Publishers publishing novellas

6 March 2019

Nouvella Books' editor Deena Drewis on The Masters Review Blog said 'No one really sits down to write novellas—it ends up that length because there’s no more to cut and nowhere to expand; it’s a display of both stamina and restraint.'

The Old Man and the Sea, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and The Metamorphosis are all brilliant works, despite, or maybe because of, their shorter length.

Updated list of publishers publishing novellas in 2019

Free submissions or modest reading fee of approx $3.

Nouvella Books

Fairlight Books

Ploughshares Solos

Quattro Books


Seizure – Viva la Novella (annual competition)


  1. This is timely for me because I'm also interested in this form and am working on a novella at the moment. For me it was a decision to work on something smaller than a novel, and also I deliberately chose something that needed a smaller space. I'm also working on a novel, so it's nice to have two different things on the go, and I'm hoping to finish the novella before the other one (it's at 27K words now and I plan for 45K).

    There are a few people championing this shorter form at the moment. If you'd like to read some more contemporary books that I believe are novellas: Helen Garner's The Spare Room; Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis; Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending and Allison Moore The Lighthouse. All fabulous. Oh and probably Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal.

    1. Glad to hear you are also working on a novella! I agree that there seems to be a lot more buzz surrounding novellas at the moment and I've just seen that a major unpublished manuscript award in Australia has dropped their word count to 30k - so it seems that it's becoming more accepted. Thanks for the other book recommendations!

  2. Actually I meant to publish that comment under my real name with link to my wordpress... annoying for some reason I can't sign in as me. Jenny Ackland

  3. I seem to be having real problems signing in to comment. Ahem. It's Jenny Ackland, 3rd time lucky:

    30K seems low even for a novella but I don't really know. So is there a range in word counts - like 30 - 45K or something?

  4. expand it for the sake of a word count? Or do I accept that the story dictates the form?

    I could never advise changing the muse's natural output to fit some particular word count.

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