#RNAOneDay by SJV
2020/10/19  |  By:   |  Features  |  

We are super excited to announce that Simon & Schuster’s Books and the City project will be hosting a second #DigitalOriginals open submission day in partnership with the Romantic Novelists’ Association. In a twist on the #RNANWSOneDay held on 15th September 2020, which was open exclusively for members of the New Writers’ Scheme, the #RNAOneDay will be open to ALL members of the RNA – enabling authors again to bypass the traditional route to publishing and submit directly to Simon & Schuster.

Books and the City are inviting members of the RNA to submit the first three chapters of their unpublished contemporary, historical, comedy, thriller or nostalgia commercial* romantic manuscript between 8pm on Friday 12th and 8am on Monday 15th February 2021, directly to Sara-Jade Virtue, Brand Development Director (Fiction) for #DigitalOriginals, the Simon & Schuster eBook first publishing programme.

Alison May, Chair of the RNA says “We’re delighted to be working with Simon & Schuster #DigitalOriginals again. The RNA exists to foster and support romantic authorship, so it’s hugely exciting to be able to provide this exclusive opportunity to our members. The thought that amongst the submissions the next huge voice in romantic fiction might be discovered is utterly thrilling.”

Imogen Howson, Vice-Chair, of the RNA says “Working with Simon & Schuster is always such a pleasure, so I’m very excited that this opportunity to become an S&S author is being extended to all our members. I’m also extremely grateful to S&S for their generosity in funding three membership grants.”

Simon & Schuster Brand Development Director (Fiction) Sara-Jade Virtue says: “I’m immensely proud of our industry first #DigitalOriginals publishing programme and #OneDay open submission initiative. We know that sometimes the route to publishing can be a daunting, confusing and at times terrifying road, but with our #OneDay initiative, all of the usual rules and regulations are cast aside. I’m very much looking forward to working closely with the RNA again – an organisation we all admire and respect greatly – by hosting an open submission day in 2021 exclusively for their members to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Books and the City. Championing the varied and diverse work of romantic fiction authors is at the heart and soul of everything we do here at Books and the City, and I’m excited to receive submissions from their members. I’m also delighted to announce that Books and the City will be sponsoring the grant of three full Romantic Novelists’ Association memberships for underrepresented authors, reinforcing our pledge to offer a story for everyone.”

Here is some general information about the #DigitalOriginals project and submission guidelines for the #RNAOneDay opportunity:

  • All you need is the synopsis for the novel, a 500 word introduction to who you are (to include your full name, postal address, telephone number and your social media details) and your first three chapters (sent as a word document attachment, double spaced).
  • All submissions (synopsis, introduction to who you are and first three chapters) must be received between the hours of 8.00pm on Friday 12th February 2021 and 8.00am on Monday 15th February 2021.
  • The email account to send your submission to is You will need to include the code that the RNA will supply members with in the subject heading of the email.  Only one entry is permitted per person.
  • If your novel is acquired by Simon & Schuster, they will publish in digital format, which will be available across all e-tailers in the English language across the World.  You will be working with their experienced in-house team, and will be provided with a contract, full editorial input including copy editing and proof reading, an eBook jacket and a suite of marketing and publicity promotion.
  • #DigitalOriginals is not a vanity or customer publisher. It is part of the Simon & Schuster UK publishing company and your contract under the #DigitalOriginals project offers you the same benefits all Simon & Schuster UK authors receive.
  • Whether you’ve been previously published or not, this is the perfect opportunity to submit your work and have a chance to be published by the award-winning, international publishing house behind #DigitalOriginals – Simon & Schuster UK Ltd.  They will consider novels that have been previously published, providing you have retained full rights, or had rights reverted back to you.
  • If they are interested in seeing more of your work, you will be contacted by 14th April 2021, at which time they will ask you to send the complete novel (no less than 80,000 words, no more than 100,000) as a word document (or equivalent) double spaced.
  • * The term ‘commercial’ is generally used to mean fiction that appeals primarily to women, though is not necessarily written by a women, and tends to be full of relationships between friends, family or lovers.  It can be funny, it can be sad, but most of all it covers great storytelling with believable characters and plot.
  • The #RNAOneDay is not open for non-fiction, short stories, YA, fantasy, Regency period romance or erotica.


Simon & Schuster are committed to the goal of building a culturally diverse publishing list.  They encourage authors to submit their work regardless of age, race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, social circumstance or disability status.