Writing Guidelines

6×6 was set up to give authors within the region a platform on which to promote their work. We welcome prose works from writers across the region – be that flash fiction or excerpts from longer works. This is your 6X6 opportunity to bring your writing to the notice of potential readers so please do spread the word via your twitter feeds and blog/web pages.

These comprehensive guidelines are written to give you, the writer, the best possible chance of being selected!

If you would like to be considered for a 6×6 cafe please check out the ‘about’ page and read the guidelines below:

  • Fiction is our focus and all genres are welcomed, but non-fiction is always considered where/when a  local writer is promoting a new publication. We do not currently accept poetry or drama.
  • Extracts from published books may be taken from a novel or anthology/collection of short fiction with a publication date within twelve months of the event. (Older titles may be considered – please ask in advance). Extracts should make a coherent narrative when read on their own.  Short pieces related to a book that have been written especially for 6×6 often receive a better reception from our audiences.
  • Please do not submit work from a book, or a story,  which has already appeared at a 6×6 event.
  • Extracts from competition winning entries from within six months of the event are likewise very welcome. Please list details, including a link to the competition website if available.
  • Short pieces written specifically for 6×6 are also very welcome.
  • All entries should stand alone as a reading within the allotted six minutes.
  • All entries must be your own work.
  • Each piece should last for no longer than six minutes when read aloud – including any additional introductions not made by the compere. A rough guide is 800 words, 900 words is absolute max.  At the other end of the scale 600 or less  will probably prove too short. Everybody’s average reading speed is slightly different so please do time your piece, at your normal reading-aloud speed in advance of sending it to us. Think ‘6X6’  as you write because SIX MINUTES is the key! The single most common reason for rejecting any piece is the reading length.
  • Tag your covering email with your name and title of your story, and also label your submission file with the same information (this is because emails and attachments can become detached and may be discounted as a result).
    e.g. “Walking the Dog , J. Smith, entry for (month of event) 6X6”  
  • Submissions must be submitted in either a Doc, Word or RTF file format using a standard font (Sorry, NO PDFs!).
  • In a separate file, labelled with your name, include a short biography of approx. 50 words, with links to your blog/web sites, and 30 words (approx) about your entry (e.g. explanatory notes or  details of the publication). These are for use in any pre-publicity on this blog site to promote you, the writer, and also as notes for the event’s compere, should you be selected.
  • Please supply a link for purchase of the book where applicable.
  • Your submission should be emailed to sixbysixevents @  gmail.com (without the gaps) by the date provided on the relevant blog event.
  • The Library staff are happy to assist writers without internet access to submit material.
  • One submission per writer for any single event.
  • Writers may be invited to remain in reserve for an individual event, but in the interest of fairness we do not hold work over from one event to the next. Fresh submissions must be made for each 6X6.
  • Writers/performers are actively encouraged to bring their published books for sale.We also encourage regional authors not selected for the events to bring along books and/or flyers publicising their work.
  • Check the submission windows as work received outside of those dates may not be considered.
  • We reserve the right to refuse work that we feel is unsuitable for a 6×6 audience, especially in the areas of gender/racial/sexual or other forms of discrimination.
  • Though most of our audience are  over 18 yrs old, young people may be present and this should be taken into account. Submissions should be suitable for an early evening public performance in their use of adult subjects. The use of strong language is not prohibited but should be relevant and proportional.
  • If you have any queries please do contact us.

Note: 6X6 is a platform for authors to showcase work (especially forthcoming publications) and does not incorporate writing competitions, workshops or feedback on work in progress.


Tips on reading aloud