BellaOnline Literary Review

General Mused Submission FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions for Mused!

When is Mused Published?
Mused is in tune with the seasons. We publish on each equinox and solstice. So that's spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Wikipedia will give you the exact dates that those solstices and equinoxes fall each year!

How is Mused Published?
Mused is available in three different ways. First, there is a low bandwith, HTML only version available for free on this website. This means even people with only cell phone access or dial-up access at libraries can read and enjoy the stories and photos.
Mused HTML Archive

Second, there is a high bandwidth PDF version, also available for free on this website. This PDF is gorgeous but can be 20mb or more in size. Typically this larger file size is used only by people with high speed connections. If a dial-up person is patient, of course, they can download it too!
Mused PDF Archive

Third, there is a print copy available which is of soft-bound art book quality! It is full color, and on high quality, glossy paper (not magazine thin paper). Our printing is handled by Lulu, a web print-on-demand system.
Mused Print Archive

Is There an Entry / Submission Fee for Mused?
Mused is run as a charity project, and all reading and evaluation and feedback is done on a fully volunteer basis by BellaOnline editors. We all donate our time and energy to help promote new artists to the world. As such, there is never a reading fee. Our aim is to help all of our artists learn, improve and succeed! We want every artist - no matter what their background - to have equal access to being published in our magazine.

You Offer Feedback - Is there a Fee for Feedback?
We do everything at Mused completely for free. We are enthused about helping our artists grow and learn and expand! All of our feedback is completely for free. Our team is all volunteers. We are delighted to help you polish your works and grow to the next level.

What if my written work is over 5,000 words? Can I do a two-parter?
We're very sorry, but we cannot run multi-part works. Many people download just a given issue to bring with them on a plane or a long train ride. They would be furious if they were 35,000 feet in the air, settling in to read their issue of Mused, and told "this is part 2 of a series, go back to the previous issue to read the first part." We absolutely commit to our readers that every issue is a self-contained, fully unique work of art that they can read and enjoy cover to cover without any other material necessary. Each item in Mused must be able to be enjoyed wholly based on that one item.

As to the question of why we have a length limit, it is important to keep in mind that Mused is a charity production. We run no ads, we take in no income at all, and all of our time to create, edit and present Mused is 100% volunteer. We do all of this work for the joy of helping to promote new artists and bring their beautiful works to a world-wide audience. This includes the print version of Mused, which we release via Lulu, a self-publisher. Right now each issue of Mused holds the works of around sixty individual artists, and runs about 80 pages long. For Lulu's base printing price, that equates to about $22 plus shipping.

If we suddenly turned it into a 100 page issue just to feature one particular person's story, it would mean every single artist who wanted to buy a copy of the issue for their own files would have to pay $30 (or whatever the new price was) to get their issue. For many of our artists who are on very tight budgets, this is the difference between being able to afford their own copy and not being able to. We want to make sure each issue evenly promotes all artists and their talents, vs being primarily one artist's works. It should not be an 80 page book where 20 of the pages are all taken up by one person. The 5,000 word limit ensures we can feature numerous artists and allow each one to be heard, while sharing space with the other artists who have been selected for the issue.

There are other corporate entities out there who run paying ads and who can therefore afford to print 100 or 200 page reviews and subsidize the cost so they are still affordable to their readers, and who therefore can run much longer stories. At Mused, we simply do not have that funding nor do we have the desire to ever run ads in our issues. So we are a different type of publication, one which focuses on short, focused pieces rather than longer pieces.

Is There a Payment for Accepted Entries to Mused?
Mused is a charity project. We do not make any money from Mused. We do not run any ads in Mused, or on the Mused webpages. We do not make any money from printed copy of Mused. There is zero money coming in, and we spend a lot of money on hosting fees to provide Mused to our millions of readers.

For those reasons we do not offer payment for submissions. We simply do not have any money to do so. We cannot afford to send free copies of issues, either, as we make zero money from issue sales. Issue sales are done at "printer base price" to make the issues as inexpensive as possible for our artists to purchase.

