Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 New Year's Resolution for Writers: Begin

I rarely make personal New Year's resolutions. (The one time I did, in 2018, it backfired so spectacularly, I will never resolve something personal again. I now take "Be careful what you wish for" very seriously.) However, all failures aside, I always make writer's resolutions. Those I follow faithfully, and without mishap.

In 2017, I resolved to write what I feared. In my case, it was a memoir. Fiction is easy to hide in. I can embed my quirks in a character or two, and write the truth without too much fear of exposure. A memoir was another matter entirely. All those secrets revealed, all that airing of linen, potentially quite dirty, all that risk. The very idea of writing a memoir terrified me.

So, I wrote one, because it was a resolution. And I am a woman of my word.

The following year, I resolved to finish, because my memoir was becoming a lengthy affair. At 120,000 words, and not even close to finishing, I was tempted to simply table the idea and get on with writing something more entertaining. But promises are promises, so I finished. The final product clocked in at 172,000 words, a length one agent characterized as "absurd."

Last year, I resolved to be true to my work. To thine own work be true is a piece of advice that is well taken for any writer. Writing for an audience, or for an agent, or a publisher, will only water down your work and turn it into something that says nothing. The only way your writing can achieve its full potential is if you say what you are compelled to say. Second guessing an audience will get a writer nowhere. So, I (mentally) told the agent who said my proposed memoir's length was "absurd" to go to hell, and added more.

This year, I am at an impasse. After spending two years spilling my guts out on paper, I feel emptied. Finishing a novel never has that effect on me; I only feel a sense of elation a "writer's high." But finishing my memoir about the two years I spent hitchhiking to Argentina has left me wondering what to do with myself. A novel? Another memoir? A screenplay? I don't know where to start.

I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter. The important thing is to begin, so that is my 2020 resolution: Begin.

Begin with a sentence, a phrase, a title. Begin with an image, song lyrics, something your mother told you when you were twelve. Begin with a phone conversation, an old letter, a shopping list. It doesn't matter how or what - just start. Inspiration will come after you begin to write. It always does.

So, dear writers, if you are staring at a blank screen ... write something on it. I promise it will take you somewhere you didn't expect to go. That is why we write, after all.

Monday, December 30, 2019

57 Calls for Submissions in January 2020 - Paying markets

There are more than four dozen calls for submissions in January. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, every genre, style, and form is wanted, from short stories to poetry to essays.

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.)

Also see Paying Markets for hundreds of paying markets arranged by form and genre.

Happy submitting!


Vernacular Books: The Way of the Laser – Future Crime StoriesGenre: Crime stories. "We want crime stories that take place in the future. Preferably these stories will go beyond simple murders or capers to reveal something about how technology and the powers that wield it have changed our world. Is poisoning the nanobots responsible for programming the ads in your neural feed a crime? Is organized crime society’s only hope or responsible for its downfall? Consider what will constitute a crime and what unique problems it poses for your characters." Payment: $0.05/word + royalties. Length: 4,000-8,000 words. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

The Temz ReviewGenres: Prose (fiction and creative non-fiction) up to 10,000 words long. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

Full Bleed: ArchivesGenre: Criticism, fiction, poetry, graphic essays, belles lettres, artwork, design, and illustration. "We are especially interested in submissions that critique, investigate, or rely on archives of various kinds. We seek new writing about artists working with, playing with, re-contextualizing, or elevating archival materials; art or design projects responsive to historical documents; and essays, fictions, and poetry related to the work of archiving." Payment: Modest honorarium. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

Griffith Review 69: The European Exchange (Australia)Genre: Essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories. "Griffith Review seeks new work that illuminates the evolving connections between Europe and Australia – work that asks not only how Europe speaks to the rest of the world, but how the rest of the world speaks back." Payment: Negotiated. Deadline: January 2, 2020.

BE MY GRUMPY VALENTINE: GRUMPY OLD GODS VOLUME 6. Genre: Speculative fiction. "We’re looking for stories of humans who manage to find love or just escape Grumpy Old Gods whose love mojo is a little shaky – (maybe their eyesight isn’t so good…maybe they just don’t have the juice…maybe they are tired as hell of making matches and really need to retire). We’re looking for happy endings in this one – humans finding love despite the ‘help’ of cranky deities, people who didn’t want their free will subverted escaping to have a beer with friends on Valentine’s…even people breaking free of love spells to find true love on their own." Length: 3000-4000 words. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 3, 2020.

HavokGenre: Mystery, scifi, comedy, thriller, and fantasy on theme of Strange New Worlds.  Length: 300 to 1,000 words. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 5, 2020.

Novel Noctule. Genre: Horror fiction and poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 5, 2020.

Crone Girls Press: Coppice and BrakeGenre: Fiction submissions of dark fantasy, supernatural, and eerie horror. Length: 500-1,500 words for flash fiction, 3,000-8,000 words for short stories, and 12,000-25,000 words for novellas. Payment: $0.02/word or $25/story, whichever is greater. (Seriously? $25 for a novella?) Deadline: January 6, 2020.

Crone Girls Press: Stories We Tell After MidnightGenre: Chilling horror. Length: 500-1,500 words for flash fiction, 3,000-8,000 words for short stories, and 12,000-25,000 words for novellas. Payment: $0.02/word or $25/story, whichever is greater. (Again, seriously? $25 for a novella?) Deadline: January 6, 2020.

Nosetouch Press: Fiends in the Furrows IIGenre: Folk horror. "Folk Horror continues to stalk sunlit fields and shadowed groves with its grafting of the mundane and the sublime. The pervasive themes of isolation, paranoia, depravity, loss of individuality, and rustic madness captivate and terrify audiences." Length: 4,000-8,000 words. Payment: $0.04/word. Deadline: January 7, 2020.

ScumGenre: Feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. Payment: $60 AUD. Deadline: January 7, 2020. Opens to submissions on January 1.

Prairie FireGenre: Fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and poetry on the topic of walking.  General submissions (non-themed) also open. Payment: Prose: $0.10 per word. Poetry: $40 per poem.  Deadline: January 10, 2020.

MUSE. Genre: MUSE is a discovery magazine for children and teens ages 9 - 14. The editors seek fresh and entertaining articles from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 13, 2020.

PodCastleGenre: Speculative fiction: podcast. Payment: $0.06/word. Deadline: January 15, 2020. Accepts reprints.

