Thursday, September 21, 2017

2 New Literary Agents Actively Seeking Fiction, Memoir, Pop Culture & more

Here are two new agents seeking writers. Caroline Eisenmann is looking for novels that address social issues, as well as memoir, history, essay collections and biography. Sarah Bolling is interested in fiction, especially featuring diverse characters, far-flung locales, or inventive narrative structure. Her taste also includes a range of nonfiction, including memoir, pop culture, psychology, sociology, and style.

As always, make sure to read the agency website and agent bio before submitting. The publishing world is in constant flux, and agents may switch agencies or change their submission requirements.

If these agents don't suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of over 100 agents actively seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

Caroline Eisenmann of Frances Goldin Agency

Caroline Eisenmann joined the agency in 2017. Raised in the Boston area, she received an interdisciplinary degree focused on literature, history, and philosophy from Wesleyan University. She previously spent four years at ICM Partners building a list in literary and upmarket fiction and nonfiction. Her clients include Brandon Hobson, Kyle Chayka, Mari Passananti, Amanda Goldblatt, Robin Underdahl, and James Gregor. In addition to her agency experience, she has worked in marketing at the digital book publisher Open Road Integrated Media and held internships at The Paris Review and The Huffington Post.

What she is seeking: In fiction, Caroline is particularly drawn to novels that engage with social issues, stories about obsession, and work that centers around intimacy and its discontents. Her nonfiction interests include deeply reported narratives (especially those that take the reader into the heart of a subculture), literary memoir, cultural criticism, essay collections, and history and biography with a surprising point of view.

How to submit: Send a query letter to

Sarah Bolling of The Gernert Company

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Sarah joined The Gernert Company in 2017 after working in editorial at Norton. Sarah majored in East Asian Studies at Brown University, and holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Goldsmiths, University of London. She lives in Manhattan.

What she is seeking: She’s looking to represent fiction blending literary ambition with genre sensibility, especially featuring diverse characters, far-flung locales, or inventive narrative structure. Her taste also includes a range of nonfiction, including memoir, pop culture, psychology, sociology, and style. 

How to submit: Queries by e-mail should be directed to:
Please indicate in your letter which agent you are querying. You can visit the "Our Team" section of this website to get a sense of who might be a good fit for your work. If you have previously corresponded with one of their agents and choose to query another, please let them know of any communication history in your letter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An Insider's View of the Publishing Business

Random House: 1745 Broadway, NYC
A while ago, I ran across an article in New York Magazine by Daniel Menaker, a senior literary editor at Random House. The title caught my eye: What Does the Book Business Look Like on the Inside?

This is a question every aspiring author wants answered, especially if they are trying to make a choice between traditional and self-publishing. But as I read the article, I realized that it clarified my own experience with Random House, and it bolstered my decision to abandon the traditional publishing route with my subsequent books.

In order to get the full sense of what Menaker had to say about his experiences with the New Yorker, followed by Random House and HarperCollins, I ended up reading his entire book. It turned out to be quite enlightening, not just in terms of what publishers do, but how they manage to exist in an environment that is, to use Menaker's term, "insane."

What Editors Do

For twenty-six years, Menaker was an editor at the New Yorker, where he received and edited fiction by some of the outstanding writers of our time. When the New Yorker was purchased by Newhouse, and a new chief editor was appointed, fiction was moved to the rear, and Menaker was "offered" a job at Random House. (He says he was "recycled.") Before leaving he got this warning from John Sterling, an agent and publisher:
"You do realize that what you will be doing is essentially a sales job. If seventy-five per cent of what you do now is editing and reading and writing opinions about fiction and twenty-five is office stuff and meetings and so on, that percentage will be reversed." (p 143)
Nothing could be more true. We think editors at publishing houses edit. The truth is they spend most of their time responding to memos, developing profit-and-loss statements, figuring out advances, supplementing publicity efforts, fielding calls from agents, attending meetings, and so on. They edit on weekends and evenings, and on the train as they are commuting. As Menaker puts it, "You have to give up reading for pleasure." (p 168)

Insane Publishing

At one point, Menaker realized that most books published by Random House (and other publishers) are privished, rather than published (p 152). By "privished" Menaker means the publisher quietly suppresses books, whether intentionally or not. A book is privished when it is not promoted, when few copies are printed, and when the publisher essentially buries it.

Privishing has become the norm for publishers for various reasons, the first of which is that there are limitations on budgets. The second is that editors compete for those budgets.
"Now I have been senior literary editor at Random House for six months. I remain in many ways ignorant of the realities of book publishing. But it begins to dawn on me that if a company publishes a hundred original hardcover books a year, it publishes about two per week, on average. And given the limitations on budgets, personnel, and time, many of those books will receive a kind of “basic” publication. Every list—spring, summer, and fall—has its lead titles. Then there are three or four hopefuls trailing along just behind the books that the publisher is investing most heavily in. Then comes a field of also-rans, hoping for the surge of energy provided by an ecstatic front-page review in The New York Times Book Review or by being selected for Oprah’s Book Club. Approximately four out of every five books published lose money. Or five out of six, or six out of seven. Estimates vary, depending on how gloomy the CFO is the day you ask him and what kinds of shell games are being played in Accounting." 
A No-Can-Do Attitude

The negative attitude that editors develop about manuscripts and proposals is in part because budgets are limited, and is in part driven by competition. But mindless rejection is also an inherent feature of publishing. (Just look at these idiotic rejections of famous authors here, here, and here.) Menaker attributes the negativity of editors to the harsh realities of publishing, but you will notice there is a bit a glee in these comments. Editors are not only competing for budgets, they are engaged in what may be described as a pissing contest in snark.
"Publishing is an often incredibly frustrating culture. If you want to buy a project—let’s say a nonfiction proposal for a book about the history of Sicily—some of your colleagues will say, “The proposal is too dry” or “Cletis Trebuchet did a book for Grendel Books five years ago about Sardinia and it sold, like, eight copies,” or, airily, “I don’t think many people want to read about little islands.” When Seabiscuit first came up for discussion at an editorial meeting at Random House, some skeptic muttered, “Talk about beating a dead horse!” 
You're more likely to be "right" if you express doubts about a proposal's or manuscript's prospects than if you support it with enthusiasm." (p 164)
Putting the Random in Random House

The original impetus for Random House came from Bennet Cerf, who suggested publishing "a few random books on the side." Randomness has continued to be one of the publisher's defining features.
"[F]inancial success in frontlist publishing is very often random, but the media conglomerates that run most publishing houses act as if it were not. Yes, you may be able to count on a new novel by Surething Jones becoming a big best seller. But the best-­seller lists paint nothing remotely like the full financial picture of any publication, because that picture’s most important color is the size of the advance. But let’s say you publish a fluky blockbuster one year, the corporation will see a spike in your profits and sort of autistically, or at least automatically, raise the profit goal for your division by some corporately predetermined amount for the following year. This is close to clinically insane institutional behavior." (p 166, 167).
There is, in short, very little that is sensible about the decisions made by publishers. The question that comes to mind is: How can they continue to exist in the corporate world? (The answer to that question leads to yet another disturbing question: How can any corporation continue to exist given their counter-intuitive practices?)

