facebook page, involved myself in groups and the internet community. Gathered as much info as I have been able, so I can make an informative decision, about where to go and what to do. Keep heart, there are some very nice people out there. Willing to share their experiences to help us all along.

    It is a long and tiring process, but in the end – if you read the guidelines from any publishing group about submissions and follow the rules to the letter. You will at least go to bed knowing you have given it your – Best Shot. Do ever feel discouraged for if you do not make it with a traditional publisher and let’s face it, the odds are slim. There are other paths to take, self publishing for one, that will allow you to see your dream in print.

    Good Luck to everyone, and please, do not take on the negative from those, that feel they are better for having something for sale. It’s not about that – its about telling the story and sharing the word. Giving pleasure to those, that love to read.
    If you like – look me up, I happy to give anyone the support and encouragement they need.

    • Great advice and a welcome change to most comments being written. I’ve self-published and am now submitting to Harper Collins in the SLIM hope of someone in the publishing world taking note. However, for me its not all about getting published by a large publishing company its about living my dream to write. I have so many stories mounting up in my brain so I’ll just keep on writing no matter what. Good luck to all those making submissions.

    • I loved your comment and you are right. It should be about getting your work out there for people to enjoy. Getting published would be wonderful, but if that doesn’t happen, I definately plan to self publish. I simply want to get my work out there for other people to enjoy. Writing should be about the passion of it, like any art. It’s meant to be shared and experienced with others.

  26. I’m a bit confused. They appear to have changed the excerpt guidelines from when I looked at it on the 1st. Didn’t it say to upload the best paragraph?

  27. I see a lot of people asking questions about the synopsis versus the query letter and thought I’d throw my two cents in. My understanding is that a synopsis is a short blurb about your book with the goal of telling the reader what your book is about. It should catch the reader’s attention and make them want to read the book.

    The query letter on the other hand is you telling a prospective publisher or agent what your book is about and why they should want to represent you. It is an opportunity to give a bit more information about the book (like a surprise ending, or a juicy tidbit), word count, what point of view it is written in, and the genre. Is it the first book of a series? Then you should write a short framework for the next novels and where you expect the story to go. If you have previously published the story independently and you have reviews out there, share them. The query letter also gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself, why you write, what gave you the idea for your story, whether or not you have published before, or anything else that you feel is relevant and interesting.

    In short, my understanding is that a synopsis is bait to catch a reader’s attention; a query is your sales pitch to a prospective publisher.

    Good luck!

  28. If you include a prologue in your novel, should you post the first 1000 words of that or the first 10000 words of chapter 1?

    • At least you get more than one life, or more than one chance to throw the one you have – there are plenty of other executioners waiting out there!

      (Either that or it’s time for a new metaphor :)

  29. So I submitted yesterday, then realized today I had submitted the wrong draft of my manuscript (I keep extra drafts around for progress reference.) What would you guys do in this situation? Know of anyone I can contact, should I re-submit, or am I out of luck? Thanks in advance <3

  30. About the synopsis vs query letter – looking at the character count limits for each provided on the form, it looks almost opposite to what I thought was the norm – ie, short, hooky, query letter, then longer story-outline synopsis. This form is set up for very short synopsis, but much longer query letter. Any thoughts, anyone?

    Also, if anyone from Voyager could answer: is the 1000 word ‘best scene’ no longer acceptable? If so, and we have a prologue, should that be part of the first 1000 words?

    Many thanks, and best of luck to everyone submitting.

    • Since they took the “best scene” stipulation out of the instructions, I would imagine it is no longer viable. As to the Prologue, I’d assume that’s up to you, but I cannot say for certain.

      And your thoughts regarding the synopsis/query letter are the same as mine. Stick to what you know imo; don’t let the max amount of characters available stipulate how you write your query letter or synopsis.

      • I realized after I submitted the “Best Scene” I’d already chosen that the requirement had been changed to “First 1000 Words”.

        So I sure hope they’re not tossing submissions in the waste bin based on that, or judging from the comments lots of people will be automatically disqualified!

  31. Best of luck to all my fellow submitters! I’ve just submitted two manuscripts. There were no problems. The confirmation email for one arrived in about ten minutes and in about an hour for the other.

    For the folks who’ve been asking questions here: posting questions in a forum is really not the best way to learn how to format a manuscript because you have know way of knowing the qualifications of the people replying. There have been some good answers here and some poor ones. Also, bear in mind that on a site like this one, you don’t know the motivations of some people replying to your question – they may be trying to eliminate competition.

    My advice is to find reputable websites and books, then study them carefully. Taking writing classes can help also. I’ve done all three. I haven’t yet made a sale, but I have won awards and have put a lot of time into my writing and especially into editing my writing.

    Good luck and keep writing!

  32. Hello everyone,

    I’ve noticed a lot of people on here have been asking questions about writing a query letter/synopsis. While there is a wealth of information on the internet, I have found the community at “Absolute Write Forums” to be incredibly helpful when it comes to answering these sorts of questions.


    If you’re serious about being a writer, the people at AWF can help you develop your skills in a friendly environment. You can have your query letter/synopsis/manuscript critiqued by other AWF members, many of whom are published authors. You can also discuss your favourite topics with other aspiring writers, check out other writing competitions, as well as find out which agencies are bogus and which are legitimate. I’ve been a member there for over 2 years now and during that time I’ve learned more about writing than I have in the past decade!

    For those of you who asked, a query letter is a sales pitch. It’s usually a one page business letter to the agent/publisher which introduces your main character and outlines the main conflict of your story (what the main character wants, what’s stopping them from getting it, and what’s at stake if they don’t succeed). Don’t give away the ending though! It also contains important information like genre and word count, along with a list of any other work you’ve had published. Don’t include self published works unless the sales are substantial. Your query letter is designed to “hook” the agent and make them want to read more – that’s all.

    A synopsis on the other hand is a more complete outline of your manuscript. They are usually between one and four pages, although for this competition it seems to be limited to one page. It follows the main characters and the main conflict from start to finish, allowing you to go into a little more detail. But… it’s not enough to list WHAT happens, you also need to show WHY it happens. This gives the agent/publisher the opportunity to see if your story is believable as well as interesting.