Pixie Forest Publishing: Phobia! An Anthology of FearGenre: Short stories that feature a phobia. Stories should be between 1500 and 4000 words. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Kanstellation: The Dark Side of Science. Genre: Poetry, fiction, flash fiction, art. "We’re looking for writing and art that explores the unintended side effects or consequences of scientific advancement, including but not limited to the areas of biology, physics, chemistry, and geology.” Payment: $120/essay, $100/flash, $60/poem, illustration, or photograph. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

The New Gothic Review. Genre: Gothic fiction. Payment: $15. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Camden Park Press: Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse. Genre: Short stories about cats and their women – their badass women. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Death’s Head Press: Dark Stars. Genre: Science fiction horror. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of CatsGenre: True stories and poems. Payment: $200. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of DogsGenre: True stories and poems. Payment: $200. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Women Artists DatebookGenre: Poems and artwork by women on theme of social justice.  Payment: $70. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Great Weather for MEDIA: Annual Print AnthologyGenres: Poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction. "Our focus is on the fearless, the unpredictable, and experimental but we do not have a set theme for our anthologies." Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Carte BlancheGenre: Fiction, CNF, art, and poetry. Payment: Modest honorarium. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

AE Micro: Stars. Genre: Micro science fiction about stars. Length: Up to 200 words. Payment: CAD 0.10/word for fiction; CAD 50-300 for art. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Superior Shores Press: Heartbreaks & Half-Truths: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense. Genre: Short stories of mystery and suspense with an overarching theme of heartbreaks and half-truths. Payment: $10 USD for reprints and $20 USD for previously unpublished. Deadline: January 15, 2020. Accepts reprints.

The Stinging FlyGenre: Fiction and poetry. Payment: Token. Deadline: January 16, 2020.

Rattle PostcardsGenre: Poetry. "The poems may be any style or subject, but must have been written on and be accompanied by a related postcard. Homemade postcards, artists you know, or public domain/Creative Commons licensed art is preferred. Our goal is to support and encourage the act of writing poems on postcards and sharing them in this personal and intimate way." Payment: $100. Deadline: January 16, 2020.

Jaggery. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, art, and poetry. Jaggery seeks engrossing, entertaining, and enlightening fiction from or about South Asia and its diasporas. Payment: Fiction $100, Poetry $25, Essays and interviews $25, Art $25. Deadline: January 16, 2020.

The Other Stories (Audio). Genre: Horror on theme of Silence. Payment: $5. Deadline: January 20, 2020.

Human/Kind. Genre: Poetry, prose and art on themes. (See site for themes.) Payment: $5 for each poem, prose, art, video, experimental or hybrid piece and $3 for each micropoem. Deadline: January 21, 2020.

Rogue Blades: Mostly dead! Genre: Short stories based on the Princess Bride. Length: 3000 words minimum. "This is a fantastical romance adventure sequel to RBE's fantastical romance adventure SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE! A continuation of our classical fairy-talish homage to THE PRINCESS BRIDE (book and movie by William Goldman). The theme to SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE! was that of diabolical machinations defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism! The theme to MOSTLY DEAD! is that of diabolical tortures defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism!" Payment: $42. Deadline: January 26, 2020.

Every Day FictionGenre: Flash fiction up to 1000 words. Suitable stories for February, including Groundhog Day, The Day the Music Died, The Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, getting tired of winter / cabin fever. Payment: $3. Deadline: January 27, 2020.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories about ChristmasGenre: Stories and poems about the holidays. "We are looking for stories about the entire December holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s festivities too. We want to hear about your holiday memories and traditions. The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our lives, as we gather with family, with our communities at church, at school, and even at the mall, to share the special spirit of the season, brightening those long winter days. Please share your special stories about the holiday season with us." Payment: $200, publication, and 10 author copies.  Deadline: January 30, 2020.

The OvercastGenre: Speculative fiction podcast. Payment: $20 minimum. Deadline: January 30, 2020. Accepts reprints.

The Genre Hustle: Murder Park After Dark Volume 3Genre: Horror dark fantasy stories of no more than 2000 words. Sci-fi is also welcome so long as it’s scary. Payment: $0.02/word up to 1,500 words; $30 for comics and visual stories. Deadline: January 30, 2020.

The RumpusGenre: Fiction, poetry. Payment: $300 divided among all contributors (?). Deadline: January 31, 2020.

The Best New True Crime Stories: Small TownsGenre: Nonfiction. "Known, lesser known and obscure cases are welcome. Add something new to the discussion, a different viewpoint or angle. First-person accounts are especially welcome from writers with some connection to the crimes. Stories can take place anywhere in the world and during any time frame. Material must be meticulously fact-checked before submission, including dates, names, locations etc." No reprints. Payment: $130. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Dragon Soul Press: Reign of QueensGenre: Speculative short stories: "In these stories, women rule and worlds governed by men are a thing of the past. Whether righteous or downright sadistic, these authoritative female figures shape their worlds for better or worse despite the trials thrown their way." Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

RoomGenre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people. Theme: Neurodivergence. Payment: All contributors will be paid upon publication: $50 CAD for one page, $60 for two pages, $90 for three pages, $120 for four pages, $150 for five or more pages. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Split Lip MagazineGenre: Fiction (flash and short stories), memoirs, and poetry. with a pop-culture twist. Payment: $50 per author (via PayPal) for our web issues. Payment for print is $5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2 contributor copies and a 1-year subscription. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Note: Submit early in January to avoid submission fees.

Gallery of CuriositiesGenre: Retropunk fiction: "steampunk, dieselpunk, dreadpunk, bronzepunk, others that haven’t even been invented yet punk … but not atompunk." Payment: 4 cents a word USD for original fiction and a penny a word for reprints, with a minimum of $30 USD for stories less than 1000 words. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Opens January 1.

Planet ScummGenre: Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream. Payment: $30. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Nashville ReviewGenre: Fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction. Payment: $25 per poem & song selection; $100 per selection for all other categories, including featured artwork. Translators receive $25 per poem & $100 for prose selections. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Aether&IchorGenre: Fantasy. Payment: £5 (or equivalent currency) per 1,000 words, at a minimum of £5. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be YouGenre: True stories about women."You are in charge of your life and the decisions you make. A woman doesn’t have to lose her femininity or become a bully. A woman doesn’t have to be single or divorced to be looked upon as independent. Married women and women in relationships are independent, too. We are looking for your true stories on how you are running your life, how you became empowered and achieved independence. Your story will help young women feel stronger, more capable, and more confident… more empowered." Payment: $200, publication, and 10 author copies. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Sub-Terrain Magazine: House Made of Dawn (Visions of the Cultural Ramifications of Current and Future Trends in Digital Technologies) Genre: Essays, creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. “This special issue of subTerrain will code readers into ecstatic dream worlds that are just around the bend of the collective mind. We will be searching for a new cosmological culture amongst the Ones and Zeros of the near and distant future.” Payment: $50/poem; $50/page of prose. Deadline: January 31, 2020. No fee for mailed submissions.

