Thursday, March 31, 2016

32 Writing Contests in April 2016 - No Entry Fees

There are loads of free literary contests in April, some with substantial prizes. All genres and forms are included, from humorous poetry, to short fiction, to full length-works, both published and unpublished.

Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to read the full guidelines before submitting.

Good luck!

Note: I post a list of free upcoming contests the last week of every month. But if you want to get a jump on contests, the tab labeled "Free Contests" is regularly updated. Be sure to check there for future and past contests.


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Now in its 15th year, this contest seeks today's best humor poems, published and unpublished. Please enter one poem only, 250 lines max. Prize: $2,250 in prizes, including a top prize of $1,000, and publication on Winning Writers. Deadline: April 1, 2016. Submission form HERE.

Harold U. Ribalow PrizeGenre: Fiction on a Jewish theme, published books onlyPrize: $3,000.  Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Bop Dead CityGenres: Prose, poetry. Prize: $20. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-FictionRestrictions: The writer must be Canadian, and an entry must be the writer's first or second published book of any type or genre and must have a Canadian locale and/or significance. Genre: Print books and ebooks of creative non-fiction published in the previous calendar year. Prize: C$10,000.00. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers. Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians awards fellowships for writers to spend time in McCullers' childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. The fellowships are intended to afford the writers in residence uninterrupted time to dedicate to their work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities. Award: Stipend of $5000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients will be required to introduce or advance their work through reading or workshop/forum presentations. The Fellow will work with the McCullers Center Director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Carbon Culture Review's Poetry Film PrizeGenre: Film: make a film of your poem. Prize: $1000.  Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Great American Think-OffGenre: Essay on the theme: “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy.” Entrants should take a strong stand agreeing or disagreeing with this topic, basing their arguments on personal experience and observations rather than philosophical abstraction. Essay should be no more than 750 words. Prize: One of four $500 cash prizes. Deadline: April 1, 2016. Submission details are HERE.

Paterson Fiction PrizeGenre: Published novel or collection of short fiction.  Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Allen Ginsberg Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry, up to five poems per person. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book, all genres. Prize: $500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Waterston Desert Writing PrizeGenre: Literary nonfiction, desert theme. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Fall Lines: Saluda River Prize for Poetry / Broad River Prize for ProseGenres: Poetry, flash fiction, essays, short fiction. Prizes: Two $250 cash prizes, and publication. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia PoetsRestrictions: Open to Virginia poets. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation PrizeGenre: Book-length translation of Asian poetry into English. Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: April 8, 2016. See details HERE.

American Literary Translators Association Italian Prose in Translation AwardGenre: Translation of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: April 8, 2016. See details HERE.

William Saroyan Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to students in 1st grade through college. Genre: Short story, 2 pages. Prize: $50 - $100. Deadline: April 11, 2016. More details are HERE.

Stony Brook Short Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2015-16 are eligible. Genre: Fiction of no more than 7,500 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Common Good Books Poetry Contest is sponsored by Common Good Books, proprietor Garrison Keillor. Genre: Poetry. The poem must be a declaration of gratitude. Prize: Grand prizes of $1000 each, and four poets will receive $500 for poems of particular meritDeadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Books must be published in Canada in English between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 to be eligible for the 2016 Prize. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See details HERE.

Rhyme On! Genre: Poetry, one poem only. Prize: 1st prize -  $200, 2nd prize - $100, 3rd prize - $50. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Chautauqua Editors Prize. Awards will recognize the writing that best captures both the issue’s theme and the spirit of Chautauqua Institution. Prizes: $500, $250, and $100 for each issue. Deadline: April 15, 2016. Submission form is HERE.

The Waterman Fund Essay ContestGenre: Essay. "The dual mission of the NPS is to conserve the resources and provide visitor enjoyment of uniquely wild and beautiful places around the country. However, with these high and growing levels of use, how can the NPS achieve these ideals? Is the spirit of wilderness alive and well in our National Parks? What do we gain or lose by protecting these areas over others? What relationships between stewardship and National Parks stand out as significant in preserving both our landscapes and our ideals of wilderness? Emerging writers are encouraged to address these questions and their own in well-crafted essays, drawing on personal wilderness experiences—in or out of Parks—as concrete examples for their arguments." Prizes: The winning essayist will be awarded $1500 and publication in Appalachia Journal. The Honorable Mention essay will receive $500. Deadline: April 15, 2016.  Submission details are HERE.

Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing. "Now in its fifth year, the Prize is a significant literary award for new and emerging writers. The prize is open to both Australian and New Zealand university students, enrolled in either an undergraduate or honours degree. All types of creative writing will be accepted, including short stories, non-fiction narrative and narrative verse." Prize: $4000.  Deadline: April 18, 2016.  Submission details are HERE.

Sapiens PlurumGenre: Stories that personalize the consequences of climate change so readers feel as well as know them. But stories must offer hope, at least a possibility, for without hope people rarely act. Your job, as author, is to inspire scientists and states-persons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Prize: 1ST PRIZE: $1000; 2ND PRIZE: $500; 3RD PRIZE: $300. Deadline: April 22, 2016. Submission details are HERE.

Toronto Book AwardsGenres: All genres accepted. Restrictions: Submission "must evoke the city itself, that is, contain some clear Toronto content (this may be reflected in the themes, settings, subjects, etc.). Authors do not necessarily have to reside in Toronto. Ebooks, textbooks and self-published works are not eligible. Prize: A total of $15,000 CD will be awarded. Each shortlisted author (usually 4-6) receives C$1,000 and the winning author is awarded the remainder. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry FellowshipsRestrictions: Applicants must reside in the U.S. or be U.S. citizens. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and no older than 31 years of age as of April 30, 2016Genre: Poetry. Prize: $25,800.  Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Lake Superior State University High School Short Story PrizeRestrictions: Open to high school students students residing in the Midwestern United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) or Ontario, Canada. Genre: Alternate history short stories. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Anna Boswell Memorial Prize for Young WritersRestrictions: Open to writers 13-19 years of age. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Artemis vs ApolloGenre: Mythology, 5000 words max. Prize: $100 Visa e-card. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

The Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award will be given to the best book of the year that illuminates the heritage of America’s mid-continental prairies, whether of the tall-grass, mid-grass, or short-grass regions. Authors’ first books receive extra consideration. Books published in 2014 may be nominated by publishers, authors, or readers. Genre: Books may be in any genre, and topics may include but are not limited to social or natural history; prairie culture of the past or in-the-making; and interactions between society and ecology. Prize: $1000 and a sponsored book-signing. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

The Scythe PrizeRestrictions: Open to college students. Genre: Short stories, creative nonfiction. Prize: $250. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Wax Poetry and Art Poetry ContestPrize: $120. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

29 Calls for Submissions in April 2016 - Paying Markets

Here are 29 calls for submissions during the month of April. All genres and styles are represented, including poetry, creative non-fiction, essays, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, translation, speculative fiction, screenplays, and graphic art.

