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So you're thinking of submitting to Fly on the Wall...

At Fly on the Wall, we were founded upon the principles of publishing quality, accessible work that engaged with themes of social consciousness - in whatever vein that may present itself as!

While reading previous FOTW publications remains the best way to understand what we like when it comes to a manuscript, we thought we'd take a look at some other works that we would have loved if they came flying into our inbox!

NOVEL: Earthlings, by Sayaka Murata

(Granta Books, 2021)

'Earthlings' centres on the story of Natsuki and her cousin Yuu, and entwines a deeply troubling plot of abuse, alienation with a sense of cosmic hopefulness. This novel is enthralling and captures your attention across every page, thanks to Sayaka's surreal and strange writing. It critiques social structures and the pressures placed on women in a way that is completely unexpected.

POETRY: To Start The Year From Its Quiet Centre, by Victoria Bennett

(Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2020)

'To Start The Year From Its Quiet Centre' is an honest portrayal into a daughter's responsibility of caring for her mother as she lives with terminal mesothelioma. As a reader, you often feel intrusive upon such private moments, but that's what makes this collection so powerful. Themes include sickness, relationships through women, and living with grief and loss.

POETRY: Don't Call Us Dead, by Danez Smith

(Graywolf Press, 2017)

With incredible power, and urgency, Danez Smith's 'Don't Call Us Dead' is an award-winning poetry collection that represents the experiences of Black men in America. From violence to hope and everything in between, Danez's poems are underpinned by the terrifying mortality faced by Black communities living in a society built and manipulated to keep them from thriving.

NOVEL: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler

(Profile Books Ltd, 2013)

One of the more subtle titles on our list, 'We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves' is a novel that examines and dissects humanity and our relations with one another. Whilst we won't spoil it here, the twist of this book only serves to add to the social commentary that Karen Joy Fowler so meticulously crafts through a winding narrative.

NOVEL: The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

(Bloomsbury Paperbacks, 2011)

Following the story of twelve-year-old Amir, 'The Kite Runner' is a number one bestseller that explores the themes of loss, love, and grief against the war-devastated backdrop of Afghanistan. Harrowingly honest about the reality of growing up in the midst of war, Khaled Hosseini's work is political and personal in equal measure.

SHORT STORIES: Hollow Shores, by Gary Budden

(Dead Ink Books, 2017)

This debut collection of short stories from Gary Budden is one of, if not the, transformative leaders of what Budden himself calls landscape punk. With the focus on the decay and change of urban environments such as Kent, London, and the fictional-real Hollow Shore, 'Hollow Shores' explores every nook and cranny of humanity and the way we affect the world around us.

POETRY: Magnolia, 木蘭, by Nina Mingya Powles

(Nine Arches Press, 2020)

Shifting expertly between poetic forms, Nina Mingya Powles explores the experiences of growing up as a mixed-race girl. These poems utilise the beauty in mundanity, with extensive references to language, food, memories, and more. 'Magnolia' is a profound and tender homage to Nina's Malaysian-Chinese heritage and her ties to New Zealand life and culture.

So there you have it! If you aren't sure whether your work would be a great match for our press, the above are some examples of what would fit with our mission. Of course, there are many ways to interpret our mission, both subtly and explicitly.

Our annual manuscript reading period is open until Saturday 9th October, midnight GMT. See full guidelines here. If you're new to writing fiction or are yet to publish a book, why not consider submitting a short story for our anthology call-out?

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