Insiders and Outsiders

Menaker expresses his frustration with publishing, and with the seemingly contrary roles that editors hold, poignantly in this passage:
"I think it’s impossible to do an editor-in-chief’s job very well for any length of time. If I belong anywhere, it probably isn’t in publishing. But, then, I keep forgetting that this sense of dissatisfaction explains why work is called “work.”  ... When it comes to corporate life, especially at its higher altitudes, factors of all kinds tend to get tangled up with each other. And it’s impossible to untangle them, and pointless, and fruitless, to try." 
Publishing is a complicated affair, but unlike Menaker, I don't think it is "impossible, pointless, or fruitless" to try to untangle the factors that drive the insane world of publishing.

Underneath the ubiquitous background noise of runaway capitalist insanity, there is a counter-productive and equally insane attitude that publishers share with most professions. This can be summed up as "us against them."

Humans form groups - it's what we do as a species, and we wouldn't survive without the drive to congregate. One of the things groups do is identify insiders and outsiders. This can lead to some unfortunate consequences in societies that lack a broader concept of belonging. Police, whose function is to protect and serve, come to identify "their own" as insiders, and civilians (i.e. the public) as outsiders, and potential enemies. Medical professionals end up treating patients as outsiders, people who do not share the rights, or respect, offered to their own group. Politicians end up treating their constituents as opponents, as people they need to manipulate, dominate, or avoid, rather than represent.

Following right along, publishers identify writers as "outsiders," as "them," even though their income depends on the people they publish. This, I believe, is a significant component of the attitude that is shared almost universally among publishers, and which Menaker so eloquently describes in his book. The drawback to this adversarial attitude, particularly as it relates to publishing, is one I attempted to explain in my first meeting with my editor at Random House.

"You sell ideas," I said. "And that is what makes publishing different."

I don't think she understood what I was trying to say. But, there is a good chance Menaker does.

Excerpts are from My Mistake: A Memoir, ­published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. © 2013 by Daniel Menaker.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2 New Literary Agents Seeking Nonfiction: Cooking, History, Memoir, Current Events & more

Here are two new agents seeking nonfiction. Luba Ostashevsky (Ayesha Pande Literary) is interested in nonfiction projects that can instill in readers a sense of wonder about the world as well as those that highlight individuals or problems that we seldom see, or projects that transport us in time or place, or provide distance on the familiar. Rica Allannic (David Black Agency) is interested in cooking, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, history, and memoir projects, as well as in helping authors from diverse backgrounds tell stories that are important to them.

As always, make sure to read the agency website and agent bio before submitting. The publishing world is in constant flux, and agents may switch agencies or change their submission requirements.

If these agents don't suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of over 100 agents actively seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Luba Ostashevsky of Ayesha Pande Literary

Luba Ostashevsky has worked in book publishing for over 15 years, most recently as senior editor at Palgrave Macmillan, where she edited the popular science list under the Macmillan Science imprimatur. She then went on to science publishing, first as deputy editor at Nautilus magazine; then as freelance writer, contributing to publications such as Aeon, Mental Floss, Popular Science, Al Jazeera, and the Hechinger Report.

What she is seeking: Luba is interested in nonfiction projects that can instill in readers a sense of wonder about the world as well as those that highlight individuals or problems that we seldom see, or projects that transport us in time or place, or provide distance on the familiar. That includes titles that will sit on the science, current events, and history shelves.

How to submit: Fill out the form on the website HERE.


Rica Allannic of David Black Agency

A graduate of the New York City public school system and Yale University, Rica worked in professional kitchens for five years (Daniel and Picholine) before being lured into book publishing by Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. In 2005, she joined Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she became Vice President and Executive Editor, specializing in acquiring and editing illustrated cookbooks and narrative nonfiction. Authors with whom Rica was privileged to work include David Chang of Momofuku; Peter Meehan of Lucky Peach magazine; Christina Tosi of Milk Bar; French blogger and tastemaker Mimi Thorisson; bestselling author Luke Barr; Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa; and restaurateur and The Chew cohost Michael Symon. Rica brings her love of food and everything French to her role as a literary agent.

What she is seeking: Rica is interested in cooking, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, history, and memoir projects, as well as in helping authors from diverse backgrounds tell stories that are important to them.

How to submit: You may query Rica by email. Please summarize your book idea and include in the body of your email your proposal and, if appropriate, a sample chapter (no attachments, please) and send to:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

3 New Literary Agents Seeking Romance, Thrillers, Scifi, Fantasy, and more

Here are three new literary agents seeking writers. Ann Leslie Tuttle (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret) is actively seeking all kinds of romance from contemporaries, historicals, and romantic suspense to paranormals and inspirationals. Julie Tibbott (Jill Corcoran Literary Agency) wants psychological thrillers; clever mysteries; speculative fiction; fantasy with one foot in the real world; high-concept fiction and nonfiction with a pop culture connection. Ali Herring (Spencerhill) is interested in commercial YA and MG (esp. sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction.

As always, make sure to read the agency website and agent bio before submitting. The publishing world is in constant flux, and agents may switch agencies or change their submission requirements.

If these agents don't suit your needs, you can find a comprehensive list of over 100 agents actively seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Julie Tibbott of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency

Julie was previously a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she worked on intriguing science fiction by Diane Duane, sweeping historical fiction by Carolyn Meyer, the morbidly hilarious YA works of Gina Damico, and dark, beautiful fantasy by Sarah Porter, among many others.

What she is seeking: For both teen and adult audiences, Julie is looking for: psychological thrillers; clever mysteries; speculative fiction; fantasy with one foot in the real world; high-concept fiction and nonfiction with a pop culture connection; and generally, works infused with a touch of the surreal, spooky, absurd, quirky, or magical.

How to submit: Fill out the form on the website HERE.

Ali Herring of Spencerhill Associates

Ali Herring joined Spencerhill in 2017 after moving back to Georgia from Connecticut, where she interned for a literary agency in the greater NYC metro area. A former magazine associate editor, Ali has a diverse background in communications and editing. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Berry College in 2001, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Ali is excited to find new voices and build great relationships within the writing community.

What she is seeking: Commercial YA and MG (esp. sci-fi, fantasy and adventure), romance, southern women’s fiction, and Christian/inspirational fiction – all with a marketable hook, captivating voice, fantastical world building and inventive plots. For MG: commercial MG with a humorous/witty voice, likable protags and awesome sidekicks; meaningful, realistic situations built around great plots (think Wonder); and uplifting, relatable, empowering stories for girls. She’s a voracious reader of sci-fi, but not a huge fan of superheroes, vampires (except for Edward), witches, erotica or anything overtly dark.

