Thursday, November 8, 2018

4 UK Agents Seeking Kidlit, Memoirs, Thrillers, Science, Fantasy & More

Here are  four UK literary agents actively expanding their client lists. Hellie Ogden represents fiction, children’s books and non-fiction and enjoys novels with bold storytelling, moving prose and vivid, thought-provoking characters. In non-fiction she is looking for unique personal stories, cookery, lifestyle, and work that has a social following. Samuel Hodder is looking for a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction. Lydia Silver is particularly looking for magical middle grade adventures, funny contemporary stories and YA novels with an unusual voice. Peter Robinson represents both fiction and non-fiction with particular interests in crime, thrillers and historical fiction, together with history and popular science.

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

If these agents don't suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Hellie Ogden of Janklow and Nesbit (UK)

"I’m incredibly hands on editorially, and I love to help shape a piece of work from the very rough idea through to a polished, original manuscript. So I’m looking for a few special, standout books every year that I can pump my energy into, I keep my list small, and I’m happy to receive manuscripts even when just at a rough stage – that really excites me."

What she is seeking: Hellie represents fiction, children’s books and non-fiction and enjoys novels with bold storytelling, moving prose and vivid, thought-provoking characters. In non-fiction she is looking for unique personal stories, cookery, lifestyle, and work that has a social following with cross-media potential.

How to submit: Please include a covering letter in the body of your email and attach other components in Word format if possible, or as PDFs.  Please send your submission to, including your name, the title of your work and the name of the agent you wish to submit to in the subject line. If you are submitting fiction, you should include a covering letter, synopsis, and either the first three chapters or the first fifty pages, whichever you feel is appropriate. Your covering letter and synopsis should ideally be no longer than a page each. If you are submitting non-fiction, you should include a covering letter, a full outline setting out the aims of each chapter, and if possible a sample chapter. Please title all documents and your email with your full name and the title of your work for ease of reference. Your submission should be double-spaced, size 12 and in a reasonable font.


Peter Robinson of Rogers, Coleridge & White (UK)

After graduating from Cambridge, Peter joined Waterstone’s and then became an editor at Michael Joseph (Penguin). In 1989, he became a literary agent at Curtis Brown where he was eventually Joint MD of the Book Department. In 2005, he left to set up his own agency, Robinson Literary Agency Ltd, before joining RCW in 2009. He represents a number of internationally bestselling authors including Ian Rankin and Joanne Harris, together with prize-winning non-fiction writers including David Starkey, Steve Jones, David Reynolds and Saul David.

What he is seeking: Peter represents both fiction and non-fiction with particular interests in crime, thrillers and historical fiction, together with history and popular science.

How to submit: Send a query letter and the first three chapters or approximately the first fifty pages of the work to a natural break, and a brief synopsis to Peter's assistant, Matthew Marland at

Non-fiction submissions should take the form of a proposal up to twenty pages in length explaining what the work is about and why you are best placed to write it. Material should be in 12 point font, in double-spacing and on one side only of A4 paper.


Samuel Hodder of Blake Friedmann Literary (UK)

Samuel graduated in Psychology from University of Warwick, and completed a Masters in Publishing, before working for several years as an editor for psychology research. In 2015 he joined Blake Friedmann in the Contracts and Finance departments and is building his own list of authors.

What he is seeking: Samuel is looking for a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction. In literary and contemporary fiction he loves distinctive voices and complex characters (e.g. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh), coming-of-age novels, LGBTQI themes, and novels that explore the loss of innocence, desire, deceit, class, or the world of work. In historical fiction, novels so immersive they can show readers a different way of thinking and being: Mary Renault’s novels are favourites. In crime and thrillers, he loves an unusual, evocative setting (e.g. The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin), but would like to read anything from psychological suspense to the truly macabre.

He also welcomes dystopian and speculative fiction, including fantasy, science-fiction, and the supernatural, where he would like to see novels centred on the characters’ psychological journeys (e.g. the Earthsea novels by Ursula K Le Guin, The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, or The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley), but he likes huge, world-building novels too (e.g. Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks or Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky).

In non-fiction Samuel would like to read: narrative history (political and social), especially British, classical, and ancient history; true historical crime that reads like fiction (e.g. The Suspicions of Dr Whicher by Kate Summerscale); politics, current affairs, and economics; books that make big ideas accessible (e.g. Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall); books on LGBTQI subjects; travel, biography and memoir; nature writing; visual culture; pop culture; popular science; and psychology and personal development.

How to submit: Please include your name and the title of your manuscript in the email subject line, and in both the titles and headings of all attachments (i.e. your synopsis and chapters). Send to: Samuel (samuel[at]blakefriedmann[dot]co[dot]uk) Your submission should consist of three parts: the covering letter (please make this the body of your email), a full synopsis of approx. 500 words, and your first three chapters/10,000 words. With regard to non-fiction, please include your proposal in place of the first three chapters. Submissions should be in .doc or .docx format (not PDF) and should have wide margins and at least 1.5 line spacing, with all pages clearly numbered. If you are using a pseudonym, make sure that your real name and your pseudonym are both on the manuscript, as well as on your letter.


