Thursday, May 28, 2015

24 Writing Contests in June - No Entry Fees

With the end of the academic year come a plethora of writing contests. Just about everything is represented this month: short stories, nonfiction, essays, poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction in every genre.

A couple of these contests deserve a special mention. If you have written a mystery novel set in the Southwest, St. Martin's Press is offering publication with a $10,000 advance. St. Martin's is willing to consider all entries for publication, so this contest amounts to a call for submissions.

Another contest that operates in similar fashion is the Drue Heinz Literature Prize which offers a $15,000 advance and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press to a writer who has published a minimum of 3 short stories (or novellas). If you qualify, this is a great opportunity.


Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation's history. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay, Photography, Interview with a Warrior. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: June 1, 2015 (postmarked)

Luminarts Creative Writing Program. The Creative Writing Competition awards five $5,000 grant awards and Luminarts Fellowships across categories of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Open to writers between the ages of 18 and 30 years old at the time of application; be enrolled in, or have graduated from, a degree program; and live within 150 miles of the Union League Club of Chicago. Genre: Poetry or prose, fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $5,000 and publication in Luminarts Review, a literary journal. Deadline: June 1, 2015.

IUPUI Poetry ContestRestrictions: High school age students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. 2nd Prize $200, 3rd Prize $100, Deadline: June 1, 2015.

Winter Tangerine AwardsRestrictions: Submissions will only be accepted from writers who have not yet published a chapbook, novel, or collection of any type. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Prize: $250 apiece for poetry and prose (fiction and essay compete together), plus trophy, used books, box of cookies, and one-year WTR subscription. Deadline: June 1, 2015.

Singapore Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry. The poem may be about any aspect of Singapore. Prize: 1st Prize $100. 2nd Prize $50, 3rd Prize $20; all winners will be published online. Deadline: June 1, 2015.

Tony Hillerman Prize. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press. Genre: Debut mystery novel set in Southwest. Prize: $10,000 advance against royalties and publication, Deadline: June 1, 2015.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: English translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose originally written in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish by a Scandinavian author born after 1800. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: June 1, 2015.

The Dave Greber Freelance Writers AwardsRestrictions: Open to Canadian freelance writers who have a contract for publication of a non-fiction magazine article or book. Genre: Projects that delve into issues associated with social justice, whether in the Canadian context or globally. Prize: $5,000 for book. $2,000 for article. Deadline: June 12, 2015.

DSC Prize for South Asian LiteratureGenre: Published novel or novella. South Asian culture, politics, history, or people. South Asia is defined as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Burma, and Afghanistan. Entries must have been first published in English between May 1 of the previous year and April 30 of the deadline year. Must be submitted by publisher. A book may be submitted only once for this prize and cannot be resubmitted in a subsequent edition. No e-books or self-published books. Prize: $50,000. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

Bard Fiction PrizeGenre: Published fiction book. Prize: $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young PeopleRestrictions: Open to people 25 years of age or less. Genre: Essay (max 700 words). What does it mean to build peace in our hearts and minds? How does it relate to the world around us? Please illustrate your ideas with your personal experience. Prize: 1st US$840, 2nd US$420. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction/Warren Hollister Prize for Oz NonfictionGenre: Short Fiction, Art & Creative Nonfiction. All work must be related to the world of Oz. Prize: $100 in each genre. 2nd Prize $50 in each genre. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

Hospital Drive Poetry and Prose Contest. Submissions must explore the theme of "Identity" within the context of health care. Genres: Poetry and prose. "We’re looking for well-crafted poems, stories, and essays that will change the way we think about who we are. Submissions must be rich with detail and a distinctive voice; they should combine strong images and/or a compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element; and they should reach beyond the personal to touch some deeper truth." Prize: $500 for each genre (poetry and prose). Deadline: June 15, 2015

Norton Writer's Prize. Sponsored by W.W. Norton & Company. "The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered." Genres: Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Essay. Prize: $1,500. Two runner-up prizes of $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2015.

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Authors making literary debut. Self-published works not allowed. Genres: Published or scheduled to be published fiction and literary nonfiction. Prize: $10,000 in each genre and in-store marketing/merchandising from Barnes & Noble. 2nd Place $5,000 in each genre, 3rd Place $2,500 in each genre. Deadline: June 18, 2015.

Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Utah writers. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $1,000 top prizes for book-length manuscripts of novels, creative nonfiction & history, collection of poetry or short stories, and juvenile book; $300 top prizes for individual poems, short stories, and personal essays. 2nd Prize $500 for the book-length categories, $150 for poetry. Deadline: June 26, 2015.

Costa Book AwardsRestrictions: Prize is for books first published in the UK or Ireland by authors who have lived in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of each of the preceding three years. Books must be published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year. Self-published works not allowed. Genre: Five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. Prize: £30,000.00 across all genres. 5,000 pounds in each category (poetry, novel, first novel, biography, children's book). Deadline: June 26, 2015.

