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Submission Guidelines

If you are interested in writing a post for my blog, please take the time to read this page before contacting me.

I accept submissions for 2 sections of the site:

Short Story Submissions

If you’ve had a short story published through a competition, magazine or anthology, or have had a story you've written performed on radio or TV, then you could write a post for my blog.

I do not accept posts about self-published stories – your story has to have been previously published by someone independent.

What I Need

I'm looking for previously published short stories only. I need to be able to publish your story on my website in the short stories section.

I'll need you to accompany your story with details of how you went about getting it published. So, if you were published through a competition, I’ll ask you to write about your experiences with that competition (same with magazines, anthologies… however the story was published):

  • What market research did you undertake?
  • How did you go about writing your story?
  • Why do you think it won or was selected for publication?
  • Do you have any correspondence with the judges or editors that you can share (I’ll be happy to include their bios and/or details of their competitions and magazines)
  • What advice can you offer other writers based on your experience?
  • How can they use that advice to improve their own writing and chances of being published?

The key is to give readers something they can take away and put into practice to help them become published, win a competition etc. How can someone reading your inspirational story and accompanying advice gain a better chance of experiencing success with their own writing, particularly via the publication that accepted your story?

I will also need a biography and photograph (a clear mugshot, nothing abstract) to accompany the post.

Examples

Here are some example posts that are already on the site, clearly showing the format I require. Please review them so you understand the preferred style.

  • Devil’s Crush, by Christopher Fielden – this story won the Writers' Forum short story competition
  • The In-Between Days, by Cameron Dunham - this story was published by Fictive Dream
  • R v Sieger, by James Woolf - this story was highly commended in the London Short Story Prize
  • Traffic, by Nick Sweeney - this story came runner-up in the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, run by The Royal Society of Literature

Writing Advice Submissions

I'm looking for highly informative posts containing lots of practical writing advice, written by authors that are qualified/have the relevant experience to talk with authority about their chosen subject matter.

What I Need

Posts that contain advice that can be backed up with facts, clearly showing how any tips given have been used in practice to generate success. These posts will appear in the Writing Advice section of my website.

This type of post is a bit more open in format. I welcome ideas like these:

  • Case studies
  • Editorial tips
  • 'How to' tutorials
  • Writing advice
  • Writing resources
  • etc.

I'll need your biography and a photograph of you to accompany the post.

Examples

Here are a couple of example posts so you can see the style I prefer.

How Long Should My Post Be?

There is no strict word limit - I'm open to posts of any length. As an example, some of the resources on this site are in excess of 30,000 words, so there really is no upper word limit.

In contrast, some of the short posts are about 200 words. How Long is a Short Story? is a good example of a short post. It's short because the subject matter doesn't require a lot of words to answer the question.

I prefer highly informative posts, so they don't tend to be short. All the posts I've accepted to date are in excess of 1,000 words. If you're submitting a short story, this would NOT include the word count of the story itself, just the post that accompanies the story.

What Style Of Post Should I Write?

Posts should be written in an informative but casual, conversational style, in your own voice. I like humour, so feel free to be entertaining, but give the reader takeaway pieces of advice which they can then:

  • Apply to their own writing to improve their stories
  • Use to give them a better chance of being published
  • Use to sell more books
  • etc.

Be sure to review the posts linked to above so you can clearly see the style I prefer.

Plagiarism

I only accept original guest posts. All submitted posts are checked for plagiarism. Any posts containing advice that is already published elsewhere on the internet will be rejected.

If you are submitting a post that contains a short story that has already been published on the internet, just mention it when you contact me. The plagiarism checks mentioned above are for the advice that accompanies a story, not the story itself.

What Will I Get Paid?

Sweet FA.

Hmm, while my frank honesty should be commended, maybe I should be more PC and put this into context...

At the present time I’m unable to offer monetary recompense for guest posts (yes, that wording is probably more appealing…). I hope to be able to offer payments in the future, but at present the site doesn't generate enough money to make offering payments to guest writers viable.

So What’s In It For You?

You’ll be required to provide a biography and an author photo as part of your post. You can also include a link to your website.

You’ll enjoy exposure to a large audience by having your marvellous words published on my website. The site currently receives from 25,000 to 35,000 visits a month.

You’ll be featured in my emails. My email list has over 2,500 subscribers.

And I'll share the post on social media.

If you submit a short story, your post will also be linked to from my short story competition or short story magazines lists – whatever is most relevant. The aim is to give other writers information about the competitions and magazines in the lists, so they can learn about them and have a better chance of being published through them.

