Ungu Pen is on the lookout to publish very short stories in Malay for readers aged 12 to 16-year olds.
Before you submit your manuscript, please read along. Please also refer to our Guidelines and Sample Template.

1) Stories are between 200-400 words.
2) Must be relatable and relevant to ages 12 to 16-year olds
3) Must appeal to Singaporean adolescence/ teens/ boys and girls, and set in the local Singapore context
4) Must be written in standard Malay language
5) Stories are fiction
6) There will be no accompanying illustrations to stories
7) Stories are original and not plagiarised or published elsewhere (whether online or otherwise) *we take a serious view of anyone caught plagiarising the work of others, copyrighted or not
8) At the end of each story, you will select 6 words from your main text and place the words and its corresponding meaning as glossary at the end of the main text. We will select the final 5 words.
9) Open to all

1) Stories related to boy-girl puppy/monkey love, ghost, mysticism, suicide, racism, lgbtq, anthropomorphism—well you get the idea.
2) Schools’ composition writings

1) Your manuscript is to be written in Microsoft Word Format (DO NOT PDF) according to the guidelines and template
2) You can send more than 1 entry

Email to info@ungupen.com with the header SHORT STORIES SUBMISSION

30 September 2020 – Extended. You may submit at any time before the deadline.

We will inform you of your manuscript status within 1-2 months of the closing date. In the meantime, we will contact you only if we have any additional questions about you or your manuscript. If your story is selected, we will send you an agreement for you to sign for us to publish your story as part of the compilation.

1) One complimentary copy of the book or zine
2) Discounts for subsequent purchase of the book or zine
3) Net royalty that will be shared equally among all the contributors in the book
– Details will only be shared if your story is selected

1) You will not be rich nor famous *manage your expectation*
2) Your life will not be unnecessarily upended

1) Get to be invited as speaker to share your story
2) Get to use the book/ zine as possible workshop content if you are a Malay language educator, trainer, facilitator, youth activist etc

However, if you do not hear from us within three months, you may assume that we are not keen to publish your manuscript at this point in time. While necessary care will be exercised, Ungu Pen assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of materials received. Please always ensure that you have kept a copy for yourself; we practice a zero-return policy even for e-manuscript. If your story is not selected for publication, you can do whatever you wish with your story.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to reading your manuscript.

Guidelines for Preparing Manuscripts for Submission
Submit your manuscript as a Microsoft Word document.

All manuscripts should be prepared with 1-inch margins on all sides, double lined-spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font and page numbers. Set the page size to A4. Do not justify text, instead align text to the left using the ‘align left’ button in Microsoft Word. Please see template below.

Why Is It Important to Format My Manuscript Correctly?
Shepherding a book/zine from a manuscript to its final, printed form is a long process that involves several individuals at every stage, including an editor, a layout designer, a proofreader and the designers working at the printers who do the final stages of preparation before the book is sent to print. The cleaner a manuscript is when it arrives on a publisher’s/ editor’s desk—less grammar, spelling, punctuation errors etc—the less chance there is that proofreading or typesetting errors will remain, and the less chance of back and forth with you—the author. Clarity of your message is also important.

Therefore, we ask authors to follow these basic guidelines for submission.

Notes on Formatting and Punctuation
• In general, all formatting should appear in the document as it is meant to appear in the final book. Italics are to be indicated with italics, not with underlining; spaces and spacing should be maintained in exactly the form meant to be seen in print.
• Do not insert extra lines between paragraphs, except when indicated by the original text (in the case of translations), or when intended as a section break or matter of style. Paragraph breaks are to be indicated using a simple ‘return’ and then indent (by typing the ‘tab’ key once).
• Single spaces (not double) after full stops and other punctuation.
• Most punctuation, and all full stops and commas, are to be placed outside quotation marks, as in British usage. The exception is in dialogue.
• Ellipses are to be indicated using the automatically formatted, single-character ellipsis provided by Microsoft Word (‘…’), with no spaces on either side. On a Mac, this can be formatted by pressing the ‘option’ button followed by a semicolon, or formatted automatically in Word by typing three full stops without spaces. Do not use four-point ellipses.
• Dashes are to be formatted as em dashes (‘—’) only, not en dashes (‘–’), with no spaces on either side. The proper em dash character is available either through the ‘Insert/Symbol’ feature in Microsoft Word, or via auto-formatting (i.e., two hyphens ‘–’ placed without spaces between two letters or words should automatically be replaced by an em dash, if your settings are correct).
• En dashes, not hyphens, are to be used to indicate a date range, as in ‘1914–1918’, with no spaces on either side (i.e., two hyphens ‘–’ placed with spaces between two letters or words should automatically be replaced by an en dash, if your settings are correct
• When in doubt about spellings and meanings of words in Bahasa Melayu, please refer to http://prpm.dbp.gov.my/cari1?keyword=kamus%20online
• All that being said, Ungu Pen reserves the right to make the final decisions and edits as it deems fit to ensure that the stories are aligned with the intent of the publication and consistent with the overall look and feel of the publication.
• Please see the template for reference:


We look forward to your submission!