SPS Studios Poetry Card ContestGenre: Poetry. Prize: 1st prize $300. 2nd Prize $150, 3rd Prize $50; winners published on website. Deadline: June 30, 2015.

Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook PrizeGenre: One long poem or a collection of poems. Prize: $500, 25 printed copies of chapbook, and publishing contract with sponsor. Deadline: June 30, 2015.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestRestrictions: Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment and at least 5,000 copies (or 5,000 hits for online publication). Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror.  17,000 words max. Prize: $1,000 1st Prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual "Golden Pen Award" grand prize. 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: June 30, 2015.

Eric Hoffer Award for Short ProseGenre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished, or published with a circulation of less than 500. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: June 30, 2015. Authors can nominate their own work.

Ekphrasis Prize for PoetryGenre: 3 - poems about a work of art. Previously published poems are eligible. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: June 30, 2015. Submit via regular submissions page.

Drue Heinz Literature PrizeRestrictions: The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Online and self-publication does not count toward this requirement. Genre: A manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Prize: $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Deadline: June 30, 2015.

ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction. Sponsored by the American Bar Association. Restrictions: Entrants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Genre: Original works of short fiction that illuminate the role of the law and/or lawyers in modern society. 5000 words max. Prize: $3,000 and publication in ABA Journal. Deadline: June 30, 2015.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

29 Writers' Conferences in June

June is bustin' out all over! There are more than 40 conferences at the beginning of summer held all over the world.

Below I have listed 29 conferences, workshops, and retreats in the US. Some have deadlines for registration that are fast approaching. So, if you see a conference you would like to attend, be sure to check the website for registration information.

If you miss this year's June conferences, many of these are annual events. Some of the smaller workshops are given several times a year in different locations. Quite a few offer financial aid. (Aid applications are due 1 - 3 months in advance.)


Iowa Summer Writing Festival. June 1, 2015, Iowa City. Featuring 138 workshops with 72 instructors, including old friends John Dalton, Amber Dermont, Kelly Dwyer, Hope Edelman, Sands Hall, Katie Ford, Hugh Ferrer, Sabrina Orah Mark, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and Michael Martone, as well as new friends Douglas Bauer, Melanie Braverman, Ashley Colley, Jennifer Colville, Katie Farris, Lauren Haldeman, Ilya Kaminsky, Matthew Lippman, Jude Nutter, Megan Stielstra, and Richard Thomas.

Clarksville Writers Conference. June 4-5, Clarksville, TN. Two days of writing workshops and presentations, a keynote banquet with the authors, and manuscript consultations.

Alcona Writers Retreat. June 4 - 7, 2015, Lincoln, MI. Three-day writing workshop Up North in Michigan with widely published authors in poetry, memoir and fiction. Relaxed setting in a lodge on a small, quiet lake at the edge of the forest. All levels of experience accepted, including those just starting.

Books-in-Progress Writers Conference, June 5-6, 2015, Lexington, KY. Craft & business workshops led by authors A.J. Verdelle, Marcia Thornton Jones, Erik Reece, Kathleen Driskell, Ben Woodard, Larry and Peggy DeKay, David Arnold, Sarah Combs, Gwenda Bond, and Writer’s Digest editor Chuck Sambuchino. Enjoy small break-out sessions & personal attention. Topics include revising for publication, children’s literature, poetry, nonfiction, fiction, selling your book, finding an agent, and more. The Carnegie Books-in-Progress Conference also offers participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their book ideas to literary agents from New York City. Attending agents: Adriann Ranta (Wolf Literary); and Melissa Flashman (Trident Media).

Moravian Writers' Conference. June 5-7, Bethlehem PA. Workshop, two craft talks, and panel discussion; interview and Q&A with keynote speaker; faculty readings and book signing; welcome reception and two meals. Writers of all genres and at all career stages welcome. Registration deadline  May 29, 2015.

Yale Writers' Conference. Session I: June 6 - 16, 2015, Session II: June 18-21, 2015, New Haven, Connecticut. The first session will focus on craft, and features workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, master classes, readings, and panel discussions with agents, editors, and publishers. The second session will focus on specific genres, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, and features one-on-one manuscript critiques with faculty. The faculty for the first session includes fiction writers Kirsten Bakis, Je Banach, Amy Bloom, John Crowley, John Donatich, Trey Ellis, Molly Gaudry, Julia Glass, Gish Jen, Lisa Page, Eileen Pollack, Marian Thurm, Colm Toibin, and Teddy Wayne; and nonfiction writers Jotham Burrello, Colleen Kinder, Richard Selzer, Cheryl Strayed, and Sergio Troncoso. The faculty for the second session includes poets Richard Deming, David Gorin, and Richard Jackson; fiction writers Kirsten Bakis, Louis Bayard, Molly Gaudry, Phil Klay, and Ben H. Winters; and nonfiction writers Priscilla Gilman, Jonathan Levi, MG Lord, Lisa Page, Mishka Shubaly, and Aaron Their.