Twelfth Planet Press: Rebuilding Tomorrow. Genre: Post-apocalytic short stories. "Rebuilding Tomorrow is a followup anthology to Defying Doomsday, which was an anthology of apocalypse-survival fiction with a focus on disabled characters. Rebuilding Tomorrow will again focus on disabled and/or chronically ill protagonists but, rather than focussing on survival in the immediate aftermath of an apocalypse, we want stories set a significant time after an apocalyptic disaster. We want stories that show society getting back on its feet and people who have moved past (or are in the process of moving past) subsistence-level existence into a new, sustainable world, even though it’s one that has been irrevocably changed by an apocalypse." Payment: $0.08/word. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Quommunicate Publishing: Hashtag Queer – LGBTQ+ Creative Anthology, Vol 4. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scripts on LGBTQ+ themes. Payment: $5/page. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Flash Bang Mysteries. Genre: Mystery/Crime. This magazine is looking for original mystery/suspense of all types (police procedural, private eye, amateur sleuth, cozies, hardboiled, etc.). Flash fiction ONLY between 500 and 750 words. "Basically, if it involves a crime and it is within our guidelines, we would love to consider it. We want stories that feature believable characters who speak naturally, realistic situations that bleed conflict, and surprise endings that stay with us long after we reach the final period. We welcome new and established authors." Payment: $20. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge (Online)Genre: Poetry. There's a long tradition of poetry responding to art (and vice versa). Every month Rattle will post an image on their Ekphrastic Challenge page. Poets will then have one month to write a poem in response to that specific image. Payment: $50.   Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror. Genre: Survival horror genre of video games. Payment: $50.00 + digital copy. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Opens January 15.

JMS Books: LGBTQ Romance: Lend a Helping Hand. Genre: LGBTQ romance stories. "Stories where romance blooms when someone extends a helping hand to someone else." Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

NGY Review. Genre: Story on theme of An abandoned place. Poetry on any theme. Payment: Token. (Payment in Japanese yen.) Deadline: January 31, 2020. Reprints accepted.

Timeworn Literary Journal. Genre: Historical fiction stories in English under 5,000 words. They should be set before 1996, rooted in history and voice-driven. "We're looking for "Historical Fiction from the fringe." Work with a bend toward the surreal, the dream-like, the strange. The offbeat kind of story that settles into your heart long after reading. That said, we also value beauty and warmth and a generally well-written story with soul. Romance, Mystery, Crime and the Gothic are all acceptable. Speculative elements strongly encouraged." Payment: $25. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Qwerty. Genre: Poetry and prose about ecology. "For this special issue, Qwerty invites decolonial, innovative approaches to and encounters with the environment—its physical, social, and linguistic spaces." Payment: $10. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

CircumferenceGenre: New translations of poetry and drama. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Port Yonder Press: Eastern Iowa ReviewGenre: Lyric essays and prose poems, creative nonfiction and hybrid works. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Friday, December 27, 2019

62 Writing Contests in January 2020 - No entry fees

January is a wonderful month for writing contests. This month there are more than five dozen contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $10,000 to publication by a publishing house. None charge entry fees.

If you want to get a jump on next month's contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck!


Nature of CitiesGenre: Flash fiction: The theme of this year’s contest is 'City in a Wild Garden'. The work must:
- be 750 words or less;
- be of any style or genre of fiction;
- be set in a city (the notion of “city” may be liberally interpreted);
- include as significant plot elements both nature and people;
- be submitted in English.
Prize: One 1st place story receives $2,000; Two 2nd place stories receive $1,000 each; Three third prize stories receive $500 each. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

Northern New England Review Raven Prize in Creative NonfictionRestrictions: Open to US residents. Genre: Previously unpublished piece of creative nonfiction, maximum 3,000 words. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry AwardGenre: Poem, 3-10 pages long, that demonstrates a "truly inventive spirit." Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: January 1, 2020.

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, 2020.

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 3, 2020.

The Reedsy Writing Prompts ContestGenre: Short story. (See prompts) Prize: $50. Deadline: January 3, 2020.

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 4, 2020.

Liz Ferrets Poetry Prize. Restrictions. Open to UK residents. Genre: Poem. Prize: 1st Prize £50; 2 x runners up prizes £25. Deadline: January 4, 2020.

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 6, 2020.

Scottish Book Trust: Monthly Competition. Restrictions: Open to four categories: adult writers, all-age Gaelic writers, young writers 5-11 and young writers 12-18. Genre: Short story based on prompts. (See site for prompt) Prize: Various items. Deadline: January 6, 2020.

New York Times 'Win a Trip with Nick Kristof' ContestRestrictions: US college and graduate students. Genre: Essay. Prize: Trip with Nick Kristof. Deadline: January 7, 2020.

The Spectator. Genre: Your take on an Edward Blake poem. Prize: £30. Deadline: January 8, 2020.

Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out Essay Contest Grades 6 - 12. 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 8, 2020 for Grades 6-10, January 20, 2020 for Grades 11-12.

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, 2020.

Man Booker International Prize. The Man Booker International Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. Prize: £50,000 divided equally between the author and the translator. There will be a prize of £2,000 each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator. Deadline: January 10, 2020 for works published between January 1 and April 30, 2020.

Northern California Book AwardsRestrictions: Books written by authors based in northern California and published for the first time the previous calendar year are eligible for nomination.  Genre: Published book. Prize: $100. Deadline: January 10, 2020.

Novella-in-Flash AwardGenre: Flash fiction/Novella. 6000 to 18000 word limit – each flash should not be more than about 1000 words. Prize: £300 prize for the winner, two runner-up prizes of £100. Deadline: January 12, 2020.

Orwell PrizeGenre: Political writing published between 1st January and 31st January 2019. All entries must have a clear British link. Journalism and ‘exposing Britain’s social evils’.  Prize:  £3,000.00. Deadline: January 13, 2020.

Scottish PEN. Genre: Poetry and prose influenced by the Declaration of Arbroath. Prize: Three prizes of £250. Deadline: January 13, 2020.

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: January 15, 2020.

The SpectatorGenre: Bizarre Books. Provide an extract from one of the following books (these are genuine titles): Noah Gets Naked: Bible Stories They Didn’t Teach You at Sunday School; The Joy of Waterboiling; Ending the War on Artisan Cheese; Versailles: The View from Sweden. Length: 150 words max. Prize: £30. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Apparition Lit. Genre: Speculative stories 1000 words and under based on a piece of art. (See site for image.)  Prize:$10. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

The Hillman Prize for Journalism. Genre: Journalism. "Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has honored journalists, writers and public figures that pursue investigative journalism and public policy in service of the common good." Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 15, 2020 for Canadian entries, January 30 for US.

