Monday, 23 July 2012

Write for Abaddon!

Write an Abaddon Novella!

Abaddon Books is celebrating its sixth birthday this summer, and we’ve come a looong way in that time: nearly eighty original novels in ten shared-world series, not to mention fistfuls of short stories and novellas and some quite beautiful omnibus editions. We’ve learned a lot and done a great deal of which we’re very proud, and are looking forward to a pretty exciting future.
And we’ve kept a strong identity throughout. Abaddon’s books are pacy and action-filled, but smart and sharp, with characters that pull you in and challenge you. And our stories are all at least a little dark, whatever the genre.
And, perhaps more than anything, Abaddon provides a channel for launching new, upcoming writers, keen to strut their stuff and show the world what they’ve got. We gave the talented and irascible Chuck Wendig his fiction debut, not to mention the wildly imaginative Al Ewing; uncovered Kitschie-nominee Scott K. Andrews, and gave the brilliant Gary McMahon, Pat Kelleher and Toby Venables their mainstream fiction debuts. And we’re still looking for new talent to give a leg-up to.

Moving On

So what’s next? The likes of Pax Britannia, Tomes of the Dead and The Afterblight Chronicles got us noticed, and we’ve loved working on them. We were, if you’ll forgive the smugness, doing zombies, post-apocalypse and steampunk before it was cool. But everyone else is on the bandwagon now, and with around a dozen books in each series under our belts, the last thing we would want to do is get tied down. Obviously we’re not saying goodbye to these great lines just yet, but we’ve got to keep breaking ground!
So with that in mind, we’ve been launching new series. Over the past few years, we’ve kicked off the gothic espionage series The Infernal Game, the dark-Arthurian “found manuscript” series Malory’s Knights of Albion, and the WWI classic-pulp-style scientific romance No Man’s World, and our authors have blown us away every time. This year saw the launch of Eric Brown’s eerie space-opera world Weird Space, and we’ve got even more exciting projects planned for the coming year, with two new novels kicking off two more shiny new worlds.

Looking Back

But we’re not giving up on our beloved old worlds! Chuck’s done us a novella-length follow-up of Tomes of the Dead: Double Dead called Bad Blood, and Scott K. Andrews has written a novella following up on Sniper Elite: Spear of Destiny called Target: Hitler, both out now in ebook format. This is working out pretty well for us, and we think we’d like to do more of the same. So our fans will still be able to dip their toes in Magna Britannia, or the grim future of the Cull, or any of our other worlds from time to time.
Where You Come In

We’re looking for novellas! Whether you’ve an agent or are going solo, whether you’re an established writer or trying to get your first project, we’re interested. Ever wanted to tell the story of Ulysses Quicksilver’s counterparts in the Austrian Secret Service? Ever wanted to show us the hell that the Cull left behind in Mumbai? How about the story of Sir Alymere’s father, and how exactly he died?
Or, if you want the challenge, sell us on a new story and world, but be sure and read the next section first, so you have the whole picture. If you know Abaddon’s work, you’ll also know what we like. Choose a genre, make it fast, make it tense, make it dark. And make us care about your characters. Make it original! Make us want to come back and see what happens next.

The Small Print

This is a paying gig! We pay professional rates for all our work, and this is no exception. Abaddon Books operate on a Work For Hire basis: we create shared worlds that many authors contribute to, and all the rights to those worlds and characters are retained by Abaddon. We hire talented writers to write a story that becomes the intellectual property of Abaddon Books. Take note that this will apply even if you submit a story set in a new world; that world, if we commission it, will become one which we may let other writers loose in, and they also will be doing so on a Work For Hire basis. If you have any questions as to what all this means to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll take you through it.

Don’t send us anything yet! Submissions will be open for the month of September 2012, from midnight British Summer Time on the 31st August to midnight on the 30th September. At that point, send us:

1.     An email to, basically saying “hi” and telling us a very little about yourself, and attaching

2.     A 150-word synopsis to grab our attention, followed by a 1000-word chapter-by-chapter (or section-by-section, however you structure it) breakdown of your novella, and

3.     A 2000-word sample of the novella. It doesn’t have to be the first 2000 words, although if it isn’t, we’d be interested in knowing why you picked the passage you did.

