City Reads 2019 – Submissions Open

‘City Reads (Brighton) is unique because it’s run with a wonderful sense of imagination. It reaches such a diverse range of people: adults, children, white collar, blue collar….It brings people together through stories and reading, and there’s something heartening about that.’  Markus Zusak (Author of The Book Thief)
We are on the lookout for a great book for City Reads 2019 and we are inviting submissions from Publishers. Hopefully the FAQs below will answer any queries from authors, agents and publishers. However, if you’d still like anything clarified, please get in touch:
What are the dates of City Reads 2019?
The project will launch on World Book Night (April 23) and finish during May’s Brighton Festival.
What sort of book are you looking for?
– We actively promote diversity in our programming and welcome submissions from Indie publishers.
– We try to choose books with strong themes that prompt discussion. 
– We discourage submissions of books with a massive page count. We have such a wide, diverse readership, we are keen not to put off emergent or reluctant readers.
– Anything between 300 -450 pages is perfectly acceptable.
Does the book have to be newly published?
No. If you look through the City Reads Archive, you will see that not all the selected books were new when we chose them, however, it is a great way to garner press interest in a new title and widen readership.
Does the book have to be set in Brighton?
No. Whilst it’s great if publishers do put forward Brighton themed books, this is absolutely not a prerequisite.
What level of support do you require from the publisher?
Whilst we do ask the publisher to contribute towards some of the marketing and distribution costs, the figure is in no way prohibitive and provides excellent value for money considering the profile the author and book achieve and the level of support given by City Reads and Brighton Festival.
Does the author have to appear in the Festival?
Yes, absolutely. We ask that the author is available for an event as part of Brighton Festival in May. Additionally we ask that the author makes no Sussex appearances in the lead up to City Reads 2019.
Do you involve Booksellers in City Reads?
Yes, very much so. We work closely with all local bookshops: Waterstones, Kemptown Books, City Books (Hove) and the official Brighton Festival bookseller: Book Nook (Hove) who just won Best Independent at the Nibbies.
Are Libraries involved?
Very much so. Libraries across the city and beyond have promotional displays of the title and buy in additional copies of the selected book for people to borrow. It’s a highlight in the annual literary calendar of the city.
How wide is the reach of the project?
Brighton Festival is the largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England. Consequently it draws a lot of press and media attention. City Reads is a festival within a festival and therefore benefits greatly from wide coverage and inclusion in the 200k Festival brochures that are produced, in addition to its own bespoke brochure.
Contact Artistic Director, Sarah Hutchings:

2 thoughts on “City Reads 2019 – Submissions Open”

  1. The people of Brighton & Hove have been proactive in welcoming migrants to the city and I would like to suggest ‘Exit West’ by Mohsin Hamid for the 2019 City Read. It is a novel of hope for the future and one I think Brighton people would relate to in a humane way.

    • Thanks so much for your recommendation Jenny.

      Submissions have to come directly from Publishers, as each campaign needs Publisher support. But we agree it’s a wonderful novel 🙂


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