The WHQ Guide to Submitting to Writing Competitions & Lit Mags

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Get published, Short fiction

Want to get your writing shipshape to send it out? Here are our dos and don'ts of subbing your work.


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Learn how and where to send your writing out into the world
Avoid rookie mistakes and maximise your chances of getting published
Explore a tonne of resources and tips and get submitting!

Ready to send your writing out into the world? Read this first!

Submitting your work to lit mags and competitions is both exciting and scary, but we’re here to hold your hand and guide you through, every step fo the way. 

There’s a whole new world of literary submissions out there, and it’s full of great opportunities, feedback, and that big ol’ white whale of publication. But there are also a few rules, regs and guidelines to ensure you give yourself the very best chance. And so, we’ve put together a few fundamental dos and don’ts for submitting your precious storybabies to writing competitions, literary magazines and the like.


  • How to properly prepare your submissions and give yourself a decent chance at getting published
  • How not to piss off hard-working lit mag editors and competition judges
  • How to keep going in the face of rejection 
  • How not to succumb to imposter syndrome and fear of failure
  • How to kick literary arse with your subs

It’s a complete submissions overhaul in five easy parts. So take note, take heed, and get published!

9 steps

  • Welcome to the WHQ Guide to Submissions
  • Read the fucking guidelines
  • Do your research
  • Proofread and edit your work
  • Make sure your story has a point
  • Be patient (AKA get used to waiting)
  • Keep track of your subs
  • Don’t put yourself down or sell yourself short
  • Keep. On. Truckin’.
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    Great advice

    I thoroughly enjoyed this course and I was particularly pleased that it didn’t take half a lifetime to read. All the advice makes sense and I’ve come away with a feeling that I’m part of something bigger – and as it says at the end – go for it!

    Helen C

    Great tips for the uninitiated

    Found myself here on my very first day of WHQ membership. Thank god, as who knew there was such a thing as a beta reader? I used to ask friends to read my stuff; now I can ask if they wouldn’t mind being a beta reader because it sounds quite important, doesn’t it? Lots of great information for the novice on this course. I’m off to buy new pens and to learn how to do a spreadsheet.

    Wendy S

    Bucketloads of inspiration

    All I can say is that you have given me bucket loads of inspiration and encouragement through a thoroughly enjoyable read!

    Michele B

    A great boost

    Gave me a great boost to start submitting, which has been my main problem all along.

    Dominique H

    Vital information

    Lots of information I had no idea was out there. Brilliant.

    Helene D

    Informative and fun

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