How to submit: Fill out the form on the website HERE or send a query letter to Attach the first three chapters and synopsis preferably in .doc, rtf or txt format.


Ann Leslie Tuttle of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

Ann Leslie Tuttle started at DG&B September 5, 2017, after working for 20 years at Harlequin Books where she most recently was a Senior Editor. At Harlequin, she was fortunate to work on an extensive and varied list of bestselling and award-winning titles in romance and women’s fiction. She received her B.A. degree from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. Finding and nurturing talented new writers has always been Ann Leslie’s passion.

What she is seeking: Ann is actively seeking all kinds of romance from contemporaries, historicals, and romantic suspense to paranormals and inspirationals.

How to submit: Query Ann at: Include the first 25 pages of your manuscript (or closest chapter break). See full submission guidelines here.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2 New Agents Actively Seeking Kidlit, Speculative Fiction, Memoir, Romance & more

Here are two new agents open to queries. Meg LaTorre-Snyder (Corvisiero Literary) is interested in representing Fantasy, Historical fiction, Romance (with magical elements), Space opera, Steam punk and Thrillers (with magical elements). Lucinda Karter (Jennifer Lyons Agency) is seeking a range of fiction—adult, young adult, and children’s; history, biography, memoir, and food; finance and economics; and novelty books.

As always, make sure to read the agency website, including submission guidelines and the agent's bio, before submitting. The publishing industry is in constant flux, and agents may switch to another agency or change their submission requirements.

NOTE: You can find a comprehensive list of dozens of agents - both new and established - who are actively looking for new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.


Meg LaTorre-Snyder of Corvisiero Literary 

Meg LaTorre-Snyder is an editor and writer with a background in magazine publishing, journalism, medical writing, and website creation. With her background, she’s excited to have a hands-on editorial partnership with authors. She has written for digital and print publications on a variety of topics, including book publishing, writing how-tos, nutrition, healthy living, startup companies, and pharmaceuticals. In her free time, she enjoys working on her own adult fantasy manuscript, reading long novels, drinking tea by the bucket, running in competitive races, participating in musical productions, playing basketball, and reading nutrition textbooks (yep, textbooks). To learn more about Meg, visit her website, follow her on Twitter/Facebook, and subscribe to her YouTube channel, iWriterly.

What she is seeking: YA, NA, and adult:

Historical fiction
Romance (with magical elements)
Space opera
Steam punk
Thrillers (with magical elements)
She loves books written in third-person with multiple POVs, quirky, realistic characters, and rich descriptions.

Meg is not interested in nonfiction, picture books, contemporary stories (particularly those with no magical elements), erotica, horror, dystopian, screenplays, poetry, short stories, and novellas.

How to Submit: Send your query, first five pages, and 1-2 page synopsis in the body of an email (no attachments) to with the following information in the subject line:

Query for Meg: [TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT IN ALL CAPS], [age group], [genre]

Lucinda Karter of Jennifer Lyons Agency

Lucinda Karter has spent more than 25 years in publishing, working for the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency, Doubleday, HarperCollins, and W.W. Norton, among others. Most recently, she served for 15 years as director of the French Publishers’ Agency, where she agented works such as Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française and Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation and other bestsellers to worldwide English-language publishers. She has translated fiction, memoir, and children’s literature from French to English and served as a juror for the annual Prix Anaïs Nin in Paris. In 2002, she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

What she is looking for: Her interests as an agent include: a range of fiction—adult, young adult, and children’s; history, biography, memoir, and food; finance and economics; and novelty books.

How to submit: Queries and submissions for Lucinda Karter should go to

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

11 Literary Fiction Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

Image by Kathy Buckalew
Here are eleven publishers looking for literary fiction - no agent needed.

Make sure to read the submission requirements on the publishers' websites before submitting. (Submission guidelines for publishing houses are not the same as queries to agents.)

The difference between commercial and literary fiction can be subtle. In general, commercial fiction is formulaic, whereas literary fiction tends to experiment with form and style. Commercial fiction falls into genres - science fiction, chick lit, romance, etc. - whereas literary fiction may cross or blend genres, or depart from them entirely. Literary fiction also places greater value on the craft of writing, which is not to say that genre fiction can't be well written, but in the case of literary fiction, the writing is front and center.

NOTE: You can find more than 150 publishers accepting unagented submissions - broken down by genre - here: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

8th House Publishing

8th House Publishing is a small company based in Montreal and New York. They publish poetry, literary novels, philosophy, and other "earnest work." Their list consists of 34 books by 26 authors.

Submissions: "What we like at 8th House: modern, radical, enduring, insightful, inventive... Whether it's an essay, a philosophy tract, or a novel, a book of verse." Send a sample of your work (2 or 3 chapters and a full table of contents) along with a query letter to :

Academy Chicago Publishers
Academy Chicago Publishers is a trade book publisher founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1975 by Anita and Jordan Miller. It was purchased by Chicago Review Press in 2014. Its titles have been released around the world and translated into more than a dozen languages. They do not publish fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, novellas, or YA fiction.

Submissions: ACP requires a proposal for fiction submissions. (See site for details.) Fiction proposals are considered on a quarterly basis - March, June, September, and December. Response time is the last day of the quarter.


BlazeVOX is an independent publisher based in Buffalo, New York in 2000. Blaze has published more than 350 books of poetry and prose, most of which fall within the sphere of avant-garde literature. BlazeVOX aims to "disseminate poetry, through print and digital media, both within academic spheres and to society at large," and to "push at the frontiers of what is possible." They publish works "regardless of commercial viability."

Submissions: Send the manuscript to as an attachment in either a Microsoft Word doc, RTF, or even a PDF is fine. Blaze does not pay advances or arrange for book tours. Authors should be prepared to do marketing. Royalties are 10%.
Cedar Fort
Cedar Fort is an established house that publishes over 120 books a year. Their books are available nationally through major distribution companies including Ingram Content Group, Baker & Taylor, and ReaderLink as well as through major retail corporations like Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sam’s Club, and Indigo in Canada. Cedar Fort is active in selling foreign language rights, and they attend the Frankfurt Book Fair every year to present their frontlist titles internationally.

Submissions: Cedar Fort accepts all manuscript submissions through Submittable. "Your submission is reviewed not just for its content, but as a business venture to which the publisher contributes significant capital investment. Your ability to actively support the promotion of your work and brand in the market is an important consideration during the process. Please include any audience or following you have built for your name or brand and on what platforms, if applicable." 
City Lights Publishers
City Lights Publishers has launched several famous poets, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, but this press also specializes in "cutting edge" literary fiction and nonfiction. City Lights publishes 12 books a year and has over 200 books in print. They do not publish children's literature or genre works such as romance, westerns, or science fiction.

Submissions: Submit a proposal only via snail mail. (See details on the site.)