Happy submitting!

Note: I post upcoming calls the last week of every month. You can find more sources for open calls on the tab labelled "Calls for Submissions."


Stories of Music

Genres: Creative nonfiction (personal essays, memoir excerpts, and literary journalism), poetry, photography and art, videos, and audio recordings, and additional genres and styles, as long as music is the centerpiece and the story is true.

Payment: $200 (US dollars), a copy of the print edition

Deadline: April 1, 2016


Impact: Colonialism in Canada Anthology

The anthology will feature works from emerging and established Indigenous-Canadian writers, and will focus on the effects of colonialism in Canada from a historical or contemporary perspective.

Genres: Historical or contemporary fiction, creative, non-fiction, essay, or poetry. Your work must address the anthology’s theme from an Indigenous perspective in compelling ways and will be assessed based on artistic and educational merit.

Length: 3,000 words and under per piece for fiction, non-fiction, or essay. Two to three pieces for poetry with a submission maximum of five.

Payment: 5¢/word for fiction, non-fiction, or essay and $50 per published poem.

Deadline: April 1, 2016


West Branch

Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation.

Payment: $50 per submission of poetry, and $.05/word for prose with a maximum payment of $100, and two copies of the issue in which his/her work appears and a one-year subscription to West Branch.

Deadline: April 1, 2016


NonBinary Review #10: A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

"NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue's theme. We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature and be featured on our cover. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted."

Payment: 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 per poem and $25 per piece of visual art

Deadline: April 1, 2016


Apex Publications: Undead: A Poetry Anthology of Ghouls, Ghosts, and More 

Genre: 1-3 poems, email to

Payment: $5

Deadline: April 1st, 2016. Previously published work is eligible, as long as you own the rights


Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires

Anthology of short stories, released as an ebook and as a paperback simultaneously

Genre: Horror-themed Steampunk

Payment: $10

Deadline: April 1st, 2016


Nous: The Work Issue

"For many of us being at work or working for a living takes up more than half of our time. Probably also more than half of the time of our whole lives. In this issue we want to explore how our work can cause distress, make us unhappy but also show off alternatives that show how fulfilling a profession can be. Is there such a thing as good work and bad work? How do other cultures “work”, how did our grandparents “work”. What work has been done to make the world “better”. What is work, or labour, or profession, and what does it mean to us? Is working in our blood, is it good for our soul to do stuff? Many questions to explore, send us your proposals for essays, short stories, and poetry to"

Payment: £20 and a copy of NOUS 7

Deadline: April 1st, 2016


Splickety: Outdoor Misadventure

Genre: Flash fiction

Payment: 2 cents/word

Deadline: April 8, 2016



"Read-aloud story rhymes – Many picture books for children have, at their heart, a story narrated in the form of a short rhyming text. Send us your rhyming texts of up to 200 words, that tell a story to read aloud to a small child." Women only.

Payment: £25

Deadline: April 11, 2016


Seizure: 'Translated Edition'

Genre: Translated poetry and fiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: April 13, 2016


Narrative Magazine

Narrative is a highly prestigious magazine, geared to a discerning audience. Their no-fee submission period is during the first two weeks of April.

Genres: All genres, short stories, poems, novellas, one-act plays

Payment: Pay scale ranges from $50 - $1000, depending on the length of the piece

Deadline: April 14, 2016


Brain, Child

Seeking submissions for two upcoming blog series:

Milestones: - Yours, your child’s, your family’s. Tell us about a personal or family milestone and the journey to get there (or not get there). Topics might include a mother’s spiritual awakening after her empty nest; missing a son's first time learning how to ride a bike; teaching a child with a learning disability how to read.

Multiples: Share your stories about raising multiples, being a multiple, or what it’s like growing up in a family with multiples. Topics might include: having twins as the first vs. the last children in the family; commemorating the date twins come home after months in the NICU; comparing identical twin siblings' separate identities.

Length: 750-1200 words per submission

Payment: Competitive rates

Deadline: April 15, 2016


|tap| magazine

"|tap| magazine especially aims to publish poetry and prose on trauma, mental health, social justice, and by marginalized voices. We are looking for work that is vulnerable, work that is evocative, and work with risk and emotion."

Payment: $25

Deadline: April 15, 2016



"EPOCH is an open forum for literary fiction, poetry, essays, screenplays, cartoons, graphic art, and graphic fiction. We consider only work that is previously unpublished. We do not accept electronic submissions or simultaneous submissions."

Payment: $50 per poem, and a maximum of $150 per story, more for fiction submitted by literary agencies and for long stories and novellas.

Deadline: April 15, 2016


Catskill Made: 'Flow' Issue

"Catskill Made is a digital journal of artists and makers in the Catskills. Our primary aim is to explore the creative environment in all its forms, examining how the rural mountain lifestyle affects artists, artwork, and the art-making process. Our secondary goal is to document that lifestyle and those artists in a publication as beautiful as the region itself."

Payment: 10 cents/word

Deadline: April 15, 2016 (for pitches)


Sandwiched: Voices from the Middle

"We are looking for a wide range of first-person stories and reflective essays that connect us and rekindle our spirit on various aspects of the middle years of life."

Genre: Creative nonfiction, 1st person essays

Payment: $25

Deadline: April 15, 2016


SQ Magazine

"Life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Plants and mushrooms work together to create networks, an ecosystem. We live together with microbiotic bugs in our mouths, our guts. No being exists on their own. We exist in colonies, in families, as part of worlds. Show us symbiosis: two characters that can’t live without each other, or someone perfectly adapted to their microcosm. Working in sync to create a better life."

Genre: Speculative fiction, 1,000 to 5,000 words

Payment: US$15 per story

Deadline: April 18, 2016


A Two Dame Production

"A Two Dame Production is now accepting submissions for its Summer 2016 anthology. The theme of the anthology is Fairy Tales, so send us your best rendering of your favorite fairy tale!"

Genre: Erotic fairy tale

Payment: Published authors will receive a paperback copy of the anthology, plus $25.

Deadline: April 20, 2016


Iron Soap

Genre: Flash fiction (200 words) for Mother's Day issue

Payment: $0.01/word or $2 flat (whichever is more)

Deadline: April 22, 2016



Genre: Short stories and poems on theme of Technology

Payment: £25 per story and £5 per poem

Deadline: April 24, 2016


Writespace Anthology: In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between

"We are looking for stories about characters who are thrown into or stuck between different cultures, communities, families, races, genders, self-images, dimensions, continents, etc. We want the gray area—the uncomfortable, the undefined. Give us characters in the middle of it all: middle children, mediators, people in the middle of their lives, in the middle of a mess—“in-between.”

Genre: Any - flash fiction, short stories, prose poetry

Payment: $15 and a copy of the anthology at publication.

