Swimmers Club

Water Confidence


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getting into the water

Treading Water

Swimmers Club Short Fiction


Here’s the bit where you ask a load of questions and we answer a disappointing ‘no’ to most of them.

What is 'Treading Water'?

Treading Water is Swimmers Club’s short-fiction section in association with our sister-site Dostoyevsky Wannabe publishing. It’s run by some of the same people and Dostoyevsky Wannabe will occasionally anthologise some of the stories in print editions (only with the permission of the authors/related publisher of course).

Do you only accept short-stories? No think-pieces, etc?

Yeah we only accept short-stories and poetry at this time. There are plenty of avenues for think-pieces and you could always attempt to test the boundaries of the short-story by incorporating non-fiction modes and prose-poetry type stuff. We might like it. Also, it’s not unheard of to explore in literature the kind of themes that are usually spoken about in think-pieces.

Is there a word-count?

Pretty much anything between 250 words minimum and 2000 words maximum we should think.

Any annoying formatting rules I have to consider?

We offer a rich-text editor on our online submission. Use that. Also, if you're submitting more than one poem, you've only got one text area but plentry of tools for formatting (bold text for titles, etc) and stuff so make it look ok as regards making showing the differences between stanza breaks and between one poem and another.

What is your reading period?

It’s mostly a regularly open call but from time to time we might close it down for a few months depending on our own time-commitments. Whenever we do this, we’ll put something on this page and on Twitter (or wherever) to say when we’ll next be taking submissions. Generally it's open though.

Can I get feedback on my story? How will I know whether you’ll be publishing my story? Can I withdraw my story? Do I lose the copyright to my story?

Sorry, we can’t enter into feedback. We seriously don’t have time. You will know if we’re publishing your story if you’ve heard from us anytime within 5 weeks of sending it (almost certainly it'll be sooner tbh, depends). If you hear nothing then we probably just didn’t want to publish it. Don't become disheartened and plot against us. Remember, there are people far better than us to judge these things. Send it to someone else. They might love it.

You want to withdraw your story having submitted it? No problem. You can withdraw your story any time you like, just email us.

You keep the copyright to your story. It ain’t ours.

My story is going to be part of a collection, either a full short-story collection of my own or an anthology, can you promote the book that it is going to be collected in beneath the story?

Add details, links, etc into the 'Further Info' section of the submissions form.

Can you edit/proofread my story for me?

Nope. Typos are all your own responsibility so be careful.

What else do you need from me?

This is an important one, please either attach an image or suggest an idea for an image that can illustrate the story (most logically it might be something in the story but it could something vaguely metaphorical or symbolic). If you know your way around image editing software, we need something at least 1300px width by 975px minimum but generally something at that ratio, preferably something much larger - that's around 4:3, ratio fans! If you don't know your way around photo editing software, then just make a suggestion when you submit the story and we'll try and dig something out.

Do I get paid for my story?

We’d love for money to exist as a result of our collective creative endeavour but sadly, given how capitalism currently organises itself, only the 1% percent richest people in the world get paid. That’s not us and we don’t think it’s you. If it is you then ‘Hey! Why not try to re-organise capitalism better for everyone?’


To submit a story, fill this in.


As if it isn’t obvious by the things that we post and re-post on Facebook and Twitter and the like, we at both Dostoyevsky Wannabe and Swimmers Club will reserve the right not to publish writers or writing that we feel is racist, homophobic, or misogynistic or writers who we feel have displayed similar attitudes.

We're very much left-leaning people, both culturally and politically, so much so that we do aim to try to strike a balance between the freedoms of speech necessary for fiction to contain much of the necessary ambiguity and nuance that can be found in everyday situations but at the time not encouraging forms of hate that we don't believe in.

Striking that balance is something that might sometimes lead to some uncomfortable themes within the books and stories that we publish but this is something that has a much longer history within literature and within culture and we can't tackle all of that here in this relatively insignificant disclaimer (go educate yourselves on it).

We’re a tiny organisation so if somehow anything like this has got through our submissions process and is already set to go then we won’t have a problem with pulling the book. We’re not interested in debating our decisions about this and yeah they’re merely subjective decisions made by us based upon our own intolerance to anything we perceive as racist, homophobic or misogynistic. None of this is to say that we don't want to publish challenging literature either. The world is complicated isn't it.

Most of us at Dostoyevsky Wannabe come from a Cultural Studies and Critical Theory background so suffice to say we, individually, have plenty of feelings and thoughts about politics, policy, political-correctness, identity and class politics but our individual opinions are not what Dostoyevsky Wannabe or Swimmers Club are all about. DW and Swimmers Club are first and foremost about fiction, design, art, music and popular culture. End of insignificant disclaimer (Jesus! we're not even proper publishers or anything!).