Enter the vote by April 23
$1000, $200, $100 prizes for the best stories and poems
$5 to enter and create Sixfold
Who creates Sixfold? Everyone. All-writer-voted and open to all, Sixfold three-round manuscript voting is the most rigorous, thorough, fair, and transparent editorial selection process available. To create each issue, hundreds of writers vote to select the best fiction and poetry manuscripts with much more discernment than any other editorial.
Join the vote proven to work. Put in the better manuscript and it wins. Hundreds of writers in each vote create extremely dependable conditions for discovering the highest-quality manuscripts. Ten votes and over 3,000 writers participating show that in each vote:
• Writers consistently choose only the best manuscripts to win and publish, regardless of school or style. The up to 78 writers voting on each manuscript simply make it impossible not to find the best writing. No high-quality manuscripts are missed.
• Voting writers’ ranking of a manuscript equals the overall quality of the manuscript. Excellent feedback for everyone: final ranking and comments from so many voters accurately reflect how the manuscript would fare in any slush pile at any other editorial.
Win-win for the greater good. The better-written manuscript wins. Everyone participating benefits. Each writer's opinion directly selects all winning and published manuscripts. Each manuscript is part of a selection process better than any other. Each writer receives voting and comment feedback in 36 days. All issues are free to read.
How to enter and vote
1. Enter your own fiction or poetry PDF manuscript for $5 by April 23, 11:59 pm ET.
2. For each of 3 rounds, you read, comment, and vote on 6 randomly assigned manuscripts in your genre. Rank-vote your manuscripts as Best, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th. You must read and vote in each of 3 rounds (total of 18 manuscripts in 36 days) for your own manuscript to remain in each round. Round 1 runs from May 1 to voting deadline of May 12. Round 2 from May 13 to May 24. Round 3 from May 25 to June 5. The first-, second-, and third-highest-voted manuscripts in each genre win $1000, $200, $100. The top 15 short stories and the top 30 sets of poems are published. All issues free to read online, and as e-book and PDF. Paperback at around $10.
How the 3-round process works. Hundreds of writers vote together to choose manuscripts for publication with much better discernment than at any other editorial, and it all takes only 36 days. The 3-round process is extremely thorough and precise: In round 1, 6 writer-voters compare your manuscript (and everyone else’s) to 5 other manuscripts, rank-voting them as Best, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th. (Each manuscript is compared to 30 others by 6 different readers.) Each manuscript’s voting score average is averaged and compared to all others, and then the highest-voted one-third of manuscripts advances to the next round. Round 2 manuscripts go on to receive 18 readers and 90 comparisons, and the highest-voted one-third advances to round 3. Round 3 manuscripts receive 54 readers and 270 comparisons. Each manuscript completing round 3 is read and rank-voted by 78 different writer-voters, with a grand total of 390 comparisons to other manuscripts. So much reading and comparing is the most thorough consideration of your manuscript available.
Voters discover the best manuscripts, period. With so much reading and comparison voting, no high-quality manuscripts are missed in a vote. Only the highest-quality manuscripts are selected for publication. Read and believe: browse the open, public results of the 10 fiction and poetry votes completed so far, with over 3,000 writers participating. Read manuscripts from the top, middle, and bottom of any vote to see how voters’ ranked preference for any manuscript accurately reflects the manuscript’s overall quality.
Publish to a big literary audience • Sixfold's free e-books reach 9,000+ readers per issue and free online issues reach 40,000+ site visitors per year.
Writing Workshop. No rejection slip • Much more feedback on your manuscript than you would receive from any other editorial. You give and receive workshop feedback on your and your fellow writers’ work as part of voting. After the 3 rounds of voting end, you get up to 6, 24, or 78 votes and comments on your own manuscript from other writers, depending on how many rounds your manuscript advances. See how your manuscript compares to others on a post-voting results page that lists all participants’ manuscripts, ranked anonymously by final voting score. Opt in before, during, or after voting to display your name, profile, and/or link to your manuscript alongside the final public voting results.
