Note: This help article refers to building forms using our original form builder. If you joined Submittable after January 7, 2020, your organization is using our new form building engine. CLICK HERE to view help documentation on getting started with our new form builder.
Congratulations on signing up for Submittable! Please follow the instructions here to get started with your new account.
How to Set Up Your First Call For Submissions
Setting up your first submission call and customizing your form will take about 10 minutes. After that, you can immediately start accepting submissions in a variety of formats such as text, audio, video, or images.
Building a Form
To begin, select Forms from the navigation bar in your account.
Add a new form by clicking the Create Form button in the upper right corner of your Forms page. You’ll be taken to the Form Builder’s General Settings tab.
General Settings Tab
Fill in the appropriate information:
- Give the form a Name, such as Fall 2019 Short Story Contest.
- Guidelines contain the specific guidelines for your submission form. Here you can include anything you want your submitters to know before making a submission. Sample guidelines for a call for a writing contest would be something like this:
Submit your short story, up to 25 pages in length.Judge: Richard MussoEntry fee: $10.00, which includes a copy of our Spring 2019 issue.Prize: $500
- Price: You can optionally charge a fee for submissions. Submittable provides built-in credit card processing. You must charge an amount of $2.00 or greater. Submittable receives 99 cents + 5% of all fees charged. You will be shown a breakdown of the charges and the net amount that your organization will receive per submission.
- Add-on Payments: Add-on payments are an optional feature that may be used to charge fees for anything other than the submission fee. Organizations may want to offer submitters the option to purchase print journals, company merchandise, or memberships using the Add-on Payments feature.
- Starts On: Enter a date here to open the form to begin receiving submissions.
- Expires On: Enter a date here to close the form to submissions on a specific date.
- Hidden: Checking this box will make this form hidden from your public forms' webpage. Submitters will only be able to go to this submission form if you send them the direct link to it.
- Limit Multiple Submissions: Checking this box will restrict submitters from making more than one submission to a particular form from a single account.
- Join Discover: Submittable's Discover feature helps potential submitters find available submission opportunities. If you'd like your call to be "discoverable" to millions of our users looking for new opportunities, you can enter up to 5 keywords in the text box here. Examples of keywords for a short story contest might be: short story, contest, or fiction.
- Live: Checking this box will make your form "live" on your Submittable portal website. It will appear on your public forms webpage, and users will be able to submit to it beginning on the start date.
- Archive: The archive option is used after you have completed a call for submissions and are no longer using the form. Checking the Archive box will remove your form from the search filters. However, any submissions from the form will remain searchable for future reference.
Form Designer Tab
Once you've completed your General Settings, scroll back to the top of the page and click on the Form Designer tab. The Form Designer is where you create the submission form that your submitters will complete. By default, the form includes Title, Cover Letter, and File Upload fields, three form field types you will likely want to include on your form. However, any field can be removed and replaced with the options available in the Toolbox to the left.
To REMOVE a form field, click on the trash icon in the upper right corner of the field. To ADD a new field, click and drag the desired field over from the toolbox.
To REORGANIZE the fields, drag and drop them within your form.
To EDIT a field, hover and click on it, then make any preferred changes.
To HIDE a field, check the Blind checkbox for that field.
Please note that if you remove the Title Field, submissions will be assigned an auto-incremented number as they are received, starting with 0001, and that number will display as the submission title in your Submissions List. If your organization is running a Blind Review process, you may want to exclude the title field to help preserve submission anonymity.
Scroll down and click the Add files button in the file upload field. Select the acceptable file types you’d like to allow the submitter to send with their submission. Submittable allows multiple files to be uploaded to each file upload field within a submission. Choose the number of files you would like to allow the submitter to upload per field.
Assignments & Notifications Tab
The next tab at the top of the page, Assignments & Notifications, is for setting up your review process.
- Set a Blind Level to remove identifying information about the submitter from the reviewer's view. Any team member at or below this level will not be able to see the submitter's name or the cover letter.
