Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 15, 2015

Authors and Illustrators: Oni Press Open Submissions Guidelines

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ONI PRESS OPEN SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES

On May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

PITCHES – Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.

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PORTFOLIOS – Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.

WHO SHOULD SUBMIT:

Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE:

An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.

WHAT ASSOCIATE EDITOR ARI YARWOOD WANTS TO SEE:

I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.

WHAT EDITOR ROBIN HERRERA WANTS TO SEE:

I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)

WHAT SENIOR EDITOR CHARLIE CHU WANTS TO SEE:

The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.

WHAT EDITOR IN CHIEF JAMES LUCAS JONES WANTS TO SEE:

Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.

WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO SEE:

– Superheroes! They have their place but their place is not with us.

– Avoid pitching long-form series or stories in oversaturated genres such as supernatural noir, zombies, vampires and gritty detectives with a dark past.

– Please also avoid delicate subjects such as rape and sexual abuse as fodder for exposition in genre stories–using rape as a plot point betrays not only a lack of sensitivity but also a lack of creativity when creating compelling female characters.

– We are not accepting any prose or poetry – we’re a funnybooks publisher!

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THE NITTY-GRITTY:

– The submission periods will operate on a two-months open, two-months closed schedule. Our first submission period will be open from May 1st to June 30th.

– All submissions should be submitted electronically through our Submittable site, located here: https://onipress.submittable.com/submit. Any physical submissions will be destroyed without reading. Please do not email (or tweet at) editors directly with pitches. It will just make us grumpy.

All submissions should should have your name, email and phone number on every page. They should also begin with a cover letter telling us who you are, who your project is for and how it fits at Oni Press. Also feel free to include any previously published comics work or comic-related education.

– Expect a response to your submission within one month. Everyone will get a response but not all responses will be personalized—we simply don’t have the time to do so.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Writers:

– Pitches should be:

– A logline – [what’s the idea/concept]

– A one-page synopsis / overview – A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace

– A 3-5 page outline – give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.

– A sample comic script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages. This should be a comic book script, NOT a screenplay.

Artists:

– Submissions should be:

– A portfolio with at least eight sequential storytelling pages with FINAL LINE ART / INKS. No pencils, just final inks [or the digital equivalent] by you.

– No covers, pinups, etc. SEQUENTIALS ONLY. We only care about your ability to tell a story. Adding pin-ups of Marvel/DC superhero characters are not an opportunity to wow us, it’s mostly just wasting our time. Again, SEQUENTIALS ONLY.

– Please make sure your sequentials include characters of both genders and at least one person of color.

Cartoonists or Writers w/ Artists: Combine the two categories above!

Pitches or submissions should be:

– A logline – [what’s the idea/concept]

– A one-page synopsis / overview – A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace

– A 3-5 page outline – give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.

– A sample script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages.

– At least 8 sample pages of sequentials from the project being pitched.

– Note: The creative team in your pitch is the one we expect to see actually working on your book. No switcheroos!

Colorists:

– Submissions should be:

– A portfolio with at least eight pages, containing at least two different scenes, from at least two different artists.

* Sorry, we are not currently taking submissions from pencillers, inkers, or letterers.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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