However, each person featured can submit several sentences promoting their background, and link to their personal website. BellaOnline is the second largest women's website in the world, so that link can result in thousands of visitors for you!

Can My Content Contain Ads I Provide?
Mused has no ads in it. We are a charity project. The Mused team does not run any ads in Mused, and we do not allow our contributors to run any ads. That includes but is not limited to URLs or promotional names embedded into artwork or into stories.

Each Mused contributor is allowed one URL in their biography to help their fans learn more about their projects. That bio is the area where a contributor can provide a link to their personal website or other chosen URL.

The only time an external reference is allowed is in a scholarly paper where it is necessary to provide the original source for a referenced material. For example, if a paper on the history of marriage in the Catholic Church needs to reference a 1984 Pew study, and the study is online, the URL of that study may be provided at the end of the article as a one-line reference link, with standard MLA annotation. This will be allowed at the discretion of the Mused team, where appropriate.

Can I Resubmit Revised Content?
An important part of what we do here at Mused is provide feedback to our authors and artists to help them learn, grow, and improve. It is often found that a submission to Mused needs tweaks to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and flow to meet our standards. Artworks might need a different type of cropping or some brightness / contrast work to make the image come together. Once the artist invests the time to tweak and recompose their work, we welcome the opportunity to provide another round of examination and feedback.

Please wait until the next yearly cycle to submit the work. We run in seasons, and something perfect for Winter would probably be quite out of place in the heat of Summer. By waiting for the cycle to come around again, you provide the best possible fit for your piece, and the most likely chance of us finding it just right for that season.

My Piece is Online Already. Can I Submit it to Mused?
Mused requires that any item submitted for consideration needs to be a piece which has not been on the web before. The reason has to do in part with how search engines work. Engines like Google are constantly on the look-out for content theft, and they downgrade any site they feel might be involved in that theft. If for example they found a five page story on site and also on, they would assume one of those sites was a thief. Especially if BellaOnline's version only shows up AFTER the xyzzy version, this confirms in their mind that BellaOnline stole it from xyzzy. Google now downgrades *all* of the Mused contributor content as being potentially stolen, and this affects all contributors from all issues.

In addition to the potential thief issue, Google also figures if content on BellaOnline is just duplicate stuff found elsewhere, it gives it a lower ranking. Again, this damages the ability of all of our contributors to be found and enjoyed. For the safety of all of our contributors, we cannot have duplicate information submitted to our Mused pages.

My Piece was Published by Mused! Can I Now Publish it Elsewhere?
Yes! Mused has as its aim to launch you out into the world, to help your talents become known to millions of people. It is our fervent hope that we are a step on your path to greatness. Our free submission, free feedback system, our ad-free presentation, and our many hours of volunteer labor are all geared towards helping your work shine and become appreciated.

Please do keep in mind the above commentary on duplicate content. If your poem is in Mused it is getting millions of views by our loyal readers and your publicity is stretching far and wide. If you now also add the exact same poem to your blog, it might only get a few more hits of benefit, but it will cause serious damage both to your blog's ranking and to the ranking of your Mused entry (and all other Mused entries). On the web, it does not help to have your content in as many places as possible. It causes huge harm to distribute the exact same item onto multiple sites.

By all means if there are print magazines you now wish to have the piece featured in, that is a lovely next step. However, for your own safety and for the safety of other Mused contributors, we would advise you not try to load your content up onto other online sites. There would be little benefit in this activity, and a great deal of detriment. Avoiding duplicate content is a good concept to understand for all of your web activities. It is far better to create a larger volume of work, and have MORE content to spread around the web, rather than taking a single item and duplicating / copying it everywhere so it becomes tagged as thievery.

To Learn More  .   .   .

Main Submission Guidelines
Visual Art Submission Guidelines & Form
Fiction Submission Guidelines & Form
Non-Fiction Submission Guidelines & Form
Play Submission Guidelines & Form
Poetry Submission Guidelines & Form