SoCal Mystery Writers of America Conference, June 6-7, 2015, Culver City, CA.  Tracks on forensics, craft, industry, and marketing, along with other mystery-themed activities. A manuscript critique is available as an add-on option. Attending agents: Joshua Bilmes (JABberwocky Literary); Jessica Faust (BookEnds Literary); and Kimberley Cameron (Kimberley Cameron Literary).

The Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 7–12, Santa Barbara, Calif. "Every summer, writers in many genres from around the world gather to participate in a magical week of intensive work focused on story, voice, craft, marketing, and networking with fellow writers and publishing professionals."

Writers at Work Conference. June 10 - 13, Alta, Utah. Workshops, manuscript consultations, and readings for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The faculty includes poet Alison Hawthorne Deming, fiction writer Ann Hood, nonfiction writer Judith Barrington, and poet and nonfiction writer Lance Larsen. Participating writers and publishing professionals include Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Tin House), Michael McClane (Sugar House Review), and novelist Kirstin Scott. Registration deadline is June 8.

Wesleyan Writers Conference. June 10 - 14. One-day festival June 13. Middletown, CT. Seminars and workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions, readings, lectures, and meetings with agents and editors. The faculty includes poet Honor Moore; fiction writers Amy Bloom, Alexander Chee, Roxana Robinson, and Salvatore Scibona; nonfiction writers William Finnegan, Lis Harris, and Hirsh Sawhney; and other publishing professionals.

67th Annual Philadelphia Writers' Conference. June 12 - 14, 2015, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Features workshops, contests and awards, critique and feedback sessions, and agent and editor speed dates. Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Horror, Journalism, Marketing, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Screenwriting, Young Adult. Includes Sara Shepard, Stephen Fried, Dennis Tafoya, Solomon Jones, Christopher Bursk and many others.

West Virginia Writers Conference. June 12 - 14, 2015, Ripley, West Virginia. Author readings, contests and sharing your love of writing with others.

Poetry at the Frost Farm. June 12 - 14, Derry, New Hampshire. The retreat offers workshops, readings, and one-on-one consultations for formalist poets. The faculty includes poets A. M. Juster, Joshua Mehigan, Alfred Nicol, and Deborah Warren. Registration deadline is May 22.

The Writer's Center Publish Now Conference. June 13, Bethesda, Maryland. Lectures, panel discussions, and breakout sessions with agents and editors for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Participating authors include poet Sid Gold and fiction writers Amin Ahmad, Robert Bausch, and Kathleen Wheaton. Participating publishing professionals include Hilary Black (National Geographic), Becky Clark (Johns Hopkins University Press), Jenny Clines (Politics & Prose), Jane Friedman (Open Road Integrated Media), Matthew McAdams (Johns Hopkins University Press), Will Murphy (Random House), and Sheila O’Shea (Random House). Participating agents include Deborah Grosvenor (Grosvenor Literary Agency), Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management), and Anna Sproul-Latimer (The Ross Yoon Agency).

Kenyon Review Writers Workshops. June 13 - 20 and June 27 - July 3. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. he faculty includes poets David Baker, Carl Phillips, and Mary Szybist; fiction writers Lee K. Abbott, Caitlin Horrocks, and Nancy Zafris; creative nonfiction writers Rebecca McClanahan, Dinty W. Moore, and Roger Rosenblatt; and text artists Gretchen E. Henderson and Ellen Sheffield.

Colgate Writers’ Conference. June 14 - 20, Hamilton, New York. Morning craft talks & workshops. Individual consultation with workshop instructor in the afternoon. Late afternoon participant readings and talks on publishing, storytelling. Evening readings by instructors & guests. Late night social events. "Bring a story, a book in progress, some poems, or a novel, and work with us on developing narrative strategies, verse techniques, and methods of research. Members of the publishing profession will also be here to discuss marketplace tactics."

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. June 14 - 19, Sandy, Utah. Morning workshops devoted to individual work; afternoon talks on market, craft, publication; chats w/ editors and agents; keynote; book signing. For those interested, specialized workshops--Boot Camp and Full-Novel classes. Single day programs as well. Faculty: Jennifer Nielsen Fac: Kathi Appelt, AE Cannon, Lisa Mangum, Carol Lynch Williams, Dave Farland, Dean Hughes, Jennifer Adams, Natalie Whipple Julie Berry. Editor: Holly West, Feiwell and Friends. Agents: Heather Flaherty, The Bent Agency.

Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. June 18 - 21,Chautauqua, New York. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, panel discussions, individual conferences with faculty members, and time to write. The faculty includes poets Tony Hoagland and Tim Seibles, fiction writers Jane McCafferty and Aimee Parkison, and creative nonfiction writers Steve Almond and Lia Purpura. Registration deadline is May 31.

