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Competitions Policy


We treat your work with the same respect we would wish for our own writing

We welcome submissions in English or English dialect by anyone who self-identifies as a woman, regardless of age, background or location. 

The submission process

If you are submitting online, you will receive an immediate acknowledgement that your submission has been received. If submitting by post, please enclose an SAE if you would like to receive an acknowledgment.

You will be informed by email of the outcome of your entry around three weeks prior to publication of the edition of the magazine in which the winners and finalists are announced. If your entry has not been placed, this email will also contain an account of the range of work received along with general feedback on the entries and judging process from the judge/s in question. 

We regret we are unable to provide specific feedback on your entry, but personal feedback is available on certain types of writing at our online surgeries at the Mslexia Salon.


The judging process

Mslexia is staffed mainly by writers and we treat your writing with the same respect we would wish for our own writing. Submissions are assessed anonymously, to minimise unconscious bias. Our judges are professionals at the very top of their professions, as authors, editors, critics and literary agents. We never delegate this task to inexperienced staff members or volunteers. All paper manuscripts are shredded when the judging process is complete and digital submissions deleted to uphold our commitment to your privacy.

Unpublished writers 

We know that the difference between a published and an unpublished woman writer is often more about her courage to submit than it is about the quality of her work. This is why we have introduced a special ‘unpublished writer’ category in our annual poetry, short story and flash fiction competitions (and for the themed writing in the Showcase section of the magazine). 

Simultaneous submissions

We understand how frustrating it can be to have your best writing tied up in a long submission process, so we are happy for you to enter your work simultaneously to other competitions. However, if that work wins or is a finalist in a Mslexia competition, we will expect you to withdraw it from consideration elsewhere. Similarly, if it wins or is a finalist in another competition, please withdraw it from consideration by Mslexia.

Republishing work after it appears in Mslexia 

If your work wins or is a finalist in a Mslexia competition, we are happy for you to reprint it on your own website or social media, or submit it for possible publication elsewhere, provided this occurs after the original date of its publication in Mslexia and provided Mslexia is credited as follows: ‘This piece was originally published in Mslexia, the magazine for women who write,’. 

Monitoring diversity

Everyone published in Mslexia is sent a diversity monitoring form to help us assess whether we are reaching the broadest possible population of women writers, and responding appropriately to your interests and challenges. When considering those interests and challenges, we include issues of income, class, race, age, gender identification, sexuality, caring responsibilities, location, disability, mental and physical health and any other issue that that affects your skill, time and confidence to write and submit your work, and your reception when you do so.

Donated competition entries 

We operate a ‘Donate an entry’ scheme for all of our competitions. This allows us to offer sponsored entries to low-income writers. Click for eligibility criteria and details of how to donate.

Donate an Entry

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