Submittable simplifies submissions processPosted: January 30, 2015
Have you heard of Submittable? No, I’m not referring a piece of writing that is ready to submit. That’s submittable with a lower-case “s.” Or, I suppose you could use the word to refer to the female lead in Fifty Shades of Grey. Okay, that’s a stretch.
No, I’m referring to Submittable, capital “s,” the service that many publications are using now to accept online submissions of all kinds of writing. We have traveled a long way from the tedious process of printing out perfect copies, writing a letter, addressing a stamped return envelope and putting it all in a big envelope to mail.
In recent years, editors started accepting submissions via email. Write a letter, paste in your work, hope the formatting doesn’t get too screwed up, hit send. No attachments, please. A few publications set up online forms, often quirky and hard to work, into which you entered your information and your work.
But now, ring them glory bells, we’ve got Submittable.com. It’s a company that makes money by selling its services to publishers who use it to accept submissions and contest entries from writers. I love, love, love Submittable. Writers can follow the link from the publication’s website, sign up for a free account and start submitting by filling in the blanks: name and contact information, title and genre, a quick cover letter in the space provided. If you need a refresher on the guidelines, there’s a link to read them in detail. Finally, you click on the browsing button to attach your submission, which comes up exactly as you formatted it. If there’s a reading fee or contest entry fee, you will be directed to fill in with your credit card or Paypal information. Click, click, click, submit. You get a reassuring email letting you know your submission has been received AND you can check on the status of your submission at any time just by logging in again. Submittable keeps track of all of your submissions, listing whether they have been declined, accepted or are still being considered. No more “I wonder what’s going on; maybe I should write them a letter . . .” It’s right there for you to see.
There’s a Submittable blog with interesting information, interviews and lists of upcoming deadlines.
Not every publication uses Submittable. In fact, I just mailed a packet of poems the old-fashioned way to The Southern Review. You always have to read and follow the guidelines, but I think this is pretty great. It really speeds up the submission process. Oh, and if you make a mistake, it will prompt you to fix it before you submit. Works for me.
Have you had experience with Submittable? Tell me about it in the comments.
Of course you can’t submit what you haven’t written, so . . .
Let’s go write.