Manic D Press

Manic D Press is an American literary press based in San Francisco, California publishing fiction novels and short stories, poetry, and graphic novels. It was founded by Jennifer Joseph in 1984 as an alternative outlet for young writers seeking to bring their work into print. Manic D Press books are distributed throughout the US by Consortium, Last Gasp, and wholesalers including Ingram and Baker & Taylor; in the UK and EU by Turnaround PSL; in Canada by Publishers Group Canada; and throughout the world by Perseus.

How to submit: Email submissions are preferred. Printed manuscripts are read twice a year, during the months of January and July ONLY. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, just let them know if your work has been accepted elsewhere or if (and where) it has been previously published. Read full guidelines HERE.
Mid-List Press

Mid-List Press publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books by new and emerging writers and by writers ignored, marginalized, or excluded from publication by commercial publishers. Mid-List is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit literary organization.

How to submit: Query first by regular mail with a few representative poems. They do not accept emailed or faxed queries. Read full guidelines HERE.

Milkweed Editions

Milkweed Editions is one of the nation’s leading independent, nonprofit literary publishers. Publishing fifteen to twenty books each year, they have some three hundred titles in print, and nearly four million copies of their books in circulation. Genres: Fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry collections. They do not publish romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, crime, or westerns.

Submissions: Milkweed Editions accepts unsolicited manuscripts from authors of all backgrounds, Submissions that do not initially meet the guidelines will not be considered. Please read full guidelines here.  Please submit a query letter with three opening chapters (of a novel) or three representative stories (of a collection). Milkweed has one open submission period a year. (Last year it was in May.)

Persea Books
Persea Books is an independent, literary publishing house founded in 1975 by Michael Braziller and Karen Braziller, who still own and direct the company. Genres: Poetry, fiction, essays, memoir, biography, titles of Jewish and Middle Eastern interest, women's studies, American Indian folklore, and YA. Response time: Eight weeks for proposals and 12 weeks for requested manuscript. Submissions: Queries should include a cover letter, author background and publication history, a synopsis of the proposed work, and a sample chapter. Send queries and manuscripts to or to the appropriate editor (Fiction or Nonfiction), Persea Books, 277 Broadway, Suite 708, New York, NY 10007.

Submissions: Read their submission guidelines here.
Red Hen Press

Red Hen Press is an independent, non-profit press that publishes about twenty books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry every year. "We’re looking for novels, memoir, creative nonfiction, hybrid works, and story, essay, and poetry collections of exceptional literary merit that demonstrate a high level of mastery."

How to submit: Submissions can be made via snail mail or online through submittable ($20 charge). Read full guidelines HERE.

Seven Stories Press

Seven Stories Press publishes "uncompromising" political books, fiction, and poetry. The press is named after the first seven authors to publish with Seven Stories: Octavia E. Butler, Annie Ernaux, Gary Null, Project Censored, Charley Rosen, Vassilis Vassilikos, and the estate of Nelson Algren. They publish in English, in Spanish, in hardcover, and paperback, usually with simultaneous e-book editions in all major e-formats, books as long as 1,500 pages, and pamphlets or children’s books as short as 28 pages, for adults, for young adults and for children.

Submissions: Manuscript submissions, accompanied by a cover letter and two sample chapters only, with a SASE or postcard for reply, to:

Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street
New York, NY 10013

Friday, September 1, 2017

35 Calls for Submissions in September 2017 - Paying Markets

Photo by Jenna Martin
There are nearly three dozen calls for submissions in September.

Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets. There are no submission fees.

Many of these journals have recurring calls for submissions, so if you miss this window, you can always submit during the next reading period.

For more literary journals seeking submissions and to get a jump on next month's open calls see: Paying Markets.

ParabolaGenres: Nonfiction, poetry, rarely fiction. Theme: Families. Payment: From $150 to $400 for articles. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

ContraryGenres: Fiction, poetry, commentary. Payment: $20. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Subterrain. Genres: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Payment: Poetry: $50 per poem; Prose: $50 per page. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Skirt! MagazineGenre: Personal essays. Theme: Going offline or off the grid. Payment: $200 per piece. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Timeless TalesGenre: Retellings of fairy tales and myths. Must relate to theme. Theme: Rumpelstiltskin. Payment: $20/story. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Retro Future is a quarterly pulp magazine that searches for diverse, surprising, and progressive science fiction in art, prose, essay, and comics. Theme: Resistance. Payment: Meets or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines (6 cents/word). Deadline: September 1, 2017.

MotherwellGenre: Essay. "What happens to a woman’s career after kids? We are looking for fresh perspectives, up to 1,400 words, that tackle the emotional and practical issues involved in combining being a mom with pursuing a career. Interpretations might include: the decision to stay home (or not) when the kids are young; the realities of the part-time or work-from-home experience; re-entry (or not) into the workforce once the children are older. We are open to a range of styles." Payment: $50. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

The Beauty of Death 2 - Death By Water AnthologyGenre: Horror. Length: 4000-5000 words. Payment: $100. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

MslexiaGenre: Stories, poems, and scripts on theme of "Yesteryear." 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: September 4, 2017.

Menagerie de Mythique Anthology Call: Mythical Creatures AnthologyGenre: Short stories. "Creatures of myth and fantasy have long been a fascination in cultures throughout the the world. Did they ever exist? Do they still exist now? Imagine a time where these creatures were plentiful. Or perhaps, when they once were but now there is only one or two left. We are looking for stories centered on such creatures, be they unicorns, dragons, griffins, chimeras, or something unknown." Word Count: 500-10,500. Payment: One half-cent per word, with a minimum payment of $5.00 and a maximum of $15.00. Reprints: $10 maxDeadline: September 5, 2017.

Chicken Soup for the SoulGenre: True story. Theme: My Crazy Family! Payment: $200.  Deadline: September 5, 2017.

Meet Cute MagazineGenre: Romantic short stories and nonfiction. Payment: $5.  Deadline: September 8, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Alien DimensionsGenre: Speculative fiction. "Strong Female Alien Lead Fighting Other Aliens to Protect Humans.” Payment: $10. Deadline: September 10, 2017.

Broken Pencil. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction. Payment: $30 - 300. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

AptGenres: Fiction, poetry, essays. Payment: $50 for print edition. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Eye to the TelescopeGenre: Speculative poetry on theme: "Evolving Gender.” Payment: Minimum US $3, maximum $25. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Hinnom Magazine. Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Payment: $5- $25. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Southward. Genres: Poetry, fiction. Payment: €30 per poem and €120 per short story. Deadline: September 15, 2017.
London Playwrights. Genre: Short scripts based of the themes: home, culture, and boarders. They are accepting scripts, skits, comedy, poetry, and more. Each piece should be within the time frame of 2-9 minutes, and have 1-6 characters. Payment: £50. Deadline: September 16, 2017.

SplicketyGenre: Flash fiction. Theme: Wreck the Halls. Payment: 2 cents per word. Deadline: September 22, 2017.

Cricket. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, activities for children 9-14. Theme: People of Peace. Payment: 25 cents per word for stories and articles, and $3 per line for poetry. They pay $75 for activities. Deadline: September 22, 2017.