Lydia Silver of Darley Anderson Agency

Lydia has recently joined the Darley Anderson Agency and is looking to build the children’s list.

What she is looking for: With a background in middle grade and YA fiction, Lydia is particularly looking for magical middle grade adventures, funny contemporary stories and YA novels with an unusual voice. She’s also got an eye out for clever, engaging picture books and is developing the non-fiction side of the children’s list. She loves working editorially with writers and is always on the lookout for new talent. Lydia is actively looking for submissions from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ and all other under-represented writers. Please include the hashtag #diversevoices in the subject line of your email when you submit.

How to submit: Send a short synopsis and the first three consecutive chapters together with a query letter to For picture books please send the full text in a PDF. For illustrators, please send a link to your portfolio or attach examples of your work in PDF form to your email submission.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

6 New Agents Seeking YA, Sci-Fi, Literary Fiction, Horror, Memoir & More

Here are six new agents seeking to expand their client lists. Tia Mele is looking for MG and YA. Justin Brouckaert is seeking literary and speculative fiction. Timothy Barry represents memoir and fiction. Kelly Oden is interested in literary and speculative fiction. Anne Tibbets represents adult science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and horror, with the occasional crossover YA. Amy Stapp is interested in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, historical fiction, young adult, and select narrative nonfiction.

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

If these agents don't suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Anne Tibbets of Red Sofa Literary

Anne Tibbets is the author of multiple science fiction novels and a former screenwriter. She joined Red Sofa Literary as an Associate Agent in 2018. In her free time, Anne watches television, reads, games, and participates in a myriad of “Old Lady” hobbies. She lives in Los Angeles, but don’t hold that against her. She can be found on Twitter @AnneTibbets.

What she is seeking: Anne represents adult science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and horror, with the occasional crossover YA. Bonus points if you combine genres.

How to submit: Send query to Anne Tibbets here:


Tia Mele of Talcott Notch

After finishing her undergraduate studies, Tia went on to earn a M.A. in English and Creative Writing. She started interning with Talcott Notch during my last semester at UConn, and was recently promoted to junior agent.

What she is seeking: "I’m looking to build my list with middle grade and young adult projects in any genre. I’m especially interested in dark middle grade and contemporary YA. Please send me your LGBT+ stories, as well as stories featuring visible and invisible illnesses, especially relating to mental health. I like everything from deep, terrifying thrillers to sweet, heartwarming romances. Sports plots are always interesting to me, especially if they involve baseball or softball. Dogs are a huge part of my life, so I'm all for dog-related stories as well! I’m seeking limited adult projects in women’s fiction and romance In non-fiction, I’m looking for anything sports related, especially baseball, football, or basketball. I’m also open to cookbooks from chefs who have a following from a blog or channel."

How to submit: Send your query and the first ten pages of your manuscript to

Justin Brouckaert of Aevitas Creative Management

Justin Brouckaert graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Fiction at the University of South Carolina, where he was a James Dickey Fellow and an editor of the literary journal Yemassee. Before coming to Aevitas, he was the assistant director of the Southern Interscholastic Press Association in Columbia, South Carolina. He is based in New York.

What he is seeking: Justin is interested in character-driven literary fiction, both realist and speculative, as well as memoir and reportage. In both genres, he looks for work that explores the surreal in everyday life, as well as work that turns a nuanced eye to the world of sports.

How to submit: Contact Justin through his bio page HERE. (This agency uses a form.)


Timothy Barry of Kneerim & Williams

Timothy Barry became an Affiliated Agent with Kneerim & Williams in 2018. As a freelance writer and editor, Tim's work has been featured in The Boston Globe (food features), Aesthetica Magazine, artcritical, The Brooklyn Rail, Take-It Magazine, New Musical Express, The Noise, artsfuse, (art and music criticism) and many others.

What he is seeking: He is keen to discover authentic voices in literary fiction and memoir--especially of the boundary-expanding sort--and to ferret out unusual and captivating work in the fields of art, music, film, food, travel, crime and counterculture.

How to submit: Please send a query letter to , and include a synopsis, a brief bio, and ten to twenty pages of initial sample material in the body of the email (no attachments will be opened). Include name of the agent you are querying in the subject line of the email, along with the title of your project.


Kelly Oden of InkWell Management

Kelly Oden graduated from Butler University, where she studied English Literature and Ballet. Prior to joining InkWell, she worked in foreign rights and contracts at ICM Partners and shelved books at Strand Bookstore. Her general interests include the American Dream, figuring out how to survive a social media apocalypse, and cooking elaborate meals.

What she is seeking: Kelly is interested in literary and speculative fiction that is timely, psychologically acute, and/or darkly funny. She would love to get her hands on a provocative feminist dystopia, an empathetic family saga, or an introspective exploration of life in a digital age.

How to submit: Queries should be emailed to: In the body of your email, please include a query letter and a short writing sample (1-2 chapters). Emails with large attachments will be discarded.