    Hope that helps clear things up! Best of luck everyone and I hope to see you on Absolute Write Forums.

    Warm regards,

    Eileen McILwain

    • thanks Eileen!
      several authors that are part of the HC Authonomy community have been practising query letters and synopsis writing. The main issue here is that this submission form only allows approx 250 words (1500 characters, including spaces) for the synopsis: to outline characters, plot, conflicts, sub-plots and resolution – which length is barely the standard length for a pitch! It would imply that the normal interpretation/style of a synopsis does not apply here – that perhaps a pitch with an extra detail or two thrown in is what needs to be done? I don’t know – but I’ve been working to fit that limit, and it’s a tough one.

      • I agree it’s definitely a tough one, but it IS achievable if you stick to the main conflict and main characters. Backstory, subplots, supporting characters etc can all be trimmed away if necessary. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get the agent/publisher to read your manuscript. Your query letter and synopsis should make them want to do that.

        • Im sure they did that bc they will have SO many to read. It was tough but i like to think i got mine down to the basic story. I tried my best!

    • Looking at the sub form, and your interpretation of query/synopsis (with which I agree) I’m inclined to wonder if the maximum character counts on the form for query letter and for synopsis have not accidentally been switched around. For all other submissions, the query is the shorter (1 page or less) and the synopsis is one page or longer.

      Well, I will give it a go anyway! good luck to all.

    • Piper, I did wonder that myself, however a company as big as Harper Voyager would have picked up on a mistake like that straight away. I prefer to think of it as a writing challenge they’ve laid down for us to see if we’re up to the task.

    • It’s about half a page single-spaced for the synopsis at 1500 characters. I thought they transposed the character counts for the query and synopsis. I’m going to go with what the submission form actually says since there’s no definitive answer.

    • Yes, it is always best to assume publishers (and agents for that matter) mean what they say. If they ask for a 1500 word synopsis then that’s what you should give them. Basically, you’re applying for a job. If you don’t meet the application criteria then you’re less likely to get the job, simple as that. It always pays to do your homework because most agencies and publishers are VERY specific when it comes to what they want. Even if you don’t get anywhere in this competition, you can use the skills you’ve learned to query agents and publishers.

    • Some years ago I met Arthur Levine at a conference and he said he wants queries that come to him to read like jacket, or flap, copy. Very short. So that’s what I’ve always done. It’s impossible to know what’s inside the head of any one editor. It’s all subjective. I take advice from different quarters but in the end I do what feels and reads right for me.

  33. anyone know if you submit the preface/forward at the front of the ms? If I actually get them past my query, I’d hate to turn them off w/ a preface before they got to the story.

  34. Just submitted mine. I really hope they take a look at it and like it. I worked 8 hours on perfecting my query and synopsis today and not to mention the countless hours before that. Hopefully it will catch their attention.

  35. Has anyone else had problems uploading their manuscript? When I click Submit, it simply blanks out my manuscript and the page doesn’t change. Wondering if this is a temporary glitch or if I’m doing something wrong…

    • Just submitted mine. System didn’t confirm that the manuscript upload had completed successfully but it did say, “Thank you for your submission”. I have no way of knowing if the upload completed. Slightly worrying.

  36. Oy! I forgot to include my website in the Query portion! Too worried about getting everything else tightened and spit-polished. Well, I suppose if they like my submission they’ll ask for a web address (if needed).

  37. It is amazing how difficult it is to reach “perfection.” In this case, that is what the publisher wants – following instructions to the letter. My bit of confusion was over the question “Have you published before.” Yes, is what I tagged – but I have not published a book as a sole author. I have been a contributing author to a number of non-fiction books. Over 30 years, I’ve authored over 100 articles (some with more than 250,000 subscribers) in perhaps a dozen publications. I also am the primary writer for a park website that gets ~24,000 page views each week. There is so much that I can’t put in the query letter, and frankly I don’t know if it is relevant.

    I didn’t have any problems once I hit the “Submit” button.

  38. The second submission has twice rejected the file [no bugs-no transmission problems] which might be due to it’s size <8Mb?
    Could I send in a CD version please?
    Please send instructions
    thank you for your time [gremlins aside]

    • If you have word, it has to be submitted in compatibility mode, not the 2007 (or later) version. It did highlight that (and I think it in fact specified it initially) if it didn’t submit properly the first time.

  39. The website took too long to accept my submission and the time passed. Is there any way I can still submit it? I pressed submit at 11:59, but it took until 12:03 to finish uploading and go to the next page–which says I missed the deadline.

    Please, can someone help me?

  40. It is 9:30 pm on October 13 here in the USA and I just submitted believing I was a day early. I had read nothing regarding time zones, so I’m assuming that my submission will be considered. I thank you for reviewing this situation that apparently has been experienced by other authors.

  41. Your invitation was misleading. Like others, I thought that the 14th of October was the final day for submissions. After working into the small hours of that day, I find that you apparently closed the door at midnight. Play fair!

  42. Um… I thought I had till THROUGH the 14th, like my peers said below. That was not made clear. I could have submitted on the 13th, Was just gonna give it one more look in the morning.

    • I could have sworn I saw “through” the 14th somewhere as well. That’s three days of no sleep for nothing. Oh well, I’m going to continue on. At least I will have a finished synopsis and query out of this…

  43. So disappointed. Submitted at 10:20 MST, (took a long time writing the synopsis) and the thing came back that the portal was closed. It’s not even the fourteenth yet. Well, I suppose it is somewhere. Really wish the guidelines had been a little clearer as to when the submissions process was closing.

  44. I thought I was submitting mine with 24 hours left to go. Guess I missed it by less than a minute. I thought that when it said we could submit from the 1st through the 14th that we would be able to submit on the 14th.

    • There’s semantics for you. It says “the 1st until the 14th.” Misleading, but they can honestly say that they never intended to take submissions on the 14th.

      I’m very disappointed, but I’m also sure the editors at Harper Voyager are already drowning in submissions, so I doubt they will open the window back up to those of us who either missed it due to upload times or because we misread the call.

