Wednesday, October 28, 2020

35 Writing Contests in November 2020 - No entry fees

This November there are nearly three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $50,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

If you want to get a jump on next month's contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck!

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


 Undiscovered Voices Fellowship. "The Writer’s Center seeks promising writers in the Washington area earning less than $25,000 annually to apply. This program will provide complimentary writing workshops to the selected applicant for a period of one year, but not to exceed 8 workshops in that year (and not to include independent studies). We expect the recipient will use the year to make progress toward a completed manuscript of publishable work." Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Weird Christmas Flash ContestGenre: Weird flash fiction. 350 words max. Prize: $50 first prize, $25 second prize. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants Program for Unpublished Writers.  Restrictions: Writers must not have published a book, short story, or dramatic work in the mystery field, either in print, electronic, or audio form. Genre: Mystery stories of the Agatha Christie type—i.e., “traditional mysteries.” These works usually feature no excessive gore, gratuitous violence, or explicit sex. Prize: Each grant may be used to offset registration, travel, or other expenses related to attendance at a writers' conference or workshop within a year of the date of the award (no later than May 2016). In the case of nonfiction, the grant may be used to offset research expenses. Each grant currently includes a $1,500 award plus a comprehensive registration for the following year's convention and two nights' lodging at the convention hotel, but does not include travel to the convention or meals. Deadline: November 1, 2020. Read details here.

Commonwealth Short Story PrizeRestrictions: Open to citizens of the British  Commonwealth.     Genre: Unpublished short fiction (2,000-5,000 words) in English. Short stories translated into English from other languages are also eligible. Prize: Regional winners receive £2,500 (US$3,835) and the overall winner will receive £5,000 (US$7,670). Deadline: November 1, 2020. 

Quarterly WestRestrictions: Free for writers of color. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: November 1, 2020. 

Treehouse Climate Action Poem PrizeRestrictions: Open to US poets for previously unpublished poems of any length that "help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present." Genre: Poetry. Prize: Up to $1,000. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Gotham Book PrizeGenre: Book. "The Gotham Book Prize is awarded once a year to the best book (works of fiction and nonfiction are eligible) published that calendar year that either is about New York City or takes place in New York City." Prize: $50,000. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Defenstration.netGenre: Flash fiction Suite: at least three flash fiction works that correlate, and build to something greater. Prize: $75. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Systems Change AllianceGenre: Flash fiction. "Give us a snapshot into a post-pandemic world in which a shift towards positive systems change has occurred and a new paradigm is established or unfolding." Prize: 1st Prize – 300 EU, 2 Runners Up – 100 EU. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Man Booker International Prize. The Man Booker International Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. Prize: £50,000 divided equally between the author and the translator. There will be a prize of £2,000 each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator. DeadlineNovember 6, 2020 for works published between May 1 and December 31, 2020.

Society of Classical Poets, Ekphrastic ContestGenre: Write a poem based on a given photo.   Prize$100. DeadlineNovember 8, 2020.

Dylan Thomas PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be aged 39 or under. Eligible books must have been commercially published for the first time in the English language between January 1 and December 31 of the year in which the deadline falls. Genre: Published books of poetry, fiction (novel, novella, or short story collection), radio scripts, or screenplays. Prize: 30,000 pounds, plus 1,000 pounds for shortlisted authors. Deadline: November 9, 2020.

Women's Prize for FictionGenre: Published book by a woman. Entrants must be writing in English and must be published in the UK. All subject matters and women of any age, from any nationality or country of residence are eligible. Prize: £30,000.00. DeadlineNovember 9, 2020. (Their website is hard to navigate.)

So to SpeakRestrictions: Fee-Free for Black and Indigenous Writers. Genre: Feminist fiction. Prize: $500 and publication. DeadlineNovember 10, 2020.

Arts & Letters AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Genres: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, art, music, and French language. Entries must be unpublished and completed during the previous 12 months. Prizes: C$1,000 and C$250. Deadline: November 13, 2020.

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging WritersRestrictions: PEN America will only accept submissions from editors of eligible publications. Authors may not submit their own short story for this award. Genre: First published short story. Prize: $2000 and publication in The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories. Deadline: November 15, 2020.

Frontier OpenGenre: Poem. Prize: $5000. Deadline: November 15, 2020.

The Marfield Prize, also known as the National Award for Arts Writing, is given annually by the Arts Club of Washington to nonfiction books about the arts written for a broad audience. Genre: Non-fiction book. Self-published books not accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: November 16, 2020.

One Teen StoryRestrictions: Open to writers age 13 -19. Genre: Short story between 2,000 to 4,500 words. Prize: $500 upon publication and 25 copies of the magazine. Deadline: November 20, 2020. 

Polar Expressions Publications Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300, $200, $100. Deadline: November 27, 2020.

Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Student writers in the 11th grade. Prizes: First Prize – $500, Second Prize – $250, Third Prize – $100. Deadline: November 29, 2019.

Paul Torday Memorial PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be over 60. Genre: First published novel. The novel must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020. Prize: £1,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

ServicescapeGenre: Short story or nonfiction up to 5,000 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Betty Trask PrizeRestrictions: Author must be a Commonwealth citizen. Genre: First novels, published or unpublished, written by authors under the age of 35 in a "traditional or romantic, but not experimental, style." Prize: Awards totaling 20,000 pounds. Top prize 10,000 pounds. The prize money must be used for foreign travel. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young WritersRestrictions: Open to writers aged 16-18. Genre: Poem (1). Prize: Full scholarship to The Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, an intensive two-week summer seminar for writers aged 16-18. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Somerset Maugham AwardsRestrictions: Open to UK writers under the age of 35. Genre: Published work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Prize: 2,500 pounds apiece to four winners. Prize money must be used for travel. Deadline: November 30, 2020. 

UNT Rilke PrizeRestrictions: US citizens or residents. Open to authors with at least two prior published books of poetry. Genre: Book of poetry published between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: November 30, 2020. 

AVBOB Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to any citizen of South Africa. Genre: Poetry.   Prize: R10,000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Brunel International African Poetry PrizeRestrictions: The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize. Genre: Poetry. Prize: £3000. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

J. F. Powers Prize for Short FictionGenre: Short fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Unified Caring Association Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to US High School Juniors and Seniors. Genre: Essay. Choose one category: Children, Animals, Reforestation or Elderly. Word count: 500 words minimum. Prize: 10 first prizes of $550 scholarship; 10 honorable mention essays will each receive a $250 scholarship. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Back To School ContestGenre: Story about a school memory. 20 words max. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Better Than StarbucksGenre: Metrical poetry. Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. They'll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Prize: $100.  Deadline: November 30, 2020. Previously published work accepted.