- Default Note Visibility: Choose the visibility setting for notes that are attached to submissions in the Submission Details page.Assigned Team (default): Note is visible to all team members with access to the submission.Admins Only: Note is only visible to the team member who created it and Level 4 and 5 team members.
- Team Member(s): All submissions will be automatically assigned to the team members selected here. Hold the CTRL key while clicking to select or deselect names from the list.
- Receive an email alert for each submission?: Checking this box will email an alert for every submission received for this form. The email will be sent to all of the team members specified, or to your organization's primary email address if there are no assigned team members.
- Choose an auto-response: Select a Response Template that will be sent to submitters when they submit to this form. This message will serve as a confirmation to submitters that they have successfully completed a submission to your call. If you don't create your own custom response, a generic notification will be sent as confirmation.
- Success URL: You can specify a URL that submitters will be redirected to after they have submitted to this form. If you leave this blank, the submitter will be taken to a default success page containing a link to your organization’s main website.
After you complete the Assignments and Notifications settings, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Form button. A dialog box will ask you if you wish to continue editing or return to your form list. Select Return to List.
Note: You have the option to place a Submit button on your website to link your website to your Submittable landing page. Copy and paste the link code from the text box located at the bottom left of the Forms page.
Here is a brief video demonstration of how to start building your form:
Personalize The Look and Feel of Your Submittable Landing Page
We encourage you to personalize the Look and Feel of your Submittable landing page by uploading a header image containing your organization's name and/or logo and by customizing your submission form's colors, font, and button text.
Click on the More menu in the upper right corner of the screen. Select Configurations. Then select Look and Feel on the left hand side of the screen.
Select and Crop Your Header Image
In the Header Image section, click Select Image and choose the file you'd like to upload from your computer. Your image will appear in the selection box shown here.
Our maximum recommended file size is 982 px wide by 220 px high, for best results your header image should be at least 400 x 90. Files are automatically resized if needed. Accepted file types are PNG, GIF, and JPG.
After you upload your image, you will have the option to crop it. To crop your header, grab any corner of the active perimeter and drag it inward. You can grab any edge of the active perimeter and move your cropped area around to place it where you want.
When you have finished cropping your image, click Save Image. Or if you decide not to crop it, click Save Image Without Cropping. Click Cancel to reset the dialog and upload a different image.
Choose Colors and Font for your Landing Page
In the Page Styles section, choose your preferred colors, font type, and button text. All colors must be entered using hexadecimal values, or you can click on the blank box next to each style form and use our popup color picker. As you make your selections, the Quick Preview box will show a sneak peek of what your submission form will look like.
Click Save Look and Feel. Or, if you want to clear and reset your selections, click Cancel and reset.
Add Team Members to Your Account
Level 4 and 5 account administrators can invite people to join their organization's Submittable account at any time. Usually, team members serve as reviewers or judges for an organization's decision making process. You can watch this short video that walks you through how to add team members, or simply follow the steps below.
To Add a Team Member from the Team Page
- Click on More in the upper right corner of the screen and select Team.
- On your Manage Team page, click the + ADD MEMBER button to open the Invite a Team Member page.
- Select the type of Permission Level you'd like to give the new team member. The permission levels are described in the legend on the right side of the screen.
- Enter the new team member's Title (optional) and Email address. Click Send team invitation.
- New members will receive an email that contains an acknowledgment link that they must click to complete the signup process.
Review Your Site and Launch Your Call
To view what your submission form will look like, click the View Your Site button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
This will take you to your public-facing Submission Portal Page, where your submitters will be able to read your guidelines and begin the submission process. Here you will be able to see all of the settings you chose when you set up the Look and Feel of your site, and make sure that everything appears as you intended. Click the Submit button to the right of any of your forms, and it will bring you inside the form. What you see there will be exactly what your submitters will also see.
Congratulations! You’re ready to accept submissions!
-The Submittable Team