Aspen Summer Words. June 21 - 26, Aspen, Colorado. Workshops, panels, and readings in fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as opportunities to meet with agents and editors. The faculty includes fiction writers Ann Hood, Richard Russo, Akhil Sharma, and Hannah Tinti; and nonfiction writers Andre Dubus III and Dani Shapiro.

Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference. June 20 - 26, Bemidji, Minnesota. Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing. Faculty: Mark Doty, David Gessner - Creative Nonfiction. Tayari Jones - Fiction. Aimee Nezhukumatathil - Poetry. Matt de la Peña - YA Fiction. Joni Tevis - Creative Nonfiction.

Juniper Summer Writing Institute. June 21 - 28, Amherst, MA. Readings, craft seminars, manuscript consultations, and workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poets Heather Christle, Matthea Harvey, Zachary Schomburg, and Dara Wier; fiction writers Brian Evenson, Noy Holland, and Joy Williams; and creative nonfiction writer Paul Lisicky. The writers-in-residence include Eula Biss, Christopher DeWeese, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Mitchell S. Jackson, Yannick Murphy, Okey Ndibe, Christine Schutt, James Tate, and Arisa White.

Western Writers of America Convention. June 23-27, 2015, Lubbock, Texas. Children's, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Publishing, Young Adult. History presentations at the convention include Buffalo Soldiers, the Alamo, Comanche Indians, and frontier ranch women. Other sessions will take place related to the craft of writing, book marketing, and research sources and techniques.

Jackson Hole Writers Conference, June 25-27, 2015, Jackson Hole, WY. You will have ample opportunity to share your work with a distinguished faculty as well as writers from Massachusetts to Florida, from Texas to Washington.Serious writers pour into Jackson Hole each June looking for a fresh, but critical eye on their work. This event usually has at least 4 agents to pitch.

Writing Popular Fiction Workshop. June 25 - 28, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Workshops on writing, editing & pitching; guest speaker presentations. Faculty: Claire Eddy, Senior Editor, Tor/Forge Books; Stephen Saffel, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Titan Books; Representative from New Leaf Literary and Media.

Chuckanut Writers Conference. June 26 - 27, Bellingham, Washington. Writers conference that includes speakers, panels, breakout sessions, authors' readings, reception with authors, pitch sessions with literary agents, book signings, open mic for attendees. Autobiography/Memoir, Children's, Fiction, Nature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing. 

University of North Carolina Wilmington Summer Writers Conference. June 26 - 28, Wilmington, North Carolina. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as craft discussions and readings. The faculty includes poet Emily Smith, fiction writer Wiley Cash, nonfiction writer Richard Krawiec, and editor Beth Staples.

Historical Novel Society Conference. June 26 - 28, Denver, Colorado. Focus on all aspects of Historical Fiction, including historical fantasy and alternative history. Sessions will cover the craft of writing, period specific information such as weaponry, language, costume, occupation, and sessions on reading appreciation. Diana Gabaldon, Karen Cushman, Chris C.C.Humphries.

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, June 26-28. West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.

The Writers’ League of Texas 2013 Agents & Editors Conference, June 26–28, Austin, Tex. Featured Agents:  Noah Ballard, Curtis Brown LTD, Melissa Flashman, Trident Media Group, Emily Forland, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc., Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management, Jim Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management, Trena Keating, Union Literary, Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, Daniel Kirschen, ICM Partners, Jessica Papin, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, Kim Perel, Wendy Sherman Associates, Will Roberts, The Gernert Company, Matt Wise, Foundry Literary + Media, Monika Woods, Inkwell Management.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2 New Agents Seeking Clients - Sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, romance, and more

Here are two new agents seeking clients. Eve Porinchak (Jill Corcoran Literary) is looking for edgy, psychological thrillers, gang-lit, and realistic contemporary. Penny Moore (Aevitas Creative Management ) is seeking picture books, middle grade, and young adult (especially fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, and contemporary stories exploring romance and the complications of growing up). In adult fiction: speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and select romance. She’s also open to nonfiction projects in the realm of pop culture, humor, travel, food, and pets.


Penny Moore of Aevitas Creative Management 

About Penny: Moore graduated from the University of Georgia with a double degree in Linguistics and Japanese Language & Literature. During her time as an undergraduate, she also studied comparative literature at top universities in Japan and South Korea. Penny joined Aevitas in 2018, starting in the industry as an assistant/associate agent at FinePrint Literary Management in 2014, then joining Empire Literary as an agent two years later, where she built out the children’s portion of the agency’s list.

What she is seeking: Moore mainly represents children’s literature, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult. She also has an interest in select platform nonfiction projects that speak to younger audiences. Though she’s interested in all genres, she’s specifically seeking inventive works featuring breakout voices and compelling plot lines that will make young readers feel seen and heard for the first time.

How to submit: Submit through her online form.


