Jonathan Cape will be open to submissions from “new writers of high calibre and imagination” for a month this summer.
The publisher, an imprint of PRH's Vintage Books, is asking for prose fiction. Writers are asked to submit 50 pages, which can be from a novel or novella, or short stories, and the work can be finished or in progress.
Literary publisher Jonathan Cape has a roster authors including Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Alison Weir, Julian Barnes, Roddy Doyle, A.L. Kennedy, Irvine Welsh, Audrey Niffenegger and Anne Enright. It publishes fiction and non-fiction, as well as poetry.
Editorial director Alex Bowler said: “It’s a gentle experiment to see what it throws up. It is not with enormous expectation, it’s a question of patience. If we sense it’s heading in the right direction we may do it again. It may be three or four years before two or three interesting thing are surfaced. It is a gentle way of surfacing new writers."
He added: “The stuff we get in from agents is wonderful, our list is wonderful, this is a way of expanding our universe.”
Other publishers who have opened for public submissions include Chicken Coop, which opened for a day in January for submissions of novels for children aged 8-12, and HarperCollins imprint The Borough Press, which will open submissions for unagented, complete manuscripts for two weeks this month.
Jonathan Cape will be open for submissions from 1st June to 30th June.