Renee Duke Youth Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to young poets age 17 and under. Genre: Poem relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Prize: $100. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Anita McAndrews Poetry AwardGenre: Poetry on theme of human rights. Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recommended. Prize: First prize $200, Second prize $50. Deadline: November 30, 2020.

Monday, October 26, 2020

12 Writing Conferences in November 2020

Writing conferences tend to slow down during the holidays, but in November there are still a dozen being offered, mostly via online formats. You can attend workshops, presentations, readings, discussions, lectures, and critiques via Zoom.

Plan ahead! Conferences often offer scholarships, but these have deadlines. If one of these conferences interests you, put the scholarship deadline date on your calendar for next year, or for whenever the conference rolls around again.

For a full list of conferences, organized by month, see Writing Conferences. While nearly all of these are in the United States, you can find links on that page that will take you to world-wide conference lists.

(Photo credit: Onscout)


Bookgardan: A Year's Sustenance for Writers. November 1, 2020 - November 1, 2021: Keene, NY. "Devote a year to writing your book in community with an intimate group of dedicated writers, nurtured from start to finish by acclaimed author, seasoned editor, and literary mentor Kate Moses. The program opens and closes with week-long fall residency intensives at Craigardan, a secluded artists' retreat set at a circa-1800s farm nestled in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York. From the first residency onward Kate will provide writers the structure, tools, and guidance required to cultivate and nourish their manuscripts, with the goal of bringing projects to fruition (a full first draft, a revised draft, or meeting an individual goal) by program's end. Throughout the year, writers will receive ongoing individual and group mentorship, one-on-one monthly conferences in response to their manuscript submissions, and take part in online craft tutorials, group seminars, interviews with published writers and publishing professionals, and other opportunities for connection with like-minded artists sharing in an often solitary endeavor. Bookgardan culminates twelve months later—once again syncing with the autumn harvest—with a second Craigardan residency focused on the business of writing and publishing, the sustenance of lasting fellowship, and a deserved celebration. Limited to a maximum of 6 participants each year." Will be held online.

Wright Women Writers Conference. November 5- 7, 2020: University of Central Arkansas. "The C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference focuses on women-identifying writers from all genres and all experience levels, from journalism to mass market books to literary endeavors, and beyond. Our goal is to provide a space for camaraderie, connection-making, and inspiration, and while women-identifying writers are the only presenters at the conference, we welcome all of our male and male-identifying colleagues to attend. We believe that much of what we have to offer, including the specific, female perspective, is valuable for all audiences, and that male allies are necessary to changing the current gender imbalance in publishing." Will be held virtually.

Sanibel Island Writers Conference. November 5 - 8, 2020: Sanibel Island, Florida. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as manuscript consultations, readings, panels, concerts, and book signings. Faculty and visiting writers have included poets Major Jackson, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, and January Gill O’Neil; fiction writers Julianna Baggott, Lynne Barrett, Brock Clarke, John Dufresne, Tod Goldberg, Steve Kistulentz, Tom McAllister, and Darin Strauss; creative nonfiction writers Steve Almond, Andrea Askowitz, Emily Black, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Joyce Maynard, Jane Roper, and Michael Ruhlman; screenwriter Mark Evan Schwartz; and agent Christopher Schelling (Selectric Artists).

The Craft of Writing Series: Poetry. November 5 - 19, 2020. The Craft of Writing Series is a three-week program that takes place virtually the first through third Thursdays of each month. Each month focuses on a different genre or form of writing.  Will be held online.

Atlanta Writers Conference. November 6 - 8, 2020: Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Writers Conference will be held from November 6 to November 8 online and at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel in Atlanta. The conference features online craft and marketing workshops, editing consultations via e-mail, and in-person pitch sessions and manuscript and query letter critiques for fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and graphic novelists. Participating publishing professionals include editors Nettie Finn (St. Martin’s Press), Nate Lanman (William Morrow/HarperCollins), Erin McClary (Sourcebooks), Chayenne Skeete (Penguin Random House), Haley Swanson (HarperCollins), and Alicia Tan (HarperCollins), and agents Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron & Associates), Lauren Bieker (FinePrint Literary Management), Savannah Brooks (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency), Penelope Burns (Gelfman Schneider/ICM), Brenna English-Loeb (Transatlantic Agency), Ronald Gerber (Lowenstein Associates), Jennifer Grimaldi (Chalberg & Sussman), Kaitlyn Johnson (Belcastro Literary Agency), Maria Napolitano (Bookcase Literary Agency), and Samantha Wekstein (Thompson Literary Agency). The cost of a single session ranges from $75 to $190; the cost of the All-Activities Package, which includes two manuscript critiques, one query letter critique, two pitch sessions, two workshops, and an optional preconference manuscript edit, is $650. Writers who are not members of the Atlanta Writers Club must purchase a yearlong membership for an additional $50 in order to register. The deadline to register for a manuscript critique is October 7. Space is limited; registration is first come, first served. The general registration deadline is November 5. Lodging is available at the conference hotel for a discounted rate of $129 per night until October 15. Will be held online and in person.

Breakthrough Novel Weekend. November 6 - 8, 2020: Portland, Oregon. "Is your work-in-progress your breakthrough? How can you tell? What factors matter and which should you focus on? Are you presenting your work in the best light, with a persuasive query letter and synopsis? Master instructor Donald Maass knows the answers and offers in the Breakthrough Novel Workshop practical ways to create what feels magical on the page."

Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp. November 6 - 9, 2020. Tahoe City, CA. The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir or short story collection) and would like to engage with a small group for a serious and productive response. The long weekend will include an intimate full manuscript workshop, craft talks, readings, an agent panel and individual agent meetings – the perfect pre-publication boot camp for any manuscript. Classes are limited to 5 participants.Tuition includes one three-day workshop, admittance to all craft talks, panels and readings, a one-on-one with an agent, all meals (dinner on Friday; three meals Saturday and Sunday; breakfast, and lunch on Sunday) and lodging in a single room for three nights. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.

Breakout Novel Intensive 2.0. November 9 - 15, 2020: Hood River, OR. Included are new or revised units on story discovery, strong voice, standout characters, the inner journey, compelling story worlds, beautiful writing, creating resonance and finding meaning in both story and process. Breakout fundamentals are also covered: strong characters, inner conflict, personal stakes, plot layers, powerful scenes, micro-tension, practical theme techniques and much more. Instructor: Donald Maass. Will be held online.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Writingest State Online Conference. November 10 -14, 2020. The WSOC will feature classes and conversations on the craft and business of writing, as well as a keynote address by North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green, a Pre-Conference Tailgate and a Prompt Party to get creative juices flowing, online Open Mic readings and Happy Hour virtual gatherings, and an Agents & Editors panel discussion. Will be held online.

