Women Writers: Pass the Submissions Line and Get Your Work Straight to an Editor’s Inbox!

You all know me as the girl who regularly writes (and occasionally bitches) about submitting my work, but through the process of contributing to this system of literary journals and magazines, I’ve also come to see some of its inherent (and very gendered) flaws: the deluge of male submitters, the bias toward male submissions, and ongoing conversation around how journals can encourage more women writers to submit.


But recently I took on a new role as editor for Outlook Springs, a new literary magazine that describes itself as “Welcome to Night Vale meets Tin House.” And one of the first things my fellow editors and I were determined to take on was facing down the huge discrepancy in the number of male and female submitters.


Here is where I find hope: Instead of ranting and raving about why not as many women are submitting their work (a conversation that is interesting but often completely misguided), my fellow editors and I sat down to come up with real solutions to this issue.


How can we, as editors, encourage more women to submit their work? How can we make it easier for women to submit their work? How can we make it seem less daunting? How can we actually give women writers hope that their work is being read, that their words are being considered, and that their writing is being valued?


The obvious answer to how to make women feel appreciated? Ladies’ Night! Because nothing gets women in the door faster, in my experience, than free drinks, no lines, and no cover charges.


But what is the submissions equivalent of that?


And then it came to us: What if we let women writers cut the submissions line? What if we let them in for free? What if we stop making them wait out in the wind and cold of their Submittable queues and get their work right in the door?


So that is what we are doing: Between January 4th and January 20th, women writers can submit their work to Outlook Springs and get it directly to an editor’s inbox. Email your fiction, non-fiction, or poetry submissions directly to me at EmilyInOutlookSprings@gmail.com between January 4th and 20th to qualify.


I’m sharing this opportunity with you because I hope you’ll send us your work, of course. But I’m also sharing it with you because I hope it will revive the conversation around encouraging more women to submit. So please, send us your work. I look forward to reading it and to continuing the search for more ways to serve women writers.


(Please refer to our Submission Guidelines before submitting.)

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Comment by Mary L. Holden on January 8, 2016 at 10:45am

By the way, I checked with Outlook Springs for clarification on submission guidelines: content published on Internet blogs is considered published. You must submit material that has never been published in any form.

Comment by Karen Szklany Gault on January 8, 2016 at 9:05am

Thank you!

Comment by Kristi Bernard on January 8, 2016 at 6:37am

This is a fantastic idea.

Comment by Irene Allison on January 7, 2016 at 12:53pm

Good for you! And such a good idea too! Recently I saw a hardware store in a Canadian city that was offering a women's only evening with free snacks and coffee, demonstrations on how to use equipment, presentations, extra staff on hand to offer advice. And I thought, wow! what a fantastic idea. Women could go to the hardware store, feel comfortable, get help, and even have a little fun. Win, win, win. And it sounds like "Outlook Springs" is doing the same thing. Bravo! 

Comment by Patricia Robertson on January 7, 2016 at 11:54am

Great idea! I only wish I wrote in your genres so I could submit. :)

Comment by Jenni Wiltz on January 7, 2016 at 11:27am

Thank you for a great opportunity! I hope Outlooks Springs inspires other journals to do something similar.

Comment by Dawn Paoletta on January 7, 2016 at 11:27am

Well this is a happy post!

Comment by Mary L. Holden on January 7, 2016 at 11:23am

One of the best postings I've seen on ANY writing site--of course it is on SheWrites! Thank you!

Comment by Nancy L White on January 7, 2016 at 10:46am

Kudos to Outlook Springs.

Comment by Pamela Michelle Mathis on January 7, 2016 at 1:08am
Great opportunity. Thanks for the information. I will definitely submit something.


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