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.)