Twenty in 2020 Call for Submissions


Submission period: February 28 2018  –  August 31 2018

Jacaranda Books in collaboration with Words of Colour Productions is pleased to open submissions for Twenty in 2020 the initiative launched to celebrate Black British writing. The manuscripts acquired through this process will be published in 2020 and will make up the entire Jacaranda list for that year. We are looking for debut writers as well as those further along in their writing careers.  Writers may be agented or unagented. Please read on for our submission guidelines.


We will publish:

  • 10 Fiction writers: this includes all forms of adult fiction encompassing literary, commercial and genre fiction (including crime, romance historical, fantasy and science fiction).
  • 5 Nonfiction writers: works to include biography and memoir (including science, music and medical-related), popular culture, politics, and history.
  • 5 poets – we will publish five anthologies each by a single poet.


Eligible applicants:

  • Submissions are open to writers who identify as Black British, defined as any British citizen of black African and/ or Caribbean heritage. This also includes those of mixed heritage where one or both parents are of black origin.
  • Literary agents may also submit on behalf of their writers, on condition that all required documentation is provided (please refer to guidelines below).
  • Applicants must hold British or dual British nationality. Please note that selected writers may be requested to show proof of nationality, such as a passport or birth certificate.
  • While writers do not need to be resident in the UK, by submitting they agree that, if successful, that they will be available to travel to London for publicity and editorial meetings in the UK given 30 days’ notice.

Eligible works:

  • Writers may send in any work of fiction, trade non-fiction or poetry in the English language for consideration aimed at an adult reading market. This includes short stories, illustrated works and genre fiction (sci-fi, romance, crime, fantasy, historical fiction).
  • Children’s books, academic non-fiction, works in translation and comics will not be considered.
  • Works submitted must be new and original. No works should have been previously published (including self-published) anywhere in the world.
  • If part of a work (no more than 10,000 words) has been previously published, e.g. as part of a writing competition, the work may still be eligible if the writer holds all rights to republish the work in its full format. Such rights must be clarified in writing.
  • Submitted works must be standalone works. We will not accept works that form part of an existing published series.
  • For poetry and short story submissions, a full anthology by a single writer must be submitted. Anthologies by multiple writers or poets will not be eligible.


Writers should submit

      • A covering letter outlining who they are, their publishing goals/ambitions and any evidence of having been published previously. They should also include why they wish to be part of the Twenty in 2020 initiative, and links to any promotional social media accounts or other platforms.
      • A single document including the following information
        a. Full name
        b. Date and place of birth
        c. Nationality
        d. Country of residence
        e. Title of the work
        f. Genre
        g. Word count
      • A detailed synopsis of the work (maximum three pages). For non-fiction submissions, and where relevant, please include a table of contents.
      • A full manuscript, edited and proofread. Please note that as a guideline, a manuscript should contain a minimum of 60,000 words.
      • All written submissions, including cover letter and synopsis, should be sent as Word documents in Times New Roman font size 12 with double lined spacing.
      • Artwork or photographs accompanying an illustrated book submission should be sent in jpeg format only.
      • All applications should be sent by email to with subject Twenty in 2020 Submission. Applications must be received by 23:59 on August 31st 2018 to be eligible.


  • The judging period will run from 1st September 2018- December 14th 2018.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by December 31st 2018.
  • The cohort of 20 selected writers will be announced in January 2019.
  • By submitting, the writer agrees that, if chosen, s/he will be available for editorial work and all publicity, both physically and online, including but not limited to live events, readings, media interviews and photo calls, from 1st January 2019 through publication of their work in 2020.
  • The selection team reserves the right to call in additional submissions, and to contact writers with regards to submitted entries to aide in the selection process.
  • Final decision rests with the selection team. Due to the high volume of submissions expected, we will not be able to respond to each individual entrant regarding their submission.

Any further queries regarding these submission guidelines or the Twenty in 2020 initiative should be sent by email to with Twenty in 2020 as the subject.

Join in the conversation online with hashtag #TwentyIn2020

Written by Jacaranda Books

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