Hektoen International Writing Contest: Blood. Genre: Essay under 1600 words on the subject of Blood. The contest honors the achievements of the Red Cross, locally, nationally, and globally.  "We will consider essays on pioneers in hematology (such as Herrick, Minot, Murphy, Whipple, or Landsteiner), the history of venesection, barber surgeons, the use of leeches, and vampires; as well as historical aspects of blood transfusion, artificial blood, blood groups, blood preservation and blood banks, blood in surgery, blood diseases (such as pernicious anemia, sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, leukemias, and hemophilia), and the history and work of the Red Cross." Prize: Two prizes will be awarded: $3000 for the winner and $800 for the runner up. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Andres Montoya Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to Latino authors who are residents of the US. Genre: First book of poetry published by a Latino author. Prize: $1,000 and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

The Cosmos PrizeGenre: Re-write the final chapter of the 1930s sci-fi serial novel, Cosmos. Prize: $300. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian StudiesGenre: Essay and/or book about Native American studies published in 2019. Prize: $250. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

French-American Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: Book - best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Stephen A DiBiase Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Electa Quinney Award for Published American Indian StoriesGenre: Story. "This award seeks to highlight the work of story creators who continue the tradition of teaching through narratives often crossing the boundaries of genres, formats and disciplines. To celebrate the dissemination of stories into spaces where they can be shared all published stories qualify including small press and fine arts printing." Prize: $250. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

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 2018 considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted. Prize: $7,500. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to Latinx authors residing in the US. Applicants must be living poets who have published one or two full-length books of poetry and are not under contract for a third. Prize: $1000 and publication by Red Hen Press for a second or third poetry collection by a Latinx author. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Please See Me. Genre: Poetry, creative nonfiction/essays, fiction/short stories/flash fiction, and digital media (photography, drawings, podcasts, and short films) on theme of Hope. "We are especially looking for content that connects us, make us feel something, or helps us see illness, wellness, health, or the healthcare environment differently." Prize: $250. Deadline: January 15, 2020.

Pegasus Award for Poetry CriticismGenre: This prize seeks to honor the best book-length works of criticism published in the US in the prior calendar year, including biographies, essay collections, and critical editions that consider the subject of poetry or poets. Prize: $7,500. Deadline: January 16, 2020.

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 17, 2020.

Bethesda Urban Partnership Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Essays. Length: 500 words maximum. Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 17, 2020.

Bethesda Magazine Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Short stories. Length: 4000 words maximum.  Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 17, 2020.

Poetry Society of Virginia - Student Contest. Restrictions: Open to students in Virginia, grades 3 - 12. Prize: $10 - $25. Deadline: January 19, 2020.

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: January 21, 2020. Read details here.

NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowships, are awarded in fifteen different disciplines over a three-year period. 7,000 cash awards are 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 22, 2020.

Myong Cha Son Haiku AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Haiku. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: January 24, 2020.

Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 24, 2020.

Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Poetry composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: January 24, 2020.

Wil Mills AwardRestrictions: Open to poets who have published chap books but have no full-linked collections. Genre: Poetry. Prize: ? Deadline: January 24, 2020.

Technology Addiction Awareness ScholarshipRestrictions: Open to a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior or a current or entering college or graduate school student of any level. Home schooled students are also eligible. There is no age limit. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Genre: 500- to 1,000-word essay about technology addiction. Prize: $1000 scholarship. Deadline: January 30, 2020.

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, 2020.

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, 2020.

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, 2020.

Encore Award. Restrictions: Open to British or Commonwealth citizens. Genre: Second published novel. Book must have been first published in the UK. Prize:10,000 pounds. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

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, 2020.

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, 2020.

Jack London Fiction Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to U.S. students in grades 9-12. Genre: Unpublished stories. Length: 2,000 words maximum Prize: $2,000, $1,000, and $500. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry AwardsRestrictions: Only undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited United States medical schools are eligible. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Note: Winners do not retain copyright.

Sunburst AwardsRestrictions: Open to Canadians. Genre: Speculative fiction short stories published in 2019. Prize: ? Deadline: January 31, 2020.

New York City Emerging Writers FellowshipRestrictions: "Applicants must be current residents of one of the five boroughs, and must remain in New York City for the entire year of the fellowship. Students in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply, even if the focus of study is not directly related to writing. This program supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence. Applicants can be of any age, but must be in the early stages of their careers as fiction writers and will not have had the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. We define “emerging writer” as someone who has not yet had a novel or short story collection published by either a major or independent publisher and who is also not currently under contract to a publisher for a work of fiction. Eligible applicants may have had stories or novel excerpts published in magazines, literary journals or online, but this is not a requirement." Genre: Fiction. Grant: $5,000. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

The Keats-Shelly Prize and the Young Romantics Prize. Genre: Essays on theme of Songbird. Essays may be on any aspect of the works or lives of the Romantics and their circles, should be no more than 3,000 words including quotations, and should be written in a clear and accessible style.  Prize:  £5,000. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

The International Radio Playwriting Competition 2020 is sponsored by the BBC World Service and British Council in partnership with Commonwealth Writers. Restrictions: Open to non-UK residents. Genre: A script for a 53 minute radio play with up to six central characters. Prize: £2500 sterling and a trip to London. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

The John Byrne Award. Restrictions: Open to residents of Scotland. Genre: A piece of creative work on a chosen theme or value (written work must be no more than 15,000 words in length). Prize:  £7500. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

The 2020 Stratford Literary Festival/Salariya Books Children's Picture Book Competition. Restrictions: Open to residents of the UK and Ireland. Writers and illustrators must be unpublished by a mainstream publisher. Genre: Children's picture book, unpublished. Prize: First prize: £1000. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

Graywolf Press Nonfiction PrizeRestrictions: Open to US writers only. Genre: Full-length manuscript of creative nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre. Prize: $12,000 and publication. Deadline: January 31, 2020.

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, 2020.

Monday, December 23, 2019

10 (Warm) Writing Conferences in January 2020

Baby, it's cold outside! Wouldn't you rather be on a beach? Luckily, writing conferences in January tend to be held in warm places - like Key West, Palm Beach, Tampa, and Hawaii. Even if you can't make it to one of these conferences, you can dream!

I can't stress enough that conferences are the best way to find an agent, hobnob with editors and other industry professionals, and meet fellow writers. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, conferences are career starters.

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.)


Key West Literary Seminar. January 9 - 12, 2020 (seminar) and January 13 - 17, 2020 (workshop), Key West, Florida. The seminar offers readings, lectures, and conversations with poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers on the topic of "Sports in Literature." 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.

Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference. January 9 - 12, 2020: Southampton, Long Island. "Join award-winning authors, editors, agents and marketing experts for a three day intensive writing conference focused on both the craft and the business of writing essays, biography, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. Develop both your skills and your creative marketing savvy in this focused and small conference, the only one of its kind in the country. The Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference accepts just 16 writers." CLOSED BUT CHECK FOR CANCELLATIONS.

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Residency Writers Conference. January 9 - 19, 2020: Forest Grove, Oregon. Writers seeking to deepen their craft and expand their professional community are invited to attend the Residency Writers Conference together with MFA students, faculty and guest speakers. Join us for 10 full days of craft talks, workshops, panels, classes, readings and more featuring some of the best minds of the literary world. This residency is a rare opportunity to engage in sustained and meaningful conversation with others who share your passion for the art of writing.

TMW January Jumpstart XX. Jan 10 - 12, 2020, 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. Charles Dodd White will lead Fiction; Bill Brown will lead Poetry.

Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. January 17 - 20, 2020, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, one-on-one tutorials, featured readings, and open mics. Tuition, which includes some meals, ranges from $490 to $690, depending on the workshop; lodging is not included.

Eckerd College Writers’ Conference. January 18 - 25, 2020, St. Petersburg, FL. Workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, Q&As, readings book signings, and receptions. The faculty includes poets Billy Collins, Gregory Pardlo; fiction writers Michael Koryta, John Dufresne; creative nonfiction writers Stephanie Elizondo Griest and Dani Shapiro; editor George Gibson (Grove/Atlantic); and agent Ann Rittenberg (Ann Rittenberg Lit Agency) and many more.

Palm Beach Poetry Festival. January 20 - 25, 2020, Delray Beach, Florida. The festival features workshops, readings, craft talks, manuscript consultations, panel discussions, and social events for poets. The faculty includes poets Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Nickole Brown, Reginald Gibbons, Jessica Jacobs, Major Jackson, Ilya Kaminsky, Dana Levin, Adrian Matejka, and Maggie Smith. The special poetry guests are Joy Harjo and Patricia Smith. The cost of tuition is $950 for workshop participants and $550 for auditors. One-on-one manuscript consultations with Lorna Knowles Blake, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, or Angela Narciso Torres are available for an additional $99. Using only the online application system, submit three poems of up to six pages with a $25 application fee by November 10.

Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat. January 26 - February 1, 2020: Kaua'i, Hawaii. Live and write among the plumeria, hibiscus, and beauty of Po’ipū, Kaua’i. Once you arrive on-island, each day is designed to provide inspirational, intensive craft instruction in the morning, followed by afternoons to read, write, explore, and enjoy the island, and evening gatherings to attend as you see fit. All residency events are optional: your time is your own, to read, write, revise, and be.

Breakout Novel Boni Graduate Learning Retreat. January 27 - February 2, 2020: Tampa, Florida. An intensive week of critiques, one-on-one sessions, query clinics, brainstorming and writing. Limited to 16 students. Sold out, but check waiting list.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

21 Podcasts Accepting (Mostly) Speculative Short Stories - Paying markets

Updated 9/4/23

People enjoy listening to stories - whether it's in person through author readings, on the radio, or on the net. Podcasts are especially popular because they are accessible on phones, and can be heard any time or place.

There is nothing quite so exciting as hearing your own story read aloud. The words you have only imagined come to life. They achieve substance, form, color. It's a thrill like none other.

On a practical level, podcasts are a wonderful way of keeping your stories in circulation. Almost all podcasts accept reprints, and quite a few of them pay. The podcasts below accept mostly speculative fiction - science fiction, fantasy, and horror. 

Note: Some of these podcasts have submission periods, but most accept stories year-round. Read submission guidelines carefully before submitting.

Happy submitting!

Note: For hundreds of paying markets, broken down by genre, see: Paying Markets.


Creepy Podcasts. Genre: Horror. "We want to be scared. We want to see what kind of darkness you have at your fingertips." Payment: $0.02 per word with a maximum payment of $70 via PayPal invoice.

DrabblecastGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror short fiction — 500- 4,000 words. Podcast. Payment:  $.03/word, with a cap of $300.00. See submission periodsAccepts reprints. 

Gallery of CuriositiesGenre: Speculative fiction up to 7,500 words. See themes. Payment:1 cent/word. Magazine and podcast. See submission periodsAccepts reprints.

Manawaker Studio’s Flash Fiction PodcastGenre: Flash fiction. Payment: $3 minimum. Accepts reprints.

No Sleep Podcast. Genre: Horror. Stories between 1200 and 2499 words. "They have to be really scary. Any perspective or tense is fine for these. Single character stories are fine. Prose or script format is fine. For the most part, these stories will be appearing on the regular show, so cool soundscapes and attention to how they’ll sound in production is helpful." Payment: $100, made via Paypal or Amazon gift card.

StarShipSofa. Genre: Science Fiction. "From the soft, social science fiction to the weird pulpy stuff to the vigorous hard SF and YA adventure. We welcome all sub-genres and all variety of punks in all their colours. From high-octane action to quiet philosophical stories, we’re after it all.Science fiction is a rich and diverse genre, push it’s boundaries as far as you can go. We welcome translations and are very interested in stories that take place/written by authors outside the US/Anglo-sphere, as well as as alternative movements and styles. These include (but not limited to) “non-Western” science fiction, Chinese SF, Soviet speculative fiction, Afro-futurism, etc." Payment: $50 USD flat rate per story for nonexclusive, one time audio rights. Authors are paid for their stories on the 7th of the proceeding month. Accepts reprints.

Escape PodGenre: Science fiction. "If your story isn’t centered on science, technology, future projections, alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people, we’re probably not the right market for it." PaymentUSD $0.08 per word for original fiction. USD $100 per story for reprint fiction. Accepts reprints.

PodCastle. Genre: Fantasy. Word count: up to 6,000 words. Payment: $.08/word USD for original fiction 6,000 words or less, $100 flat rate for reprints over 1,500 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1,500 words). See submission periodsAccepts reprints.

Pseudopod. Genre: Horror. Payment: $.08/word for original fiction, $100 flat rate for short story reprints, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1500 words). Accepts reprints.

Cast of Wonders. Genre: Young adult short fiction, open to stories up to 6,000 words in length. Payment: $.08/word USD for original fiction 6,000 words or less, $100 flat rate for reprints over 1,500 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1,500 words). See submission periodsAccepts reprints.

Sley House: Lit Bits. Genre: Short stories heavily grounded in science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, or thriller, or some blend of genres. Length: 6,000 words max. Payment: $100. See reading periods.