The Monterey Writer Retreat in California. November 11 - 15, 2020: Monterey, CA. Participants in the Monterey Writer Retreat will work one-on-one with two of the best literary "closers" in the business: Gina Panettieri and Michael Neff combine 38 years of working with aspiring authors and ushering them to publication. They will be available for multiple private consultations from 9 AM to noon and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM each day of the retreat. Choice of sessions and focus will be up to each individual writer. Additionally, as circumstances permit, Gina and Michael will also join retreaters in their quest for superb dining and festivity opportunities in the Monterey and Carmel area.

Fall Nonfiction Writers Conference. November 12 - 13, 2020. ONLINE EVENT. Online conference devoted to writing, publishing and promoting non-fiction books. Participation is live via phone or Skype, and recordings can be downloaded. Features 15 speakers over three days. Private Facebook group for attendees!

Red Clay Writers Conference. November 14 - 15, 2020: Kennesaw GA. The Red Clay Writers Conference is the annual conference of the Georgia Writers Association. Red Clay encourages and inspires writers across Georgia through a full day of literary events that focus on the art and craft of writing.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

3 UK Agents Seeking Nonfiction, Thrillers, Romance, Poetry, SF/F, Fiction and more

Here are three UK literary agents actively looking for writers. Sile Edwards is looking for nonfiction and all genres of fiction, but she is especially interested in crime thrillers, romantic comedies, poetry and upmarket fiction. Julie Fergusson is interested in fiction across a range of genres, particularly psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, sci-fi, near-future speculative, romcoms, reading group and literary fiction. She is interested in non-fiction that explores big ideas in the areas of popular science and social justice. Eleanor Birne is looking for writers from all backgrounds and regions who have a unique story to tell — whether in fiction or non-fiction.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Ms. Sile Edwards of Mushens Entertainment

Silé began her career in publishing with several internships across the industry whilst studying for a degree in English with Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University. After graduating she worked at the Publishers Association supporting their campaigns and other communications functions. She then moved to Curtis Brown as an assistant in the Book Department, where she supported deals for a large and eclectic list of clients including Adam Kay, Deliciously Ella, Alys Fowler, Viv Groskop, Katy Brand and Lucy Foley. She is a trustee for award-winning mentoring charity and network Arts Emergency.

What she is seeking: Silé is looking for books that inform our understanding of the world, society and the ways we live. She is interested in a range of Non-Fiction from emotive life writing to topical essay-like writing to projects on cookery and food. She is particularly keen on finding experts in their field who want to write about what they know in a way that everyone can understand, appreciate and enjoy.

Silé also accepts fiction submissions. She is open to all genres, but especially interested in crime thrillers, romantic comedies, poetry and upmarket fiction.

How to submit: Please email jmsubmissions@mushens-entertainment.comwith your query and writing sample. (See website for specific instructions.)


Ms. Julie Fergusson of The North Literary Agency

Julie obtained degrees in math then creative writing from Edinburgh University, before working for several years as both a publisher and a freelance editor.

What she is seeking: She is looking for fiction across a range of genres, particularly psychological thrillers, domestic suspense, sci-fi, near-future speculative, romcoms, reading group and literary fiction. She is interested in non-fiction that explores big ideas in the areas of popular science and social justice.

How to submit: Use the agency's submission form HERE.


Ms. Eleanor Birne
of PEW Literary

Eleanor Birne has worked in the publishing industry for twenty years. She began life as an agent at David Godwin Associates and before that was Publishing Director at John Murray where she published across literary fiction and non-fiction. Prior to that, she was Editorial Director at Duckworth Publishers. She started her publishing career in the academic division at Macmillan Press and while at university she worked as a bookseller..

What she is seeking: She is looking for writers from all backgrounds and regions who have a unique story to tell — whether in fiction or non-fiction. 

How to submit: If submitting a fiction manuscript, please submit the opening three chapters (or fifty pages) along with a synopsis. The synopsis should be a clear explanation of the plot from first to final chapter. Please accompany your submission with a brief cover letter that tells us a little about you as a writer. Send your work to For non-fiction send a proposal. Your proposal should be approximately thirty pages long. (See website for specifics.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

5 Agents Seeking Children's and Young Adult Books

Here are five agents seeking books for children in all genres, from picture books, to middle grade, up to books for young adults. Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Ms. Lucy Irvine
 of Peters Fraser & Dunlop (UK)

Lucy Irvine is an Associate Agent, working with Silvia Molteni on PFD’s children’s list. After graduating from University College London with an MA in Issues in Modern Culture in 2017, she interned at Agora Books, PFD’s publishing arm, before becoming assistant to CEO Caroline Michel. She began her new role in June 2019.

What she is seeking: She is actively building her own list, and is looking particularly for commercial Middle Grade and YA – both fiction and non-fiction – along with picture books, illustrated fiction for younger readers, and graphic novels.

How to submit: Please send the first three chapters of your novel or non-fiction project, as well as a full synopsis along with your query to:


Ms. Tori Sharp 
of Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency 

Tori Sharp joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency as an Associate Literary Agent in 2020 after interning for two years. Tori has a BFA in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her graphic memoir, JUST PRETEND, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in spring 2021. When she’s not reading, writing, or making comics, she can be found swing and blues dancing, playing tabletop games, or exploring coffee shops in beautiful Seattle, WA.

What she is seeking
: Children's literature: graphic novels, MG, YA (especially SFF).

How to submit
: Please email a one-page query letter to Please include “Query” and the title of your project in the subject line and paste the first twenty pages of your manuscript below your query letter. Graphic novelists should paste a one- to two-page synopsis and five to ten finished sample pages in the body of the email. Please include a full link to your online portfolio in your query. Please do not use link shorteners like Graphic novelists do not need a full script or thumbnail draft in order to query, but have a thorough synopsis available upon request.


Ms. Kelly Dyksterhouse 
of Raven Quill Literary Agency

"I graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2014 with an MFA in Writing and have not looked back. My stories and articles have been published in magazines and my YA story, Match Point, was a finalist for the Katherine Patterson Award. I have interned for several literary agencies and have acted as editorial reader for Hunger Mountain Literary Magazine’s Katherine Paterson Prize. I enjoy speaking and teaching on writing craft and leading writing workshops. Over the years, I’ve seen over 20 projects, from picture books to novels, evolve from rough manuscripts to polished books on store shelves."

What she is seeking: Books for children and young adults.

How to submit: Use her submission form HERE.


Ms. Joyce Sweeney
of The Seymour Agency

Joyce Sweeney has worn a lot of hats. She is the author of fourteen novels for young adults, and two chapbooks of poetry. She created and managed a local theater company in South Florida for ten years, mentoring local playwrights, producing and directing their plays. For the past twenty-five years, she has taught creative writing, both in person and online, and has mentored over sixty of her students to traditional publishing contracts. She has edited countless manuscripts and will be the quintessential ‘editorial agent’.

