For writers, getting your work published and recognized is a step toward realizing your goals as an author. However, finding the right contests or publications can be a challenging and time consuming. Authors now have the opportunity to find and submit their writing to magazines, publishers, and contests through a website called Submittable. To get started submitting your content, first learn what Submittable is, the benefits for authors, how to use it, and tips for success.
Submittable is a submission management system for the literary world and beyond. While it was largely designed to help publishers manage submissions for publications and contests, it helps writers, too.
Save time: No need to spend hours searching the Internet for publishing opportunities or writing contests. Submittable gives you access to hundreds of open calls for submissions all in one place.
Target your search: Through Submittable's website, you can find exactly what you're looking for—whether you want to publish a romance novel, enter a short story contest, or publish a poem in a magazine. Target your search using criteria such as keywords, genre, entry cost, or deadline.
Monitor the progress of submissions: You are updated on the progress of your submission, so you don't have to just send off your work and hope they received it. You can also use the website to manage withdrawals and edits if necessary.
Learn about new opportunities: Using the website, you can follow publications or publishers that interest you, and see when they post something new.
Using Submittable as a writer is simple, but make sure to follow the tips for success that are discussed in the next section. Here are four steps to submit writing to magazines, publishers, and contests:
Sign up: Simply create a free account, and set up your profile.
Search open submissions: Find open submissions that fit your genre and goals under the "Discover" tab. (Tip: research the publisher to ensure it's a good fit for your work.)
Send your work: Complete the submission through Submittable's website. (Tip: Follow instructions precisely, prepare additional materials beforehand, and only send your final draft.)
Stay updated: Track your submission through the website under the "Submissions" tab.
Here are four tips for writers using Submittable to ensure that you put your best work forward:
Before submitting your material, get to know the magazine, journal, or publisher. Make sure that your work is a good fit for the publication or publisher. If it's not a good fit and you submit you them, you're wasting your time (and money, if there's an entry or reading fee).
Not following instructions is a sure way to get your submission rejected without a review. If you don't care enough to follow instructions, why should the reviewer take the time to review your work? Take the time to check and double check the instructions and put your best foot forward.
Each publication creates their own submission page with any required fields to capture information. Browse the submission page and prepare any additional material offline (author bio, author photo, etc.). Take the time to make it clean and professional. Don't submit your entry until you've completed all the required material.
While Submittable does feature a "withdraw" button, you shouldn't use it unless you really mean it. The organization is notified each time someone withdraws, so don't use it like an edit button.
While Submittable isn't a complete list of all the opportunities for you, it provides a diverse group of open calls for writers to get published and enter contests. Stay within your budget when submitting to publishers that require a fee—and do your research to ensure the company is reputable and is a good fit for your work. When you find the right fit, it just might be what you need to propel your author career to the next level.
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