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Can you believe we are celebrating 11 years of our industry first #DigitalOriginals open submission #OneDay opportunity this year? Doesn’t time fly? 


We’ve ripped up all the usual rules again this year and are flinging open our doors to prospective new ‘contemporary commercial women’s fiction’ authors writing specifically in the Romance space, enabling you to bypass the traditional route to publishing and submit a pitch directly to the Simon & Schuster Books and the City editorial team. 


And, we have a super exciting plot twist this year! Every author whose work we enjoy will benefit from a no-obligation introduction to Jon Stefani, Co-Founder of and Literary Agent at Stefani & Stefani. 



From 8am to 8pm GMT on Monday 15th July 2024, writers of ‘contemporary commercial women’s fiction’ aimed at the Romance reader, can pitch the hook of their novel in 200 words (max) via email to  


We will read your pitches as they come in – make sure you use #OneDay2024 in the subject header of your email – and if we like the sound of your pitch will reply to you by Friday 16th August 2024 to ask for your synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. 


We want to discover new voices, so if you are already represented by a Literary Agent at the time of submission, I’m afraid you are not eligible to submit your work to us through this opportunity this year. 


If we enjoy your synopsis and first three chapters, and whether we subsequently acquire your novel or not, we will put you in direct contact with Jon Stefani, Literary Agent at Stefani & Stefani.  There is no obligation on either side, but Jon will be able to offer (via email, telephone, zoom or, if mutually convenient, in real life) some advice and guidance as you take the next steps in your writing journey, and, where appropriate, feedback on your work. 


We are dedicated to publishing a broad and diverse range of books for everyone, representative of the world around us. We know that the contemporary commercial women’s fiction seen on the shelves of many retailers in the UK doesn’t always reflect the diverse world we live in, so we are particularly looking to see novels that reflect a diversity of experience, written by under-represented authors. This could include, but is not limited to, writers from ethnic minority backgrounds, LGBTQ+ writers, writers who are disabled, writers who are neurodiverse, and writers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 




Do I have to have a completed full manuscript to pitch? No. It’s not essential that you have a full completed manuscript at pitch stage, but it would be wise to have the synopsis and first three chapters of your exciting, fresh and original idea available to share with us should we request to see it. 


Can I pitch more than one novel? Only one pitch is permitted per person, so please only pitch the novel you believe to be your strongest concept. 


I don’t live in the UK; can I still take part? We are only accepting #OneDay2024 pitches from authors aged 18 or above, who are currently resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland. 


I have self-published my book previously; can I still pitch it? Yes, if you have retained full rights. 


I can’t be on email on 15th July 2024, can I still take part? All pitches must be received between the hours of 8.00am and 8.00pm on 15th July 2024, so we suggest you schedule your email in advance. We cannot accept pitches outside this window and any received outside of this period will not be considered. 


I pitched my novel but haven’t been contacted via email yet. What should I do? If we don’t contact you by Friday 16th August 2024, please don’t be disheartened. This is a very subjective business, and it is likely that your pitch is not quite what we are currently looking for, for our #DigitalOriginals list. 


You requested to read my synopsis and first three chapters, when will I hear back from you? If we enjoyed reading your synopsis and first three chapters, we will get back to you within one month of receipt requesting the full manuscript. If we haven’t contacted you within one month of receipt, please don’t be disheartened. It is likely that your novel feels too similar to one we are due to, or have already, published, or too similar in tone to another author we have under contract.  


How does the introduction to Jon Stefani work?  If we enjoy your synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript, we will introduce you via email to Jon Stefani. There is no obligation on either side, and the introduction does not guarantee an offer of representation. Should an offer of representation be made by Jon and accepted by you, it would not apply to the manuscript submitted through this #OneDay opportunity, which, if acquired by us, would be an un-agented deal.  


You requested to read my full manuscript, when will I hear back from you? We will endeavor to get back to you within 8 weeks of receipt of your full manuscript. 