What she is seeking: In Picture Books: Fiction or non-fiction. I am drawn to lyrical voices, fun syntax and offbeat concepts. I like unusual characters, and plots that make me cry or laugh out loud. Illustrator/authors welcome and rhyme (if you REALLY know how to do it) is fine. Diversity, please. Most of all, be unique. In Middle Grade: I am especially drawn to humor, fantasy and sci-fi, but a realistic novel that makes me cry will work too. Actively looking for graphic novels. Advocate of books for boys. Would love to see more LGBTQ as well.

How to submit: For queries, send an email to


Ms. Jas Perry
of KT Literary

Jas Perry is a freelance editor and Manhattan-based associate agent with kt literary. She attended New York University in Florence and London before graduating with a degree in English from CUNY Hunter College. She was awarded the We Need Diverse Books Internship Grant and held several editorial intern positions with Levine Querido and Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books, where she assisted on titles by Kelly Yang, Varian Johnson, Daniel José Older, Eric Gansworth, A.S. King, Francisco X Stork, and Cherie Priest, among others. Jas is Black American/Japanese and interested in representing a diverse range of strong voices — especially by disabled and/or QTPOC creators. She particularly enjoys dark contemporary fiction, offbeat humor, (Alondra Nelson-defined) Afrofuturism, and bold SFF that makes her think.

What she is seeking: Jas is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction.

How to submit: Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to Jas at

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

49 Calls for Submissions in October 2020 - Paying markets

There are more than four dozen calls for submissions in October. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, every genre, style, and form is wanted, from short stories to poetry to essays.

I post the following month's calls for submissions toward the end of every month. But as I am collecting them, I post them on my page, Calls for Submissions. You can get a jump on next month's calls for submissions by checking that page periodically throughout the month. (I only post paying markets.)

Also see Paying Markets for hundreds of paying markets arranged by form and genre.

Happy submitting!


Kenyon ReviewGenre: Prose, drama, poetry, translations, excerpts. Payment: Not specified.   Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Shadows Over AvalonGenre: Cthulhu Mythos stories set in the Arthurian world. Payment: Revenue sharing.  Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Raconteur Literary MagazineGenre: Fiction, CNF, poetry, art. Raconteur is a literary magazine publishing engaging, interesting, eclectic and witty writing and artwork by international writers and artists, online and in print, 3 times per year. Payment: Prose $10, poetry $5. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

The Temz ReviewGenre: Fiction and creative non-fiction up to 10,000 words long. Payment: $20 for prose, $20 per batch of poems. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Gordon Square Review. Genre: Poetry and prose. Payment: $25 per prose piece and $10 per poem. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Please See MeGenre: Poetry, creative nonfiction/essays, fiction/short stories/flash fiction, scripts and digital media (photography, drawings, podcasts, and short films). "Patients, students, family members, caregivers, nurses, physicians, healthcare consumers, artists, mental health providers, physical therapists, writers, clergy—all of us will be patients one day and all are welcome to submit work. We are especially looking for content that connects us, make us feel something, or helps us see illness, wellness, health, or the healthcare environment differently." Payment: Unspecified.   Deadline: October 1, 2020.

The Evil Cookie Publishing: Bludgeon Tools – Tool Infused Splatterpunk AnthologyGenre: Spatterpunk/horror. Payment: $0.03/word. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

The Last LineGenre: Fiction that ends with the last line provided. Payment: $20-$40. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale MagazineGenre: Fairy tales, and essays on theme of Angels. Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50. Deadline: October 3, 2020.

Bright Wall/Dark RoomGenre: Essay. "The theme for our November issue is ‘Farce,’ and we’re looking for thoughtful analysis of movies and TV that deal with the madcap, the zany, and the world’s all-too-real absurdity.” Payment: $100. Deadline: October 3, 2020.

Sans.Press. Genre: Stories about a secret. Payment: €10. Deadline: October 4, 2020.

Zombie Pirate Publishing: Pirates of the EmpyreanGenre: Science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, or steampunk stories featuring pirates. Payment: $10. Deadline: October 5, 2020.

HavokGenre: Flash fiction 300 - 1,000 words on theme of Sight. Payment: Pays for anthologies only. Deadline: October 5, 2020. See accepted genres.

Tales from the Moonlit PathGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: October 8, 2020.

Third Point PressGenre: Fiction, flash fiction, poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: October 9, 2020.

Sage Cigarettes. Genre: Art, poetry on theme of Halloween. Payment: $5 - $10. Deadline: October 9, 2020.

Understorey MagazineRestrictions: Open to Canadian women writers only. Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, spoken word, and visual art about food work. Payment: $50 - $100.  DeadlineOctober 9, 2020.

Curiosities. Genre: Steampunk, dieselpunk, dreadpunk, bronzepunk, others that haven’t even been invented yet punk Fairy Tales. Payment: 4 cents a word USD for original fiction and a penny a word for reprints, with a minimum of $40 USD for stories less than 1000 words. DeadlineOctober 14, 2020.

Madonna Anthology. Genre: Short prose. "Are you a fan of pop-singer Madonna? We’re seeking original stories about the impact she’s had on individual lives. Submissions should be 1500-3500 words. Feel free to supplement with photos with Madonna, photos dressed like Madonna, or other related materials." Payment: $25. DeadlineOctober 15, 2020. Note: There doesn't appear to be a website.

UnderblongGenre: Poetry, art. "Underblong is a journal of the not-quite-so, of unfinished thoughts, of unresolved anger, of unforgotten macaroni art. Underblong is the coatroom of your secret’s secrets, a boiling pot of kit-kats becoming your favorite soup. Send us a poem that cuts through the crap. Send us your dinner chicken." Payment: $20. DeadlineOctober 15, 2020.

ArcRestrictions: Open to writing by trans, Two-Spirit, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $50. DeadlineOctober 15, 2020.

The Spectacle. Genre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Payment: $50. DeadlineOctober 15, 2020. Submit early in the month to avoid fee.

WordWorksRestrictions: Open to writers in British Columbia or Yukon, Canada. Genre: Nonfiction. Journalism, blogging, history, memoir, podcasts, local and family history, and more. Payment: Twenty-five cents a word for articles ($50 for reprints). Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Muse MagazineGenre: Nonfiction articles for children on theme of The Ears Have It.  Payment: Not specified. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Griffith Review: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, MoreGenre: Essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories. "What is our relationship with resources, both tangible and intangible, physical and personal? The animal, vegetable, mineral of what we grow, eat, mine, burn, transform and manufacture: all place increasing stress on the world’s ecosystems. With a planetary population of more than 7.8 billion, our resources have never had to do more work, both economically and existentially. How might the shock of a pandemic interrupt all these demands? How might it reframe broader ideas of resourcefulness, of how to live well?" Payment: Negotiated. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Wizards in SpaceGenre: Short stories, poetry and art. "For Wizards in Space’s sixth issue, we’re seeking words & art that explore what it means to forage, to gather, to fight tooth and nail for survival." Payment: $40. Deadline: October 15, 2020. Accepts some reprints.

