WAW submissions fall into two broad categories:
- Year-long submissions for blog publishing (one fiction and one nonfiction per month): These follow general submission guidelines.
- Program submissions: WAW undertakes a host of projects and programs each year. Each might have specific submission requirements, but will mostly stick to general submission guidelines. For information about submitting work to a particular project or program, see specific details pertaining to the project/program.
Make all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org according to the guidelines below:
Word limits: We publish original flash fiction and short stories. We do not publish reprints. Flash can be up to 1000 words, but not beyond. Short stories can be up to 3000 words, but the 2500 range is preferred. We might go above the 3000 mark if the story is captivating enough, but we will not take anything above 3500.
What we want: We take all genres. What is most important to us is that you tell a good story. It should offer something new, something different, something unique one cannot get from some other story elsewhere, other than yours. Be it a captivating character, a fresh and interesting setting, a unique voice, a brand new perspective or a fresh style, there must be something that sets your story apart from the slush. Convince us.
NONFICTION + POETRY:
We are open to all types of creative nonfiction; from reviews (of short stories, books, film and theatre) to personal essays, memoir and opinion pieces. We also accept poetry and poetry reviews.
Our editors favour submissions structured around narratives, but we are always happy to be pleasantly surprised by work that falls outside this box. Writing that speaks to our readers greatly appeals to us. We want skill and style, humor and substance, words that will enrich both our diction and knowledge. If it is good, we will publish it.
Word Limits: For length, we recommend:
- Essays/opinions/commentary – 500-800 words
- Reviews (book, short story, poem or movie) – 500-800 words
- Poetry – 32 lines or poems that fit on a single page.
Keep things short, sharp and spicy.
Rules + Info
Submissions: Submit to email as directed above. In your subject line, address to the respective editor and indicate the program you're applying to, your name (abbreviate if possible), and the name of your submission, all with a slash (/) in between. For example:
FICTION EDITOR: BLOG SUBMISSION/JOHN DELE/MY STORY TITLE
Always include a short bio (50 words max) and a small photo of yourself. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be discarded unread.
Formatting: All manuscripts should be submitted as Word documents (doc, docx) for ease of reading and editing. (Do NOT paste the text of your work as part of the body of the email). Submissions should be typed in Times New Roman, Font 12 and double spaced. For more information on how to format your manuscript, look at the Proper Manuscript Format by William Shunn.
- Please DO NOT resubmit stories that we have previously rejected by WAW, even if you have revised them. They will be rejected unread, except in cases where we have specifically asked for them.
- Please DO NOT submit a story that you have already submitted elsewhere but have not heard back from. (Often called simultaneous submission.)
- You can have only ONE submission for consideration with us at a time.
- A story that you have posted on your blog or website is considered published, please do not submit such stories.
Who we publish: We do not discriminate or segregate by ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation. Submissions are open to writers from anywhere in the world, though we're very keen on publishing work by writers living in and writing from Africa. At WAW, we encourage and welcome submissions by individuals from all groups and backgrounds. Please do not self-reject; we want to consider your work.
Pay: We are currently unable to pay cash for monthly blog publications, but we offer a flat N2000 voucher. This does not apply to contests or other customized programs, e.g. Poets' Thursday.
With this voucher you can knock N2000 off any WAW product, service or paid programs/events (e.g. pay N2k less than regular for a WAW Fiction Masterclass, or have a book cover designed or manuscript edited for 2k less, etc).
For special projects (e.g. the WAW Magazine), we pay N3 per word up to 2500 words for fiction, and N1 per word for words from 2501 up to 3500. These aren't the best rates, but take comfort in the fact that our pay rates are one of the highest in Africa. If you wish to support us towards paying higher rates, contact email@example.com and consider donating a token to our cause.
In all cases, we purchase first world publication rights in English, and a one-year exclusivity, as well as the right to reprint the story once, non-exclusively, in a WAW anthology.
Response times: Our response time is dependent on the program under which your submission is received, but we will generally respond under 30 days. Query if you've received no response after 45 days.
Archives: Submissions to WAW may be retained in our archives for editorial reference, but are treated as confidential correspondence.
Project/Program submission guidelines
This program is currently closed to submissions.
This program is currently closed to submissions