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Why Writers Submit or Don't Submit To Writing Contests... And Possibly A Solution

With a recent love and grown appreciation for literary magazines as both a reader and a writer, I started contemplating submitting my work and writing for magazines. The idea still stands and I do plan to do it, as I have already submitted to a few, but I was interested to hear from all of you whether you are pro or anti literary magazines.

From all of the talk and conversation about them, it seems to be the best literary hub for a writer to get their name out there. A lot of people agree with this, but some people have something else to say as well.

I’ve even considered trying to get into the literary magazine industry as a whole, bold aspirations leading to deep dives of research into them. My journey on reading and becoming involved in these plentiful issues has just begun, but many writers on Twitter have had experiences.

My question was general, just asking if anyone submitted to Writing Contests and/or Literary Magazines?

To start, a lot of people were in my boat. They have never submitted before but have resolutions this year to start. Why 2023? Personally, I have never seen such a hot commodity and fluidity of magazine traffic in what seems like forever.

There were a few answers, on the flip side, that said they used to submit to a variety, but the fees and charges started doubling down and drowning out the accessibility. On that hand as well, some writers believe if it is not free, it is not worth it. Further, there were blunt answers stating free or nothing.

Some writers take contests as a negative and do not like the competitive approach.

Requirements and deadlines are a drawback for other writers. There are so many websites with so many opportunities, but each opportunity comes with its own submission guidelines and fees different from the next. I get it, it’s tiresome to do all of that one to one work just to have to pay a fee for the labor.

Fees are necessary for those contests that do provide monetary value to the winners, though. But I can see where this weariness comes from if the rewards do not seem substantial in a materialistic aspect. However, I think for myself, getting my name out there to any sort of company or editor is priceless.

A lot of writers agree with this too.

But again, this cycles back to only being able to physically go a mile or so before there is a burning hole in your pocket.

So, what should we do? I want to get my name out there. I know you do. Hey, we all could use a little cash prize if the terms and conditions apply.

I’m on the writer's side of this one, there should be more accessibility to pitching your name and work out into the industry without huge amounts of fees and dollar amounts. Granted, a few bucks can go a long way, but $35… yeah, I don’t get it.

The point of this article is to show you are not alone. The catastrophe of being a writer and trying to find any mouse hole to shimmy through or wedge a foot in the steel door that blocks us from the potential of the industry.

I guess my question today for you all then is, well, if Chronicles & Coffee started a digital literary magazine to spotlight all of this community’s outstanding, hidden gems of work, would you participate?

Would you say no if I stated there was a $5 submission fee?

Would you only say yes if it were free?

What if I told you everyone’s work who submitted would go into it?

No one gets rejected.

Because all writing deserves to be seen.

A digital space for your writings. Mutuals on Twitter and where ever else on the media that the Writing Community resides. Coming together to the hotspot Chronicles & Coffee to see each other’s writings, styles, and to find your people. To find a writing group of diverse or similar tastes.

I hope this idea sounds intriguing. This article is going up and not coming down. So, maybe this will happen next month, next year, in five years… who knows.

Chronicles & Coffee is continuously finding ways to highlight writers and authors both personally and with their writings. This could be an amazing opportunity to see how us writers can come together.

Maybe this literary magazine would be quarterly, bi-annual.

Maybe it will have a general theme each issue in which you have to write to.

There are so many possibilities.

But it also starts with you, writing community. The shares, the outreach, the positivity and critique on how this could benefit you and another in a noncompetitive way…

Please reach out via direct message or in the chat box on the website to discuss any feelings you have towards this!

I appreciate you all and am so happy to be a part of this evolutionary community.

See you soon,



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Allison Marshall
Allison Marshall
Feb 14, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I love the idea of a Chronicles and Coffee Literary Magazine! I agree with Tucker though, it doesn't hurt to have some standards of acceptance, even if they are as simple as following some guidelines as to what kind of content is allowed. But if the idea is to support writers in their creative journeys, then it would definitely be ideal if there was no submission fee so as to prevent any financial barrier to entry. I don't mind paying a nominal fee for a contest if the contest offers something of value in return, but if you're like me and try to enter contests by the dozen then those fees certainly add up!

Olivia Brooks
Olivia Brooks
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for this reply I really appreciate it!!!


Tucker Lieberman
Tucker Lieberman
Feb 14, 2023

It's a nice idea! Also potentially a lot of work for you.

Don't hesitate to establish some standards — for example, to reject submissions with hateful, triggering, or NSFW words/images, or to accept a piece on the condition that it be edited further, or to say you can't handle super-long pieces because you don't have time to figure out someone's novel and be accountable for it, or to decline to be associated with any individual for whatever reason, gut feeling, or rumor. You can ask people to send you their most excellent stuff, and your secret policy can be "Actually, I intend to publish anything/everything I receive, unless reasons," and no one else has to know your precise preferences/standards for…

Olivia Brooks
Olivia Brooks
Feb 14, 2023
Replying to

I appreciate all of this advice, I agree too that it would be a lot, maybe I’ll pick up the idea when time is a little more flexible in the summer! We will see.

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