Amy Stapp of Wolfson Literary Agency

Amy Stapp received her BA from Samford University and MA from Georgia State University before beginning her publishing career at Macmillan, where she was an editor for seven years and had the privilege of working with bestselling authors such as Katie McGarry, Shelley Noble, and Amber Lynn Natusch, among others. Amy joined Wolfson Literary in 2018 and is actively building her list.

What she is seeking: Amy is interested in women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, historical fiction, young adult, and select narrative nonfiction.  She is particularly drawn to well-paced prose and smart, multidimensional characters.

How to submit: Send query to

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It's November! And That Means NaNoWriMo!

It's November, and we all know what that means! (No, not turkey and mashed potatoes.) It's time to sit down and write your novel.

(Go ahead and panic. There are thousands of other writers who feel like tearing their hair out right now, same as you. But given the excellent distraught company you will be keeping, why not?)

If you have participated in National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) before, you will know it is an exciting, grueling, rewarding, excruciating, and __________ (insert other contradictory adjectives here) event. Writers have exactly one month to compose a 50,000-word novel. Easy-peasy!

To participate in NaNoWriMo, writers first have to sign up. (Don't worry, it's free.) There are steps to follow: 1) Fill out your profile, 2) Give your novel a title, 3) Select your region, 4) Earn badges for completing milestones, and 5) Get inspired! The NaNoWriMo site has plenty of pep talks.

There are also forums where writers can talk about outlining, character development, plot, and share their progress. NaNoWriMo acknowledges that writing is a solitary pursuit, that writing a novel, in particular, is daunting, and that having company along the way can be both inspiring and provide the necessary motivation to get that novel you've wanted to write out of your head and into the light of day.

If you want to find out more about NaNoWriMo, go to their website HERE.

And if you decide that this is it! You will write your novel in November! Don't be dismayed if you don't finish it in one month. You've gotten off to a roaring start, and that's what you needed all along.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

38 Calls for Submissions in November 2018 - Paying Markets

There are more than three dozen calls for submissions in November. As always, anything you can think of is wanted - flash fiction, speculative fiction and poetry, horror, creative nonfiction along with several themed issues and anthologies.

All of these literary magazines pay, and none charge submission fees.

Make sure to follow submission requirements carefully. Editors get cranky when writers don't follow their submission rules.

If you want to get a jump on next month's calls for submissions, check the page Calls for Submissions, which is where I post new calls as they come up.


THEMAGenre: Short stories, flash fiction, poems, art on theme of "The Critter in the Attic." Payment: short story, $25; short-short piece (up to 1000 words), $10; poem, $10; artwork, $25 for cover, $10 for interior page display. Deadline: November 1, 2018. Reprints accepted.

Kenyon ReviewGenre: Short stories, poetry, plays, excerpts, translations. Payment: Pro rates. Deadline: November 1, 2018.

The First LineGenre: Short story with the first line: "As she trudged down the alley, Cenessa saw a small _________________. [Fill in the blank.]." Also, critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.  Length: 300-5,000 words for fiction, 500-800 words for nonfiction. Payment: $25-50 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction, $5-10 for poetry. Deadline: November  1, 2018.

Spring Song Press: Steam and Lace AnthologyGenre: Speculative fiction,fantasy. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: November 1, 2018.

Unlocking the Magic: A Fantasy AnthologyGenre: Fantasy. Payment: $300/story + royalties. Deadline: November 1, 2018.

The Puritan: What Does It Mean to Be a Muslim Writer? – Special Issue PoetryGenre: Poetry. Payment: $20 - $100. Deadline: November 2, 2018.

Ninth LetterGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Online Edition on theme of "Haunting."Payment: $25 per poem, $75 per story or essay. Deadline: November 4, 2018.

Winter TangerineGenre: Poetry, prose, and visual art on theme of Dispatches from the Stars. "DISPATCHES invites work that constructs alternate realities for aliens of color, particularly through the lens of Afrofuturism, magical realism, speculative poetry/prose, or other re-renderings of the imagination. This feature welcomes submissions by all undocumented, noncitizen, and/or 1st generation immigrants of color who have stories about struggling with obtaining documentation or have otherwise experienced violence under the U.S. immigration system." Payment: $50. Deadline: November 5, 2018.

ShooterGenre: Stories, essays, reported narratives and poetry on theme of Rivalry. Send anything to do with competition, antagonism, warring forces and individual foes. The context might be sports, business, romance, politics, survival; the characters might be students, frenemies, parents, current and former lovers, courtroom opponents. As ever, the theme is open to wide interpretation. Minimum 2000 words for stories. Payment: £25 per story and £5 per poem. Deadline: November 11, 2018.

Speculative City. Genre: Fiction, poetry, and essays within the theme of Knowledge. Speculative City publishes provocative works that are centered within a cityscape. Payment: $20-$75. Deadline: November 11, 2018.

Goal Publications: The Daily Grind – A Coffee Anthology. Stories involving coffee. Payment:  $0.0075/word. Deadline: November 14, 2018.

One storyGenre: Short story. Payment: $500. Deadline: November 14, 2018.

