Before You Click Submit, Part 5 – A Book by Any Other Name

As we get closer to the opening of UV submissions, we’re posting tips to make sure your submission stands the best chance of making it into the anthology.

In our final post, we make a final plea to consider your title and its impact on the reader.  


Don’t Take Your Title for Granted.

Mumnesia by Katie Dale

Your title is part of your writing. It’s your representative during the judging process, selling your story and ideas as much as the text does. Once you’ve proofread and polished, scrutinise your title.

UV Founder and Author, Sara Grant, says, “Great titles are memorable, distinctive, intriguing, easy to say and clearly indicate the story you will tell. Endeavour to use concrete nouns and active verbs in your title.”

Test your title using the following criteria:

  • Does it match the content of the book? You might like it because it’s quirky or fresh or poetic, but if it doesn’t match the story, don’t use it. You are setting up an expectation about the type and style of the story. Your title should attract the right reader. If there’s a disconnect, you may only disappoint readers. Does it capture the drama, humour, or romance of your work?
  • Is it memorable? Does it sound too much any other book? Will it be confused with too many other titles?
  • Can it capture the reader’s imagination or curiosity?
  • Is it as short or long as it needs to be?
  • Say it out loud again and again – because if it gets published you will be saying it a lot! Is it easy to say with words that won’t be confused at a glance?

[pullquote]You might like a title because it’s quirky or fresh or poetic, but if it doesn’t match the story, don’t use it.[/pullquote]

It’s worth taking a look at the titles of books for the age group you are writing for inspiration. Test run your new titles past friends, critique partners, librarians or children and ask them what they think the title suggests about the book. Look for that magic combination that spark interest, prepares the reader for what’s come and arouses unquenchable thirst to find out more.


And, finally.

Good luck to everyone who enters from the whole UV team!


Submissions for UV2018 will open tomorrow (1st July 2017) and will close 15th August 2017. Why not sign up here for submission reminders?