Tiny Tim. Genre: Disability narratives. Theme: Framing health and disability through the lens of nature. What is natural? What is unnatural? Why does this matter for stories that touch on health or disability? Payment: $50. Deadline: September 24, 2017.

The Puritan. Genre: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction. Payment: $20 for fiction, $15 for poetry, $100 for essays, interviews. Deadline: September 25, 2017.

TRIBE “will be a print anthology exploring the lives and experiences of older, single women and will include poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction, personal narrative, prose poems… about all and any topics that affect women. It will be published by LPwordsolutions in Nanaimo, BC. The project welcomes contributors who are women 55 years of age and older from anywhere in the world who are single, meaning “single, (by choice or circumstance), widowed or divorced” and not currently living, or planning to live, “in a permanent domestic relationship with a partner of either gender.” Payment: “Contributors will be paid a small honorarium ($25) and contributors’ copies, with 50%+ of any net profits from the book going to a women’s charity… determined with input from anthology contributors.” Deadline: September 30, 2017.

New Writing ScotlandRestrictions: Open to residents of Scotland, or Scots by birth, upbringing or inclination. Genres: All. Payment: £20 per published page. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Consequence MagazineGenre: Short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, interviews, visual art, and reviews primarily focused on the culture of war. Theme: Women who write about war. Payment: Poetry: $25 per page; Prose: $10 per page ($250 maximum); Translations:$15 per page ($250 maximum). Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Vagabondage Ink Stains AnthologyGenre: Horror, gothic, paranormal, fantasy, steampunk, and black comedy. Length: 3,000-20,0000 words. Payment: $5 for stories 4,999 words and under, $10 for stories 5,000-9,999 words, $15 for stories 10,000-14,999 and $20 for 15,000-20,000 words. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Books and Boos. Genre: Humorous horror. Length: 4,000–8,000 words. Payment: $50. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Write Naked. Genre: Blog post about writing. Length: 450-650 words. Payment: $50. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

The He-Man Woman-Haters Club AnthologyGenre: Humorous short stories using “Our Gang-type” plots with Trump's gang as personas - but as children. Setting: Mar-a-Lago. Payment: 6 cents per word. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Spoon Knife 3: Incursions. Genre: Fiction and poetry on the theme of incursions by one reality into another. "All submissions should in some way touch upon or be relevant to the themes of neurodivergence, queerness, and/or the intersections of neurodivergence and queerness." Payment: 1 cent per word. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Tales from the Fluffy Bunny. Genre: Fantasy stories that feature your main character telling a tale about how they or their weapon earned their name. Humor is a plus. All stories need to start with: “This is my tale…” Payment: $5.00 flat rate plus equal share of 50% of the anthology’s royalties. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. Genres: Fiction, poetry, fairy tales. Issues are themed. Payment: $30 per story, $10 per poem. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Nashville Review . Genres: Fiction, poetry. Payment: $100 for fiction, $25 for poetry. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Writer’s Chronicle. "The editors look for articles that demonstrate an excellent working knowledge of literary issues and a generosity of spirit that esteems the arguments of other writers on similar topics." Genre: Nonfiction. Payment: $18 per 100 words. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

32 Writing Contests in September 2017 - No entry fees

There are more than two dozen free writing contests in September. They cover the full range of topics, styles and genres, from short stories, to essays, to poetry, to full-length works.

In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are held annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.


Writers in Oxford CompetitionRestrictions: Oxfordshire writers aged 18-30.  Genre: Fiction, nonfiction. "Submissions are invited of a piece of writing ‘Inspired by Oxford.’ The work can be fiction or non-fiction, up to 500 words in length, and can have been previously published." Prize: Two prizes of £350 and three prizes of £100. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

PEN Prison Writing ContestRestrictions: Anyone incarcerated in a federal, state, or county prison in the year before the September 1 deadline is eligible to enter. Genres: Poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction. Prize: $200 top prize per category. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Cheshire Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK. Genre: Original and previously unpublished children's story or poem. Prize: £2,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Helen Schaible Shakespearean/Petrarchan Sonnet ContestGenre: Poetry. Prize: $50, 2nd Prize $35, 3rd Prize $15, three Honorable Mentions, three Special Recognitions. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

On The Premises Short Story Contest. "For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the idea of community (or some kind of community) plays an important role." Prize: Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art WritingGenre: Scholarly essay. All work submitted must have been written or published within the last year. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Concis Pith of Prose and Poem ContestGenre: Poems, prose poems, visual poems, flash fiction, micro-essays or what-have-you. Prize: First prize $250 and publication. Deadline: September 3, 2017.

Pitch America  is a pitch contest created by Laura Pohl to focus on submissions and books produced by Latino voices. This contest will feature the first 500 words and the 35-word pitch of completed and polished manuscripts written by Latinos. Please keep it in mind that this exclusively for Latino writers. Prize: Chance at representation. Deadline: September 3, 2017

Young Lions Fiction AwardRestrictions: Open to US citizens 35 years of age or younger. Genre: Novel or a collection of short stories published between January 2017 and December 2017. Submissions by publisher only. Authors may not submit their own work. Prize: $10,000.00. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Solid Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Essay (See site for topics.) Minimum number of words is 600 and maximum is 800. Prize: Scholarship of $1000. Deadline: September 8, 2017.

Michael Marks Awards for Poetry PamphletsRestrictions: Poetry poetry pamphlet must be published in the UK between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. Genre: Poetry. Prize:  £5,000. Deadline: September 13, 2017.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingGenre: Book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN$25,000.00. Deadline: Books published between July 5 and September 12 must be received by September 13, 2017.

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

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: September 15, 2017.

Cha International Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Each poem must be a translation (loosely defined) of a text (loosely defined) from/about Hong Kong or China, written originally in English or Chinese, into a poem that is about contemporary Hong Kong. Prize: First Prize US$1501; Second Prize US$800; Third Prize US$400 and five Commended Prizes, each US$100.  Deadline: September 15, 2017.

The PEN/Heim Translation FundGenre: Book-length works of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama in translation. Beginning in 2017, under the administering of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, PEN will also offer the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature. From the pool of annual submissions, judges for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund will select one project of narrative prose that has been translated into English from the Italian to receive this award, which will come with a $5,000 prize. Prize: $2000 - $4000. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Outlook Springs Creative Nonfiction PrizeGenre: Creative nonfiction between 1,500 and 8,000 words. Prize: $500. Deadline: September 15, 2017.

Past Loves Day Story ContestGenre: Short personal essay. "Nearly everyone has memories of a former sweetheart. Write your true story of an earlier love, in no more than 700 words. Tell us about someone whose memory brings a smile or a tear." Prize: $100 top prize. Deadline: September 17, 2017.

Good Read Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 19 or older at time of entry. Genre: Personal essay. What was the happiest moment of your life? Prize: $3,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.