The Audient Void, Issue #7. Genre: Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy poetry and fiction. Payment: Poetry ($.35 a line with a $5 minimum), Short fiction ($5 per thousand words). Deadline: November 15, 2018

Hinnom MagazineGenres: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Payment: $0.005 cents per word with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum cap of $25.00. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

The Lorelei SignalGenre: Fantasy short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Payment$7.50 for short stories, $3.00 for poems and flash (<1000 wds) fiction pieces, $2.00 for reprintsDeadline: November 15, 2018. Accepts reprints.

Shifters United: Paranormal RomanceGenre: Paranormal romance novellas featuring shape shifters. Length: 20,000 to 50,000 words. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

Fire PoetryGenre: Poetry. Payment: $5. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

VallumGenre: Poetry. Theme: Connections. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

Luna Station Quarterly. Genre: Speculative fiction by woman. Payment. $5. Deadline: November 15, 2018. Accepts reprints.

LamplightGenre: Dark fiction. Length: Up to 7,000 words. Payment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: November 15, 2018. Reprints accepted at 1 cent per word.

Human Noise JournalGenre: Short stories, personal essays, poems. Payment: $30. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

ZyzzyvaGenre: Fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork. Payment: Token to semi-pro. Deadline: November 19, 2018. Snail mail submissions only.

Enchanted ConversationGenre: Fairy tale. Theme: OF FROST AND FIRELIGHT: A Winter's Rhapsody. Work can either be re-tellings of established stories or use original characters set within the fairy tale, folktale, or mythic templates. Payment: $10 US. Deadline: November 20, 2018.

HerStories Writers: A Fury of Her Own. Genre: Personal essay. "This anthology will tell the stories of women at midlife who know their anger is real and justified and who are using it — in small and big ways — as tools of resistance, drivers of change, and forces of solidarity. They are running for office, protesting injustice, speaking up at family gatherings, standing up to bosses and co-workers, refusing to stay silent about the impact of sexual violence, organizing voter registrations and canvassing neighborhoods, confronting stereotypes, building bridges across divides, forming new friendships and ending toxic ones, and much more. Essays should be between 1500 – 3000 words and should not be previously published." Payment: Not specified. Deadline: November 20, 2018.

Down & Out Books: Mickey Finn – 21st Century NoirGenre: Hardboiled and noir crime fiction. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Martian Migraine Press: Monstrous OutlinesGenre: Speculative fiction, "an anthology of horror and weird fiction with a focus on the theme of camouflage: people, entities, monsters, gods, even concepts, that masquerade as things other than themselves." Payment: .03CAD per word, via Paypal, as well as a contributor copy (paperback) of the anthology, and copies in all electronic formats (mobi, EPUB, and PDF). Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Twelfth Planet PressGenre: Speculative fiction novellas. Payment: Advance of US$300 and royalties of 40% of all monies received by the publisher. Length: 17, 000 - 40,000 words. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

HauntedGenre: Speculative romance about haunting and scorned women. Length: 4,000 words or more. Payment: $20. Deadline: November 30, 2018. Reprints accepted.

Villainous PressGenre: Crime fiction. Length: 5,000 to 10,000 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2018. (Note: I could not find a website for this publication)

The Bare Life Review: Immigrant and refugee authorsGenre: Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by immigrant and refugee authors – from foreign-born authors living in the US, and writers living abroad who currently hold refugee and/or asylum-seeker status. They welcome translations. American-born translators may submit work by eligible writers, but in such cases payment must be issued to the author. Length: Fiction up to 8,000 words; non-fiction up to 6,000 words; 3-5 poems, up to 10 pages in total. Payment: $750 for full-length prose pieces, $300 for accepted poems or shorter prose. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

CrannogGenre: Short stories, poetry. Payment: €50 per story, €30 per poem. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Ninth LetterGenre: Fiction. Payment: $25 per printed page. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the CatGenre: Nonfiction. "We are looking for first-person true stories and poems up to 1,200 words. Tell us what your cat taught you. How he made you smile. How she "rescued" you after you "rescued" her. How she brought your family closer together, helped you find love, inspired you to change something in your human life. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. We can’t wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories you have about your cats and what you learned from them!" Payment: $200. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Third Point PressGenre: Fiction, poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

ApparitionGenre: Poetry and fiction on theme of Resistance. Payment: $0.01 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Grimbold Anthologies: Forgotten Sidekicks, and other anthologies. Genre: Short stories on three anthology themes: Unexpected Heroines, Forgotten Sidekicks, Lost Gods. Payment: £15, anthology copy. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Moonlight: A Queer Werewolf AnthologyGenre: Comics and short stories about queer werewolves. Payment: Short stories – $0.07 CAD/word, Comic script – $10 CAD/page, Comic art – $50 CAD/page. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

The McNeese Review. Genre: Fiction and poetry. Payment: $50. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

30 Writing Contests in November 2018 - No entry fees

Pxhere - CC0 license
There are more than two dozen writing contests in November, none of which charge entry fees. This month there are contests for short stories, essays, poetry, and for both published and unpublished full-length works. Prizes range from a free class to $45,000. As always, read the guidelines carefully. Many contests have geographical and age restrictions.