Deadline: April 28, 2016



First horror anthology released by TIME ALONE PRESS.

Genre: Horror

Length: Approx 4000 words

Payment: $.06 per word. PLUS half of royalties distributed among the writers after the recovery of initial costs (paid twice per year).

Deadline: April 30, 2016



"Did you know that humans emit clouds of microbes? Over a million particles an hour. With that sort of chaos something is likely to go very, very wrong."

Genre: Science fiction, although genre mashups with horror, romance, mystery, etc. will be accepted. 

Length: 3,000 to 10,000 words

Payment: 3 cents/word

Deadline: April 30, 2016


Antioch Review

Genres: Short stories, reviews, articles, poetry

Payment: $20.00 per printed page (about 425 words) plus 2 copies of the issue

Deadline: April 30, 2016

No electronic submissions


Eastern Iowa Review

Genre: :Lyric essay, family friendly

Payment: Complimentary copy of the issue plus a token payment ($15 for lyric or experimental essays up to 2000 words, and $25 for those up to 5000 words)

Deadline: April 30, 2016


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

"Share your awesome stories about how good things happen to good people! We’re looking for stories about angels, miracles, answered prayers, messages from heaven, and all your other awe-inspiring experiences, whether religious or non-religious."

Payment:  $200

Deadline: April 30, 2016


Alternate Realities: Two Anthologies

"Summer’s End is an anthology of fantastical stories that will be about the end of ages, civilisations, golden times that decline inexorably or suddenly. Think the fall of the men of Numenor, the end of the first age of Yggdrasil, the sacking of Rome or the swallowing of Anhkor Watt by the forests as its people disappeared."

"Broken Bones & Ten Dollar Bills is an anthology of science fiction stories that explore our relationship with body altering technology, be that genetics or other techs. We want to see stories that explore our relationship with technology but also those people who traffic in these goods, those scientists who invent them and the corporations who profit from our awkwardness about being embodied."

Payment: £10, contributors copies, royalties

Deadline: April 30, 2016



"I know how depression feels. I know how events can spiral out of control, with one piece of shitty news after another. I know how small stuff rapidly becomes big things. And I know just how easily a camel’s back breaks. This anthology, SEMI-COLONIC IRRIGATION, is in aid of as-yet-undetermined charities. We’re initially looking to raise funds for counselling services and those who offer support to survivors."

Payment: 10 cents/word

Deadline: April 30, 2016


Memento Mori Anthology: Haunted House

"For an anthology Memento Mori Press will release in August 2016, we’re looking for several haunted house stories. The stories must involve a haunted house of some sort, but please be creative. The people can be haunted rather than the house, or the haunting can be in a character’s mind, and so on."

Payment: $10 for original, unpublished stories, and $5 for reprints

Deadline: April 30, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

30 Writing Conferences in April 2016

Spring has sprung, and writers are thawing out!

There are conferences springing up all over the country in April. Topics range from the nuts and bolts of how to get published, to how to write fight scenes, to how to write science for children. There are workshops with authors and industry professionals, as well as critique groups, pitch sessions, and informal schmoozing.

For writers, who spend so much time in solitary pursuits, writers' conferences are exciting and rewarding experiences. I encourage you to attend one. Even if it's a one-day workshop, you will be invigorated.

Note: For a month-by-month listing of conferences, see Writing Conferences.


University of North Dakota Writers Conference. April 6 - 8, 2016. Grand Forks, North Dakota. This year’s theme is “The Art of Science.” The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions and readings. Participating authors include poet Katharine Coles; fiction writers Frank Huyler, Tania James, and Kim Stanley Robinson; and nonfiction writer Brian Greene.

Tennessee Mountain Writers Annual Conference, Apr 7 - 9, 2016, Oak Ridge, TN. Speakers and session leaders include Sonja Livingston, Michael Knight, Jesse Graves, Courtney Stevens, Denton Loving, Beverly Connor, Judy DiGregorio, Robert Gipe, Saundra Kelly, Cathy Kodra, and Bob Mayer.

Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Apr 7 - 9, 2016, Bethlehem PA. Keynote Speaker: Robert Liparulo. Pre-conference workshops: Robert Liparulo, Suzy Kuhn, Bonnie Calhoun, Catherine McLean. Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Shawn Smucker, Ramona D. Long, Hana H. Caye, Jon Gibbs, and Kelly Simmons.

Authors Combat Academy. April 8 – 10, 2016, Nashville TN. Writers, Authors, pre-published or published who want to learn how to write better fight scenes. Special guests, lectures, group participation, banquet. Presenters: Liliana Hart, CJ Lyons, Jack Dagger, and more! Fighting experts from all different styles (martial arts, military, boxing, MMA, space battles, lovers quarrels, fantasy, and more) as well as writing experts and industry experts.

New York Writers Workshop Fiction Pitch Conference, April 8 – 10, 2016, Ripley-Grier Studios (NY Spaces) 520 Eighth Ave (36th/37th), 16th Fl. Participants polish their pitches with the help of conference leaders who are members of the New York Writers Workshop faculty, then they present them to three different editors from major New York publishing houses. Editors provide feedback and may request proposals and manuscripts after the conference. Cost: $450 for 3-day Fiction Pitch Conference, including Agents Panel.

Writing By Writers Workshop. April 8 – 10, 2016, Boulder, Colorado. Faculty: Craig Childs, Pam Houston and Luis Alberto Urrea. "Each day will start with a craft talk by one of our faculty members and then participants will split into small groups where they will dissect the art and craft of writing through lectures, writing exercises and class discussions. We won’t be reading and critiquing manuscripts, but rather closely examining elements of craft with the intention of allowing participants to see their work with deeper insight while also generating new material.  Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small group setting with all three faculty members."

Rally of Writers Conference. April 9, 2016. Lansing, Michigan. Features workshops, craft talks, and author readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Participants include poet Michael Lauchlan and Rosalie Petrouske; fiction writers Bonnie Jo Campbell, Susan Froetschel, Jim Hines, and Lev Raphael; and nonfiction writers Rosa Morales, Robin Silbergleid and Bob Tarte. Cost: $85 ($60 for students) in advance, and $100 ($70 for students) on-site.

The Philadelphia Writing Workshop. Saturday, April 9, 2016, at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, in downtown Philadelphia. "This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome." Thirteen agents will be attending. Cost: $129 — final registration pricing. This is the complete base price for registration and access to all workshops, all day. Add $29 to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of the literary agents in attendance. Use this special meeting as a chance to pitch your work and get professional feedback on your pitch. (Spaces limited.)

Antioch Writers' Workshop "The Writing Life," April 9, 2016, Yellow Springs, Ohio. "From finding the inspiration and time to write, to crafting outstanding query letters, to managing finances... how can you make everything happen that you need to as a writer and balance it all with the rest of your life?" Cost: $150.00.

Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing 2016 is sponsored by Highlights. April 10-14, 2016. Honesdale, PA. Workshop Faculty: Jennifer Swanson, Miranda Paul, Emily Feinberg, Paige Hazzan. "You love science and our world—and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging science-based writing for children and teens—whether you’re published already or just beginning. Faculty will demonstrate how to energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing that shines the light on exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, one-to-one manuscript critiques, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success."

Arkansas Literary Festival. Apr 14 - 17, 2016, Little Rock, Arkansas. "Prestigious award-winners, screenwriters, comedians, an expert witness, artists, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions." Free.

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference, April 15 - 17, 2016. Colorado Springs, Colorado. "The three-day conference is full of topical, in-depth workshops, dynamic keynote speakers, opportunities for one-on-one time with agents and editors, the chance to read your work aloud for constructive critique, plus time to socialize with fellow writers."

Poetry at Round Top Festival. April 15 - 17, 2016. Round Top, Texas. Features readings, lectures, craft talks, panel discussions, and workshops with poets Rosemary Catacalos, Robert Hass, Terrance Hayes, Dorianne Laux, Maurice Manning, Dunya Mikhail, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Carmen Tafolla, and Sasha West. Cost: $100 ($50 for students) or $75 for Saturday only. Workshops are an additional $35. Private manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60.

Stories From the Heart Women Writers’ Conference. April 15 - 17, 2016. Austin, Texas.Features workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction for women writers, as well as panel discussions, publishing seminars, and readings. The faculty includes poet Jan Seale; fiction writers Susan Wittig Albert and Noelle Sickels; and creative nonfiction writers Ruth W. Crocker, Cindy Eastman, and Linda Joy Myers. Cost: $405 for Story Circle members, and $460 for non-members.

Duck River Writers’ Conference. April 16, 2016. Columbia, Tennessee. Features workshops, craft talks, manuscript consultations, and a featured reading. The faculty includes poets Joseph Cook, Jeff Hardin, and Carrie Jerrell; fiction writers Adria Bernardi and Dana Carpenter; and nonfiction writer and translator Beverly Mitchell. Poet Mark Jarman will give a featured reading. Cost: $10 (free for Columbia State students with a valid I.D.) before February 29, and $15 on-site. To enroll in a workshop, e-mail three to five poems, or 10 pages of fiction, by March 18. An additional reading fee of $15 is required to attend a workshop.

Honolulu Writers' Conference 2016 – NLAPW. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Honolulu HI. Features a dozen presenters and workshop sessions on every aspect of writing.

Northeast Texas Writers Organization. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Mt. Pleasant, TX. Workshop sessions, breakouts, Q&A sessions, personal interaction with authors. Cost: $125.00.

Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Fort Collins CO. Faculty: Todd Mitchell, Laura Resau, and Kerrie Flanagan, Melanie Crowder, Judith Briles, and Shane Kuhn, Grant Blackwood, #1 NYT Bestselling author of the Briggs Tanner series, and co-writer with Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. Agents: Paula Munier, Jody Rein, Stacey Graham, Jennifer March Soloway.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference. April 23, 2016. Newport, Rhode Island. Greensboro, North Carolina. Features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site "lunch with an author" readings, and an open mic. The faculty includes poets Vievee Francis, Matthew Olzmann, and Jennifer Whitaker; fiction writers Quinn Dalton and Travis Mulhauser; and creative nonfiction writers Jim Minick and Mylene Dressler. The keynote speaker is fiction writer Michael Parker. Cost: $150 ($99 for members) until April 17 and $165 ($135 for members) thereafter and on-site.

Rochester Writers' Spring Conference. Apr 23 2016, Rochester Hills, Michigan. Lectures, Workshops and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction and business of writing presentations. Open to new, working and published writers of all genres. Attendees select four presentations from a dozen to tailor fit their needs.

DFW Writers Conference. Apr 23 - 24, 2016, Fort Worth TX. Featuring pitch sessions with literary agents, advanced classes, engaging panels, interactive workshops.

Writers' Day, April 23, 2016. Hooksett, NH. Workshops and seminars led by professional writers, editors, agents, and publishers. The conference includes the option of face-to-face manuscript critiques and agent/publisher one-on-one pitch sessions.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Edgar Week Symposium. Apr 27, 2015, New York City, NY. Panels, discussions. Cost: $95 members, $125 non-members – with a $10 retroactive discount for those who join Mystery Writers of America within 30 days after Symposium.

Las Vegas Writer’s Conference sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. April 28 – 30, 2016. Join writing professionals, agents publishers and marketing experts for a weekend of workshops and enlightening discussions about the publishing industry. A chance to pitch your manuscript and ideas to agents.

Grub Street Muse and the Marketplace Conference. April 29 - May 1, 2016. Boston, Massachusetts. Features craft classes, interactive discussions, and meetings with agents and editors. Participants include fiction and nonfiction writers Charles Baxter, Robin Black, Alexander Chee, Angela Flournoy, Garth Greenwell, Jennifer Haigh, Ann Hood, and Pagan Kennedy; agents Regina Brooks (Serendipity), Robert Guinsler (Sterling Lord Literistic), Gail Hochman (Brandt & Hochman), and Kathleen Nishimoto (William Morris Endeavor); and editors Emi Ikkanda (Holt), Jenna Johnson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Fiona McCrae (Graywolf Press), and Tracy Sherrod (Amistad). Cost: $295 for a single day, $500 for the full conference. For a one-on-one manuscript consultation with an agent or editor, submit up to 20 pages of prose with a $195 registration fee by April 6. Registration deadline is April 25.

Chanticleer Authors Conference. April 29 -May 1, 2016. Bellingham, Washington. Sessions with a special focus on the business of being a working writer on topics such as marketing, publicity, platform, sales tools & strategies, publishing, production, distribution, organization, storycraft, editing, and more. Faculty: Robert Dugoni, Kathy L. Murphy, Diane Isaacs, Toby Neal, Kiffer Brown, Pamela Beason, Sara Stamey, Chris Humphries, James R Wells,and Shari Stauch.

Monadnock Pastoral Poetry Retreat. Apr 29 - May 1, 2016. Greenfield, NH.  Includes workshops, individual conferences, participant & mentor readings; hiking & kayaking (weather permitting). Each workshop uses dual mentors.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. April 29 to May 2, 2016. Naples, Maine. Features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes editor Jeff Shotts (Graywolf Press) and poets and editors Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Hilda Raz, Martha Rhodes, and Ellen Doré Watson. Cost: $1,375, which includes lodging and meals. 

Write Now! Apr 30, 2016, Raleigh NC. One day writing conference hosted by Triangle Association of Freelancers.Sessions include screenwriting, financial tips for writers, pillars of freelance success, copyediting, trade pubs, column writing, publishing tips and more. Faculty: Brian Klems, Linda Formichelli, Mark Cantrell, Donald Vaughan, Laura Poole, Connie Gentry, Frank Hyman, Tom Welch, Scott Myers. Cost: $69; $59 for students with ID and seniors 65+; $80 at the door.

