Welcome to the Berkley Open Submission Program!

At Berkley, we strive to publish commercial fiction that reflects the world we live in and to bring readers stories that encompass a full range of backgrounds, experiences and unique perspectives. With the Berkley Open Submission Program we are opening a direct submission channel in the hopes of reaching more potential authors. We are inviting submissions from all writers, including those sharing underrepresented stories in regards to race, national origin, religion, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. We hope to discover new talent and share their works with the world.

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

We are looking for full-length adult novels in the following genres: romance, women’s fiction, mystery, suspense and thrillers, horror, science fiction, and fantasy.

Program Rules

1.       Submissions will only be accepted during the announced submission window. Submissions sent outside of this time frame will not be considered.

2.       Authors must be unagented. If an offer for publication is made, authors may seek an agent to represent them before negotiations.

3.       Projects may only be submitted once.

4.       Authors may only make submissions for works they have completed.

5.       Submissions must include a 1-page synopsis, the first 10 pages of the manuscript, an author bio, and a query letter with links to social media platforms, if applicable, and any other information you wish the editors to consider. A query letter is an introductory one page letter that tells an editor something about the story, something about the writer, and why Berkley should publish the book.

We will do our best to respond to all submissions as soon as we can. Due to volume, we cannot respond to follow up queries.

The Berkley Open Submission Program is governed by the Penguin Random House privacy policy (available at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/privacy/). By submitting, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to this privacy policy.  As set forth in the privacy policy, Penguin Random House is not responsible for the privacy, information, or other practices of any third parties used in connection with your submission.

Berkley reserves the right to update, modify, or replace any part of the Open Submission Program or its rules at any time, or to cancel the program at its sole discretion, by posting updates to our website. By making a submission, you expressly acknowledge that neither Berkley nor Penguin Random House is entering into any agreement with you to publish or compensate you for your work or to maintain the confidentiality of the materials submitted.

Dec 7th, 2021 - Jan 9th, 2022

Our plan is to open the Submission window at regular intervals throughout the year with prior notice. As soon as one windows closes, we will announce the dates for the next Open Submission window on this page.

Berkley’s Open Submission program is part of its ongoing effort to contribute to Penguin Random House’s overall Diversity, Equity & Inclusion commitments. For more information about the company’s DE&I initiatives and commitments, visit https://social-impact.penguinrandomhouse.com/our-commitments/diversity-inclusion.

Click through here to the Submission page.

Open Submissions FAQ

How do I submit?

Please submit HERE.

When can I submit?

During the Open Submission windows, which will be listed on this page.

Does my manuscript have to be finished before I submit the first 10 pages?

Yes, we do require the manuscript be completed before submitting.

Do I need to have an agent?

No, you do not need to have a literary agent to use this Open Submission process. If do you already have an agent, they should submit to Berkley through the usual channels.


Who is reading my manuscript?

The entire Berkley editorial staff is participating in this program so each manuscript received will be evaluated by a member of the editorial team.


When will I hear back?

We cannot guarantee you will hear back from us within a particular period of time because the timing will depend on the volume of submissions we receive. We are committed to responding to each project we receive.


Can I submit a YA, middle grade, or children’s project?

No, Berkley does not publish YA, middle grade, or children’s titles.


Can I submit nonfiction of any kind, such as memoirs, narrative histories, wellness, how-to books, etc.?

No, Berkley is not able to review unagented nonfiction projects at this time.


Can I submit romance, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, mystery/thriller, science fiction, fantasy, or horror?

Yes! During our Open Submission window, please submit HERE.

Is this program open to international writers?


May I submit a previously self-published work?

We are not currently accepting self-published works for consideration.


How long will the Open Submission Program run?

There is no end date to the program and there will be multiple, announced open windows during which authors can submit their work for consideration. The most current information on open submission windows can always be found on this page. While the submission windows are closed, editors will review the submitted writing.


Can I submit more than one project?

Please only submit one project at a time. Do not submit a second project until you hear back from us about the first one.


What if I am submitting a project that is a different genre from another project I have already submitted?

Please only submit one project at a time. If you hear back from us that we will not be pursuing the first project, you may submit a new project during the next Open Submission window. This second project can be in a different genre from the first and must be in one of the genres we publish, as listed above.


I tried submitting and the form is not working.

Please note you may only submit your work during an announced Open Submission window. If you try to submit during this period and the QueryManager form does not work, please contact QueryManager directly here.


How will I be notified if Berkley is interested in my submission?

Once the Open Submission window closes and the Berkley editorial team reviews the submissions, you will be contacted via email if the editorial department is interested in reading and considering your full manuscript. If the editorial department is not interested in pursuing your work, we will also inform you of that by email.

If Berkley is interested in acquiring my work for publication, may I seek literary or other representation?

Yes, if Berkley decides to pursue publishing your manuscript, you will have the time to seek out an agent or other representation prior to negotiation if you choose.


My submission wasn’t chosen. Will you have another Open Submission period so I can submit another project?

Yes, we will announce further Open Submission windows when authors can submit their work for consideration.


Can I contact someone about my submission?

The best way for your submission to be seen is to submit HERE. We are committed to responding to every project we receive, but due to the volume of submissions, we cannot respond to individual follow up questions.

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