BellaOnline Literary Review

Top Mistakes To Avoid / Reasons We Reject Submissions

Each Mused submission cycle we are deluged with photos and images from around the world. Many times an image is one that we would love to feature in Mused - but we can't because of a technical failing that just can't be overlooked.

Make sure you don't fall into these common traps when creating and submitting your artwork to Mused or to any other literary magazine or competition!

Image is Too Small
Mused requires all images to be at least 1,000 pixels on each side. That means the image needs to be at least 1,000 pixels high and at least 1,000 pixels wide. If the image is smaller than that, it's too small to print. You can't artificially "inflate" a smaller image to be bigger - this damages the image. Read more about why it's critical to submit an image that is large enough for the place you're submitting it to.
Image Size in Artwork

Image is Not In Focus
I'm sure we can find examples of incredibly wonderful images which are slightly out of focus, where that slight fuzz makes them perfect. However, the vast majority of the time an image that is slightly fuzzy simply looks like a poorly taken photo where the photographer didn't use their camera properly. Take the time to learn how to use your camera's settings so that - in whatever light you have available - you can take the sharpest photo possible. Many photographers take 20 or 30 photos of a given subject, at different exposures and settings, in order to get that one perfect photo.
Focus in Artwork

Image is Not Ready for Publication
If the image has a giant time stamp in the corner of the page, we can't run that! We will not be editing your image. What you send is what we run. Therefore, remember to crop your image properly before submitting it. If you are accepted, we will be publishing exactly what you send us. Remove all dates or watermarks. Adjust the brightness and contrast to best bring out the colors and focus of your image.

Image Suffers from Clutter
Many images submitted have power lines right across the center of the image, distracting people waving from the side, or sun glare which creates a gigantic white spot in the top left corner. These all distract from the viewer taking in the main focus of the image. If you have a power line in the bottom right corner of your image, and it distracts from the beauty of your flower, then we will judge the overall image accordingly. Be sure to trim out distracting items from the sides. Most of this type of composition needs to be done when you're actually taking the photo. Yes it takes some time to determine where the perfect shot will be taken from, but move around and be patient until you get that ideal vantage point without distracting people or objects in the way. If all else fails, Photoshop can do wonders.
Snapshots vs Art Photographs

Of course rules are meant to be broken, but by and large images which fall within these recommendations are the ones best received by viewers.

To Learn More  .   .   .

Visual Art Submission Guidelines
Focus in Artwork
Movement in Artwork
The Rule of Thirds
Snapshots vs Art Photographs
Image Size in Artwork
Taking a Photo of Visual Art
Top Mistakes To Avoid  ← You Are Here
Visual Art Submission Form