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Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t edit my work. I have just seen a mistake on my submission!
The Pen Factor does warn writers submitting work that they have one last chance to do any editing.
We are unable to allow editing post-submission as per the terms of use as this will interfere with the system’s algorithm. It is also unfair if your work has already been reviewed.


Are the Top 25% on the Leaderboard really the best?
It is essential to understand that the Top 25% on the leaderboard have been awarded their place based on the preferences of the three writers who reviewed their work. One person might genuinely esteem one story, while someone else might prefer another piece. The Top 25% are reflections of people’s personal opinions and preferences.


I’ve been published… can I still submit?
Anyone is eligible to use this website including authors who have previously published work. The competition, however, does not allow writing that is already contracted to an agent or publishing house.
Anyone can submit a fresh piece of written work.


I don’t read that genre. Why do I have to review it?
Submissions are allocated randomly for review. Somebody’s choice of genre has no bearing on the strength or quality of a piece of writing.
You might not be familiar with each genre. Do not judge the work based on the genre but give your response to the writing itself. The Pen Factor culture is about respect and acknowledging the work we pour into our writing.


I still haven't received an email stating that my work has been reviewed.
There's a chance that the email has arrived in your junk mail.


I have another piece I’d like to submit. Can I submit again?
Yes, absolutely! Submit as many new pieces of writing as you’d like.


What will my feedback look like?
You will receive star ratings (out of 5 stars) across four categories: Compelling hook?, Fresh?, Strong characters? and Entertaining?. Reviewers will also provide multiple-choice feedback on certain aspects of your writing such as Character conflict, Attention to mechanics, Main character, Narration and dialogue and Style and originality. Finally, there is an open-ended General Comments section.


Are real people really compiling my review?
Yes, of course. Three other writers who have submitted to The Pen Factor have read and considered the story you have submitted. Their feedback is an honest appraisal of your work.


I couldn’t find my genre in the list
There are so many different genres now that it’s hard to include them all. We have tried to include the most representative range of genres possible. Perhaps there is a genre on the existing list which is not too dissimilar to yours?


Can anyone from any country use this website?
Yes, as long as the work is in English. This is an international website for anyone and everyone around the world.


What is the maximum word limit?
You can submit up to 1500 words.


Am I handing over copyright to The Pen Factor?
No. It's yours and we have no rights over your work.


What if I don’t finish the review process?
It is a requirement that you finish the review process within 48 hours in order to use the website again. Our community depends on mutual co-operation. This writing journey is as much about them as it is about you. By not finishing the process, you are seriously compromising the integrity and culture of The Pen Factor and depriving another writer of valuable, honest feedback.