      • They did send out a Tweet stating that submissions closed on Sunday. If they close “on” Sunday, then 11:59 PM on Saturday – when the portal shut down, isn’t accurate. However, they can do whatever they want. It is annoying, however.

        • I still had the guidelines page open and this is what it says at the bottom:

          “Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, so visit http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and move one step closer to your Voyager dreams.”

          So perhaps it is some kind of programming error with the submission form. Because that clearly states “through” the 14th, and elsewhere someone posted that the UK Facebook page said it would be open through Sunday.

  45. I’m still e-mailing my manuscript to them. They did NOT specify that the portal was closing at 12:00am on the 14th, leading EVERYONE to assume it was closing at 11:59pm on the 14th. Since they were not clear, they’re still getting my manuscript because of their unclear directions.

  46. It is 11:45 pm on 10/13/2012 and the portal is closed. Way to go Harper Voyager, we appreciate the very confusing deadline.

  47. I’m disappointed for my friend, who worked for weeks to get this ready by the deadline. Nice for New York, I’m sure to have until midnight. The rest of the country would have liked to have known that they only had till 9 in the evening on the 13th.

  48. Hey Harper Voyager – play fair. Spent last 3 weeks, honing, and you go pull this trick. Not nice. Please reconsider – lots of disappointed authors.

  49. It was not made clear that the submission portal would close at 12:00am on the 14th. Furthermore I began attempting to submit my manuscript at 11:30pm. After receiving errors, I was apparently carried past the submission deadline which I feel is unfair to those of us who were attempting to polish our submission one last time before submitting.

  50. Hello Harper Voyager

    Thank you for opening up this incredible opportunity for us. I’ve been working diligently to meet this deadline for a while now, as I’m sure my fellow writers have, as well.

    I am very disappointed to see the submission portal closed before the indicated deadline. It is 10:30pm on October 13th here in Arizona, from where I am writing.

    A fourteen-day window means that the fourteenth day should be included. Therefore, because the window began on October 1st, it should end on October 14th, not 13th. The ambiguity over time deadline and time zones have been a constant question for many of us in these responses, and there have been no previous attempts at clarification.

    I implore you to please consider reopening the submission portal for those of us who would otherwise have met the deadline. If you cannot open it for the entirety of Sunday, please at least allow us until midnight arrives on the west coast.

    I speak on behalf of so many of us who have diligently labored to meet the deadline that we thought you had granted us. We have the utmost respect for Harper Voyager, are deeply grateful for the opportunity you have extended us, and ask that you would please consider allowing these final submissions until October 14th, as you had promised.

    Thank you very much for your consideration.

    Ophelia Hu


  51. It is disappointing. It’s early afternoon on the 14th here in Australia and I could have lodged mine days ago except I was paranoid enough to make myself read it through again. No doubt they have received thousands of sumissions from around the world. Here’s hoping they are fast readers and we all get another chance soon! :)

  52. I just tried submitting my manuscript. I have spent weeks getting it ready. Nothing indicated this was to end at midnight. If I had known I would have submitted it earlier. This is unconscionable.

  53. It’s not even 10:00 p.m. on October 13th where I live near Seattle, WA and I came to put in my submission after spending extra time making sure it was polished to its best. If there had been any mention of time zone, let alone a clarification on ‘to or through’ the 14th, I would have completed my submission. Instead I join the ranks of the frustrated holding a good novel ready for publication. I would really appreciate a chance to put in my submission since according to the published guidelines I was not beyond the deadline. Please contact me if I can be included in this opportunity I’ve been so excited to work toward. Sincerely- SJK

  54. Like many other people, I am also concerned that my submission has not been accepted. I live in Bali, Indonesia. It was just after midday on Sunday 14 October when I tried to submit my manuscript. It seems that the wrong cut off time has been programmed into your site. It is only fair that you contact everyone who tried to submit their manuscripts on the last day you quoted in your offer and allow them to submit. I therefore look forward to hearing from you shortly.

    With kind regards

    J M Leitch

    • I live in South Africa and with the time between us and the US, I was actually submitting on the 13th Oct. it sucks

  55. From the guidelines. Exact quote: “Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, ” I am hoping this is a computer error like the Y2K thing. Through clearly means the entirety of the 14th.

  56. Ok, so from what I can gather, the deadline was based on London time. It is now 6am on a Sunday there, so I don’t think we will be getting any response from them for some hours – if not until Monday.
    To compound the problem I think they have made an error in the time of the cut-off. Perhaps putting in 12.01am 14th Oct instead of 12.01am 15th Oct – easy enough mistake to make but very big repercussions! Hopefully they will give us another 24hours. I kind of feel sorry for the person who comes into the office to see the mess! I’ve learnt my lesson and won’t be submitting at the last minute to anything ever again!

    • The issue of timezones never even occurred to me because I accessed the site through Harper Voyager Australia – DOH! But like you – I will be submitting days ahead of time in future. Lesson learned the hard way!

      • I think perhaps the timezone issue didn’t occur to the publisher either! When I saw all the odd cut off times coming in from the US I tried to work out what country the ‘midnight’ had been based on – I think it must be the UK – in hindsight I’m sure they’ll realise they should have had separate submission sites for each country!

        • Even if the cutoff was for UTC (or GMT…basically UK time), that doesn’t explain why it stopped at the end of the 13th instead of the end of the 14th. Like many others, I’m crossing my fingers that this is some kind of glitch. And in the future, they need to be much more specific about the cutoff date and time for submissions.

      • Yes, I also learned the hard way. my MS is ready, but I wanted my synopsis perfect. That is, in my opinion the hardest thing to write. Oh well.

  57. URGH!! 2 minutes to midnite on Oct 13th and my submission was denied saying the opportunity was now closed. I thought we had until Oct 14th to submit? Any chance there was an issue with the site and that a courtesy could be extended to those of us who submitted before the deadline of Oct 14th as stated on the website?
    Thanks for considering the hard work that we have put in to our stories hoping for this wonderful chance to show you our voice.

  58. I attempted to submit to submit my manuscript by 11:04 CST on Oct 13th, here in Nebraska and the portal was already closed. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion as to when the portal was to remain open.

