Thursday, July 28, 2016

39 Calls for Submissions in August 2016 - Paying Markets

There are more than three dozen calls for submissions with deadlines in August. All of these markets pay writers.

As always, there are calls for a wide variety of genres and styles, from speculative, to hybrid, to "Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die." Stories, poetry, and nonfiction are all welcome.

Note: For links to sites that regularly post calls for submissions - both paid and unpaid - go to Calls for Submissions.


The Shell Game

Genre: Hybrid

Payment: $100, plus two copies of anthology, plus $100 coupon to UNP Books

Deadline: August 1, 2016


The First Line

Genre: Poetry, nonfiction, short story beginning with "Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die."

Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars)

Deadline: August 1, 2016


To Love a Scotsman, A Romance Anthology

Genre: Stories that are highly romantic, featuring a Scottish man. Stories may be historical or time travel.

Length: Stories should be between 10,000-20,000 and meet the requirements for the PINK satin romance line.

Payment: Royalties

Deadline: August 1, 2016


Body Parts Magazine

Issue #7: Fairy Tales, Mythology and Gods & Monsters (Fall/Winter 2016)

Genre: Horror, erotica, speculative fiction

Payment: $5 for flash fiction and $10 to $20 (depending on length) for short stories and nonfiction to authors, and $5 to $20 for artwork and photography

Deadline: August 1, 2016



Theme: "Corporeal"

Genre: Short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

Payment: $250 for stories and essays and $75 for poems

Deadline: August 1, 2016


Skirt! Magazine

Genre: Personal essays. Theme: Stories about self-reliance, what sustains you or the work that you love.

Payment: $200 per piece

Deadline: August 1, 2016


Phantasmagorical Fantasy Anthology Book 2

Genre: Fantasy

Length: 2,500 words minimum – 8,000 words maximum

Payment: $25 per story

Deadline: August 1, 2016


Bright Wall/Dark Room

Theme: Friends and Enemies

Genre: Essays, criticism, poetry, reportage, interviews, and short humor pieces

Payment: $25 per story

Deadline: August 1, 2016


Abyss & Apex

Genre: Speculative fiction

Payment: $.06/word (six cents a word) up to 1,250 words, and a flat payment of $75.00 for longer stories

Deadline: August 7, 2016


Turn to Ash

Genre: Original Short stories, as short as you please or as long as 3K words - written as a caller to a paranormal talk radio show. Your story must be written in the first person, as recounted by the caller.

Payment: 1 cent/word

Deadline: August 8, 2016

Princess Fairy Tale Anthology

"We are looking for fairy tale retellings featuring princesses. Whether it be Snow White, Rapunzel, or one of the lesser know princesses, we will consider them all! We will consider any sub-genre. If you want to make a Cinderella story in space, send it. Sleeping Beauty horror? Yes please. Steampunk Little Mermaid? Go ahead. Erotica Rapunzel? We're interested."

Word Count: 1,000-40,000

Payment: 1/2 cent/word

Deadline: August 8, 2016


Theme: Dark Magic

Length: up to 8,500 words

Genre: Fiction, horror, scifi, fantasy

Payment: $50

Deadline: August 10, 2016


Ruminate welcomes submissions that both subtly and overtly engages faith from all the world religions.

Genre: Fiction

Payment: $15/poem and $15/400 words for prose

Deadline: August 14, 2016


Malahat Review

Theme: Indigenous Perspectives. Canadian Indigenous writers only.

Genre: Fiction, nonfiction

Payment: $60 CAD per published page

Deadline: August 15, 2016



Genre: Horror, suspense, mystery, noir, fantasy, science fiction, humor, long-form poetry, bizarro, or other forms of intelligent, speculative writing

Payment: 500 - 1999 words: $25, 2000 - 5000 words: $50, 5001+ words: $65, Poetry : $10, Reprints: $10

Deadline: August 15, 2016


Emerge Literary Journal

Genres: Free verse and flash fiction, most genres

Payment: $10 per poem and $0.01 per word for stories.

Deadline: August 15, 2016


World Weaver Press and Enchanted Conversation: Krampusnacht Two

"Krampus is the "corrective" to Saint Nick or Santa's indulgence and generosity. He carries a switch and chains, and sometimes throws very rotten children in a basket he carries on his back. He has horns, hooves, and a creepy, long tongue. He's horrible and fascinating at the same time."

Genre: Fiction

Payment: $10 and paperback copy of the anthology.

Deadline: August 15, 2016



Genre: Flash fiction. Theme: All's Fair in Love and Uniforms

Payment: 2 cents per word

Deadline: August 26, 2016


Science Fiction and Fantasy Publications

Theme: Broken Chains

Genre: Speculative fiction

Payment: Royalties

Deadline: August 26, 2016


In a Cat’s Eye anthology

Genre: Speculative fiction. Stories should be dark, and include a cat—which should be integral to the story.

Payment: 2¢ per word

Deadline: August 30, 2016


Mischief Corner Books

Genre: LGBTQ short stories 10,000 words and under.