2017 Inspiring the World Journalism CompetitionGenre: Journalistic article on an inspiring theme. (See site for list of themes and examples.) Word count: 500 to 1,000 words. Prize:  $5,000. Deadline: September 18, 2017.

Kathy Fish Fellowship for Emerging WritersRestrictions: All writers previously unpublished in SmokeLong Quarterly and who do not have a published chapbook or book-length work in any genre (or are not under contract for such) are eligible to apply. Genre: Flash fiction (1000 words max). Prize: $500. Deadline: September 20, 2017. (The contest is free up until Sept 20, but requires fee after that date.)

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers ProgramRestrictions: Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK books are also ineligible for submission. Genres: Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience. Prize: $35,000 to six writers. Deadline: September 21, 2017.

Sunday Times EFG Short Story AwardRestrictions: The award is open to any novelist or short story writer from around the world who is published in the UK. Genre: Short story. Prize: £30,000.Deadline: September 28, 2017.

Writers Online Picture Book PrizeGenre: Unagented and unpublished picture book up to 800 words. (No illustrations.) Prize: £200 and critique. Deadline: September 29, 2017.

Cullman Center Fellowships. Fellowship. The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers—academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Award: A stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources. Deadline: September 29, 2017.

Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Lee & Low Books New Voices Award is sponsored by Lee &Low Publishers. Restrictions: The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a children’s picture book published. Genre: Children's books - fiction, nonfiction or poetry. Prize: $1,000 and publication. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Iowa Short Fiction and John Simmons Short Fiction AwardsGenre: Short story collection. The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. Prize: Publication by the University of Iowa Press, royalties. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is held four times a year. Restrictions: The Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least six cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits. Genre: Short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500, Annual Grand Prize: $5,000.  Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction ContestGenre: Short fiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Solution Loans Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to UK residents 18 years and up. Genre: Short fiction on theme of "Coins." Prize: £200 and publication on the Solution Loans website. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Salisbury Story PrizeGenre: Short fiction (500 words) on theme of "City of Stories. Open to ages 4 and up. Prize: £50 for children to be spent at Waterstones. Free online course for adults. Deadline: September 30, 2017.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

35 Fabulous Writing Conferences in September 2017

If you have the time and the money, attending a conference is the best thing you can do for your writing career. Conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with other writers, meet agents and pitch your book, and learn how the publishing industry works from editors and professionals in the field.

There are nearly three dozen exciting conferences in September. Workshops, retreats, and festivals are held in locations that span the country. If you miss your perfect conference, don't worry. Many of these are annual events, so plan ahead for next year!

For a month-by-month list of conferences throughout the year see: Writing Conferences. (You will also find links to resources that can help you find conferences in your area on that page.)


DragonCon. Sept. 1–4, 2017, Atlanta, Ga. HUGE sci-fi event, with parade, autograph sessions, live performances, readings, wrestling (!), workshops on belly dancing, writing (yes, there's even some writing), art show. (This conference sounds really wild.)

2017 LoonSong Retreat. September 7-11, 2017, Cook, Minnesota. Award winning writers and teachers: Gary Schmidt, MT Anderson, Candace Flemming, Eric Rohmann, Marion Dane Bauer and more in an intimate setting for those who write for Children and Young Adults.

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. Sept 8 - 10, 2017: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Craft and query workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and readings for creative nonfiction writers. Faculty: TBA.

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Denver, CO. Keynote Speakers: Diana Gabaldon, Sherry Thomas & Lori Rader-Day. Faculty includes a wide variety of published authors, marketers, editors, and agents. Opportunities to pitch projects to agents and editors.

Connecticut Fiction Fest. Sponsored by Connecticut Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, Norwalk, CT. Keynote Heather Graham, master class taught by Jane Friedman. 20+ workshops, suitable for all genres and skill levels, full suspense-mystery track, manuscript critiques, opportunities to pitch major agents and editors.

Poets on the Coast. Sept. 8- 10, 2017, La Conner, Washington. Workshop, one-on-one mentoring, craft classes, and yoga for women poets. The faculty includes poets Kelli Russell Agodon and Susan Rich. Tuition, which does not include lodging or meals, is $395. Waitlisted.

49 Writers Tutka Bay Retreat. Sept. 8- 10, 2016, Tutka Bay, Alaska. Guest Instructor: Louise Erdrich.

Creatures, Crimes & Creativity. September 8 - 10, 2017, Columbia, MD. A writer's and fan's conference for genre fiction covering mystery, suspense, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk & horror.

San Francisco Writing for Change. Sept 9, 2017, San Francisco, CA. This event is for writers of nonfiction AND fiction who want to change the world for the better through their work.

Slice Literary Writers’ Conference. Sept 9 - 10, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Craft workshops, panels, and one-on-one agent meetings for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Participating authors include fiction writers Julia Fierro, Angela Flournoy, Justin Taylor, and Hannah Tinti; and nonfiction writer Alison Kinney. Participating publishing professionals include Ibrahim Ahmad (Akashic Books), Helen Atsma (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Libby Flores (PEN USA), Margaux Weisman (Knopf); and agents Andrea Barzvi (Empire Literary), Michelle Brower (Aevitas Creative Management), Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Union Literary), Mark Gottlieb (Trident Media Group), Erin Harris (Folio Literary Management), Annie Hwang (Folio Literary Management), Jeff Kleinman (Folio Literary Management), Kate McKean (Howard Morhaim Literary), Christina Morgan (Serendipity Literary), Andrea Morrison (Writers House), Monica Odom (Bradfor Literary), Anjali Singh (Ayesha Pande Literary), Sarah Smith (David Black Literary), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary).

UCLA Extension Writing Retreat at Lake Arrowhead. Sept 10 - 15, 2017, Lake Arrowhead, CA. Join a small group of committed writers for four full days of uninterrupted writing time at UCLA’s beautiful conference center at Lake Arrowhead. Participants will enjoy private bedrooms, private baths, and three gourmet meals each day, along with complimentary beverages all day long. The Writers’ Program will coordinate some structured activities, including pre-dinner social hours and nightly open mic events, but your time will ultimately be yours to accomplish your writing goals at your own pace.

Brooklyn Book Festival. September 11-17, 2017, Brooklyn, NY. Readings, panels, workshops, and a book fair. Participants include Karl Ove Knausgård, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud, Chris Hayes, Carolyn Forché, Sarah Dessen, Alexandra Bracken, Thi Bui, Lynn Nottage, Hisham Matar, Maira Kalman and hundreds more! All events are free and open to the public.

Haiku North America Conference. September 13 - 17, 2017, Santa Fe, NM. Conference devoted to haiku as a literary art. Includes presentations, readings, panels, bookfair, exhibits, banquet, anthology. Faculty: William Higginson, Jane Hirshfield, Jim Hackett, George Swede, Haruo Shirane, Sonia Sanchez, John Brandi, Michael Dylan Welch, Jim Kacian, Lee Gurga, Emiko Miyashita, Fay Aoyagi, Ce Rosenow, Lucien Stryk, Gerald Vizenor, Charles Trumbull, Richard Gilbert.

