Thursday, December 28, 2017

40 Writing Contests in January 2018 - No entry fees

There are more than three dozen free writing contests in January 2018. As always, every form and genre is represented. There are prizes for novel manuscripts, poetry, short stories, essays, works of nonfiction, political writing, translations and more. Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to check submission guidelines before submitting.

Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss your ideal contest this year,  you can always enter next year. For a month-by-month list of free contests see: Writing Contests
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Small But Mighty. Restrictions: Children ages 7-11 and 12-15. Genre: Fiction and poetry. Prize: Writing supplies, certificate, and publication on website. Deadline: January 1, 2018.

Tony Hillerman Prize. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press. Genre: Debut mystery novel set in Southwest. Prize: $10,000 advance against royalties and publication, Deadline: January 2, 2018.

Texas Institute of Letters Literary AwardsRestrictions: Entrants must have resided in Texas for at least 2 consecutive years, or have been born in Texas. Genre: Book (published). 11 different categories. Prize: $6,000. Deadline: January 2, 2018.

Christopher Doheny Award. The award recognizes excellence in fiction or creative nonfiction on the topic of serious physical illness. The award is presented annually for a completed manuscript that has not yet been published. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 2, 2018.

Best Villain Fairy Tale CompetitionGenre: Short story. "Are you tired of only reading about the “good guys”? Well, here is your chance to turn the spotlight on the villains of fairy tales and folk tales. Fairytalez wants to hear the other side of the story, the villains behind a so-called “happily ever after”! After all, as they say, even the villain is the hero in their own story. Let’s hear it for the “bad” guys! You may either write a new fairy tale or folk tale with a new original villain character or take one of the classics and write the untold story from the villain’s point of view." Prize: Active promotion across all Fairytalez’s social networks. A digital winner badge published with your story and on your profile page. A digital winner badge for your blog or website. A $200 gift certificate to Amazon.com Deadline: January 3, 2018.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Restrictions: The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program; and US citizens attending schools overseas. Genre: Essay on an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1956. Prize: The first-place winner receives $10,000 comprised of a $5,000 cash award and $5,000 from John Hancock. The second-place winner receives $1,000. Up to five finalists receive $500 each. Deadline: January 4, 2018.

Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out Essay Contest Grades. Stop the Hate® is designed to create an appreciation and understanding among people of differing religions, races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Genre: Essay, 500 words. Restrictions: Northeast Ohio 6-12th Graders. Prize: $40,000. Deadline: January 5, 2018 for Grades 6-10, January 19, 2018 for Grades 11-12.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community. The prestigious award aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement. Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, 85 writers from 33 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. Restrictions: Open to Arkansas residents. Genre: Poetry and Fiction. Prize: A $500 honorarium; A trip to New York City to meet with editors, agents, publishers, and other writers. All related travel/lodgings expenses and a per diem stipend are covered by Poets & Writers. Winners will also give a public reading of their work; and One-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. Deadline: January 8, 2018.

Leah Ryan's FEWW Playwriting Prize. Restrictions: Open to women. Genre: Completed full-length work for theater.  Prize: $2,500, a workshop at the Vassar Powerhouse Theater, and a reading in New York City. Deadline: January 8, 2018.

Japan Center-Canon Essay Competition. The aim of the Japan Center Essay Competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons. Genre: Essay. Contestants should write, in English, one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals. (Contestants do not need to have any experience in visiting Japan or studying Japanese. Prize: Best Essay Award in the High School Division: 1st Place: $3,000 and a Canon camera, 2nd Place: $1,500 and a Canon camera, 3rd Place: $750 and a Canon camera; Best Essay Award in the College Division: $3,000 and a Canon camera; Uchida Memorial Award: $1,000 and a Canon camera; Merit Award: $200 (each) for up to five awards. Deadline: January 8, 2018.

Orwell PrizeGenre: Political writing published between 1st January and 31st January 2017. All entries must have a clear British link. Journalism and ‘exposing Britain’s social evils’. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: January 11, 2018. (Their website is impossible to figure out, which is ironic.)

Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Best First Crime Novel CompetitionRestrictions: The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any published novel (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Genre: Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 12, 2018.

Moving Words Poetry ContestRestrictions: People who live within the DC Metro transit area (the Northern Virginia counties Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun and the cities Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church; the District of Columbia; and the Maryland counties Montgomery and Prince George's) and who are over 18. Genre: Poetry on theme: “Ripped from the Headlines.” Prize: $250 honorarium. Deadline: January 12, 2018.

VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardGenre: First novel published July–December 2017. No self-published books. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 14, 2018.

Hektoen Grand Prix Essay CompetitionGenre: Essay relating to art, history, literature, education, personal narratives, and music as they relate to medicine, as well reports on famous physicians or hospitals. Length: 1600 words max. Prizes: $3000 to a top finalist and (2) awards of $800 to two runners-up. Deadline: January 14, 2018.

The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers was established in 2005 to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy. The Fund provides support to writers whose work reflects the spirit and passions embodied in Ellen’s writing and her commitment to a “deep map of place.” Ellen’s own map-in-progress was of the desert country she called home. Genre: Only literary or creative nonfiction proposals will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: January 15, 2018.

The Andrés Montoya Poetry PrizeGenre: First full-length book of poems by a Latinx poet. Prize: $1000 and a contract from University of Notre Dame Press. Upon publication of the winning book, Letras Latinas will extend an invitation to both the winner and the judge to give a joint reading at Notre Dame. Deadline: January 15, 2018.

Joan Swift Memorial Prize. Restrictions: Open to women over age 65 now living and writing in the Pacific NW - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, northern California, western Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500 and publication in Poetry Northwest.  Deadline: January 15, 2018.

Women Artists DatebookRestrictions: Women. Genre: 4 poems. Peace and Justice. Prize: $70. Deadline: January 15, 2018. Read details HERE.

Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry AwardGenre: Poem, 3-10 pages long, that demonstrates a "truly inventive spirit." Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2018.

Janet Heidinger Kafka PrizeRestrictions: Open to women, US citizens only. Genre: Novel. All entries must be submitted by publishers who wish to have the work of their authors that were published in the year 2017 considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted. Prize: $7,500. Deadline: January 15, 2018.

Bethesda Literary Festival Essay and Short Story Contest. The Bethesda Urban Partnership & Bethesda Magazine have partnered to honor local writers at the Bethesda Literary Festival held April. Genres: Essays and short stories. Restrictions: Residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. Prizes: First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine. Second Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Honorable Mention: $75. Deadline: January 19, 2018.

Poetry Society of Virginia - Student ContestRestrictions: Open to students in Virginia, grades 3 - 12. Prize: $10 - $25. Deadline: January 19, 2018.

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships, awarded in fifteen different disciplines over a three-year period, are $7,000 cash awards made to individual originating artists living and working in the state of New York for unrestricted use. These fellowships are not project grants but are intended to fund an artist’s vision or voice, regardless of the level of his or her artistic development. Deadline: January 24, 2018.

