You’ve written something you’re really proud of, and now it’s just sitting there on a word document, hidden away on your computer. What’s next?
There are a bunch of opportunities in the UK for you to send your work to, whether it is a writing competition, a magazine, anthology or radio station. It’s a great way to get your writing out there, increase your confidence, get feedback on your work and add something to your writing portfolio!
That being said, with so many opportunities out there, it can be hard to know which ones are worth submitting your work to. In general, we would advise writers (especially new writers) to avoid sending your work anywhere that has an entry fee, unless you are financially able and would like to support that particular competition. There are plenty of free opportunities out there! You should also not pay for a magazine to consider your work. Most reputable publications will not need a fee.
Our top tips for getting your work ready to submit are:
• Check the submission guidelines and make sure you have formatted your piece correctly (some places will specify a certain font to use, others may need certain information in the document header)
• Read your piece out loud to check that your sentences read properly, and go over the piece with a fine tooth-comb to check for any spelling/grammatical errors. 9 times out of 10 you will notice a typo just after you’ve submitted the piece, so make sure you take the time to double check your work.
• Check the terms and conditions of the place you are submitting to. Some places will not allow simultaneous submissions (this means you will have to wait to hear back from them before sending your work anywhere else) and others may take full rights to reproduce your piece if they end up publishing it. You will need to decide if you are happy with this. It is also worth noting that most places will not publish a piece if it has already been published somewhere else, although there are differing opinions on whether being posted on a blog counts as being published. There will usually be a specific term about this.
Now you know how to prepare your piece for submission, here’s some places to submit it to!
Here are some of our recommendations;
- The Everyday Magazine is Bristol-Based and has recently launched. Get in touch through the facebook group or by email.
- Mslexia is a great one for people identifying as female, although they usually request submissions on specific themes.
- This is an amazing writing competition, which is free to enter, for under-represented writers (check to see if you’re eligible). The theme is ‘Tomorrow’.
- BBC Radio Bristol do a show to share people’s writing, comedy, drama etc. which is a pretty cool way to share your work! You can record the piece on your phone and send it, or just send a word doc.
- Litro Magazine
- Firewords – this is a really cool publication which combines fiction with amazing illustrations. A wonderful way to see your work in print!
- The Weekend Read
- Herstry – accepting personal essays from people identifying as female.
- The Fiction Pool
- Boulevard Magazine
- Red Planet Magazine
- Lacuna Literary Magazine
- The London Magazine
Here are some other pages which are kept updated with new opportunities/magazines accepting submissions/competitions:
- Literature Works Competition/Opportunities Page
- NeonBooks list of Literary magazines
- NAWE Events/Opportunities list
- Shortstops – great for short story competitions
- Christopher Fielden blog – essay/non-fiction opportunities
There are so many opportunities/schemes out there when you start looking, so it’s just about finding the ones that are most relevant for you. We’d also recommend following organisations like PaperNations and LiteratureWorks on twitter, because a lot of opportunities get shared there!
What’s your favourite place to submit your work? Let us know your recommendations in the comments!