Ontario Writers’ Conference. April 30 to May 1, 2016. Ajax, Canada. Features workshops, craft talks, master classes, readings, and meetings with agents and editors. The theme of this year’s conference is Diversity in Publishing. Participants include fiction writers Wayson Choy, Donna Morrissey, Alison Pick, and Amanda Sun; agents Sam Hiyate and Alison MacDonald, both of the Rights Factory; and editors Allyson Latta and Ruth E. Walker. Cost: $260 Canadian (approximately $215). The fee for a master class is $99 Canadian (approximately $82), and a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor is $35 Canadian (approximately $29). Registration deadline is March 31.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

80 Paying Markets for Personal Essays

Updated 1/18/23

It seems personal essays are all the rage lately. Even otherwise stodgy publications are turning to them as a means of drumming up clientele. (I blame blogs.)

In case you are wondering what a personal essay is, it's any nonfiction story written in first person. Personal essays always involve a true experience, especially one that evokes emotions that speak to a broader audience.

Like the short story, personal essays are structured, have a theme, and usually involve a moral or message of some kind. Some literary journals and niche magazines are willing to pay substantially for these essays, so devoting a few hours to writing one is worth your consideration.

Read submission guidelines carefully. Many of these publications only read during submission periods.


For additional markets for personal essays see:

Writing to Heal

20 Places to Publish Personal Essays

325 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction

For more paying markets go toPaying Markets

The Boston Globe

Connections is looking for first-person essay on relationships of any kind (romantic as well as those between friends, siblings, and parents and children).

Length: 650 words

Payment: Fees vary depending on the story length and the column for which the piece will be used.

Bugle Magazine: "Women in the Outdoors" Column

"We are looking for personal essays and stories concerning elk, hunting, wildlife encounters, conservation and land-use issues. We are especially interested in thought-provoking stories and essays – personal narratives that evoke emotion and suggest connections to larger themes or ask (or attempt to answer) questions that touch the heart."

Length: 1,000 to 3,000 words

Payment: $.20/word on acceptance

Chicken Soup for the Soul

"A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people."

Payment: $200

Books are themed


Christian Science Monitor

"The Home Forum is looking for upbeat, personal essays. We also welcome short poems. All material must be original and previously unpublished. For seasonal material, be aware that if you submit something that is about a particular month, holiday, event (back to school, graduation), or season, we need to receive it a minimum of six weeks ahead. These are first-person, nonfiction explorations of how you responded to a place, a person, a situation, an event, or happenings in everyday life. Tell a story; share a funny true tale. The humor should be gentle. We accept essays on a wide variety of subjects, and encourage timely, newsy topics. However, we don't deal with the topics of death, aging and disease."

Length: 400 to 800 words

Payment: $75-$150


Down East: The Magazine of Maine

"My Maine is our section most open to new contributors. My Maine stories are personal essays that focus on some aspect of the writer’s relationship to Maine and the Maine landscape. Pieces are often lyrical, sometimes humorous, and almost always have a strong first person component. We receive more submissions for My Maine than any other section of the magazine; please give us three months to respond to your submission before following up."

Length: 800–1000 words

Payment: Between $.40/word and $.70/word


Good Old Days

"Good Old Days tells the real stories of the people who lived and grew up in “the Good Old Days” (about 1935–1960). We like stories to sound informal and conversational, as if you’re sitting around the kitchen table reminiscing with your friends and family. However, we are open to any way you choose to write your story, as long as it is true and falls within our targeted period of time. We prefer the author’s individual voice, warmth, humor and honesty over technical ability. We do not accept fictional manuscripts."

Length: 500 to 1,500 words

Payment: $15 to $75


Story Quarterly

"We are interested in literary fiction, including short stories, short shorts, and novel excerpts up to 6,250 words in length, and creative nonfiction. We select work on the basis of style, craft, freshness, and vision."

Payment: $50


Extra Crispy

"If there’s any group of people who believe the ideas around breakfast are boundless, we're obviously the ones. The editors of Extra Crispy want to hear your hot takes on hot cakes." No restaurant reviews.

Payment: Competitive rates

Dame Magazine

DAME features a variety of voices writing reported pieces, op-eds, and personal essays covering culture, politics, parenting, family, gender, sex, entertainment, tech culture, business and personal finance. DAME’s tone is irreverent, witty, and provocative. "Our objective is to move the conversation forward around trending and topical subjects most relevant to women—that is, when we're not starting the conversation. We accept narrative-driven reported features, first-person essays, Q&As, op-eds, and humor essays (especially satire).

Length: Stories are generally between 800 and 2,000 words, depending on the subject matter and the story format."

Payment: Negotiated.



Kveller is a parenting magazine that accepts personal essays about parenting and women’s issues as seen through a Jewish lens.

Length: 500-1000 words

Payment: $25



"Our goal is to empower each other to engage with this world in a transformative way, and to rewrite the narratives of what we’re capable of doing together. We believe cooperation, understanding, curiosity, and respect across difference is necessary to reach that goal."

Payment: Between $50 and $200


"The editors of Modern Love are interested in receiving deeply personal essays about contemporary relationships, marriage, dating, parenthood...any subject that might reasonably fit under the heading “Modern Love.” Ideally, essays should spring from some central dilemma the writer has faced in his or her life. It helps if the situation has a contemporary edge, though this is not essential. Most important is that the writing be emotionally honest and the story be freshly and compellingly told."

Length: 1500-1700 words

Payment: $300



Slate is an online magazine about news, politics, and culture. Please indicate which section you’re pitching to in the subject line of your email.

Payment: 23 cents/word

The Billfold

"The Billfold aims to do away with the misbelief that talking about difficult money issues is uncomfortable, and create a space to have an honest conversation about how we save, spend and repay our debts. We are going to break one of the last taboos in our culture — talking about what you earn, what you spend, what you owe. Interested in contributing to The Billfold? Send an e-mail to with a specific pitch you have in mind and an editor will get back to you as soon as possible."

Payment: 3 cents/word



"We are looking for evocative first-person narratives that have a unique focus, or take a novel angle, on a slice of the parenting experience. We are open to a range of styles and tones: the only requirement is that the essay works on its own terms—be it lyrical, humorous, research-oriented, etc—and conveys something fundamental about its writer."

Length: Up to 1200 words

Payment: Not specified 



"Narratively is devoted to original and untold human stories, delivered in the most appropriate format for each piece, from writing to short documentary films, photo essays, audio stories and comics journalism. We are always interested in adding new, diverse voices to the mix and we pay for stories. We accept both pitches for story ideas and completed submissions."