Fountain Magazine Essay ContestGenre: Essay. 1,500 - 2,500 words. "How to face a disaster? A life with no disasters is a fantasy. All of us face them – both personally and globally – sooner or later. Then, how should we face a disaster? Just as we take measures while constructing buildings on a fault line, can we be always prepared? How do we defend our inner peace when facing danger? Tell us how you survive difficult times. Give us your best advice. Share your greatest life lesson" Prize: 1st Place - $1,500, 2nd Place - $750, 3rd Place - $300, Two Honorable Mentions - $200 each. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Striking 13Genre: Flash Fiction. Max 513 words on theme of "Greed." Prize: Three Amazon voucher prizes, for the top 3 entries ($25, $15, $10) Deadline: January 31, 2018.

French-American Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: Book - best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest. "The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America." Genre: previously unpublished work of short fiction. Prize: $100.00.  Deadline: January 31, 2018.

College Undergraduate Poetry and Florence Kahn Memorial AwardRestrictions: Undergraduates working toward a degree in an accredited U.S. college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year.  Genre: Published fiction or non-fiction, may include: novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, essays and correspondence. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language was initiated by John Gleed in honour of his late wife to promote and celebrate the genre of short fiction, which she loved. Restrictions: Canadian residents only. Prize: A $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalist will also be awarded $500 each. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Imagine Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories in Japanese or English for its second annual “Imagine Little Tokyo” writing contest. The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA– either past, present or future. Prize: $600. The winner of the youth division (18 or younger) will receive $400. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Caine Prize for African WritingRestrictions: Open to writers born in Africa, or nationals of an African country, or with a parent who is African by birth or nationality, Genre: Short fiction (published). Prize: £10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Words and BrushesGenre: Fiction inspired by artwork. Prize: $300 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2018. (Submission guidelines say "February." I don't know if that means on February 1st or by February 1st, so I am erring on the safe side.)

Indigenous Voices AwardRestrictions: Open to emerging Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. Genre: Novels, creative non-fiction, short stories, poetry, orality, graphic novels, comics, slam, drama, music lyrics, screenwriting, and other forms. Prize: 5 awards for unpublished work totaling $10,000 and 3 awards for published work totaling $15,000. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Radiating YouRestrictions: You must be 18 years old or older. Genre: Personal essay. "We all have thoughts and secrets we hold close so no one else will know or judge us. Things we push down so we don’t hurt those we love. Feelings that continue to haunt us because they are never shared. Are you brave enough to share yours? Radiating You is launching a contest to uncover the real and unfiltered side of life." Prize. 1st place $100, 2nd place $75, 3rd place $50. Length: 500 words maximum. Deadline: January 31, 2018. NOTEBy submitting, you’re granting permission for Radiating You to use your submission on their blogs, social media channels, or future book.

Prospero PrizesGenre: Poems of philosophical and imaginative heft, haft, and polish. Prize: $150 and feature publication in their digital magazines. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Walter Rumsey Marvin GrantRestrictions: Open to authors under 30 years of age who have not had a book published. Applicant must have been born in Ohio or have lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years. Genre: Short fiction and creative non-fiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: January 31, 2018.

15th Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards. Restrictions: Only undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited United States medical schools are eligible. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2018. Note: Winners do not retain copyright.

Sunburst Awards. Restrictions: Open to Canadians. Genre: Speculative fiction short stories published in 2017. Prize: ? Deadline: January 31, 2018.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

6 Writing Conferences and Workshops in January 2018

In the dead of winter, writing conferences slow down. That being said, there are some noteworthy conferences in warmer climes during the month of January.

In Florida, the cities of Key West, Palm Beach and St. Petersburg host writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as panel discussions, readings, and presentations. (Please note that some of these conferences are waitlisted. I have included them so you can plan ahead for next year.)

I strongly encourage all serious writers to attend a conference. Workshops and conferences are the best way to find an agent, and they offer wonderful opportunities for networking with other writers and learning about the publishing industry from insiders.

You can find a monthly list of conferences and workshops, as well as links to help you find conferences in your area here: Writing Conferences.
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Key West Literary Seminar. January 11 - 14, 2018 (seminar) and January 15 - 19, 2018 (workshop), Key West, Florida. The seminar offers readings, lectures, and conversations with poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The island nations of the Caribbean have produced some of the most powerful and exciting writers of our time. For the 36th annual Key West Literary Seminar, we look across the waves to the vital literature that has emerged from this region. In bringing these writers together in Key West, we seek to both celebrate and transcend geography, in pursuit of the stories that hold us together. WAITLISTED

TMW January Jumpstart XVII. Jan 12 - 14, 2018, Oak Ridge, TN. Parallel sessions of workshops on fiction, poetry, nonfiction, writing for young people, editing, storytelling, self publishing, oral history, keeping series books fresh; panel discussions/readings; Saturday banquet. Darnell Arnoult will lead Fiction and Bill Brown returns to lead Poetry.

Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. January 12 - 15, 2018, Galloway, New Jersey. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, one-on-one tutorials, featured readings, and open mics. Stephen Dunn and Gregory Pardlo are the Special Guests. Tuition, which includes some meals, ranges from $490 to $690, depending on the workshop; lodging is not included.

Eckerd College Writers’ Conference. January 13 - 20, 2018, St. Petersburg, FL. Workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, Q&As, readings book signings, and receptions. The faculty includes poets Richard Blanco, Denise Duhamel, Major Jackson, and Peter Meinke; fiction writers Lan Samantha Chang, Andre Dubus III, Laura Lippman, Stewart O’Nan, Cathie Pelletier, Les Standiford, Sterling Watson; creative nonfiction writers Ann Hood and Helen Wallace; editor Colleen Lawrie (PublicAffairs); and agent Alexis Hurley (InkWell Management).

Palm Beach Poetry Festival. January 15 - 20, 2018, Delray Beach, Florida. The faculty includes poets Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Chard diNirod, Beth Ann Fennelly, Ross Gay, Rodney Jones, Phillis Levin, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Tim Seibles. The guest speaker is poet Coleman Barks. $895 includes all events, one gala seat; $495/auditor. Accepted participants may schedule a one-on-one conference at additional cost. Submit three poems of up to six pages with a $25 application fee by November 10.

The Cabins Collaborative Retreat. January 25 - 29, 2018, Norfolk, Connecticut. The retreat features master classes, social activities, and time to write for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Participants are provided with cabin lodging and some meals. Transportation expenses are not included. The cost of the retreat is $300 for lodging in a shared room with a shared bath, or $400 for lodging in a private room with a queen bed and shared bath. Meals and transportation are not included. To apply, submit a link to your website or links to your writing, an application, a statement of intent, and a short bio by December 26. Full and partial scholarships are available. Space is limited to nine participants; early applications are encouraged.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

38 Google Plus Communities for Writers

Google+ is a resource many writers overlook, in part because Facebook and Twitter were already established long before Google came along with its social media platform. The truth is that Google+ is not as versatile, or as easy to navigate as either Facebook or Twitter, and Google's recent simplification has not made it any more competitive.

