404 Ink Inkling series sumissions

  • Open Call
  • Anywhere
  • 31/07/2022
  • Open Call
  • Anywhere
  • 31/07/2022


*Keep up to date on our submissions windows by subscribing to to our submission-specific mailing list*

You can find the submission guidelines for Inklings below, and further resources to demystify the publishing process beneath that. Please note that we will only be considering pitches within the July window. Main list submission info to come later in 2022.


To pitch an idea for our Inkling series, please email us with:

  • Up to 200 word description of your book idea (topic, how this could work as a book, angle you’d approach from, etc)

  • 150 word biography about you / why you are the person to write about this topic

  • Some samples of your writing: links or email attachments both fine

Format: The description and biography can be sent in the body of the email. We do not accept WeTransfer or Google Docs as standard, however if there is a different way you would like to submit for accessibility purposes please email us. wordcounter.net is a useful resource if you need to track the word counts.

Please note:

  • You can view the Inklings titles so far at 404ink.com/inklings to get a sense of the series and how your work could fit

  • We have an FAQ dedicated to our Inklings series for even more information

  • Unlike previous Inklings submissions, we will be working through these across the month if time allows. This means if you come in with a pitch we love, we might ask you for a draft outline and writing sample sooner rather than later. We will get back to everyone with the outcome of the first stage of their submission either way, however, in August 2022 at the latest.

On Inklings submissions: we are not seeking full books upfront. We only want pitches – this is to keep the ideas process as open and accessible as possible. The next stages, should your pitch progress, is that we would ask for an outline of how your idea would work as a book, and a short draft of a proposed section, then move to commissioning.

All book submissions should be sent to submissions@404ink.com. If you’re looking for who to address emails to: Heather and Laura. For Inklings pitches, please format email titles INKLINGS PITCH: AUTHOR NAME – 1-5 WORD TOPIC SUMMARY.

For any questions: please see our Tips & Information page. If you still have questions, email hello@404ink.com.


We have overhauled our submissions process with the aim of streamlining this for writers and ideally bring more transparency to the process and what publishers are actively looking for. Though our submissions are currently closed, the below resources can hopefully answer some questions for when they reopen, or if you are looking to submit elsewhere:


Want to publish a book?
We are open to fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. For a sense of what we publish, check out our author page and shop. We don’t publish children’s books.

We want to make submitting to 404 Ink as easy and accessible as possible so we have removed a lot of the additional supporting documents and information we previously asked for. Now all we ask is you tell us a bit about your book, and about you. Our goal is to allow writers to spend less time on admin and cut to the heart of their work – why they love it, and why it would be a great fit with 404, when we are open for submissions.

Got a topic you want to write about, and think it works as a pocket-sized book?
We have launched a series of books that explore big ideas in a compact way. These will run differently to our main book strand. This is open to published and unpublished writers, and known as ‘Inklings’.

What are we looking for?
tldr: Writing that excites us, surprises us, makes us laugh, makes us learn, makes us squirm, intrigues us. We want to hear stories we rarely see on the page, or stories told in genuinely new and innovative ways, something we want to throw at people, figuratively or indeed literally. We do not publish children’s books and are only able to read English-language submissions.

As a cheat sheet: we particularly like humour, gritty women-led fiction, anti-heroes, parodies, the weird and wonderful, hard-hitting social issue non-fiction, inspirational stories and accessible political engagement. We’d quite like to publish a crime book that’s an unusual take on the genre, as an FYI if you happen to have one. Having said that, we’re not here to limit at the first stage: if you think your book could be a fit for 404, we’d like to see it.