    Please reconsider opening the portal to include the 14th in all time zones so that everyone who has worked diligently on getting their pieces together for consideration may have the a chance at this great opportunity.

    Thank you for any help you are willing to help the many writers out there who have done their best to provide a great piece to share.


    Wendy Nelson

  59. Argh! I found out about the opening last week and have been spending that time trying to get a decent version of my novel, synopsis, and query letter. Then, I, too, got online tonight at 10pm California time to find that the portal was closed. Seriously?!!? Can someone please open back up the portal for all the authors who have been working diligently to present their best work before the deadline?

  60. I, too, am very frustrated that I cannot seem to access the portal. The guidelines were not clear at all as to what time the deadline was. I thought for the US, it would maybe be 12am EST, however, when I tried to submit before that time it was already closed.

    I think it was an incredible oversight not to post a clear time of the end of the submission period. Was this a programming error, or a strong lack of communication?

    Currently very frustrated and hoping someone will provide answers.


    – J. C. Amis

    • Thank you all for your dedication and re-opening the portal for submissions. I, like the many others who have posted today, am very grateful for the opportunity and your willingness to correct the mistake. It says a great deal about the company’s character and I hope to have the opportunity work with you all.


      – J. C. Amis

  61. Does anyone have a Microsoft Outlook e-mail account? If so, please go to this website: http://www.harpercollins.com/ which is the parent company of Harper Voyager and go the very bottom of the page to “Contact Us”. Click on the “Feedback” tab and please post the e-mail address here. I cannot get my Microsoft Outlook to configure to my Yahoo! e-mail, so I can’t get the address. Maybe we can get some responses from e-mailing them that way as well.

  62. Yep, missed the deadline too. Sure would like another chance at it, since it sure seemed like you said it went through the 14th :-)

  63. To Whom It May Concern:

    I was incredibly disappointed to click onto your submission portal just shy of midnight on the 13th (American CST) to discover that the portal was already closed. From what I had read, I had expected the portal to be opened on the day of the 14th as well, and have spent every evening after work for the past several weeks polishing my manuscript.

    I sincerely hope that this was a glitch, and that the portal was accidentally closed early. I will be checking back in the morning, and hope to find an explanation.

  64. I feel frustrated…first, my laptop deleted my entire manuscript on the 12th around 10 pm when I was almost ready to submit. So I spent all of Saturday re-editing it from an attached file from an email I had sent to a friend. Having already done my synopsis and query, all I would have needed to do is tweak those and send the whole thing early Saturday morning. Instead, I had to re-edit my 288 page manuscript from beginning to end before submitting. When I went to submit around midnight, I found submissions were no longer being accepted. I feel like I’ve wasted my weekend and lots of tears for nothing.

  65. I too just tried to submit I still had the form open and it I was able to fill in the boxes and submit, and then it took me back here saying submissions are closed. It is still the 14th, and my understanding was that the submissions would be open until at least the end of today. Was this closing time intentional?

  66. It’s very upsetting that the deadline wasn’t made clearer. I’ve now missed submitting and feel like I’ve wasted a weekend. Please open this back up until midnight on the 14th! So many people have now missed out :(

    • Argh! I just tried to submit and now I’m rather unhappy. I submitted my form, and it came back to this screen that said it was closed! They were very unclear about the deadline. All logic I could find indicated that we had until tomorrow night. I protest.

  67. Guidelines clearly say the following:

    Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, so visit http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and move one step closer to your Voyager dreams.

    “Through 14 October” means until the end of the day on October 14th. I’m an English teacher. I know my prepositions. It’s time to reopen the portal, please.

      • Perhaps it was an IT error when selecting the date range? Nevertheless, it would be great if Harper Voyager could remedy this mistake, as there are many of us who have missed out on this opportunity because of an apparent technical glitch…

        Please let us know.

        • I am so irritated that the 14 Oct is not actually the last day. I think this is a bad reflection on your company. I worked really hard to get everything in order, thinking I had today as well. Well, Harper Collins, shame on you.

  68. Dear Harper Voyager:

    I am absolutely crushed to find the portal closed so early. I live in MST time, and even though I was careful to submit my manuscript on October 13, just in case time zones saw the portal closed early on Sunday, I couldn’t believe when the portal closed before October 14 even arrived.

    In light of the lack of a specified closing time, I implore you to please reopen the portal. I have worked very hard over the last two weeks to prepare for this opportunity, and it would mean a great deal to me — and everyone here — if we were allowed our fair chance to participate.

    Thank you,

    Annette Tremblay

  69. I hope you realize, this does not make the best impression on your customers. I sincerely hope that this is indeed a mistake. By mentioning the 1st and the 14th in all texts, people will by default think that it includes both days. If it was not intended so, then clearly state the time and date of the closing.
    Everything else is quite frankly really really poor customer service and leaves the impression you don’t really care much about all the hard working authors who’s spent time polishing their work to their best!

      • I don’t agree with your commentary about not being a “customer.” I have hundreds of HarperCollins books in my house…how many do you have? Probably about the same right? I would call that being a customer.

        When I give my money to a person or a business I am a CONSUMER. Granted, this was an opportunity to become published by HC, but let’s not forget they make their money off people like us buying their books and supporting their authors.

  70. The website said October 14th was the final day. There was no mention of what time the portal would be closed. It just turned the 14th for me, and I was just about ready to submit. When I checked the site, it says the portal is closed.

    Harper-Voyage, I do not mean to sound like a complainer but some form of explanation would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

    • I tried to post my manuscript when it was still October 13 in California and got the same message as some of the others here got. Closed portal. This doesn’t make me deliriously happy after all the work I did to meet the published deadline.

  71. When Harper Voyager was encouraging speculative fiction I didn’t think it would all centre around when the deadline for their comp was! Very bad form guys, it clearly states 14th Oct as the deadline and the portal should be reopened. Can’t wait for your next ‘Let’s frustrate a lot of talented writers around the world simultaneously’ competition. Keep writing everyone and I hope one day you all get your chance to dazzle :)

  72. Please open this portal again. I thought being in New Zealand and getting first dibs on October the 14th, I was in plenty of time, but it seems that “October the 14th is too late”, as Fred Hoyle almost put it.

