FAQ: Online Open House with Penguin Random House

Questions regarding our Open House event? Please read the following. If you still need help, please contact us here.

If I’m not a member, can I book in?

Our Open House events are exclusive to Writing NSW members. You can become a member easily via our website . Along with access to Open House, being a Writing NSW member gives you discounts to our courses, special access to writing groups and our writers’ spaces at our Callan Park building, exclusive access to our First Friday events, and many other benefits. If you need to renew your membership, please do this before we open for bookings on May 25.

What genre can my manuscript submission be?

Commercial and literary fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction (all genres), middle grade, and children’s books.

Penguin Random House will NOT consider the following:
Science fiction and fantasy (adult only), poetry, plays, illustrated adult books, cookbooks or educational materials

Is it important to follow the formatting guidelines?

Our formatting guidelines are industry standard. By following these guidelines, you are demonstrating your professionalism. If your submission is over the word limit of 3200 words, it will be truncated at 3200 before being sent to Penguin Random House.

How much time will I have with the editor?

You will have 15 minutes in a one-on-one session with a member of the Penguin Random House editorial team. You will receive feedback, and can make notes and ask questions. Please note, you will receive verbal feedback only.

Why are the consultations 15 minutes?

We want to ensure as many writers can benefit from this opportunity as possible. If you are seeking more feedback on your manuscript, consider booking into one of our manuscript assessments or undertaking a mentorship.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

Feedback may cover topics such as plot, structure, character development, dialogue, pace, point of view, voice, tone, style and/or readership.

Will this event sell out?

Our past Open House events have sold out within a week. It’s best to book in as soon as you are certain you can attend. Please note that all bookings are non-refundable and ineligible for credit.

I can’t make this date, will you run this event again?

We usually run an Open House event at least once a year with a variety of publishers.

Why do I have to submit an expression of interest?

For previous Open House events, Writing NSW received an enormous number of phone calls on the day we opened for bookings, resulting in long wait times on hold. Submitting an EOI will make the process simpler and more convenient for everyone.

When will I find out the outcome of my EOI?

We will get back to everyone by 8 June. We will only accept EOIs for as long as there are places available. We will update the website as soon as the event is booked out. Regional members will be given priority. Please note, submitting an EOI does not guarantee your place.

If we accept your EOI, you will be sent an email with details of your one-on-one appointment time and an invoice to be paid within 48 hours. If you do not pay within 48 hours, your place will be given to someone else. Your booking is only confirmed once we have received your payment.

Open House with Penguin Random House takes place on 31 July online

If I have technical difficulties during the panel sessions, what can I do?

You can message Writing NSW through the chat function in Zoom, and we will try to help you as best we can. If you’re experiencing internet connectivity issues, we recommend ‘leaving the meeting’ and then clicking on the link you were sent to return again. Another option is turning off your video, if you haven’t already, as this can make Zoom slow. Zoom have a lot of helpful information on their website, so we recommend looking there for your answer.

What if something unexpected happens and I can’t attend the panel sessions?

Unfortunately, you will miss out. These sessions will not be recorded.

Will I be able to speak during the panels?

To minimise disruptions, participants will be muted throughout the panels.

On Friday 31 July, what time do I need to be available?

The panel sessions start at 10am and continue until 12:15pm. Your phone call will take place between 1pm and 2:30pm. Please ensure you will be available during these times before you book in. All times are AEST.

How do the one-on-one phone calls work?

The phone calls will take place between 1pm and 2:30pm. You will be notified of your appointment time when your booking is confirmed. To book into this event, you must be available on Friday 31 July for the morning panel sessions and between 1pm and 2:30pm. Your allocated appointment time can’t be rescheduled. At your appointment time, you will receive a call from one of the editorial team at Penguin Random House. Their call will come from a private number, so please pick up. You will have 15 minutes to speak with them about your manuscript. Once time is up, they will need to move on to their next call. Have a notepad or computer ready during the call to take notes, as you won’t receive any written feedback.

How do I use Zoom?

You will need to download Zoom ahead of this event, to be able to participate. Zoom has a very helpful guide on their website here on how to use it. You can also view this PDF which we have compiled with detailed instructions about Zoom.

Further questions? You can contact us here.

Return to the Open House event page here.

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