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Frequently Asked Questions

Broken Ink

What kind of work do you accept for submissions?

Broken Ink welcomes a variety of creative work. For the wizards of words: poetry, prose, short stories (around 2,500 words), creative nonfiction, lyrics, and short play scripts are all acceptable. For the artisans of the eyes: photography, comics, paintings, digital art, 3D sculpture, fashion sketches, and drawings are acceptable. Finally, for the conjurers of sound: we accept original music and spoken word. If you have any creative work that you are unsure about submitting, feel free to ask a staff member about it! They will be more than happy to check it out as long as it is 100% original.

When should I submit?

Submitting early is highly recommended! The early and final submission deadlines vary each year.  However, early submissions are usually accepted early fall, while final submissions are generally accepted early spring.

Why should I submit early?

When submitting pieces for the final deadline, they are taken as is. Therefore, no changes can be made to improve their chances of making it into the magazine. You can avoid this by submitting your work early. This gives you (and the Broken Ink crew) time to work out any kinks in your files in case they have been submitted improperly or if further clarification is needed. 

What if my art/writing/music isn’t good enough to submit to Broken Ink?

Surprisingly, you are not the only one who thinks this about their work. Remember that you are your harshest critic, and we would love to see your pieces! Don’t forget that we are a student literary and visual arts magazine made by students to feature student work. We don’t want experts! If you are unsure about anything, don't forget that you can submit early for feedback from us.

How are pieces chosen?

All submissions are reviewed blindly and rated on a scale of one to five (with five being the highest) by volunteers and Broken Ink staff. In order to supply an accurate and objective representation of USC Aiken's artistic community, we ask all panelists to refrain from rating their own submissions, should they have any, and any works that they recognize. 

Accepted works are determined according to the highest rating. Due to space constraints, the Broken Ink staff occasionally must choose between two or more equally deserving works, both by average rating and artistic merit. Ties are resolved on the current publication's concept or "voice" as well as Broken Ink's mission to represent a wide variety of student work. 

So not everybody who submits gets in?

Since there is a limited number of pages in the magazine every year, we simply cannot accept every submission. Broken Ink aims to showcase students’ work, but we also aim to be the best publication possible. 

I’m not an English or Fine Arts major; should I still submit?

Absolutely! There is a wide range of majors represented on the Broken Ink staff, so why not in the magazine as well? English and Fine Art majors please submit. No excuses for you!

Do I get anything for submitting?

Aside from the overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment you gain from being a published author/artist, there are some incentives for the highest ranked pieces. These cash prizes are provided to the winners by the Washington Group. Being published in Broken Ink is also a huge resume booster. Writers and artists alike can benefit from having their pieces published before they apply for grad school or begin a full-time career.

Do you ask for first publication rights?

Yes, we do ask that the pieces you submit have not been published elsewhere.