So, you’re ready to start submitting your patterns to publishers. Awesome! You’ve been working on your pattern proposals, and you’ve got some great design ideas. The next step is figuring out where to submit your designs. Most publishers accept pattern proposals in response to submission calls. These are usually open for a fairly short window of time, so you have to know where to find them when they’re announced. This week’s post is all about being in the know for submission calls.
There are three main ways that publishers announce their submission calls: 1) on their website, 2) through their email list, and 3) via their social media accounts. Each publisher uses a different approach, so you’ll want to keep an eye on all three channels to make sure you catch the submission calls you want to see.
Many publishers announce submission calls on their website. These calls are generally open to all independent designers, meaning if you read the call on the website, you can submit a pattern proposal. Look for website submission calls under headings such as ‘Designers,’ ‘Work with us,’ or ‘Contact us.’ For example, Knit Picks has a section of their website called ‘Designers’ where current submission calls are listed. In this example, submission called are linked under the ‘Pattern Collection Designers’ subsection. It can take a little digging to find where submission calls are posted; bookmark these pages for your favourite publishers, and check back often.
One of the most common ways publishers announce submission calls is through their email list. These can end up a little buried in your inbox, since each publisher will of course send emails about other topics, as well. If you want to catch submission calls from your favorite publishers it’s important to make sure you’re on their mailing list, and to have at least a quick scan through each email you get from them. Once you’ve followed the email list of a particular publisher for a while you’ll get a feel for when they announce new submission calls, and you can pay particular attention around those times. As an example, Pom Pom recently announced their fall submission call through their email list. How do you sign up for a publisher’s email list? Look on their website under ‘Newsletter’ or ‘Sign Up’ headings, or check the links on their social media accounts.
Some publishers prefer to announce submission calls through their social media. An example of this approach is Laine Magazine. This can be the trickiest place to catch a submission call, particularly if you follow a large number of accounts. Consider setting notifications for your favourite publishers, so you’ll see when they make a new post. Alternatively, you can create a list of the publishers you want to watch for submission calls (I do this using a saved collection on Instagram), and check these accounts once a week or so. Scan through all the posts since you last checked each account. Submission calls are generally open for 2-3 weeks, so you want to make sure you’re checking more frequently than this.
Phew! Now you’re armed with where to look for submission calls. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on writing a knock-out pattern proposal. If you missed them, have a read of my recent posts on design swatches and sketches. You can also grab a free copy of my resource ‘Writing a Great Designer Bio (Even if You’ve Never Published a Pattern)’.
If you’re keen to learn more about landing publications by writing great pattern proposals, watch my email list for information on my masterclass Pattern Proposals that Impress, coming end of February.
Have a great rest of your week, and happy knitting!