Notes by Christen: Want to be in Somerset Studio?

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to get published in 2011, but you aren’t sure where to start? Submitting artwork to Somerset Studio is really quite simple. We make the process fairly easy because as a submission-based publication, we love and need submissions!

For Somerset Studio, we’re always looking for several types of submissions: responses to one of the themed challenges we’ve issued, technique articles, zines and art journals for our Melange department, lettering projects, and exemplars. Our list of themes and submission deadlines change with each issue, so it’s best to refer to the back of an issue or visit our Web site,

So now that you have something wonderful that you just have to submit to Somerset Studio, what’s the next step? You can go to our Web site to view our submission guidelines, but I’ll also break it down pretty simply here:

  1. Clearly label each piece of artwork with your name and contact information. Be sure this is securely attached to the artwork.
  2. Write brief instructions for each piece.
  3. Include a cover letter that provides your contact information and spotlights any techniques you may have used in creating your art.
  4. Include a check or cash to cover the return postage. If you’d like to receive acknowledgment of your art’s arrival, include a SASE postcard.
  5. Pack your artwork very carefully.
  6. Mail your package to us.

Once the artwork arrives here, our Art Management team opens the packages and logs everything into a computer database. The artwork is then distributed by publication to each editor, and organized for art selection. Once the deadline for submissions has passed, all of the submissions for a given issue are laid out for art selection. A group of editors, designers, photographers, and the publisher then selects the artwork for an issue, sometimes directing pieces to one of our other 30 publications if we think it’s a better fit.

Curious as to what we look for when selecting artwork? Here are a few things that catch our eye:

  • A new-to-us technique, or a new take on an old technique
  • Color-coordinating pieces: When picking artwork, we have to make sure the pieces will go nicely together.
  • Fun and interesting color palettes

One question many people ask is why we prefer the physical artwork, rather than images. The photography for each of our publications is very distinctive, and without photographing things ourselves, it’s very hard to make the magazine cohesive. We are always willing to consider images though, so feel free to send them.

If you’re still a little confused or have a few questions that I didn’t answer, you are always welcome to e-mail our Art Management Coordinator Michelle Nolan (

Christen Olivarez is Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and Editor-in-Chief of Somerset Studio, the top-ranked magazine for mixed-media and paper artists. Her blog posts appear on every other Tuesday.

Get more inside scoop into the world of Stampington submissions in this blog post by Ricë Freeman-Zachery.


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