know there are good writers 'out there' who
deserve to be published but cannot find a publisher.
We would love to be able to say we are still
accepting submissions - but we are not. We are
so sorry. We have been overwhelmed by countless
kind approaches and simply cannot cope: we have
no gate-keepers, refuse to farm out first vettings
to our otherwise wonderful interns and read
all your letters/attachments on a first-come-first-served
basis ourselves. The few manuscripts we accept
to read are now in a pile so high it will topple
under its own weight. The many we reject - we
hope with a decent letter giving our reasons
- is a heartbreaking process because, with rare
exceptions, all who write in are decent, educated
and informed writers.
We would love to end on a cheerful note, but
cannot even manage this. All looking at this
page will be aware the publishing industry is
in massive trouble at the moment - much of it,
but not all, of its own making. Either way,
the panic sweeping through the major houses/retailers
is chilling and, were it not for the knock-on
impact on small publishers such as Picnic, we
might be 'orrible enough to say the majority
of the majors' managements, but not their staff,
had it coming to them. But we won't. Instead,
we'll confine ourselves to this: the lousy decisions,
standards and dated understanding of some of
the majors have ruined things for everyone.
If the situation changes, we will be the first
to let you know. In addition, if we are ever
in a position to accept submissions again, we
promise our original rules will still apply.
These were set out in our first website and
read as follows:
'Uniquely - which is to say, in contrast to
all other publishers - we ask those contacting
us to give absolutely no details about themselves.
We do not want to know if you have been published
before, have not been published before, have
had a hundred rejections, are a celebrity, are
not a celebrity, are/are not a twenty-three
year old stick insect . . . All we are interested
in - and love - are books. Tell us what you
are writing and we guarantee a swift response.
But, as we say, and with much regret, we are
not accepting submissions at the moment. We
cannot begin to describe our fury at finding
ourselves in this position which is solely the
result of incompetent and greedy giants. Apparently,
the latter cannot find any good books to publish.
What utter imbeciles they are. Picnic - an absolutely
tiny house - is awash with approaches from superb
writers in the UK and other significant parts
of the world. The problem is, we simply cannot
So very sorry and with best wishes.