    Or did you finish early because you were already overwhelmed by a tidal wave of manuscripts?

  73. I am having the same issue as many of you. It is 1:21am Mountain Time, now October 14th, and I got the message about them no longer accepting submissions. I’m not sure quite what to do. Maybe I will also send an email to their feedback contact.

  74. Can you please open the portal for one more day as many of us were confused by the lack of close time displayed on your website. If something is advertised as closing October 14th without a time, one would assume it meant until midnight on that day.

  75. Hi, I would like to say that I am extremely disappointed, it was not made clear that the submission deadline did not include Sunday the 14th, the wording seemed to indicate it was inclusive.

    I hope that HarperVoyager will consider an amnesty for those that were caught up in the confusion. To see the hopes of so many dashed, whether it is due to a technical error or a minor technicality, is extremely disheartening.

  76. I just finished filling in all the forms, which I began at 9:00 pm tonight, and hit submit at 12:30 just to have the site say the portal has closed. I’m seriously in tears!

  77. I won’t add another complaint to the list, although I do believe everyone that had posted one did warrant the right. I will, however, ask that an email be sent to my account to either confirm or deny a second opportunity to submit my manuscript. Whether or not it is possible is not the issue. It’s obvious that the overflow of manuscripts have proven too great to add any more to the list, however I feel that it is my right to ask for some sense of closure since the terms and conditions did state that we all had until the 14th. To spare numerous – if not hundreds – of aspiring authors feelings of unfairness and inequality, I implore Harper Collins to answer our requests and post updates on what is going on as soon as possible.

    Yours truly,
    A HarperCollins fan

  78. Just wanted to add my dismay to the list of those who thought a deadline of the 14th included the 14th!

  79. I would like to add myself to the list of disappointed writers who’d hoped to be considered in this open submission period. It’s disheartening to see that one minor omission in the details has tripped so many of us up.

    If it’s not possible to allow submissions “through October 14th” (which for all intents and purposes means you’d include the 14th), please consider posting exact closing times for future open submission windows.

    Thank you,
    Margo Rowder

  80. I too assumed we could submit on the 14th. I am really disappointed. I’ve been polishing my final draft all week; tweaking and amending those parts that still niggled me and now I’m too late. The website wasn’t clear that the submission was up to, BUT NOT INCLUDING the 14th. I think these terms should have been highlighted more clearly.

  81. I thought the 14th was the last day for submissions too and, in fact, the web page does say the portal is open. Very disappointed. I couldn’t submit my maunscript any earlier because I was swamped with paid work last week and didn’t have the time to finish the final computer edit on my manuscript until yesterday.

  82. What a disappointment. While co-ordinating with my editor and at four hours into the 14th, I was actually proud of a timely submission. What a pity for many of us, including you as a publishing house, to have missed unforeseen opportunities because of one little word–through; that little word said the deadline was midnight October 14, 2012.

  83. I don’t understand. I’ve worked myself to the bone for so long. I worked right up to this minute, thinking, it’s still the 14th and I can get my story submitted. But there seems to be no submission forms or avenue of posting it. To get this far, and find the door closed. I’m stunned…

  84. I am absolutely sick to my stomach right now. The informational page about submissions says “October1-October14” not until October 14. I would have submitted this a few hours ago (when it was still the 13th) had I known. I am absolutely in shock.

    • The same thing happened to me! I killed myself to hit this deadline. I could have submitted last night but decided to look over my ms this morning with fresh eyes, to be sure I was sending in a clean copy. HarperCollins, please open your portal for the rest of the day–your wording was unintentionally misleading.

  85. I would like to add my voice to those who are expressing their disappointment.

    On the one hand, yes, it’s always a good idea to submit in plenty of time before a deadline. So in that sense, it’s my own fault. On the other hand, if a deadline of the end of the 14th is given (and the guidelines do clearly state ‘1 October through 14 October’), it’s reasonable to expect to have until then to submit.

    I do find it ironic that I’ve spent so many hours polishing my manuscript to remove clumsy sentences, awkward word choices, ambiguities, etc., only to miss my opportunity because of an ambiguity in the submission guidelines!

  86. As others have mentioned – many people have been working very hard to finalise their manuscripts within the time window set. Both the fact that it is, at time of writing, currently ‘officially’ the 14th October and also the expectation that a time window would be structured to close at the end of the weekend, rather than at midnight on a Saturday night (unless otherwise clearly stated, which it wasn’t), is simply not fair to those of us that have made the effort in good faith. Come on Voyager, come on Harper-Collins – demonstrate that you really do care about us writers and re-open for a few short hours further – we’d love to work with you, but you’ve got to keep your end of the bargain too!

  87. It is absolutely unfair that you say two weeks submission deadline and close it within 13 days. Or does two weeks as in seven plus seven days count as 13 to you? You opened it on October 1 and please count, it should end on October 14 midnight, not 13th. Also on the main website, all the twitter messages and other reminders state that last submission day is SUNDAY not Saturday. And may I ask, how do you know you have not missed the submission of the decade by short-changing those of us who wanted to ensure the manuscript is polished enough for submission today?

    • Your book of the decade will have to wait until the next open submission, if there is one. If your book was not ready enough to submit during the submission period, then I’m sure it will benefit from the time you spent honing it. You can still put it out to agents and other publishers accepting submissions. If it’s as good as you think, it will be snapped up just as easily. Personally, as soon as I heard of this opportunity, I blasted through a final edit with my deadline being 1st October. The same day I filled in the form and uploaded the manuscript.

        • Don’t let this setback hold you back. Get submitting to agents etc now. It’s just the same as most of us will have to do if we are not successful. Best of luck, Sowmya.

      • Well done on submitting on the 1st October, but the submission window was supposed to be open 01-14 October, and I don’t think it really matter whether you’re the first to submit of the last. Harper Voyager have let people down (or more likely their IT people have), and it’s not massively helpful to speculate on how ready other people work was for submission. People thought they had until the end of today, and many will have worked hard to that deadline. HV should open the portal for an additional day, but maybe 2000+ submissions is enough for anyone.

