We know submitting can be a nerve-racking process, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about submitting with us. We hope you find these helpful and handy!
Frequently Asked Questions
You may submit to us as many times as you wish, although we do suggest sending us your most polished work each time.
Q: Can I submit to multiple categories, i.e. New Voices and a contest, with the same story?
Yes. We allow both multiple and simultaneous submissions. You can submit the same story across any / all of the categories, but know that everything we read is considered for publication. We also process each story individually, so you may receive separate responses for the same piece. If you submit a work to us that is under consideration elsewhere, please let us know immediately if it is accepted so we can remove it from our consideration.
Q: Can I send you my work via email? Can I send submissions in the mail?
We DO NOT accept submissions via email. You must use Submittable to submit your work. If electronic submission is not possible for any reason, you may send your work via USPS ONLY with a US check or money order for any applicable entry fees to The Masters Review our mailing address at: 70 SW Century Drive Suite 100442 Bend, Oregon 97702
Q: Do you accept international submissions?
We absolutely accept international submissions.
Q: What is Submittable?
Submittable is the platform we use to collect, read, and accept work. An account is free to set up, and can be found here: www.submittable.com
Q: I lost my Submittable password, am having issues submitting, or am having trouble with my payment. Can you help?
The best thing to do for technical issues is contact Submittable directly, as they handle all the back-end support for us regarding payments and passwords. You can contact them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can self-published writers submit?
Yes. We accept work from self-published writers all the time. If you want to submit a piece you have self-published on social media or your personal blog, we ask that you remove it before publication if the piece is accepted. (Generally speaking we DO NOT accept previously published work, but in this instance we are willing to review a piece that has received low visibility or circulation.)
Q: Can I submit if I have published a novel or collection?
We only accept previously unpublished work, but if you have published or self-published novels or collections with low circulation (about 5000 copies) you are eligible to submit. If you have a question about a particular piece, we may make amendments for specific pieces, but please query us directly about the circumstances.
Q: I don’t have any money for the contest fee, can you waive it for me?
Unfortunately, we cannot waive contest and award fees. However, our New Voices category is open year-round, is always FREE to enter, and every author published is paid for their work.
Q: What are your guidelines about format, i.e Times New Roman, double-spaced, etc.?
We do not have guidelines related to font or spacing, but please send us a clean and easy to read manuscript.
Q: What am I supposed to write in my cover letter?
A: Think of your cover letter as a brief author bio and what you would like posted on our site should your piece be selected for publication. Don’t overthink it, we just want to know a little about you! Most writers choose to include publication history or a little about the story that is being submitted. Note that you can include personal or identifying information in your cover letter.
Q: What do you mean by “no personal or identifying information” on my submission?
A: We want to ensure all submissions are judged solely on the merits of the writing, so we ask that you do not include your name on the actual story itself. It can be listed in your cover letter, and is linked to your Submittable account so we will be able to contact you or identify you when your piece is selected.
Q: My name is in the story because it is autobiographical. Do I need to remove it because you say no identifying information?
A: You do not if it is part of the story.
Q: I submitted my story, but I need to make revisions. What do I do?
We fully understand that at times revisions need to be made and errors corrected. Please email us in the event you need to make changes to your submission and we will open it for editing. You will be notified via email when your submission is open, and you will be allowed to make your changes and/or re-upload a new document if necessary.
Q: Can I get feedback on my work?
Unfortunately, no. Due to the number of submissions we receive, we cannot provide feedback on every story. We will often include a note on what we liked about your piece, but this is left to the discretion of the editors. However, you may choose to pay for our Editorial Letter add-on, which is designed for just that: 1-2 pages of feedback on your work. There is an extra fee for this, and it is not always available, but do check our submit page to see if it is open when you want to submit. There is also our Summer Workshop, which is designed entirely to offer feedback on stories. Registration is in August!
Q: Do I maintain ownership and first serial rights if my work is accepted for publication?
You do maintain ownership of your work when you submit. If your work is selected for publication, our contract states we buy first serial rights for three months after publication.
Q: When can I expect to hear back about my story?
Regardless of acceptance or decline, you will hear back from us, we promise. For New Voices, you will hear back within 8-12 weeks from the day you submit. For contests and awards, the time frame is similar, but we frequently post information about exact announcement dates for the shortlist and winners online, via newsletter, and via our social media on Facebook and Twitter. Please check those at your convenience.
Q: Do your contests have themes? For example, is your Fall Fiction Contest Fall themed?
No. Our awards are simply named for the seasons in which they are open and do NOT require a theme based on that season.
Q: Do you accept memoir, fantasy, romance or other genres?
We accept any piece of fiction as long as it fits the guidelines listed on the contest and award page. Please keep in mind, however, that we are a literary fiction publication and therefore we are looking for stories that are character-based over plot-based. So while a story may fall into the realm of a certain genre it should be considered literary fiction first and foremost. We recommend you read all our guidelines carefully before submitting.
Q: Do you accept non-fiction?
We accept narrative non-fiction for our anthology and in our New Voices categories.
Q: Can I use curse words or questionable language in my submission?
A: You may use curse words in your story, but note that if it is chosen for publication and it contains extremely sensitive language, we may require edits.