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Welcome to the Berkley
Open Submission Program!


Submission Window

We will begin accepting submissions on May 15, 2024 at 12:00pm ET.

We will stop taking submissions on May 17, 2024 at 5:00pm ET.

Berkley launched its Open Submission Program in 2021 with the goal of creating a direct submission channel to editors in hopes of reaching more potential authors and sharing their works with the world. 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. We are inviting submissions from all writers, including those sharing underrepresented stories in regard to race, national origin, religion, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. We hope to discover new talent and introduce their fiction to readers everywhere.

We are thrilled to announce that our editors found four fantastic projects through our first open submission window, and Berkley will publish those four novels in Fall 2024/Winter 2025.

“We believe in publishing books from a wide variety of voices and hope giving unagented 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 contemporary fiction, women’s historical fiction, New Adult, mystery, suspense and thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy and romantasy.

Program Guidelines

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

2. This Window for submissions will be open from 12:00 PM ET on May 15, 2024 to 5:00 PM ET on May 17, 2024.

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

4. Authors may only submit one project per Window Opening.

5. Projects must be under 150,000 words.

6. Projects must be works of adult fiction. We will not accept works meant for children, middle grade or young adult readers.

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

8. Authors may not submit work that has been previously published or self-published.

9.  Authors may not make submissions that have used AI in their creation, whether in the outlining or writing of the manuscript.

10.  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.

11. 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 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.

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

How to submit

In order to submit, please provide us with the following information:

Open Submissions FAQ

When can I submit?

Anytime during the Open Submission window of 12:00 PM ET on May 15, 2024 to 5:00 PM ET on May 17, 2024. If you have trouble accessing Query Manager during that time, please be patient and try again later.

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

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

Does my manuscript need to be formatted in a certain way?

We accept manuscripts in .doc, .docx, and PDF. There is no certain font or spacing required.

Do I need to have an agent?

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


Who is reading my manuscript?

Each manuscript received will be evaluated by a member of the Berkley editorial team.


When will I hear back?

We cannot guarantee you will hear back from us within a particular period of time, but 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, romantasy, women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, mystery/thriller, science fiction, fantasy, or horror?

Yes! During our Open Submission window, please submit via the form above.


Is this program open to international writers?



May I submit a previously self-published work? 

We are not currently accepting submissions that are self-published, have been published in another country, or will be self-published in the coming months.


Do you require that my submission be exclusive to Berkley? Or may I submit the same project elsewhere?

No, Berkley does not require exclusive submissions. You are free to submit the same project elsewhere.


May I submit a project if I have used AI in the creation of that project, whether in the outlining or writing of my manuscript?

No, authors may not make submissions that have used AI in their creation.


Will you have more Open Submission windows?

Yes, we plan to offer more opportunities for authors to submit their work directly to the Berkley editorial team for consideration. If you are not ready to submit during the current submission window, please take your time to complete or polish your work. 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.


I provided the information you requested, but I am not being allowed to submit. Why?

If your submission does not match the guidelines, you will not be able to submit it. Please review the guidelines for more details.

Can I submit more than one project?

Please only submit one project at a time. You may submit another project during the next Open Submission window.


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.


Can I contact someone about my submission?

The best way for your submission to be seen is to submit via the form above. 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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