Monday 12 December 2022

Our Annual Celebration Event 3 December 2022


Despite all the concerns we’d had about trains being cancelled or problems with Transport for London everyone arrived on time and we spent a pleasant afternoon together. 


 The Theodore Bullfrog again did us proud. I just love this venue. It is very close to Charing Cross Station and also quite close to Embankment. It’s furnished in a cosy homely sort of way and the winter light creates a nice atmosphere: There are windows on two sides and really nice light fittings. Actually as well, being so close to The Strand seems so appropriate for a book event.    

We eat and drink, we sell books, we chat. We swap marketing tips and business cards. 




People read from their work.


One of the nicest aspects about all of this is putting faces to names and getting to know our authors a little bit more closely.   



And next year? We’ll be here 1 December .

And the next anthology has the theme “Gifted”. Details here.             

Friday 2 December 2022

Fair Submissions

Scales, Justice, Balanced, Orange, Gold

You are probably all familiar with the site we run about fair submissions: The site is fully searchable and browsable. Currently there are over 800 opportunities on there – and that is after the 30 November cull:  twenty-two opportunities ran out on 30 November.

We define “fair” as:

·         Being a reasonable price or free to enter

·         That there is the opportunity of publication with royalties or a fee, of prize money, of excellent exposure or of just great fun. Note that there are only a very few of the latter two. Most of the time it’s about earning.

We’re taking less notice of how long response time is and whether they allow simultaneous submissions.

A publisher’s perspective

I can understand why some publishers are not too keen on simultaneous submissions. It can be very annoying when I’ve taken quite a while to read several submissions to CafeLit and    scheduled one for publication only to be told by the writer that they’ve had the piece accepted elsewhere.  We reckon to reply about a CafeLit submission in under a month but sometimes we take a little bit longer and often a lot less time. In any case, we expect you to let us know if your work gets taken up by another publisher before we get back to you.  

A writer’s perspective

Many publishers say how long they will take. If I’ve not heard back from them within that period of time, I assume I’m not going to and I submit elsewhere. I feel a little miffed that some publishers are telling me I can’t submit to someone else if I’ve submitted to them. I feel it’s my work and I should be able to do what I like with it. However for the sake of my own sanity and a little out of regard for other publishers I tend to only submit to one place at once.

If they don’t say how long they’re going to take, I assume three months. This all seems to work and so far there have been no problems. 

Serial publication, inspired by Charles Dickens

 Charlies Dickens, Portrait, Line Art

Most of Dickens’ novels were published first of all in serial form in the magazine he edited.  Once the serial had finished, the works were republished as a book.

Naturally before the work went into the magazine it would be edited. As the episodes came out he would receive some feedback from his readership.  Before the book was published he would respond to that feedback perhaps revising chunks of the novel.     

We would like to replicate this with our Sunday Serial. This can be for a collection of short stories or flash fiction, a novel for our Feisty Women or Red Telephone imprints.  It could be for one of our non-fiction Feisty Women books. Once we’ve cleared our backlog, we’ll consider other novels.  We’re not extending this to children’s novels, though of course we have included young adult. 

If this was agreeable to you, we would:


Publish your work chapter by chapter or story by story each Sunday, giving it a light copy edit before publication. 

Put the whole story / collection back together and collate all reader comments

Give you two months to respond to any feedback

Re copy-edit the new version (one month)

Get two proof reads completed (two months) 

Publish the book

Take down the serial from our site

Use the book for a Saturday Sample once it is out

Go through all of our normal marketing routines   


Don’t forget that CafeLit site is now monetized.  Any payments for submissions or any payments made through Kofi , minus the fee for Duotrope submissions, are shared 50 /50 between us and our writers.  Your excerpt will still also qualify for being included in the appropriate year’s The Best of CafeLit book.