Autumn is almost here. You know what that means!
(hint: if your answer wasn’t ‘Scribendi submission deadline is coming up’ maybe go reevaluate your life. And create something to submit while you’re at it.)
If you haven’t submitted to Scribendi already, and you aren’t sure which category you would like to submit in, you’ve come to the right place. Our requirements page has more specific information you’ll need to know, but this should at least give you a starting place.
And if you’ve already submitted, fantastic! Now you can go have a party in honor of your fantasticness. Or you could keep reading in an effort to procrastinate* from writing that paper you have due tomorrow. I understand–that’s what I would do too.
Here’s a quick look at each of our categories.
*Note: The Scribendi Staff does not officially encourage procrastination by reading every blog post on this site. But they are great to read.
Love it or hate it, poetry is a category with a lot of variety. Poetry is the category that took to heart the advice you got as a third grader: “You can be anything you want to be.” You want a rhyming ode to potatoes? Do it. Feel like writing a free verse allegory of our current political situation? Great! You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare or Robert Frost to write a fantastic poem.
Poetry is one of those things that’s great to read aloud, too. It can serve as a celebration of the musical qualities of words, or as homage to the beauty or tragedy or simplicity of the world around us. Poetry is kind of magical, and definitely great. (Also, check this out.)
I consider short fiction to be the espresso of fiction. Novels and novellas take more time to introduce the characters and ideas, kind of like it takes a full pot of coffee for mornings to be acceptable. Short fiction doesn’t mess around. It gets straight to the point and condenses all sorts of awesome craft into a smaller amount of words.
Short fiction can be literary or genre. You can use short fiction to explore the human condition with lots of imagery and an experimental use of point of view. You can also use it to describe the alien-robot civil war of Parnakas 3. Not even the sky is the limit with short fiction. Although it might be a good idea to keep an eye on your word count and story-elements.
If fiction just isn’t your cup of hot-leaf-juice, maybe you’ll like nonfiction. Creative nonfiction can come in just as many breeds as short fiction and poetry. Nonfiction, by definition, is a little more reality based than fiction. That means you probably won’t be writing about the alien-robot civil war (unless you know something I don’t know).
But you can write about that Thanksgiving where your Aunt Terry gave you wrong directions and your family ended up in Mexico. Or maybe you went through an impactful personal experience you want to share with the world. The sky isn’t the limit here either, so whatever awesome nonfiction thing you want to write, write.
(Pro tip: last I checked, the Scribendi Staff are people too, and people like to be entertained and/or informed. So maybe don’t submit the iTunes Terms and Conditions–that stuff isn’t very creative. Also submitting the iTunes Terms and Conditions would be plagiarism.)
Speak a foreign language? Great! Write in one? Even better. This is the category that sometimes gets forgotten when people are rattling off the list of categories. It’s unfortunate, because this category is one of the coolest. There are something like 7,000 languages in the world. As a mono-linguistic person (I have been assured sarcasm is not its own language), that number is intimidating. It’s nice to be able to see things in other languages, to remember that there are other people in the world with other ways of communicating and thinking.
The other awesome thing about submitting in ‘Foreign Language’ is that it can be a poem, short fiction, or creative nonfiction. You can do whatever you want (following the requirements) in whatever language you want. Just keep in mind that mono-linguistic slugs* like me need English translations included with your submission.
*Note: I am not actually a slug. I am a person.
We like to keep things visually interesting here at Scribendi. Pick up one of our magazines and you’ll see some fantastic photos inside. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take a good picture–I would make an Instagram joke here, but I can’t find the right filter.
Seriously, though, if words aren’t your thing and you’d rather snap a picture, go ahead. You’ll have to use words to come up with a title and an artist’s statement. Otherwise, you can point, click, and submit. Photography is a pretty straightforward category (here’s the requirements page again), so it’s hard for me to develop any good jokes to justify staying on this subject.
Do you like visually-artistic things, but not having to deal with lights, cameras, action? Fear not. If you like any other visual medium in two or three dimensions, this is the category for you. Digital art, paintings, elaborate crayon masterpieces, they’re all welcome.
Just like with photography, you might want to brush off your vocabulary to create a title and artist’s statement. (I ran out of jokes for visual art, so take a look at these instead.)
If you read all of the above and thought, “man, I really wish there was a category for my [insert description here],” you’ve come to the right place. It would be unprofessional of us to call this the ‘everything else’ category, but that’s essentially what it is. Open Media is actually* Latin for ‘everything but the kitchen sink.’ But if you can find a way to make the kitchen sink artistic and exciting, kudos to you.
Open Media consists of everything that doesn’t fit one of the above categories: music, film, choreography, graphic design, architecture. So your awesome [insert description here] is a great submission to Scribendi. And if you want to check out the 2014 Open Media, it’s here.
*Note: No, it’s not. Please don’t cite that. I was making a joke.
Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Go check out the category requirements if you haven’t already. And when you’re done with that, click that little ‘submit’ button at the top of this website. You won’t regret it.
Now go have a lovely almost-autumn.