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©2018 by Mt Zion Ridge Press.

writing for Mt Zion Ridge Press

We are a traditional publisher and publish print, eBooks, and sometimes audio books that fit the following criteria:

  • All genres of Christian fiction featuring intriguing characters with grit and determination, facing real-life challenges head-on, through faith and conviction. We DO NOT accept profanity, occult, or graphic sex scenes.

  • Christian non-fiction books, Bible studies, and devotionals that have solid Biblical teaching without the fluff for those who want to go deeper in their faith. We only accept books that are in full agreement with Scripture. NO Memoirs!

  • We are not taking submissions for the following at this time:

    • Children's Church Curriculum

    • Memoirs

    • Collections of Stories

    • Picture Books

    • Anything that has already been published.

    • Anything that goes against a Christian world view.

open for submissions

Agented and Requested Submissions: Agents may submit work at any time. We request first two chapters (or 30 pages), last two chapters (or 30 pages), and a synopsis. All manuscripts must be complete at time of submission.

Querying Process for Unagented Submissions:

Mt. Zion Ridge Press, "books off the beaten path," has opened their doors for submissions. Our standard submission process is to accept queries first.

Please follow the following submission process to the letter.

 

To start out, send us ONLY a query letter to MtZionRidgePress@gmail.com. Subject line should say query and your title. We don't need to see your brilliance during the query process. We only want to see if you can follow directions and if your work might be a right fit for us. Please include the following in the body of your email:

  • Slug line/elevator pitch for your book

  • 2 paragraph back cover blurb (NO synopsis)

  • Genre

  • Word count

  • Your book must be complete, not a WIP or proposed project.

  • It must contain a Christian worldview. (Note: if you don't know what that means, chances are good we aren't for you.)

  • No gratuitous sex/violence/profanity/occult

Do not submit anything that has already been published elsewhere.

We want to work with your agent, if you have one, from the beginning -- agents can submit ANY genre at ANY time and can skip the query process.

Agents are NOT required!

We will respond within 2 weeks on queries.

We will acknowledge receipt of query -- if you don't get an acknowledgment within 3 days of querying, we probably didn't receive it. Please re-send and say this is your second attempt.

If we are interested in your query, we will ask for a synopsis, the 1st 2 chapters/1st 30 pages and last 2 chapters/30 pages. Make sure they are polished with no head hopping, grammatical mistakes, or typing errors.

We will respond within 3 months. If you don't hear from us by the end of those 3 months, contact us. We WILL acknowledge receipt of the materials -- again, if you don't hear from us within 3 days of sending your requested materials, contact us again.

so you want to be a writer

Technically, anyone who has put together a few sentences to communicate an idea or share a story is a writer.

What you want to be is an AUTHOR.

What's the difference, you ask? An AUTHOR keeps writing, despite the discouragement and mental blocks and rejections, and eventually gets published.

Here's the harsh reality: It takes a LOT of WORK and TIME and LEARNING and PRACTICE to be an AUTHOR.

 

You're probably looking at this page because you want to be an author published by Mt. Zion Ridge Press.

BEFORE YOU SUBMIT, you can work on your writing.

And learning to follow the rules.

What? There are RULES? 

Yep.

They're called the MECHANICS.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation, for starters. We're not expecting you to be a straight-A student in English class, but get a good grasp on the basics. It shouldgo without saying, but I've edited enough books with this problem, I must say it: 

Pay attention to the spell-check in your word processing program. Decent programs indicate on the screen when you've used a word it doesn't recognize, or is mis-spelled, or the grammar is questionable. When you get one of those warnings, check it out and fix it.

 

On a loop for published authors several years ago, someone said, "WHY do I have to pay attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation? All I should have to do is tell a good story. Let someone else fix the mechanics. That's what editors are for."

You did not want to be there when the editors and publishers responded to that prima donna's lazy whine.

Harsh reality: Hypothetical editor has a choice between two equally captivating stories. She can only contract one book. The first book is "clean" -- very little to fix in terms of mechanics. The second book is a mess. A dozen spelling and grammar mistakes on the first page, the names of the main characters change without warning, and other dumb glitches. It will require weeks of revising to be publishable.

Guess which author will be offered a contract?

Editors just don't have the time or budgets to nursemaid authors who won't learn the basics of their craft. (Notice I said "won't," rather than can't. It's a matter of choice. And if you choose not to learn, editors will choose not to publish you.)

Would you call someone a chef who didn't know how to use spices or turn on the stove? Yet people who regularly murder their native language believe they can be writers.

 

So if you wanna be an author, the first step is to learn the mechanics.

 

Then READ. Constantly. Pay attention to and think about what you're reading. Learn by example how other authors in your chosen genre handle things like POV, pacing, scene breaks, description, inserting back story, ratcheting up the tension, using humor, etc.

 

WRITE. As often as you can. Set up a routine. You can't have a booksigning without a published book. You don't get a contract without presenting the editor with an irresistible book. You can't turn in a book until it's been revised and polished until you hate the sight of the title page.

And you can't revise a book that hasn't been written yet.

 

So that's your homework: Learn the mechanics. Read (a lot). Write (regularly).

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

 

And oh, yeah, LEARN and FOLLOW the RULES.

That means research the publisher you want to buy your book, and find out how they want to receive proposals, if they're taking proposals, and what kind of books they're looking for at this time. The shopping list will change as their pre-production queue changes and the market changes and readers' interests and tastes change.

And if they say they aren't taking proposals or queries or submissions at this time, don't send the book anyway. Stunts like that get your name on a list you don't want to be on. If you get my drift.

Don't make the mistake that an apocryphal military thriller writer made, who wrote to a publisher that only did romance, and essentially said, "Romance is garbage. If you want to make money, you want my book. It has guts. It has blood. It has nuclear warfare. No guys stupid enough to fall in love. I won't take anything lower than $50,000 for my advance."

What kind of response do you think he got from the publisher?

The answer is SILENCE. An insulting, arrogant cover letter like that doesn't deserve the dignity of a response.

 

So repeat after me, class:

 

Research the publisher

Give them what they want

Submit your query or proposal or sample chapters in the manner they request

Be nice, and be respectful (which includes learning the name of the editor you want to submit to. Nothing earns negative points faster than, "To whom it may concern.")

 

Pay attention and follow the rules.

If you do that, you're already a solar system ahead of the vast majority of people who want to get their books published.

 

What are you doing still reading?

GO WRITE!