All of that being said, Google+ still has a great deal to offer writers in the form of communities. There are dozens of active writing communities on Google+, spanning everything from poetry, to self-publishing, to blogging.

I've listed below the communities I have found most useful as a writer, but there are many more. You can find a full list of all communities here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/discover

General

Writers, Authors, Bloggers - 57,365 members. Public community. "This is a community for writers, authors, publishers, bloggers to share ideas, thoughts, suggestions. Also post links to your website to build followers & advertise your products."

The Writers Community - 52,995 members. Public community. "Any and all things concerning writing and writers."

Writers' Corner - 44, 108 members. Public community. "Love to write stories, poems and all things? Join the realm of Blissful Writers who enjoy writing poems, stories, novels, quotes of inspiration. novellas and so forth. We have both the traditionalists and self-publishers. Categories such as Romance, Poetry, Haiku, Inspiration, Sci-Fi, Horror, Erotica, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Crime and more."

Writing - 32, 621 members. Public community. "The art and science of writing." Links to blog posts and upcoming books are allowed.

Writers' Blogs - 29,376 members. Public community. "Share you writer's blog here. Share any blog on the topic of writing or reading. Authors and writers, share your social media links."

The Art of Writing - 18, 356 members. Public community. "A place for Writers of all genres to share, inspire, advise and share ideas about writing better. Ask for people to critique, make contacts for agent referrals and to just have fun doing what you love."

Writers of Google+ - 11,536 members. Public community. "A gathering of all the writerly Google plussers!"

Where Writers and Authors Meet - 8,678 members. Public community. "Where fellow writers and authors can meet other writers and authors. Readers are welcome to come on in and talk with us too ;) Feel free to share book free days, reviews, tours, guest posts, or anything else of note. Written something online? Drop a link for us to look into! Have some promotional, publishing, or writing advice to share? Feel free! Is anyone out there 'just' a blogger? Come on in! We can all learn from each other's experiences! There is a lot of good writing out there that has yet to be discovered."

Genres

Fantasy Writers - 14,448 members. Public community.

Horror/Mystery Writers - 1,928 members. Public community.

Poets of G+ - 23,258 members. Public community.

Poetry - 53,943 members. Public community.

Romance Writers and Readers - 5,714 members. Public community.

Science Fiction - 89, 821 members. Public community.

Science Fiction Writers - 5,906 members. Public community.

Short Stories and Poems - 6,857 members. Public community.

Speculative Fiction Writers - 5,583 members. Public community.

Young Adult Books - 8358 members. Public community.

Young Adult Lit and Writing - 44,330 members. Public community.


Book Promotion and Marketing

Promote Your Book! - 18, 154 members. Public community.

Writers' Market, Tools, Tips, Showcase and Support - 9,583 members. Public community.

Discussing Book Marketing & Promotion - 9,421 members. Public community.

Authors - Blatant Promo 4 Writers, Blogs! - 8,343 members. Public community.

Author Marketing Club - 4,437 members. Public community.

APE - 3,526 members. Private community.


Readers

Reading - 25,256 members. Public community.

Readers and Writers - 9,448 members. Public community.


Reviewers

Book Reviews - 20, 736 members. Public community.

Book Reviewers - 18,955 members. Public community.


Blogging

Blogging - 66,336 members. Public community.

Bloggers Network - 28,399 members. Public community.

Blog Writers United - 2,644 members. Public community.


Self-Published Authors and Self-Publishing

E-Book Publishing - 23,293 members. Public community.

Indie Readers and Writers - 14,341 members. Public community.

Indie Authors and Readers - 10,760 members. Public community.

Kindle and Ebook Writers - 9,208 members. Public community.

Self-Publishing and Book Marketing - 7,846 members. Public community.

Self-Publishing Children's Books - 575 members. Public community.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2 New Literary Agents Seeking Romance, YA, Kidlit, Science Fiction, Horror and More

Updated 4/17/22

These two new agents are seeking clients. Jordan Hamessley is actively building a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult science fiction and horror authors. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus. Eva Scalzo is interested in romance and YA in all categories.

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

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

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Jordan Hamessley of New Leaf Literary & Media

With nearly a decade of experience working on the editorial side of publishing at Penguin Young Readers (Grosset & Dunlap), Egmont USA, and Adaptive Studios, Jordan made the switch to agenting. Jordan had the pleasure of editing many award winning and critically acclaimed authors such as Sara Benincasa, Len Vlahos, Ilsa J. Bick, Adam-Troy Castro, E.C. Myers, Dori Hillestad Butler, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead, Michelle Schusterman and more.

She earned a reputation as an editor for being the “horror girl” and edited horror and ghost stories for all ages from chapter books (The Haunted Library series by Dori Hillestad Butler), middle grade (Gustav Gloom series by Adam-Troy Castro) to YA (Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward.) She also has a deep affection for contemporary middle grade with heart and humor. She is always looking to find stories that bring the queer experience to the children’s space across all age ranges.

Some of her favorite reads of the last few years include Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us, Isabel Quintero’s Gabi: A Girl in Pieces, Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, Charlie Jane Anders’s All the Birds in the Sky, and Barbara Dee’s Star-Crossed.

What she is seeking: She is actively building a list of diverse children’s fiction from picture books through YA and select adult science fiction and horror authors. She is also looking for quirky, non-fiction picture books with a STEM focus.

How to submit: Send query to query@newleafliterary.com. Please do not query via phone.
The word “Query” must be in the subject line, plus the agent’s name, ie – Subject: Query, Jordan Hamessley. Please also include the category (ie, PB, chapter book, MG, YA, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, etc.) You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email

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Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary Agency

Eva Scalzo was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Houston, Buenos Aires, San Juan, and Boston before settling down outside of Binghamton, New York. She has a B.A. in the Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Since graduating in 2002, she has spent her career in scholarly publishing, working for Houghton Mifflin, Blackwell Publishing, John Wiley & Sons, and Cornell University in a variety of roles.

Eva has been reading romance since the fifth grade when she discovered the Sweet Valley High series. On inheriting her grandmother’s collection of vintage Harlequin Romances, she promptly set about filling the gaps, and her goal is to someday finish reading all the treasures. Eva is looking to represent all subgenres of Romance, with the exclusion of inspirational romance, as well as Young Adult fiction.

What she is seeking: I want to see more romance novels where the tension is less about the relationship and more about the obstacles outside of the relationship. One of my least favorite tropes in romance is the grand gesture trope—relationships are built on trust and communication. If your characters develop and grow their relationship organically, there shouldn’t be a big misunderstanding that breaks them apart, especially if all they need to do is actually talk (and listen!) to one another.

