Will Publishers Accept Novels Set in the 1900s?

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During the Ozark Creative Writers Conference, a discussion arose about historical fiction. Agent, Cherry Weiner, said there is a block of time from 1900 to modern day that is called “No Man’s Land” or the “Dead Zone.” Basically, no one is buying books set in that time frame. It seems they are too contemporary to be historical and too historical to be contemporary.

Now, a few books immediately came to mind when she said this and so I have to respectfully disagree with her position.


The list goes on, but I think you know what I’m getting at.

If you have an idea for a book and it’s set in what Ms. Weiner calls “No Man’s Land,” don’t let that stop you. Write that novel. Shop it around. There are no RULES for acceptable time periods. If you have a story to tell, tell it. Polish it. Make it shine. Someone will see its potential.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few years it’s be true to yourself. I hope you’ll follow that advice.