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Submission Guidelines – Adult Fiction and Non-fiction

Cormorant Books is an independent literary publisher; over the course of the last twenty years, authors and books published by us have been nominated for or won a variety of awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the RBC Taylor Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize, the Lambda Literary Awards, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Kirkus Prize, the Trillium Book Award, the Toronto Book Award, and a variety of regional awards too numerous to list.


We publish literary books by authors from across Canada whose life experience and work reflect the diversity of the country. Because we are a literary press, we place great emphasis on the quality of the writing and the editing process, paying attention to each manuscript individually.

Authors published by Cormorant and DCB, our young readers imprint, include Cherie Dimaline, Mahtab Narsimhan, Melanie Mah, Rachel Manley, Lee Maracle, Olive Senior, Shashi Bhat, Elizabeth Ruth, Betsy Warland, Sky Gilbert, Darren Greer, Michael V. Smith, Christopher DiRaddo, Zoe Whittall, Neil Bissoondath, as well as the anthology Luminous Ink, which was edited by Tessa McWatt, Rabindranath Maharaj, and Dionne Brand, and which features twenty-six of Canada’s most interesting writers. We look for writing that is authentic, has a distinction of voice and style, and is written by a writer with something to say, ideally from a community or life experience that is not yet part of the fabric of our literature.


Our goal is to publish works of literature by the widest possible diversity of authors.

We encourage submissions from all Canadian writers, including Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers from the LGBTQ2S+ community, writers with disabilities, and writers who identify with other marginalized groups.

If you require an accommodation to submit your manuscript, please contact us at

Please adhere to the following guidelines. Failure to do so will prevent your submission from being reviewed. (If you wish to submit a middle-grade or young adult work, please go to

We are not currently accepting poetry submissions.


1. The subject line of your email should read QUERY, plus YOUR NAME. Your query, in the body of your email, should include the following:

  • for fiction: a brief description of your manuscript (maximum 200 words);

  • for non-fiction: a proposal, no more than two pages in length

  • two or three sentences about your background (include date and place of birth) and your current location, city and province;

  • a note about previous publications, if any;

  • notification if your manuscript is currently submitted elsewhere;

  • your postal mailing address and telephone number.


2. Include a sample that consists of the following, sent as a single email attachment:

  • the sample should not exceed the first fifty (50) pages of your manuscript; do not send material from later in the manuscript;

  • the document must be double-spaced in Times New Roman or a similar, readable type, in 11 point size;

  • the document should use indentations to signify the beginning of new paragraphs;

  • the document should include page numbers;

  • document should be saved in DOC or DOCX Format;

  • documents that do not conform to these guidelines will not be read;

  • document saved as [YOUR NAME] – [TITLE]

Send your query to submissions[at]cormorantbooks[dot]com

Please note that due to the volume of emails received at this address, we cannot guarantee we will be able to respond to every submission.

If, on the basis of the sample, we would like to see more of your work, you will be contacted by email. Please do not send a full manuscript or a longer sample unless you are asked for one. 

Please send nothing by post unless we request you to do so. Unsolicited mail will be immediately recycled.

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