Payment: Not specified


National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities

"We believe in placing parents with disabilities at the forefront, and one way to do that is invite them to share their own experiences. We are interested in bringing together a racially, culturally, and experientially diverse group of people to contribute."

Payment: $100


The Sun

"We publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues. And we’re open to just about anything. Surprise us; we often don’t know what we’ll like until we read it." No submission fee for postal submissions.

Length: Up to 7,000 words

Payment: $300-$2000


"skirt! publishes two personal essays every month on topics relating to women and women’s interests. Essays must fit one of our monthly themes." Preference is given to Charleston-area writers. 

Length: 800 to 1100 words

Payment: $200


Travelers’ Tales

Travelers’ Tales are yearly anthologies of travel writing. "We’re looking for personal, nonfiction stories and anecdotes-funny, illuminating, adventurous, frightening, or grim. Stories should reflect that unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result. Stories that have already been published are welcome as long as the author retains the copyright to reprint the material."

Payment: $100


Destinations uses pieces that go beyond a mere description of a trail or place. "Our destination stories are almost always first person and based upon the author’s recent trip experience. Readers should come away with a strong sense of that particular outdoor experience, a firm grasp of the location’s character, and the inspiration to duplicate the trip."

Length: 1,500 to 5,000 or more words, and most contain a full Expedition Planner sidebar (contact, permit, season, hazards, map, guidebook, and other useful information; look at past BACKPACKER issues for examples and style).

Payment$0.40-$1 per word 


True Story

"Surprise us! The only rules are that all work submitted must be nonfiction and original to the author, and we will not consider previously published work."

Length5,000 - 10,000 words

Payment: $300 

Note: There is a $3 fee to submit online. No charge for snail mail.



The American Association of Retired People accepts thoughtful, timely, new takes on matters of importance to people over 50. “Originality is key. Certain life events, such as caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, inspire many more great essays than we could ever hope to publish. We’re looking for the compelling reads and universal truths in unusual, extreme or common-but-little-discussed life experiences.”

Length: 1,200-1,500 words

Payment: $2/word


Vox First Person is now publishing thoughtful, in-depth, provocative personal narratives that explain the most important topics in modern life.

Payment: Varies


The Bold Italic

The Bold Italic is an online magazine that celebrates the character and free-wheeling spirit of San Francisco and the Bay Area. For pitches, comments and general inquiries, send a message to

Payment: Varies


Bustle is "for & by women who are moving forward as fast as you are." Topics range from politics, to motherhood, to books, fashion and entertainment. Although the focus is on women, articles by men are accepted. Payment varies. Read their submission guidelines.

Length: 800-2000 words

Payment: Averages about 5 cents per word


Gay Magazine

"I am starting a new project, part of which will include publishing an emerging writer twice a month, starting in January 2021. I define emerging writer as someone with fewer than three article/essay/short story publications and no published books or book contracts. Please submit your best nonfiction and nonfiction only. I am interested in literary essays and memoir. Please submit only one essay at a time."

Length: 1500 to 3000 words

Payment: $2,000

The Rumpus

"We’re interested in seeing finished pieces that intersect culture. We realize it’s a lot to ask for people to to write something without knowing if it will be published. On the other hand if you aren’t driven by the story so much that you have to write it then it’s probably not a good fit for The Rumpus."

Payment: Averages 13 cents/word

The Threepenny Review is a national quarterly with a great reputation. They also accept fiction and poetry.

Length: 4000 words or less

Payment: $400 per story or article


Bellevue Literary Review

The BLR accepts work related to their themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. "We welcome submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We are looking for essays that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate anecdotes that feel alive, and dazzle us with thoughtful and creative analysis that allows these anecdotes to serve a larger purpose. Please, no academic discourses or works with footnotes."

Length: Maximum 5,000 words.

Payment: Honorarium


Brick is an international literary journal published twice a year out of Toronto. "With a focus on literary non-fiction—and a willingness to stray when our hearts are taken—the magazine prizes the personal voice and celebrates life, art, and the written word with the most invigorating and challenging essays, interviews, translations, memoirs, belles lettres, and unusual musings we can get our hands on."

Length: 1,000–5,000 words

Payment: $55–$660


New Voices is open to any new and emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length.

Length: Less than 7,000 words

Payment: $0.10/word up to $200


"We want to hear the ways people turn toward light and hope, whether it is through the arts, culture, spirituality, or humor, and also how they respond to the darkness and navigate unknown spaces. Epiphanies are born from the ordinary and the extraordinary; whether it’s a reflection unfolding during a morning walk, after the loss of a loved one, or in the middle of unexpected laughter, we want to know about these moments."

Length: 650-1,000 words

Payment: $50


Terrain accepts poetry, nonfiction, fiction, artwork, videos, and other contributions on place, climate, and justice. 

Payment: $50


"We are looking for new, unpublished, first-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are our primary editorial focus. Diversity of subjects that reflect all age groups and variety of writing styles are invited."

Length: No more than 500 to 1000 words

Payment: Varies



Shenandoah aims to showcase a wide variety of voices and perspectives in terms of gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, nationality, regionality, sexuality, and educational background (MFAs are not necessary here). They love publishing new writers; publishing history is not a prerequisite either.

Length: Essays, memoir, etc. should be under 8,000 words.

Payment: $100 per 1000 words of prose up to $500. See submission periods.


American Journal of Nursing 

This journal publishes “personal stories exploring any aspect of nursing, health, or health care. While many are accounts of memorable nursing experiences, we also welcome the patient perspective, as well as that of other health care professionals. … Avoid generalizations and clichés in favor of specific details and real immersion in a place, an event, a moment, a character. Anecdotes meant to illustrate cozy lessons usually aren’t what we’re looking for; we prefer the messiness and ambivalence of real life, the nuance and uncertainty of many of our hardest decisions, the ways we change our minds about things”

Length: Essays should be 800-850 words.

Payment: $150.

West Branch Magazine

West Branch Magazine is a publication of Bucknell University. They publish personal essays, poetry and fiction. They pay upon publication. See submission periods.

Length: up to 30 pages of prose.

Payment: $0.05/word, up to $100


Colorado Review

Launched in 1956 (with the first issue featuring work by Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, E. E. Cummings, Henry Miller, Bertolt Brecht, and Mark van Doren), Colorado Review is a national literary journal featuring contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews. Each issue is approximately 200 pages. Published three times a year, CR has a circulation of approximately 1,100, is carried by university and public libraries across the country, and is distributed by Kent News to independent bookstores. The journal receives over 9,000 manuscript submissions each academic year. Now charges for online submissions.

Length: Colorado Review prefers short stories and essays that are somewhere between 15 and 25 manuscript pages. 

Payment: $200 for short stories and essays.


