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Star Trek Novel Submission Guidelines
Star Trek Novel Submission Guidelines
As posted at http://www.simonsays.com/379207071471286/startrek/ask_john/joguidelines.html by Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster Consumer Group, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, USA: Phone: +1--698-7000)
Due to the overwhelming number of submissions that we receive, Pocket Books can only accept requested, agented manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts will be returned immediately by our support staff.
A comprehensive list of agents can be found in a book called The Literary Marketplace available in the reference section of any library. Ethical considerations prevent us from recommending individual agents, so please do not ask.
- All manuscripts MUST be submitted typed, double-spaced, on one side of non-corrasable typing paper.
- The page number and your name MUST be at the top of each page.
- Your full name and address should appear on the first and the last page of the manuscript (yes, include your phone number).
- Submit the first three chapters with a detailed synopsis (eight to twelve pages) of the entire plot.
- Due to the large number of submissions we receive, our reply can take anywhere from one to four months . . . so please be patient. If we're interested in publishing your novel, we'll contact your agent with an offer. We may ask for revisions, and may also ask to see the completed novel before reaching a decision.
- In a one-sentence description, we're looking for exciting science fiction stories featuring the Star Trek characters. This means that something should be at stake, something other than the internal emotional problems of the crew. The optimum choice would be a problem that must be resolved quickly, solved in a race against time, that would have horrible consequences if the crew fails.
- The majority of the books we publish are the regular Star Trek, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: DS9, and Star Trek: Voyager paperbacks. These are adventure novels of roughly 70,000 words (about 275-325 pages). We also have a line of hardcovers, but these are a tougher sell. We usually work very closely with experienced Star Trek authors to create the hardcover stories which are larger in scope than the regular novels.
- We cannot use short stories, poetry, biographies, romances, encyclopedias, dictionaries, concordances, compendiums, blueprints, photo novels or trivia books. We publish these kinds of books very carefully and most often hire people affiliated with the Star Trek shows and/or movies to write them.
DOs and DON'Ts
- All material is subject to the approval of Paramount Pictures, which owns all copyright to Star Trek in its various incarnations and is very concerned about maintaining the integrity of the characters and the Star Trek universe.
- To that end, we make a serious effort to see that the books line up with the episodes and films, though we recognize that absolute consistency is a practical impossibility. We now have some "official" reference guides that may be helpful. These titles should be available in all bookstores and many libraries. They include: The Star Trek Compendium, Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, and The Star Trek Chronology, which is an illustrated timeline of the Star Trek universe covering both the Original Series and the Next Generation.
- The best reference, of course, are the Star Trek episodes and films.
There are a number of plots that we would specifically like to avoid:
A Word About Style
- Any story primarily about a guest star or non-Star Trek regular. This means no stories about other crews, ships, or guest characters that become the focus of the story. The novels should always "star" Kirk, Picard, Sisko et al. Paramount Pictures feels very strongly that Star Trek stories should primarily be about the Star Trek characters, who must be the major problem solvers in any Star Trek novel.
- Death of an established crewmember or character, or any other permanent change in the Star Trek characters, settings, or universe, such as introducing offspring or close relations of the characters other than those already in existence. Also no childhood or current sweethearts, although you can create temporary love interests. As with all series, the status quo must be restored at the end.
- Any plot that hinges on or describes in detail sexual relations of any kind, especially between humans and aliens. We are not interested in books that suggest anything other than friendship among any of the Enterprise crewmembers.
- No mixing of casts is allowed, which means no plots that mix the characters from one series with another. While we do intend to occasionally cross over between series this will always be handled very carefully in-house.
- Traveling in time to change history or learn something, rescue someone, etc. Also, we are currently overstocked on alternate universe storylines.
- For Deep Space Nine and Voyager, the books should stay current with the programs. Next Generation should, for the moment, be set between the end of the series and Star Trek: Generations, the first movie with the Next Generation cast.
- No stories that turn out to have been a dream, a hoax, or a virtual reality sequence. We are also avoiding novels that start out with an action-packed opening that turns out to be taking place on the holodeck.
- No "test" stories, i.e. stories where the Enterprise is tested by god-like beings studying humanity or judging our worth.
- Avoid trying to definitively map out a character's history beyond what has already been done in the movies or television episodes. When we do biographical books, we work very closely with Paramount and the writer. As a general rule, the best chance for a Star Trek submission by a first-time Star Trek writer is to submit a "traditional" Star Trek mission story that follows the Problem on Planet/Problem on Ship (or Station) formula. If you've been reading the novels, you know that we do take some chances and publish books that push the boundaries somewhat, but be advised that we approach these stories very carefully, working closely with experienced Star Trek writers and Paramount Pictures.
- Do not introduce any levels of technology beyond what has been established in the television shows.
The major thing the books have to offer that the television shows do not is an internal point of view, revealing the inner thoughts, feelings and reactions of the characters. Therefore Star Trek books must adhere to strict point of view with scene breaks to denote any POV shifts. We are not interested in external or "camera eye" prose. We are also not interested in first person books.
The best style guides for your Star Trek proposals are, of course, the recently published Star Trek novels.
That's it. Thank you for your interest in Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. Good luck with your writing.
-- The Editors --
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