(Q) Do unpublished writers really stand a chance of being included in Verandah and winning a prize?
(A) The short answer is yes. The long answer is all submissions will be judged by their content, not by their cover letters. You have little to lose by submitting; especially if you’re a current Deakin student.
(Q) What’s the competition like?
(A) In 2009, Verandah received over 350 submissions. Thirty-four of these were published and five won awards. You do the maths – but remember these are much better odds than many other publications.
(Q) Why do you charge fees for submissions?
(A) Producing Verandah costs thousands of dollars. We are volunteers, and are only partially funded by Deakin University. We rely on donations, sales and submission fees to make up the rest of our production costs. By submitting to Verandah, you are entering a competition with a number of prizes. We even publish writers and artists who aren’t awarded a prize. How many other competitions can say that?
Verandah’s customary entry fee is comparable to other literary and art competitions.
All accepted writers/artists will receive a free copy of Verandah 28.
(Q) But I’m a full-time student at another university/ unemployed/ retired/ destitute. Do I still have to pay?
(A) Yes. Submission fees go a long way toward launching a consistent and highly regarded publication each year. It’s a few dollars, and the result is a full-colour journal to be proud of.
(Q) Shouldn’t you give us some idea of the prizes you offer?
(A) We’d love to, but we can’t commit to this until we have an idea of our funding and sponsors. Imagine a basket of books and a cheque for around one hundred dollars, all wrapped up in a ribbon. We will update the prize information as soon as we can (the middle of the year); meanwhile, think of the glory. There will be anywhere from four to eight prizes on offer, and winning a prize is a real boost for a writer’s resume.
The short answer is we are entirely non-profit and we will make the prizes as worthwhile as possible.
(Q) I’m confused about submitting. Can I email you my writing and post a cheque?
(A) No. Read the guidelines carefully – you can either mail everything to us with a cheque, or email everything and pay via the PayPal link on our website. We don’t want to have to match hard copy with electronic payments and vice versa. It becomes messy.
4 That Lane
South Woy Woy 2256
(m) 0412 345 678
Dear Verandah editors,
My name is Wally Writer, and I am submitting my short story The First and poem Twice for consideration of inclusion in Verandah 23.
“Wally Writer was previously published in the Woy Woy Gazette and won a honourary mention in the 2006 Far Out West Short Story Competition. He currently lives in Woy Woy and likes big dogs but not when they bite him.
(Q) But I’ve never been published or won a prize! What do I put in my bio and why is it written in third person?
(A) Tell us about yourself, your influences and your submission. Relax! Imagine we’re friends and make it interesting. Wally did okay, didn’t he? But keep it around fifty words and write it in third person, because that’s just the way it’s done. Imagine you’re the Queen; she never refers to herself in the first person.
(Q) Should I put my name on every page of my submission?
(A) No. Submissions have to remain anonymous for our judges. Put your name and the title of your work on the cover sheet/ email, and the title of your work and page numbers on each consecutive page.
(Q) If I include a SASE (stamped, self addressed envelope), will you return my entry and give me some feedback?
(A) No and no. Verandah takes months of work to put together and we cannot commit to offering feedback for several hundred entries. Please, please don’t send us the only copy of your work.
(Q) Do you have any advice for first-time submitters?
(A) Draft, draft and redraft. Spelling and grammar errors look awful. Get the formatting right. Cut the flab from your work: that is, unnecessary words and unnecessary sentences. Join a writers’ workshop group, society or school. Search the net for resources. Learn to handle rejection – it’s about the writing, not about you. If you improve and are persistent, you will succeed.
(Q) When can I expect a reply to my submission?
(A) Around the end of June/ start of July. We will contact all submitters, successful or not. All published authors receive a complimentary copy of Verandah and an invitation to the launch where prizes will be announced. The launch is held at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.