Dear Damsels

Submit your writing for DD’s next publication

This publishing opportunity is now closed. We will get back to all submissions by 31st May.

This publishing opportunity is now closed. We will get back to all submissions by 31st May.

You can read the original submission letter below.


Dear Damsels, 

Are you sitting on a collection of short stories that are looking for a home? Do you write poetry that starts a conversation, and want to take the conversation further? Or do you have a notebook full of pieces of prose, that you think would work together as a manuscript? We might have just the opportunity for you.

After publishing two paperback anthologies of fiction, non-fiction and poetry by a collective of women writers, Dear Damsels is looking to publish its first collection of work by a single author. 

We will be considering fiction, non-fiction and/or poetry with the plan to publish the collection towards the end of 2021/early 2022. Importantly, you don’t need to have a finished manuscript in order to submit only the opening three short stories or essays, OR 8,000–10,000 words, OR a significant collection of poems (more details below), plus a synopsis. Your collection of work may explore a specific theme, or multiple themes – we’re interested in hearing what’s important to you! (Though the work we have previously published online and in print should give you a hint of what we love to read.) We love working closely with women writers to develop their work, and would encourage any writer unsure if their work-in-progress or current manuscript is the right fit to send it in for consideration.

While there is flexibility here for the right project, our aim is for the final body of work to be book-length (i.e. a minimum of 30,000 words – word count applicable to prose submissions only). If selected, you will work closely with the DD team on developing your collection of work to reach this point of completion through a three-month editorial process, preparing the manuscript for publication. 

If this sounds like an opportunity you could be interested in, we’ll be accepting submissions until 31st March 2021, and will be in touch with a response by 31st May 2021. Please note, members of our Patreon will receive in-depth feedback, but everyone who submits will receive a timely and helpful response detailing our decision.

If the project you are working on is not quite at the stage required for this opportunity, submissions for Dear Damsels’ third collection of writing by women, similar to Let Me Know When You’re Home and What She’s Having, will open later this year.

This is a new step for us, and another chapter of DD that we are incredibly excited about. More than anything, we cannot wait to read what you have to share. 

Love, 

Abby & Bridie
Team DD x

Submission guidelines

For this publication we will be accepting manuscripts that are collections of pieces of fiction (short stories), non-fiction (essays, creative non-fiction, other) and poetry. While we are happy to consider work that falls between these forms or combines them, please note that we are not accepting novels. We’re especially keen to hear from women of colour and underrepresented writers.

Dear Damsels is a platform for women writers. All our submission opportunities are open to any writers who identify as women or non-binary.

We are limiting submissions to one per author

Your collection of work may explore a specific theme, or multiple themes, of your choosing. We’re interested in reading about what’s important to you. Please note, previous DD collections have explored the topics of women’s friendships and food, so we are less likely to publish a collection of work based solely around these subjects.

You do not need a finished manuscript in order to submit to this opportunity, however you will be required to supply the following material:
For prose – either three short stories or essays, OR 8,000–10,000 words.
For poetry – a significant collection of poems (roughly five longer poems, or ten shorter poems)
Everyone who submits must supply a full synopsis/proposal for the work of maximum 1,000 words (500 words is ideal). This should cover: a summary of the work submitted, the main themes that your finished project will explore and why; your plans for developing the manuscript – for example, if you have written three short stories, tell us what your plans are for the other short stories you would like to write; and why you think DD would be a good fit. In short, this is your chance to tell us all about the book you want to write.

We can accept collections that include a maximum of two previously published pieces. Writers must be able to provide confirmation that the rights for print publication are available. If you want to include pieces that have been previously published by Dear Damsels, there is no limit on numbers.

The writer accepted for this opportunity will be paid for their work, however anyone submitting should bear in mind that Dear Damsels currently exists as a volunteer-run platform. While we have plans for that to change in 2021–2022, our aim right now is to strike the balance between ensuring projects are financially feasible, while still providing opportunities for women who otherwise may not have shared their work. The payment amount will reflect these aims. If you would like to know more ahead of submitting, please email contact@deardamsels.com.

Please note, this opportunity is primarily for writers who are previously unpublished in print, and unagented. However, if you think it might be right for your situation, please do submit.

All work is to be submitted using the Google Form linked below by midnight on 31st March 2021. Please do not email your submission. If you are unable to access the form please email us contact@deardamsels.com

We will do our very best to respond to all submissions by 31st May 2021.

Please send any questions to contact@deardamsels.com


Find out more about our previous paperback publications

Let Me Know When You’re Home: Stories of Female Friendship

What She’s Having: Stories of Women and Food

For more writing opportunities, sign up to our mailing list or become a member of our Patreon.