Eve Porinchak of Jill Corcoran Literary


About Eve: Eve Porinchak graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Psycho-Biology. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Colby-Sawyer College and attended medical school at the University of New England. Eve has always worked with children in some capacity. She has taught Pre-K through First Grade, with a specialty in reading, formerly worked as a state foster care case manager, currently teaches creative writing to incarcerated teens, and serves as an aid worker in Tijuana orphanages. An active member of SCBWI for 15 years, Eve interned at the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency where she was recently promoted to Junior Agent.

What she is seeking: Eve has eclectic literary tastes and is open to everything from picture books to adult novels. Specifically looking for edgy, psychological thrillers, gang-lit, realistic contemporary. Some of Eve’s favorite books are: True Notebooks by Mark Salzman, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, This Is For The Mara Salvatrucha, Inside The MS-13 by Samuel Logan.

Eve is not a fan of high fantasy; however, she loves the Hunger Games and Science Fiction. Also a huge fan of true crime, and loved NPR’s SERIAL. If your story reads like a Tuesday night episode of “Dateline,” send Eve your pages!

How to submit: Please send a query letter with a synopsis and the first ten pages of your work (or entire picture book manuscript) to eve [at] Please include your submission text within your e-mail. Attachments will not be opened.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vook Becomes Self-Publishing Platform

Update: Vook, re-launched as Pronoun,  was purchased by MacMillan in 2016. 18 months later, it shuttered the platform.

Amazon may be in for some competition from Vook.

Vook (founded in 2009) publishes digital books that combine text, video, links to the internet and social media. Vook’s publishing platform is used by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company, and Thought Catalog. It has partnered with NBC Universal and Perseus Books, Charles River Editors and ABC News to produce ebooks that are distributed through Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo, and Blio.

With its contacts in major media, and its expansion into worldwide distribution, Vook may offer a serious challenge to Amazon, Smashwords, and Book Baby. It is hoping to attract Indie authors by offering 100% royalties, and a free self-publishing platform.

Vook Pivots, Becomes Self-Pub Platform Pronoun

By Calvin Reid, May 19, 2015: Publisher's Weekly

After a year of acquisitions that included the online literary boutique Byliner and the e-book data analysis engine Booklr, e-book creator Vook has relaunched itself as Pronoun. The new company is a soup-to-nuts self-publishing platform comprising the combined technological tools of Byliner, Booklr and Vook. Declaring itself “a new model for authors,” Pronoun offers its services free of charge and gives authors a 100% royalty rate.

“Pronoun is committed to changing the publishing model by making it open, and by making it free,” said Josh Brody, Pronoun CEO. Brody said the new platform is the culmination of “a year of acquisitions and building a new team,” that will offer “a new kind of platform that empowers authors.”

Vook launched in 2009 as an e-book and interactive content production company. Vook has distributed over 6,000 titles via all the major e-book retailers. Booklr, a data analysis company, tracks millions of e-book sales around the world for individual authprs and major houses. And Byliner, an online literary imprint and e-book store, published original and backlist titles by bestselling authors such as Nick Horney and Jodi Poult.

Pronoun chief product officer Ben Zhuk said: “Our mission at Pronoun is to put authors first by building free digital tools that help them find and reach their audience for the lifetime of their books, not just at launch.”

Read More ...

Monday, May 18, 2015

19 Paying Markets for Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

Updated 1/11/23

Finding a paying market for short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction is not easy if you are an emerging writer. The Poets & Writers database includes 1135 markets, only 154 of which are listed as paying. (Some of those only pay if your work is selected as a "best of." Others pay a token amount that can be as little as $1.50.)

In short, 90% of journals don't pay. The most a writer can expect from most literary magazines is a couple of contributor copies - provided the journal has a print version.

After culling through the P&W database, I identified 22 journals that pay their contributors and don't charge a reading fee. All accept online submissions.

If you submit to several journals at once, keep careful records. As soon as your story is accepted make sure to withdraw it immediately from the remaining journals, either through an email notification or directly on submittable. (If you have submitted through submittable, just click "withdraw.")

Also see

325 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction


"We see literature and the arts as part of a broad, ongoing cultural conversation that every society needs to remain vibrant and alive. We look for the honest voice, the idiosyncratic signature, experimental where necessary but not willfully so. Writing that grows from a vision, a perspective, and a passion will interest us, regardless of structure or approach."

Submission period: September 1st to midnight December 15th, and again from February 15th to midnight May 31st, Submit by mail to avoid submission fee. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: AGNI pays $20 per page for prose and $40 per page for poetry, with a $300 maximum. Response time: 3 months.


Baltimore Review

"The mission of The Baltimore Review is to showcase Baltimore as a literary hub of diverse writing and promote the work of emerging and established writers."

Submission periods: Feb 1 through May 1. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $40 Amazon gift certificate or $40 through PayPal, if preferred. Response time: 3 months.


Carte Blanche

"At carte blanche we believe there is more than one way to tell a story. Our mandate is to provide a venue for narrative of all forms from fiction and nonfiction, to poetry and photo essays. carte blanche is published three times a year in the winter, spring/summer, and fall. carte blanche is a volunteer, not-for-profit literary project published by the Quebec Writers’ Federation, with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and individual sponsors.