If you want to get an idea of what kinds of contests are offered throughout the year, take a look at Free Contests. The majority of these contests are yearly events. When it comes to contests, it's always a good idea to plan ahead.


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, 2018. 

Vermont Writers' PrizeRestrictions: Open to residents of Vermont. Genres: Short story, poem, play or essay on the theme of Vermont - its people, places, history or values. Entries must be unpublished and fewer than 1,500 words long. Writers may submit only one entry per year. Prize: $1,500 and publication in Vermont MagazineDeadline: November 1, 2018.

Donald Murray Prize for Creative NonfictionGenre: Original, unpublished works of creative nonfiction with a preference for essays on writing, teaching, and teaching writing, but will consider quality entries on any subject, including topics related to social justice, civic action, and inequality. Prize:  $300 in the form of an AMEX gift card and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Writing on the Edge. All entries will be considered for publication in the journal. Length: 8,000 words maximum (2500–4500 preferred) Deadline: November 1, 2018.

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 2017). 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, 2018. Read details here.

Patrick Henry Writing FellowshipGenre: Nonfiction book in progress. The project should address the history and/or legacy – broadly defined – of the American Revolution and the nation’s founding ideas. It might focus on the founding era itself, or on the myriad ways the questions that preoccupied the nation’s founders have shaped America’s later history. Fellowship amount: $45,000 stipend, health benefits, faculty privileges, a book allowance, and a nine-month residency (during the academic year 2018-2019) in historic Chestertown, Md. Deadline: November 1, 2018. 

Lindenwood Chapter One ContestGenre: First chapter of unpublished novel. Maximum submission length is 25 pages. Double-space and use a standard font size and style. Prize: $50, publication in issue 8 of The Lindenwood Review, and three contributor copies. Honorable mentions receive publication in issue 8 of The Lindenwood Review and three contributor copies. Deadline: November 1, 2018. 

Orwell PrizeGenre: Political writing published between 1st January and 31st January 2017. All entries must have a clear British link. Journalism and ‘exposing Britain’s social evils’.   Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: November 2, 2018. 

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. Eligible books must have been commercially published for the first time in the English language between January 1 and December 31, 2017. Prize: 30,000 pounds, plus 1,000 pounds for shortlisted authors. Deadline: November 7, 2018. 

Women's Prize for FictionGenre: Published book by a woman. Entrants must be writing in English and must be published in the UK. Novels must be published in the United Kingdom between 1 April 2017, and 31 March 2018. All subject matters and women of any age, from any nationality or country of residence are eligible. Prize: £30,000.00. Deadline: November 7, 2018.

RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-FictionRestrictions: Canadian citizens only. Genre: Nonfiction book. Prize: C$25,000. Shortlisted authors receive $2,000. Deadline: November 7, 2018 for books published between October 1 and October 31, 2018.

The PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging WritersGenre: First published short story. Authors may not submit their own work. Prize: $2000 and publication in The PEN America Best Debut Short StoriesDeadline: November 10, 2018.

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 2016 and 31 August 2018. Prize: £1,000. Deadline: November 15, 2018.

Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Prizes in Nonfiction and PoetryRestrictions: Undergraduates. Genre: Awards will be given to the best piece in each genre that addresses the experience of being Muslim in America. Winning pieces will speak to the experience — joys and challenges — of being Muslim in America today in ways that educate and inform our readers. Winning pieces may also demonstrate an understanding of Islamic history, culture, contributions, and / or its influence on society. Prize: $500 and publication in Oakland Arts Review.  Deadline: November 15, 2018.

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 16, 2018.

Polar Expressions Publications CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Genre: poetry. Prize: $300, $200, $100. Deadline: November 16, 2018.

Polar Expressions Publications Short Story CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Genre: Short story Prize: $300, $200, $100. Deadline: November 23, 2018.

Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize is sponsored by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival. Genre: Non-fiction essay between 4 to 10 pages, set in Brooklyn about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters. (Up to 2500 words). Prize: $500. Deadline: November 23, 2018.

Write the Good Fight Contest. Genre: Story (in 50 words or fewer) about a person (or group) who fights to resist the forces threatening what they hold dear. The story can be personal, fictional, or even historic. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: November 26, 2018.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingRestrictions: Titles must be published in Canada. Self-published books are not eligible. Genre: A book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500. Deadline: November 28, 2018, for books published between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

ServicescapeGenre: Short story or nonfiction up to 5,000 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

McAndrews Poetry AwardGenre: Poetry. Poems must relate to human rights. Prize: $50-100. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Everything With Words Urban YA (UK). Restrictions: Open to UK Residents. Genre: Debut novel for young adults/ adults, a book set in today’s multi-cultural Britain. Prize: £1000 and possible publication by Everything with Words. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

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, 2018.

Frontier New Voices FellowshipRestrictions: Open to indigenous writers. Prize: $500 grant meant to be used toward covering industry submission costs, multiple publications (original poetry and prose) in Frontier, participation in their editorial community, and introductions to agents and presses. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

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, 2018.

