Submission Guidelines

Napier Big Read, 2021

Learning in Lockdown – Brand New Anthology

Stories connect us. The sharing of our individual experiences draws us together, and this has never been so important as right now.

The Napier Big Read is our shared reading scheme at Edinburgh Napier, and uses books to bring people together. This year, students and staff are invited to contribute to a new anthology – Learning in Lockdown. It will be published by our own publishing imprint, Merchiston Publishing, and copies will be distributed across the University.

This is a bold and innovative project – it will be the first time any university has collected, recorded and published the experiences of its community during a pandemic. It will be a snapshot of an extraordinary year, an archive for the future. It will allow us to understand each other’s perspectives and come together. Crucially, our anthology will act as a reminder that none of us are alone.

We invite you to get involved and submit your work for inclusion in our Learning in Lockdown anthology.

Submission Guidelines

Students and staff are invited to contribute to a new anthology, Learning in Lockdown.

We plan to publish this anthology in 2021. Copies will be available as part of the Napier Big Read 2021/22.*

The title is Learning in Lockdown and we want to hear your experiences of learning and teaching at Edinburgh Napier during COVID-19. We want to be as inclusive and diverse as possible – submissions are invited from students and staff across the University. We welcome written work (short stories, poems, etc) as well as illustrative matter (black and white drawings, photographs, graphic stories, etc). See below.

By submitting work, writers agree to collaborate with the MSc Publishing students at the editing stage, which will begin in February 2021.* All production decisions will be determined by the publisher.

WHO is eligible?

We welcome submissions from students and staff across Edinburgh Napier University. We are committed to embedding and embracing the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the production of the anthology.

WHAT is eligible?

We are open to all creative approaches, as long as they fit our theme of Learning in Lockdown.

Your work can be written (prose, fiction or non-fiction, poetry) or illustration (drawings or photography), or a combination of both (graphic novel). All work should be in black and white (no colour).

  • Prose – up to 3,000 words.
  • Poetry – up to 30 lines. If you are sending a submission that requires a format specific to your prose or poetry (e.g., concrete/graphic poetry or prose) please send as a PDF.
  • Graphic fiction – should be no more than 4 pages.
  • Images – up to 3 can be submitted as one submission. Images need to be at least 400mm (height or width) and 300 dpi. Images should be in black and white only.

Only unpublished work is eligible.

Work should NOT have been previously published or be under consideration for publication during the submission or pre-publication period. Publication is considered to include: newspaper, newsletter, magazine, anthology, chapbook, book, electronic magazine, or any other edited public platform or forum where a contract or agreement has been signed.

  • A maximum of one submission per person.
  • Work should be all your own.

Entrants must include agree to the following statement when submitting work.

I hereby certify that this entry is my own, original unpublished work.


How to submit 

Please submit to this form

You are able to upload up to 4 files (please see format requirements listed above).

You will receive an automatic notification that your work has been received.

Deadline: upload your submissions before midnight on 31 January 2021.

Judging and publication processes

We will complete our selection process in March 2021.*

You will have the opportunity to work with postgraduate students on MSc Publishing, the only doubly accredited Publishing course in the UK. Guided by Programme Leader, Avril Gray, and academic staff, the students will work with you to prepare your work for publication; and will be fully engaged in the process. This is a unique and exciting publishing opportunity!

If your submission is accepted, we will require you to grant us (Merchiston Publishing/Edinburgh Napier University) first publishing rights, after which all rights to publish the work elsewhere will revert to you (we would appreciate an acknowledgement in any other publication). A contract outlining the terms and conditions of publication will be agreed on acceptance of your work. There will be no fee to submit your work to the anthology, and no payment if selected. All rights to your work will remain with you.

The decision of the judges is final.


*Please note: due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, plans are subject to change.

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Twitter: @NapierBigRead