General Submission Guidelines

The Purple Pencil Project is constantly looking to find new talent and new voices in writing in India. These could be in any form – flash fiction, short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction or book reviews.

  • For book reviews and creative non-fiction, we suggest you drop us an email prakruti@purplepencilproject.com with the book name or a 100 word pitch on what the article is going to be about. For other things you need to include in the articles, scroll below. Remember, we are a website about writing, reading and literature at large.
  • Please submit only one complete story or essay, or up to three poems at a time. Multiple submissions will not be read. We remain open to submissions year round. Sending an entry does not guarantee publication.
  • We only publish original material, i.e. first-ever publication. We cannot run a piece that has already appeared on the web or elsewhere in print. We can, however, publish an original translation if the work has previously appeared in another language. We have no set maximum length or minimum length, although if it is a book-review, column, feature or creative nonfiction of any kind, it should be at least 500 words long.
  • We’re open to all types of creative nonfiction, and could include pure reportage, personal essay or a memoir. More than anything else, we’re most interested in writing that blends style with substance, and reaches beyond the personal to tell us something new about the world. We firmly believe that great writing can make any subject interesting to a general audience.

Please include a cover letter stating where your work has been published before, if relevant. Please do not submit book manuscripts, academic essays. We are open to submissions written only in English right now. Poems, however, can be sent in any language, if accompanied with a translation.  

The rights of the work remain with Purple Pencil Project, but you may publish it elsewhere by giving Purple Pencil Project first publication credits. 

If we do publish, you will be paid between 20 paise and Rs 3 per word (depending on what you send and the quality of your writing) of the published word count.

Requirements for Writing Book Reviews: Review, favourite quote, recommended age group for reading and a verdict in stars on a scale of 1-5. Please see some of our book reviews to understand the format.

Click here to submit your work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon can I expect to hear about my submission?

We aim to respond to all submissions within four weeks of it arriving in our inbox. For rules about our submission guidelines for our Weekly Prompts, click here. Please do not write into us asking about the status of your entry. You will receive an email from us in case of acceptance or rejection.

I’ve revised my piece since I have submitted. Can you consider a newer version of a piece rather than the one I submitted?

Yes, but in this case, you should specify this in the title. For example – “Title – Version 2”. Please note, for each submission, we will only consider one update. In case on poetry, you may submit a corrected version only once, so if you want to update more than one poem from you collective entry, do it together.

My piece has been accepted for a different publication. How do I notify you?

Please write in to us on prakruti@purplepencilproject.com, giving us the name of your work, your name and email id from which the entry was sent. In the subject of the email write – Withdrawing Submisson.

Are simultaneous submissions allowed?

Yes. If your piece gets accepted elsewhere, please notify us using the process above.

Can I submit something that’s longer than the 6,000 word guideline?

Yes, but please refrain from submitting book manuscripts or novellas. It is unlikely that we will read more than 10,000 words of any submission.

For any other query, email at query@purplepencilproject.com