Sixfold Testimonials • “Loved the format, results, comments, transparency!” • “for the first time, I was given some honest, arms-length feedback” • “fascinating to read others' work” • “fun not to just send in my story and wait, but to actually read and rank stories” • “invaluable to have all those unbiased comments on my work”
Short story 1 short story in 1 PDF file. 5,000 words max. 20 pages max. Double-spaced, 1-inch margin, 10 to 12-pt. font.
Poetry 1 to 5 poems in 1 PDF file. 10 pages maximum. 1-inch margin, 10 to 12-pt. font.
Upload by April 23, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST/EDT.
You must be at least 18 years old to enter a manuscript.
The manuscript must be previously unpublished and written solely by you.
Do not include your name or contact information that identifies you within the manuscript file PDF.
You can enter only one manuscript per vote (one in fiction and/or one in poetry).
Your name on your Sixfold account profile must be your name as writer of the manuscript. (But can be published in Sixfold under the name you wish.)
Upload 1 PDF file of text only (no scans/images of pages within PDF).
PDF file only; sorry, no other file type accepted.
$5 payment accepted only by credit card through your Sixfold account. Payment can not be accepted any other way.
Your name on your credit card payment must match your name on your Sixfold account profile.
There can be no refund of entry fee after each issue’s voting rounds begin.
If you do not vote by any of the three rounds’ voting deadlines, then your own manuscript is withdrawn from voting, from advancing into any following round, and you can not vote in any following round.
There can be no refund of entry fee if you do not vote by any of the three rounds’ voting deadlines.
Simultaneous submissions. Withdrawing and replacing submissions. Copyright and publishing rights.
Simultaneous submissions (submitting the same writing to another publisher) is OK with Sixfold.
You can replace your manuscript PDF file with another up until the entry deadline. (Log in >> Dashboard >> Your Submission >> Edit Submission to replace your PDF.)
If writing submitted to Sixfold is published elsewhere, you can replace the submission up until the vote's deadline to enter, or you can complete the voting process and choose not to publish the manuscript in Sixfold should it be voted into publication.
Sixfold claims no copyright nor publishing right to a manuscript submitted for voting. If the manuscript is voted into publication at Sixfold, the author may accept or decline publication.
Complete Details on How the Voting Process Works
For all 3 rounds, Sixfold’s database randomly distributes all participants’ entered manuscripts, following these rules:
• You never receive your own manuscript to read and vote on.
• You never read and vote on the same manuscript twice.
• If you do not cast a vote by any of the three rounds’ deadline, then your own manuscript is withdrawn from voting, does not advance into any following round, and you can not vote in any following round.
All votes are secret ballot and cast on a secure server. In round 1, 6 writer-voters compare your manuscript (and everyone else's) to 5 other manuscripts, then rank-vote them as Best, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th. (So, each manuscript is compared to 30 others by 6 different readers.) Each manuscript's voting score average is calculated and compared to all others, and then the highest-voted one-third of manuscripts advances to the next round. The 3 rounds find the best manuscripts very precisely by tripling the number of voters’ opinions with each subsequent round: the best one-third of manuscripts per round advances while the number of voters per round remains the same. Round 2 manuscripts go on to receive 18 readers and 90 comparisons, and the highest-voted one-third advances to round 3. Round 3 manuscripts receive 54 readers and 270 comparisons. By voting’s end, each manuscript completing round 3 is read and rank-voted by 78 different writer-voters, with a grand total of 390 comparisons to other manuscripts. The hundreds of writers participating select the best manuscripts together, with everyone involved in the process and with each vote counting equally to create issues of Sixfold.
Worst-case voting scenarios.