Algonkian Writer Retreat and Novel Workshop. September 13 - 17, 2017, Sterling,Virginia. This event is now enhanced with new pre-event studies and pre-event phone consultation, a broader range of faculty, an array of vital workshops, as well as extended personal time with business professionals. "You can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, have your work read by our writer mentors, attend our workshops, pitch a literary agent or two, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer.

Hampton Roads Writers Ninth Annual Writers' Conference. Sept 14 -16, 2017, Virginia Beach, Virginia. 1 evening plus 2 full days of workshops, 2 best-selling keynoters, 2 first ten-lines critique sessions, 50 workshops during 10 breakout sessions, ten-minute agent pitches, NO-FEE, cash-prize contests for short fiction, short non-fiction, and poetry, FREE 90-minute networking social with food and drink, and evening 2-hr open mic session. Optional conference features include: first 10-pages manuscript review. Workshops cover fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, and the business of getting published. A book shop, book signings, and many networking opportunities will be available.

Historical Realities In Fiction For Children 2017. Sept 14 – 17, 2017, Honesdale, PA. "Join professor, linguist, and author Donna Jo Napoli with her special guest, Professor of Latino/a Literature and Culture and Youth Literature and Media, Marilisa Jiménez García, as they work with you to build an understanding of the role of writing stories to process historical narratives. There will be daily lectures from the faculty paired with one-on-one feedback on your own writing. Build a deeper understanding of the role fiction plays in understanding our shared history."

Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Sept. 15–16, 2017, Lexington, KY. The Kentucky Women Writers Conference is the longest running literary festival of women in the nation. About 1,000 individuals attend the conference each year. Daytime sessions attract about 150 writers at all stages of development, and free evening events gather a lively community of readers. Most come seeking literary sisterhood, help with a manuscript, or practical advice about the publishing industry. Many are students or beginning writers.

2017 Free Expressions Seminars-Emotional Craft of Fiction. Sept. 15–16, 2017, Seattle, WA. Featuring Donald Maass. Based on psychological research and extensive study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, workshop participants will discover how to go beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers--one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable.

Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Columbus, GA, "Whether you write prose or poetry you can explore capturing thoughts, observations, and reflections with the written word. The sessions will be criticism free. You will be exposed to various writers and their styles, and work on editing, polishing and expanding writings into something that is reflective of your personality and talents. You should leave with a piece of original work and a sense of writing as an avenue to discovering self."

Be a Better Freelancer  Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Rochester NY. Annual conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, website managers and developers, etc., with presenters offering guidance and tips on marketing, promotions, new skills and other business aspects of freelancing. Focus: Nonfiction.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at Boulder. Sept 15 - 16, 2017, Boulder, CO. Presentations, panels, readings, and music performances. Themes at the 2017 festival include migration, U.S. gun culture, nature and the environment, Native American rights, and LGBT, Latino, African American, and Native American voices. Authors include fiction writers Anosh Irani, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez, Navtej Singh Sarna, and Akhil Sharma; and nonfiction writers Johanna Hanink, Paulo Lemos Horta, Erling Kagge, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta. The conference is free, but you have to register in advance.

Historical Writers of America. September 21 - 24, 2017: Albuquerque, New Mexico. 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.

New York Pitch Conference. Sept 21 - 24, 2017, New York NY. Features publishing house editors from major houses such as Penguin, Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, Tor and Del Rey, Kensington Books and many more who are looking for new novels in a variety of genres, as well as narrative non-fiction. The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals.Workshops, homework & pitch training, agent/editor feedback, market study, publication plan.

North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Crescent City, CA. Workshops on writing, poetry, memoir, editing, social media, marketing, fiction, submitting.

Ridgefield Writers Conference. Sept 22 - 23, 2017, Ridgefield, CT. Faculty-led workshops; agent, editor and publisher panels; networking; readings; and post-conference resources. Registration closes Sept 1.

Big Sur on Cape Cod. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, North Falmouth MA. Faculty: Andrea Brown and four of her agents, four editors and four authors.

A Weekend For Words. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Irvine, CA. 60+ working, professional authors of fiction, nonfiction & screen, editors & agents. Costs $325-$425. Manuscript critique & one-on-one consultation additional.

LiTFUSE Poets’ Workshop. September 22 - 24, 2017, Tieton, WA. Faculty Paisley Rekdal, Tod Marshall, Nance Van Winckel, Joe Wilkins, Tim McNutly, Derek Sheffield, Michael Schmeltzer, Alexander Dang, Carolyne Wright, Christine Holbert, LaRae Wiley, and Shankar Narayan.

The Pacific Coast Children's Novel Workshop & Retreat. Sept 22 - 24, 2017, Santa Cruz, CA. Intensive seminar offers editor or agent feedback on selected whole-novel manuscripts, including two in-person consults with your mentor. Editor and agent critiques on your polished, opening chapters. Faculty includes Katherine Harrison, Editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers, Brianne Johnson, Senior Agent at Writers House, and Sarah Landis, Agent at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, St. Augustine, Florida. Among this year's scheduled authors are Ann Taylor, Christopher Tozier, Andrew Nagorski, Rich Wickliffe, Elizabeth Randall, Marty Jourard, and many more.

Western Reserve Writers Conference. Sept 23, 2017, South Euclid, Ohio. This free one-day writing conference takes place at Cuyahoga County Public Library's William N. Skirball Writers' Center, located in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch library. It features a choice of breakout sessions, a keynote address, and private sessions with editors. It occurs annually on the 4th Saturday in September.

2017 Flathead River Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Kalispell, MT. Writers help writers in this two day conference packed with energizing speakers and workshops. Features:Workshops on VOICE, HOOK, Your WORLD & TRIBE, MS preparation & submission, working with agents, movie deals, media use, & children's book publishing. Authors: Susan Adrian, Christine Carbo, Kathy Dunnehoff, Larry J. Martin, Jess Owen. Agents: Kate Testerman and Cindy Uh.

2nd Annual Broadleaf Writers Conference. Sept 23 - 24, 2017, Decatur, GA. In addition to attending sessions, you will have the opportunity to schedule a five-minute one-on-one session with an agent.

The Journey: Your Path To Publication 2017. Sept 24 – 27, 2017. In this workshop, you will learn more about some of the steps toward publication of your picture book and discover ways to set goals for yourself. Picture book author/illustrator Don Tate and picture book author Carmen Oliver will also give you information and tools "encouraging you to savor the process and to enjoy the journey."

2017 Free Expressions Seminars -Writing the Breakout Novel. Sept 25 - Oct 1, 2017, Tampa, FL. Featuring Donald Maass. Included are new or revised units on story discovery, strong voice, standout characters, the inner journey, compelling story worlds, beautiful writing, creating resonance and finding meaning in both story and process. Breakout fundamentals are also covered: strong characters, inner conflict, personal stakes, plot layers, powerful scenes, micro-tension, practical theme techniques and much more.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Writing Op-Eds

According to an old Chinese curse, we are living in "interesting times," which means many of us have the sudden urge to express ourselves about the path our country is taking. In this regard, writers have an advantage. We are trained to express our thoughts via the written word.