Thirteen Podcast is an audio-drama/audio fiction podcast specializing in feature length (~ one hour) productions that are characterized by slow-burn, atmospheric stories, horror and ghost stories. Payment for stories 5,000 words and above is $50 and payment for stories under 5,000 words is $25.

Tiny Tales is looking for fantastic, bizarre, and enthralling fiction stories to turn into podcast episodes. Word Count: 500-1200 words (stories longer than 1200 words will not be considered). Previously published works are acceptable UNLESS they were published on podcasts or another form of audio. Payment for accepted stories is $0.04/word (USD) paid via PayPal. See submission periods.

Tall Tale TV is a podcast specializing in science fiction and fantasy. You can submit a story up to 6,000 words. Simultaneous submissions and reprints are fine. Payment is not specified, but writers will receive monetary compensation.

Tales to Terrify features short horror, dark fantasy, and other disturbing fiction. "We greatly value diversity and inclusivity, and seek to publish fiction from writers of different races, religions, nationalities, physical or mental abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations." They hold open submissions for longer works (2,000-10,000 words) several times a year, and pay $0.01 USD per word for accepted submissions. They do not pay for flash fiction (less than 2,000 words). Reprints accepted. See submission periods.

Pillow Talking (Podcast). Genre: First person, narrative/creative nonfiction stories of real-life bedroom conversations. Payment: $25AUD.

Nightlight Podcast. Restrictions: Open to black writers. Genre: Horror. Length: between 3,000 and 6,000 words. Payment: $200; Flash fiction, 5 cents/word; Reprints, $50. Reprints accepted.

Ursa PodcastGenre: Literary fiction and satire, "but we will happily make exceptions if you have a character-driven genre story. We are looking for stories that take risks, that are provocative and demonstrate a unique voice. We like stories that thrill." Payment: 8 cents/word. Reprints accepted.

The Galactic Anvil Podcast. Genre: Fantasy and Science Fiction. Length: 5,000-20,000 Words. Payment: $50 for manuscripts >10k words. $25 for ones under 10k words. Reprints accepted.

The Lost Poetry Club. "We aim to create a kaleidoscope of voices and materials. Chosen work will be dramatized, but you are openly encouraged to contribute to our M.A.F.P. (mind-altering frequency protocol) with your own recordings and performances for a fully collaborative  experience." Accepts: Poetry, fiction, songs and "other." Payment: Over 300 words: £0.015 per word. Under 300 words: £5 flat rate. Reprints accepted.

Just Chills. Genre: Horror. Length: 4000 – 7000 words. Payment: $50.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

46 Magazines that Publish Freelance Book Reviews - Paying markets

Public Domain - Piqsels
Updated 9/4/23

The best tip anyone can give a writer is to read. Much of the craft of writing is absorbed unconsciously by reading great authors. Don't limit yourself to your own genre. Read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, personal essays, anything you can lay your hands on - especially authors whose style is wildly different from your own. Reading is the fuel that will light your creative fire.

The analytical process of reading is also important for writers. Pay attention to what the author is saying and how she or he is saying it. How is the plot structured? How are the characters developed? What are the themes and motifs? Is the use of language vivid and imaginative? Are you moved? And when you are done thinking and analyzing, consider writing about what you have read.

Here are 38 magazines that want to hear your thoughts about fiction, poetry, music, movies, art. They will even pay for your considered opinion. If you are in the process of publishing a book, or have recently been published, some of these publications also accept book recommendations for review by their editorial staff. You or your publisher can submit these recommendations. To that end, I have also included a list of publications that don't pay reviewers.

In addition to reviews and interviews, the majority of these journals also publish - and pay for -  fiction, poetry, CNF, and essays.

Note: Most of these magazines have submission periods, so read their guidelines carefully.

NOTE: For hundreds of paying literary magazines in every genre see: Paying Markets.

Happy submitting!



Parabnormal publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry on the paranormal. "For us, this includes ghosts, spectres, haunts, various whisperers, and so forth. It also includes shapeshifters and creatures from various folklores." Payment: $25.00 for original stories, $7.00 for reprints.$6.00 for each poem. $20.00 for original articles, $6.00 for reprints. $7.00 for reviews and interviews. See submission periods.

Jaggery connects 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.) Genre: Fiction, essays and interviews, poetry, and reviews. Payment: $100 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction/poetry/art/reviews. See submission periods.

Poetry Wales

"We are open to poems on all themes. Payment: Poems £20/page. Reviews £67.50/1500-word review. Articles £200/3000 word, or in that proportion, depending on number of published words. See themes and deadlines.

New Myths

New Myths publishes speculative fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Payment: 3 cents/word with a minimum payment of $30 for all submissions, fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction and poetry; $50 for book reviews; $80 for art. See submission periods.

West Branch

West Branch reviews poetry books. Book reviews are typically arranged by assignment, but if you are interested in writing reviews, please query with a sample. They currently pay $200 per assigned review. See reading periods.

Strange Horizons 

Strange Horizons publishes in-depth reviews of science fiction and fantasy, especially books, films, and television. "Reviews normally cover new works, although we do occasional features on older works, and will not reject a review because its subject has been available for a while. We're especially interested in reviews of worthy material that might not otherwise get the exposure it deserves; similarly, we are interested in reviews of works that push traditional genre boundaries." Pays $40 for reviews of at least 1000 words. They prefer reviews of 1500 to 2000 words.


Samovar is a quarterly magazine of and about speculative fiction in translation published by Strange Horizons. They are looking for in-depth critical review-essays of 2,000 to 3,000 words. These may cover: Works recently translated into English; Works that have not been translated but that will be of interest to an English-language audience; Critical works focusing on speculative fiction in translation; Some combination of the above. Pays US$40 regardless of final word count.

New Letters

New Letters is primarily interested in reviewing excellent books, movies, and visual art otherwise not receiving much attention in the national media (which means most literary titles). Book reviews should be concise, detailed, vivid, and free of theoretical and academic jargon. Length is 300-800 words for single and double book reviews. Essay-reviews of groups of books could be longer. Potential reviewers should query first. If you want to review a particular book that you already possess, feel free to suggest it. Payment for single-book reviews is $35.

The Rumpus

The Rumpus is interested in thoughtful, engaging book reviews between 1200-2500 words. Please submit a finished draft of your review rather than a review pitch. Reviews should be single-spaced and paginated. Provide the following information in your cover letter and at the top of your review: Title of book, author's name, name of press, publication date, and your name and email address. In your cover letter, please also include your contact information and a brief bio that we would use should your review be accepted. They prefer not to publish negative reviews, but it’s fine to discuss a specific weakness, lack, or question you have related to the book. Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing if one exists. They do not accept reviews where a conflict of interest exists. All work must be previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media. A monthly pool of $300 is split between writers whose work is published. See submission periods.

