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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fiction Proposal Template for Christian Publishing Houses

When I want to know about Christian fiction, I turn to the experts. I'm excited to welcome Sarah Arthur to the wordmelon blog and am grateful for this special gift she brings with her for you! (Editors at a major Christian publishing house shared this fiction proposal template with Sarah, a preliminary fiction judge for the Christianity Today book awards, who's sharing it with us!)

A Fiction Proposal Template

Plot Summary

The acquisitions editor will have to describe your book to various people in the company who won’t have read your MS. Succinctly describe the protagonist and plot of your novel; include a condensed version of your hook if possible.

Fit & Mission

Read the mission or vision statement of the company you are hoping to publish with. How will your book help the publishers further their mission? What value will your book provide to readers?


What makes your book different from its competitors? What makes it stand out from other romance/mystery/fantasy/coming-of-age novels?


What age group is this book for? Is it for a primarily male or female audience? Is it for a Christian audience or a general audience?

Comparable Titles

What other titles currently on the market are similar to yours? How have those titles been received? What sets your book apart from those?


What’s your background? What makes you interesting as both a writer and a person? Have you written other books in the past? Have you won any awards or been published in any magazines or websites?


Who reads your work? Who do you know? Who would be willing to help you get the word out about your book? What kind of social media presence do you have? Do you have a website?


Do you know anyone who would be able to provide an endorsement or blurb for your book? Obviously, recognizable names are a big plus here. Do you know any of the other authors this company publishes? Do you have a relationship with any well-known bloggers? Does your pastor have a following? 

Word Count

Write the number of words in your MS so editors will know how long of a book to expect.


Write a brief outline of the plot of your book so that the editors can see where you’re going.

Writing Sample/Partial MS

This is THE most important part of your proposal. A cool idea and catchy hook are great, but execution is ESSENTIAL in fiction. Two to four chapters is usually a good amount to include. Do NOT send in your first draft. Make those chapters as good as you possibly can. Solicit feedback on them from someone whose literary taste you trust. Read them out loud. Proofread them twice.

Check out my interview with Sarah, about what every aspiring fiction writer needs to know!

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