I’ve lost count of how many publishers I’ve had in my career, but I enjoy Five Rivers more than any.

Dave Duncan

Please note: our submission period is from February 1-14 in any given year. All submissions outside of this period will be rejected. No simultaneous submissions.

Please email the first 30 pages of your manuscript to info@fiveriverspublishing.com, in DOC or DOCX format, Times New Roman 12 pt typeface, double-spaced, 1″ margins. Do not under any circumstances use any of Word’s built-in formatting for chapters, headers, etc. We will only strip it out, and having to do so will make us cranky. And if we get cranky, we may just return your manuscript unread.

Be sure to include your full (real) name, mailing address, and email address, synopsis, and publishing history.

Every effort is made to respond within two to six weeks, although it may occasionally take longer.

No hard copy submissions can be accommodated; hard copy submissions will be returned unopened.

No simultaneous submissions.

Do not send ZIP files. Do not send PDF files.

There are no reading fees required.

If we’re interested in your query, we’ll ask for the full manuscript.

We welcome submissions in the following categories:

All work must be solidly researched using primary references as a foundation.

Canadian history: this covers a broad spectrum, from stories of national significance to regional, from community to individual. For example,

  • biographies of notable Canadians
  • the quirky and esoteric field of experimental archaeology: e.g., recreating a 17th century Quebecois bake oven.

Canadian Issues:

  • First Nation, Métis or Inuit issues
  • immigrant issues
  • other current issues of likely interest to Canadians

Self-Help Books:

  • although we have published books on writing, editing, creativity, and gardening, we are unlikely to look favorably upon self-help books unless you are an accredited expert in the field.

Academic, Scholarly and Teaching Guides:

  • we have a keen interest in esoteric and niche market works that would be of interest to schools, universities, teachers and academicians. Good examples are: Beyond Media Literacy, and, Big Buttes Book.


We seek novels that are solidly plotted and character driven, with an emphasis on Canadian culture and settings, although not necessarily, in the following categories:

  • Mainstream: Plot and character are the two pillars upon which we base the foundation of the mainstream fiction we publish. Have something to say, and say it well. We are looking in particular for books about Canada, her history, her people, her landscape.
  • Historical: We are very keen to encourage writers to delve into the rich historical foundation we have and create solidly plotted, character-driven stories illuminating our diverse history. Shadow Song and Hunter’s Daughter would be examples of the sort of well-researched historical novel for which we are looking.
  • Crime and Detective: If your story has a new spin, if it’s solidly Canadian, and refuses to fit into the usual fare dished out as crime and detective, then you’ve probably found the right home for your novel. We’re absolutely slavish about accurate detail. A Still and Bitter Grave very embodies the kind of work we love to publish.

The following categories will have to be exceptional to be considered:

  • Fantasy: We tend to favour cultural and historical fantasies that reflect Canadian mores, although borrowing from other cultures is part of our multicultural nature. Examples would include The Mermaid’s Tale, The Tattooed Witch, The Runner and the Wizard, and From Mountains of Ice.
  • Science fiction: We’re looking for original concepts from a Canadian perspective.
  • Horror and Paranormal: Again, we’re looking for original concepts from a Canadian perspective, with solid narrative and characterization. It would be wise not to send us a clone of any of the current trends out there. Surprise us. Engage us.
  • Speculative: We are absolutely keen about authors who push the borders of fiction and concepts, though again we are looking for a Canadian perspective, insight or flavour. Examples would include:Black Wine.
  • Young Adult: Any stories in the above categories with a target audience in the nine to 18 range. Examples: The Great Sky, Out of Time, and Type.

We will not consider women’s fiction or erotica; and unfortunately do not publish poetry or picture books for either children or adults. We are no longer considering any short story anthologies or collections.

Payment Rate

Since there is no set print run in print-on-demand publishing, we cannot offer authors an initial advance against anticipated royalties; we do, however, provide quarterly statements and payments. Author royalties are paid within 30 days of the close of the calendar quarter, based on the industry standard rate of 10% of retail price on print, 50% of net proceeds on digital.

Look forward to hearing from you!