      • That was unnecessary. The poster was writing generically about the ‘book of the decade’. As an observer of this fiasco, it would appear to me that Harper have missed a great opportunity by bungling the deadline. They’ve skewed the applicants towards those with pre-prepared manuscripts, and therefore manuscripts that have likely been rejected by other publishers. ‘New’ talent would have been working on new, unpolished manuscripts right up until the last minute. So I agree that it is possible the submission-of-the-decade was missed.

    • I really am disappointed by the ambiguous wording from Harper Voyager on this, and I completely sympathise with everybody who was unable to submit because of it. It did say “until” the fourteenth, though, not “until and including” the fourteenth. Really, HV should have specified. As I understand it, the portal closed not long after midnight, American time, today (Sunday). At the very least, they might have specified which time zone they’d be running on for the portal closures so that people would be more prepared.

      In any case, at least your work will have benefited from the time you spent working on it. You never know: you might even be in a better position to land a contract than some of us who submitted because you’ll have more time to work on your submission in a less pressurised environment.

  88. OH MY GOD.

    I have been writing nonstop for the past month to hit a deadline I thought was 10/14, not 10/13. HARPER, PLEASE REOPEN SUBMISSIONS AS PROMISED FROM 10/1 – 10/14. MANY, MANY, MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT 10/14.


  89. The submission portal, http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com, is now open and will be until the 14th of October 2012. <—- it says UNTIL. Never EVER wait until the last day guys :( If it had said "through the 14th" i would have expected it to be open through today. But i still would have never waited until the last day. That really stinks for those who didnt get a chance to enter but i am very much looking forward to how many submissions were received and what sort of stories they choose to publish! Good luck everyone!! Please share if you hear anything from them!!

    • I understand what you mean, Lauren – but it is rather confusing when, on the side of this very website, it is still saying that the U.K submissions portal closes on Sunday. That makes it October 14, not October 13, 11.59pm.

    • It does say “through the 14th.” Exact words here: “Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012,”

      • And there’s this on their US Facebook page (dated October 8th):

        “Less than 1 week left to submit your manuscript–our digital submission period ends after 14 October 2012.”

        After. That does not mean midnight October 13th.

    • Yes, I agree with all of the posts which I have seen that the submission deadline was to be through the 14th and not at midnight on the 13th. Considering that it is more customary to put the deadline date as the day at which midnight is the cut-off, it should have read the 13th. Also, I only learned of this via an e-mail sent to me through Twitter which I received on the 13th, which is frustrating. So, Lauren I agree that until does mean until but two weeks means 14 days not 13. So if you wanted to use the word until you should have said until the 15th and accepted submissions through the last day of the 2 weeks no matter where in the world the writer lives. With this many people upset it might be good PR to go ahead and add a day, just a thought.

      • I do agree that they did say “a two week period.” I wonder if anyoen will respond to all these comments. I am also curious how many submissions they DID receive.

    • I would like to add my anger and resentment to your vague deadline. I had the whole thing ready and just now saw that you have closed the submission portal after claiming in your website that the submission portal is now open. Is there anything you can do to fix this?

  90. Just about to post my manuscript and found the submissions had closed early!! I thought it was open until the 14th October! Very disappointing!

    • I worked my backside off trying to get this done so that I could submit it only to find out that the portal was closed! I am do not happy about this!!!
      I checked the website THREE times to make sure that the timeframe had not changed!!! Not really a fan of harper right now!

    • OMG! That’s how I read it! I spent my entire vacation doing the tweaks, was doing a last pass right now so I could enter it in that time frame. *PLEASE* Harper Voyager, reopen the portal!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!

  91. Well, yes I am confused. If the portal was to be closed at midnight on the 13th, this should have been made clear.Those who have said manuscripts should have been submitted earlier are missing the point. Surely it’s a matter of personal choice. If Harper Collins Voyager had wanted the manuscripts submitted over 1 or 2 days they would have asked for them to be, wouldn’t they? I sincerely hope the portal is re-opened so people who were planning to submit today may do so. Usually the end submission date includes the whole day until midnight. Saving the best until last, perhaps!

    • It even says on the Harper Voyager US Facebook page (post dated October 8th):

      “Less than 1 week left to submit your manuscript–our digital submission period ends after 14 October 2012.”

      Not having a set time limit within a decided timezone is bad enough, considering submissions are coming from all over the world, posting different info in different places is inexcusable.

      • I’m very disappointed. If I had known the cut-off date was the 13th then I wouldn’t have allowed myself the time to give my manuscript one last read over and ensure it was the best it could be for HarperVoyagers’ consideration…It’s pretty damn polished now, though. Any agents out there…?

        • What a let down! Harper Voyager do not keep there word. Lord knows how they are going to treat their new authors. To those of us who have been unjustly excluded; lets market through Amazon Ebooks. Keep a look out for my novel, The Lemon Squeezer. It will be on sale shortly through Amazon.

  92. Well, have to say I’m surprised and disappointed. Been on holiday with my daughter off school all week, set aside some time today for a final polish of my novel before submitting it this afternoon, only to see you’ve shut the submission site at midnight last night. That really could not have been less clear. Ach well, I’ll just go back to my plan to publish it myself. Thanks anyway…

  93. All the media surrounding this event also said stated submission would be accepted for two weeks. Since when is two weeks 13 days?

  94. I can’t believe it… same as everyone… it DID say through the 14th… (not wanting to make the mistake of missing the deadline I TRIPLE CHECKED!!!) this is completely ridiculous… of course no one would have waited till the last minute if they COULD have got it done beforehand!!!! HARPER says something they should stick to it… I am completely disgusted that after so much work to be able to take up this opportunity, we would be let down like that. Utterly UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!

    • Like so many I thought the cut-off date would be Sunday 14th. There a definite ambiguity in Harper Voyagers announcement and they haven’t made things easy. Congratulations to those who posted early and successfully. However, I knew I ‘d have to wait until the end of the time to complete my MS and planned accordingly. I went to post on Saturday, experienced difficulties with the site and decided I’d go and get help on Sunday..Alas,the portal was closed. I feel like Cinderella without a fairy godmother in sight. Not a fair go, Harper Voyager.