Multicultural romance is also something I want to see more of. I support the #OwnVoices campaign to increase the diversity in Romance not just of the characters but also of its authors. As a Latina I love seeing my culture represented in the books I read, I want others to feel that way too.

As a category mainly written by women for women, I want to see strong, smart female leads. Dominant men are okay, but misogyny and sexism are not. One subcategory I struggle with is Motorcycle Club romances, because I really don’t enjoy the club above all mentality and the way they tend to treat women. Ironically, I don’t have a problem with Highland romances where one could argue the attitudes of the clans are similar to a motorcycle club, but the historical context makes a big difference here.

In Young Adult I’m open to most subcategories, but there should be strong romantic elements regardless. I’d like to see contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, mystery/suspense and fantasy, but not historical.

How to Submit: Use the form on the agency's website.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

3 Agents Actively Seeking Literary and Commercial Fiction, Nonfiction, Kidlit

Updated 11/9/20

These three agents are actively seeking writers. Jennifer Chen Tran (Folio Literary Management) is interested in representing literary and commercial fiction. In nonfiction, she loves books that broaden her world view or shed new light on “big ideas.”  Amanda Annis (Trident Media Group) is looking for literary fiction and nonfiction. Wendi Gu (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) wants illustrators, children's literature, and adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

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

If these agents do not suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.
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Wendi grew up in the sleepy suburbs of Chicago and studied Creative Writing at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, she interned with children’s book agent Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, and continued working there as a literary assistant after graduation. She soon began representing her own picture books, middle-grade, and young adult titles with a special interest in girl power, family relationships, and the immigrant experience. She likes stories that root for the underdog. Her favorite books have voices that range from warm and lyrical, to witty and deadpan. She is lucky enough to work with authors of new and forthcoming titles like Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie (FSG Books for Young Readers, Spring 2018) and Paper Son: The Story of Tyrus Wong by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki (Schwartz & Wade, Fall 2019).

What she is seeking: For illustration, she enjoys elegant and eclectic color pallettes, and looks for nuanced character expression and dynamic composition. She is very interested in unconventional illustration mediums like cut paper and photo illustration. Wendi is always on the lookout for nonfiction picture book biographies on little-known heroes in history.

Wendi also represents adult titles in adult literary fiction and nonfiction that speaks to cultural identity negotiation, displacement, and race relations.

How to Query: You can query Wendi at wgu@sjga.com with QUERY in the subject line, with query letter and a 10-page sample in the body of the email. For illustrators and author/illustrators, please attach full sketch dummies and portfolios as a PDF or FTP link.

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Jennifer Chen Tran of Folio Literary Management

With over a decade of experience in publishing, Jennifer is passionate about nurturing and championing authors and their creative lives. She represents a wide range of talent, including journalists, physicians, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, chefs, and graphic novelists, among others.

Jennifer was a literary agent at several west-coast literary agencies and served as Of Counsel at The New Press. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Northeastern School of Law in Boston, MA, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is an attorney in good standing in New York and California

Jennifer is an editorial agent who believes in the art of collaboration and works closely with her authors from concept, to proposal, to publication, and beyond. As a person of color and daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Jennifer is committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented and marginalized communities. Her ultimate goal is to work in concert with authors to shape books that will have a lasting positive social impact on the world – books that illuminate, entertain, and inspire.

What she is seeking: For non-fiction: narrative or memoir (with a platform) that sheds light on an unseen corner in society or history. Prescriptive non-fiction with practical takeaways, cookbooks with a unique angle or narratives centered on culinary life (see David Chang’s Eat a Peach), lifestyle titles (see Kate Oliver’s The Modern Caravan), humorous or visually-driven projects, and business books that read like memoir. Big idea books that shift how we perceive or navigate the world. 

For fiction: middle-grade and Young Adult with heart and humor or visually-driven elements (see Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky), contemporary fiction that braids together issues of social significance and identity (see Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek).

Jennifer is NOT looking for:

Science-fiction, fantasy; romance; screenplays.

How to Submit: Use her querymanager HERE.

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Amanda Annis of Trident Media Group

For Amanda Annis, her love of books has always been at the center of her career. She has worked as a writer with a B.F.A. in poetry, a bookseller, and as an editor at several publishers including Penguin Random House, Cambridge University Press, and Love Among the Ruins. Amanda now brings that same passion to Trident as a literary agent. Here, she is able to guide her authors through every step, from the editorial board to the bookstore.

What she is seeking: Fiction: Literary fiction. Nonfiction: Self-help, Biography, Food & Wine, Health & Fitness.  “I love narratives that take me into a world I would not know otherwise, especially those that are beautifully told.”

How to submit: Amanda is accepting submissions via the online form here. Follow Amanda on Twitter @diaryofaneditor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My book saved someone's life

Five years ago, I self-published the second edition of a book I’d originally written with my friend and associate Lauren Gellman in 1998. The first edition, which was published by St. Martin’s Press, was out of print, and I didn’t want to go through the long, grueling process of finding an agent and publisher again. So I went ahead and published an electronic second edition on Amazon.

After a few months of promotion, during which I gave away more than 15,000 copies, I turned my attention to other projects. I stopped reading the reviews on Amazon — until yesterday, when for some undefinable reason I decided to see if anything new had popped up.

The book is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition. At the time of its first release in 1998, there were no other books on the market focusing on treatments for the disease, which is not only difficult to treat, but permanently disables about a quarter of the people who contract it. (In the late 90s, the press was still calling it “yuppie flu.” It is properly called myalgic encephalomyelitis.) The book was groundbreaking. But only 5,000 copies were sold. The book’s release was, as a British friend of mine put it, “Silent as a pee in bath.”

The second edition was about twice as long as the first. (One reason I published the second edition as an ebook was that nobody would have been able to afford, let alone lift, a 750-page book.) I put a year of work into it, which I chalked up as a “labor of love” — something that was a noble effort, if ultimately unacknowledged.

All of that changed yesterday. Below is the review I found of my book. I don’t know this person. I will never meet this person. But my heart was torn when I read this review on Amazon.

They say that if you reach even one person, it makes writing worthwhile. In this instance nothing could be more true. Someone Astonishing, I did it all for you.

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By Someone Astonishing on January 4, 2017

I’m wiped out. That’s how I feel right now. And pretty much most of the time . . . for the past 26 years. I had toyed with the notion that my malady might be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I already had so many weird, random, all-in-my-head symptoms, that I hated to bring it up and sound like even more of a hypochondriac to my doctor. Admittedly, I used to be more assertive and push for doctors to hear me: there was more wrong with me than a constant string of random, unprovable, seemingly-unrelated symptoms. But, I always came away with a psych referral — not a diagnosis. So, I grew leery of bringing up more than the manifesting symptoms. But, I’ve been with my doctor for ten years; if I was really sick with CFS, wouldn’t she have realized it? She already diagnosed me with fibromyalgia years ago (often a dual diagnosis). Wouldn’t she have caught on? After all, I constantly complain of fatigue and malaise, as well as all the other hallmarks. Well, the answer is a resounding NO. The medical community cannot be counted on to recognize or even believe CFS exists.

