Help – Writing – Submission Entry Status

Writers want to be read, heard and appreciated!  Most writers want to continually improve their writing, so that they can eventually be published and read by an international audience. 

Our new feature will help you learn to find and correct your own mistakes, carefully read and abide by the submission rules, and become more aware about everything you submit.

Each entry submitted to goes through several levels of processing.  Beginning in December of 2022, each level will now have a status graphic to indicate how the entry is progressing.

To see the status of any entry, simply go to your star page where all your entries will be listed.  From the main menu, select My Account, then scroll down to find your star page link.

Each of your entries will have a status graphic.  Here are the status graphics and their meanings: 

Pre-processing - Entry is waiting to be processed
Preliminary processing found broken rules
Preliminary processing found writing errors
Preliminary processing complete - no errors

Next steps for each status:

  • Pre-processing – Be patient and wait your turn. Volunteer readers review these entries in the order in which they were received.  Wait time can be up to several days or more than a week, depending on the backlog and volunteer availability.
  • Broken Rules – Check the list of possible broken rules and determine which of these rules your entry has broken. Make appropriate changes and resend your story. Please do not contact us with change requests or an update. Simply resend your story, and it will begin again as “Under Review”.
  • Writing Errors – Check the list of writing errors and determine which of these errors your story contains. Fix all errors and resend your story. Please do not ask us to make any changes. Simply resend your story, and it will begin again as “Under Review”.
  • No Errors – Again, be patient and wait your turn.  This status does not guarantee that your entry will be shortlisted. Those stories with no errors will move forward to the next level to be read for creativity, originality, literary value, and other intangibles. If/when the story is shortlisted, the status graphic will be replaced with the graphic which originally accompanied the entry. 

List of Common Broken Rules: (click + to open details, - to close details)

Please update your avatar via Google and resubmit your story

All contests will have a word limit. Stories that exceed the word limit, even by one word, will automatically be disqualified.

At the bottom of every contest page is a list of topics to avoid to keep within the family-friendly guidelines.Please pay special attention to the item “Current Controversial Events”.  We have writers from all over the world, and we respect everyone’s sensibilities. Any story which refers to a current conflict or war is controversial, and therefore not allowed.If your story contains elements that break any of our family-friendly guidelines, please rewrite your story and resubmit.

Every contest has a prompt and a requirement of a word or concept that must be included. Please read the entry guidelines carefully, since they change with every contest.  If your story does not include the correct prompt, you may need to start with a new story.

You have already submitted an entry to this contest.

Please do not send essays, observations, opinions, or other writings that are not stories. A story has a plot, a setting, a cast of characters,  some element of conflict-resolution, and a theme. 

List of Common Writing Errors: (click + to open details, - to close details)

“Let’s go fishing”, she insisted. Commas go inside the quotes: “Let’s go fishing,” she insisted. A quote can also end with a period. “Let’s go fishing.” She was very insistent.

‘Please come soon. I’m tired of waiting.”

Please use double quotes rather than single quotes, and make sure each beginning pair is matched by an end pair. 

Beginning quotation marks must have a matching end pair of quotation marks.

“Will you marry me, Alicia?

“Show me the ring and I’ll think about it.


“Will you marry me, Alicia?”

“Show me the ring and I’ll think about it.”

There are two different speakers, so each dialogue has ending quotation marks.

Joe shows Alicia the ring, a fiery opal set in twisted silver.

“What a beautiful ring!  My mother always wanted opals but my father insisted on boring diamonds.

“You’ve got impeccable taste, Joe, and a streak of originality.

“My answer is yes!”

When a speaker’s words in dialogue extend to more than one paragraph, use an opening quotation mark at the beginning of each paragraph. Use a closing quotation mark, however, only at the end of the person’s speech, not at the end of every paragraph.

You can check your work for correct comma and other punctuation usage with this free app: Punctuation Checker

Here are three of the most basic correct uses of commas:

Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, yet, so, or nor, for) that joins two complete ideas (independent clauses):  You go your way, and I’ll go mine.  CORRECT

Use a comma after an introductory clause or phrase:  Once in a lifetime, you meet the perfect partner.  CORRECT

Use a comma to separate each item in a series. A series is a group of three or more items having the same function and form in a sentence: 
Mary, John, and Joe went for a walk.  CORRECT 
promise to love, honor, and obey.  CORRECT
I must feed the cat, charge my phone, and lock all the doors before I go to bed. CORRECT

This is an especially common error, and harder to recognize than some of the previous errors. A dangling participle is a phrase describing a noun, but either the noun does not follow the phrase, or the noun that follows is the wrong noun. Here are some examples:

Standing outside, the thunderstorm suddenly ruined my day. In this sentence, the thunderstorm is standing outside. One correction might be: Since I was standing outside, the thunderstorm ruined my day. Another correction could be: Standing outside, I was drenched by the sudden thunderstorm, which ruined my day.

Two or more independent clauses (also known as complete sentences) are connected incorrectly: I love to write, I write all the time.  A possible correction:  I love to write, so I write all the time. Another possible correction: I love to write; I write all the time. Still another: I love to write. I write all the time.

A story that takes place during one time period should not mix verbs of different tenses.  She waited for her friend. He is late. When he arrived, they will go to the cinema together.  The verbs “waited” and “arrived” are past tense; “is” is present tense and “will go” is future tense. A better way to express this might be: She waited for her friend. He was late. When he arrived, they went to the cinema together.

 Sometimes the protagonist is described with “she” or “her” pronouns, but later by “he” or “his” pronouns.

The contraction “it’s” means “it is”; the possessive pronoun “its” implies ownership.  It’s easy for a dog to wag its tail.

The contraction you’re means you are; the possessive pronoun your implies ownership. You’re welcome to your opinions.

There are a multitude of errors in this category. We suggest reading your stories aloud, running them through a spell checker, or having a friend give you feedback before entering.

The bride gazed around the table with trepidation. Her new husband looked smug, her former lover glowered, and her father was miserable. She wished she could speak to him alone, and tell him the truth. 

Which of the three men is the bride referring to?  

Good paragraphing can make your story more readable and increase your chances of being published. 

An entire story contained in one long paragraph, with no blank line separators, can be hard to read, and often will not be shortlisted.

Perhaps a character was Penelope at the beginning of the story, but is Ruth by the end. Perhaps she was wearing a red dress that later was described as blue. These kinds of errors are more common in longer stories, but they also happen in flash and micro fiction!  Read your story out loud before you send it, preferably to a friend.

This kind of error can most easily happen in a series of stories that are about the same characters. Be sure and check the previous stories for any mismatch!

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Why do my friends need to SignIn to read the post I shared?

Actually, this is a voting security feature. During public voting, only club members can read posts submitted for that contest. Since anyone reading the story is able to vote (click the Like button), we reserve these capabilities to members who SignIn. Before we implemented this security feature, people were voting multiple times and making the public voting process unfair and out of balance. To fix this, our staff finally decided to allow only members who SignIn to read the stories. Membership is free and easy, and ensures our club is safe, secure, and family-friendly!