Submission Guidelines Page Three
The Submission Process
What follows is a step-by-step guide that explains how to submit and what is likely to happen from submission through to publication and beyond.
1: Read the guidelines
Hoskins Crosswords can’t stress this enough – read everything in this submission guide. Doing so will ensure your submission is not rejected right off the bat. Hell, why not read everything on these pages twice just to make sure? That way you'll have things straight when you submit and you'll also be able to ask anything that isn't covered in these FAQs.
2: Introductory Message
Once you have read the guidelines, send an introductory message to submissions email address (this message will be the one we communicate on, please only reply to this message and do not send a separate one).
If you are a pro or semi-pro (IE have been paid for writing a crossword) or know me through crossword meets or via the DIY COW, then feel free to skip the following introduction and just submit a puzzle and parse. If not, then read on ...
The message should contain the name you wish to go by, a little bit of information about how long you have been setting, and any publishing credits and the name you went by for those credits.
Here is an example:
Dear Hoskins Crosswords,
I would like to send you a crossword with a view to being published on your site.
I have been setting for 6 months and have had crosswords published on Ballygood Puzzles and The Brainscratcher. More recently I have won the The Xanadu Times's clue contest.
My pseudonym is Munchkin - although my publication on Brainscratcher was as Son of Oompah-Loompah.
I also have a question that wasn't covered in your submission guidelines - this is [insert question not covered by the submission guidelines here] and it would be great if you could answer this in your reply.
Looking forward to hearing from you
Hoskins Crosswords will then get back to you via e-mail (this should happen within a week, but do not resend or follow up within two weeks please) which will try to answer any questions you had, and give you a rough indication of where the puzzle you send will be in the queue to appear on site.
The queue is all the puzzles that have been submitted prior to your own. It could be there are no crosswords in the queue and so your grid, if accepted will be next up, or, it could be Hoskins Crosswords has ten puzzles ahead of yours.
To give you an indication of length of time to publication, Hoskins Crosswords hopes to publish a puzzle twice a month if enough setters submit, once a month if there are fewer submissions, and as and when they come in if there are few submissions.
3: What to send on receiving a reply to your initial approach message
The reply to your introduction message will hopefully answer any other questions you had and should, if you have followed guidelines, ask for two things:
i - A copy of the puzzle and clues:
Please make a PDF of the grid and clues and attach this to your email response. If you don't have the software to do this (Crossword Complier, for example), then send a Word file with the clues and grid.
ii - A copy of the puzzle's parse:
Please send this in the same email, but a different attachment (in notepad or Word so the text can be edited if needs be) to the puzzle and label it clearly with setter name and submission number. The parse should follow the example below (further info is used for clues which need more explanation).
16d - ROLE MODEL
Catalogue with pull-out European style guide (4,5)
catalogue – ROLL
with pull-out - container indicator
European - E
style - MODE
guide - DEF
ROLL containing E. + MODE
The container indicator, 'with pull-out' means that the fodder must be internal to the catalogue - like a 'pull-out' section of a magazine is internal to a magazine.
This amount of detail may seem unnecessary, but it'll help you catch any mistakes before submission, make sure that Hoskins Crosswords understands any complex clueing, and provide a full parse for solvers.
On receipt of your puzzle and parse, Hoskins Crosswords will send you confirmation of receipt (please do not send follow-up emails after this until your potential 'queue time' has elapsed), and consider it for publication in due course in the way outlined in step 4.
4: Behind the scenes stuff
So, you've read the guidelines, made first contact and submitted your grid and parse. Here's what happens on our side.
i - Test Solve
If the submission has followed the site guidelines, it will then be test solved by one or more setters without looking at the parse. This is to get a feel of how tough the grid is.
ii - Grid Scrutiny
After the solve, the clues will be looked at alongside the parse you have provided. Here we will be looking for errors, crossword faux pas, mistakes, and things that may prevent the puzzle being published in its current form.
iii - Decision
Hoskins Crosswords will then make a decision on publication and you will be notified of it as soon as possible – please be aware that this may take some time dependent on the amount of puzzles that have been submitted to Hoskins crosswords. The decision will involve one of the following options.