One of the best ways to get your views to the public is through an op-ed. Op-eds (originally "opposite the editorial page") are short, succinct opinion pieces. Like letters to the editor, they always refer to current events. (But unlike letters to the editor, they don't necessarily have to cite a recent article.)

Along with letters to the editor, op-eds are the most widely read page on any newspaper. They have the power to influence public opinion, and to shape editorial policy.

How to write an op-ed

Op-eds are journalistic writing; they are brief, to the point, and provide information as well as expressing a point of view. They can be told from a first-person perspective if the writer's personal experience makes an essential contribution to the point being made. When writing an op-ed, keep these tips in mind:

1) Base your op-ed on facts. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but only those opinions that are backed up by factual evidence will get published in a newspaper or online venue.

2) Structure your op-ed as an argument. Most op-eds are meant to be persuasive. Check to see that you have made your point in a logical, structured manner.

3) Pare down your prose. Eliminate excess adjectives and adverbs. Keep your writing direct. The purpose of an op-ed is to convince and/or enlighten readers, not to entertain them.

4) Choose a topic that is timely. You can write an article about anything that is current. For example, you can write about someone who has recently been honored, or you can focus on complex matters that require explanation. You can write a critique, or you can support a particular political position.

Pitching your op-ed

Many news outlets require a pitch either before they consider your op-ed for publication, or sometimes alongside your submitted piece. A pitch is a short introduction to what you intend to write (or have written), and it provides your qualifications. A pitch can be summarized as: "This is why you should publish my piece."

Make absolutely sure you read the guidelines before you submit or pitch your op-ed. Guidelines will define word count limits (usually under 1000), explain how to submit, and so on. Most news outlets will also include how long they will take to make a decision which, because op-eds are timely, is usually a matter of days.

What to include in a pitch:

1) "How is my point of view relevant?" Explain, briefly, why your opinion is important right now.

2) "Why am I the best person to write this op-ed?" Give your qualifications. If you are basing your op-ed on personal experience, explain what that experience is. For example, if you are writing about health care and are disabled, include that information.

3) Summarize what your op-ed is about in two or three sentences.

4) Include all of your contact information.

Where to submit?

The first place to look for an op-ed submission is your local paper. Subscribers and local residents always get first preference when it comes to publishing letters and op-eds. But you can also submit op-eds to publications that have a wide national or international readership. These are harder to get into, but not impossible.

Online news sites, which have proliferated in recent years, will accept submissions from anywhere.


The Op-Ed Project is your go-to site for tips on pitching and writing op-eds. The site also lists over 100 publications that publish op-eds, as well as their submission guidelines.

How to Submit an Op-Ed Article to a Major Website gives some great tips on how to submit an op-ed piece to a major publication. In most cases, newspapers like the New York Times will turn you down. But, if you have a compelling point to make, and the credentials to back it up, high-powered outlets will often publish submissions from writers who are relatively unknown.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Translating Your Self-Published Book

One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you don't have to wait for your publisher to translate your book. You can do it yourself!

Translation can help open your book up to more markets, but keep in mind that your translated book will need to be promoted - just like the original. It helps to do some research into magazines, news services, and/or organizations that might be interested in reviewing or advertising your book abroad.

Authors have several translation options: 1) Translation services that charge nothing, but take a percentage of your sales, 2) Translation services that will translate your book into several languages simultaneously, 3) Freelance translators, who you can find on boards and freelance hubs. Most freelancers and services will give you a free quote, which will depend on the length of your work, and the degree of specialization required.




Babelcube bills itself as the easiest way for authors to team up with translators to sell their books in multiple languages globally. The way it works is quite simple: You upload ten pages of your book, along with a description. Translators then offer to translate your book and translate your ten pages. You can either accept or decline the translation, based on your assessment of the translation.

There is no charge to the author. The incentive for the translator is that for the first $2,000 of sales, the translator receives 55% of revenue generated from sales. The author receives 30%, and Babelcube receives 15% of net receipts. Babelcube distributes translated ebooks to multiple outlets, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Overdrive, Tolino, and many more. Over ten languages are offered. Their system is easy to use, and once the translation, translated cover, blurb, and author bio are uploaded, publication is immediate.

So far, I have used Babelcube to translate my book into Portuguese and French. Both of my translators were excellent, and I was quite pleased with the results. But the problem with a no-risk arrangement is that your translators can simply not follow through. They can miss their deadlines, and fail to respond to your messages. In that case, Babelcube will cancel that translation, and your book then becomes available for another translator in that language. (This has happened to me on more than one occasion.) The administrators at Babelcube are very responsive, and are always willing to answer questions. Nevertheless, waiting for a completed manuscript that never arrives can be frustrating, especially if the topic is timely.


Fiberead offers translations into simplified and traditional Chinese. Translators will translate your book into Chinese at a rate of nine months for 80,000 words with one additional month per 10,000 words. Authors get their own project team that includes editors, translators, illustrators and proofreaders. For digital e-book versions: 30% goes to authors, 30% to professional translators, 5-10% to editors and the rest is re-invested into the Fiberead platform. Authors also have the option of allowing Fiberead to be their agent for printed versions as well, which pays 90% royalties.

I have not tried this service, so I can't offer feedback.




TranslatorsCafé.com is a hub where translators can post their specialties. The site includes a directory of translation agencies and translators, a forum, and a Q&A section. Writers can post a job, or simply browse translators. The site also has a good article on how to choose a translator, as well as the pros and cons of choosing a freelancer as opposed to an agency.


The Proz site features over 300,000 professional translators and translation companies. Freelance translators working in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and other languages, and specializing in legal, medical, technical and other fields, can be contacted directly through the site. You can also post a job. Proz does not charge a fee, but you do have to pay the translator.


This is an international online job board. You post your job to receive quotes from freelance translators. You can also simply search by source language, target language, and specialty.


Book Translation Service

This site is an online job board to find translators for books or documents. They offer free price quotes. You simply post your project, and they match you with translators.

Com Translations
Phone: 818-436-6515

An international agency of more than 5,000 certified translators. They offer instant quotes, first page translation and full-book plans.

Verbumsoft, LLC
Burbank, CA
Phone: 818-748-6235

This is an online marketplace of freelance translators. You post your book/project to obtain free quotes. You can also select a translator. The site includes a helpful table of translation rates.



American Literary Translators Association
Richardson, TX
Phone: 972-883-2092
Website: (Currently moving their website)

Association for translators specializing in literary works. Site includes a directory of member profiles listing their language proficiencies.

American Translators Association
Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-683-6100 M-F 9AM-5PM EST

Association of professional translators and interpreters, including search tools and directories to help you find the right person for your needs.

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