Your pitch will help us understand exactly what your novel is about and give us an idea of how we might talk to potential readers about it. We want to be immediately grabbed by your concept, and desperate to read more, so draw us into your plot, your characters or setting, with a hook we haven’t read before. If you’re struggling to pin down what your book is about, consider how you’d describe it to a friend.


The term ‘contemporary commercial women’s fiction’ is generally used to mean fiction that appeals primarily to women, though is not necessarily written by a woman, and tends to be full of modern relationships featuring friends, family and lovers. It can be funny or sad, but most of all it covers great storytelling with believable characters and plot. 


#OneDay2024 is not open for non-fiction, short stories, historical fiction, crime thrillers, science fiction or fantasy, poetry, young adult or children’s titles. 


The email account to send your pitch to is Please ensure you use ‘#OneDay2024’ as the subject heading to your email. 


Your 200-word pitch must be in the body of the email, not sent as an attachment. 


We reserve the right to discount any pitch submissions that do not meet the criteria stated, at our sole discretion. 


We’re specifically looking for authors we can launch as part of our #DigitalOriginals programme in the same way we launched the careers of Heidi Swain, Jennifer Bibby, Holly Hepburn, Laura Bambrey, Jackie Fraser, Claire Frost, Julie Haworth and Christina Pishiris. #OneDay2024 is not a writing competition, and therefore there are no ‘winners’, but any novel we acquire through our #OneDay2024 open submission day will be published in #DigitalOriginals eBook format, which will be available across all e-tailers in the English language across the World. You will be working with our experienced in-house team, and will be provided with a contract, full editorial input including copy editing and proof reading, an eBook jacket and a suite of marketing and publicity promotion. 


Due to the volume of submissions expected, we are not able to give individual feedback if we don’t request to read the full manuscript. 


We accept no responsibility for any illegible, incomplete, delayed, corrupted, malfunctioning, late, lost or misdirected pitches, including but not limited to emails not received due to technical disruptions, network congestion, compute error in transit or any other reason.  


If we make an offer to publish your novel and you don’t accept the terms of the acquisition or advance, you are entitled to reject them, but the terms of our contract are non-negotiable. 


We are not a vanity or custom publisher and we do not charge a fee for submitting to #OneDay2024.


#DigitalOriginals is part of the Simon & Schuster UK publishing company. A #DigitalOriginals author will benefit from the Simon & Schuster UK editorial, marketing, publicity and sales expertise and your contract with us under the #DigitalOriginals project offers you the same benefits as all Simon & Schuster UK authors receive. 


All decisions made by the Simon & Schuster Books and the City editorial team are final and not subject to appeal. 


Notwithstanding anything set forth in these guidelines if, in the sole opinion of Simon & Schuster UK, Ltd., none of the submissions are of a sufficiently high standard to merit publication, Simon & Schuster UK, Ltd. shall have no obligation to proceed with this offering. 


By submitting to #OneDay2024, you confirm that (i) his/her/their submitted materials are their original, wholly owned, creation and make no use of any third party materials or intellectual property rights; (ii) no deliberate attempt has been made to base any fictional characters in the written submissions upon any individual, living or dead; and (iii) the submitted materials contain nothing that is illegal, obscene, discriminatory or of a defamatory nature. Applicants will keep the Simon & Schuster UK Ltd. harmless from any claims that their submitted materials infringe the personal or proprietary right of any other person. 




Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in the United States, Canada, Australia and India. Within the UK division, there are four imprints: Simon & Schuster, Gallery, Scribner and Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, which publish a wide and eclectic mix of authors ranging across commercial fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction and children’s publications. Home to bestselling authors and award winners, Simon & Schuster UK is a publishing house of quality writing and a proud home to its authors and their exceptional work. 



Books and the City comprises a website, social media channels, #DigitalOriginals publishing programme, direct to consumer marketing tool and events platform – developed to promote Simon & Schuster’s women’s fiction. 



Sara-Jade Virtue 

Brand Development Director, Fiction 

Simon & Schuster UK