Submittable Wants to Be Your Matchmaker


Your organization works hard to find the right submissions. Your potential applicants work even harder to find the right places to submit. All that efforts means missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. The Discover feature solves this dilemma by connecting people and organizations based on shared interests, such as visual art, fiction, or grants.

Think of this feature like a matchmaker for submitters and organizations. If you want dream applicants to swipe right, here are some tips for helping your organization stand out with Discover:

Choose the right tags.  You can select up to 5 different tags, or search terms, for each category you create. (In Discover only live categories will appear in the search results.) Submitters will use a variety of keyword combinations to search calls to submit writing, find grant or scholarship applications, or explore job postings. Show everyone your unique side by including tags that speak to your genre or medium, but also the broader themes of your open call

For example: AIA Philadelphia offered a $500 prize for their 2nd Annual Gingerbread Architecture Challenge using a variety of tags to highlight their contest. If someone searched for architecture and contest, or food and contest, they saw the gingerbread challenge appear in search results.

Philadelphia AIA Challenge

Not sure if your opportunity is showing up in Discover? On your team account under Categories, select the opportunity you want to showcase in Discover. Under General Settings, scroll down until you see Join Discover, and add or edit tags describing your opportunity.

Your category title matters. The title of a category, or opportunity, and the name of your organization or publication are searchable. For example, typing “magic” into the search bar might reveal a call for “Visual Art” from NOO Journal & Magic Helicopter Press and a call for “Magic Mondays” from Vestal Review. Putting words in your title related to your category—without going overboard—will increase the number of ways your organization can be found.

How to search for keywords without tags

Keep in mind that if your title is too long (more than 30-35 characters depending on your browser and screen size), it will remain searchable, but readers might not see the full text when they’re skimming results.

Think above the fold. When a potential applicant clicks on your opportunity in Discover, a pop-up window appears with your category guidelines (in the General Settings tab when you’re editing a category). Some website designers recommend putting your most important content above the fold—the part of your screen that you don’t have to scroll down to find—and this holds true for Discover. Put your most important content in the first few sentences of your guidelines. (Depending on browser sizes, everyone will see something slightly different.) Consider your hook. Will it help potential submitters keep reading, or is the language too dense to recognize something great when it’s standing right in front of them?

How to search for grant opportunites

Playing for keeps. If Discover is the matchmaker, your submission guidelines are what you wear on the first date. Make a good first impression. Whether you’re a literary organization or a foundation, submitters want to absorb information quickly. They won’t read every word right away, so compose your guidelines with this in mind.

  • Break up text with bullet points.
  • Put keywords (but not too many) in bold.
  • While you’re at it, make the same submission information on your website available on your Submittable site. You don’t want important details to be hard to find, and for many applicants, Discover is their first point of contact with your organization.

Woo them with the right content, and you’re likely to receive the right kind of submission.

Let us know how it Discover is working for you, and share suggestions for our team as they continue to develop and improve this new feature. Please be in touch.

Jolene Brink

Jolene Brink is part of the marketing team. Her experience with the platform dates back to 2011 when she used Submittable to submit her first poem. Over 150 submissions later, when she's not at the office, she continues to use Submittable for her creative work.