Somerset Maugham AwardsRestrictions: Open to UK residents 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, 2018. 

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, 2017 and October 31, 2018. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: November 30, 2018. 

Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School StudentsRestrictions: Student writers in the 11th grade. Prizes: First Prize – $500, Second Prize – $250, Third Prize – $100. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

AVBOB Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to any citizen of South Africa. Genre: Poetry. Prize: R10,000. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

The Ghosts in the Bookshop ContestGenre: Short ghost stories set in a bookshop of typical short length by any author. Prize: £100 or £100 in books for the runners-up. Deadline: November 30, 2018.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

23 Writing Conferences in November 2018

There are nearly two dozen conferences, retreats, and festivals in November, spanning the country. Genre-specific conferences include medical writing, science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, poetry, and more. And there are many opportunities to pitch your work to agents.

I can't recommend attending a conference enough. There is nothing like making personal contacts with agents, editors, and writers to advance your career as a writer.

If you can't make your ideal conference this year, plan ahead for next year. Many conferences are yearly events. Planning ahead also gives you an opportunity to apply for the scholarships offered by some of these conferences. You can find a comprehensive list of conferences throughout the year here: Writing Conferences.

Medical Writing and Communication Conference. Nov 1 - 3, 2018: Washington, DC. Workshops in medical writing, designing materials for patients, analysis, clinical reports, and more.

Sag Harbor Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference. November 1 – 4, 2018, Sag Harbor, NY. Spark your creativity and take your writing to the next level at the nonfiction writing conference in Sag Harbor – the heart of the east end of Long Island. The only small and focused conference in nonfiction in the country. Faculty: Donna Kaz, Roger Rosenblatt, Patricia McCormick, Terri Muuss, Matt Pasca, Judson Merrill, Sandra Yin, Michelle Blankenship, Roohi Choudhry, Jisu Kim.

Historical Writers of AmericaNovember 1 - 4, 2018: Providence, RI. Workshops for fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer; networking opportunities including keynote luncheon and dinner, theme receptions, and collaboration and brain-storming sessions.

Clearwater Writers 2018 Women's Writing Retreat. November 1 - 6, 2018: Clearwater, Idaho. Retreats are facilitated by the Inn’s writer-in-residence, Paula Coomer, poet and author of such books as Jagged Edge of the Sky, Dove Creek, Nurses Who Love English, and Blue Moon Vegetarian. With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher of creative writing, Ms. Coomer offers creative inspiration and support for writers at all levels of achievement and ability.

Writeful Places Black Writers Retreat. November 1 - 8,  - 16, 2018: Aruba.

Atlanta Writers Conference. Nov 2 - 3, 2018: Atlanta, Georgia. The conference features publishing panels, pitch sessions, manuscript and query letter critiques, and a workshop on creating or improving author websites. Participating publishing professionals include editors Emma Caruso (Penguin Random House), Alicia Clancy (Lake Union Publishing/Amazon Publishing), Chelsey Emmelhainz (Crooked Lane Books), Erica Gonzalez (Penguin Random House), Melanie Iglesias (Atria Books), and Vedika Khanna (William Morrow), and agents Whitley Abell (The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency), Elizabeth Copps (Maria Carvainis Agency), Sara Megibow (KT Literary), John Rudolph (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret), Lauren Spieller (TriadaUS Literary Agency), and Brian Tibbetts (MacGregor Literary). The cost of a single session ranges from $50 to $170 depending on the activity; the cost of the discounted “All-Activities Package,” which includes two manuscript critiques, one query letter critique, two pitch sessions, the author website workshop, and two Q&A panels, is $620.

Ossabaw Weekend Writer’s Retreat. Nov 2 -4, 2018: 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: September 25.

The BookBaby Independent Authors Conference. November 2-4, 2018: Philadelphia, PA. The Independent Authors Conference is the only conference that educates independent authors on how to cultivate a successful career in the self-publishing industry. Over three exciting days in historic Philadelphia, you’ll engage in workshops concentrated on learning and improving the skills you need to succeed, including effective writing techniques and strengthening your book marketing and promotion tactics.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference. November 2-4, 2018: Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference features workshops and master classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures and panel discussions on editing, publishing, and pitching. The faculty includes poets Morri Creech, Julie Funderburk, and Maureen Ryan Griffin; fiction writers Bryn Chancellor and Susan Rivers; and creative nonfiction writers Georgann Eubanks, Judy Goldman, and Cynthia Lewis. Fiction writer Randall Kenan will deliver the keynote. The cost for the full conference is $260 (including meals) or $200 (not including meals) for NCWN members, and $375 (including meals) or $300 (not including meals) for nonmembers until October 26. Onsite registration is $450 for the full conference, $350 for Saturday-only attendance, and $250 for Sunday-only attendance.