Payment: Not specified

Deadline: August 30, 2016


Theme: Curvy & Confident: "Women come in all shapes and sizes. We’re all beautiful and the key is to be fit and healthy within the body type that we were issued at birth. Our new book is all about body image, self-esteem, and feeling comfortable within our own skins. We want to stress the mind + body + spirit connection, the rational consumption of foods that we like (no stringent dieting) and the pursuit of exercise that makes us feel happy and connected to the wonderful machines that are our bodies."

Genre: Nonfiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: August 30, 2016


Legendary Stories: Enchanted Forests

"Take us deep into the forest and show us what we'll find within. Whether it's leafy branches hiding elfin lords or a steampunk graveyard covered in mechanical vines, we want to know what's hidden inside the forest and what dragons (or rogue robot monsters) our heroes will have to slay to make their way through. Paint us a vivid world that makes us want to explore the realm you create. Give us new heroes to love and villains we love to hate. We're looking for an eclectic mix of stories that give us a new view of the forest and features smart storytelling."

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative (please no horror)

Length: 3000 - 8000 words (flexible, but the longer the story the stronger it must be)

Payment: $30 per story

Deadline: August 31, 2016


The Stinging Fly

Genre: Short stories and poetry. New, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers.

Payment: Token

Deadline: August 31, 2016



Genre: Fiction and poetry by Canadian writers

Payment: $10.00 per page

Deadline: August 31, 2016


The Capilano Review

Genre: Poetry, short fiction, essays on the theme of food

Payment: $50 per published page

Deadline: August 31, 2016

Qu Literary Magazine

Genres: Fiction, essays, poetry

Payment: $100 per prose piece, $50 per poem

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Tech Edge Magazine

Genre: Nonfiction articles on Safety and Security

Payment: $50-$125 per article

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Red Sun

Genre: Scifi, fantasy and horror

Payment: $100 - $150 per story

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Fahrenheit Books

Genres: All genres wanted for 'Automobilia'

Payment: 5 cents per word (fiction), $1 per line (poetry)

Deadline: August 31, 2016

Reprints accepted


Strange Constellations

Genre: Speculative fiction

Payment: $30 per piece

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales from the Margins

Over the Rainbow will be an anthology that explores the power of fairy tales to introduce the under-represented. We encourage authors to explore Queer (LGBTIA2 and QUILTBAG) stories, tales of people with disabilities, tales of mental health, poly relationships, and bodily diversity. Our hope is to use fairy tales to smash tradition and reshape it with (dis)enchantment.

Genres: All

Payment: 5 cents per word

Deadline: August 31, 2016



Genres: Flash fiction, non-fiction, 100 words max

Payment: 5 cents per word

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Subterranean Blue Poetry 

Genre: Poetry, 3 poems

Payment: $10 per poem

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Wicked Ink Books

Theme: Songs. "Have you ever listened to a song and wondered what the lyrics are really about? Perhaps you’ve imagined a story inspired by a song. We are looking for Speculative Fiction stories inspired by a song."

Payment: $50.00

Deadline: August 31, 2016



Genre: Scholarly and/or critical articles pertaining to Ligotti or associated authors

Payment: 1 cent/word

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Vine Leaves

Genre: Vignettes

Payment: $5 AUD

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Chicken Soup for the Soul

"Sometimes magic happens in your life. You have a dream that reveals a truth or a course of action to you. You have a premonition that changes your behavior and saves you or a loved one from disaster. You meet someone at just the right time and you can’t believe the coincidence. We’re collecting stories for a second book on this topic, following our bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions. Share your stories about the amazing things that have happened in your own life."

Genre: Nonfiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: August 31, 2016


Chicken Soup for the Soul

"In 2017 Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Our Canadian writers and readers will be focused on what Canada, and being Canadian, means. Send us your stories about what it means to be a Canadian, whether you're talking about hockey or camping, Celtic fiddle music and step dancing or singing “O Canada,” or any of the other things that make you so proud—and grateful—to be Canadian."

Genre: Nonfiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: August 31, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

28 Writing Contests in August 2016 - No Entry Fees

There are more than two dozen free contests in August. Some, like the Governor General's Award, are quite prestigious. Every genre and style is represented in these contests, from flash creative nonfiction, to poetry, to humor. 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, "Free Contests" is regularly updated. Be sure to check there for future as well as past contests - many are held annually.


The Governor General’s Literary AwardsRestrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $1,000 - $25,000. Deadline: Books and bound proofs published between 16 May 2016 and 30 September 2016 must reach the Canada Council no later than 1 August 2016.

Milwaukee Irish FestGenre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: August 1, 2016.

Boardman Tasker PrizeRestrictions: Books published between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016 in the UK. Genre: Books with mountain,not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: August 1, 2016.

Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist FellowshipsRestrictions: Delaware poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in Delaware for at least one year prior to application and who are not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each. Deadline: August 1, 2016.

Leeway Foundation Art and Change GrantsRestrictions: Writers living in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties (Pennsylvania) who are 18 years of age or older and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: $2500.  Deadline: August 1, 2016.