  95. Just realized it also said a two week period, but it was only thirteen days, and for those of us on the West Coast US, not even a full thirteen. If it had been till midnight 13th my time zone, I wouldn’t be here disappointed. A fair solution to open it one more day, I believe.

  96. Bah. Lost internet at my house a few days back because of some techy ISP issues; wasn’t able to make it to an internet cafe until this morning and now things have closed! How disappointing. Guess it was my own fault for deciding to wait until one of the last few days. Congrats on my other half for submitting his stuff a few days ago, I suppose.

  97. Seriously disappointed. I came to submit my manuscript after spending the last few days going over it for mistakes. The site said it was open until the 14th. They should have been more specific if they meant by midnight of the 13th. I’m so upset right now.

  98. Very disappointed. I could have submitted yesterday, or before, but wanted to give my submission one last look with the freshes eyes possible. I’ve checked the information several times since October 1st to make sure I didn’t get the final date wrong. The Facebook post on October 8th clearly states that the submission period ends AFTER 14 October 2012 (see below). In all fairness to your loyal followers for the misleading information, submissions should be accepted until midnight 14 October 2012. Clariying a specific time zone would also be helpful. The following is the Facebook post mentioned above:

    Wow–2100 entries already! How impressive! We’re looking forward to reading everything.

    Less than 1 week left to submit your manuscript–our digital submission period ends after 14 October 2012.

  99. GOOD NEWS GUYS!!!!

    Harper Voyager Books

    All–our apologies. The form is supposed to go through the end of 10/14. We’re offsite at New York Comiccon today, but will reopen the form as soon as possible for a last window and will let you know.

  100. OK, I spoke with one of Harper Voyager’s great writers. The writer told me he would mention what’s happened here to the staff. Hopefully this way they will find out about it before tomorrow.

      • If or when they re-open I hope they take time zones into account. We’re asleep here in OZ when north American writers are awake.

        • Yeah they really need to put it up for at least a 24 hour period and make timezones and stuff clear. Maybe a bit longer, as people’s plans might have fit in with the previous deadline but can’t be easily fit for the new one.

  101. Please let me know when the form will be back up. I’m in California, it’s 9:16 AM of 10/14. Not fair. Your site was not clear.

  102. I am ready to submit now (not able to before today) but can’t and may miss whenever the window is going to open up again today as I will be out. This situation probably applies to a lot of people. Surely the deadline should be extended for 24 hours to allow for this outage?

    • It’s 12:39 here in Texas, October 14, 2012. Very disappointed that the portal is closed. Your website says submissions will be accepted through the 14th. Please let us know if you plant to reopen it.

  103. It’s 12:39 here in Texas, October 14, 2012. Very disappointed that the portal is closed. Your website says submissions will be accepted through the 14th. Please let us know if you plant to reopen it.

    • HarperVoyagerUK ‏@HarperVoyagerUK
      Hi Everyone, the submissions form was supposed to be open until Sunday midnight. There will be another window to make up the time so please keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and the website. Apologies for the technical malfunction!

  104. UPDATE:

    If you’ve been checking back here to see if the portal is still closed, this is from Voyager US’s twitter feed:

    Our apologies–the submission form was supposed to be up through 10/14. We’re offsite at #nycc but will reopen a window later today. about 3 hours ago from Tweetbot for iOS

  105. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Truly, I cannot express how much this meant to me! Good luck everyone. To those of you on the west coast, remember midnight is 9:00 pm. Don’t make the same mistake I did. :)

    Thank you, Harper Voyager, for reopening your submission form during October 14 (today). When I saw that it had closed earlier, I couldn’t sleep, I was so angry at myself for missing the open period. My manuscript was ready to be sent earlier, but I waited until the last minute because I was fussing over it.

  107. Done! Wow, thank you for your consideration and fair play to give us all this opportunity. I wish all of the other authors the very best and heartfelt huzzah, that we were able to submit our work and so much of souls.
    Thanks, again, to the staff at Harper Voyager!

    • Great stuff, Harper Collins, what a fantastic opportunity for writers. I hope you continue to offer chances like this to discover new voices in the ever growing crowd.
      I hope you find several very publishable manuscripts, of course I also hope mine is one of them.

  108. Thanks for the opportunity and fixing the glitch. No doubt you already had more than enough to work with, but it’s much appreciated by us hopefuls.

  109. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So excited for the opportunity. Thank you for hearing our cries and rectifying the situation with haste. You guys rock. By the way, Love the new Harrison.


  110. Well, my novel ‘404’ is off to the races. I worked by butt off to have it ready and now all I can do is hope it makes a good impression.

    Good luck everyone! Looking forward to reading the winners!

  111. Thank you so much for the opportunity and for the amazing grace you showed in dealing with the site glitch. There was so much on the line for all the writers. I am thrilled to have submitted my manuscript. I deeply appreciate the difficulty of the effort that awaits you all in the days ahead when you must go through the tremendous outpouring you must have received. Thank you once again. Good luck to everyone.

  112. I just resubmitted my manuscript, The Keepers of Atlantis, since I couldn’t be certain the first submission wasn’t caught in a time zone. If my novel has arrived twice, I apologize; but I couldn’t take a chance on missing a chance with Harper Voyager. Thank you so much for this opportunity and for being so considerate of us as writers.

  113. Dear Harper Voyager Team,

    thank you for going the extra lengths and re-opening the submissions page. Your dedication to authors is amazing.

    Best of luck to everyone who submitted and happy reading to the HV team.

    • Thank you to Harper Voyager for re- opening the submission portal. My submission has now been accepted; I have the e- mail to prove it. Thank you as well to HV Australia for posting the new closure times in different time zones.

      Good luck to everyone. The world’s happiness index has gone up today.

  114. Harper Voyager, thanks very much for re-opening the portal. Have fun with all the new manuscripts — I hope you find many wonderful new stories!

  115. I am with so many others – it is still the 14th, and the portal is not open. I’m extremely disappointed. However, good luck to those who managed to submit. I’ll keep trying.

