Hive is currently open for writing submissions for its forthcoming young writers’ anthology until 9th January, (extended until 17th January for entries from Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham). Click through the tabs for guidelines and tips on submitting your writing
Whether you see yourself as a serious writer or not, if you’re 14 to 25 years old, based in (or with a home address in) South Yorkshire, and you’ve written something you think really deserves an audience, then we want to see your work.
Before submitting, read our tips and guidelines carefully (in the tabs above), particularly if you’ve never submitted your work to be considered for publication before.
Note – we can’t publish everything we receive or give feedback on individual pieces. If you’re not successful this time, we encourage you to keep writing and improving, and to try submitting again in future.
At Hive we want to see your work – and we want to publish you in our anthology. But we can’t take everything we’re sent. To give yourself the best chance of having work accepted, here are our submission process top tips.
When working on something you want to submit…
Sounds obvious, but, make it interesting, make it unique. People want to empathise, and feel the visceral and hidden aspects of what you’re writing about. Where characters are concerned, they want to believe in them. They want to care. They want to root for them, or for them get their just desserts.
Remember: you don’t have to use fancy words. Conveying your story or poem in your own voice is the most important thing – tell it in a simple way. Don’t try to sound like a writer – simple words or, the right words, are usually far more effective than longer ones.
Show don’t tell:
Show when you can. A reader will have a much better image in their minds if you show them what’s happening through concrete images rather than telling them. These images can be metaphorical and far out, say in a poem, but their detail is what a reader has a sensory and emotional response to. If a man’s nasty, show him being nasty rather than saying The man was nasty. Show us by the way he walks, the way he presses his finger into the other guy’s chest. Now we’re backing away from the page to get away from him.
Be specific and selective:
Avoid being generic, vague and clichéd in the detail of your descriptions, but also avoid too much description which can overwhelm the reader. Let go of trying to fit everything in. Allowing the reader to focus on a few carefully considered descriptions in the context of the piece, can trigger a whole, visualised scene or character in a reader’s head.
Make it clear who’s speaking. Said can be your friend. If someone speaks in a poem, use italics to distinguish the speech.
Aim for the best:
Send us your best work. We’d rather see one amazing piece than three or four that aren’t quite as good not there yet.
The submitting part…
Don’t rush it, edit it:
Make sure your work’s finished before you send it. There’s no need to rush. Better to wait and get it right, than to read it again after it’s gone and see a million things you’d change. Sometimes it helps if you leave it for a couple of weeks before coming back to look at it with fresh eyes. Make sure it’s as good as it can be. Edit, edit, edit, and make something that’s already good even better.
Hear it, and see it in print:
Before you send it, print it off, and read through it carefully out loud. Not only will you hear what you’ve actually written rather than what you think you’ve written, it’s also really important that a story or poem sounds and flows right, as well as sits right on the page.
Proof read a last time:
Most writers will tell you, at some point they have clicked sent only to realise they spelled something wrong or missed a comma somewhere. Proofing is the last thing you should do. If it’s not your forte, get a grammar-obsessed friend to give it a once over.
Always pay close attention to guidelines such as word counts, font size, and line spacing if specified. and what contact info they want and where. Magazines and journals ask for this information for a reason. (And avoid crazy fonts at all costs regardless! And Comic Sans…avoid it just because it’s Comic Sans:).
The waiting game…
Sometimes, magazines and journals can take months to get back to you (3 months is not an unusual length of time). You may think they have forgotten. More often than not, it’s just that they are very busy and reading submissions in their own time and not as a paid day job. If you can’t find information on a usual turnaround time on their website, be patient and forget about it. If you don’t hear anything after a few months (in many cases it will be before), you can send a gentle and polite email. Don’t submit elsewhere at the same time unless both venues have stated they are accept simultaneous submissions.
Dealing with rejection…
Having a piece rejected can be a real confidence knock, especially if you thought it was your best work. But rejection doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good work. Remember, publishers can’t take everything. They make choices based on the feel of a publication (so do your research for particular places you want to submit to to see if they publish a specific kind of thing and if it chimes with what you want to send out). An editor may encourage you to submit again, they might say very little so you don’t know what to think. The important thing is to know that great writers and great works get rejected all the time, and it’s up to you to dust yourself off, be pleased with yourself for submitting, and keep writing and improving until the moment you’re ready to try again. A rejection means that you’re a writer.
Good luck. Mostly, though, enjoy it!
How to submit online (we do not accept postal entries)
Can I get feedback on my work?
We’re unable to offer feedback on individual pieces of work, but we are keen to point you to a group, or a workshops, or an editing surgery, when we hold them. Keep an eye on upcoming events on our website for future opportunities that might help you edit your work or gain feedback. We also circulate other regional and national opportunities through Twitter and Facebook.
Submitting to Hive’s online blog
In the future, Hive will be showcasing writing, articles, and interviews by young people through our blog. If you have an idea for an article, or a writing-related interview, email us with a brief outline. Please don’t send us a complete article unless we request it.
We’re always happy to consider images for our covers, although we’re sadly unable to pay for any offered. You are welcome to drop us a line if this sounds of interest and you’d like to introduce us to your work.