Surprise! The big Her Universe announcement at New York Comic Con was not, as it turns out, anything related to clothing. Instead, at Saturday’s “Calling All Aspiring Writers! Hear Big News From Her Universe and Get Expert Advice to Become a Published Writer” panel, founder Ashley Eckstein announced the creation of new publishing imprint Her Universe Press.
Inspired by all the creativity to be found in geek spaces, Her Universe Press encourages submissions from unpublished writers–no agent required. As far as content is concerned, the focus is on YA and tween novels, though Eckstein was quick to emphasize that she doesn’t “necessarily want to put it in a box, that this is what we’re looking for… If it’s a story that you’re passionate about, we want to hear it.”
To that end, stories do not necessarily have to be written by female authors or have female protagonists–the main requirement is that submissions “match the spirit of the Her Universe brand: empowering, hopeful, exciting, adventurous.” Non-fiction is also acceptable, noted Eckstein, though there’s not a focus on comics or graphic novels.
Two Her Universe Press books are already forthcoming: WeirdEST, by Heather Nuhfer and illustrated by Brenda Hickey, about a 13-year-old girl whose emotions manifest in “weird” ways. It’s currently available as an Amazon pre-order and will come out on April 26, 2016. The second book, The Confidence Chronicles, is an empowering story about a young girl with a robotic owl (think Bubo!) that blends aspects of Steampunk and Gold Rush-era history. That one’s written by first-time published author Anne Convery, along with Eckstein, and is illustrated by Eckstein’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars animation compatriot Dave Filoni.
Submissions are now open on heruniversepress.com, so dust off those stories and get to it!