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Tor.com is Buying Science Fiction Novellas

Friday, June 10th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Tor.com bannerTor.com is on a roll. Their new line of novellas has been a commercial and critical hit — the $2.99 digital price pretty much makes them irresistible, and Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti just won a Nebula Award. Plenty of others in their catalog are getting award attention, too. And in addition to their premium publishing line, they continue to publish fine novellas for free on their website.

All in all, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Tor.com has helped usher in a new era for the novella in SF & Fantasy publishing. They certainly haven’t done it alone — Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and other top sites have all recently announced that they’re starting to publish longer work — but they’ve definitely led the way in making the novella sexy again.

So I was delighted to see Tor.com recently open a new reading period for unsolicited novellas. Here’s the announcement.

Starting June 5th, Lee Harris and Carl Engle-Laird will be reading and evaluating original novellas submitted by hopeful authors to http://submissions.tor.com/tornovellas/. You can find full guidelines here, and we highly recommend you read the guidelines, because we’re doing things a little differently this time. Until the end of June, Tor.com will only be considering novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words that fit one of the following science fiction subgenres:

  • Time Travel
  • Space Opera
  • Near Future Thriller
  • Cyberpunk

…As always, both Lee Harris and Carl Engle-Laird actively request submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class and physical or mental ability.

If you’ve had that unfinished space opera/cyberpunk thriller gathering dust on your hard drive, now is definitely time to polish it off an submit it! Read complete details here.

3 Comments »

  1. I based a lot of my book design decisions and all my pricing decisions for my Kickstarter project on what seems to be working for Tor.com. I imagine a lot of people self-publishing novellas are doing the same.

    Is the novella sexy again? Maybe all I have to do is keep faith with my compulsions, and reader tastes will eventually come around.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - June 10, 2016 11:48 pm

  2. I keep hoping the same thing about Italian sandwiches with hot peppers. But so far my hopes are in vain.

    Comment by John ONeill - June 11, 2016 12:20 am

  3. With so many novels running over 400 pages, the novella length is refreshing. Good for Tor.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - June 11, 2016 2:08 pm


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