Colrain Intensive. November 2 - 5, 2018: Leicester, MA. The Colrain Manuscript Intensive is a small, select, highly focused, 3-day conference designed for the evaluation and discussion of book-length manuscripts by editors and publishers. The intensive is open only to those who have attended a previous Colrain conference and/or those whose manuscript is close to publication (semi-finalist, finalist or publisher feedback), and/or those with previous book publication.

Autumn Writing Getaway. November 3, 2018: Galloway, NJ. "Our retreats are centered on the belief that when writers leave behind the distractions of their busy lives to gather in an encouraging community, they are able to make important breakthroughs in their writing. Each workshop will meet for 6 hours and will offer craft discussion, writing prompts, writing time, sharing and inspiration."

2018 Nebraska Writers Guild Poetry Retreat/Workshops. November 3, 2018: Nebraska City, NE. Focus: Poetry. A day full of workshops and writing sessions followed by evening readings and a wine tasting. Faculty: Laura Madeline Wiseman, Charlene Neely, Brad Anderson, Kristin Burnett, Janet Sobczyk, and editors from Backwaters Press.

Free Expressions Seminars-Emotional Craft of Fiction. November 4 – 8, 2018: Philadelphia, PA. Featuring Donald Maass. Based on psychological research and extensive study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, workshop participants will discover how to go beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers--one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable.

2018 Kauai Writers Festival. November 5 – 11, 2018: Kalapaki Bay, Lihue, Kauai, HI. Join bestselling authors and agents in an intimate, oceanfront setting, with an emphasis on fiction, memoir, thrillers, and screenwriting. Includes in-depth sessions on craft, publishing, and the writing life, with opportunities for agent/editor feedback.

The Monterey Writer Retreat in California. November 7 - 11, 2018: 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 8 - 9, 2018. 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!

Sanibel Island Writers Conference. November 8 - 11, 2018: 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 include 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 keynote speaker is fiction writer Ann Hood. The cost of the conference is $550 ($440 for BIG ARTS members and $300 for full-time students).

Writing by Writers Manuscript Boot Camp. November 9 - 12, 2018: Tahoe City, California. Workshops for book-length manuscripts, as well as craft talks, readings, and agent panels, and individual meetings with agents. "The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir, short story or poetry 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. The cost of tuition, which includes a manuscript review of up to 300 pages with a faculty member, an individual meeting with an agent, lodging at the Granlibakken Resort, and all meals, is $3,250.

Red Clay Writers Conference. November 10, 2018: 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.

New Worlds, New Voices SFF Workshops. November 14 - 18, 2018: Morro Bay, CA. During the course of the conference, writers will hone and improve their writer voice and style by studying and applying an array of narrative, scene, and structure technique, thus enabling them to begin, enhance, and/or reconstruct their work in more powerful and innovative ways. Writing exercises are derived from analysis of a select group of works by both dramatists and authors.

Learn and Network. November 16 - 17, 2018: Branson, MO. The Ozarks Writers League is a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to promoting writing, literacy, photography, and art. Since 1983, OWL has welcomed individuals at all stages of their development.

ShowMe Writers Masterclass. November 17, 2018: Columbia, MO. This workshop offers a theory for and direct practice in a mindful approach to writing. This approach draws inspiration from Robert Boice's book, How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency, which will be highlighted during the workshop.

WriteAngles. November 17, 2018: South Hadley, Massachusetts. Panels and workshops, with two keynoters, a limited number of agent meetings. Continental breakfast, and buffet lunch included. Agents: TBA

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pen America Files Lawsuit Against President Donald J. Trump For First Amendment Violations

Creative Commons
Note: When Donald Trump took the oath of office, he swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

His actions have proven otherwise. To attack the free press, journalists, and writers from a position of presidential authority is not only a violation of the oath of office, it is unlawful. The Constitution is not a suggestion, it is the law of the land.


NEW YORK, October 16, 2018—PEN America, the leading national organization representing writers and literary professionals and defending free expression, filed a lawsuit today against President Donald J. Trump for using the powers of the federal government to retaliate against journalists and media outlets he finds objectionable, in violation of the First Amendment. PEN America is represented in the case by the nonpartisan nonprofit Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic.

The filing asserts that, while President Trump is free to express his own views critical of journalists and media outlets, his use of the regulatory and enforcement powers of government to punish the press for criticism of him is unconstitutional. The complaint, filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asks the court to enter a declaratory judgment that the President’s retaliatory actions violate the First Amendment and enjoin the President from directing any employee or agency of the federal government to take any action against the press in retaliation for coverage the President views as hostile.

The complaint makes reference to incidents that it argues were intended to make clear to writers, reporters, and commentators that if they criticize the President, they or the media entities they represent could face reprisals by the government. These incidents include:

  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust enforcement action against the merger of CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, with AT&T, coming in the wake of credible threats by the President to retaliate against CNN’s coverage of him and his Administration;
  • The President’s Executive Order to the U.S. Postal Service to examine raising postal rates on Amazon, founded and run by Jeff Bezos, following the President’s threats to retaliate against coverage that the President disapproved of by the Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos owns. A retaliatory action that led, on October 11, 2018, to the U.S. Postal Service announcing proposed rate increases, including a proposed 12-percent increase for the Parcel Select service used by Amazon;
  • The President’s threats to revoke White House press credentials, which were followed by directing the removal of a White House correspondent from a press event covering the President, in retaliation for editorial decisions that reporter had made; and
  • The President’s threats to revoke broadcast licenses of television stations whose coverage he disapproves of.

