Submissions

Please read our about page and the information below before submitting your query to be sure that your project fits our needs.

Unsolicited queries are accepted. Please continue reading for information and instructions.

Agented MSS can submit a proposal to submissions@chrismpress.com along with the initial query.

 

Submissions FAQ

Q: Do I have to be Catholic or Orthodox to submit?

A: No, but your story must reflect a Catholic or Orthodox worldview, and appeal to Catholic and/or Orthodox readers.

Q: What genres do you accept?

A: We accept all genres of fiction geared toward adults and young adults. For children’s and middle-grade fiction submissions, please see our WhiteSpark page.

Q: What are your guidelines regarding subject matter?

A: Humor? Drama? Adventure? Romance?

Patriarchs and prophets? Knights and fair maidens? Gauchos? Samurai? Superhero priests? Spying nuns? Inmates? Flapper girls? Astronauts? Monsters? Martians? Mall rats? Great-Aunt Matilda?

Stories that grapple with sin, suffering, and the inscrutable mysteries of God?

Yes. All of the above.

We are more lenient with subject matter than many Christian publishers. However, our books must be marketable to a general Christian audience. This means no vulgar language, no explicit on-page love scenes, and the story must be informed by faith.

Q: Are you acquiring literary fiction?

A: Yes. We love complex characters, challenging themes, and lyrical prose. However, we also want plot—compelling goals, strong antagonists, and clear conflict. Tell a subtle tale, but let it be a tale, with a beginning, middle, and end. If we cannot identify the story’s main dramatic tension based on your query or proposal, then it’s not the right story for us. We highly recommend Andrew J. Graff’s Burning My Education: Rediscovering the Basics of Story (Dappled Things, Pentecost 2020) for a deeper look at plot in literary fiction.

Q: Do you accept short story collections?

A: Only if the stories have a direct narrative relationship to each other; for example, several mysteries solved by the same detective. We are not looking for anthologies.

Q: Do you accept series or stand-alone books?

A: We want both!

Q: Do you accept poetry?

A: No, we do not accept poetry.

Q: Do you accept nonfiction?

A: No, we do not accept nonfiction.

Q: Do you accept previously self-published work or previously published work whose rights have reverted to the author?

A: Maybe, but there must be a compelling reason why Chrism Press can help the work reach an audience that has not already found it. These occasions will be rare.

Q: What if I’m not sure whether my story fits with Chrism Press or one of WhiteFire Publishing’s other divisions?

A: Submit it to the one you think it might fit. If we like it but we think it works better under a different imprint, we’ll let you know.

Q: I’m ready to submit! What do I do?

A: Send a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to submissions@chrismpress.com. Please do not send a query as an attachment. Do not send proposals unless requested. Please write “QUERY – [Author Name], [Title Name]” in the email subject line.

New to publishing? Check out literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s Resources page for information on writing query letters, drafting proposals, and more.

 

Proposals

If one of our editors requests a proposal, please send a single Word document with the following:

A 1-sentence hook

Don’t give us themes here. Tell us what happens. For advice on writing a good hook, click here.

A 1-3 paragraph blurb

Imagine this as the back cover of your published book. Entice us to join your characters on their journey. For examples, see the WhiteFire Publishing Store.

Status of manuscript (completed? completed by?)

Series info, if applicable

Full author bio, including sales history

Marketing plan

Comparable titles

Name three to four novels similar to your own. These should be written by contemporary authors, preferably books published within the last five to ten years.

A 2-3 page synopsis

Tell us the story in condensed form, covering major events, character arcs, and themes. Don’t try to leave us in suspense—include the ending.

First three chapters of the manuscript