Submission Update

As promised, an update on our digital submission status. (Please note, numbers are close but not perfectly exact, between repeated entries, etc. Please don’t freak out or obsess over the arithmetic…)

We received slightly over 4500 entries.

We have now responded to approximately 2220 entries that unfortunately were not for our list.  This leaves us with roughly entries. Of those, about 543 are to be considered further, and just under 1800 still need to be read. So we are almost halfway through.

We will continue to read the remaining 2300+ entries as quickly as we can without sacrificing due consideration, and will update you again in a few weeks. As before, if you have a question as to your status or would like to pull your submission, please email us at voyagersubmissions(at) We will try to update the above numbers every couple of weeks as well, so you have more frequent status updates.

In addition, we are thrilled to announce that Diana Gill has made our first (of hopefully many!) acquisition–a three book deal for world rights to THORN JACK, BRIAR QUEEN and NETTLE KING by Katherine Harbour (via Thao Le at Sandy Dijkstra Agency), which Harper Voyager US will publish in hardcover in May 2014.  We fell absolutely in love with this wonderful story and could not put it down (even when we were supposed to put aside to read later), and are beyond excited about our first acquisition from these digital submissions. We look forward to making more acquisitions for digital originals (and possibly print) as well.

ETA: We have received a number of questions about our recent acquisition of Katherine Harbour’s THORN JACK trilogy. To confirm, Katherine submitted THORN JACK to the Harper Voyager submissions herself. She was unagented during the submission. Thao Le at the Sandy Dijkstra Agency had previously worked with Katherine on revisions and has now negotiated the global Harper Voyager deal. She is representing Katherine for all unsold rights and future projects. The Voyager digital submissions are for unagented submissions (we receive many agented submissions that are handled completely independently from these submissions), but potential authors may certainly seek representation if they are offered publication.


36 thoughts on “Submission Update

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  3. Wow. :) This process is suddenly starting to feel incredibly real. My heartfelt and sincerest congratulations to all the lucky candidates set aside for reconsideration, and for the few who’ve already received their, ‘Yes’.

    My only question is will the rest of us updated again in a month’s time, or is from here on out just a silent waiting game? Just a thought, curious to see if anyone else is thinking along the same lines….?

    Best of luck, everyone! :) :)

  4. Ummm…no. I don’t believe for one second that Katherine’s submission was valid. Harper flatly stated in its ETA that Katherine and Le were already working on revisions prior to the contest commencement. In likely fact, I think Le encouraged Katherine to submit it AS THOUGH she was unrepresented. How very convenient, too, to have an agent waiting in the wings ready to help with contract negotiations! The mere fact that an agent is/was involved in any capacity in this process taints the entire process. I wonder how many here that did submit have an agent ready to discuss contracts with Harper. Probably no one. I think the many authors that sent in their manuscripts to Harper in good faith should get the same deal negotiated by Le for Katherine for one book. Why should Katherine have the benefit of an agent when no one else will? There is no question in my mind Le was, at the very least, a shadow agent for Katherine, giving her a huge advantage over everyone else with respect to this contest, and that is patently unfair. Harper can pick anyone they want as winners, but isn’t it something that the first winner announced had an agent working on their behalf prior to the start of the contest.

    • Hi Trudy,

      In my experience, it is not uncommon for agents to ask for rewrites on manuscripts. I have revised manuscripts at an agent’s request, based on agent feedback (including the one I submitted to HC). Although those agents didn’t take me as a client, because of the positive interactions I had with them, they will be the first people I go to should I get an offer on my manuscript.

      It is also fairly common for an author to get an offer from a publisher, and then to very quickly get an agent by emailing several and indicating they have an offer-in-hand. It seems reasonable to me that Katherine had received a revision request and then a rejection from the agent, submitted unagented to this open call (not a contest, an open call, and a very gracious one), got the offer, went back to the agent who she already had received feedback from, and signed with her to negotiate the deal. There’s nothing underhanded about any of that.