Submission period: 21 July to 21 August. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: Modest. Response time: 3 to 6 months


Cincinnati Review

"The CR publishes two print issues a year (with fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama, reviews, and a portfolio of artwork) and runs a weekly online series, miCRo, which features shorter poems and flash fiction/literary nonfiction/hybrid works. We provide a venue for writers of any background, at any point in their literary careers, at any age, to showcase their best writing. We are invested in finding both promising new and emerging voices and in sharing the exceptional work of more established writers."

Submission period: September, December, and May. Those reading periods will open on the first day of the month and close once they hit the submissions cap for that period. Payment: $25/page for prose and $30/page for poetry in the print journal and $25 for miCRo posts or special features.



"Contrary is a quarterly literary journal that publishes commentary, fiction, and poetry and especially specimens that defy those categories. Founded at the University of Chicago in 2003, it operates independently on the South Side of Chicago and publishes writers from throughout the world."

Submission periods: All year. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $20. Response time: 3 to 6 months.


Fiction Desk

"The Fiction Desk publishes a range of short stories from new and emerging authors, with a focus on strong plots and characters. We're based in the UK, but we accept submissions from authors around the world."

Submission periods: All year. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment:£25 per thousand words. Response time: 3 months.


"Geist is a magazine of ideas and culture made in Canada with a strong literary focus and a sense of humour. The Geist tone is intelligent, plain-talking, inclusive and offbeat. Each issue represents a convergence of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, art, reviews, little-known facts of interest, cartography, and the legendary Geist crossword puzzle. Geist is a Canadian magazine, and requires a Canadian connection in all non-contest submissions."

Has submission periods. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: Not specified. Response time: 4 months.


The Georgia Review

"The Georgia Review seeks memorable and distinctive poems, short stories, and essays, whether from Pulitzer Prize winners or previously unpublished writers. Thesis-oriented interdisciplinary essays are especially welcome. Occasional special features on topics or individual writers."

Submission period: Closed to submissions between May 15 and August 15. Submissions received during that period will be returned unread. Simultaneous submissions not allowed. Payment: $50 per printed page for prose and $4 per line for poetry. Essay-reviews and standard reviews earn honoraria of $50/printed page; book briefs carry a fixed honorarium of $50. Response time: 3-6 months. $3 submission fee for online submissions. No fee for mailed submissions.


Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

"The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is looking for, as you might guess, "compressed creative arts." We accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way. Work is published weekly, without labels, and the labels here only exist to help us determine its best readers."

Submission period: September 15 - December15. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $50. Response time:  1-3 days.


Kansas City Voices

"There is no “type” of work we are looking for, and while we would love for you to read through our previous issues, it is not an indicator of what kind of work we actively seek. Our editors rotate, our tastes evolve, and good work is just good work. We want to feel something when we encounter a piece. We want to be excited, surprised, thoughtful, and interested. We want to have a reaction. We want to share the best voices we find. Send us that one."

Submission period: January 1 - March 31. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: Small. Response time: 3-6 months.


The Masters Review

"Our New Voices category is open year round to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length. Authors with short story collections are free to submit."

Submission period: All year. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $0.10/word up to $200. Response time: 3 months.


The Nashville Review

"Nashville Review seeks to publish the best work we can get our hands on, period. From expansive to minimalist, narrative to lyric, epiphanic to subtle—if it’s a moving work of art, we want it. We hope to provide a venue for both distinguished and emerging artists. Most importantly, thank you for giving us a chance to read your work. We appreciate it."

Submission period: January, May and September. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $25 per poem & song selection; $100 per selection for all other categories, including featured artwork. Translators receive $25 per poem & $100 for prose selections. Response time: 4-5 months.



"Okey-Panky is a weekly online magazine of short, darkly comic, ironic, and experimental fiction, essay, poetry, and graphic narrative published by Electric Literature."

Submission period: Late summer. (Two calls per year.) Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $100. Response time: 3-6 months.


"One Story is seeking literary fiction. Because of our format, we can only accept stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone."

Submission Periods: January 15th - May 31st | October 4th - November 14th. Payment: $500. Note: They close when they reach their cap.


The Pedestal Magazine

"As editors of The Pedestal Magazine, we intend to support both established and burgeoning writers. We are committed to promoting diversity and celebrating the voice of the individual."

See submission periods: Poetry only. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $40 per poem, $.03 cents per word for flash fiction. Response time: 4-8 weeks.


The Ex-Puritan

"The Ex-Puritan began in 2007 as The Puritan Literary Magazine, an independently funded print journal dedicated to publishing fiction, essays, and interviews in Ottawa, Ontario, and was sold in bookstores across the city. In its early years, The Puritan was Ottawa’s only quarterly prose journal. After a brief hiatus, the magazine returned to publishing, now in the form of an online magazine run from Toronto. Since expanding its mandate to include poetry, reviews, and experimental work, The Ex-Puritan now seeks to publish the best in all forms of writing."

