Not a Rom-Com

Last month we announced that APW would be adopting monthly themes in 2013, starting with a whole month organized around the idea of beginnings (happening right now!). It’s always a little scary to announce that you’re trying something new, but I had a sneaking suspicion that the APW community would rise to the occasion and blow me away. And blow me away you did. Our submissions folder has been teeming with amazing stories this month, all different and compelling and awesome. Not only that, but we’re already beginning to receive submissions for next month! Which brings me to:

Not A Rom-Com

We are now accepting submissions for next month! February’s theme is Not A Rom-Com. We’ll be discussing all the ways that weddings, marriage, and—well—life are rarely like what you see in romantic comedies (and how sometimes that’s a damn good thing).

The staff is particularly excited about this theme, I think because it gives us an opportunity to talk about expectations and how it’s pretty seldom that they cross paths with reality (because the more we acknowledge that, the better I feel). As always, our themes are totally open to your interpretation. So with that in mind, we wanted to include a few handy tips for you guys on submitting for the new monthly themes:

  • First, our themes are meant to serve as a guideline for submissions, but they aren’t rigid. Do with them what you will! For example, if next month’s theme is Not A Rom-Com and you want to write something about how sometimes life actually is like a Rom-Com, that’s fine. Or if you want to write about your year cleaning up dog poop, that would probably fit, too. We’re always after diversity of experience here, so the most important thing is that you write something that is authentic to you, however that might fit into the theme. (And a loose fit is still a fit most of the time.)
  • Also, when you’re submitting for the monthly theme, we don’t want you to feel as though you have to frame your story around the theme itself (i.e. my marriage is not a romantic comedy, because…). Just write what you would normally write, and we’ll figure out if it’s a good fit for the month, or if maybe it would be a better fit for later in the year.
  • Lastly, if you have something you just have to get out there into the world, but it doesn’t fit with the theme for the next month, please send it in anyway. Our top priority is always strong content, regardless of the topic.

And that’s it! So if you have a story to share for Not A Rom-Com month, send it on in!  And for those of you who asked about timing of submissions in the comments of last month’s post, we do accept submissions for the monthly theme throughout the preceding month, and even into the themed month itself. So it’s never too late to send something in that might be a good fit. That said, earlier submissions get scheduled into our calendar first, so if you’re really itching to write about a topic, sending it in before the end of the month is always your best bet.

Cheers and happy writing!


 Photo by: Kelly Benvenuto Photography

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  • So excited about this theme thing. Already submitted :)

  • Jess

    Another possible FAQ: I know that the APW submissions guidelines clearly state that the team (understandably!) doesn’t have the time to respond to every submission, but is there an average timeframe in which a person should expect to receive a response if one is coming?

    I think these monthly themes are *fantastic* & a great way to encourage reader submissions.


    • meg

      We’re working on changing that, and trying to figure out how to manage it with existing staff power (now that we added Emily to the team), so! Stay tuned, and fingers crossed.

  • Kat

    I’m looking forward to next month!
    Tiny typo: At the beginning of the second paragraph it says “We are no accepting” instead of “we are now accepting”. Sorry for reporting it in the comments, I thought there was an edit button to report typos but I can’t find it. Feel free to delete this :)

    • Maddie

      Thank you for the catch! We loved the “editz” button but sadly the developer is no longer maintaining that plugin so it was making the site all screwy. Friendly copy editing is always welcome. :)

  • Shiri

    Yay! I wasn’t sure we were waiting for an “submissions open now!” email so I submitted this weekend for February.

  • Emmy

    Question for you guys: Do you ever publish things that were written with a pseudonym? I’m thinking of a post to share, but uncomfortable writing something so personal under my Google-able name.

    • meg

      All the time. MOST of the time, even, I’d say, people are keeping it anonymous to some level or another, unless they are writers by trade.