      More importantly, congratulations to Katherine for persevering and landing both an offer and an agent. I’ve loved Tam Lin ever since I read Pamela Dean’s version, and I’m looking forward to these books.

    • I think Katherine’s story was pushed through because it stood out. Her trilogy must’ve appeared very good, agent or no agent, it only comes down to that.

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  8. Thanks for the update! Are submissions being read in the order they were received? If so I can safely assume I’m in the second pile labelled “Seriously, we are only halfway through reading these?”.

  9. Thanks Harper Voyager, this is a really great thing you are doing for us aspiring authors, and we do appreciate it. And I’m sure you will reap the rewards in finding some real undiscovered talent. I’m fine with waiting for a reply on my submission because it’s great to know they are being properly read and considered.

  10. Ummm…didn’t Harper Collins make it plain in its contest rules that no submissions by agents would be allowed? And now we learn that someone was indeed submitted by an agent after all? And didn’t Harper Collins also say that winning manuscripts would first be published as e-books and not hard cover? And didn’t Harper Collins tell us, too, that they would have things finalized by January, 2013? I didn’t enter this contest because my manuscript was/is unfinished, but I did read the rules as did everyone else here. Now I wonder how many agents other than Le submitted manuscripts that we don’t know about, manuscripts that supposedly were not allowed if in the possession of an agent. Why was Le allowed to submit when the rules clearly said agents would not be allowed to do that???

    • This is a very good point and thank you for bringing it to everyone’s attention, Trudy. Just to clarify for myself I googled the digital submission guidelines and found this gem listed under the FAQ section….

      “I’m an agent. Should I use this to submit my client’s manuscript?
      No, this submission form is for authors only. Agents should pitch and submit projects in the usual fashion.”

      Here is the link in case anyone else wants to re-read them.

    • Am I the only person who believes this seems slightly unethical? I, like everyone who submitted a manuscript, wish any new author the best, but the bad taste left by the announcement that this person’s work was chosen via the submission portal despite the flagrant disregard for the competion rules leaves me wondering if it wasn’t some elaborate publicity stunt. Cynical maybe, but in truth it is the world we live in and perhaps a Harper Collins representative could comment on the concerns raised by many a writer on many a forum, where I myself was alerted to these inconsistancies.

      • Just re-read my knee jerk reaction to other comments – apologies if it seemed harsh, of course I send my congrats to Katherine as getting published is an unbelievable achievement, and of course I am looking forward to reading her work.
        As for the publicity stunt conspiracy theory comment lets just put that down to not enough sleep and too much coffee!

    • An agent didn’t submit the manuscript. The author did. Once Harper Collins contacted the author in regards to their interest in the material, either they helped the author obtain an agent, or the author already had an agent themselves. Agents are there for negotiation purposes, to make sure each party gets what they need. A friend of mine is a published author, and an indie publisher he used actually assisted him in getting an agent. So again, either the author already had an agent and submitted the material without their attachment, or and more likely, once Harper Collins chose their manuscript, they assisted the said author in getting an agent, to finalize the deal.

    • Actually, I read an interview from Thao Le where she gives the distinct impression that she pitched/ sold the trilogy to HV. Not the other way around. So I think Trudy has asked a very valid question.

      6) Do you have any exciting client/agency news to share?

      I’m REALLY excited about THORN JACK, the first book in a planned trilogy by debut author Katherine Harbour, which I just sold to Harper Voyager….

      • It is quite possible that Katherine submitted the manuscript herself, and then once Harper chose it, brought her agent on to negotiate the terms. So Thao Lee is correct. She did make the sale, and yet Harper also did not break any of their own rules.

        I used to do this all the time with my last agent. It isn’t just the agent’s job to hunt for potential buyers. She used to let me pitch when ever I had the chance. I just had to keep her informed. If I got a hit, she would then step in. two heads are always better than one.

  11. Thanks to my agent Thao Le, for her excellent revision suggestions, and everyone else at the Sandra Dijkstra Agency, and to Diana Gill, for believing in the story.

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