Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions all year. Those received by September 1, 2023, will be considered for our nineteenth issue, which will be released in October 2023.

A submission to Embark should consist of two parts:

(1)  The opening of your novel: minimum 2,500 words, maximum 4,000 words. The novel in question must be unpublished at the time of submission—meaning that it cannot be either traditionally published or self-published. If it is scheduled to be published in the future, its publication date must come after the month in which the next Embark issue is scheduled to be released. Your novel can be in any genre and may be partially or completely written, but in either case you should have a firm sense of its overarching themes and structure. We are looking for polished, confident work that reflects clear authorial intention.

(2)  An Author’s Statement: minimum 250 words, maximum 500 words. You can interpret this however you like, discussing the book’s plot, themes, aims, inspiration, etc. Whatever your focus, though, the statement should give the reader a good sense of what the novel is all about and why you chose to write it. It should be more thorough than a blurb, more personal than a synopsis. Above all, it should demonstrate careful thought about the novel’s structure and eventual impact.

Please send these two parts as Word documents, attached to a brief cover email, addressed to Your cover email should include basic biographical information (2-3 sentences) and the title and genre of your novel. Beyond that, your opening and Author’s Statement should speak for themselves.

After submitting, please add to your Contacts list, so as not to miss any subsequent communications from us.

There is no fee for submitting.

While we do not have the funds to pay our contributors (or our editors!), we offer them increased standing and exposure, as well as an enthusiastic network of readers and writers. Some of our contributors have also connected with literary agents through Embark.

We accept submissions from all over the world and have no geographical constraints. However, all submissions must be written in English or translated into English from another language, in which case both the author and the translator must be credited.

Please note that we do NOT accept submissions of memoirs or other nonfiction works. Only the openings of novels (works of fiction 50,000 words or longer) will be considered.

We will not reconsider openings that have been previously submitted to Embark and declined. In the interests of featuring as many writers as possible, we will not consider additional submissions from writers whose work we have already published in an earlier issue.

Writers whose submissions are accepted retain all rights to their work.

We send out responses to all submissions within a month after the submission deadline for each issue.