Guidelines for Manuscript Submissions

Ronsdale Press was established in 1988 as a literary publishing house in order to publish fiction, poetry, biography, regional history and children’s literature. Ronsdale has published a wide range of both beginning and established authors.

Authors with manuscripts looking for homes are welcome to send them to the Press. Before you do so, however, please make sure that they fit the Ronsdale mandate. How can you decide this and not waste postage? Here are a few suggestions. The first is to browse our catalogue to see the sorts of books we have published in the past. It would also be wise to look at some of our books in libraries or bookstores. Better still, buy a volume or two, and read them to see what we like to publish, what we find important. Remember that Ronsdale is a literary publisher, which means that it scouts for thoughtful work that extends the way we perceive the world. We also look for writing that shows the author has read widely in contemporary and earlier literature. Ronsdale, like other literary presses, is not interested in mass-market or pulp materials. Genre fiction such as mystery, romance, science fiction or fantasy stories that are entirely plot-driven should be sent to the publishers who specialize in these forms.
As further guidelines, we provide the following:

Authors: Ronsdale Press can at present accept manuscripts only from Canadian citizens or landed immigrants to Canada.

Nonfiction: Ronsdale is particularly interested in history, biographies and works focusing on social and political concerns.

Fiction and Poetry: Ronsdale looks for manuscripts which show that the writer reads and is familiar with the work of some of the major contemporary writers. It is also essential that you have published some work in literary magazines. We have never published a novel or a collection of stories or poems when the author has not already some publications in magazines.

Young Adult Novels: Historical novels are of particular interest, as are novels exploring contemporary issues. We regret that we can no longer publish picture books.

The form of the manuscript: This is a standard for the publishing industry. Type and double space; leave ample margins. Proofread. Please send us a paper copy. If we accept the manuscript, then we will ask for a digital copy for publication, but not before. The editors do not read manuscripts from electronic formats, including e-mail. The first submission must be paper copy.

What to send?: If you are in doubt, send a query letter with a sample. If you are persuaded that Ronsdale is the press for you, then you can choose to send the entire manuscript. That’s fine with us. Otherwise send a substantial section from the opening of the manuscript. For poetry and short stories, put your best work first. If you begin with the weakest and work up, our readers may never reach your masterpieces. Also include a brief bio (half a page will do), and list your previous publications, if you have any. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage for the return of the manuscript — in case we do not accept it. Even if you do not want the manuscript returned, we still ask that you enclose a SASE with sufficient postage for the reply letter. Or at the very least, an email address for us to send the reply letter to. You do want a reply, don’t you? If you would like the receipt of your manuscript acknowledged, please provide an extra SAS-card for that purpose.

Children’s Acquisition Editor: Veronica Hatch

General Acquisition Editor: Ronald B. Hatch

We have it as our goal to read all manuscripts within two months. It sometimes takes us up to three months (unfortunately).

The staff at Ronsdale Press wish you success in your writing.

Ronsdale Press
3350 West 21st Avenue
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6S 1G7
Phone: 604-738-4688
Fax: 604-731-4548