(Q) Do unpublished writers really stand a chance of being included in Verandah and winning a prize?
(A) Absolutely! At Verandah we evaluate every submission blind, meaning we don’t have the names attached to the submission when we evaluate each piece. We prefer this method as it ensures each submission in evaluated on it’s quality.
(Q) What’s the competition like?
(A) Verandah receives a couple of hundred submissions each year. While that volume seems high, it is actually a small number compared to other publications in the industry.
(Q) There’s a piece I want to submit, but I’ve already posted it on my personal blog or social media account/s. Does this mean it can’t be selected?
(A) As long as you’re willing to take down the post if you are selected for Verandah then it’s not a problem. But if it is published anywhere else, then unfortunately we cannot accept it.
(Q) Should I put my name on every page of my submission?
(A) No. Submissions have to remain anonymous for our evaluations. Put your name and the title of your work in the Submittable forms, with only the title of your work and page numbers on each page of your document.
(Q) When can I expect a reply to my submission?
(A) Approximately early to mid-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. Keep an eye on our site for details of this year’s launch!
(Q) Why do you charge fees for submissions?
(A) Producing Verandah costs thousands of dollars. We are volunteers and are only partially funded by grants. 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. Verandah’s customary entry fee is comparable to other literary and art competitions. All accepted writers/artists will receive a free copy of that year’s Verandah.
(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. All fees go towards the final result, which is a full-colour journal to be proud of.
(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) 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. 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. To ensure your submission is received, please submit everything via Submittable and pay via the payment link on our website. We don’t have the manpower to match hard copy with electronic payments and vice versa. It becomes messy and things may get lost.
(Q) But I’ve never been published or won a prize! If requested by Verandah, do I put in my bio and why is it written in the third person?
(A) If your piece advances through our submission stages, we may request a bio from you. In this, tell us about yourself, your influences, your writing and your submission. Relax! Imagine we’re friends and make it interesting. Keep it around fifty words and write it in the third person, because that’s just the way it’s done.
(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. Since 2016, we do not accept hard copy submissions.