Submissions – Should I Pay to Submit my Writing?

So, it’s happened. It’s been a while, and I’m pleased to say that I managed to make it this far into the year without being affected. But a couple of days ago, I lost track of my creative streak. I’ve got no idea where it went, but I assume it found a nice warm place in the sunlight to settle down and take a snooze. Luckily, there’s one thing that always helps to pick me up again: looking at calls for submissions from small publishers and other websites.

This leads me into the next discussion on our subject for this month, submissions. We have previously thought about whether we are ready to submit, as well as who we should think about submitting our writing to. Today, we’re going to tackle a question that all writers end up asking themselves at some point: should I pay somebody to submit my writing to them?

I recently read a very interesting article about just how much some publishers ask for to put your writing into print. Thankfully, this is not the standard going rate. I will always suggest that authors either get their books published for free (whether through an agent or small publishing competition), or self-publish (with careful and thorough consideration). The choice is ultimately up to you.

Many publishing companies will offer cash prizes to encourage writers to participate. Sometimes, this will be for an anthology, and others it might be for a competition or writing contest. A cash prize is a good indicator that there will be a cost to enter your writing. Let’s assume that you decide you’re happy to pay, just so that we can consider where to go from there. You must decide what, if anything, you have that is worthy of this honour.

If you do choose to pay to submit your writing, then you will need to consider the standard of your writing more carefully than you perhaps would when you submit something for free. People who pay to submit their writing to a publisher are generally going to ensure that they have crafted the best piece they possibly can. You’ll be up against some tough competition.

At the end of the day, whether or not you pay (and indeed, how much you pay) is down to you. There are plenty of free opportunities out there, so don’t forget to check those out first, and remember to be patient. Paying may seem like the easy way out at times, but when you see the prices quoted by some publishers, I can’t help thinking it isn’t worth it.

This month’s theme is SUBMISSIONS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of submissions and publishing, then please post a link in the comments or email me on with the subject: Submissions.


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