Greetings, Psychonauts.

Welcome to Psychonaut's open reading period for full-length speculative fiction novels.

Psychonaut is a new futurist imprint brought to you by the people behind Black Ocean and Not a Cult, in league with acquisitions editor Sheree Renée Thomas. Together we publish singular books of fiction and nonfiction from diverse perspectives that inspire, speculate, and illuminate fantastic outcomes for humankind.

This open reading period will take place with the goal of preparing a frontlist for 2023 and beyond.


What genres qualify for this submission competition?

Anything that falls under the category of speculative fiction works by a singular author.

Do you accept multi-media submissions?

We do not accept multi-media submissions for this competition, with the exception of black and white illustrations that can print well in paperback format. Full-color media will not be accepted.

What does a publishing deal mean?

Psychonaut offers all services traditional to a trade book publisher. Selected manuscripts will go through a full-suite editing, design, and proofing process and will receive world trade distribution via Consortium. Selected authors will end up with a book available anywhere books are sold.

What is considered full-length?

Between 40,000 and 100,000 words.

Is there a minimum age requirement to submit?

Submitters must be over the age of 18.

Do I have to live in the United States to submit?

We accept submissions from all regions in space and time.

Do you accept submissions in languages besides English?

We're currently only accepting submissions that are primarily in English. At this time, our judging panel, editorial, and distribution channels are mostly geared toward an English-speaking market.

I previously self-published the work I want to submit. Is that a problem?

We have a strong preference toward works that have not gone through any publishing process (excluding journals, social media posts, anthology collections), but are willing to look at previously self-published works if the author is willing to make key changes to the title, branding, and overall aesthetic of the work.

Who are the judges?

The judges are Janaka Stucky (Founder & Publisher, Black Ocean), Daniel Lisi (Co-Founder & Publisher, Not a Cult), hollis hart (Co-Founder & Publisher, Not a Cult), and Sheree Rene Thomas (Acquisitions Editor, Psychonaut).

This FAQ is a living document. Have a question that’s not here? Email

When can we expect to hear back?

We're considering books for 2023+ publication. You'll hear back from our judging panel between Q3 - Q4 2022.

Please upload 1 PDF containing:

  • Your full manuscript.

In the "Cover Letter" section below, please include:

  • A brief statement on you & your work.
  • What are your goals as a writer?
  • What is the intention behind the work you wish to publish?
  • Please include any public-facing links to social media.

Submission Fee

  • This open reading period was free. Due to the volume of submissions we've received, we have had to implement a submission fee of $5.00 to offset the costs of this submissions processor and reading staff.
  • We encourage you to browse titles from the Chapter House catalog to get a sense of our past works. 
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.