Submission Guidelines

These guidelines are for Fernwood’s publishing program. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for Roseway Publishing, please review those guidelines here.

Fernwood Publishing is, first and foremost, a social justice publisher. It is our goal to publish books that contribute to the effort to bring about social and political change. As such, we are looking for books that present a critical analysis of our society—analyses that recognize the roles of capitalism, patriarchy, racism and homo/transphobia (amongst others) in the creation and perpetuation of social problems, such as poverty, violence and climate change. We expect our books to challenge existing norms and consider alternatives.

Fernwood is a non-fiction publisher that specializes in books dealing with Activism and Social Change, Economics, Indigenous Resistance and Decolonization, International Development, Politics, Social Work, Women and Feminism and more (for a full listing see the ‘search by topic’ option on our home page). While these are our primary topic areas, we are interested in any manuscript that provides a critical analysis of our society.

Many of our books are used by academics and are widely adopted as course texts in colleges and universities within the Humanities and Social Sciences. However, we also publish books for a wider audience, from the politically and socially engaged activist to the concerned general reader.

If you believe your book idea or completed manuscript fits with Fernwood’s publishing goals, send us a proposal and we will consider it for publication.

Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal to Fernwood Publishing

We require a formal proposal in order to assess your manuscript and its fit with Fernwood’s publishing program — full manuscripts will not be accepted. The proposal is an important step in the publishing process as it gives the editorial committee the opportunity to evaluate your manuscript and writing style in order to make an informed decision about publication. Your proposal should be written as clearly and concisely as possible, without academic jargon.

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

We receive a large number of proposals and the review and assessment process is complex and time-consuming, especially for proposals that are sent out for external review. While we try to deal with proposals as quickly as possible, our reply time is approximately 3-4 months.

Please submit your proposal to

Your proposal should be about 4 to 5 double-spaced pages and must contain the following components:

  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, what theoretical framework is being followed and what scholarship is being engaged. 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.
  4. List of contributors (if applicable). If this is an edited collection, please include a brief bio of each of the contributors. If you have not finalized the contributor list, include as much information as possible about who you intend to invite to contribute or how you will recruit contributors.
  5. Include some information about yourself (and your co-authors, if applicable) in your proposal. What qualifies you to write this book? Do you have any previously published works? You must also submit a current CV.
  6. Indicate the audience for your book. Is your book written for undergraduates, graduates, professionals or the general public? It is important that you be realistic about your audience — no book works for every audience. Who are you writing this book for? If it is intended for the classroom, please indicate which departments and courses might use the book.
  7. Describe any competing or complementary books and explain what is unique about your book.
  8. Indicate whether there are any photos, tables, charts, graphs, figures or maps in your book. How do these figures contribute to the book?
  9. Estimated length of your book (approximate word count).
  10. Proposed date of completion.

Fernwood Publishing Book Series

Fernwood publishes a number of series. Click here for more information about each of these series in order to determine if your book would fit. You can also ‘search by series’ to see the kinds of books have been published in each of the series.

Thank you for your interest in Fernwood Publishing.