So, I struggled with the brain fog and read this book to try to help myself. All of my “imaginary” symptoms? Every one of them is described in this book. Here were my decades of misery and depression laid bare. I was now able to put together a clear picture of my illness and present it to my doctor. She heard me out and actually agreed with my diagnosis. And, although there’s nothing more we can do than treat the symptoms as we have been, I feel better. No, wait, I don’t feel better. But, I do feel free.

I no longer doubt myself. I don’t question if my symptoms are real. I don’t blame myself or fitness level when I’m out of breath and can’t do things. I’m not constantly pushing myself, trying to do everything like “normal” people can (and like I thought I should). I no longer work myself to the point that it takes 4 days to recover from 1 afternoon. I’ve accepted my limits and am making sure that those closest to me accept them, too. For decades, I was ruthlessly mean to myself for being lazy or overweight or out of shape. Everything was a failure on my part.

I’ve been miserable; I was beyond depressed. This book literally — and I do mean literally — saved my life. I couldn’t have forced myself to go on much longer. Yes, I am saying that I would definitely have been a suicide statistic. But, I gained power from reading: power to name my tormentor, power to stop blaming myself and power to find some inner peace.

Now, I follow the stellar advice, found here, of planning what I intend to accomplish each day and then do 75% of it. This remarkably simple tip has helped me reshape my life. I make it through my day unfrazzled, and still have something left for tomorrow. My experience with this book has been wonderful. I wholeheartedly recommend this work to anyone wondering if they might have CFS or to those just wanting to gain a better understanding of the syndrome. It’s an extremely thorough and well-written treatment of the subject.

Now, I thank you for reading my story, but I really am worn out and my shoulders are killing, but my attitude is soaring like it hasn’t in . . . forever. Time for a rest, friends.

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Epilogue: I thought my work was over when I published my book, but since then it has only expanded. Someone Astonishing, like so many others, has nowhere to turn for help. One book was not enough, so I founded a national non-profit, the American Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society (AMMES.org). Its aim is to help patients find knowledgeable physicians, effective treatments, support, and practical assistance. There is hope.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why You Need an Author Profile - And Where to Post It

One of my hugely informative author profiles. Don't do this.
Author profiles are an essential part of book marketing and promotion. An author profile is a mini-biography. It tells something about the author that will interest the reader, includes a headshot, and links to the author's books. Depending on where you post your profile, you can also include a link to your website or blog, events, videos, and answers to questions posed by readers.

Profiles are useful for several reasons. First, anyone who has enjoyed your book will want to find out more about you. And second, your fans will want to read other books by you. Third, profiles provide an avenue for engagement with readers.

Your profile isn't just who you are, it's who your readers think you should be.

The two foundations of a profile are:

Headshot - Readers, first and foremost, want to know what authors look like. How many times have you read a book and then hunted around on the back for a photo? Maybe, you've even done that before you read the book. Make sure your photo is professional. Depending on what you write your portrait can be serious (literary fiction), friendly (children's fiction), brooding (horror), congenial (general fiction), authoritative (non-fiction) - whatever you write, your personality should reflect your genre. A good photographer can make a world of difference, so work with a professional.

Bio - Bios are written in third person. As with the headshot, your bio should match your genre or topic. If you are writing non-fiction, your credentials are most important. What gives you the authority to write your book? If you write humor, make it clever. If you write for children, you can include your family, your pets. If you are writing general fiction for adults, write about your background, your professional career, where you live. (Do not write about your first writing project when you were in grade school!) Do you have any awards? Make sure to include them. Pretend that your publicist is writing about you - not your mother.

Where to post your profile

It goes without saying that your profile needs to be the central pillar of your website, but the two other places you absolutely must post your profile are Amazon and Goodreads. These two sites get an enormous amount of traffic. If you are self-publishing, make sure to post your profile on the platform you are using. Post a shortened profile on social media and networking platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). If you keep a blog (and you should), post a profile on your blog, and wherever you re-post (Medium, etc). Post your profile on groups you are a member of (alumni associations, professional guilds, etc). And post it where you promote your book. In other words, post your profile everywhere you can. People who read your book will want to find you, so make it easy for them.

Helpful articles:

Penny Sansevieri has written an excellent step-by-step set of instructions for making best use of your Author Central Page here: How to Optimize Your Amazon Author Central Page

You can find additional homes for your author profile here: 12 Author Profile Sites to Boost Your Discoverability 

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Amazon Author Central

Amazon is the largest Internet retailer in the world, so chances are good your book is for sale on Amazon. Author Central offers a wide array of features, including bio, photos, links to your books on Amazon, videos, events, blog feed, and your own URL.

Bio - of at least 100 characters. Amazon does not support HTML in their author bios, so it needs to be straight text - no italics, bold, etc. You should periodically update your bio, but before you do make sure to make a copy and save it to your computer first. (Amazon will not save your old bio.)

Photo - between 300 and 8000 pixels in width and height. Only JPEG (or JPG), GIF, or PNG photos, no other formats. You can add up to eight images.

Blog - Amazon allows you to link your blog feed to Author Central. Anyone visiting your Author page will see extracts of your latest posts along with a link to read more.

Events - This is where you place all upcoming events, whether they are physical (e.g. book signings) or virtual. After you've created an event, it is displayed in the Scheduled Events section. People can see the venue, location, time, a short description of the event, and the book you're touring with.

Videos - You can share video interviews, book signing videos, and other videos with readers. Your videos should focus on specific features of your books or your experience as an author. You can add up to eight videos to your page. Videos should be a maximum of 10 minutes and in one of the following formats: avi, wmv, flv, mov, or mpg. Videos should be your own (not from Youtube).

Author Page URL - If you wish, you can create your own URL for your author page to post to your Facebook page and/or blogs, tweet to your followers, or add it to your email signature. A URL that includes your name is important for Google searches. When people search your name, they will be directed to your Amazon Author Central page.

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GoodReads

GoodReads is a social discovery book site with over 50 million user reviews. It is currently owned by Amazon. The site is very active, providing a venue where readers can engage freely with authors, ask questions, follow authors, sign up for giveaways. In addition to rating and reviewing books, readers can see what is on their friends' bookshelves, get recommendations, and join groups. Like all social media, GoodReads allows you to have followers. Like Amazon's Author Central, you can post an RSS feed to blog, links to your website and Twitter account.

Tips: Upload a professional photo. Make sure your face can be seen. Your photo should reflect your writing image, that is, if you write children's fiction, you should smile and look trustworthy. If you write serious literary fiction, a serious black and white photo is fine. Humor - go ahead with a quirky photo.