War Monkey. Genre: Horror. "We are seeking short story submissions (1000-7500 words) for this anthology. The stories must be based upon a regional/cultural legend or tall-tale from any location or culture in the World. “Regional” can be a specific place (Loch Ness) or a larger region (Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest)." Payment: $10. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

RattleGenre: Poetry. Theme: Tribute to Neurodiversity. Payment: $200. Deadline: October 16, 2020.

Shooter Lit. Genre: Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry on theme of Animals. Payment: £25 per story and £5 per poem. Deadline: October 18, 2020.

The Great Void. Genre: Speculative fiction. Length: 1000 - 4000 words. Payment: 30% of profits shared equally among contributors. See themes. Deadline: October 20, 2020.

Human/KindGenre: Poetry, prose and art on themes. (See site for themes.) Payment: $5 for each poem, prose, art, video, experimental or hybrid piece and $3 for each micropoem. Deadline: October 21, 2020.

Story Seed VaultGenre: Microfiction tweets based on science. Payment: Short Fiction (<150CH) $3AUD per story; Long Fiction (>150CH/<200CH) $2AUD per story. Deadline: October 24, 2020. Opens on the 10th.

Scare Street: Night Terrors. Genre: Stories with a focus on ghosts, the supernatural, paranormal, monsters, and dark tales. Payment: $10 per 1,000 words ($0.01/word). Deadline: October 26, 2020. 

Corners of the WorldGenre: Stories. Theme: Mezo-American/Latinx [sic] Authors and Stories. "This year we are looking for Latinx and Mezo-American [sic] authors to submit stories that pertain to the legends, folklore, culture, and fears that exist within and surround the cultures of Central and South America, as well as those that have emigrated to North America bringing their stories with them." Payment: $5. Deadline: October 30, 2020.

Quommunicate Publishing: Queer Faith: LGBTQ+ True Stories AnthologyGenre: LGBTQ+ humor -  fiction, nonfiction, poems, jokes, B&W comics. Payment: $5/page. Deadline: October 31, 2020. Haunts and HellionsGenre: Horror fiction on Gothic Romance. "Gothic Romances of old featured a female protagonist dealing with a terrifying ordeal while struggling to be with her true love. Set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins or haunted castles, the love interest was either a brooding handsome gentleman or a supernatural monster disguised as a gentleman." Payment: $10. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Room MagazineGenre: Feminist fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, art, interviews, and book reviews. Payment: $50 CAD for one page, $60 for two pages, $90 for three pages, $120 for four pages, $150 for five or more pages. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough TimesGenre: True stories and poems. "Tough times won’t last but tough people will. We are looking for stories about how you have been affected and how you and your loved ones are handling the changes in your life. We’re looking for the ups and downs, so share the tough times but also the silver linings, the unexpected blessings, and resilience and gratitude that you have discovered in yourself and the people close to you." Payment: $200. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Consequence Magazine: The Culture of WarGenre: Short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, interviews, reviews, and visual art mainly focused on the culture of war. Payment: $10/page for prose (up to $250), $25/page for poetry, $15/page for translations (up to $250). Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The RumpusGenre: Essays. "We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere, and to lift up new voices alongside those of more established writers we love. We work to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power." Payment: $300 divided among all contributors. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

BrickGenre: Literary nonfiction. Payment: $55–660, depending on the length of accepted work, plus two copies of the issue the work appears in and a one-year subscription to the magazine.  Deadline: October 31, 2020.

ArsenikaGenre: Speculative flash fiction and poetry. Payment: $30 for poems and $60 for fiction. They also publish in audio format. Deadline: October 31, 2020. Accepts reprints. Haunts and Hellions, a Gothic Romance AnthologyGenre: Gothic horror and romance. Payment: $10. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

RattleGenre: Poetry. Ekphrastic Challenge. Payment: $100. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Kissing Dynamite. Genre: Poetry microchap manuscripts. Payment: $50. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

WordFire Press: Unmasked. Genre: Short stories of unmasking, to include a mix of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alien, magical, witchcraft, AI, and romance elements. Payment: 6 cents/word.  Deadline: October 31, 2020.

FurPlanet Productions: Reclamation Project – Year Two. Genre: Furry future fantasy stories between 3,000-15,000 words. Payment: Half a cent per word. Deadline: October 31, 2020. Accepts some reprints.

Lonely Cryptid MediaGenre: Poetry and prose on theme Resist with Every Inch and Every Breath.  Payment: $25 for unpublished writing, $15 for reprints. Deadline: October 31, 2020 for marginalized authors, December 31 for everyone else.

Harbor Review. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

And more ...

The First LineGenre: Stories that use a first line provided by the journal. (See journal for first lines.) Also 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.  Payment:  $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). Deadline: November 1, 2020.

The Periodical, ForlornGenre: Fiction, flash fiction, poetry on Theme: Haunted holidays. Payment: $15. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

FoglifterGenre: LGBTQ fiction, poetry, cross genre work. Payment: $25. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Sliced Up Press: Slashertorte – An Anthology of Cake HorrorGenre: Horror. "Delicious as cake might be, we want you to bring out the darker side of baked goods and give us something scary, disturbing or just plain wrong." Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Constelación MagazineGenre: Bilingual speculative fiction (Spanish/English). Theme: The Bonds That Unite Us / Los lazos que nos unen. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

BoucherconGenre: Short stories on theme of  second chances, redemption, second try, play it again. Payment: $75. Deadline: November 1, 2020.

Thema: The Other VirginiaGenre: Fiction, poetry, and art on theme: The Other Virginia.  Payment: $10-$25 for short fiction and artwork, $10 for poetry. Deadline: November 1, 2020. Accepts reprints.

Off Limits Press: Far From Home. Genre: Adventure horror. Payment: 1 cent/word.  Deadline:  November 1, 2020.

Monday, September 28, 2020

43 Writing Contests in October 2020 - No entry fees

This October there are more than three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $25,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

If you want to get a jump on next month's contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck!


The Governor General’s Literary AwardsRestrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $1,000 - $25,000. Deadline: Nominations by publishers for books in English must reach the Canada Council no later than October 1, 2020.

