Submission Guidelines

Download a pdf version of the Submission Guidelines.

Welcome to Gone With The Word. We accept article submissions from anyone who can add relevant and informative content to our pages. Come join our community!

SECTION A: Basic Submission Guidelines

1) Readers are busy people with busy lives so articles need to be between 350 and 500 words. We strive to be a resource that will give them the tool or help they need quickly and concisely.

2) For website consistency, we have an online template for contributors. Email or hard copy submissions will not be accepted. If you need help with the template, email one of our editors and they can help guide you through it.

3) When quoting someone, stating facts or stats, etc., always hyperlink to that source by embedding the web address directly into the text. Please do not type out the link (e.g.

4) Use your Author Profile to promote yourself, e.g. your website, published books, upcoming workshops or speaking engagements.

Thanks for considering GWTW. We look forward to hearing from you!

SECTION B: Category & Subcategory Definitions

Articles should be based on the categories below and discuss either the idea of the concept, the application (either in a how-to or how-not-to manner), or resources for the concept (e.g., writing resource book reviews).


The stuff that happens in the book: the actions, the sequence of events.

a. Plot Structure

Various methods of organizing the stuff that happens in a story. Articles can discuss an overall plot structure (e.g. three-act structure) or a specific point in the plot (e.g. opening page, inciting incident, etc.).

b. Scene Structure

How to structure the different types of scenes using the different scene components (e.g. composing an effective action scene, or the use of exposition).

c. Conflict / Climax

How to portray the struggle between opposing forces which defines the action in a novel either as internal or external conflict. Climax is essentially when the poop hits the fan for the protagonist.

d. Literary Devices

The definition and use of tools such as theme, stakes, metaphor, motif, symbol, hooks, pace, tension, etc.

e. Backstory

How to effectively use of the history of a character, conflict, relationship, etc., in a novel.


The people the book is about, or who are present in the book and influence its plot.

a. Character development

How to effectively portray how the characters change as the plot unfolds. In short, it is the character’s arc.

b. Character archetype

This is an examination of the use and misuse of a pre-set personality type as a character in a story (e.g. the Siren or the Superhero).

c. Supporting / Secondary Characters

The crafting and use of minor characters (meaning less significant than the main characters) who help to move the character development and/or plot forward. (Note: villains and antagonists have their own category.)

d. Non-human / Paranormal Characters

How to create and depict non-human characters and characters with abilities that fall beyond the conventionally accepted sensory channels of our society.

e. Dialogue

How to effectively use characters’ speech, characters’ body language descriptors, and dialogue tags so that each character has a distinct voice.

f. Romance / Sex

The effective portrayal and/or development of a romantic relationship. This can include heterosexual, homosexual, interracial and paranormal couples. This also includes effective use of eroticism depending on the genre and demands of the specific novel.

g. Psychology

How to get into the head of the characters and portray their flaws, weaknesses, strengths, goals, etc., in a convincing and consistent manner.

h. Villain / Antagonist

How to effectively portray the villain / antagonist and his or her relationship to the protagonist.


The aspects of the environment in which the story takes place (e.g. the time, place and general physical, social, political, etc., environment).

a. Worldbuilding

How to create the parameters for the world in which the novel is set. Whether the novel is contemporary or paranormal or anything in between. What are the pertinent details of that setting and how are they woven into the story to add texture to the story but also not slow the pace?

b. Paranormal / Fantasy

The elements specific to magical or otherworldly settings. (e.g. The rules and laws that govern the abilities of the people, etc.)

c. As Character / Metaphor

How the setting influences the characters and plot. For example, in the television show Sex and the City, New York City is a type of character.

d. Historical / Steampunk

The accurate and engaging portrayal of a time in history including how and when to fudge the facts.


The business side of writing and publishing.

a. Editing

How to use revision techniques to make a novel stronger.

b. Synopsis

How to write an effective synopsis and/or an explanation of the different types of synopses, the purpose of the synopsis, etc.

c. Query Letters

How to write an effective query letter and/or an explanation of the purpose of the query letter.

d. Editors / Agents

How to approach an editor or agent, how to pitch, professionally correspond in various scenarios, etc. Please note: this is not a forum to critique or endorse editors and agents.

e. Marketing / Publicity

How to promote yourself, your novel, workshop, conference, etc. on a variety of budgets. How to network for both career development and promotion purposes. Also, discussion on tools of the trade such as business cards, SWAG, etc.

f. Legal

A description of the various industry documents and processes such as contracts, taxes, etc.