Dear Damsels,


We believe that words are empowering. Not only for the women who write them, but those who read them too. It’s why we started this platform six years ago – and why we’re excited to announce that our next publication opportunity is for a collection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry about women and writing.

What does writing mean to you? What happens when you give yourself the space to create? What else might be uncovered once you find your voice, and when you start to use it?

This collection will be edited by Kerry Ryan, writer, performer and founder of Write Like a Grrrl, and will include her own words, as well as those of some of our favourite writers.

Together with Kerry, we’re looking for stories set in writerly worlds, poems that grapple with feelings of self-doubt and comparison, odes to the act of putting pen to paper, and honest essays about the difficulties of the creative process as well as the hard-won joys. Whatever writing means to you, we want to read about it.

There is nobody better suited to sharing these kinds of stories than you, our brilliant writing community. We can’t wait to bring your words together on the subject that led you to Dear Damsels in the first place. If you have something to say (and we’re betting you do), send your words our way by 23:59 GMT on Monday 27 September.

We’re looking forward to hear from you.

Love,

DD x


Submission guidelines

For this collection we will be accepting fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as everything in between. We’re especially keen to hear from women of colour and underrepresented writers.

Dear Damsels is an inclusive platform, and our submission opportunities are open for all self-identifying women, transgender, non-binary and marginalised people who identify with the experience of gender inequality.

For long-form pieces of writing, the word count must be no longer than 5,000 words.

We are limiting submissions to one per author. Your submission must be previously unpublished work.

We would prefer not to encourage writers to develop a pitch that we cannot guarantee will come to fruition and so, unfortunately, we are not accepting pitches and all submissions should be complete pieces of work. However, we love working closely with writers to develop their work, and would encourage any writers unsure if their completed piece is the right fit to send it in for consideration.

Dear Damsels currently exists as a volunteer-run platform, but we continue to work towards changing that and all writers who are selected to feature in this collection will be paid for their work. Being published is such an important landmark for an emerging writer, as is reflecting this in payment for their work. We are looking for funding for this publication through Arts Council England, and we are currently finalising a payment amount which we will confirm with the writers chosen for the collection. We are always trying to strike the balance between ensuring projects are financially feasible, while still providing opportunities for women who otherwise may not have shared their story.

Any profit we make from the collection once production costs have been recouped will be put towards DD’s future publishing projects supporting women writers. In the unlikely event that we are unable to fulfil the costs of production, the collection will be published digitally with full payment being made to the contributing writers and editors (but not without consulting the writers first).

All work is to be submitted using the Google Form by 23:59 GMT on 27 September. Please do not email your submission as it may not be counted.

Please send any questions to contact@deardamsels.com

We will do our very best to respond to all submissions by Monday 8 November. If you are a Patreon member, your submission will receive personalised feedback, regardless of the outcome.


For more writing opportunities, sign up to our mailing list – we send out a new theme letter every two months.

Find out more about our previous publications – Let Me Know When You’re Home and What She’s Having.

Let Me Know When You’re Home (Feb 2020)
What She’s Having (Feb 2021)

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