Rhiza Press Blog

Rhiza Press blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Australian books for Adult and Young Adult readers.

Short on time, big on story

Too busy to read these days? It’s an interesting idea because as a civilisation we’re probably reading more now than ever before. But our time is so limited—life is so busy and interrupted—that we’re reading in bite sized chunks. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, texts and only when we really have the time do we relax with a novel. It seems too big a job to handle.book image for fb

This is why the Novella and Short Story as forms of writing are making a comeback.   The short story was where the Australian Literary scene began in the 1890’s. Back then, the issue was a different one: many readers struggled with lack of funds to purchase a bound book, so stories were published in magazines or as pamphlets. But I’m guessing time was also an issue then. The everyday person on the street or on the farm was busy just scraping by and getting the stuff done so they could survive.  Perhaps not so much has changed after all?

I recently spent an evening at the Queensland Writers Centre hearing Brisbane author, Nick Earls, talk about his set of novellas and his reasons for trying this form. Nick shared some interesting insights into modern reading habits. We want to read, we really do! But the time-poor among us are turning to shorter story forms to satisfy that need to finish the book. With a short story or novella, we can read it in one sitting and not feel we’ve failed to finish yet another task.

With these thoughts in mind here are Rhiza Connect we are planning to publish our first collection of Short Stories.  Submissions are open now until 31st December 2018.  For all the details you need, go to our Short Story Submissions page on the Rhiza Connect website.

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My manuscript is ready! How do I approach a publisher?

Your manuscript is ready to go! You've had it professionally edited, proofread and you've been over it a thousand times.

Where do you go from here?

There are a few things you need to remember when approaching a publisher about getting your book published. The most important thing is to visit their website first. They will have a specific section that details their requirements for book submissions. If you want a good chance of being accepted for publication make sure you visit their page to see what they require.

It is important that you read this page carefully. Follow the details specifically. If the site says they are not accepting submissions at the moment, do NOT send your manuscript anyway. If they are so busy that they have closed to submissions for the moment, your manuscript is likely to be discarded. If they provide a time when they will reopen to submissions, don't send your manuscript early. It will make them think that you either haven't bothered to read their submissions guidelines, or have chosen to ignore what they said there. Neither of these things will make them eager to publish your book.

Make sure you follow every step. If they ask for the full manuscript first, make sure you don't send a query letter or just a few chapters. Send the whole thing. If they ask for it electronically, send it that way. If they want a physical copy and request that you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your manuscript, please do that.

Make sure that your submission includes your name, phone number, email and postal address. Include a cover letter telling them briefly who you are and what you have written about (i.e. its genre, length and any experience you have in writing in that area). This cover letter should be no longer than one A4 page.

Some of these requirements may seem like common sense, but it is surprising how many people don't follow instructions like these. Remember, the more you make an effort to do what the publisher has asked, the more likely they are to view your manuscript in a favourable light.

Once you have submitted your manuscript, it is best not to continually call or email them to find out what is going on, especially if the submissions guidelines say it will be a few weeks before they get back to you. If they have given you no specific details on when they will get back to you, contact them after about a month. If they tell you that you still have to wait, don't continue to contact them for updates. Publishers have a lot on their plate and calling them a lot will slow them down even more.

Remember to be patient. It is often a few years between the submissions phase and the publishing phase. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want your book published, you need to commit to a long haul to get it there.

To find out about Rhiza Press's submission guidelines visit the submission page.

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Adult Fiction Submissions

Adult Fiction Submissions

Rhiza Press is calling for Adult Fiction Submissions from 1 March 2014.

What we are looking for:

Rhiza Press publishes books for new adult and adult readership in two different lists.

Novellas – works of 35,000 – 55,000 words. Aimed at those who love to read, but have only limited time in which to do so. Primarily romances or drama for female readers.

Novels – works of 60,000 – 110,000 words for male and/or female readers. All audiences, family friendly stories.

General comments on fiction style submissions:

Books should NOT be first draft when they are submitted. Multiple submissions of the same manuscript because you realise you made typographical errors will not be considered.

Books may have multiple points of view, but points of view should not be broken with head hopping in the middle of a scene. We prefer titles that are not written in omniscient point of view. First or third person and past or present tense is the author's choice.

Books should be action driven with the principles of 'show-don't-tell' utilised. Books should be real, relatable and strong in plot.

Please watch out for attributions and adverbs that are overused or used in a way that distract the reader.

We recommend all authors get their work appraised or edited or both (perhaps more than once) before submission. Please include these professional appraisals in your submission including the name of your editor. If we contract your book, it will then go through further editing and proofreading before publication.

If you are an Australian author writing fiction we sincerely suggest you read other Australian authors so you know the style of writing in Australia. Check them out and ensure your book is unique.

Submission Instructions:

To submit a manuscript:

  • A personal CV/resume relating specifically to the field of writing.
  • A full synopsis
  • A minimum of four chapters of the book, at least three must be the start of the book.
  • Your full return details (name, address) which must also be included on the pages of your manuscript.
  • Your manuscript must be page numbered.
  • If you have not completed the manuscript when you submit a timeline of when you are submitting
  • Feedback from any editors you have worked with is welcome

We accept submissions via either post or email (never both). We do not consider query letters. Please do not phone to check on your submission. Queries can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For email submissions, follow these guidelines:

IMPORTANT: all information and attachments are to be sent in a single email only with a total maximum size of 2MB – if that is not possible, then you should submit via post instead. Emails that do not comply with these requirements will be automatically deleted.

A cover letter in the body of the email that includes well researched information on how your manuscript compares with other books on the market, and with other books Rhiza Press has already published.

An automatic response will be generated if your submission is received safely.

For postal submissions, follow these guidelines:

  • A return envelope with enough postage to cover the return of your manuscript (prepaid envelopes or parcels are best). Submissions without this will not receive consideration and will be destroyed.
  • Post submissions to: Rhiza Press, PO Box 1519, Capalaba QLD 4157

For specific details on other genre requirements visit the submissions page.

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