Submission period: All year. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: $100. Response time: Not specified.


Still Point Arts Quarterly

"Still Point Arts Quarterly is a publication with a clear focus on art, artists, and artistry. Within this focus, the Quarterly addresses topics such as inspiration, imagination, and creativity as well as offering articles on art history, artist biographies, and art criticism. Both non-fiction and fiction are published (up to approximately 5000 words), and poetry is published on occasion."

Submission period: Various deadlines. Simultaneous submissions allowed. Payment: "Modest." Response time: 3 months.


Virginia Quarterly

VQ has a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, but also seeks and supports emerging writers.

Submission period: July 1 - 31. 

Payment: For poetry, $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, we usually pay $1,000; for poems longer than 50 lines, the payment is usually higher. For prose, approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length.  Book reviews are generally 2,000-2,400 words and are paid at a flat rate of $500.Online content is generally paid at $100-$200, depending upon genre and length.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Indie Authors Get 7-Figure Deal for Self-Published Series

I am always interested in self-publishing success stories, because "How did they do it?" is the first question every Indie author asks.

I'd love to be able to answer that question, but each case is different. Sometimes, authors "get lucky" and their first book takes off. In most cases, however, it's a long hard climb.

Jasinda Wilder is a case in point. Before signing up with Berkley Books, Wilder had self-published 28 ebooks. If you look back at her history, you'll notice that she did two things: 1) She identified her market and followed the trends, and 2) She wrote like blazes, churning out one book after another, until she built a following. (It also helped that she was writing in a genre that has 30 million dedicated readers.)

Meredith Wild essentially employed the same strategy: She chose a popular genre, and produced a series. That's what publishers like, because that's what readers like. (It's called "brand loyalty" in the marketing biz.)

So, here is the (very qualified) answer to "How did they do it?" If you are a genre writer, whether you self-publish or go the traditional route (or both), producing a series is the main ingredient in the recipe for success. (Also, in case you haven't noticed, sex sells.)


Two self-published successes sign with major publishers

LA Times

Like E.L. James before her, Meredith Wild has successfully sold her sexy romance novels on her own; the Hacker Series, about a savvy young businesswoman and the billionaire she falls for, has already made bestseller lists. And like James, Wild has left self-publishing behind to sign with a major publisher.

Forever, the romance imprint of Grand Central, will republish Wild's "Hardwired," "Hardpressed," "Hardline" and "Hard Limit" as e-books April 7, followed by trade paperback editions May 12. Until now, the books, which have sold 1.2 million copies digitally, have only been available in print via print-on-demand.

The upcoming fifth book in the series, "Hard Love," will be published by Forever simultaneously as an e-book and in paperback Sept. 15.

"The past two years have been an incredible whirlwind experience for me, and I'm thrilled that this partnership will allow me to devote more of my time to writing," Wild said in a release.

Meanwhile, self-published romance star Jasinda Wilder, whose sales of 28 e-books and novellas have topped 2 million, has signed with Berkley Books. Wilder will get a reported seven-figure sum for her new trilogy, which will launch with "Madame X" in November.

Read more HERE.

Friday, May 8, 2015

2 Agents Actively Building Their Client Lists

Updated 5/20/20

Here are two new agents actively building their client lists.

Linda Camacho is seeking adult, middle grade, and young adult fiction across all genres (romance, horror, fantasy, realistic, light sci-fi, and graphic novels), and select literary fiction (preferably with commercial bent).

Noah Ballard (Verve) specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers and narrative nonfiction, as well as select YA and middle grade that breaks the mold.

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.


Noah Ballard of Verve

Currently closed to queries

About Noah: Noah Ballard received his BA in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and began his career in publishing at Emma Sweeney Agency where he sold foreign rights for the agency in addition to building his own client list. He has appeared across the country at graduate programs and writing conferences speaking about query letters, building nonfiction platforms and submission etiquette. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter: @noahballard

What he is seeking: Noah specializes in literary debuts, upmarket thrillers and narrative nonfiction, and he is always on the look-out for honest and provocative new writers. Noah mainly represents books geared toward adults, but is open to YA and middle grade that breaks the mold. Check out what’s on his Manuscript Wish List.

How to submit: Noah is currently accepting e-mail queries only. Please send your query letter and contact information along with the first ten pages of your manuscript or proposal to with the word “query” in the subject line. He reviews all queries sent to him within three to four weeks, but will respond only if interested.


Linda Camacho of Gallt & Zacker

Currently closed to queries

About Linda: Linda joined Gallt & Zacker in 2018 after nearly a decade in publishing. After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin before happily settling into children’s marketing at Random House. She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Follow her on Twitter: @LindaRandom

What she is seeking: Linda is open to MG and YA fiction, all genres; select graphic novels; select picture book writer-illustrators; adult fiction (namely, upmarket/book club fiction, women's fiction/romance, and literary horror)

How to submit: Send query and sample to Please see specific guidelines here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oni Press Opens Door to Graphic Novel Submissions - No Agent Required

NOTE: Oni is currently closed to submissions.