Very few! The system works extremely well at gathering everyone's opinion and finding the manuscripts which writers consider the best. There are these small elements of chance within the voting process:
• Per round, a manuscript may receive fewer than 6 votes/comments in round 1, fewer than 18 in round 2, or fewer than 54 in round 3 because the number of votes a manuscript receives depends on voter participation. Participation is very high: per vote, around 95% of manuscripts in round 1 each receive 4, 5, or 6 votes to calculate the manuscript's rank average. The small number of round 1 manuscripts which receive 3 or fewer votes each will automatically advance to round 2 so that all manuscripts will receive at least 4 votes / 20 comparisons to other manuscripts. (And, manuscripts which receive as few as 4 votes in round 1 seem to be assessed just as well as those which receive 5 or 6. Four votes means that 4 readers each compared 1 manuscript to 20 others, which is a very good comparative assessment; 6 votes means that 6 readers each compared 1 manuscript to 30 others, which is an extremely good comparative assessment. All of which is a testament to the collective discernment of all writers contributing to the voting process: as few as 4 Sixfold readers on a manuscript equals or betters any other editorial assessment at any other journal.)
• In the unlikely event that there is a tie among any of the prize-winning manuscripts or published manuscripts, the tied manuscripts will be randomly selected to establish their rank (i.e. if two manuscripts tie for first place, one is randomly selected for first place and the other for second place).
• Per round, equally ranked manuscripts "on the theshold" of advancing into the next round's top one-third may be randomly selected to advance. For example, if 10 manuscripts receive an average rank score of 4.00 and only 5 can be included in the top one-third of total manuscripts calculated to advance, then the system will randomly select 5 of those with a 4.00 to advance into the next round's voting.
• The system may assign a very small number of randomly selected manuscripts one more or one less voter per round in order to assign voters to manuscripts as evenly as possible.
Minimum manuscripts per vote.
Each vote should have about 500 writers participating for a robust, many-opinioned vote. If there are not enough participants, entrants in the underpopulated vote may be rolled into the next scheduled vote and notified by e-mail, at which point they can participate in the subsequent vote or withdraw their manuscript and receive refund on its entry fee.
Only one manuscript per writer is allowed to enter each short story or poetry issue's voting. All PDF file manuscripts per issue are searched for duplicate or similar content; any duplicate or similar manuscripts uploaded subsequent to the original manuscript will be removed from the voting process. All credit card billing names and addresses per issue are analyzed for duplicates and similars; any manuscript uploaded subsequent to the original manuscript associated with duplicate or similar payment information will be removed from the voting process. Results of each issue's vote are made public at the end of voting rounds, with each manuscript's rank and individual votes displayed. Writers voted for prize winnings and/or publication must submit identification as part of the winnings/publication contract. Manuscripts that do not follow the submission guidelines of the Manuscript Requirements and the Entry Fee Payment Terms may not be allowed winnings and/or publication. Sixfold reserves the right to remove any manuscript or voter from the voting process that conflicts with the integrity and fairness of the vote.
During the process of reading and voting for any issue, you may read content that includes profanity, depictions of violence, depictions of sexual situations, etc. as part of the integral, artistic context of the short-stories and poems submitted for your reading and voting.