The complaint argues that these and other similar actions intentionally place a sword of Damocles over the heads of all journalists and writers covering the President, including PEN America members.

“While PEN America members, and many media outlets and journalists, have been unflinching in their coverage of the Administration, the First Amendment protects the press from having to brave government retaliation and threats in order to do their work,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel. “We have grown sadly accustomed to near daily attacks by President Trump on the media, but when his speech crosses the line into retaliatory actions or credible threats of reprisal against critics, the President’s actions are not only egregious, but also unconstitutional. At a time when hostility toward the press has fostered a climate of threats and even violence, it is essential for courts to step in and affirm the role of the First Amendment and free press in our democracy. There is a natural tension between leaders and the press corps charged with holding him accountable, but here in the U.S. we have constitutional safeguards that prevent the use of the power of government to punish and intimidate the media.”

“As an organization of working writers united in defense of free expression, we are alarmed at the climate of hostility and threat in which those who offer political reportage and commentary must now operate,” said PEN America President, journalist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan. “PEN America has long risen to the defense of writers around the world who face peril for expressing themselves. With journalism under unprecedented attack from the White House, we feel compelled to fight back.”

The complaint reaffirms that the First Amendment prohibits government actors from using their power in ways that punish the content of reporting or that are intended to stoke intimidation through threats of government action. It notes that individual writers, including freelancers and especially those who may be vulnerable for other reasons—by virtue of their immigration status, for example—may understandably think twice before publishing pieces or commentary that could put them in the White House’s crosshairs.

“The governing law is clear: President Trump has the right to express views about the press, loudly and often. He does not have the right to use the powers of his office to punish those who disagree with him and criticize him,” said David Schulz of the Yale Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic.

President Trump has already faced a number of First Amendment challenges. In one case, a federal district judge, presiding in the same district in which this case has been filed, declared that President Trump’s practice of blocking critics on his Twitter account violated the First Amendment. The remedy sought in PEN America’s complaint is similar. In another case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an allegation from protesters who were roughed up during a campaign rally that then-candidate Trump’s calls from the podium incited a violent riot.

This suit comes at a worldwide moment of reckoning for the relationship between governments and the journalists who criticize them. As respect for the role of the press erodes, illustrated most egregiously in recent days with the crisis over the fate of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, it is vital to underscore and enforce the First Amendment protections that have always set the U.S. apart as a standard bearer for press freedom. That’s what this suit aims to do.

“President Trump’s anti-press actions are taking place at a time when autocrats around the world, including in Hungary, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have been ramping up their attacks on a free press,” said Kristy Parker, Counsel to Protect Democracy. “The difference between the United States and those countries is that the United States has a long-standing constitutional tradition that prevents such behavior and an independent court system designed to step in when violations occur.”

Protect Democracy has highlighted the myriad ways in which President Trump appears to be following a playbook used by other autocratic rulers around the world. While democracy was ascendant around the globe in the latter half of the twentieth century, that trend has come to an alarming halt. According to data from Freedom House, an independent watchdog that tracks free expression globally, the spread of democratic regimes peaked around 2005 and has been in retreat ever since. The new breed of autocratic-style leaders does not vanquish democracy overnight. Rather, modern autocrats pull at the threads of democracy incrementally, finding vulnerabilities in democratic systems that can be exploited. Using the power of the government to deliberately intimidate dissenting voices, including those of writers and journalists, is one such strategy. In some of the aforementioned countries, their leadership has succeeded in eroding democracy as the direct result of a lack of a truly independent judicial check. It is against this backdrop that today’s lawsuit has been filed.

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, PEN America has decried efforts to foment hostility and distrust toward the media. Through research reports, petitions, and campaigns, PEN America has mobilized to defend the role of the press as a cornerstone of our democracy. In 2018, PEN America initiated a national outreach effort to activate its members through public forums on media freedom, advocacy for local news outlets, and media literacy workshops. A cornerstone of this effort is the Press Freedom Incentive Fund, which supports initiatives that build new local constituencies ready to defend press freedom. PEN America has fought against encroachments on free speech by United States presidential administrations for decades, including through advocacy for whistleblowers and journalists targeted for their reporting. The organization also has a long history of litigation challenging government encroachments on freedom of expression, including the blocking of prominent writers and scholars from visiting the United States due to their critical speech pursuant to the USA PATRIOT Act, and the mass warrantless wiretapping of international electronic communications.

Read quotes on today’s filing from experts here.

The full complaint can be read here.

More information about this case can be found at


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing American democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government.

The Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic is a legal services clinic dedicated to increasing government transparency, defending the essential work of news gatherers, and protecting freedom of expression through impact litigation, direct legal services, and policy work. The clinic is an initiative of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and is funded by the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression.
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