Bergen International Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Open to everybody under the age of 30. Genre: Essay on theme of My generation. Prize: The winner will receive EUR 2 500. Three runners up each receive EUR 500. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Patricia Dobler Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to women writers over the age of 40 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S., who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,500 top prize and publication of the winning poem in Voices from the Attic. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

The Critical Junior Poet’s AwardRestrictions: Open to students between the ages of 13 and 18. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Perito PrizeGenre: Fiction about accessibility. Prize: £250 and the story will be uploaded to the Perito Prize section of the Perito Ltd website. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Royal Institute of Philosophy Essay PrizeTopic: Knowledge, Truth and Power in an Online World. Prize:  £2,500 top prize. Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Bethune & Son Texas Short Story CompetitionGenre: Unpublished short stories with the Texas theme: "Life and Stories from the Texas Gulf Coast." Prize: Up to $1,000. Deadline: October 2, 2020.

John Glassco Translation Prize. Sponsored by Literary Translators' Association of Canada.  Restrictions: Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. Genre: The work submitted must be the translator's first published book-length translation into English or French. The book must have been published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. Prize: $1000. Deadline: October 2, 2020.

Man Booker International Prize. The Man Booker International Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. Prize: £50,000 divided equally between the author and the translator. There will be a prize of £2,000 each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator. Deadline: October 2, 2020.

Wax Poetry and ArtGenre: Poetry. Prize: Royalties. Deadline: October 4, 2020.

Furious Fiction. Genre: Flash fiction, 500 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: October 4, 2020. Opens October 2.

The Furious Gazelle’s 2020 Halloween Writing ContestGenre: Halloween-themed poetry, fiction, short plays and creative non-fiction. Prize: $50. Deadline: October 5, 2020.

Pass or PagesGenre: Novel. Prize: Possible agent representation. Deadline: October 5 - 9, 2020. (Genre revealed September 22)

Spectator: Letter of the LawGenre: Poetry. "‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,’ according to Shelley, so let’s have a well-known poet writing their own law in verse." Please email up to 16 lines to by midday on 7 October. Prize: £30. Deadline: October 7, 2020.

Tales from the Moonlit Path. Genre: Short story on theme of Halloween; 2000 words max. Prize: $50. Deadline: October 8, 2020.

Bath Flash Fiction AwardGenre: Flash fiction (300 words max). Prize: £1000 prize for the winner, £300 second and £100 third. Two commendations £30 each. Deadline: October 11, 2020.

Dream FoundryRestrictions: Conditions: You have published a total of less than 4,000 words of paid or income-earning speculative fiction in English. You have earned a total of less than USD 320 from those words. You have never been nominated for any award listed here as a major award in speculative fiction. Genre: Short speculative fiction, up to 10,000 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: October 11, 2020.

Grub Street: Writing Black Joy: True Stories From Real PeopleRestrictions: Open to any resident over the age of 18 in New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) and New York state. Genre: True stories between 500 and 1000 words. Submissions can be in any genre: prose, poetry, or cross-genre. "During a time when the news is mostly dispiriting, we want to read true stories about joy – specifically Black joy: moments, scenes, memories, that celebrate Black families, relationships, culture, and history. We are looking for a vivid story that is transporting and meaningful – maybe funny, maybe poignant, but always with joy at its center." Prize: The winner will receive $1000, 2nd place $750, and 3rd place $500. Deadline: October 12, 2020.

North Carolina State Fiction ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of North Carolina with no published fiction books. Genre: Short stories. Prize: $500 for fiction (up to 5,000 words) and $250 for shorter fiction (up to 1,200 words). Deadline: October 13, 2020.

Expatriate and Work Abroad Travel Writing ContestGenre: Essays about working abroad. Prize: Up to $500. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

A Public Space Emerging Writer FellowshipsRestrictions: Open to writers who have not yet contracted to publish a book. Prize: $1000 and six months of editorial support from A Public Space editors to prepare a piece of prose for publication in the magazine. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Apparition Lit. Genre: Speculative fiction; under 1,500 words. Prize: $10. Deadline: October 15, 2020. Opens October 1Note: This is a monthly contest.

Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling ScholarshipRestrictions: Poet must be born in the United States. Genre: Poetry. The sample must not exceed either (1) 40 typed pages or (2) one printed volume plus no more than 20 typed pages of your most recent work. There is no minimum page requirement. Prize: $60,500 for a year of travel and study abroad. Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Bronx Council on the Arts Community Engagement GrantsRestrictions: Open to residents of Bronx County. Genre: All art forms, including writing. Grant: $1000 - $500. Deadline: October 19, 2020.

Welter 55. Genre: 55-word story, poem, or piece of creative nonfiction. "Something to say? Up for a challenge? Can you get your point across in exactly 55 words, no more, no fewer? Help us celebrate our 55th year of Welter."  Prize: $55. Deadline: October 19, 2020.

The Orwell Prize for Political FictionRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction is open to novels and short story collections first published in the UK or Ireland in the calendar year 2020. Genre: Fiction that explores ideas and issues, political themes, dilemmas and injustices through imagined narratives. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: October 30, 2020. 

The Orwell Prize for Political WritingRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is open to nonfiction first published in the UK or Ireland in the calendar year 2020. Genre: Nonfiction, including entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: October 30, 2020. 

Adina Talve-Goodman FellowshipRestrictions: Open to fiction writers aged 21+ who has not yet published a book and has never been enrolled in an MFA program. Writer must not have a book under contract with an agent and/or publisher at time of application, and writer cannot have been published by One Story (or have a forthcoming publication with One Story). Genre: Short fiction that "speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference." Prize: Free tuition for all of One Story's online classes and programming, a travel stipend of $2,000 and tuition to attend week-long summer writers' conference in Brooklyn, and a full manuscript review/consultation of a story collection or novel in progress with an executive editor. Deadline: October 30, 2020.

The Funny Pearls Short Story CompetitionRestrictions: Open to women of all nationalities.Genre: Humor. "Please send us your farce, satire, screwball, or any other subgenre that qualifies as comedy. We need the laughs." Prize: Amazon gift card to the value of £200. Deadline: October 30, 2020. 

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short FictionRestrictions: Open to residents of UK. Genre: Short stories between 2000-6000 words on the theme "Home." Prize: £500 and 10 shortlisted authors will be published in an ebook anthology. Deadline: October 23, 2020.

Oregon Literary Fellowships. Fellowships of $3,000 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. One Women Writers Fellowship and one Writer of Color Fellowship of $3,000 each are also given annually. Submit three copies of up to 15 pages of poetry or 25 pages of prose with the required entry from. Deadline: October 30, 2020.

Victoria Literary Festival Short Story Contests: Hats Off; Ghost Writer. Genre: Short stories of at least 1,400 words. The themes are: ‘Hats Off’ and ‘Ghost Writer’. Writers can submit stories in each of the two contests. Prize: CAD350; CAD50 each for runners-up. Deadline: October 30, 2020.