"We’re looking for smart, compelling book reviews and author interviews (or interviews of people in the publishing industry). We’re especially interested in giving attention to books from independent presses and authors (or publishing professionals) from historically marginalized groups." They also publish micro reviews of recently released short literary work. Payment: $50. See submission periods.


Barrelhouse is a print and online journal featuring fiction, poetry, interviews, and essays. They are currently open for online book reviews. “We prefer reviews that focus on recent(last two years) small press titles—especially debuts—or upcoming titles. We  are especially keen on books that do not get reviewed in US outlets as  often as others—translated works, international releases etc. … We’re interested in full-length or chapbook-length collections of poetry & prose. We’d be open to memoirs, story or essay collections, even academic works. We’re most tentative with academic titles—not because we’re not open to them—but because they would need to be accessible to the same readership as for any text.” Payment is $50 to contributors of both print and online issues.

They publish reviews, essays, interviews, and excerpts. “While we are especially committed to publishing writing on, about, and from Cleveland and Ohio, as well as the Rust Belt and greater Midwest, regional connection is by no means a requirement. Our conception of what criticism is and can be is purposefully expansive, generous, and open. We publish writers at all stages of their careers, regardless of publication history.” Payment starts at $70.


Tough is a crime fiction journal publishing short stories and self-contained novel excerpts of between 1500 words and 7500 words, and occasional book reviews of 1500 words or fewer. Query the editor at toughcrime@gmail.com before submitting reviews. Payment is $25.

The Ex-Puritan

This Canadian literary magazine publishes fiction, interviews, essays, reviews and poetry from all over the world. For reviews they are looking for pitches for 1500 to 5000-word reviews of recently released writing in any genre, including nonfiction. They generally publish reviews of books from small Canadian publishers, but are open to other works, as well. They do not publish reviews of chapbooks. Payment is $100 CAD per interview or review.

The Georgia Review

Most of this journal's reviews are solicited by the editors, but they welcome submissions from outside reviewers. They publish standard reviews (typically 3–5 double-spaced pages), which focus on only one book, and essay-reviews (typically 10-20 double-spaced pages), each of which develops a strong thesis through an engagement with multiple books in order to comment on literature and/or culture beyond the texts at hand. Essay-reviews and standard reviews earn honoraria of $50/printed page. In addition, all contributors receive a one-year subscription to The Georgia Review. No simultaneous submissions. See submission periodsCharges fee for online submissions. No fee for snail mail.

The Sunlight Press

The Sunlight Press is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, digital literary. They welcome creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, photography, and reflections by artists on their craft. "We want to hear the ways people turn toward light and hope, whether it is through the arts, culture, spirituality, or humor, and also how they respond to the darkness and navigate unknown spaces. Epiphanies are born from the ordinary and the extraordinary; whether it’s a reflection unfolding during a morning walk, after the loss of a loved one, or in the middle of unexpected laughter, we want to know about these moments." The Sunlight Press considers reviews of books, short story collections, and essay collections. Length: 750-1,000 words. Payment is not specified.

The Fiddlehead is a Canadian magazine open to writing in English or translations into English from all over the world and in a variety of styles, including experimental genres. "Our editors are always happy to see new unsolicited works in fiction, including excerpts from novels, creative nonfiction, and poetry. We also publish reviews, and occasionally other selected creative work such as excerpts from plays." Payment is $60 CAD per published page, plus two complimentary copies of the issue with your work. No charge for snail mail submissions. See submission periods.


Kaleidoscope is a journal that focuses on disability. (Writers do not have to be disabled to contribute, as long as their work is about disability.) They want “reviews that are substantive, timely, powerful works about publications in the field of disability and/or the arts. The writer’s opinion of the work being reviewed should be clear. The review should be literary work in its own right." Length: 5,000 words maximum each; two reviews maximum. They also publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, articles, and visual art. Payment is $10-100.

Slightly Foxed

Slightly Foxed bills itself as "the independent-minded literary magazine that combines good looks, good writing and a personal approach. Slightly Foxed introduces its readers to books that are no longer new and fashionable but have lasting appeal. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it’s more like a well-read friend than a literary review." Articles are 1,000-2,000 words. Payment is not specified.


Newfound publishes work that explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. They publish reviews of books, film, television, music, art, and more. “We like reviews that are critical, complex, creative, and culturally-minded. Reviews should consider at least one object of culture that has been recently published (within the last year) or is forthcoming. Please send work that is double-spaced, 500-5000 words in length, and includes a short author bio. If you would like to review a work listed on our reviews page or something we’ve yet to discover, send a query along with a CV and writing sample.” There is no deadline given for reviews. They also publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, translation, and art. Contributors are paid $25. See reading periods.


Tor, a highly regarded science fiction and fantasy publisher, is an imprint of Macmillan. Their blog, Tor.com, accepts pitches for reviews, as well as essays, think pieces, list posts, and reaction pieces in the 1,000-2,000 word range. Suggested areas of interest are: author appreciations, essays on classic or overlooked works of SF/F, SF/Fantasy in translation (international SF/F), nostalgia-driven looks at older film/TV, Manga and Anime, Internet/Geek culture, and science and technology. If possible, please include 2-3 writing samples and links to your published work on other sites. Payment is not specified.

Publishers Weekly, known in the book world as PW and “the bible of the book business,” is a weekly news magazine focused on the international book publishing business running for over 145 years. It offers feature articles and news on all aspects of the book business, bestsellers lists in a number of categories, and industry statistics, but its best known service is pre-publication book reviews, of which it publishes more than 8,500 per year. They periodically have calls for reviewers. Payment is $25 per review (about 200 words).


Kirkus Media is looking for experienced book reviewers of English and Spanish-language titles to review for Kirkus Indie, the book review magazine's section dedicated to self-published authors. Reviews are in the same format and held to the same high standards as other sections of Kirkus Reviews. Reviews are about 350 words due two weeks after the book is assigned. Kirkus currently reviews nearly all genres for books of all lengths, in digital, hardcover and paperback format. Payment is $50 - $60.

The books being pitched must be by writers of South Asian origin and traditionally published. Apologies, but no hybrid or self-published books at this time. Genres supported right now: adult fiction; literary translations; creative and narrative nonfiction; graphic works; poetry collections. Apologies, but no cookbooks, self-help, business, gardening/home decorating, religion, kid lit, young adult, romance, or horror at this time. Payment: $50.