A solid bio consists of a paragraph or two, and should convey some interesting personal information that can’t be found elsewhere

Enable Ask the Author from your author dashboard to allow readers to contact you easily. You can’t predict when a reader might want to ask you a question, so turning this tool on gives readers the immediate ability to connect with you. Even if the person hasn’t read your book, something in your bio might spark a question.

Curate your virtual bookshelf. Readers will be curious about what kind of reader you are. Find at least 20 books to add to your bookshelf on Goodreads. You don’t need to rate them if you don’t want to. You can also create custom shelves relevant to your work, for example “Books About Maine” if your novel was set there.

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Librarything

Librarything is a community of 2,100,000 book lovers. Like GoodReads, Librarything a social cataloging website for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata. It is used by readers, authors, and librarians. There are currently 17,554 authors on Librarything. An author profile is automatically created when you become an Author Member. Simply upload a photo, add links to your website, and write a short bio.

Then do the following:

Catalog your books. Your readers want to know what books they have in common with you. Rate and review books to let your fans know what you think.

Add your readings and other events to LibraryThing Local. Events will then show up on your author page as well, so your readers can learn about your public appearances.

Join the Hobnob with Authors group and discuss your work with interested members.

Sign up for one of their Author Chats. It's not "real-time", but takes place in one of Librarything's forums, the Author Chat group, over a two-week period. Members ask questions, and the author checks in about once a day and responds. Librarything promotes author chats by sending profile comments to every member who has listed one of the author's books. 

Authors can host book giveaways on Librarything for ebooks, which is enormously helpful if you are self-published and are trying to get reviews.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2 New Agents Looking for Fantasy, Thrillers, Horror, Romance, Translations and More

Updated 4/14/22

Here are two new agents actively building their client lists. Elianna Kan of Regal Hoffmann is particularly interested in Spanish language fiction and nonfiction, and translation in general. Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency is looking for fantasy, thriller, contemporary romance, mystery, and sci-fi in adult fiction. And in YA she wants fantasy, sci-fi, horror, contemporary, thriller, and mystery.

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

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

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Elianna Kan of Regal Hoffmann

Elianna Kan joined Regal Hoffmann in 2017. She began her publishing career at Picador and as Senior Editor of The American Reader, where she edited literature in translation. After several years as a Spanish reader for Maria B. Campbell Associates and various US publishers, she decided to immerse herself more fully in the Latin American publishing world by moving to Mexico City where she worked as a consultant for Penguin Random House Mexico's Foreign Rights Director. She continues splitting her time between New York and Mexico. Elianna is a native of New Hampshire with a BA in Literary Studies and a background in theater from Middlebury College. She has studied Critical Theory at the University of Buenos Aires and is currently pursuing an MA at the Bread Loaf School of English. She is a native Russian speaker and speaks Spanish fluently. She has written about the Latin American publishing market for Publishing Perspectives and has interviewed writers and theater-makers on behalf of The Paris Review, BOMB Magazine, and The Believer. She has a passion for interdisciplinary cultural programming and teaches creative writing and literary translation at Columbia University.

What she is looking for: Elianna is actively building a list of Spanish-language fiction and non-fiction writers and is interested in literature in translation in general.

How to submit: Submissions should consist of a one-page query letter detailing the book in question as well as the qualifications of the author. For fiction, submissions may also include the first ten pages of the novel or one short story from a collection. To submit to Elianna, please email elianna@rhaliterary.com.


Lynnette Novak of The Seymour Agency

Prior to joining The Seymour Agency, Lynnette spent seventeen years freelance editing. She worked with new writers, advanced writers, as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Lynnette earned a bachelor of education degree from the University of Manitoba, where she specialized in English and French. She excelled in Advanced Creative Writing in university and studied writing for children and teens through the Institute of Children’s Literature. She was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2015 and 2016. Both her mentees acquired an agent.

Although Lynnette was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin girls, and many pets. Her personal interests include reading, writing, exercising at the gym (okay, that’s a love/hate relationship), working on an assortment of crafts, all things having to do with animals (if she could own a farm, zoo, and animal shelter, she would), and enjoying time with family and friends.

What she is looking for: Adult: fantasy, thriller, contemporary romance, mystery, and sci-fi. YA: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, contemporary, thriller, and mystery. I love dark & twisty, light and funny, and stories with or without romance. 

How to submit: Lynette is accepting submissions through her querymanager HERE.

Friday, December 1, 2017

37 Calls for Submissions in December 2017 - Paying markets

Joachim Lehrer
There are more than three dozen calls for submissions in December. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, every genre, style, and form is wanted, from short stories about monsters to underwater romance.

I post calls for submissions on the first day of every month. But as I am collecting them, I post them on my page, Calls for Submissions. You can get a jump on next month's calls for submissions by checking that page periodically throughout the month. (I only post paying markets.)
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SliceGenre: Stories, poems, personal essays on theme of "Flight." Payment: $250 for stories and essays and $75 for poems. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Compelling Science FictionGenre: Science fiction. Payment: 6 cents/word. 1 cent/word for reprints. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Prairie Fire (Canada). Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, drama—or another genre, as you see fit—that celebrates, reflects on, or engages with women’s issues in Canada in the last 100 years, such as the suffrage movement, women’s rights, gendered political issues, etc. Payment: Print - Prose: $0.10 per word. Poetry: $40 per poem. Illustrations, portfolios, portraits: $25 per page for reprint rights. Deadline: December 1, 2017. Read submission guidelinesSnail mail submissions only.

CicadaGenre: Short stories, poetry, comics for teens on the theme of Monsters. Payment: Fiction: up to 10¢ per word; Nonfiction: up to 25¢ per word; Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum; Art payment not specified. (Send them your portfolio.) Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Eternal Haunted SummerGenre: Fiction, poetry, reviews, essays about the Gods and Goddesses and heroes of the world’s many Pagan traditions. Payment: $5. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Contrary Magazine. Genre: Original commentary, fiction, and poetry. Payment: $20. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Pedestal Magazine. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $40. Deadline: December 3, 2017.

Insignia. Genre: Speculative fiction, short stories. Theme: "What does the future look like in Asia? Entertain us with your wild stories set in an Asian country (realistic or re-imagined). or even in an away-from-earth civilization. Your main characters must however, be recognizable as Asian and retain some cultural traits, or native language, etc." Payment: 0-2000 words = US$5 / 2001-6000 words = US$10. Deadline: December 3, 2017. Reprints accepted.

