If you look on the web here you will see that we have totally re-jigged our guidelines.
1. NO manuscripts will be returned, regardless of whether or not they include return postage. So don't include a stamped self-addressed envelope anymore.
2. You will ONLY hear from us if you are successful. If you don't hear within three months assume you were unsuccessful and try elsewhere.
3. We will not let you know your manuscript arrived. Assume the postie is good at his or her job and will deliver it safely or return it to you if you've put your address on it.
4. Don't call us to ask if your work has been read yet. We haven't got time to answer any queries and we can't anyway because we no longer enter unsolicited work onto a database.
5. Don't send anything original (as in you don't keep a copy) because we will be putting all unsuccessful work into a secure paper recycling bin. And don't worry, this is a very safe system. No one will be able to read/steal your work. It gets shredded in a giant commercial shredder. We pay for this system.
6. There is absolutely no advantage in sending your submission with a cover letter from an Assessment Agency. We highly recommend that applicants avoid this expensive process completely, as the letters make no difference whatsoever in our final decision on whether work will be published or not.
BUT WE WILL READ EVERYTHING! We always did, we always will. That's how we discovered Marcus Zusak, Michael Gerard Bauer, Lyn Lee and a host of other award-winning super-successful writers. We know you're in that pile somewhere ... and we will find you if you are.
If your work is already here with its stamped self-addressed envelope then we will faithfully return it to you but in a very short while we will not. All the rest of the guidelines are up on the web - go see for yourself.
Every night I get on my knees and pray for a monster best-seller to appear in the unsolicited pile. If the nuns were right then I probably shouldn't hold my breath. But as my dear mother likes to say - live in hope, even if you die in despair.
A note from your Conductor