The month of August has arrived and MidnightSun is now open for submissions. Thank you for your patience. It’s great to be back! We have managed to read through the slush pile (when I say ‘we’ I really mean our amazing editor Alicia) so now we are looking for new work.
We are especially interested in picture books that tell an intriguing story; it could be contemporary or historical. We love books that reflect the diverse society we live in, that considers the environment and give children hope for a better world. However, books that are didactic and only have a mission to teach, rather than to tell a story, bores us. We want stories about kids with two mums or two dads (or more), stories about kids who don’t conform to gender norms, kids who are adventurous, shy, scared, happy, travelling the world, looking after their parents. Stories that surprise and delight us. Most of all, we want stories where the language sings.
In terms of middle-grade books for 8-12 year olds we want books with strong protagonists who experience a lot in a short space of time and change through their adventures.
We are always on the lookout for edgy, contemporary YA stories. Maybe the characters are rebelling against gender constraints at school or explore their sexuality. Perhaps they are saving the world through activism, coping with the death of a loved one or are bullied.
Adult fiction is the backbone of MidnightSun and we love stories that are not easily defined or pigeon-holed. Stories that cross over several genres: literary fiction and thriller, crime and speculative fiction. We regularly publish short story collections, often by new writers, because we love them. As for all the books we publish, the language has to lead the way into the story.
In fact, the bottom line for every single book we publish is that we have to love it! So send us your most beloved writing and we look forward to reading it. Just remember to please read the updated submission guidelines carefully before submitting. Thank you!
During this time of isolation, until the end of June 2020, MidnightSun has decided to offer an unprecedented 30% discount on our entire range of published books (currently in stock) if you order over $50 worth of books. Plus FREE shipping anywhere in Australia. All you have to do is apply the code COVID19special at the checkout and it will happen automatically.
There are so many great books in our back catalogue, for readers of all ages. Why not delve into some clever short stories about frail Australian masculinity in Dominic Carew’s No Neat Endings or come along on an intense crime thriller ride in S.J. Morgan’s Hide?
Read about a refugee girl’s search for a new life in the stunning picture book Anisa’s Alphabet by Mike Dumbleton and Hannah Sommerville or fly high in the sky with a pioneer aviator in Beverley McWilliams’ CBCA Notable book Born to Fly.
For 8-14 year-olds we have the thrilling adventure story Cryptosight by Nean McKenzie. Young adult readers can find escape in the dystopian love story River Stone by Rachel Hennessy.
Or why not try some more short stories? We have collections by single authors, such as the masterful Wild Gestures by Lucy Durneen, as well as amazing collections by many writers such as Breaking Beauty and Crush.
Now is the time to stay at home and read good books for yourself or for your children. The sale will be on until the end of June 2020 so you have plenty of time to order, but don’t wait if you know what you want. Some books are going to sell out.
Nean McKenzie, author of Cryptosight, shares some of her experiences of the publication of her first book, an adventure story for 8-14 year-olds.
Staring into thick bush, full of shadows and tangled plants, I’m always aware there COULD be something in there that I don’t know about. It’s probably something I’ve heard of before. But what if it’s something hidden, something unknown? And once I started thinking about this, Cryptosight began. Cryptozoology is a little zone between fantasy and reality. I have spoken to two quite normal people since Cryptosight has been published, who both claim to have seen a ‘black cat’ (the puma that is frequently sighted but never confirmed, all over Victoria). I find this quite fascinating. How do so many people see these things? Do they exist? And if they don’t, why do people think they do?
The year is planned out for MidnightSun and it’s full of exciting titles including a book for 8-12 year olds called Cryptosight. It’s written by Nean McKenzie and it’s her first book so we are extra excited to see it come to life. The cover design by Jenna Vincent is stunning and we are sure that it’ll capture the imagination of lots of kids around Australia.
It’s fabulous to have so many wonderful books coming up this year! Keep an eye here on the website and on our Facebook page for more info as the months pass.
Please send a digital copy of your manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org Please include a subject line stating your name, the title of your manuscript, and its genre (eg: Jane Doe, ‘High Tea’, Picture Book). Please attach your manuscript as a Word document titled, ‘Name: Manuscript Title’ (eg. Jane Doe: High Tea).
Send the first 20 pages only! If we are compelled to read more, we’ll ask for the rest. We want digital manuscripts with 1.5 or double line spacing. Choose Times New Roman or another easy-to-read font.
Hi all, it’s Fern again, MidnightSun’s favourite intern. Also their only intern, but I digress. In my brief time at the company I’ve mostly worked with Heaven Sent, the YA novel by S.J. Morgan. My tasks have been to find reviewers and speaking with writers’ festivals to invite Sue along. But that cannot begin to compare to the work Sue has spent writing the novel, and the time Anna and Lauren have spent refining and preparing it for its debut. The moment of truth finally arrived and MidnightSun was proud to launch Heaven Sent this past Sunday.
The hall the launch was held in was deftly transformed from what looked like an office into a cosy reading room, made even better by the inclusion of wine and nibbles.