    • OOOOOHHH! I’m so excited! Ten years of non submissions, a queque of over 2000 submissions, real editors pouring over new talent. Thank you! I shall spend the next three months glued to my keyboard writing more novels. It has definitely been worth it just for this chance!

  116. Thanks for the open door! I did finally manage to submit. Good luck to everyone to submitted these past two weeks. )

    And, for those of us with older computers, remember to try different browsers!

    • I tried to submit after the reopen, but it says no longer available! I’m so down, because my manuscript was a finalist in the Global Ebook Awards, and I really wanted to submit it to Harper! I thought I would be able to get it in today! :(

    • Ever so slightly peeved as I appear to have missed the submissions window! How can a company as big as Harper Voyager not communicate clearly as to what time their window was going to close? It’s 23:21 GMT and I was sat here assuming that the window would be closing at 23:59, the END of the 15th. Gutted.

      • It said on there Facebook 8pm gmt
        It was still open at 9, so I think they left it open a bit longer to give people a chance, plus it also states the Australian close times on this page in the box for their twitter comments. Sorry

        • I saw i think eiother 5pm or 6pm est. Geez guys, even after they reopen it for you all, there are still people who complain. You cant win them all.

  117. Why in the world would anyone complain! This wonderful company didnt have to re-open submissions in the first place, yet they were nice enough to do so. Everyone should be thankful for this chance. Just be positive! And….
    Thank you Harper you have made many new authors very Happy!

      • I’m like a little kid… “Have you read it yet? Have you read it yet?”

        Thank you for your amazing patience with all of the submitters!

        No whinging please – it’s taken ten years to open for submissions! Best behaviour might just see the portal materialise next year.

    • Honestly?

      Lesson to be learned here peeps: don’t save it until the 11th hour. No matter what.
      HV extended a huge opportunity that 4500+ people didn’t squander. And I know it’s unfortuante to have put in all that work and effort only to arrive at the finish line too late, but that’s what happens when you think to hold out as long as possible. HV is not to blame and certainly doesn’t deserve all the negativity. Through complaining and whinging, all you’re ensuring is that this chance may never come around again. Be grateful, humble and at the very least, look at the glass as half full: you have a completed, polished manuscript – DO SOMETHING WITH IT. When one door closes, somewhere else a window opens. Find it.

  118. Dear Sirs,
    Your notice was placed in a “Linked In” message two days after the portal closed.
    How unfortunate for sci-fi writers who would have liked to submit.

    Any chance of extending the date since, I take it, many LinkedIn members never
    got this notice?

    Leslie Silton
    Los Angeles

    • I’m sorry, there is no way they are going to extend it. Why wouldn’t you keep checking the website? I don’t mean to be rude but like the other probably 5,000 people who submitted a manuscript, I’m sure we are all anxious to see who the end up choosing and not wanting the process to be delayed! There will be a next time hopefully and everyone who missed this round can enter next time.

  119. Although lots of people have already said this… thank you, Harper Voyager, for this marvellous opportunity! And I hope you all enjoy reading through the manuscripts that many of us have submitted.

  120. I discovered your blog site on google and verify just a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for ahead to reading more from you in a while!…

  121. my book is a timely much needed book on moral behavior qualities that help prolong human relationships and teaches about proper conduct and positive methods to interact anfd get alone with each other. it lists and briefly and explains a 120 morals such as kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness, consideration, politeness, fairness, responsibility, dependability, lenience, discretion, purity, tenderness, neatness, justness, informed, stoicism, gentleness and decency, and over a 100 more.

  122. Hi. I only heard about this opportunity half an hour ago – two weeks after the portal closed. I gather from some of the comments above that HV may consider offering such an opportunity again next year: how can I ensure that I hear about it BEFOREHAND rather than a fortnight too late? I apologise if this has already been asked and answered somewhere in the comments above – there appear to be hundreds of comments and I have only read a couple of dozen of them, none of which contained the information I sought… Many thanks!

  123. I know it will be a very long time before they get through all the submissions but I am so glad that I was able to put my work forward. Thank you Harper Voyager for allowing us all this opportunity.

    • Most sincere apologies. I checked in about twice a week, and sent in my submission the second the portals opened. Apparently there will be another go around in about a year, which is stupendous. Do not let this discourage you. My search for a Literary Agent runs into a year now. Hopefully this will at least put my name in a few important folks’ minds. My currently completed five books ache to be read, and my superb spectators are sore to read them. Wish us luck!

      • If what you say is true about HarperVoyager doing another open submission… then they must think they have sufficient interesting books of quality in this round to make it worth their while to have another go next year. This sounds rather hopeful to me.

  124. Hi, just a quick question, when if at all will we be contacted? When will the weeding out process be complete and will we be told if we are accepted or rejected? Thank you for your time.

    • I still have the submission form saved and in it, Harper Voyage states:
      “Due to the volume of submissions, we will only be able to contact you if your project is the right fit. If you have not received a response in three months time, unfortunately your project wasn’t right for our current list.”
      I hope that helps. Good luck!

    • They’ve just updated their page (well, yesterday) saying that everybody will here from them at some point (so they’re going to tell us all whether we’ve been accepted or rejected), but they’re not going to make the January 15th deadline because of the sheer volume of reading to do. That said, they WILL start sending out emails for the stuff they’ve got through by mid-January on January 15th, and sometime around then they’ll also give an update on their progress. Hope that helps!

  125. It’s the end of January. I’m wondering if anyone who has submitted a manuscript has heard anything yet?
    I was lucky enough to be able to submit, but would like to submit elsewhere if my submission wasn’t successful.
    Thanks to Voyager for having the courage to open their portal!

  126. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment
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    Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?


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  128. It seems difficult if not impossible to contact the editors of Harper Voyager on-line. I just wanted to point out the shoddy editorial oversight regarding the back-cover blurb for Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. There we are told that the protagonist, Shevek, “must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Urras….” Obviously, no one at Harper Voyager actually read the book. The mother planet, Urras, is not the utopia — it’s Shevek’s own society on Anarres that is. If Harper Voyager is this sloppy with one of the great works of science fiction, one wonders how they handle lesser known works.

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