Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in Serpent Cliff. We are a publisher of fiction that incorporates spiritual elements. We publish both mainstream and genre fiction. We hope the following guidelines will help you understand and prepare the type of material we are seeking.

First and foremost, we want well-written stories with strong characters, interesting plots, and spiritual elements. Spiritual elements can be drawn from any aspect of humanity's common spiritual and religious heritage. We generally like to see religion and spirituality portrayed in a positive light, and will not publish material that denigrates anyone's religion. Obviously characters may have a variety of views on religion and spirituality, including negative ones, and that is all right. The overall tone of the work, however, should not give the impression that the author is deriding either specific religions or religion in general.  Nor should the author come across as preaching or proselytizing.

We accept submission of both proposals and completed manuscripts. We prefer to receive electronic submissions, but will also accept printed submissions. Please note, however, that if we accept your submission, we usually will require you to provide an electronic copy. In either case, the same formatting requirements apply.

We prefer manuscripts to be typed, double-spaced, one side of the page only, with margins of about one inch. You can find more detailed manuscript formatting information in a variety of writers’ resources such as Writer’s Market or online at http://www.writing-world.com/basics/manuscript.shtml. Please refer to this information when preparing your manuscript. Don't stress over making it perfect, since we are going to fiddle with the formatting anyway, but please try to come close to the mark, as it will make our lives a whole lot easier.

We would appreciate inclusion of a cover letter introducing yourself and your background. For electronic submissions, this can simply be the body of an email to which the manuscript or proposal is attached.

If submitting a proposal, please include a synopsis of the work and proposed length. The synopsis should indicate the main characters, the issues they will face in the course of the story, and a high-level plot outline.  It is not necessary to be overly detailed. We just want a general overview of where you're going.

For electronic submissions, all files should be in a Microsoft Word compatible format (e.g., .doc, .docx, .rtf). Even if you do not choose to send us an electronic submission, we encourage you to prepare your materials in one of these formats, as we will require them should we elect to publish your work. Please do not send PDF files! We cannot currently work with them. For electronic submissions, please use our online contact form.  We will then provide you with an email address for sending materials. For postal submissions, send computer files on CD or clear printouts or photocopies to us at the following address:

Serpent Cliff
Kathleen Lehman, Editor
27 Walkern Road
Baltimore, MD 21221

Never send the only copy of your manuscript or proposal. Because of postal weight regulations, we cannot return any materials. If you would like to be notified when your manuscript has been received, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard. We will mail this back to you upon receipt. Emailed submissions will be acknowledged by us when they are received.

If your work includes quotations from sources not in the public domain, you must obtain permission from the current copyright owner to include this material in your work. It will be your responsibility to do so, although we can help if needed. It can often take four or more months to obtain permissions. It would be helpful if you could initiate the process prior to sending us your manuscript.

Finally, if you are a Baha'i author and your work should be submitted to the Baha'i review process, we strongly encourage you to do so. It can take several months to complete this process, so we suggest you initiate it prior to sending us your manuscript. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process or if you are unsure whether it is required for your work.

We hope these guidelines answer your questions about submitting to Serpent Cliff. Should you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us using our online contact form. Thank you again for your interest in working with us.