Submission Guidelines

Fernwood Publishing has been producing radical, incisive books that advance social and political change for almost 30 years. Our books present a critical analysis of society—recognizing the roles of capitalism, patriarchy, racism, homo/transphobia, and other sites of oppression and exploitation in the creation and perpetuation of social problems, such as poverty, violence, and climate chaos. Our books challenge existing norms and propose alternatives.

If your book is non-fiction, please submit a proposal as outlined in Fernwood’s Submission Guidelines.

If your book is fiction, memoir or other literary writing please submit a proposal as outlined in Roseway’s Submission Guidelines.

Fernwood Publishing

Non-fiction social justice books: Fernwood is a non-fiction publisher that specializes in books that provide a critical analysis of society. Our books address issues of activism and social change, Indigenous resistance and decolonization, international development, law, politics, social work, sociology, women and feminism, and more (for a full listing click search by topic).

Audience: While our books often find a home in the university and college market, they also have a large trade audience, from the politically and socially engaged activist, to the concerned general reader.

Our series: Fernwood also publishes a number of series, including Critical Development Studies, Labour Studies, and About Canada. Search by series to see the kinds of books that have been published in these series.

Peer review: Many of Fernwood’s books are used by academics and are widely adopted as course readings in universities and colleges, particularly within the humanities and social sciences. As such, Fernwood’s academic books are put through a rigorous peer review process prior to publication. We are also accredited by SSHRC’s Aid to Scholarly Publishing Program.

If your book idea or manuscript fits with Fernwood’s publishing mandate, prepare a proposal as outlined in Fernwood’s Submission Guidelines and we will consider it for publication.

Roseway Publishing

Literary social justice books: 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 we publish: Roseway publishes works of fiction, creative non-fiction, memoirs, biographies and other literary writing that reflects our interest in social justice issues. We publish primarily for an adult audience, but have occasionally published young adult material as well. We tend not to publish children’s books or poetry.

If your book idea or manuscript fits with Roseway’s publishing mandate, prepare a proposal as outlined in Roseway’s Submission Guidelines and we will consider it for publication.

Fernwood Submission Guidelines

We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts: We require a formal proposal in order to assess your manuscript and its fit with Fernwood’s publishing program.

Our decision is based on your proposal, so make it a good one: The proposal is an important step in the publishing process as it gives the editorial committee the opportunity to evaluate your project and writing style and make an informed decision about publication.

Clear, jargon-free writing: Your proposal should be written as clearly and concisely as possible, without academic jargon.

Tell us what you are going to say: Clearly explain the issues raised in your manuscript and tell us what you have to say about those issues.

Our reply time: Approximately 3 months.

Please submit your proposal to editorial@fernpub.ca

How to Prepare your Proposal

Your proposal should be about 5 to 8 double-spaced pages and must contain the following:

  1. Provisional title and subtitle.

  2. Overall argument and theoretical framework of your book: Offer sufficient detail to allow the reviewers to understand what you are arguing and why, and the theoretical framework and scholarship that guides your analysis. Is your argument new and innovative, or does it offer a new perspective on established ideas? Explain how this book fits into Fernwood’s publishing program. In what ways is your book a “critical book for critical thinkers”?

  3. Annotated table of contents: Briefly describe the contents and purpose of each chapter. Be clear about what you will actually say in each chapter.

  4. List of contributors (if applicable): If this is an edited collection, 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.

  5. Information about yourself/ves: What qualifies you to write this book? Do you have any previously published works?

  6. Indicate the intended audience: Who are you hoping will read this book? It is important to be realistic about your audience — no book works for every audience. Is your book written for undergraduates, graduates, professionals or the general public? If it is intended for the classroom, please indicate which departments and courses might use the book.

  7. External reviewers: Suggest a minimum of three people who would be appropriate external reviewers.

  8. Competing or complementary books: Briefly describe them and explain what’s unique about your book.

  9. Figures: Indicate whether there are any photos, tables, charts, graphs, figures or maps in your book. How do these figures contribute to the book?

  10. Estimated length of your book: What is the approximate word or page count of your book.

  11. Proposed date of completion.

  12. Multiple submissions: Let us know if you have submitted the proposal to other publishers as well.

  13. Provide a current CV.

Further Resources You might also be interested in our Thesis Revisions Guidelines and Fernwood Style Guide.

Roseway Submission Guidelines

We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts without a proposal: Completed manuscripts may be submitted but must be accompanied by a formal proposal. Proposals allow us to assess your manuscript and its fit with Roseway’s publishing program.

Our decision is based on your proposal, so make it a good one: The proposal is an important step in the publishing process as it gives the editorial committee the opportunity to evaluate your literary project and writing style and make an informed decision about publication.

Clear, jargon-free writing: Your proposal should be written as clearly and concisely as possible, without jargon.

Tell us what you are going to say: Clearly explain the issues raised in your manuscript and tell us what you have to say about those issues.

Our reply time: Approximately 6 months.

Please submit your proposal to roseway@fernpub.ca.

How to Prepare your Proposal

Your proposal must include the following:

  1. Information about you: Include a cover letter with a current mailing address, phone number and email address.

  2. A synopsis of the book: Offer a brief overview of your book. What is the story?

    Fiction: Include information on aspects such as characters, plot and point of view. Don’t worry about giving away the ending — we are reviewing the manuscript not reading for pleasure.

    Creative non-fiction: Explain the overall message of your book and include the table of contents.

    Memoir/biography: How is your story different from the hundreds of memoirs out there? What is the greater social and political context of your story?

  3. Indicate the intended audience: Be specific — publishers target particular markets and we expect that you have written with an audience in mind.

  4. Social justice issues: Describe the social justice issues addressed in your book. Again, be specific and give examples of how you do this.

  5. Information about yourself: Provide a short bio of yourself, including your writing experience.

  6. 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.

  7. Marketing and promotion: 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?

  8. Writing sample: Submit two or three sample chapters. You can submit a complete manuscript but items 1–7 must accompany your manuscript.

Please note: If your submission is not selected for publication we are unable to provide a critique of your manuscript.