James Tiptree, Jr Literary AwardGenre: Work that is changing the way we think about gender through speculative narrative. Prize: $500. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The John Byrne AwardRestrictions: Open to residents of Scotland. Genre: A piece of creative work on a chosen theme or value (written work must be no more than 15,000 words in length). Prize:  £7500. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is the most prestigious literary award in the US. Restrictions: Authors must be living American citizens. Self-published works not accepted. Genres: Novels, novellas, and collections of short stories. Prize: $15,000. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The Eric Gregory AwardsRestrictions: Applicants must be under 30 and a British subject by birth and must ordinarily be resident in the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland. Genre: Poetry collection. Previously published work accepted. Prize: £4,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The Young Walter Scott PrizeRestrictions: Open to UK authors aged 11-19. Genre: Historical fiction between 800 and 2000 words. Prizes: £500 travel and research grant to further explore historical places in the UK, and an invitation to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland. Two runners-up in each category receive a £100 book token, and all four winning stories are published in a special YWSP anthology book. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Tom-Gallon Trust AwardRestrictions: Open to citizens of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland with at least one short story published or accepted for publication. Genre: Short story, maximum 5,000 words. May be unpublished. Prize: £1,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Lex:lead Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Candidates must show citizenship in an eligible country and be enrolled in studies with at least one law class in an eligible country at the time of the award. Genre: Essay: How can laws promoting gender and disability rights support economic development? Prize: $500 scholarship. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest is sponsored by Hollins University. Restrictions: Open to young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Up to $5,000 renewable annual Creative Talent Scholarship in creative writing if winner enrolls at Hollins. Free tuition and housing for the university’s Hollins summer creative writing program. $200 cash prize. Publication in Cargoes, Hollins’ award-winning student literary magazine. Ten copies of CargoesDeadline: October 31, 2020.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary PrizeRestrictions: Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction. Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. Prize: First prize of £750, second prize of £500. Winning entries will be posted on the website and also published online by The TelegraphDeadline: October 31, 2020.

McKitterick PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors over age 40 on December 31, 2020. Genre: First novel. The work must have been first published in the UK in the year in which the deadline falls (and not first published abroad), or be unpublished. Prize: £4,000.00. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

The Barbellion Prize. Genre: Fiction, memoir, biography, poetry, or critical non-fiction. “The Barbellion Prize is dedicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing. The prize is awarded annually to an author whose work has best spoken of the experience of chronic illness and/or disability." Prize: £600. Deadline: October 31, 2020.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

33 Writing Conferences in October 2020 - Most held online


While many fall writing conferences have been rescheduled, most are going ahead as planned via online formats. You can still attend workshops, presentations, readings, discussions, lectures, and critiques via Zoom.

Plan ahead! Conferences often offer scholarships, but these have deadlines. If one of these conferences interests you, put the scholarship deadline date on your calendar for next year, or for whenever the conference rolls around again.

For a full list of conferences, organized by month, see Writing Conferences. While nearly all of these are in the United States, you can find links on that page that will take you to world-wide conference lists.


Write on the Sound Writers' Conference and Pre-Conference. Oct 1 - 4, 2020: Edmonds, WA. WOTS offers the opportunity to explore various writing craft techniques with nationally recognized industry professionals in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Will be held online.

The Loft's Wordsmith Conference. October 1 -  4, 2020, Minneapolis MN. "The conference is intended for those ready to pitch their work, those already with a book out or with an agent, and those who want to get more prepared to publish their work. It's intended for prose writers and poets, genre and literary writers, beginning and advanced. In short, we are working hard to pull together a gathering that will feature meaningful sessions, workshops, one-on-one pitch and craft meetings, and networking opportunities for writers of all levels and genres." Will be held online.

The Craft of Writing Series: Memoir. October 1 - 15, 2020. The Craft of Writing Series is a three-week program that takes place virtually the first through third Thursdays of each month. Each month focuses on a different genre or form of writing. Instructors: Denise Low and Thomas Pecore Weso. Will be held online.

The 2020 Sacramento Writing Workshop. October 2, 2020: Sacramento, CA. A full-day “How to Get Published” event. "This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more."

State Writing Conference & Convention, sponsored by The Kansas Authors Club, Oct 2 - 3, 2020, Wichita, Kansas. Writing workshops, panels, and presentations by Kevin Willmott, Huascar Medina and more.

Be a Better Freelancer October 2 - 4, 2020: Baltimore, MD. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction. Will be held virtually.

The Pacific Coast Children's Novel Workshop & Retreat. October 2 - 4 and 16 -18, 2020: Santa Cruz, CA. Intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Faculty includes Laurel Symonds of The Bent Agency, Hannah Mann of Writers House, and Kathleen (Kat) Dougherty. Will be held online.

Picture Book Summit. Oct 3, 2020, Online. An online, one day live event for picture book writers including author keynotes, interviews, workshops and agent & editor panels. Recordings provided for attendees for four months post-conference.

Orion Poetry Workshop. October 6 - November 9, 2020. Six consecutive Saturday afternoons from 3-6pm EDT. Instructor:  Elizabeth Bradfield. Each six-session Zoom workshop is available for $500. Payment within five days of acceptance will guarantee your spot. Cancellations up until a week before the start of the course will result in a full refund. After that, refunds will be conditional on our ability to fill your spot before the course begins. Application deadline: September 10.

Kaz Conference Keep Writing Virtual Nonfiction Cohort. Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2020. Workshops include developmental workshops as well as talks on the practical training of writers with input from editors, publicists, agents, social media experts and productivity coaches. Because reading and reviewing other work helps to strengthen ones own writing, peer review is a requirement of all sessions. Just 10 to 16 writers are accepted for each cohort. Will be held online.

Kaz Conference Keep Writing: Playwriting Intensive for Women Writers. Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2020. Workshops include developmental workshops as well as talks on the practical training of writers with input from editors, publicists, agents, social media experts and productivity coaches. Because reading and reviewing other work helps to strengthen ones own writing, peer review is a requirement of all sessions. Just 10 to 16 writers are accepted for each cohort. Will be held online

John R. Milton Writers' Conference. Oct 8 - 10, 2020: Vermillion, South Dakota. The conference theme is “Prospecting: Uncovering New Veins and Voices in Identity, Genre, and Place.” Mary Gaitskill is keynote author, and Brandon Hobson, Steven Dunn, Karen Salyer McElmurray, and Christine Stewart are featured authors; in addition, the conference will feature readings by USD’s Department of English faculty duncan b. barlow, Leah McCormack, and Lee Ann Roripaugh, and USD Writer in Residence Residence Pete Dexter.

New York Comicon. October 8 - 11, 2020. On Youtube. New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest popular culture convention: Show Floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies and television; Panels and Autograph Sessions give Fans a chance to interact with their favorite Creators; Screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit big and small screens. Online format.

