Submission time at Twist Collective is equal parts exciting anticipation and stressful—the latter, because inevitably, we have to pare our final list down to about 30 projects and those 30 projects need to represent a wide variety of skills, styles and project types. None of us look forward to saying “no” to the hundreds of other submissions we receive.
It is impossible for us to give detailed feedback to each person who submits and, truth be told, there often isn’t any feedback to give, we simply have to decline many submissions we love for no other reason than that we already have a sufficient number of designs for the edition.
However, there are some tips we can offer designers, who want to make sure their proposal has the best chances.
Read the submission guidelines
This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how often people leave off their contact information or miss the deadline. Our mood boards always have two pages; one with inspirational images and another outlining the format, deadline and information we need from you.
There’s no need to send in a fully written pattern. Those of us reviewing submissions won’t have time to review all that text and we’ll just end up scrolling past it. If you’ve already written a pattern and created a prototype, include a schematic which will gives us a nice snapshot of your range of sizes and your skills with grading.
In the same vein, if you’ve knit a prototype or a series of swatches, we love to see good clear photos of what you have, but generally what you can show in 40 images isn’t much more informative for us than what you can show in a dozen or less. We receive lots of comprehensive submissions that fill only 1-4 pages. Keep that as a target, adding extra pages sparingly and only as absolutely needed.
Do not include any pertinent information in the body of your email unless it’s also in your PDF.
The review board for submissions receives only the PDFs, not the full email you send in, so information contained only in your email body will not be considered when reviewing your proposal.
Send any questions to the email indicated in the submission guidelines
We process submissions in batches, generally waiting until a certain number come in before even opening them. Sending questions directly to the submissions email address, especially if your subject line is vague, may mean that your email isn’t answered until it is quite close to the deadline. We always provide contact information in our mood board and on our site, for inquiries about submitting. Writing to that address will ensure a prompt reply, usually within one business day.
Consider the Twist Collective business model
Designers are compensated with a percentage of each pattern sold and patterns are sold for $5-$9 USD each. There are times that we decline a really great design simply because we are not sure our customers will pay at least $5 for the pattern. Single stitch rectangular scarves, and other very simple projects may be stunning pieces but if we cannot sell the pattern, neither the designer nor Twist can recoup their investments in the project. If you have an idea for a hat consider adding a second piece to the submission such as a scarf, mittens, shawlette or another variant of the design.
Look at our library of existing patterns
No matter how wonderful a submission might be, if it looks a lot like a pattern we’ve already published, we’ll have to decline it. Coincidences happen but you can save some time if you catch doppelgangers before submitting.
While it can be great to set a mood with your submission, employing fonts and colors to compliment your idea, if we can’t read what you have written, we won’t be able to appreciate all the hard work you put into your proposal. Avoid using artistic shots that obscure the details of the work. We are most interested in your project and we want to be able to see it clearly. Also, be sure your swatch is big enough to really show how the fabric will look and behave. A tiny little swatch is almost the same as no swatch at all.
Keep all your info together
Each submission is assigned its own number for review. Be sure that each page of your PDF contains information for only one proposal and that all the pages for a given submission are sequential. It is fine to have a title page and a bio page that is applicable to all the submissions but please avoid intermingling the information for multiple proposals.
Allow for flexibility
If there is only one yarn in the whole world that can be used to successfully complete your project, then our international customers and those that may not be able to afford or find that yarn locally are not going to be able to knit the pattern. Be sure that your proposal allows for some flexibility in yarn choice so that as many people as possible will be able to knit it.
Help us see your vision
We know that great designers are not always skilled illustrators and we don’t hold that against you. There are a variety of ways to convey what you are envisioning and you can use those in any combination that works for you. Submissions should generally include a drawing of how the garment will look when worn, a swatch and possibly a schematic of how the piece looks flat. The sketch shows us how the piece will fall on the body, the length, ease, and proportion of details. The swatch gives us an idea of the scale of the stitch pattern, the texture of the fabric and, if applicable the combination of colors you wish to use. The schematic outlines specific details that may not be apparent in the sketch. If you have trouble drawing garments on people, include photos of garments with similar shapes and proportions found online or in magazines. Add explanatory text where necessary, to further describe your proposal.
Please be sure you read all the instructions included with the mood board. Not only does this help us understand and process your submission more quickly, but it is also a way for us to see that you are up to the task of following our publishing guidelines and you see your work as a professional endeavor, not just a hobby.
FAQs — Very frequently asked questions
Along with the pitfalls listed above, these questions come in almost every season.
How many submissions may I send in?
As many as you like. We have people who only ever send in one idea and some who have sent in several more per season. That said, we’d rather you sent 2 that you are really confident about, than 8 that don't really excite you.
Should I send in each submission as a separate PDF or all in a single PDF?
Please send each submission as its own, stand-alone, PDF.
I heard back about one proposal but did not hear back about another.
Unfortunately, we only have time to send one reply to each person. If you receive an acceptance on one submission you will not receive any rejections for other submissions. If you receive one rejection letter, it applies to all submissions. We do our best to try to give some feedback if there is a particular reason that we cannot take a piece. For instance, if a proposal is very nice but similar to something we have already accepted for a future edition, we will let you know.
May I submit crochet/children’s patterns/projects with sewing/etc?
The answer to this type of question is hard to answer. We are happy to consider any of these types of projects but we don’t run them regularly and our customers tend to be less interested in these sorts of patterns. However, we love great projects no matter how they are constructed or who they are for and we certainly want to see your proposal if you have something you are excited about.
Will you give me yarn if my design is accepted?
Twist Collective will assign yarn to you for any projects that are accepted. Please do not contact a yarn company on our behalf.
As always, it’s a sincere pleasure to work with so many wonderful designers and see all your inspiration each season. If you ever have any questions, comments or feedback, feel free to contact Marnie at marnie AT twistcollective DOT com. We know how much work goes into each submission you send and we try our best to make your experience with us, a positive one.