These are the guidelines:


  • Send the whole novel.
  • Send it only in Rich Text Format (RTF).
  • Send me only one novel at a time, if I like it I'll ask for more.
  • Send me a clean file that was spell checked using an American English spell checker and has been polished to the point you would submit it to a publisher.
  • Include on the first page of the file your name, your address, your email address (at least one) and your phone number.
  • Format your subject line: Title of Novel - Your Name - Genre - Any special code from the FAQ or given to you by me.
  • Include a brief synopsis of the plot in the email, no more than four single spaced pages.
  • List the minimum length for consideration of any major publisher as listed on the SFWA "Qualifying Novel Venues" at the bottom of your cover letter, with the name of the publisher. For example "Forsaken Future Books 95,000 words".
  • Format your file name with "First initial Last name Title".

Do Not:

  • Send anything with DRM enabled.
  • Do not send in PDF format.
  • Do not send in zip or any other compressed format.
  • Send me someone else's work unless you and they collaborated on it.
  • Send me anything in any language other than English.
  • Nag, pester or complain about the length of time it takes me unless its been more than a year.
  • Do not put anything except text into the file. No file with non text items will be accepted and files found to contain them will be rejected without being read.

  • Do not send query letters unless there are instructions on this site to do so. Query letters will not be replied to.
  • Remember:

    • My existing clients have first claim on my time, you will have the right as well, if and when you are picked up as a client.
    • Current wait times are less than one year and more than one day. No I can't be more specific, expect something closer to the latter but I will at least start to read everything that is sent to me.

    Word Count: The three best ways for determining word count are simply to

    1. Use the word count feature in your word processor.
    2. Use the same feature to count the number of characters including spaces and divide by six.
    3. Or to use the counter to total the number of characters not including spaces. Take this number and divide by five

    This is important. If you have used some sort of formula to tell you how long your novel is based on an assumed number of words per page, you're probably way off. One novel I was sent was listed at being roughly 102,000 words. Dividing by the number of pages got you to about three hundred thirty five words per page. Unfortunately when you use to three methods above for measuring this the same novel comes up at 87.9k with the first method, 81k with the second, and the third is about 79.8k. While the differences between the three isn't huge, the difference between any of them and counting based on the estimated number of pages is. This makes a huge difference to publishers.

    If you feel your work qualifies under the above criteria and still wish to submit, please send an email with an RTF attachment only to The OnyxHawke Agency.

    Content © Michael Kabongo, 2006-2010
    Design: © Jessica Schlenker, 2010