Literary Submissions

Roseway is the literary imprint of Fernwood Publishing. In keeping with the publishing goals of Fernwood, we publish literary works related to social injustices and struggles for democracy, liberation, and sovereignty.

What to Know Before You Submit

.Subject Areas

Roseway publishes works of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, memoirs, biographies, and politically infused literary compositions.


We publish primarily for an adult audience but have occasionally published material for younger readers. Through our diverse content, we aim to spark critical thought and inclusively engage readers.

Roseway Submission Guidelines

If your book idea or manuscript fits with Roseway’s publishing mandate, prepare a proposal according to the guidelines below and we will consider it for publication.

We require a formal proposal to assess your manuscript and its fit with Roseway’s publishing program. If you have a partial or complete manuscript, please send that along with your proposal.

You can expect a reply within three months.

Please submit your proposal to

How to Prepare Your Proposal

Your proposal should be about five to eight single-spaced pages. Send it all in one file, except attach the writing sample separately. Number the parts of the proposal accordingly:

.1. Proposed title

  • Provide the proposed title for your manuscript. If it is tentative or unknown, please indicate so in your submission.

.2. Name of author(s)/editor(s)

  • Provide the name(s) of author(s) or editor(s) in the way you would want them to appear in the publication.

.3. Information about yourself/ves

  • Author(s)/Editor(s) bio (80-100 words)
  • What is your relationship to the subject matter of the proposed book (life experience in the subject matter, previous publications, professional experience, education, etc.)?

.4. Pitch us your project

  • Synopsis of your book: Offer a brief overview of your book. What is the story, what is its social and political project, and how do you express that? It’s important to tell us in the proposal what you will actually say in the book, rather than a description of what you’re going to write about. Also think about these questions: Why is this book important and how will it make a difference to the people you’re writing for? Who are the writers this book is influenced by and in conversation with? What is this book’s writing style (historical fiction, journalistic, multi-genre, etc.)? You don’t have to answer all of these questions as they may not all work for each book proposal, but use them to structure your succinct thinking about why this book fits into Fernwood’s publishing program.
    • Fiction: Include information on aspects such as characters, plot and point of view. Don’t worry about giving away the ending — we need to know what happens to assess the manuscript.
    • Anthologies, poetry, or creative non-fiction: Explain the overall message of your book and include the table of contents.
    • Memoir, biography: What sets your story apart, and can you describe the greater social and political context of your story?
  • Annotated table of contents: Describe the contents and purpose of every chapter (five to eight sentences each). Present each chapter’s core contribution to the overall project. Think of each chapter as a part of the answer to that central question your book poses; your answer should be multifaceted and the chapters are those parts or steps of the larger idea.
  • List of contributors (if applicable): If this is an anthology, please include a brief bio for the contributors. If you have not finalized the contributor list, include as much information as possible about who you intend to invite or how you will recruit contributors.
  • Word count: Most of our books are between 60,000 and 90,000 words, but there are some exceptions. Please indicate your estimated word count, knowing a typical double-spaced page in Microsoft Word is 250 words.
  • Completion date: What is the date you estimate your first draft will be ready for submission?
  • Simultaneous submissions: Let us know if you have submitted the proposal to other publishers as well.

.5. Other important information

  • Audience: No book works for every reader. Identifying an appropriate audience will serve your book well. Is your book written for young adults, racialized parents, Canadian poetry classes, etc.? This kind of specificity helps us determine a target market for your book. We find a helpful exercise is to picture three people in your life you would want to read this book and then describe the demographics they represent (your student, your colleague, your mom, etc.).
  • Classification: What is your book’s classification (college and higher education, trade, young adult, children’s book)?
  • Competing or complementary books: Briefly describe them and explain what’s unique about your book. Please indicate if they are published in Canada, the United States, or other English-language regions.
  • Reviews: If you have had your manuscript reviewed by authors or other professionals, please include any comments you’ve received. It’s good to see that others have read your work and provided feedback.
  • Funding: Do you have access to or ideas about any additional funding for this book? It’s okay if you don’t, but as a small independent publisher we often rely on grants to support our work, especially for books with high production costs (e.g., colour photos).
  • Figures: Indicate whether there are any photos, tables, charts, graphs, figures or maps in your book. How do these figures contribute to the book?
  • Promotion and marketing: How would you contribute to the promotion and marketing of your book? Publishers rely on a strong partnership with authors to promote and ensure the success of accepted books. We’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas about where and how the book should be marketed. What role, as author, could you play in its success?
  • Writing sample: Submit two or three sample chapters, or if you have it, the complete manuscript.

Further Resources

Fernwood Style Guide     Non-Fiction Submissions


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