Spectator Competition. Submit a poem on the theme of summer in which the last two words of each line rhyme. Please email (wherever possible) entries of up to 16 lines to Prize: Publication. Deadline: August 3, 2016.
Costa Short Story AwardRestrictions: Residents of UK and Ireland. Genre: Short story. Prize: £3,500.00. Deadline: August 5, 2016.

Harvill Secker Young Translators' PrizeRestrictions: Open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34. Genre: Short story translation from Norwegian to English. Prize: £1,000.00. Deadline: August 5, 2016.

RBC Taylor PrizeRestrictions: Citizens or residents of Canada. Must be published author. Genre: Literary nonfiction. Prize: $25,000 (CAN). Deadline: August 7, 2016 for books published between May 30 and July 31, 2016.

Made Up Words: Short Story Competition. Prize: Publication. Deadline: August 10, 2016

Blue Earth ReviewGenre: Flash Creative Nonfiction. 750 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: August 12, 2016.

Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary ExcellenceRestrictions: Emerging African American writers.  Genres: Short story collection or novel published in the current year. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 15, 2016.

NewBbay SciFi Contest. Genre: Science Fiction, 1,000 to 30,000 words. Prize: $5,000.00 prize pool. Deadline: August 15, 2016.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Poets living in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., or West Virginia. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, ten author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer. Deadline: August 15, 2016.

PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer FellowshipRestrictions: Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. Genre: Book-length children's or young-adult fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: August 15, 2016.

Pockets Fiction ContestGenre: Children's fiction. Stories should be 750–1,000 words. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: August 15, 2016.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. 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: August 15, 2016.

Unplag Plagiarism Busters ContestRestrictions: Open to students. Genre: Short story (up to 300 words) describing your actions in the following situation – the army of ghosts is overrunning your school/college/university – and don’t forget to add the hashtags #Unplag and #PlagiarismBusters. Prize: $150 Amazon gift card. Deadline: August 18, 2016.
Michael Marks Awards for Poetry PamphletsRestrictions: Book must be published in the UK between July 2015 and the end of June 2016. resident Genre: Published Poetry Book. Prize: £5000. Deadline: August 26, 2016.

Dragonfly Tea Short Story CompetitionRestrictions: UK residents.Theme: Discovery. Word limit: 3,000 words (no minimum). Prize: 1st prize £1500. Deadline: August 29, 2016.

Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Author must be resident of Upstate New York. Genre: Book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Prize: $2,000.  Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Epigram Books Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be Singaporean, Singaporean permanent resident or Singapore-born. Genre: A full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. Prize: $20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Holland Park Press's Poetry and Politics CompetitionGenre: Political poetry. Prize: £200 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Jacques Maritain Prize for NonfictionGenre: Essay, Catholic themes. Prize: $500 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative NonfictionGenre: Essay, maximum 5,000 words. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation or Multi-Lingual TextsRestrictions: Translators and authors of multi-lingual texts. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $200. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Rotting Post Humor CompetitionGenre: Humor. Prize: $250. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Verbolatry Laugh-a-Riot ContestGenre: Humor. Prize: £50. Deadline: August 31, 2016.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

18 Writers' Conferences in August 2016

August, a month when people kick back and writing conferences kick in, is nearly here. (You'll notice that quite a few of these upcoming conferences are held near beaches, in mountains, or in other scenic locales.)

Writers have a lot to gain and nothing to lose from attending a conference. There are opportunities to talk to authors, pitch sessions with agents, as well as workshops covering every aspect of writing and publishing. In addition, you get to share experiences with other writers. I encourage you to attend one!

Note: For a monthly listing of conferences, as well as how to find upcoming conferences, see Writing Conferences. Many of these are offered annually, so if you missed a conference you'd like to attend, you can always plan to attend next year.


Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 4 - 7, Fort Bragg, California. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panels and workshops with editors and agents, craft lectures, readings, and discussion forums on publishing and marketing. The faculty includes poet Jessica Piazza; fiction writers Laura Atkins, James W. Hall, Lori Ostlund, and Les Standiford; and creative nonfiction writers Jordan Rosenfeld, and Reyna Grande. Participating publishing professionals include agents Lisa Abellera (Kimberly Cameron & Associates) and Andy Ross (Andy Ross Agency); editors Grant Faulkner and Brooke Warner; and publisher Shirin Yim Bridges (Goosebottom Books).

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 4 - 7, 2016, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Workshops and craft classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as manuscript consultations and mentoring sessions with editors and agents. The faculty includes poet William Wenthe; fiction writers Ron MacLean, Jonathan Papernick, and Adam Sexton; nonfiction writers Phoebe Baker Hyde and Mindy Lewis; and agents Michael Carr (Veritas Literary), Alia Hanna Habib (McCormick Literary), Amaryah Orenstein (GO Literary), Ammi-Joan Paquette (Erin Murphy Literary), and Katie Shea Boutillier (Donald Maass Literary). Tuition is $135 for a three-session course, $100 for a two-session course, or $65 for a single workshop. One-on-one manuscript consultations are available for an additional $75 to $150; query consultations with agents are available for an additional $25. Application Deadline: July 22, 2016.