MslexiaGenre: Stories, poems, and scripts on theme of "Bewitched." Length: Stories up to 2,200 words, poems up to 40 lines, and short scripts up to 1,000 words (including character names and stage instructions). Payment: £25. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

JaggeryGenre: Art, poetry, reviews, and fiction connecting South Asian diasporic writers and homeland writers; "we also welcome non-South Asians with a deep and thoughtful connection to South Asian countries, who bring their own intersecting perspectives to the conversation. (By South Asia we mean Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.) Our hope with Jaggery is to create a journal that offers the best writing by and about South Asians and their diaspora." Payment: $25 for art, poetry, reviews and essays, $100 for fiction. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

Broken Metropolis Anthology: Queer Tales of a City That Never WasGenre: Urban fantasy short stories under 6,000 words. "We are looking for stories that explore the edges of urban fantasy through queer stories. While the city these stories are set in should be vast and unnamed, highly specific neighborhoods and landmarks are encouraged and sought after. We welcome a broad interpretation of the genre that is inclusive of postmodern folk tales, future/ancient noir, and stories that happen both behind closed doors and in plain sight. Throughout, we’re looking for rich, varied and nuanced understandings of gender, family and ethnicity." Payment: 2 cents per word. Deadline: December 7, 2017.

Out of Your Shadow Anthology Call: Empowered Sidekicks Anthology. Genre: Short fiction. "This anthology will focus on tales about the sidekicks who help the heroes and princesses find their happily ever afters, and what happens to them after their quests are done." Payment: one half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Payment for reprints is a maximum of $10. Deadline: December 10, 2017.

Ruminate. Ruminate welcomes submissions that both subtly and overtly engages faith from all the world religions. Genre: Fiction, poetry. Payment: $15/poem and $15/400 words for prose. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Freeze Frame Fiction. Genre: Flash fiction; issues are themed. Payment: $10. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Prairie Fire (Canada). Restrictions: Canadian Indigenous Writers: submit your work to ndncountry, a special joint issue of Prairie Fire and CV2. Genres: Stories, poems, memoirs, literary experiments, and any other writing. Payment: Print - Prose: $0.10 per word. Poetry: $40 per poem. Deadline: December 15, 2017. Read submission guidelinesSnail mail submissions only.

Pittsburgh Poetry ReviewGenre: Poetry. Payment: $25/poem. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Speculative City. Genre: Cityscape poetry and fiction on theme of "Grotesque." Payment:  $20-$75. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Eye to the Telescope. Genre: Speculative poetry. Theme: Arthuriana. Payment: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. Restrictions: Open to trans women and trans feminine writers. Genre: Fantasy short stories. Payment: .07 per word. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

After the Orange. Genre: Short story. Theme: Near- or farther-future stories about society as it is after 2032 – at least two presidential election cycles after Donald Trump’s last eligibility. Show us America or the world in a new era; look at world politics changed by US policies and people. Or go beyond. Payment: US $0.02 cent/word, paid on publication, plus shared royalties.  Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Cloaked Press: Spring Into SciFi. Genre: Science fiction stories that contain stories of Space Exploration, Advanced Technology, AI, Cloning, Robotics and of course, Aliens. Payment: $10. Deadline: December 17, 2017.

Love and Bubbles. Genre: Romance love stories centered around: underwater biodomes, submarines, scuba diving, alien planets entirely covered by water, sea monsters, selkies, mermaids, water witches, Neptune/Poseidon, lost underwater civilizations, ghost ships, and more! Payment: $50. Deadline: December 20, 2017.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Genre: Speculative fiction, art and nonfiction. Payment: 6 cents/word for new fiction, 2 cents/word reprints, 2 - 6 cents/word nonfiction. Deadline: December 28, 2017. Reprints accepted.

3288 ReviewRestrictions: They only accept submissions from current or former residents of West Michigan, or frequent visitors to the West Michigan region. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Payment: Poetry – $5.00 per poem published, up to 10 poems; Prose 1,000 to 5,000 words – $25.00; Prose 5,001 to 10,000 words – $50.00. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

AllegoryGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Payment: $15. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Carte Blanche (Canada). Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations. comics, photography. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Existere (Canada). Genre: Poetry, short plays, short stories, creative nonfiction, postcard/flash fiction, art and literature reviews, critical essays, interviews, sketches, photos. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: December 31, 2017.

The CantabrigianGenre: Literary fiction, cover art. Payment: Between $20 and $50 per contributor. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Submit early to avoid submission fees.

Best American Science Fiction and FantasyGenre: Science Fiction and Fantasy short stories published in the calendar year 2017 by a nationally distributed magazine in the US or Canada. Payment: Not specified, but I am including this entry anyhow. The "Best of SFF" series is published by Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Zombies Need Brains AnthologiesGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: 6 cents/word plus royalties. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Forbidden: Tales of Repression, Restriction, and Rebellion. Genre: Short stories. Payment: 2% of the net profits from the anthology. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Dreaming Robot Press. Genre: Speculative fiction short stories for middle grade readers (ages 8 -12). Payment: 6 cents/word. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Awakenings. Genre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $0.08 per word up to $800. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Bare Life Review. Restrictions: Open to work exclusively by immigrant and refugee authors. Genre: Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Payment: $1000 for accepted prose pieces, and $400 for accepted poems. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Workers Write! Genre: Short fiction. "We're looking for fiction about bakers, bartenders, bus people, chefs, cooks, managers, owners, servers - anyone who works in a restaurant, bar, or café." Payment:  Between $5 and $50 (depending on length and rights requested). Deadline: December 31, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Shoreline of Infinity. Restrictions: Women writers only. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: £10 per 1000 words. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Lethe Press: Midas Clutch. Genre: Queer speculative fiction. "Lethe is seeking weird and eerie stories of people consumed by wealth. Each tale must be suffused with the trappings of the well-to-do. Decadence should be paramount." Payment: 5 cents a word for original work, 2 cents a word if a reprint. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

63 Writing Contests in December 2017 - No entry fees

The end of the year is always marked by a substantial number of writing contests. This December there are dozens of poetry, short story, essay, and full manuscript contests for every genre and style. Some of the prizes are substantial. None of these contests charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to check submission guidelines before submitting.

Many contests are annual, so if you miss your ideal contest this year,  you can always enter next year. For a month-by-month list of free contests see: Writing Contests

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Poetry Center at Smith College PrizeRestrictions: Open to sophomore or junior high school girls in New England. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Donald Murray Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Genre: Original, unpublished works of creative nonfiction with a preference for essays on writing, teaching, and teaching writing, but will consider quality entries on any subject, including topics related to social justice, civic action, and inequality. Prize:  $300 in the form of an AMEX gift card and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Writing on the Edge. All entries will be considered for publication in the journal. Length: 8,000 words maximum (2500–4500 preferred) Deadline: December 1, 2017.

