Open Call for Paranormal YA Writer “On Spec”

Ever have a great idea and wish you could read it in a book or see it in a movie? Well, I have those kinds of ideas all the time. Like all. The. Time. ; ) I’m constantly combing through my submission box looking for someone who’s read my mind and has written the story I’ve been dying to read. Alas, I’ve yet to be surprised.

I was bemoaning this fact with my bff Heather Howland, and she suggested I just hire a writer on spec. Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? So, what is “hiring a writer on spec,” you ask? You might be more familiar with the term “writer for hire,” but basically it means you hire a writer to write the book that you want. You give them the idea, oftentimes the world building elements, and the basic characters. The world and characters are owned by the publisher.

Here’s how it works:

1. After reviewing the requirements below, if you’re interested in earning a spot to audition for the job, send a sample chapter of anything you’ve written which matches the voice I’m looking for to (20 pages max plus BRIEF introductory email)

DEADLINE: Monday March 11, 2013 Noon EST

2. I’ll create a short list of authors who will then sign a non-disclosure agreement, be given the details of the project.

UPDATED: SHORTLIST NOTIFIED: Saturday, March 16, 2013 11:59 PM PST*

3. Each author will write the first three chapters of the final story as they envision them. This is considered the “audition”.

DEADLINE: April 1, 2013, Noon EST

4. On April 15, 2013, I will offer a contract to write this series to one lucky author who will write the full story by June 15, 2013!

FINE PRINT: Contract will be offered in a standard 3-book deal w/world and character rights remaining with the Publisher. Other details discussed with author later.
And here are the details of what I’m looking for:

1. An author with a fun, snarky voice who can write paranormal upper YA similar to Buffy during the Spike years plus the Scooby Gang. So dark moments with one-liners to lighten the mood, fast-paced plot, and the sexual tension of Buffy and Spike. Oh yeah, and the bad boy hero we all hate to love. :) So that’s just the VOICE I’m looking for. I have the characters and the world, but I need this kind of voice to create a best-seller. Easy, right?

2. An author who can write the entire book in a month, maybe two if I really love your voice. Approx 60k rough draft, at least, 90k final book after edits.

3. Does not matter if you’re previously published or not, un-agented or not.

And that’s it!

What this call is not… I am NOT  looking for a great YA book you’ve already written. ;) I have a book idea that I want developed, using characters and worlds I’ve already planned out. Sorry! Go to our regular submissions page if you want us to consider your full length novel for publication please here.

Good luck to everyone!



UPDATE: I few people have assumed on Twitter and author loops that this opportunity is fee-based. While I might consider a flat fee for this project, I was offering a standard royalty-based contract wherein the only difference than on a normal contract would be the publisher will retain all rights to the world and characters developed within the work. All other aspects of the contract shall be our standard offering. :)

About Liz Pelletier

Publisher & a Sr Editor at Entangled Publishing, Co-Founder of Savvy Authors, Whedon-worshipper, insane mom of tween twins, gave up sleeping two years ago.

07. March 2013 by Liz Pelletier
Categories: Uncategorized | 16 comments

Comments (16)

  1. What a brilliant opportunity Liz.
    One question and it may seem silly but would the authors be writing under their own name?

    • It’s totally up to the author if they want to use a penname. Some Publishers treat write for hire as their own, pay the author a flat fee, and keep all the royalties. I don’t think that’s fair, so we’ll offer a contract like normal but keep rights to the world. :)

  2. This sounds like an amazing opportunity. Thanks for putting it out there.

  3. Is this a digital only opportunity, or will the books be in print? Thanks so much!

  4. What a neat opportunity!! Sounds fun and I can’t wait to read the book.

  5. I know a Dawn with a snarky voice, and its not me… :-)

  6. Normally I’d send the first chapter for a submission, but since you’re just looking for voice, do you want us to select pages that really show the voice regardless of where that chunk comes from or do you want chapter 1?

    • Any pages from anywhere in an existing book or just written for this purpose are fine. I’m just reading for voice and not story. Thanks!

  7. Hi Liz,

    Possibly a silly question, but if we sent our submission in right after your initial tweet, before you posted these guidelines, did you want us to resend to the submissions-liz at entangled email instead of the liz at entangled email you specified in your first tweet?

    I’m assuming no and that you saw it either way, but I just wanted to check and make sure it wouldn’t have gotten lost in spam or auto-deleted in the other inbox as not belonging there.

  8. Would you like the sample chapter as an attachment or pasted into the body of the email?

    • Amanda,
      Either attached or in the body of the email. Both work.

      • Yikes! Just heard about this opportunity. So perfect for my situation. And yet so little time to write a submission. Will try to drum up a quick 1000 words. Thanks for this!

  9. Noooooooooooo! I just found out about this.

    I must now retire to my writing room in shame.

  10. Hey liz, this isn’t about the opportunity, I was wondering if we could talk in email about if you could help me evolve as a writer, I know its a stupid question but paranormal YA is amazing and I just love them, I’d love to have a book out there one day.

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