Florida Authors and Publishers Association Annual Conference. August 5 - 6, 2016, Orlando, Florida. Professional development sessions designed to provide authors and publishers with up-to-date publishing resources. Faculty: Ava K. Doppelt (intellectual property lawyer), Nancy Morgan Stosik (Ingram Content Group), Shannon Bell (author), Eddie Price (author), and many more.

Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. August 5 - 7, 2016, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 12 workshops, 2-tracks for writers and fans. Guest of Honor: Reed Farrel Coleman, Toastmaster: Hilary Davidson, Fan Guest of Honor: Rebecca Russell Mears. Other authors: S.W. Hubbard, Jeff Markowitz, Jane Cleland, Steven Rigolosi, Roberta Rogow, S.A. Solomon, Annamaria Alfieri, Richard Belsky, and many more.

Whole Novel Workshop. August 7-13, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. The Whole Novel Workshop is specifically designed for writers of middle-grade and young adult novels. This unique program offers the one-on-one attention found in degree programs, but without additional academic requirements, lengthy time commitments, or prohibitive financial investments. Our aim is to focus on a specific work in progress, moving a novel to the next level in preparation for submission to agents or publishers. Focused attention in an intimate setting makes this mentorship program one that guarantees significant progress. Waitlisted.

Elk River Writer’s Workshop. August 8 - 11, 2016, Paradise Valley, Montana. Workshops, seminars, lectures, and readings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The conference features workshops, seminars, lectures, and readings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The faculty includes poet, fiction writer, and nonfiction writer Linda Hogan; fiction writers Jamie Ford and Nina McConigley; and fiction and nonfiction writer Craig Lesley. The cost of the workshop is $1,000; meals are available for an additional $200. Lodging is available at the conference hotel for discounted rates. Using the online submission system, submit a writing sample of up to 1,000 words and a letter of intent of up to 250 words with a $15 application fee. Registration deadline: July 1.

Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. August 8-14, 2016, Montpelier, Vermont. The conference is designed for writers with graduate degrees or equivalent experience. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, craft classes, and individual consultations with faculty members. Each workshop is limited to five or six participants. Faculty includes poets Eduardo C. Corral, Kathleen Graber, Patricia Smith, David Wojahn, and Kevin Young; fiction writers Steve Almond, Andre Dubus III, Ann Hood, Ellen Lesser, and Lee Martin; and creative nonfiction writers Richard McCann, Sue William Silverman, Anthony Swofford, and Joan Wickersham. Tuition is $985 for all workshops except for the poetry manuscript workshop, which is $1,125.

Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. August 11–14, 2016, Corte Madera, Calif. Writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more.

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. August 11 - 14, 2016, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: Mary Karr, Ashley C. Ford, Sarah Einstein, Ken Budd, Jim Warner, Lisa Romeo, Wendy Fontaine, Jenna McGuiggan, Jesse Waters, Lisa Jakub, Ilana Garon, Amye Archer, Lynn Hall, Jamie Brickhouse, Veronica Park, Jeff Kleinman, Eric Smith, Nicole Frail and more.

Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writers Institute. August 12 - 13, 2016, Hagerstown, Maryland. The annual MAFWI summer conference offers workshops and breakout sessions by bestselling authors, college faculty, and experienced public relations professionals. From story fundamentals like plot and point of view to seasoned advice on how to market your work, there is something for writers of every genre.

Writer’s Digest Conference. August 12 - 14, 2016, New York. Annual Writer's Digest Conference featuring: Pitch Slam, with more than fifty agents and editors in attendance, educational tracks devoted to publishing and self-publishing, platform and promotion, and the craft of writing,  speakers and instructors.

Willamette Writers Conference. August 12 - 14, 2016, Portland, Oregon. 100 workshops conducted by more than 50 seasoned pros in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, manuscript editing, publishing, self-publishing and promotion, pitching, entering writing contests, research and business. Whether you write self-help books, historic fiction, blockbuster Hollywood screenplays, mysteries, romance, magazine articles, sci-fi, plays, children's books, humor, self publish or simply need help marketing yourself as a professional, you'll find helpful guidance and keen insights. Other conference features include advance manuscript critiques, filmlab, silent auction, awards banquet, and group and one-on-one pitch sessions with New York literary agents and editors and Hollywood film agents, managers, and producers.

Revision Retreat. August 13 – 17, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. In this working retreat, Harold Underdown and editor Eileen Robinson will teach proven techniques for self-editing and revising and help writers try them out on their manuscripts. Mornings will be dedicated to revision techniques and afternoons to model critique groups, individual meetings, and writing time.

Iota Short Prose Conference. August 16 - 26, 2016, Lubec, Maine. Workshops, craft discussions, readings, open mics, one-on-one meetings with faculty, and field trips to nearby locations for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Faculty includes poet and prose writer Richard Hoffman and nonfiction writer Sarah Einstein.