If a competition you’ve won or a magazine that has published your work does not appear in the lists, don’t worry – I’ll add them to it.

If you’ve been published by some other medium that I don’t currently mention on the site, don’t be put off. I’m happy to create new resources that other writers might find useful.

Get In Touch

Before writing anything, please send me an email to , outlining what you would like to send me and why you think it would be appropriate for my readers.

For more details, please see my contact page.

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Leave your comments

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Comments:

Your comments:

Srijaya NC
I am an educator by profession retired in 2008 as the Joint Director of Academy and Administration. I would like to send you a short story for the competition. Where do I send it?

Chris Fielden
Hi Srijaya, all the details on how to enter my competition can be found here.

I'll look forward to reading your entry :-)

Maris M
That was interesting, Christopher, and thank you for it.  At present I'm doing just what Shirley Muir did; editing, polishing, and sending out stories hither and yon. There are around 20 of them out there at the moment. I've also won a couple of competitions here in Australia and been placed in others - and even published. I have had two novels published too - one of them a prize winner. I love writing stories and hope that I'll eventually get enough positive feedback to justify keeping on with it - and maybe finish the next novel.

PS, I'd like to earn some money, too!

Dave M
Hi Chris, I think that your idea of having guests' stories featured on your site is a really good one. Having spent most of my life in marketing and advertising, what a great way financially for a writer to get their story out there without spending cash, as I know how much professional marketing can cost. The rest of my working life was spent in the Law. Hells bells, need I say more. Once again thank you so much for your excellent site and your assistance.

Chris Fielden
Maris - good luck with the editing, polishing and sending out. Which competitions have you won? Are they running currently?

Dave - thank you very much :-)

Agnes M
Hi, I am sending you this message on behalf of my fifteen year old daughter because I want her to pursue writing when she goes to college. 

She recently won the highest reads in wattpad (a writing platform for teens).  Does this qualify her on your posts?  Actually, she was just writing and posting and getting tons of followers and was most surprised to be informed that she had won the highest reads. 

She has been asked to get into commercial writing but refuses because she says she just wants to write because she loves doing it.  But I do want her to get good mentors which I cant do because I am her mom.

Chris Fielden
Hi Agnes. Yes, it sounds like that would qualify her to write a post for my blog if she wanted to. I would need to be able to use her story too - you'd have to check with wattpad to see if they'd be OK with it.

There are links on the page above to some blogs written by other writers so your daughter can see the preferred format.

Let me know if she's interested. It would be good to feature a young writer as I haven't done that yet :-)

Hugh S
Hello Chris. I am an established author of 'faction' - with six commissioned books - Westholme LLC, and a paid hack for  a number of magazines - UK, US, and Continental - writing on the niche subject of historic traditional archery.

Although I have written short stories 'creatively' purely for my own interest and amusement for years and will continue doing so, I would be curious to know whether my talents - such as they are - were commercial in the wider scheme of things. How would I go about this?

Chris Fielden
Hi Hugh. If you're referring to your stories and making money from them, then the best bet is to either have them critiqued or just enter some competitions or submit to magazines and see how they are received. That's how I do it. I have the stories critiqued by my writing group and then edit them to make sure they're at their best before submitting them to competitions and magazines. I always listening to feedback if any is given if I'm rejected.

Does that answer your question?

Hugh S
Hello Chris, thanks for the helpful comments. I belong to a U3A Creative Writing Group (in Bath) and my stuff does appear in their anthologies, so in a sense I am already critiqued I suppose. I would not expect to make much from story writing if anything at all, but it would be interesting to know if I had the right 'commercial spark', so to speak.

At present I am familiar only with the niche subject about which I write; I get a reasonable return for articles of 1,000/1,500 words from each of the magazines, and there are book royalties from time to time so I suppose I should be content with that. Thanks anyway for the advice.

Chris Fielden
Hi Hugh. No problem. Being part of a supportive writing group really helps. I think the ‘commercial spark’ is probably subjective, so the best bet is to keep writing and submitting and hope I guess :-)

Alison W
Hi Chris, I am currently studying creative writing the the Open University. One of my assignments includes researching magazines that publish short stories of 2000 words and then producing a short story to the magazines criteria. During my research I found your website. I would like to compliment you on your great website which is truly a useful tool for student writers like myself. Many thanks.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much, Alison. It's always great to hear that people find the site useful.

If you're successful and write a story for a specific market and it's accepted for publication, please get in touch - I'd be interested in you writing about your experiences for my blog :-)

I wish you the best of luck with your assignment.