‘Geo-Lit’ Writing ContestGenre: Short stories between 500 words and 1500 words set at a real location in New York City. Prize: First place $100, and a $50 prize will awarded by Literary Manhattan. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Unified Caring Association Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to US High School Juniors and Seniors. Genre: Essay on topic: If you were the President of the United States, what would you do to promote Peace and Unity? Word count: 500 - 550 words. Prize: 10 first prizes of $333 scholarship; 10 second place essays will each receive a $100 scholarship Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Quantum Shorts CompetitionGenre: Short story, max 1,000 words, that draws on the strange ways of quantum particles and anticipate a new era of quantum technology. You must also include the phrase: "There are only two possibilities: yes or no." Prize: Up to US$1500 and digital subscriptions to Scientific American magazine. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund, International Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to poets who have a published body of work over a period of years. Poems must be in English. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Prize: $1.000.  Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian YouthRestrictions: Canadians, grades 7-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $400. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Brunel University African Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Genre: 10 poems exactly. Prize: 3,000 pounds. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian WritingRestrictions: Open to published writers who are writing from the region. Genres: All. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African PoetryRestrictions: Open to African poets who have not yet published a collection of poetry. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Pushcart Prize honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in small presses and literary magazines. Magazine and small press editors may nominate up to six works. Pushcart Press publishes yearly anthologies of the winning submissions. Prize: Publication.  Deadline: December 1, 2017.

The Lyric College Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets HouseRestrictions: Applicants to the Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House must reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Students who are or will be enrolled in any degree granting program during Spring 2018 are ineligible. Deadline: December 1, 2017. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Genre: Military fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.

Literature MattersRestrictions: UK residents. Genre: "Awards will be given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Launched as part of the RSL’s new Literature Matters programme, priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters." Award: £20,000. Deadline: December 4, 2017.

Betty Berzon Emerging Writer AwardRestrictions: Open to an LGBTQ writer who has shown exceptional talent and the potential for continued literary success and significance in the future. The nominee must have published at least one but no more than two books, written in the discipline of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Works must be in the English language. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: December 5, 2017.

Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art. Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity. Deadline: December 8, 2017.

Friends of American Writers. Restrictions: The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above. The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name. Genres: Books can be fiction or creative non-fiction and published in 2017. Self-published and e-Books are not eligible. Prize: $4000. Deadline: December 10, 2017.

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay ContestRestrictions: Registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2015 Semester. Genre: Essay Topic: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. 3,000 to 4,000 words. Prize: First Prize $5,000, 2nd Prize $2,500, 3rd Prize $1,500, two Honorable Mentions $500 each. Deadline: December 11, 2017. Read details here.

White River Environmental Law Writing Competition is sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School. Restrictions: Open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable. Genre: Original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law. Prize: $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental LawDeadline: December 11, 2017.

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress AwardGenre: Uncompleted work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. Prize: $30,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 11, 2017.

Deborah Rogers Foundation AwardRestrictions: Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title. Applications are only open to writers who have not previously published or self-published a full length book of their own prose writing (with the exception of a collection of poetry). Entrants must write in the English language and reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire. Genre: Excerpt: 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract. Prize: £10,000. Deadline: December 13, 2017.

Spark Award: Held by SCBWI open to members of SCBWI who are self-published. Genres: Fiction and nonfiction. Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Whiting Prize. Restrictions: Applicants must be not-for-profit literary magazines in the US, annual budgets of no more than $500,000, and have published at least annually for at least three years. Genre: This contest is for print and digital literary magazines. Prize: $30,000 - $60,000. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Exiled Writers Ink Free Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to UK refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First Prize £400 plus The Literary Consultancy’s free detailed report on the winner’s poetry collection; Second Prize £200 plus a free course at the prestigious Poetry; School; Third Prize £100. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Barbara Kyle’s 4th Annual Manuscript Evaluation Contest. Genre: Manuscript. (Genre not specified) Prize: Grand Prize: evaluation of a full manuscript: Second Prize: evaluation of the first 50 pages of a manuscript: Third Prize: evaluation of the first 25 pages of a manuscript. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Women Artists Datebook. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $70. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Rider University Annual High School Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genres: Essays, poetry, fiction. Prizes: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25. Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Arts & Letters AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Genres: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, art, music, and French language. Entries must be unpublished and completed during the previous 12 months. Prizes: C$1,000 and C$250.  Deadline: December 15, 2017.

Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.  Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Lucille Medwick Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Cecil Hemley Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Lyric Poetry AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: A lyric poem on any subject. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Genre: A poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style. Prize: $250. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

George Bogin Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Other must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry that takes a stand against oppression. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Robert H. Winner Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. There is a charge of $15 for non-members. Open to mid-career poets who have not had substantial recognition, and is over forty, and who have published no more than one book. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Commonwealth Club of California Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of California. Genre: Book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Prize: Medal. Deadline: December 22, 2017.

Black Caucus of the American Library Association. BCALA presents four awards to an African American writer published in the United States during the previous year: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. Prize: Four $500.00 awards. Deadline: December 29, 2017.

Posen Society of Fellows AwardsGenre: Jewish-themed dissertation. Prize: $40,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 30, 2017.

Ouen Press Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story on theme of "Taste." Prize: £300 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Best Translated Book Awards for FictionGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Best Translated Book Awards for PoetryGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017. The winners are announced in the spring.

Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry PrizeRestrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Kansas Book AwardRestrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Book of literary nonfiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestGenre: Speculative fiction prose, up to 17,000 words. Prize: $1,000 with $5,000 grand prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.

Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card ContestGenre: Poem. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.

Best Translated Book Awards for Fiction and PoetryGenre: Published translated poetry book or novel. Prize: $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Society of Classical Poets, Poetry CompetitionGenre: Poetry. Three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society. Prize: First Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Viva la NovellaRestrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1,000 and publication in SeizureDeadline: December 31, 2017.

USNI Naval History Essay ContestGenre: Essay.  Prize: First Prize: $6,000. Second Prize:$3,000. Third Prize: $2,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Arnold Adoff Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry books for children and young adults. Novels in verse, memoirs in verse, collections of original poetry, and edited collections are all acceptable formats for the awards. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Goldstein, Lawrence, and Clayton Prizes in Poetry and Short Fiction. Sponsored by Michigan Quarterly Review. Genres: Poetry, short fiction. Prizes are given to the best poetry and fiction submitted to the MQR throughout the year. Follow their usual submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary NonfictionRestrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Nonfiction book with a publication date of 2015, 2016 or 2017. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. Sponsored by Rattle. Genre: Poetry. All published submissions during the year are considered for the prize. Follow their regular submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust Article Prize CompetitionGenre: Nonfiction of 7,000-10,000 words about the Holocaust. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017.  Questions/submissions: dapim_h@univ.haifa.ac.il

Caribbean Writers PrizesGenre: Short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, books. Prize: $400 - $500.  Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Lex:lead Essay CompetitionGenre: Essay on topic: How can banking regulatory law reduce poverty and support economic development? Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017. You must register by November 30.

Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American HistoryGenre: Essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

William Carlos Williams Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to students attending allopathic or osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States and Canada. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300.  Deadline: December 31, 2017.

Viva La NovellaRestrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.

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