If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it. And we’re here to help you tell it.
What submissions are we looking for?
If you have a story to tell about your own experience with mental illness, or the experience of a loved one, let us know. If you have an idea for a novel that relates to mental health issues in some way, please refer to our blog on making an effective fiction submission.
Submitting an idea for our Inspirational Series
The true-life stories of our Inspirational Series show how people have coped with the reality of mental health difficulties and how they have led their lives. Our readers aren’t looking for fascinating ‘rags-to-riches’ tales of sufferers going on to achieve incredible fame, wealth, or prestige; they are interested in reality. They want to see that recovery is not only possible for them, but that it is within their grasp. That is the kind of inspiration we are looking for. Can you provide it?
We are also accepting submissions for our new fiction range. If you have a proposal, please submit a synopsis, a chapter breakdown, and three sample chapters.
How can you submit a manuscript to Trigger?
Your submission doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to pique our interest and fall within our guidelines. To help you, here are some things you can do to bring out the best in your proposal.
Please ensure your submission includes the following:
- Your name and the title of your book in the subject heading.
- A synopsis of up to two pages that sums up the story you want to tell. This should not tease us, but rather tell us the major points of your book.
- A breakdown of your story, chapter-by-chapter.
- The first three chapters.
Please send your submissions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will let you know when we have received it.
We do receive quite a few submissions, so we can’t give you a definite timeframe for a more detailed response, but we will try to get back to you within eight weeks.
General writing tips
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more detail makes for better reading. However, the inverse is usually true. Don’t overcomplicate the story you’re telling by cramming too many ideas into one sentence or paragraph. This can make your writing hard to read.
This is also true of content: too often, new writers will try to say as much as they possibly can. However, fewer words can help here. If you spend too long writing about an insignificant point, it can slow down the narrative and make it appear bloated. But this doesn’t mean that all points should be given quite so succinctly – if you are writing about something important, then feel free to give it as much time as you think it deserves.
It is likely that your story will skip back and forth in time. Be mindful of your tenses, so that we can better understand whether you’re writing about the present or the past.
It is also very easy to forget that your readers will not be familiar with the intimate details of your life. To begin with, certain details will need to be explained for the reader, e.g. why you weren’t talking to a certain friend, or why you were taking a certain medicine, or why something might trigger you so violently.
It might help to picture your reader as you write. Make them cynical and hard-to-please. Imagine that they’re reading your manuscript as you write. Will it leave them surprised and engaged, or will it simply turn them off?
It is also worth keeping in mind that, though our books are written for a worldwide audience, we mostly use British English. This means that using ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ in word such as ‘realised’, as well as using words like pavement instead of sidewalk. Don’t worry, our editorial team will be able to spot any inconsistencies and change them, if we decide to publish your work.
There is a tendency among some authors to think they need to write in an academic style. This can be hard for an author to sustain, and might even turn them off from finishing their book. While we are certainly looking for stories that are well-structured, we are not looking to publish books that all sound the same. Generally, we favour a much more accessible style.
So please, try your best to write your story in your voice. We want to hear what it feels like to be you, from you.
Inevitably, we can’t accept every submission that we receive. It might be that your story isn’t quite right for us at the moment, or perhaps we might have a book in development that tells a similar story. Whatever the reason, we will write to you telling you why we have chosen to pass on your submission on this occasion.
In some cases, we might ask that you can write a blog for us instead.
The benefits of working with Trigger
Trigger is growing fast, we’re commissioning a host of new authors, and we have a pretty ambitious publishing schedule. Our primary aim is to help people whose lives have been affected by mental illness.
What you can expect from working with us is our passion in rewarding success, hence why our royalties are comparatively high for the industry. We will also invest a lot of money into PR and marketing for our books, and you will be able to capitalise on a myriad of opportunities to promote your book, as well as yourself. One of our authors has recently publicised her book on Sky News, The Daily Mail, HeadsTogether, Mental Health Foundation, BEAT, Female First, YoungMinds, and more.
We are also committed to developing you as an author, if that is your wish. Our editorial team is well-versed in the publishing industry, and will be here for you every step of the way, as well as beyond the publication date of your book.