I’m Fern, the second intern to grace the halls of MidnightSun. I’m in my final year of studying Creative Writing at Adelaide University, and I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to look inside the world of publishing. I’m the sort of oddball who researches as much as they can about any given situation before heading into it, but the internet can only prepare you so much. Luckily, Anna has been a wise and gentle support in guiding me through this busy new world.
MidnightSun acquires debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree
MidnightSun has acquired world rights to playwright and radio dramatist D M Cameron’s debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree for publication in 2018.
Beneath the Mother Tree is a ‘fast-paced’ mystery and love story set in an Australian town similar to the one in which Cameron grew up, and uses Indigenous and Irish mythology to create a spiritual subtext.
‘We are thrilled to have won the rights to this exciting novel, which generated a great deal of interest as a manuscript,’ said MidnightSun publishing director Anna Solding. ‘There were several other publishing contracts on the table, and we had to fight for this book!’
Solding said she sees ‘potential’ for the novel in the international market. ‘We anticipate Beneath the Mother Tree will garner interest overseas, with its Australian setting, contemporary love story and universal themes,’ said Solding. ‘We will be taking it to both London and Frankfurt Book Fairs.’
Next up in our series of Q&As with the authors of Crush is Michele Fairbairn. Read on to get to know her and her writing process, and to see an excerpt from her story ‘Fettucancé’.
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?
At the risk of sounding naff, it did not feel like I came to writing. Story is woven into the fabric of who I am. My first recollections as a child were feasting on stories oral and written, as well as the wordless stories that I could sense in the land I grew up on in the Barossa Valley. I have always felt the need to tell stories and had an intuitive sense of the transformative qualities of story in my work both in arts and health.
I crave and embrace adventure. Not the bungee jumping variety but the diving-without-safety-cord-into-learning-and-experience variety. As a result of this, I have studied and worked extensively in the health and arts sector including as a youth worker, counsellor, community health worker, art therapist, naturopath, remedial/manual therapist, transpersonal psychotherapist, playwright, performer, theatre devisor, visual artist and Psychology student. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Michele Fairbairn→
From our humble beginnings, with Anna Solding’s The Hum of Concrete in 2012, we have grown to one of the largest publishers in South Australia, publishing everything from picture books to adult literary fiction. So many people have helped along the way: designers, writers, illustrators, editors and readers. 2017 looks to be an incredibly exciting year with at least seven books published. It’s our Year of Stories so three of them will be short story collections, beginning with Lucy Durneen’s exquisite Wild Gestures. To thank you all for your support, we are having our first ever sale. We’d like to offer all our books at 20% discount from 9-11 February 2017. Don’t hesitate. Just go to our web shop and put in the coupon code HappyBirthday.
DEADLINE EXTENDED! Submissions now due Friday 2 December 2016!
MidnightSun has teamed up with Flinders University to create a short story anthology in 2017. The theme is ‘Ain’t Love Grand’ because it’s about romantic love, in any of its guises. We would particularly love unusual interpretations of the theme. Word length is max. 3000 words. Submissions will be judged blind, so please don’t put your name on the submission itself. Continue reading Call for submissions – Love anthology→
Paul Mitchell is the latest writer to join the MidnightSun family. Here he is talking about ideas for his novel We. Are. Family. which is due out in September 2016
Ideas – guest post by Paul Mitchell
My friend D. asked me a question I hadn’t heard for a long time: where do you get your ideas? We were sitting at a Castlemaine pub’s outside table. The night was almost freezing, we were dressed in great coats and beanies, and avoiding the trad jazz playing in the main bar. We were drinking pints of beer that were Continue reading Introducing Paul Mitchell→
MidnightSun has been growing over the last three years and we have become a force to be reckoned with, in adult and children’s literature alike. We only publish books we love and we spend months making sure we edit the text to its absolute pinnacle and design the best possible cover. We are incredibly proud of all the books we have produced so far and very excited about the ones we are now signing up to publish in 2016 and 2017. Soon we will reveal more of our authors and projects but for now we just want to say thank you for your ongoing support of MidnightSun. Without you, loyal readers, we wouldn’t be here.
Every now and then, out of the massive MidnightSun pile of unsolicited manuscripts, appears a story that really grabs us by the throat and shakes us around. Because we actually read every single one of those manuscripts, we come across a mixed bunch of stories, from children’s picture books to self-help manuals. But mainly the pile consists of fiction for an adult audience, just the way we like it. Lately, we have been fortunate enough to find one such throat-grabbing gem in our pile and we thought it was time to introduce this writer to you. Continue reading Proudly presents… Amanda Hickie!→
MidnightSun has been very busy behind the scenes lately, planning this year and beyond. Although we are currently snowed under with interesting manuscripts and in the process of reading them all, we have decided on a couple of projects for this year.
We are going to step into children’s book publishing for the first time with Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich’s beautiful One Step at a Time about the relationship between a young boy and his elephant. This bright and moving picture book will be a gorgeous present for all the little ones.