Dear Damsels, 

To celebrate the launch of So Long As You Write, a collection celebrating the power of women putting words on the page, we are incredibly excited to announce that our next publishing opportunity is for a collection of work by a single author.

This opportunity is supported by funding from Arts Council England, continuing SLAYW’s mission to inspire women writers to share their stories – and follows Tools For Surviving a Storm by Nadia Henderson. We are so proud to be the publisher of Nadia’s stories and can’t wait to collaborate with another author on a collection of their work.

Maybe there’s a notebook of short stories hiding somewhere. A pile of poetry that hasn’t yet seen the light of day. A document of half-finished essays that you know could really be impactful, if you could find a way to link them together. If so, this is the chance to send us your work.

We will be considering fiction, non-fiction and/or poetry with the plan to publish the collection in early 2023.

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 Sunday 14 August, and will be in touch with a response by Sunday 18 September.

Please note, only members of our Patreon will receive in-depth and personalised feedback from us, but everyone who submits will receive a timely and helpful response detailing our decision.

We can’t wait to hear from you.  

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, food, nature and writing, 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 14 August 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 18 September.

Please send any questions to contact@deardamsels.com


Find out more about our previous paperback publications:

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Words are empowering – not only for the women who write them, but those who read them too.

Join our Patreon and help us continue to offer an inclusive and welcoming space for women to come together, share their words, and get a resounding response back.

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