Oleada: A New Submission Platform

Tonight, I was happy to see a tweet from Oyez Review saying that they were accepting poetry submissions. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to a new site called {Oleada}. A little digging on the site revealed it to be a beta version of a new submission platform for publishers. I also noticed that the poetry submission window was about to close, so I quickly pulled together a submission of three poems, created an account on Oleada, and made my submission. I published two poems in Oyez Review before, so I was comfortable submitting on such short notice.

The process was quite simple, and the site was easy to navigate. I was impressed that I could include formatted text, adding titles in italics to my bio and cover letter, for instance. Uploading a file was also simple, and Oleada immediatly showed me the submission I had made with its current status.

Since I edit Poetry South and help with Ponder Review, I was immediately interested in the new platform. Both magazines are currently accepting submissions on Submittable, and though we’re happy with the way that platform works, we also run into limits to the number of forms, the number of team members, not to mention the cost. Our CLMP membership helps keep the cost within our budget, but comes with limits to the number of forms we can use. Oleada promises an unlimited number of forms and unlimited team members. They offer five different ways to set up a submission form, and they promise it will be affordable for publishers (no specifics on costs are listed yet).

Because of the low cost, they also say they don’t allow submission fees, which could be a deal breaker for some magazines. Currently, we use Submittable to manage subscriptions and take donations in addition to accepting submissions (with a fee for Ponder Review). Duosuma (from Duotrope), another competitor to Submittable, does allow publications to collect fees and could be used to sell subscriptions. As an alternative, a shopping cart could be set up on the publisher’s website, using a service such as Square. As long as a publication doesn’t rely on submission fees for part of its revenue, Oleada seems like a promising alternative to Submittable and Duosuma, if the experience for editors is anywhere near as well-designed as the experience for submitters, and if the pricing really is affordable.

No matter what the response is to my submission, I’m happy to have had the chance to try out Oleada and to send something to Oyez Review. Currently, there are 21 publishers using the system, and they are a mix of magazines and book publishers. I may have to give some of them a closer look!

Oh, and on a side note for users of SubTracker, when I recorded my submission, I also updated the submission method. To do this, I first opened my form “xlist Manage Lists” and then went to the table for “Publisher: Submission Method.” There I added Oleada under Duosuma and saved. Going back to the “Places” form, I found Oyez Review and selected Oleada from the options list in the field “Submission Method.” There’s a more detailed explanation on how to manage these parts of the databas here.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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