Historical Writers of America. August 19 - 21, 2016, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Workshops for fiction and nonfiction, research, the submission process, the road to publication, and the life of a historical writer; networking opportunities including keynote luncheon and dinner, theme receptions, and collaboration and brain-storming sessions.

How Do Poets Get Published? Learning What It Takes. August 21 – 24, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. Two weeks prior to the workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to submit a maximum of three poems that will be critiqued in writing. You can also submit questions that will be answered by guest speakers, including a poetry editor, story editor (rhyming picture books), magazine editor, and art director. You’ll also have the chance to speak with them personally. Mornings will be devoted to presentations, prompts, and one-on-one consultations. Afternoons will include guest speaker presentations, writing time, and additional one-on-ones.

Whole Novel Workshop: Middle Grade and Young Adult. August 21 – 27, 2016, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. The Whole Novel Workshop offers participating writers the opportunity to have full drafts of their novels read and critiqued prior to the workshop. You’ll get a detailed editorial letter from your faculty mentor along with a marked-up manuscript. You’ll also have two one-on-one meetings with your mentor to further discuss your manuscript—one at the start of the week and another at the end—to map out plans for revision.

Peripatetic Writing Workshop and Retreat. August 22 - September 5, 2016, Woodstock, NY. The first week of the conference features daily workshops, discussions, readings, and time to write. The second week of the conference features writing time, discussions, readings, and individual manuscript tutorials. The faculty includes fiction and nonfiction writers Maureen Brady, Martha E. Hughes, and Aaron Hamburger. Writers may participate in one or both weeks. The cost of the conference is $1,495 per week, which includes workshops, a single room with a shared bath (the cost of a double room with a shared bath is $1195), daily breakfasts, and some dinners. Application deadline: July 15. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2 New Literary Agents Seeking Submissions - Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Thrillers, Memoir, Nonfiction and more

Updated 7/24/20

Here are two new literary agents seeking clients. Marya Spence (Janklow & Nesbit) is looking for literary novels and collections, upmarket commercial fiction, cultural criticism and voice-driven essays, narrative journalism with a humorous or critical edge, and pop culture. Sarah Hornsley (Bent Agency) is looking for Commercial fiction, Women’s fiction, Literary fiction, Crime/thriller/mystery, Speculative fiction, YA, Memoir, Pop Culture, Humor and Cookbooks.

Note: You can find a full list of agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients

IMPORTANT: You should NEVER query an agent without checking the agency website first. Submission requirements change, and agents may close their lists, or switch agencies.


Sarah Hornsley of Peters Fraser & Dunlop

About Sarah: Sarah first worked at Orion before doing a stint in script development for TV and film. She then moved to become assistant to Juliet Mushens and Diana Beaumont for two years. Twitter: @SarahManning123

What she is seeking: Sarah represents Commercial fiction, Women’s fiction, Literary fiction, Crime/thriller/mystery, Speculative fiction, YA, Memoir
Pop Culture, Humor and Cookbooks.

How to Submit: Please send the first three chapters of your novel or non-fiction project, as well as a full synopsis to In the body of the email, please write a covering letter, including brief details about your writing career. 


Marya Spence of Janklow & Nesbit

About Marya: Raised in California’s Bay Area, Marya studied literature at Harvard, where she was Fiction Editor for the Advocate and specialized in creative writing. She went on to get her MFA at New York University and teach undergraduate creative writing there. She also spent these years in her 20’s working and interning at The New Yorker, PAPER Mag, Travel & Leisure, Vanity Fair, Publishers Weekly, METROPOLIS Magazine, and more—with a brief stint in equity research.

What she is seeking: Marya represents a diverse range in fiction and nonfiction, including, but not limited to, literary novels and collections, upmarket commercial fiction, cultural criticism and voice-driven essays, narrative journalism with a humorous or critical edge, and pop culture.

How to Submit: If you would like to submit your work to Janklow & Nesbit, please include the following: For fiction submissions, send an informative cover letter, a brief synopsis and the first ten pages. If you are sending an e-mail submission, please include the sample pages in the body of the e-mail below your query. For nonfiction submissions, send an informative cover letter and a full outline to the address below. Please address your submission to an individual agent. Be sure to include your email address or a return envelope with sufficient postage if you would like your material sent back to you. For e-mail submissions, please send your material to submissions [at]

Janklow & Nesbit Associates
445 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Diary of an Oxygen Thief: How a Self-Published Cult Novel Became a Mainstream Bestseller

Self-publishing success stories serve as lessons for us all. Even if you have taken the traditional route, they teach us what it takes to make a success of your novel.

The case of Diary of an Oxygen Thief is highly reminiscent of The Cruelty, a YA novel by Scott Bergstrom that landed a six-figure advance and movie rights after being self-published. (YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal: How did Scott Bergstrom Do It?)

Both authors had a background in advertising and understood marketing. Both positioned themselves as independent publishers. (In Scott's case he formed a LLC.) But in important ways, their stories diverge. Unlike Scott, the author of Diary (Anonymous) peddled his book directly to bookstores. He started small, but eventually got his book into Barnes & Noble. He then focused heavily on advertising.

