Publications Information and FAQ
The Writer's Workout is proud to produce several publications each year. We welcome work from writers around the world.
Every portion of The Writer's Games results in a new volume of 72 Hours of Insanity. These anthologies feature roughly 25 short stories each: they're the winning pieces from the six-week competition.
Find information about our Writer's Games anthologies here.
We hold a six-month open call each year for a themed anthology called Tales. These fiction pieces are typically longer, resulting in a deeper exploration of the theme. We try to keep these anthologies under 400 pages so we can showcase as many authors as possible who fit the theme.
Find information about our Tales anthologies here.
Our quarterly literary journal, WayWords, is also themed with an added tribute section for CNF pieces. Each journal features 8-20 authors in 100 pages.
Find information about WayWords here.
All writers are welcome to submit fiction to any Writer's Workout publication before its posted deadline. All published works come from open calls. All publications are available in digital and print.
The Writer's Workout is a global charity working to improve literacy through creative writing. We hold competitions, workshops, open calls, and discussions; provide motivation, tips, prompts, and giveaways; and offer a community rich in culture and skill. Check our donations page to learn more about how The Writer's Workout strengthens the writing community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Submitting your work for review is nerve-wracking, we get it. Read through these frequently asked questions to help alleviate some of the stress. Please note entries for The Writer's Games are processed differently from entries for open calls. For information on 72 Hours, please visit the Writer's Games competition section.
What to submit
For our open calls, we're looking for prose and poetry that fits the theme. Your submission to WayWords or Tales should follow the guidelines and include the listed Title Information so we can contact you. Show us your interpretation of the theme.
Previously published: we accept previously published works, just let us know where the piece was published when you submit and be sure you own the publication rights.
Simultaneous submissions: we accept simultaneous submissions, just let us know if someone else picks it first.
Published by us: if we've published your work before, you are welcome to submit a new work to another open call.
Withdrawing: if you need to withdraw your submission, send us an email. Tell us the name of your piece and which call you submitted it to. We run simultaneous open calls half the year so we need to know which team to contact.
How to submit: we accept submissions several ways. For all open calls to WayWords and Tales, you may submit your piece via email, Dropbox, Duosuma, or Query Manager. You will find links to all methods on each open call page. For The Writer's Games, you may submit your weekly entry via email or Dropbox. Both are linked on the Writer's Games page.
What NOT to submit
We will reject all political or religious topics for all opportunities.
This is a hard line and we have no wiggle room. The Writer's Workout is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This is a fancy way of saying our federal government allows us to accept donations as long as we do not publicly side with any political or religious view. Maintaining this strict rule also helps prevent subjective bias.
If you're unsure whether your piece crosses the line, feel free to contact us.
We will reject erotica for all opportunities.
Our publications are marked for all readers and many of our authors are minors in their country of origin.
Stages of the process
When you submit your work, it goes into review. During this stage, our impartial Director collects all submissions, removes identifying information, and distributes this identity-free copy to the appropriate review team, as listed in your Title Information. Review can take anywhere from two weeks to two months after the call closes. Following review, we contact everyone who submitted an entry and begin the editorial stage. Our side of the editorial stage takes around three weeks. We contact accepted authors again with a link to their work and give them a week to revise. We compile, format, and proof the collection... then we publish!
Acceptance rates: you'll find our average acceptance rates on each imprint's page.
Tales: 40% published
WayWords: 56% published
If we accepted your piece, click here for a quick overview of what to expect.
How we choose: we look at each submission individually without any identifying information. We examine how and how well it conveys the theme of the call. We study the strengths and weaknesses of the piece, look for areas of improvement, and assess the overall quality of the writing.
Things we don't consider: the piece's length, the author's first language, the author's publication history, any identifying or demographic data.
What to expect: when you submit your work via email, you'll receive an automated reply thanking you for your submission. If you choose Dropbox or Duosuma, you'll see a thank you popup and may or may not receive an emailed receipt. Once we've made our determinations, we contact everyone who submitted a piece for that call.
If you followed our submissions guidelines to include your Title Information, we will be able to contact you. We contact every writer who includes the Title Information we specify.
If you choose not to follow the submissions guidelines, we have no way to contact you and cannot review your work.
When to contact us: we try to announce on social media and this website when our review stage is complete. If we announce that we moved on with the next stage and you have not heard from us within a week, check your original submission to make sure you followed the listed guidelines. If you did, and your email address is correct at the top of your document, check your spam folder. If you can't find an email from us, then you should reach out. Click the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page and fill out the form.
The Writer's Workout values education and focuses on providing tools for self-growth and improvement. If we offer to publish your piece, we will add line edits to a document on our company's Google Drive. We'll send you a link to your document and give you time to review our notes and revise. In our notes, we try to explain why each change is grammatically or structurally necessary.
Understand that our offer to publish is contingent on revisions and the deadline. We will explain which editorial notes are required and which are suggested for clarity. We will never change your words for you; you are the author and must revise the piece yourself based on the notes provided. These notes aim to improve your piece overall.
Please do not reply to editors' comments—make the changes to the document yourself. Our editors cannot change your work for you.
When you're satisfied with your story or poem, add your name on the line below the title. Include any special characters, apostrophes, or hyphens so your name appears exactly as you wish to see it in print. At the bottom of your document, add your author bio as you wish to see it in print, around fifty words.
You don't need to link your document back or let us know when you're finished. We begin compiling the print-ready version of each publication the during the same week as our listed deadline. If you know in advance that you will miss the deadline or you have questions about an editor's comments, please contact us.
For our Tales and WayWords open calls, you maintain the rights to your piece. This means if we publish your piece, you are welcome to revise it and submit it elsewhere. Just let them know your piece was previously published (and where).
We wish you knew...
Our organization is 100% volunteer. We donate thousands of hours annually and pay out of pocket to keep the lights on. We have full time jobs, college, and families outside of this organization. We do everything we can to provide the very best resources and opportunities for writers around the world and work as quickly as possible. We know that you're excited about your submission—we're excited for you!—but please be patient. Our guidelines help things move faster and easier so that we can respond to you quicker. When a submission doesn't follow the guidelines, the process takes longer. In some cases, we're forced to reject it.
We love your work. We volunteer to be here and we love reading your interpretations of the themes. We enjoy reading pieces even when we have to decline them. If we reject your piece, it's likely because it doesn't fit the theme. This doesn't mean your work is bad and we definitely don't dislike you, though we know rejection can sometimes feel personal. We try to explain our reasons when we contact you to help you improve.
We don't want to decline anyone's work; you worked hard and should be proud of your creation.
Compensation: your submission to any Writer's Workout open call is a charitable donation. Royalties cover less than 15% of our annual operating cost. The rest comes out of our own pockets just to keep going. We wish we could pay authors for their submissions and hopefully, one day, we will.
Before you submit your work, read through it one last time. Make sure it fits the theme and is free of typos, misspellings, and incorrect grammar (to the best of your ability). We try to look past these mistakes; they don't necessarily lead to rejection but they do make our job a whole lot harder. Good luck, writer!