Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Open for Submissions

I’ve got an idea. It’s a weird one. Everyone I’ve mentioned it to has had one of two reactions: They either look at me very confused-like and let out a yawn. Or they say, “YES PLEASE DO THAT YESTERDAY.”

The latter are, invariably, writers. That’s who this is for. I want to do something to help inspire writers to put out their best work. I’m saving the details of this project for its first installment, but for now I need to add to my already-growing slushpile.

I need your writing. It can be in whatever form or stage you like. The ideal submission is a short piece that you think is completely done and ready for publication in the hottest new science fiction and fantasy magazine in the land. Even better if you’ve been sending it out on submissions and haven’t had any response. Best yet is a work you’re thinking of submitting but haven’t had the courage to do so yet.

You can also send in the first chapter of your current work in progress. Or a short story you put in a drawer. Or that short story that reading this blog post makes you want to FINALLY sit down and start/finish/polish to perfection.

Whatever you send, make sure you’re okay with it being shared with the public (the entire piece will not be shared — at most a page or two of it will be made public). If you want your name left off, put “ANONYMOUS” in the subject line format that I detail below.

If you are a professional writer, feel free to send me something. If you’re a self-published writer, feel free to send me something. If you’ve never published anything in your life, feel free to send me something.

Be warned, however, that I will be going through these submissions just like my agent does: I will be looking for any reason whatsoever to skip to the next submission. I will also be editing and critiquing your work just like the professional pieces I edit and publish in my bestselling anthologies.

Grabbing or losing my attention is entirely up to you. So don’t hold back. And don’t phone it in. Send me your absolute best.

Click here to send submissions to my super-special email address

Subject line should read: Open For Submissions [Title of Work] [Your Name]

Microsoft Word files are best. RTF will also do.

Happy writing!

47 replies to “Open for Submissions”

The maximum length is how long you can hold my attention. If it’s terrible, the maximum length is two sentences. If it’s unbelievably addictive, you can send a trilogy.

Thank you for this Hugh. I have written so many poems and some other very small works. This is an Avenue to explore. I will be sending something in the very near future.

That link leads me to a circular trail of ‘add an account’ requests that never opens a submissions page. I am running the Firefox browser on a Dell machine, this may be a result of an incompatibility between two or more of these elements. I have a submission, but cannot get to an actual submission site using that link. May I have an alternative link?

It’s just a link to an email address. The email is openforsubmissions at gmail dot com.

Nope. It’s weirder than that. This is a critique / writing workshop. But I’m going to share my thoughts and edits live on video, and interact with whomever joins me at the time. It’ll be super boring. But if anyone wants to see how the process works, it’ll be a window into that world. Hopefully it helps someone out.

Now … if we start doing this and find great works that deserve a bigger audience, I’ll pitch putting those works together in an anthology. Or suggesting other outlets for those works. But that’s very optimistic and a long way down the road.

” This is a critique/writing workshop. But I’m going to share my thoughts and edits live on video, and interact with whoever joins me at the time.”

This info seems like it should go in the body of your post. ;) Also what are the deets in regards to Rights & Ownership?

What a wonderful opportunity! Will the workshop be here on your website? How can we access it/know when it is available? I sent you the first chapter of my work in progress, but definitely want to check this out no matter whose work you are critiquing.

I asked this before seeing your reply to my other comment. So the answer would be unpublished I guess. I have a story that was published in an online competition and on my website.

Sure. There’s a chance I won’t use either, much less both. I’ll have a lot to sort through.

Nope. If you want to add something published for consideration, feel free. I’m going to be looking at some other already-published stuff.

Reading through the comments I’d say there’s no direct pay; but a chance of free feedback and workshopping from one of the world’s foremost sci-fi writers is surely reason enough for most of us to submit.

If you’re unsure, wait until we try this experiment once and decide the next time around. I hope it’s ongoing.

This is intended as a learning exercise. It could be a terrible idea. Time will tell.

Aren’t you generous? I hope you enjoy the process. (I’ve read slush for a magazine. It was informative.)

Hugh, great idea! We met in New York a little while back at one of your meet ups, and I’m so happy to see you posting again. I gave you some of my work when we met, but am really looking forward to submitting something toward this experiment soon!

“This will be ongoing, so no rush.”

Those words are candy to my ear.

Hugh, you are a great inspiration to me. I love your work, and you have most certainly been one of a handful of authors who have inspired me.

I am nearly done with my novel, which has seen me through three states and five long years. I would love to send you that manuscript, but for now, I will send you a short story I concocted—it’s about the Mandela Effect. I haven’t had a chance to go through and polish it, but I think it’s pretty good as it is.

I would be honored to have someone at your level of reading my work. In whatever capacity you see fit, I’d love a shot at … something.

Thanks again, Hugh.

G.E. Perlin

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