Woods Reader

"Woods Reader is a publication for those who love woodland areas: whether a public preserve, forest, tree farm, backyard woodlot or other patch of trees and wildlife. Our readers like to hear about others’ experiences and insights, especially those that make an impression that they think about long after they have finished the article.  Submitted content should center around trees and woodlands."

Length: They accept essays of 500-1,000 words and occasionally may serialize work of 2,000-5,000 words.

Payment: $25 to $150.


The Fiddlehead

The Fiddlehead is open to good writing in English or translations into English from all over the world and in a variety of styles, including experimental genres. "Our editors are always happy to see new unsolicited works in fiction, including excerpts from novels, creative nonfiction, and poetry."

Payment: $60 CAD per published page, plus two complimentary copies of the issue.


Baltimore Review

The Baltimore Review is a quarterly, online literary journal. They accept poems, fiction, creative nonfiction, videos (including poetry), and cross-genre work.

Payment: $40.


Blue Marble Review

Blue Marble Review is published four times a year and accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays, opinion pieces, travel writing, photography and art on a rolling basis. They are looking for new work that hasn’t been published anywhere else either online or in print. Blue Marble Review accepts writing and art from anyone between the ages of 13 and 22.

Length: 1500 words or less.

Payment: $25.



Guernica is a non-profit magazine dedicated to global art and politics, published online since 2004. "With contributors from every continent and at every stage of their careers, we are a home for singular voices, incisive ideas, and critical questions. Guernica welcomes submissions from writers and visual artists at all stages of their careers." 

Length: 2,500 - 5,000 words across the genres of memoir, essay, reportage, and interviews.

Payment: Negotiated.



Kaleidoscope magazine creatively focuses on the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts. This publication expresses the experience of disability from the perspective of individuals, families, friends, healthcare professionals, educators and others.

"The material chosen for Kaleidoscope challenges and overcomes stereotypical, patronizing, and sentimental attitudes about disability. We accept the work of writers with and without disabilities; however the work of a writer without a disability must focus on some aspect of disability. The criteria for good writing apply: effective technique, thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling. Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability."

Kaleidoscope accepts electronic (website and email) submissions. Electronic submissions should be sent as an attachment when submitted both on the website and within an email. Please include complete information-full name, postal and email address and telephone number(s)

Payment is made upon publication, and varies from $10 to $100.



Reckoning is seeking "creative writing about environmental justice. Fiction preferably at least a tiny bit speculative, nonfiction preferably more creative than journalistic, poetry tending towards the narrative and preferably with some thematic heft, art leaning away from the pulpy heavily towards the political. But the heart of what we want is your searingly personal, visceral, idiosyncratic understanding of the world and the people in it as it has been, as it is, as it will be, as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with the earth."

Payment: 8 cents a word for prose, thirty dollars a page for poetry, art negotiable, minimum twenty-five dollars per piece.


Yellow Arrow Journal 

Accepted submissions include creative nonfiction and poetry by authors that identify as women. Submissions must relate to the theme, as interpreted by the author, with an optimistic, hopeful vibe. Creative nonfiction (1 submission per author per issue) must be between 500 and 5,000 words. They also accept poetry.

Payment: $10. See submission periods.


"Our creative categories are open year-round to any emerging or established author. We accept submissions from international writers. We review simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us immediately and withdraw your work if it is accepted elsewhere. We do not charge submission fees, but are highly selective in what we choose to publish." Also publishes fiction and flash fiction. Accepts reprints.

Payment: $200.


Penlight Magazine

"Penlight Magazine is an independent, ad-free publication dedicated to showcasing personal stories from people from all walks of life. We welcome personal essay submissions from writers of all levels of experience. Submissions must be full drafts (not pitches), be a minimum of 700 words and must not have been published elsewhere."

Payment: $100 (CAD)


Nieman Storyboard is an online resource that explores the art and craft of nonfiction storytelling and is one of three publications published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. While most of their articles are about writing, they also accept writing-related personal essays.

Payment: $150 to $400, depending on the nature of the piece.


"Do you have a story you've been waiting to tell? Seattle Story Project is seeking stories that offer an unflinching glimpse into what it means to be human. Writers don't have to be currently based in Seattle, but you should be linked to our Emerald City or the surrounding Puget Sound region in some meaningful way. We are especially interested in hearing from writers whose voices are underrepresented in the media such as people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants, people living with disabilities, incarcerated individuals, and writers who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness."

Payment: $450 for previously unpublished work. $200 for stories that have been posted elsewhere.


"We publish literary, art, and cultural criticism; reportage; historical and political analysis; and creative nonfiction. We publish few author interviews or memoirs. In general, we are looking for nonfiction that looks out on the world, rather than within the self."

Length: 3,500–9,000 words

Payment: 25 cents per word


"Aurelia publishes the work of marginalised genders: women, non-binary people and trans men. The things you think and the way you feel must be at the centre of your piece. All article submissions MUST be written in the first-person (“I think, I feel, I want…”)! Aurelia is a publication dedicated to personal thoughts, feelings and experiences."

Pitch: 200 - 250 words 

Payment: £40


Non-fiction: personal essay, memoir, reportage, travel writing, auto-fiction, and the writing that falls in between. 

Length: 2,000–4,000 words

Payment: €300

See reading periods.


Poetry, nonfiction, fiction, art. First 300 submissions during open periods are free. "We want writing that attempts to salvage something pure from the collision of warmth and cold, that says what it can about the world it finds itself in. We seek a diversity of voices speaking from visceral, lived experience. We like truth we can stare at until our eyes water, words so carefully chosen we want to reread them as soon as we have finished."

Length: Up to 4,000 words

Payment: $25

See reading periods.


The Offing is an online literary magazine publishing creative writing in all genres and art in all media.

Payment: $25–$100


"True tales from your life. Honesty that possesses both the situation AND the story. Intensely personal experiences that reflect universal truths about what it means to be human. Firsthand accounts from the full spectrum of humanity – folx from the LGBTQIA+ community, Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of Color, disabled writers, writers of all genders, backgrounds, experiences, lifestyles, and identities."

Length: Up to 4,000 words

Payment: $40

Free submissions December 1 - 23.


"We’re interested mostly in pieces of nonfiction less than twenty double-spaced pages, though you can try us for longer pieces if you think they’ll knock our socks off."

Payment: $25/page for prose

See reading periods


Northern Woodlands’ audience consists of conservation-minded people with an interest in all aspects of the forests of the Northeast. "Our articles and columns range in scope, and may include subjects such as woodlot management, wildlife species, scat, chainsaw maintenance, woodworking, and reflections on natural landscapes. We like to surprise our readers with stories they won't find anywhere else. We are not a trade magazine for the forest products industry or an advocacy magazine for preservationists." 

Payment $200. 

