Submission fees have been a hot-button issue in the literary community for some time, and since we do have categories that charge a fee (contests, fast responses, and editorial letter options) we thought it only fair to explain how we view the process and what paid submissions versus free submissions means to to us.
Submission fees can limit who is able to send in work because not everyone can afford to submit. That’s why we always have a free way to submit and we always pay for the stories and essays we publish. We want writers of all backgrounds and all means to be able to access our platform, and we want to be able to support them by paying for their work. Here is the link. The door is always open.
We see submission fees as a way for writers to support publications they don’t subscribe to. As a way of saying, “I’d like to win, I think my work is good enough, but I want this publication to keep running and I’m supporting the writers who do win via my submission.” All of our online content is free and it represents the bulk of what we publish. In this way, we offer a lot for very little. Also, even as a group of avid readers, we simply can’t subscribe to all the publications we’d like to, but we do support them through sharing our love for their work, encouraging the writers they publish, and by submitting to their contests. For us, it’s a way of showing support.
So. While we are able to pay writers who cannot afford to submit via contest fees, we are also funded via grants (we won the Oregon Literary Arts Publishers Fellowship this year), book sales (we produce a printed book! Gasp!) and through projects like our workshops. Running a business that promotes emerging writers isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. We love what we do and we love to support new work.
We value every submission, free or paid. And we welcome your thoughts. If you have a question about our process, you can reach a staff member here: contact (at) mastersreview (dot) com.
Always, thank you!
The Masters Review team