Writing Submission Guidelines
Use the following guidelines for submitting material for Shadowrun to FanPro. Please follow these Submission Guidelines as closely as possible. Deviation from them without our approval will affect our willingness to accept your submission.
Do not begin to write until we ask you to. Never send us an unsolicited, complete or partially complete manuscript. The manuscript will be returned to you regardless of the legal permission or disclaimers you provide with it.
The Shadowrun RPG system is very complex and the Shadowrun world is very extensive, with years of established characters, events and plotlines. You should have a thorough understanding of both the game rules and the game world before you even consider sending in a proposal.
Please Note: We have a specific development vision for Shadowrun's future. Many ideas, concepts and the directions of our plotlines have not been hinted at in published products. The closer your proposal fits into our plans for story arcs and associated game products, the more likley it is to be accepted. The developer has the final say on whether or not a specific proposal idea fits into the vision FanPro has for Shadowrun.
We reserve the right to ask for multiple re-submissions and rewrites of a proposal, until the ideas in the proposal mesh with the direction of the Shadowrun universe.The Proposal
A full proposal runs in length from 5 to 7 pages and contains four parts:
- A Detailed Outline. Use the Table of Contents in the latest Shadowrun book as a guide to creating your outline. The outline helps us to determine your ability to synthesize and organize your ideas.
Each outline entry should also explain what the content of that section will be. Please indicate clearly with a few sentences what material will be included in each section, do not just list the subject headers. An outline also allows us to see that you have thought your proposal through to the end.
- A Written Summary. Use the summary to flesh out and highlight specific sections and special events in your outline. The summary should explain how the material ties into old plot lines and what new plots it will generate. This summary allows us to determine if you have a good understanding of your ideas and of the game universe. This also shows us your ability to write clearly and succinctly.
For fiction, the summary should also include details on what "voices" will be used-in other words, what the perspectives of the fictional authors will be.
- Finally, the fun part. Sell us on your proposal. Tell us why your proposal is important to the game line. Explain the need it's filling, and the importance of filling that need. Assume that others are proposing the same thing and tell us why your version is better.
- You should also include a Writing Sample of approximately 1,000-2,000 words. This can be an excerpt from writing you have previously done, or it can be a selected part of your proposal fleshed out. The sample does not have to relate to Shadowrun-it can be a story or article you wrote about something else. It should, however, be an appropriate example of your ability to write (science) fiction and/or game rules. Do not send lengthy samples, keep it to 2,000 words or less.
Obviously, these parts can be combined in any order. Please be creative with your proposal, and be professional. Remember that you are asking us to hire you, so make sure you treat your proposal and your writing with care.Project Types
We publish many adventure-length projects for Shadowrun. New writers are more likely to get started by working on an adventure first, as they are smaller projects and will test a writer's knowledge of both the game rules and game universe. Adventures come in several formats, from linear scenario adventures to track-style plot overviews. Adventures are 20,000 words or more in length and use source material from already published FanPro products.
Note: Adventures should never involve a concept or event that changes the way the game or the game universe works. Do not send us adventures that include events on an epic scale. Your adventure should deal with established concepts in new and exciting ways. If your adventure idea has not yet been addressed in the game universe or needs special source material, we are far less likely to accept it because the direction of the game universe has already been determined.
FanPro publishes sourcebooks for Shadowrun that range from 60,000 to 120,000 words. They come in many formats and styles, from pure rulebooks to fictionalized story backgrounds, but are usually a combination of the two. Many sourcebooks are co-authored, with multiple authors taking on separate sections.
Sourcebooks are almost always assigned to authors who have worked with us in the past or have previously written published game products. First-time writers may still submit proposals for sourcebooks, but the evaluation process will be that much more difficult due to the lack of published writing experience.Novels
FanPro is not currently accepting proposals for English-language Shadowrun novels. WizKids will be publishing Shadowrun novels in the future. You can contact WizKids about novel proposals at the following:
Sharon MulvihillThe Submission Process
15821 NE 8th Street, Suite 100
Bellevue, WA 98008
You should mail a hard copy of your proposal to FanPro via regular mail. Your proposal should be legible and typed or printed on white paper. We will not accept proposals that are handwritten. Your proposal will not be returned to you. Mail it to FanPro at the following address:
1608 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60647
You may also submit your proposal via email, though we prefer hardcopy submissions. Email submissions should be sent in either plain text, RTF or PDF format. No HTML or word processor attachments, please. Send them to: Shadowrun Information.
Your proposal should include your name, address, phone number and email address. Do not send SASEs or reply coupons.
We are not always able to reply to submissions in a timely manner. We will endeavor to respond to you when we can, most likely via email.
If we ask you for a rewrite or further development of a proposal it means we are serious about wanting to see more of your project, but this does not mean we are going to publish it. Your ability to follow our directions will help us decide whether or not to accept your proposal to publish.
There are a multitude of reasons why we reject a project. If your proposal gets rejected we will outline those reasons when we notify you. Unless stated otherwise in your notification letter, please do not resubmit a rejected proposal. You can continue to submit new proposals, however.
You may rework your ideas for submission to other companies, but you must remove all references to Shadowrun as well as trademarked and copyrighted WizKids or FanPro property.
If we like your proposal you will be contacted by one of our developers. Please DO NOT start to write the project until one of the developers asks you to do so. The developer will wish to discuss your project fully to ensure that your ideas merge cleanly into the game universe.
Please note that your proposal, if accepted, likely will not see publication for more many months, possibly more than a year. Keep this in mind when setting your personal schedule. You will receive exact details and deadlines for drafts and final manuscripts from the line developer.Acceptance and Payment
FanPro is always willing to look at your proposal even if you have never worked or written for anyone else in the gaming industry. Any work you do for us will be done on spec. This means you will work with us to develop the project, write the manuscript and submit it to us for approval without receiving a contract. We retain the option to reject the manuscript even after you have submitted it. This policy protects both FanPro and you. It protects you because you are not contractually (legally) obligated to finish the project if you are unable to do so. It protects us because we can still refuse the manuscript if we find the quality to be unsatisfactory. The manuscript will be returned to you in the latter case.
If the project is accepted, the contract terms will be worked out with the developer. The developer is in charge of all contract negotiations (with the approval of the President of FanPro), and will forward a contract to you upon formal acceptance of your manuscript.
If you have worked in the industry before but not for FanPro, we will advise you of contract terms, advances, and other payment procedures following the acceptance of your proposal.
FanPro Writers' Guidelines
FanPro has internal writing guidelines and style sheets that every writer is expected to follow. These guidelines are for writers working on manuscripts and will be provided to the writer along with their contract.