About Us

At Effigy Press our mission is to help writers find their voices, find a wider market for their work – and introduce readers to Young Adult (YA) fiction they’d never find on Amazon or in their local bookstore. And YA fiction isn’t just for readers in their teens and early twenties, and isn’t just written by authors in their teens and early twenties – it’s for anyone who recognizes that period in life as one of discovery, transformation and challenge.

And that’s what we’re looking to promote here at Effigy Press. And we don’t charge for anything, and we’re never ever going to try to sell anything to an author.

Go to the menu and you’ll find ideas and advice for writers at our Alchemy page. Unleash the magic of your creativity!

Dog eat your MS (these days it’s more likely your laptop died and your MS died with it)? Anyway, when you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on, Ask Barbara is the place to go.

When you’re ready, get a constructively hard-nosed critique of your YA story’s opening 600 words at the 600W Review page, which can tell you so much about how an agent or reader is going to react to those first paragraphs. In one case a publisher read the submission and gave the author a book deal.

And lastly, just the fun stuff and bookish news on the Chit-Chat page. Take a moment to relax and let your daily word count slide for a change.

Why the name Effigy?

If you’re thinking about the Sphinx or Guy Fawkes, you’re on the right track. An effigy is an image or representation of a person, with the earliest ones being shaped out of stone or metal. Here at Effigy Press we look for stories with images and likenesses that help us all develop a deeper understanding of people – and ourselves.

Getting our inner nerd on here, the word effigy derives from the Latin verb fingere, which means “to shape.” Fingere is in fact the ancestor word of both fiction and figment. Effigy is also a synonym of Idol, and the story selection at Effigy Press echoes that of a popular television singing contest. There’s also this dark side to the meaning of effigy. An effigy can depict despised and detested people, who’re created as scarecrow-like figures to be paraded, jeered at and ultimately burned – perhaps most notably Guy Fawkes (as it so happens he was hanged, not burned, but we don’t have to remind that you can take a few liberties with fiction). And, in the past, criminals sentenced to death who couldn’t be located might be executed in effigy for the sentence to be fulfilled, which is not only creepy but probably not really closure for the victim’s family. That said, at Effigy Press we love fiction that can accomplish this jeering and burning in a literary way: think of Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, The Castle, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Whether you’re a reader or a writer (or both) you’re welcome to subscribe to get the Effigy Edition delivered directly to your inbox every month. It’s the latest in young adult fiction, usually around 10,000 words across short stories and serialized novellas.

Are you an author?

In the distant future our aspiration is to publish a monthly digital magazine of great YA writing – the Effigy Edition. And we do not ask for any publishing rights over your work, that stays entirely with you, even if you receive remuneration from Effigy Press. Here’s how we see it working…

One. Prepare your short story or novella (up to 40,000 works) to be its very best, and make the title and tagline as compelling as you can (the tagline is the relatively snappy sentence or sentences that get the reader to take a look at your work in the first place).

Two. Submit the first 600 words here (round it up to the end of the sentence) along with title, your pen name, total wordcount for the entire story, the tagline and genre (genre can be a little tricky, but you’ll find some broad guidance here for sub-genres within YA). With your agreement, it’ll be published for a constructive critique on the “600W Review” page.

Three. If one of the Executive Reviewers tells you to submit the entire manuscript then (congratulations!) you made it to the big next step. You’ll get a full review of your story and it will be assessed for inclusion in the Effigy Edition.

Still, that’s a way in the future… for now we’re just looking to help YA writers.

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