Desire Special Call: The Final Checklist

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As we leave you to your brainstorming for our Desire submissions call, here’s one last thing: a checklist to comb over before you submit your proposal!

Final Submission Checklist:

Query Letter:

  • Does it explain what the story is about? Will the editor understand what your story is about based on your query?BohB_Bailey
  • Does it include relevant writing or publication history? If you don’t have writing experience, not a problem. We care about the story. A short query letter describing your story is preferable to a query letter that is all about your personal life but with no explanation of what your manuscript is about.


  • Do you have a clear synopsis that is between one and four pages?
  • Does it cover the plot including the resolution? We need to know how the story ends – don’t keep that a secret  in hopes that it’ll prompt us to read your full manuscript!
  • Is it clear what internal and external conflicts both main characters face?
  • Does it clearly show the hooks and tropes driving the story?


  • Did you carefully proofread the first three chapters? Reading out loud helps! Don’t worry about it being perfect—few submissions are. We just need to be able to read it.
  • Are your chapters free of too much explanation and backstory that slows the pacing?
  • Do you have a good balance of exposition and dialogue? If your chapters have nothing but dialogue, we can’t see what’s happening very well.NMT_Schield
  • Do the main characters meet in the first three chapters? We’d prefer in the first or second chapter, but certainly no later than the third.
  • Did you make sure that the hooks and tropes used in the story actually help drive the story, instead of being dropped in to meet the requirement?
  • Are your chapters emotional, dramatic, juicy, and/or enthralling? Will we want to keep turning the pages? Will we finish your chapters understanding what the problems are that the characters face, and be invested enough that we need to know more?

We’re ready over here in the offices and are excited to find new authors to work with. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy writing, and we wish you the best of plot bunnies!

The Desire Editorial Team