Living in New York City meant that Anonymous had an advantage when it came to posters and bookstores, but considering the wide reach of the Internet, almost anyone with an understanding of their potential readers could do what Anonymous did.


How 'Diary Of an Oxygen Thief' Went from Self-Published Obscurity to Bestsellerdom

By Rachel Deahl, Publisher's Weekly

You may not know what Diary of an Oxygen Thief is about, but you might have heard the title. Or maybe you saw a picture of the book on Instagram, or read a discussion of it—positive or negative—on Twitter. And that’s by design: a design carried out by the book’s anonymous author over 10 years.

The slim novel, which details the travails of a broken-hearted, alcoholic, and bitter misogynist (who is also an unreliable narrator), was self-published in 2006. After selling nearly 100,000 copies—predominantly in trade paperback and e-book—the book was acquired by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint in May, and re-released by the Simon & Schuster imprint on June 14. In its first three weeks on sale, the title has gotten off to a respectable start, selling roughly 14,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. The book’s unlikely rise, from underground hit to Big Five-published novel, is due predominantly to the marketing efforts of its anonymous author. He pulled off a savvy publicity campaign that prioritized, above all else, getting the book’s title shared on social media.

The author, who asked that his name be kept out of print, spoke to PW from his apartment in New York’s East Village about the long, strange trip of publishing —and promoting—Diary.

A Brit who honed his advertising craft at some of the major agencies in London, then New York, the author self-published the novel in Amsterdam in 2006. At that time he was working for an ad agency in the Netherlands and, after having the book rejected by a number of U.S.-based literary agents, a friend of a friend offered to print him 1,000 hardcover copies for free. Although the author hadn’t intended to self-publish, he decided to make use of the copies he suddenly had. After taking one into a bookstore in Amsterdam, he was pleasantly surprised by the fact that he got the title on the shelf. “[The bookseller] held [the book] up and shook it,” the author said. “I think he had this fear, because it was self-published, that it was poorly made and would fall apart. He never looked at the text. He then said he’d take three copies.”

Soon the author was taking requests for bigger orders from the Amsterdam bookshop. He also started getting copies into bookshops in other cities, such as Paris’s Shakespeare & Co.; the stores, he noted, all catered to young hipsters, whom he considered his target market. After moving back to New York City, the author, who was then working freelance advertising gigs, felt emboldened by the success he had selling, and distributing, the book in Europe. He decided to do a 5,000-copy print run of a new trade paperback edition, and to focus almost entirely on selling it. “I was getting just about enough orders that, if I lived a simple life, I could pull it off,” the author said.

Amping up his promotional efforts, the author hit several indie bookstores in N.Y.C., gaining particular traction at Spoonbill & Sugartown in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; the East Village’s former St. Mark’s Bookshop; and Nolita’s McNally Jackson. To get copies into Barnes & Noble, the author posed as an independent publisher and pushed the title through the retailer’s small-press program. (No meetings were required with B&N; everything was done via email. The author, calling himself V Publishing, told the retailer that his house was targeting the “hipster market, the most elusive of all segments” and would rely on guerilla marketing. He also showed the retailer some YouTube clips he’d made promoting the book. B&N placed an initial order of 100 copies.)

Intent on building underground buzz for the book, the author focused on promotional efforts that would make people google the book’s title. From his limited sales in bookshops he felt confident that he could land readers by getting the book’s cover (which features a picture of a snowman whose carrot nose has been repositioned to look like a penis) seen, and its title shared.

Read the rest of this success story HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

6 Agents Looking for Science Fiction - NOW

Updated 2/12/22

Here are six literary agents seeking science fiction. All are from established literary agencies.

Make sure to read the agency website before submitting. You'll get a good sense of whether your book will be a good fit by looking at the books the agency has represented. Also, agents can close their lists, or switch agencies.

Note: You can find a comprehensive list of agents seeking clients here:


Carlie Webber (Fuse Literary)


About Carlie: For ten years, she worked as a public librarian serving teens and adults, served on book awards committees, and reviewed books professionally for journals including Kirkus Reviews and VOYA. Wishing to pursue her interest in the business side of books, she then enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Her professional publishing experience includes an internship at Writers House and work with the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

What she is looking for: “I represent science fiction and fantasy for YA and MG only.”

How to Submit: To submit your work for consideration, please use her form HERE.


Jennie Goloboy (Donald Maass Literary Agency)

Currently closed to queries

About Jennie: Jennie Goloboy joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2017. Before that, she was an agent at Red Sofa Literary for six years. She has a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard, and published a book based on her dissertation, Charleston and the Emergence of Middle-Class Culture in the Revolutionary Era, in 2016.

What she is looking for: “I’m especially looking for adult sci-fi and fantasy. Lighthearted and optimistic books are always welcome, and I love diverse protagonists. Have you got an unusual premise and an engaging protagonist? Send it my way!”

