Currently, we publish romance and speculative fiction.
What we like: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the cream of the crop for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be internally consistent and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Romances must examine toxic dynamics, provide consent-based alternatives, or otherwise not fall into the usual traps (see our “No”Tropes list).
Please refer to What is Cuil Fiction? to see if it fits. If you want your story to be included in the Cuilverse (optional), please assign a relevant cuil level, point of departure (entry), and state your case for inclusion.
What we love: we accept polyamorous romances, kinky disabled protagonists, intersex warriors, neurodiverse ghosts, queer folks with chronic pain in an alternate timeline, anything that counts as Afrofuturism, epic anxiety-riddled space lords, intimate platonic time travelling duos, depressed sentient stars, and much more.
What we don’t want: anything that falls on our “No Tropes” list, anything poorly written about populations or people you have no lived experience with or as (if anything smacks of stereotyping or erasure or is otherwise poorly researched or is found to be offensive, it will be rejected), or anything that is the same old, same old.
We encourage you to make your solutions and characters as creative and diverse as the worlds they inhabit. As long as the internal story logic flows, nearly anything goes!
We actively seek stories written by and featuring those representations and populations that have been under-served in media thus far: stories about disability, non-monogamy, queer (not just gay), neurodivesity, asexual people, aromantic friendships, survivors of trauma, and works by indigenous, Dalit, and Black authors. “Our own voices” is not just a mantra; it’s what we seek to practice as much as possible.
All works will undergo sensitivity editing, but anything too intensive or beyond saving will be rejected. Those manuscripts which survive the “first cut” as outlined above are then judged primarily on plot and characterization.
Style: We prefer dynamic characters to flat ones. We aren’t one-dimensional and nor are the worlds we create; why should any characters be? We welcome non-Western and other non-traditional styles but please do explain your style choice with a brief statement.
Preferred length: Novels 80,000-100,000 words. Novellas 40,000-60,000 words.
Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts over 120,000 words. We may consider longer or shorter works at our discretion.
We are not able to offer an advance yet, though we hope to in the future. We offer 40% net royalties.
Please provide a short message about why you think Cuil Press would be a good fit for your book, what media representation or cuil fiction means to you, whether your story is part of a series, and a bit about yourself. We prefer to see complete manuscripts accompanied by a synopsis. We prefer not to see simultaneous submissions.
Electronic submissions only.
Send your manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org
Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Word file. Please send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files).
Your submission must include your name, email address*, city, state, and country, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. *[Including an alternate email address and/or phone number will help us get in touch with you if your main one goes out.] Plot outlines are appreciated.
Spelling and grammar checkers are tools, nothing more. Do not trust them to proofread your manuscript for you.
Keep formatting to a minimum. No text boxes or sidebars please. Use block quotes if you need to set a section apart from the main manuscript. Indent paragraphs; use ### or *** to show a scene break and center them. Chapter headers should also be centered, with page breaks at the end of chapters. For emphasis, use either underline or italics, not both and not alternating. Pick one. Avoid bold face, it isn’t always visible.
Do not use “smart quotes”/curly quotes or single character ellipses, em dashes, etc. Use straight quotes and apostrophes, . . ., –, etc.
Use a standard font and sizing: Verdana or Arial by preference, but any readable font works. Make it readable, or we won’t read it. If you need to use special formatting somewhere—like using italics for telepathy—explain it in a cover letter.
You can include, but don’t need, your ideal cover treatment, including cover copy, a teaser page, and whatever else you would like. (Don’t use the cover letter to “sell” us the story, though.)
NOTE: Manuscripts w/ viruses attached get deleted.