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The Word x Bookouture: Feedback Open Call

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

(*Want to know about digital publishers? Read more in our blog post!)

Bookouture is excited to partner with The Word in January 2021 to offer editorial feedback to writers from under-represented backgrounds!

We are hopeful that, by helping to shape the pitch and those all-important first chapters, we will help writers develop their talent, support their journey to publication, and discover some exciting new voices in commercial fiction and non-fiction.

From January 20th to February 20th 2021, writers from under-represented backgrounds are invited to submit a synopsis and up to 10,000 words of their book to Bookouture via the following link. Within six weeks of submitting, writers will then receive detailed feedback from a member of our editorial team on elements such as genre, structure, characterization and style.

Our submissions guidelines are outlined below. We look forward to reading your work!


Bookouture is a leading digital publisher of brilliant commercial fiction and non-fiction. In just eight years, we have sold over 40 million books and published numerous bestsellers in genres such as crime and thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and memoir. We strive to be the publisher of choice for all authors regardless of their age, faith, disability, race, gender, sexuality and socio-economic background.


Who can submit?

Writers from under-represented backgrounds may submit to this initiative. By "under-represented," we mean people whose racial, cultural, or ethnic identities; religious identity; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical or cognitive ability; and/or socioeconomic status are not well represented in literature and/or the publishing industry at present.

What are we looking for?

Work that is commercial fiction or non-fiction. "Commercial fiction" describes books with broad appeal and accessible storytelling with a focus on character and plot. Where "literary fiction" could be described as the art-house cinema of books, "commercial fiction" is the Hollywood blockbuster. So, we will welcome submissions in any of the following genres:

  • Crime and thriller

  • Historical fiction

  • Women’s fiction

  • Romance

  • Book club

  • Science fiction and fantasy

  • Business

  • Health and diet

  • Memoir

  • Parenting

  • Personal development

  • True crime

If the genre of your work is not outlined above but you feel it is absolutely still commercial, genre fiction or non-fiction, please do submit to us anyway.

What should I submit?

A synopsis of your book and up to 10,000 words of writing. The submissions form will also ask you to provide a short personal biography and book pitch.

How should I format my submission?

Please send us a clean manuscript in clear font with double spacing. If you have used tracked changes to edit your book, make sure you accept all comments/edits and switch it off before sending to us.

When do submissions open?

Our submissions inbox will open at 12.00am MST on Wednesday 20 January 2021(7:00am GMT) and the deadline for submissions is 11:59pm MST on Saturday 20 February 2021(6:59am GMT on Sunday 21 February 2021).*

*If you are not able to submit to us at this time, we would still love to read your work via the usual submissions platform on our website. However, please note that while we respond to all submissions and give feedback where we can, beyond February, we will not be able to give the same detailed editorial feedback.

What can I expect in the feedback I receive?

Each submission will be read by a member of the Bookouture editorial team, who will provide feedback within six weeks from the date of submission. The feedback will cover the hook and the pitch, as well as the writing style and impact of the opening chapters. The editor may also choose to comment on genre, plot, structure, pace and/or characterization.


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