BLACK ARCHIVE SUBMISSIONS IN 2020-21

During late 2020 and early 2021, The Black Archive will be open to submissions from new writers for 20,000 to 40,000-word studies of individual Doctor Who TV stories. We’ll be accepting proposals on the following basis:

September 2020: Stories from The Daleks (1963-64) to The War Games (1969).
October 2020: Stories from Spearhead from Space (1970) to The Armageddon Factor (1979).
November 2020: Stories from Destiny of the Daleks (1979) to Survival (1989).
December 2020: Stories from The End of The World (2005) to The End of Time (2009-10).
January 2021: Stories from The Beast Below (2010) to In the Forest of the Night (2014).
February 2021: Stories from Last Christmas (2014) to Revolution of the Daleks (? 2020).

Proposals should relate to TV Doctor Who stories only – no spinoff series or tie-in media. A ‘story’ might mean a 20th-century serial, or a 21st-century single episode or two-parter.  Naturally, no proposal relating to a story we’ve already published or announced a Black Archive for will be considered. Nor, at this point, are we considering submissions for An Unearthly Child (1963).

What We’ll Need to See
You’ll need to send to send us a single MS Word document containing the following:

  • A detailed chapter breakdown showing the structure of your proposed Black Archive title. This isn’t just the contents page, but must include a précis of each chapter.
  • A long sample of the book. This will need to be 8,000 to 10,000 words long. (Alternatively, you may substitute an unpublished piece of similar length, subject matter and style.)

We’re asking for a longer sample this time because experience has shown that sustained writing at the length of a Black Archive is not a skill that can be measured on the basis of a single short chapter.

If you’re not sure what the above should look like, you should read some of the published Black Archive titles on similar stories. The projected length of the final book (excluding synopsis, bibliography etc.) should be not less than 20,000 words and not more than 40,000.

The Process
Please email submissions to blackarchive@obversebooks.co.uk, with ‘Black Archive submission: ’ and the name of your chosen story in the subject line. We will not consider proposals submitted outside the relevant submissions window. Participants are limited to one submission per slot, and no more than two submissions in total for the overall period.

We will consider your submission and get back to you within three months of the end of the relevant submissions window. We’ll pick submissions based on their merits, but also in relation to our commissioned titles and the overall balance of the range.

If your proposal clashes with a title we’ve commissioned but not yet announced, we’ll consider it on its merits and potentially ask you to pitch for another story.

Based on prior experience, we anticipate that the majority of submissions will be rejected. We’ll inform you of our decision, but we won’t be able to give specific feedback or enter into further correspondence.

If you are commissioned, the earliest your title is published will be 2022, and we will not be able to assign a publication slot immediately. We will discuss the writing, editing and publication process in more detail with participants whose submissions are successful. Commissioned titles will be announced in due course as part of our standard publication schedule.