Submissions Update

Posted by Rochelle Stephens, Publisher at Wombat and Rhiza on 22nd Nov 2023

Dear authors,

I am writing this blog to update you on how submissions might look for Wombat Books and Rhiza Edge going into 2024 and beyond. As many of you would know it is very difficult to make it as a new author and/or new publisher in the ever growing, easy-to-produce, not-so-easy-to-make-it-big world of publishing. However I love making books with Wombat and Rhiza and have always had a huge passion to see authors, particularly emerging, be able to share their stories. As we have grown I have found it much harder to keep up with the submissions and get back to all authors - something I am passionate about doing. I like authors to hear from me and be updated.

Unfortunately with over 1000 submissions a year besides proposals from agents, already established Wombat and Rhiza authors and from pitching events I have found it hard to keep up with what is considered the "slush pile" and as a result have not always returned a response to all authors (or a number of people are still waiting!).

This makes me disappointed for you as the author, but as you would be aware reading manuscripts or having editors review them incurs a cost be it financial or time.

To help overcome this I have made the decision to no long accept unsolicited picture book submissions into 2024. I am deeply sorry as this will affect some authors who had planned to submit earlier next year. 

The ways to submit a picture book will now only be:

1) Events (like CYA and other events I receive pitches at).

2) Agents

3) Through our appraisal opportunity. Our editors review manuscripts with a paid appraisal to give extensive feedback in helping improve stories. We have updated the way you can request these appraisals by adding an option for the book to be reviewed by myself as the publisher for consideration. This is optional as always and the appraisal can still be used solely as an appraisal and does not need to be reviewed by myself if you are not looking for consideration.

A paid appraisal, event pitch or through an agent still by no means guarantees publication, in fact we still probably only are able to accept less than 5% of what will be pitched, but at least every author will get feedback and know why. I value this and am passionate about supporting authors.

During 2024 we will also not be accepting submissions for any Wombat Books titles (primary school to middle fiction) through unsolicited means. We have our list lined up for almost all categories through most of 2025 and in some cases into 2026. Manuscripts can still be pitched via events, appraisals or through agents. We may re-open for junior to middle fiction in the future, but it is unlikely we will ever reopen for picture book unsolicited manuscripts.

If you are interested in seeing me at an event in the future watch out for kids lit options for 2024. I will personally check all appraisals if you request it to be considered. 

Thank you for your understanding. Feel free to ask me questions via the social media post of this article and I will clarify further.