How to Submit: Please send a query letter, plus the first five pages of the manuscript pasted into the email, to

Peter Rubie
 (FinePrint Literary Management)

About Peter Rubie: Peter Rubie is a former BBC Radio and Fleet Street journalist and for several years was the director of the publishing section of the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. He was a member of the NYU faculty for 10 years, and taught the only university-level course in the country on how to become a literary agent.

What he is seeking: In fiction he represents literate thrillers, crime fiction, science fiction and fantasy, military fiction and literary fiction.

How to Submit: To query Peter, send an email to and write "Dear Peter" in the body of the email. Include the opening 3 or 4 pages embedded in the body of your email.


Amelia Appel (TriadaUS)

What she is looking for: “I’m most interested in novels with elements of SF, not overwhelmingly in-your-face SF (meaning entire space settings, alien-focused stories, inter-planet battles, and that sort of thing, aren’t right for me).”

How to Submit: Please send an email with QUERY and the manuscript title in the email's subject line. In the body of the email, please paste your query letter, the first ten pages of the manuscript, a full synopsis, and an author bio.


Caitlin McDonald (Donald Maass Literary)

Currently closed to queries

About Caitlin: Caitlin McDonald joined DMLA in 2015, and was previously at Sterling Lord Literistic. She represents adult and young adult speculative fiction, primarily science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and related subgenres, as well as contemporary fiction about geeky characters. She also handles a small amount of nonfiction in geeky areas, with a focus on feminist theory/women’s issues and pop culture. Caitlin grew up overseas and has a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

What she is seeking: All science fiction and fantasy fiction (and subgenres) for adult, YA, and MG — especially secondary world fantasy and alternate history.

How to Submit: To query, please email query.cmcdonald [@] with the query letter, synopsis, and the first ten pages of your novel pasted into the body of the email.


Amanda Rutter (Azantian Literary Agency)


About Amanda: Amanda is a literary agent at Azantian Literary Agency). She is a book reviewer, and produces work for her own blog, Floor to Ceiling Books, but can also be found reviewing for, Hub Magazine, Vector and Fantasy Literature. Before becoming an agent, Amanda was an editor with Angry Robot, helping to sign books and authors for the Strange Chemistry imprint. In her free time, she is a yarn fiend, knitting and crocheting a storm. Find her on Twitter at @ALRutter.

What she is seeking: Adult fantasy and science fiction, as well as young adult fantasy.

How to Submit: Use their form HERE.


Matt Bialer (Sanford Greenburger)

About Matt: Matt has been in the publishing community since 1985, and worked at two major literary agencies before joining the Greenburger team in 2003. While his list includes many veteran authors, he also enjoys finding unique new voices.

How to Submit: Please send query letter in the body of your email, and then send the following as an attachment: the first three chapters of your book. No snail-mail queries will be accepted. Send queries to mbialer [@]

Thursday, July 7, 2016

7 Agents Looking for Historical Romance

Updated 7/21/20

Romance brings to mind misty moors, scowling Scots, and windswept women. Perhaps it's not surprising that Scotland is where most romance readers prefer their stories to be set. (I blame Wuthering Heights.)

But where historical romance is concerned, any period or place will do - Regency, American Revolution, Wild West, French Revolution, Vikings, Ancient Egyptians, Cavemen - just pick a place and time, and make your characters fall in love.

Here are seven agents who would like you to do just that. Be sure to check the agency before querying. Agents can close their lists or change submission requirements.

Note: There is a comprehensive list of agents looking for clients here: Agents Seeking Clients


Scott Eagan (Greyhaus Literary)

About Scott: Scott draws on his extensive background in education, writing and literature to assist the writers at Greyhaus. He has a BA in English/Literature, a MA in Creative Writing and a MA in Literacy.

What he is looking for: Historical romance

How to Submit: submissions [@] Send only a query letter within the body of the email. Do not send attachments. Do not send partials or full manuscripts or a synopsis embedded in the email.

Note: This is a small agency.


Jessica Watterson (Sandra Dijkstra Literary)

About Jessica: She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list.

What she is looking for: “I VERY much want American historical romance (particularly Civil War, westward expansion, and California Gold Rush) that would be super.  I am accepting all types of historical, but American historical is definitely my wheelhouse, and I’m anticipating we’ll see a swing towards it in the next two years.”

How to Submit: jessica [@] Please send a query letter, a one-page synopsis, a brief bio (including any description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment. Include the word “QUERY” in the subject line.


Nicole Resciniti (The Seymour Agency)

Currently closed to queries

About Nicole: Nicole has been listed by Publisher's Marketplace as a top dealmaker in the country, and named ACFW's 2012 Agent of the Year. She loves discovering new talent and helping established authors to take their career to the next level.

What she is looking for: “Anything Highlander. Regency with a really distinct hook. Diverse settings and time periods. Would love something in the vein of Johanna Lindsey’s ‘Mallory’ Family Saga or Teresa Medeiros (LADY OF CONQUEST, for example).”

How to Submit: Send all queries to nicole [at] The subject line should be “QUERY: (Title)”. Please past the first five pages in the body of the e-mail.


