We know there are good writers 'out there' who deserve to be published but cannot find a publisher. We would love to be able to say we are still accepting submissions - but we are not. We are so sorry. We have been overwhelmed by countless kind approaches and simply cannot cope: we have no gate-keepers, refuse to farm out first vettings to our otherwise wonderful interns and read all your letters/attachments on a first-come-first-served basis ourselves. The few manuscripts we accept to read are now in a pile so high it will topple under its own weight. The many we reject - we hope with a decent letter giving our reasons - is a heartbreaking process because, with rare exceptions, all who write in are decent, educated and informed writers.
We would love to end on a cheerful note, but cannot even manage this. All looking at this page will be aware the publishing industry is in massive trouble at the moment - much of it, but not all, of its own making. Either way, the panic sweeping through the major houses/retailers is chilling and, were it not for the knock-on impact on small publishers such as Picnic, we might be 'orrible enough to say the majority of the majors' managements, but not their staff, had it coming to them. But we won't. Instead, we'll confine ourselves to this: the lousy decisions, standards and dated understanding of some of the majors have ruined things for everyone.
If the situation changes, we will be the first to let you know. In addition, if we are ever in a position to accept submissions again, we promise our original rules will still apply. These were set out in our first website and read as follows:
'Uniquely - which is to say, in contrast to all other publishers - we ask those contacting us to give absolutely no details about themselves. We do not want to know if you have been published before, have not been published before, have had a hundred rejections, are a celebrity, are not a celebrity, are/are not a twenty-three year old stick insect . . . All we are interested in - and love - are books. Tell us what you are writing and we guarantee a swift response. Thank you.'
But, as we say, and with much regret, we are not accepting submissions at the moment. We cannot begin to describe our fury at finding ourselves in this position which is solely the result of incompetent and greedy giants. Apparently, the latter cannot find any good books to publish. What utter imbeciles they are. Picnic - an absolutely tiny house - is awash with approaches from superb writers in the UK and other significant parts of the world. The problem is, we simply cannot service them.
So very sorry and with best wishes.