The Depressed Writer’s Guide to Submittable

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Ah, Submittable. A necessary tool for most, a necessary evil for some. But it’s used by PLENTY of lit journals and magazines, publishers and presses. Opportunities range from fellowships and residencies to writing contests to art and design submissions. Needless to say, it’s becoming the central hub not only for platforms to advertise their calls, but also the mainstay for how to submit submissions to begin with.

If you’re new to Submittable (I myself was not aware of this until college), then you probably have questions. How does it work? What can I find on Submittable? How do I keep track of everything while I submit?

Here are the basics of Submittable (including pictures) in case you’re new, or just not sure where to start.

What is the Purpose of Submittable?

I fortunately found out about Submittable while taking a creative writing class, and looking back I’m grateful my professor forced us all to make an account for it to submit to journals. At first I thought, “Why do we have to go through all this work? Don’t people just use email?”

Yes, they use email, but a lot of people don’t. And having a platform for everything in one place comes in handy. Plus, it’s a great way for journals, magazines, and tons of other projects to get their name and voice out there. They have to network just like you do, and even with all the media platforms out there, sometimes a concise submission manager that states what they want, when they want, and where to find them, is the perfect way to grow your awareness of them.

So in this case, it’s beneficial for you and for them. It makes Submittable a place to find opportunities of all kinds, without getting bogged down by all the other white noise.

What are the Features of Submittable?

After making an account, you’ll notice four tabs on the top left: “Submissions,” “Discover,” “Saved,” and “Following.” This is the epicenter of all you’ll do in Submittable.

“Submissions” is the catalogue of where you’ve submitted, when, and what the places you have submitted to have to say about it. Usually you’ll get a confirmation letter from the place you submitted, but the tabs on the side will let you know where you submissions stand. (I’m not showing you a picture of my account here because no one needs to see all those rejections).

But for reference, you’ll either see “Received” when you send a piece in, “Declined” if you’re rejected, “In Progress” if the journal has taken steps to review your piece after getting through the backlog of submissions they already have, and “Accepted/Completed” if they say yes.


where to look


Anything that I didn’t cover? Have any other inquiries? You can ask in the comments!

Want to know more? Click the LEARN MORE button at home. You’ll find some helpful links to my work in journals, which I have started posting here too. You can find me in Ariel Chart, The Cedarville Review, Nailpolish Stories, Bluepepper, 50 Word Stories, The Aurora Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Drabble, and Anti-heroin Chic. Look for me in Sledgehammer Lit later this year.

Need help proofreading a story? You can find me on Fiverr!

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