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Welcome, welcome to the WHQ guide to sending your writing out into the big wide world! 

Having run and judged a bunch of writing comps in our time, we’ve seen our fair share of submissions. Many of them good. Many more of them… less so. But, strangely, it’s often not the quality of the writing that causes a submission to be rejected – sometimes it’s simply because the writer didn’t submit their work correctly, failed to read the guidelines, or didn’t give their work the care and attention it deserves before hitting the SEND button. And some writers are so scared of rejection they don’t ever pluck up the courage to submit in the first place. 

As you might have guessed, none of these submissions get published. Which is a very sad thing. And extremely frustrating for both the writer and the submissions editor. BUT IT NEEDN’T BE THIS WAY!

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. Some are flippin’ obvious, some less so, but all are worth a read if you want to get your work out there and avoid the cardinal sins of submission, such as:

  • 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 fucking published.

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