Sixfold’s web pages are coded in good faith to work with all browsers, but it is the entrant’s responsibility to use a browser that is able to interact and function with the site, including a browser able to upload and download PDF files and submit voting data online by deadline. After any issue’s voting rounds begin, there can be no refund of entry fee due to entrant’s inability to cast a vote because of browser inability to interact with the site.How It Works | Deadlines | Mission | Pub. and Dist. | Feedback How-To | Masthead
All deadline times are Eastern Standard/Daylight Time (EST/EDT)
Spring | Enter by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 24, 2014 | Read and Vote Round 1, from 12:00 a.m. Feb. 1 to 11:59 p.m. Feb. 12 | Round 2, from 12:00 a.m. Feb. 13 to 11:59 p.m. Feb. 24 | Round 3, from 12:00 a.m. Feb. 25 to 11:59 p.m. Mar. 8
Summer | Enter by 11:59 p.m. Apr. 23, 2014 | Read and Vote Round 1, from 12:00 a.m. May 1 to 11:59 p.m. May 12 | Round 2, from 12:00 a.m. May 13 to 11:59 p.m. May 24 | Round 3, from 12:00 a.m. May 25 to 11:59 p.m. June 5
Fall | Enter by 11:59 p.m. July 24, 2014 | Read and Vote Round 1, from 12:00 a.m. Aug. 1 to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 12 | Round 2, from 12:00 a.m. Aug. 13 to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 24 | Round 3, from 12:00 a.m. Aug. 25 to 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5
Winter | Enter by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 24, 2014 | Read and Vote Round 1, from 12:00 a.m. Nov. 1 to 11:59 p.m. Nov. 12 | Round 2, from 12:00 a.m. Nov. 13 to 11:59 p.m. Nov. 24 | Round 3, from 12:00 a.m. Nov. 25 to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6
The Sixfold Mission
Sixfold’s mission is to publish a collaborative, democratic, transparent, and completely writer-voted quarterly journal. Only the writers who upload their manuscripts vote to select the prize-winning manuscripts and the short stories and poetry published in each issue. All participating writers’ equally weighted votes act as the editor, instead of the usual editorial decision-making organization of one or a few judges, editors, or select editorial board. The journal fosters a community and writing workshop environment where writers can evaluate and write feedback on other writers’ work, and where writers can find writers and connect with one another.
Donate Sixfold is currently organized as a zero-profit small business. No profits or salaries are taken and operating expenses are always greater than or equal to revenues. Please note that for now your donation is not tax-deductible (but is very appreciated!). The journal will soon apply as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Visit the Donate page to learn more.
Publication and Distribution
Sixfold’s issues of the highest-scoring manuscripts are free to read online, download as PDF, and to read as various e-book formats for iPhone, Android, Kindle, Nook, and others. E-formats are distributed through Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct. Paperback book is distributed through Amazon.com. Each issue is submitted for review at prize anthologies such as The Best American Poetry, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The O. Henry Awards, and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and for review and promotion sites such as Poetry Daily and NewPages.com.
Sixfold's publication contract is for first worldwide exclusive serial rights (print and electronic) for 30 days in Sixfold, and nonexclusive print and electronic rights thereafter.
Publish to a big literary audience • Sixfold's free e-books reach 9,000+ readers per issue and free online issues reach 40,000+ site visitors per year.How It Works | Deadlines | Mission | Pub. and Dist. | Feedback How-To | Masthead
Writing Feedback for Writers
After voting begins, writers can write feedback to any of the 6 writers’ manuscripts they vote for in each round.
Need a prompt to write feedback for your fellow writer? You can begin with two good, basic questions that can praise and constructively criticize any manuscript: What’s good about a part of the manuscript that’s working well? and What’s a not so effective part and how could it be better? Remember that a real live writer reads your comments. As Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Works of art are of an infinite loneliness and with nothing to be so little appreciated as with criticism. Only love can grasp and hold and fairly judge them.”
Want to connect with a writer to discuss a manuscript more? Post your e-mail, Facebook, or other link in the feedback box if you wish. Feedback text is available to writers only after voting is over.
From 2000 to 2012, Garrett Doherty was Editor and Managing Editor of Crazyhorse literary journal, for which he published and promoted the journal's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He edited Crazyhorse with different group editorial selection processes in mind: the journal used working groups of six to eight fiction and poetry editors per issue to select content, and he taught a literary publishing practicum for Crazyhorse in which one of the assignments for students and interns was to organize, as a group and on their own initiative, a manuscript reading and selection process to find the best manuscripts for publication. The groups naturally organized selection processes that included everyone and used democratic, nonhierarchical decision-making. And so Sixfold was born from that ideal: give writers the experience of the editorial process and create a way for all writers to discover and publish the best writing, each with an equal and collaborative voice.
Nathan Seven Scott