Oni Press is an American independent comic book publisher based in Portland, Oregon. They have published well over 100 titles, with multiple books undergoing reprints.

Several of their books have won the Eisner Award including: Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim, Rick Spear and Chuck BB's Black Metal, Hope Larson's Grey Horses, and Greg Rucka's Whiteout: Melt and Queen & Country, with many more receiving nominations.

Oni is currently open to submissions directly from graphic novel writers. Be sure to read their complete submission guidelines before submitting. 


From the website:


On May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.


PITCHES - Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.

PORTFOLIOS - Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.


Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.


An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.


I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie isWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.


I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)


The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.


Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.

Monday, May 4, 2015

10 Ways to Find Your Ideal Audience on Twitter (For Writers)

Updated 11/18/22

Have you been approached by services that offer you 10,000, 20,000 30,000 !!! Twitter followers for a nominal fee?

Don't do it.

Tens of thousands of followers might look good on your home page, but if those followers aren't reading your tweets, looking at your blog posts, and buying your books, they are just meaningless numbers. What you want is real followers, people who are interested in what you have to say, and in what you have written.

How do you get genuine followers?

First you have to find your ideal audience. There are several ways to go about this using three essential tools: Followers, Twitter Lists, and Hashtags.

1) Make a list of successful authors who are similar to you. Look at their "followers" list, and follow accounts that are active. (It helps if they have a significant number of followers. Avoid accounts that look like spam, or that don't appear relevant.) This may take a little time, because you will have to look at their accounts and see when they last tweeted. (Ideally they should be tweeting at least five times a week.) There is no point following people who don't tweet, because they will not tweet about you. It seems selfish, but the best use of Twitter is not what you tweet, but how many people are willing to re-tweet or like your tweets. That's called marketing.

2) Reviewers are your audience, too. To find book reviewers, do a search on #review plus your genre. Ex: "#fantasyreview, or #review #fantasy." This will produce a list of recent reviews. Click on the account and if the reviewer has tweeted consistently about reviews/books, follow and add them to your list of reviewers. (Note: If you search "reviewer" instead of "review" a list of promotion companies will pop up.) You can also look at the followers on popular review sites.

3) Don't follow blind. Before you follow people, read their recent tweets. If you are interested in their tweets, chances are they will be interested in yours.

4) Look at the Twitter lists of authors in your genre, as well as businesses that promote books, publicists, agents who represent your genre. Do they keep a list of publicists, promotion sites, reviewers? If an author who writes in your genre keeps a list of reviewers, odds are they will be interested in your book. (And be sure to keep your own lists.)

5) Expand your scope beyond writers. For example, if you write children's books, tweet about parenting, education, and other topics that interest people who are raising kids. Be engaged with the world.

6) Express yourself. If you feel strongly about something, don't be afraid to have an opinion. You want followers who believe in what you are willing to stand up for. Writers are leaders.

7) Tweet several times a day on different topics. Vary your tweets to include some with images, some that are an image only, some that are a comment, some that include a link, and some personal news (your upcoming release, a new project you are working on, etc.) Check to see which tweets get the most responses on Twitter analytics. The tweets that are the most popular are an indication of what your audience likes to hear.

8) Use hashtags in your tweets. People who are on the lookout for topics, genres, free books on Kindle, and news events will search for them using hashtags. (If you aren't using hashtags, your tweet will get lost.) You can use those hashtags to find people who tweet on specific topics. Check out their home page, and if you like what they tweet, follow.

9) Don't be afraid to use Twitter to communicate with people - even if they are not your followers. I find that people who mention me get my attention. Whether they are commenting on one of my tweets or offering something, I almost always respond, either by tweeting back, or by checking out the link they've sent me. Literary agents also respond to tweets. To get the attention of readers and reviewers there is no better tool than communication via Twitter. (Don't DM - direct message. People resent DMs. Just mention them via their handle @)

10) Make sure your bio includes the information that is relevant to potential followers. For example, if you write sci-fi, include your genre so that sci-fi readers can find you.  Don't include the fact that you have three kids, unless you specifically want Moms to follow you. Include what you tweet about and a personal closer that will get attention (e.g. something witty, funny, cute, dark - anything with a punch). Ex: "Author of scifi novels & short stories. Tweets about astronomy & Indie publishing. Building a time machine in my basement on weekends." On your profile, always include where you live, your website URL, and a head shot. (No eggs!)

Finding your ideal audience will take time and patience, but if you devote 15 minutes a day you can build a significant following within a few weeks. Two thousand active and engaged followers are worth more than 10,000 followers who exist in name only.

Related posts:

253 Hashtags for Writers

Platform, Shmatform: Social Media - How Numbers Lie

Twitter: How to Build a Following - for Writers

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...