Reading period: January 1 through May 15



Ploughshares is a highly prestigious literary magazine that publishes fiction, CNF, and poetry. They currently accept pitches for the following categories of nonfiction writing:
  • critical essays
  • personal essays
  • blended longform essays
  • interviews
  • book reviews
"Personal essays for the Ploughshares Blog should have a tie to literature, though we recognize that this may not be direct or overwhelming. They should be strong in character, narrative, voice, and introspection. They should demonstrate, in some capacity, growth or change. They may overlap slightly with critical essays. Personal essays are at least 1,300 words and receive payment based on proposed word count, starting at $35, which is paid the month following publication."


Mangoprism articles span cultural criticism, personal essays, interviews and reportage. Pieces run every other Tuesday (#MangoTuesday) on a seasonal basis. We pride ourselves on publishing high-level, entertaining, provocative, and original work, while treating writers and other artists with the dignity they deserve. 

Mangoprism welcomes pitches and submissions for all types of writing. They are looking for:

  • personal essays
  • cultural criticism
  • long-form interviews with interesting people
  • short fiction
  • album, book, movie and product reviews
  • original reporting
  • radical political screeds
  • unexpected recipes
Payment: At least 10 cents per word—a baseline that they intend to increase as more monthly supporters sign on. Mangoprism pieces generally span 1,000 to 3,000 words,


Channel publishes fiction, art, creative non-fiction, and poetry that engages with the natural world, and have a particular interest in work which encourages reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. 

Payment€50/page of prose up to €150.


Scrawl Place is part visitor’s guide, part literary journal. "I’m looking for submissions about “places in the places” where you live or where you’ve visited. My only fixed criteria is that your submission be about or connected to or associated with a specific, physical place that someone could visit. … The place you write about could be a Wonder of the World, a random street corner that means something to you, or anything in between.” They accept creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and hybrid works of up to 900 words. Writers can send up to 3 pieces." Payment: $35.


They are looking for completed personal essays of 1500 to 2500 words.  They are interested in a diverse variety of authors subjects and voices and tones, and look generally for pieces that make meaning of deeply personal experiences. Payment: $200.


"We publish first-person essays on life in the Rust Belt and northern Midwest that resonate with a regional audience. We’re looking for work that expresses what reporting can’t, that narrates an experience, event, or aspect of life in a personal way." Belt also publishes poetry, original reportage, and photo essays.

PaymentFeatures $300-$1k+; Personal essays $100-$200; Poetry $25-$50; Photo Essays $250+.

"We’re especially interested in personal essays that explore larger cultural issues related to fashion, pop culture and social change. Rather than straight cultural analysis (i.e. “in this essay I will…”), we prioritize work that puts story first. We want compelling characters and vivid scenes, words that make us think and feel. Give us personal essays that connect your experience with fashion to a larger cultural or political issue. Send us your reflections on a pop culture obsession that ties current trends to a longer history. Or, share an experiment that blends illustration and reflective text. We’re open to creative, innovative approaches, so don’t be afraid to send us something we haven’t thought of yet!"

Payment$100.00 per article over ~1000 words



A personal essay series…exploring our emotional relationship to music. "i am most interested in essays that explore the unusual and unexpected connections we make with music in our lives" 


Payment: $375 per piece.


"Vast Chasm Magazine publishes bold work that explores the expansive human experience." Length: Up to 5,000 words. Also accepts fiction.

Payment: $50


The Four Faced Liar is a new print journal that accepts fiction and creative non-fiction (up to 4000 words); flash fiction (up to 1000 words); poetry (up to 3 pages); visual art (1 piece). Has submission periods.

Payment: €200 for a short story or CNF piece, €100 for a poem or piece of flash, and €100 for visual art, as well as a copy of the magazine for each contributor.


Mudroom publishes poetry, fiction, personal essays, and essays in translation. Accepts prose up to 6,000 words. See submission periods.

Payment: $15


Narrative accepts short stories, essays, one-act plays, and other complete short works of nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as novellas (up to 40,000 words), and audio prose. There is a fee-free submission period during the first two weeks of April.

Payment: $500 for a Story of the Week.
—$200 for a Poem of the Week.
—$250 to $500 for 500 to 2,000 word manuscripts.
—$500 to $1,000 for 2,000 to 15,000 word manuscripts.
—$200 minimum for each accepted poem or audio/video piece. ($100 for poetry reprints.)
—$100 for Readers’ Narratives.


The Forge Literary Magazine publishes one prose piece per week selected by a rotating cast of editors. Each submission is read anonymously. They prefer stories under 3,000 words but will consider up to 5,000 words. "We love flash and micro!" Accepts fiction and nonfiction. Free submissions open on the 1st of each month. If there is no free link, they hit their quota.

Payment: $75 



fron//tera is a bilingual print magazine. Genre: Nonfiction (up to 5,000 words), fiction, poetry, art. Submissions can be in Spanish or English. They also publish short dual-language English and Spanish pieces side by side. See theme. Has submission periods.

Payment: $25 - $50


The Lascaux Review publishes accessible fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction of literary quality, as well as essays on the craft and business of writing. Book excerpts are welcome. Creative nonfiction may include memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, literary journalism—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, learned, or discovered. Creative nonfiction should be written in a nonacademic style. 

Payment: Not specified


"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." They accept submissions in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction (including memoir excerpts, essays, imaginative meditations up to 8,000 words) and Translation three times a year—January, May and September—and typically respond within 4-5 months. They welcome submissions in Art and Comics year-round.

Payment: $25 per poem and $100 for prose and art pieces.


"Electric Literature's essays examine books and culture through a personal and critical lens. For greater accessibility, Electric Lit does not require full submissions on spec. Instead, email a detailed pitch to Pitches should describe the subject matter of the essay (which must be about books, writing, or narrative media like movies, games, and TV) and give a sense of the argument you plan to make or the story you plan to tell. We welcome thoughtful considerations of new releases, overlooked classics, childhood favorites—anything that can illuminate or be illuminated by the human experience."

Payment: $100


Black Lipstick is the internet boudoir of off-center beauty, literature and culture. Featuring art and writing on makeup, mental health, mortality, queerness, sex, gender, nostalgia, pop culture, parenthood, weird dreams, dark thoughts, and everything else. Affecting personal essays/hybrid nonfictions on almost any topic. Creative, deep-divey reviews of books, beauty products, films, experiences. Interviews with artists, writers and self-made icons. Glamour-forward with a punk ethos. Edgy but not edgelord. If your piece is too literary for Allure but too frivolous for Guernica, it’s probably Black Lipstick material. 

Payment: Essays/hybrid creative nonfiction (1500-3500 words): $150. Creative reviews and interviews (1000-2000 words): $100.


"Well+Good is your trusted advisor for navigating the wide (and wild) world of wellness. Since our launch in 2010, we have set the standard for reporting and trend-spotting on the healthy living beat in order to help define and demystify what it means for you to live a well life, inside and out." Payment: Tier 1: $200-$400 (600-1,000 words) Tier 2: $400+ (1,000+ words)

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