Emmanuelle Morgen (Stonesong)

Currently closed to queries

About Emmanuelle: She joined Stonesong as an agent in January 2012. Previously she was an agent at Judith Ehrlich Literary and Wendy Sherman Associates, and an editor at Fodor’s, the travel division of Random House. She enjoys developing long-term relationships with her clients, working closely with them to build their literary careers.

What she is looking for: Historical romance

How to Submit: submissions [at] addressed to Emmanuelle. Include the word ‘query’ in the subject line of your email to ensure we receive it and it isn’t filtered as spam. Include the first chapter or first 10 pages of your work, pasted into the body of your email, so that we may get a sense of your writing. Please note that Emmanuelle is closed to submissions during the months of August and December. We also welcome queries from independent and self-published authors. If you have self-published your book and are interested in working with a publisher for future works, please include descriptions of published and forthcoming works, as well as information about sales and reviews.


Sarah Younger (Nancy Yost Literary Agency)

Currently closed to queries

About Sarah: Sarah's been with NYLA since 2011.

What she is looking for: Romance

How to Submit: querysarah [@] Please send a query letter, along with the initial 25 pages of your material. As sample material is vital for all queries, feel free to send via attachment rather than pasting pages directly into the body of your email.


Saritza Hernández (Andrea Brown Literary Agency)

Closed to queries

About Saritza: Saritza is the leading literary agent in digital publishing deals. An avid coffee-drinker with a Kindle book obsession, she enjoys a steaming cup of strong Cuban coffee every morning while reading an erotic contemporary romance or action-packed science fiction adventure. A strong advocate of the GLBT community, she enjoys fresh voices in Young Adult and New Adult genre fiction.

What she is looking for: “I want Historical Romance, just not Regency era. Would love multicultural historical romance and young adult historical romance with LGBT main characters.”

How to Submit: Use her query manager HERE.


Patricia Nelson (Marsal Lyon Literary Agency)

About Patricia: Patricia received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary in 2008, and also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the world of publishing, she spent four years as a university-level instructor of literature and writing.

What she is looking for: She is seeking historical fiction set in the 20th century, and a historical single title romance. She is interested in seeing diverse stories and characters, including LGBTQ, in all genres that she represents.

How to Submit: Send query by email to patricia [@] Put “QUERY” in the email subject line. Please include a contact phone number as well as your email address.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2 New Literary Agents Actively Looking for Clients

Updated 6/5/21

Here are two new literary agents looking for writers. Latoya Smith (LCS)  is seeking: High-concept women’s fiction; Romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, LGBTQ, erotic, inspirational, paranormal); High-concept thrillers and horror; Comedy. In nonfiction, she wants: Memoir; How-to/Advice; Relationships; Health/Wellness; Politics/Current Events /History. Margaret Sutherland Brown (Emma Sweeney Agency) is particularly interested in commercial and literary fiction, mysteries and thrillers, narrative non-fiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks.

Make sure you read the agency's website before submitting! Agents can switch agencies or close their lists.

Note: I keep a comprehensive list of agents looking for clients HERE.

Latoya Smith of LCS Literary Services

Currently closed to queries

About Latoya: Latoya C. Smith was an editor for over thirteen years working at publishing houses such as Kensington Publishing, Hachette Book Group, and Samhain Publishing. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Latoya started her editorial career as an administrative assistant to New York Times bestselling author, Teri Woods, while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree at Temple University. In 2006, Latoya joined Grand Central Publishing, an imprint at Hachette Book Group, where she acquired a variety of titles from Hardcover fiction and non-fiction, to digital romance and erotica. In 2014, Latoya was Executive Editor at Samhain Publishing where she acquired short and long form romance as well as erotic fiction. She was also the winner of the 2012 RWA Golden Apple for Editor of the Year.

What she is seeking: In fiction, Latoya is seeking: High-concept women’s fiction; Romance (contemporary, romantic suspense, cowboys, LGBTQ, erotic, inspirational, paranormal); High-concept thrillers and horror; Comedy. In nonfiction, she wants: Memoir; How-to/Advice; Relationships; Health/Wellness; Politics/Current Events /History.

How to Submit: If you are interested in submitting your material to LCS Literary Services for representation, please click the link: http://QueryMe.Online/LCSLitSubmissions

Margaret Sutherland Brown of Emma Sweeney Agency

About Margaret: Margaret Sutherland Brown brings a strong background in editorial to the Emma Sweeney Agency as an agent. She previously worked as an Associate Editor at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press and as a freelance editor. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Journalism.

What she is seeking: She’s particularly interested in commercial and literary fiction, mysteries and thrillers, narrative non-fiction, lifestyle, and cookbooks.

How to submit: The agency accept only electronic queries, and asks that all queries be sent to rather than to any agent directly. Please begin your query with a succinct (and hopefully catchy) description of your plot or proposal. Always include a brief cover letter telling them how you heard about ESA, your previous writing credits, and a few lines about yourself. They cannot open any attachments unless specifically requested, and ask that you paste the first ten (10) pages of your proposal or novel into the text of your e-mail.
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