A publisher with a conscience.
Fly on the Wall Press specialises in political fiction, poetry and cross-genre anthologies on pressing issues, from exceptional international authors.
A x 4 finalist in the British Book Awards for Small Press of the Year, Fly on the Wall Press books have been recognised internationally for their quality from poetry awards (The Laurel Prize, The Julie Suk Award) to short stories and fiction (Saboteur awards, the Edge Hill Prize.)
2024 opening dates:
Spring - Summer announced shortly
Before submitting, we require writers to be familiar with our mission and to have supported our publishing schedule and our authors by purchasing a book from our shop in the year of submitting a manuscript. Alternatively, donations of £7 and above can be made via our PayPal.
If you are submitting a poetry collection or pamphlet, entry will be via the Aryamati Prize. Please see this page for details.
What are we looking for?
Short Story Collections/Novels/Novellas/Anthology submissions
Writers who have a strong voice and style. A manuscript with a theme or story arc.
Writers unafraid to make a statement about something; to make a mark.
We prefer writing with a sprinkle of social consciousness and political engagement. This encompasses terms such as social commentary or observation, as well as more overtly political storylines. We believe, sometimes, our very existence in a certain setting is political and a story can be political simply in viewpoint.
This year we are particularly interested in works that explore climate anxiety and dystopian worlds (think 'The New Wilderness by Diane Cook').
Writers who have engaged with the work of Fly on the Wall before as a reader and feel they understand its ethos as a publisher. We are not an insular publisher: work must be accessible and engaging.
Why Fly on the Wall Press for my book?
Each stage of the publishing process is managed by Managing DirectorIsabelle Kenyon, who works closely with her writers to ensure that they are happy with the way their work is presented, and will suggest ways of improving the work, where it can be even stronger.
We work with a range of contacts to sell translation, audio and film rights to our titles.
We work with The Literary Consultancy to offer low-income writers developmental support during the editorial process.
All books are marketed to the highest standard, and we work hard to promote them! This includes entering writers into major awards, social media coverage, attending book fairs, review copies to journalists, interview coverage and advertising. This is not standard for a small press and something we take pride in investing our time within. (However, it is worth saying that as we very rarely have a team larger than one, all book marketing requires a team effort.)
We are proud to be a member of Inpress LTD distribution and the Northern Fiction Alliance. Our books benefit from the expertise of our book reps and regional partnerships.
We publish quality over quantity.
We would love a third person biography with your submission which helps us to know your past publication history in reputable literary journals and any competition success. We are looking for writers who have are willing to engage with the marketing of their own work, so any ideas that you have for this are also of interest!
We are working with you as a person as well as with your words and we love the process to be fun, so in this initial submission, we like to get any idea of who you are as an individual. Are you part of any writing groups, or do you attend any open mic nights? All interesting for us to know!
FAQs for Fly on the Wall Press Submissions
Some of my work has been previously published. Is this okay?
Yes but we would advise 50% of the collection to be unpublished, as we do find it difficult to sell if a high proportion of the work is freely accessible.
How many are you planning to choose?
Ideally we’ll publish 9 authors annually.
Do you accept simultaneous submissions? i.e. Can I send my manuscript for consideration by other places too?
Yes, that’s fine – just drop us an email if you need to withdraw your entry.
I have more than one manuscript I would like to show you, and I’m finding it hard to choose. Can I just send you both?
No, please choose just one. If you’re struggling, have a think about what might be the best fit for Fly on the Wall Press as a socially conscious publisher.
I’ve written a collection with a friend. Can we submit as a pair?
Sure! Just email in together and be aware that you’ll split the royalties.
I have an illustrator in mind for my collection. Can I send you some samples of their work?
This is slightly overwhelming for a publisher in an initial enquiry! It’s probably best to assume they won’t be used because we are a small press with tiny budgets (all books are designed by Isabelle currently, with a few exceptions), so have a think about how you would feel about that and if you’d still want to submit. If your manuscript gets through to the shortlist stage then we can discuss it, but if I don’t like their style/fee then it will have to be a no.
Equally, it’s worth mentioning our house styles here, as we do have increasingly one cover font only and one interior book font, and these are non-negotiable. We must continue to develop as a recognisable brand and business and these factors fall under a publisher’s remit only.
Will you consider translations?
Yes, we are always happy to see translations.
Does the writing need to be unpublished?
It’s fine if your poems/stories have been previously published, but please do check with those publishers or publications that you still hold the rights to your poems and can licence us to publish them again with no additional payments or paperwork. If your novel has been self published/short story collection, this is not eligible. For the shorts season, if the story has been previously published by a print journal or a journal now not in print/online circulation, it can be submitted.
I don’t live in the UK – can I still submit?
Yes, we welcome international submissions.
When will I hear back about my submission?
We aim to reply within 2 months after the reading period closes. We send updates on our progress in our newsletter, so that is the best place to look if you’re wondering when you might hear back from us. We do reply to everyone, and we read all of the submissions very thoroughly, so thank you for being patient with us.
Will I get feedback if my submission is unsuccessful?
We will email everyone to let them know the verdict on their submission, but we can’t offer individual feedback except via our paid feedback option below.
I can't afford to buy a book at this time, can I still submit?
We always allow 10 free submissions to our anthologies, however unfortunately we can't waive this requirement as well, as it is our standard requirement and keeps the Press running. However, you will find our submission call out is open for a long period of time and that the lowest ebooks in our store are £2.99. We appreciate this may be frustrating for you, but we mitigate this by keeping these guidelines up all year round, ensuring people have as long a period of time possible in which to select a book they like the look of!
Want feedback and a submission outcome within 3 weeks?
This is not a line by line editing service - for that, see our Author Services - however, we will be advising you on elements holistically such as collection arc, sentence structure and character development as well as a shortlisting decision if we feel it is suitable for the Press (if not, we will suggest alternative publishers).
For individual stories, this feedback is £40 (fiction up to 11k words) and for short story collections, full poetry collections and novels, this feedback is £70 via the Donation button (up to 70 poems, fiction up to 25k words - we appreciate novels will be of a longer length, however as this is a 'quick' feedback service, we will stop reading at this point in the manuscript. )
For feedback on the first twenty pages of your novel/novella, this feedback is £45 in the form of an editorial report and line by line notes.
If you have any issues with the donate button please also find the link here.
Please indicate that you have paid for feedback in your submissions email.
You can still apply for feedback while our submission period is closed.