If we’re fired up by your pitch, we’ll ask for more and go from there. What we’ll eventually want is a 30,000-40,000-word novella, in any of our worlds or in a new world of your choosing.

If you decide to use one of our worlds, we only ask that you be careful not to step on our existing authors’ toes, some of whom have plans to return to their worlds in future (we’re more likely to publish your Pax Britannia story about a new character from the Italian People’s Republic Secret Service than a story about the further adventures of Ulysses Quicksilver, for instance).
Looking forward to hearing from you in September...

David Moore
Rebellion Publishing, Oxford


Kaushik Karforma said...

Hello Abaddon team!

A very happy sixth anniversary.

One question about the novella submission - can I submit more than one pitch?

Zoe Oliver said...

Time for me to get off my backside and actually WRITE :)

Celine Wu said...

Hey there.

Congrats on the six years of awesomeness.

I was just wondering, do you have to be a citizen of the UK to submit, or are there no restrictions?

Michael Molcher said...

Yes, you can submit more than one! And there are no restrictions on your location...

Andrew Marshall said...

Hi, nice one on the half-dozen birthdays and thanks for the opportunity to feel productive.

My only question: Since I'll be submitting stories in my own world, would you like a quick synopsis of the setting as well, or would you prefer to let the details come through in the writing?


David Moore said...

Hi Andrew,

You can sling in a brief synopsis of the world as well, if you think it would be valuable.

Just to confirm, you've read the small print above about how we'd be buying the world off you as well as the novella? We obviously want to be completely above board about the whole process.



Andrew Marshall said...

Cheers David! Yeah, I'm completely clear on that point but thanks for making sure. I'd actually be quite interested to see what other authors might do with it.

Bob Lock said...

Hi Guys,
I've tried sending you something at that email address and it keeps getting bounced back with a message saying: 'undeliverable due to security policies'
I use Hotmail, is that the problem?

Robert said...

Hi, I have emailed a submission to the address, but I have got a failed to deliver message in return "Your message wasn't delivered because of security policies. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you."

Is there something else I should be doing?



Kaushik Karforma said...

Hi David,

1. In the 150-word synopsis, do I need to lay out the beginning, middle, and end of the novella?

2. I am creating a character for Weird Space and also have some ideas about where he fits in that universe and some ideas for the universe. Can I write them in a separate section?



David Moore said...

Hi Bob, Robert: This was a temporary glitch with the way the email was set up. I've since received both your pitches, so all good there.

Hi Kaushik: 1. Fill your boots. Structure that synopsis however you want; whatever you think will make it interesting to me.
2. That could be a plan, actually. Will give us a chance to suggest fixes for the character if there are any problems...

Kaushik Karforma said...

Hi David,

I've sent you the pitch for a Weird Space novella. Can you please confirm if you've received it? The subject line is "Abaddon Novella Submission - Ghost Children - A novella set in the Weird Space universe".

Also, by when can I expect a reply?



David Moore said...

Hi Kaushik,

Received, yep! Sorry, not been sending out individual confirmations, as there are quite a few submissions!

I'll be reading through them in the next couple of months (see above re "quite a few submissions"). Please feel free to nudge me around the beginning of December if you haven't heard...



Anonymous said...

Nude, nudge. Has any of the submissions been considered further?

Anonymous said...

Where are the rejections or acceptances?

Kaushik Karforma said...

Hello David,

Season's greetings to you and your family.

Any word on the Weird Space novella I pitched - Ghost Children? You told me to nudge you if I didn't hear anything by beginning of December, hence asking.



David Moore said...

Anonymouses (Anonymice?)/Kaushik: Apologies for the long lead, but yes, by now everyone should have received acceptances or rejections. If you have not heard, please chase by email for a reply.