James River Writers Conference. October 9 - 11, 2020: Richmond, Virginia. TThe conference will feature pitch sessions with agents and panel discussions for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The conference will also offer pre-conference master classes on October 9. The keynote features fiction writers Linda Sue Park and Meg Medina in conversation. Participants include poets Athena Dixon and Porsha Olayiwola; fiction writers Heath Hardage Lee, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Ran Walker; nonfiction writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan; and literary agents Lauren Bieker (FinePrint Literary), Michael Carr (Veritas), April Eberhardt (April Eberhardt Literary), Cherise Fisher (Wendy Sherman Associates), Katharine Sands (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency), Eric Smith (P.S. Literary), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary Services). The cost of the conference, which includes a virtual one-on-one meeting with an agent, is $295. Single-day tickets are also available starting at $145. The cost of a master class is an additional $65. Will be held online.

Colrain Classic. October 9 - 12, 2020. "A select group of poets will work with nationally known poets, publishers, and editors Gabriel Fried (Persea Press); Joan Houlihan (Conference Founder / Lesley University MFA Program); Kevin Prufer (Former editor Pleadies Press/University of Houston); and Martha Rhodes (Four Way Books). All poets with an in-progress book-length or chapbook-length manuscript are welcome to apply." Will be conducted online.

WriteAngles. October 10, 2020: South Hadley, Massachusetts. Panels and workshops, with two keynoters, a limited number of agent meetings. Continental breakfast, and buffet lunch included. Will be held online.

Kentucky State Poetry Society. October 10 - 11, 2020. Readings, workshops, panels, and keynote. "The Kentucky State Poetry Society seeks to inspire, encourage, and develop Kentucky’s poets through a wide variety of workshops, lectures, and publishing opportunities. The Kentucky State Poetry Society publishes the biannual literary journal Pegasus, offers a student and adult poetry contest, and hosts an annual poetry conference." Note: Membership not limited to Kentucky residents. Registration: $15. Will be conducted via Zoom.

The Writer's Hotel. October 14 - 20, 2020: NYC. To apply, send the first 5000 words of a prose manuscript or the first 15 poems of a poetry manuscript. We work with writers of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. We do not work on scripts. International applications are welcome. It is $30 to apply. The fee for the 2018 conference is $3,000 and includes the pre-conference TWH Team Reading and NYC in-town events. Early acceptance not only reserves a writer's spot at an intimate conference, it means writers will have ample time to revise before the NYC pitch meetings. 

Annual Florida Writers Conference. October 15 - 18, 2020: Altamonte Springs, Florida. Four workshops and panels dedicated to help you learn how to pitch your story, and more than fifty acclaimed authors, poets, and publishing industry experts for three days of networking opportunities. Will be held online.

Women Writing the West 2020 Conference. October 15 - 18, 2020. "Women Writing the West resonates the inspiration of Colorado Springs for its 2020 Virtual Conference. Just as mountain climbers find the niches necessary to scale vast heights, so we, too, will discover our own niches in craft, identity, and platforms. We’ll tackle methods to mount our own walls and climb to our summits. We’ll discover endless vistas of possibilities and create our personal visions, as endless as the views around us." Will be held online

Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. October 16 - 18, 2020, Grapevine, Texas. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference is a forum for journalists, writers, readers, students, educators and the general public to listen to, be inspired by and practice their craft at the highest possible level. Every year, the Mayborn Conference gathers some of the most talented storytellers in the country to share their stories, life-changing experiences and expertise with aspiring writers through three days of lectures, panels, one-on-one sessions, and student classes. In addition, the conference includes a variety of writing contests for anyone from high school students to Pulitzer prize winning professionals, who receive hand-made trophies, more than $26,000 in cash awards and have their work published in Mayborn's journal, Ten Spurs, or anthology, Best American Newspaper Narratives.

Gotham Writers Conference. October 16 - 18, 2020: NY, NY. A writing conference built by agents, for writers, with a faculty of some of the top agents in New York City. Receive focused attention within your genre from some of the best in the business. Will be held on Zoom.

Emerald City Writers' Conference. Oct 16 - 18, 2020, Bellevue, WA. Local Romance Writers of America conference, featuring film and television scouts, who will be taking pitches along with editors and agents, keynote speakers, workshops, and a master class. Will be held online.

Annual Rochester Writers’ Conference, October 17, 2020: Rochester, Michigan. Lectures, Workshops and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction and business of writing presentations. Open to new, working and published writers of all genres. Attendees select four presentations from a dozen to tailor fit their needs.

5th Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference. October 17 - 18, 2020: Atlanta, GA. Headlined by #1 NYT bestseller Karen Abbott, bestselling writers, literary agents, and sessions packed with insightful information and experience, our conference offers what you need to improve your craft and get you on the road toward publication!

Medical Writing and Communication Conference. Ocotber 20 - 22, 2020: San Diego, CA. Workshops in medical writing, designing materials for patients, analysis, clinical reports, and more. Will be held virtually.

Writing By Writers Workshop @ Tomales Bay. October 21 - 25, 2020: Tomales Bay, California. Manuscript and poetry workshops are limited to 12 participants and generative workshops are limited to 15 to ensure an intimate setting. Will be held online.

Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference. October 22 - 25, 2020: Pasadena, CA. Experienced authors, editors, agents and publishing experts will be on hand, ready to help you develop your own craft and position yourself for success.

The Writer's Hotel 2020 Virtual Poetry Weekend. October 22 - 25, 2020. Attendance is capped at 40 poets. Apply today to reserve your spot. 2020 Poetry Faculty: Joy Harjo, Marie Howe, Heather McHugh, Terrance Hayes, Mark Doty, Cornelius Eady, Deborah Landau, Tim Seibles, Valzhya Mort, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Camille Dungy, Javier Zamora, Alexandra Oliver, Kevin Larimer, Jenny Xie, TWH Directors Shanna McNair and Scott Wolven. CLOSED.

Magna cum Murder. Oct 23 - 25, 2020: Indianapolis, IN. 45+ authors of crime writing fiction.

Creating an Image System That Works for Your Verse Novel Online Course + Optional Onsite Retreat 2020. October 28, 2020 - November 25, 2020. Optional Onsite Retreat: December 3-6, 2020. Register here. Join Us To: Learn how to use image systems to improve your novel in verse. An image system is a series of images (can be a symbol or a metaphor or a simile) strung together in a narrative that, as they build." Will be held online.

Ossabaw Weekend Writer’s Retreat. October 30  - November 1, 2020: Ossabaw Island, GA. Workshops and seminars led by nationally recognized faculty, and evening readings (special emphasis on ghost stories) by faculty and participants. Application deadline: October 4.
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