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Duosuma® Duotrope's Submission Manager

Guide to Custom Questions


BETA: This feature is in beta-testing phase and may be changed or removed at any time.

What is a custom question?

A Custom Question is a question presented to submitters. Not all submission calls need Custom Questions, but if you require information from your submitters that is outside the normal submission process, you can set up Custom Questions to get that information.

Note: We strongly recommend asking no more than three or four questions. If you ask too many questions, it's likely that fewer people will complete the submission process.

Are there any questions I should not ask? What is already part of the submission process?

The normal submission process includes Name, Pseudonym*, Address* (email and/or physical), Cover Letter*, Bio*, titles of pieces, submission files, and word count* (for fiction/nonfiction) so please do not create custom questions that request any of that information. If you do so, your potential submitters will be asked to answer the same question twice. We highly recommend going through some test submissions so you understand what the submission process entails.
* You have the option of requiring these, making them optional, or not requesting them at all, depending on your needs.

Also, do not collect payment information using custom questions. That is against the Terms of Service. If you need to collect fees or tips, you may only do that by setting up to collect fees/tips.

How do I manage my questions?

The Manage Questions page is where you can manage your questions. To access this page, you must be the Account Owner or have "Manage Templates, Tags, and Questions" privileges.

How do I add custom questions?

To add a new question, start by clicking Add a Question. You'll be presented with a short form to set up the question.

Question Settings

Type: (Required.) This determines how the submitter will provide an answer. The options are:

  • Text: The submitter can type their response in a text box.
  • Yes/No: The submitter can select either Yes or No.
  • Single option from list of options: You will provide a preset list of options, and the submitter can select one of them.
  • Link: The submitter can type (or cut/paste) in a link to a website.
  • File: The submitter can upload a file. Examples: You can use this option to request an author photo or a copy of their drivers' license or student ID. (Note that files in response to questions cannot exceed 5MB.)

Question: (Required. Max. 255 characters.) Enter the text for the question.

Required: If the submitter must provide a response to this question, set it as Required.

Instructions: (Optional.) If you have special instructions for this question, enter that here.

Answer Length: (Applies only to Type: Text.) Set the maximum number of characters you will accept for the response, not exceeding 4,000 characters. (1,000 characters is approximately equivalent to 142 words.)

Answer Options: (Applies only to Type: Single Option. Required.) Provide the preset options that will be presented to the submitter. Type the first option in the box and hit Enter or comma. Then click the box again and type the next option. Repeat until you've added them all. If you need to remove any, use the X to delete them.

File Types: (Applies only to Type: File. Required.) Select the file types that you will accept from: .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .odt, .pages, .pdf, .png, .rtf, .svg, .tif, .txt.

Acceptable Answers: (Optional. Applies only to Type: Yes/No and Type: Single Option.) If you will only allow people selecting certain option(s) to continue submitting, set which response(s) are allowed. If a submitter selects a non-acceptable answer, they will be unable to continue their submission. (You are never charged for incomplete submissions.)
If you want all submitters to be able to complete their submissions, no matter what option they choose, do not select anything in this section.

Note: If you only allow submissions from a certain demographic, be sure to clearly state that in the Project description and in the Call description. Otherwise, it will frustrate people who don't find that out until they have started the submission process.

Ask On: (Required.) This is where you set which projects and/or calls will ask this question. The options are:

  • All Projects and Calls: This question will be asked on all your projects and calls, including projects and calls added at a later date.
  • Select Projects and Calls: You will select which specific projects and calls will ask this question. If you add more projects and calls at a later date, you will need to update this setting.

See more Documentation.
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