We look for work that centers the experience of marginalized perspectives. We want to foster work that addresses the politics of identity, such as migration, diaspora, multiculturalism, privilege, hierarchy, oppression, though these themes are not a requirement for publication. We believe the exploration of perspectives and voices that are mostly unheard and ignored is a political act itself. We accept pitches for two kinds of book reviews: books published anytime in the past that you think should be unearthed now, that are calling to you at this specific moment, and that you think deserve (more) attention; and books set to be published in the near future, especially debuts or works by emerging writers with marginalized identities. For the latter, we can support you in obtaining an advance review copy!" Payment: $85

Rivanna Review is a new print journal published four times a year in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the Rivanna River. The content is general interest—stories, essays, book reviews, and notices of literary events, for your reading pleasure. The first issue came out September 1, 2021. Genres: Short fiction, essays, art, book reviews. Payment: $100 per story or essay, $50 per book review. 

Poetry magazine seeks:
  • Reviews that consider 2 or more new poetry collections, drawing connections between disparate works, focusing on a shared theme/aesthetic/etc. across works by different poets. For example: "The Borderless Empire of the Interior" by André Naffis-Sahely
  • Reviews focused on multiple books by a single author and/or on collected or new and selected works. For example: "Refuse to Settle” by Alan Gilbert
  • Reviews of underappreciated/overlooked works from the last year. For example: "The Lonely Dream" by Vidyan Ravinthiran
Please don’t submit reviews of a single book. Those submissions will be declined. "The magazine welcomes exploratory writing that demonstrates the relevance of poetry to everyday life. We encourage writers to take an out-of-the-box approach to book reviewing, and are particularly interested in work that fosters conversation—between the poets whose work is under consideration, the reviewer, and readers at large."

Payment: $150 per published page. "Our typical review  length is about 1,200 - 1,800 words. Please submit no more than seven pages total."

Isele Magazine is seeking submissions of essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and book reviews. For book reviews, you may submit up to 1,500 words. Your document must be double-spaced, and in Times New Roman, size 12. Payment: "Modest honorarium."

L’Esprit Literary Review

L’Esprit Literary Review accepts short fiction, creative non-fiction, novel extracts, literary criticism, and book reviews. Payment: "Small honorarium." Has submission periods.

Liber is a broadly feminist publication that welcomes timely reviews and essays on forthcoming books of all genres. "Our interest is in feminist theory, culture, history, and publishing, though we welcome submissions that use a feminist lens to analyze works that are not explicitly feminist. Although primarily a review, we also publish poetry, comics, photo essays, and long-form reported features on topics related to feminist history and publishing." Reviews can vary in length, from 800 to 1500 words. Average length for a reported essay is 2500 to 4000 words. Payment: $100 per book review, $50 per poem, essays and reported pieces are negotiated on an individual basis with fee commensurate to experience and the demands of the piece (anywhere from $250 to $2500, or more).  Read guidelines here


Ploughshares is a highly prestigious literary magazine that publishes fiction, CNF, and poetry. They currently accept pitches for the following categories of nonfiction writing:
  • critical essays
  • personal essays
  • blended longform essays
  • interviews
  • book reviews
Book reviews are around 800 words and receive payment of $25 the month following publication.


Infrarrealista prioritizes writers from Texas, especially those from the central Texas area. They also publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, and interviews. Payment: 15 cents/word up to 300 words and 5 cents/word after that.

"We mainly focus on literary and contemporary fiction, short story collections, poetry, interesting/experimental nonfiction and exciting graphic novels. We include both Australian and international authors. We will prioritise recent releases, but will also consider fresh takes on ‘forgotten’ classics or contemporary books you loved that didn’t get enough time in the spotlight. Book reviews should be between 600-900 words, and contain a mix of literary criticism and personal opinion." Payment: Each published review is paid $50.00 (AUD).

“Hello all book reviewers — are you excited about a forthcoming book that engages with the notion of place? Pitch me….(I’m particularly keen on books by BIPOC authors & works from indie presses, any genre!)” Payment: $200.

"Here's a thread about how to submit to Esquire's books and fiction section. For fiction: please send all submissions to me via email (awestenfeld@hearst.com) as Word document attachments. I'm looking for stories up to 7,500 words, maximum. I’m also in the market for author interviews, author profiles, book round-ups, essays about books, trend stories, and reported features about books and publishing. I'm not looking for traditional reviews, but I am looking for longer essays about books and culture." Payment: $500.

"We accept pitches for reviews & interviews typically two months in advance of a book’s publication date. On average, our reviews run between 600 and 800 words and our interviews run between 1,200 and 1,500 words." Payment: $25 for reviews and interviews.

Mangoprism articles span cultural criticism, personal essays, interviews and reportage. "We pride ourselves on publishing high-level, entertaining, provocative, and original work, while treating writers and other artists with the dignity they deserve." 

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

We like to publish rad, gothy, death-focused essays and blog posts ESPECIALLY about media, entertainment, culture etc. We are looking for articles/reviews/critical essays/collections/listicle etc. in the categories of
  • art
  • short fiction
  • novels
  • movies
  • music
  • fashion
  • culture
  • entertainment
  • science
  • Etc!
Payment: $50

Parabola publishes original essays and translations, poetry, and book reviews. Book reviews should be 500 words. Payment: Not specified. See themes.

Woods Reader publishes fiction, poetry, CNF, personal essays. book reviews and humor. They want work pertaining to locations within the US and Canada. "We are primarily interested in stories about experiences relating to woodlands." Writers should query before submitting book reviews. Payment: Over $100 for longer articles.

The Heduan Review publishes fiction, poetry, CNF, and art, as well as book and film reviews. Length: 300 to 1,000 words per piece. Payment: 5 cents/word. See submission periods.

"We are interested in essays that focus on the writing life and especially love work where the personal intersects with the critical. We love essays that examine how publishing, reading, teaching, spirituality, sexuality, identity, obsession, labor, and family shape writing. Unconventional book reviews, insights on niche literary topics, lyric essays on craft, and stories about writing that are also about something seemingly unrelated really excite us. More than anything, we like to be surprised, so if you think you have something that speaks to writing or literature in some way, send it to us!" Payment: $50.

"We publish artists that explore culture and history; politics regional and global; the past, present, and future. Send us writing that surprises us, introduces images and ideas in new and strange ways, that complicates our perspectives. Send us fiction, poetry, personal essays, translations, reviews, visual art, and cultural criticism that have achieved a balance of craft and story so compelling that we cannot look away. We must read more." Payment: $20.

Non-Paying Magazines

Prairie Schooner

"We are particularly interested in reviews of books that can fairly be called diverse--we aim to publish a range of reviewers on a range of authors in each issue--and in reviews of authors' first books or recent translations. Books should be no more than eighteen months old by the time of publication (note that with our publication cycle, we are often reading to fill issues for two-three seasons from the time of submission). Reviews may consider a single book or take up two or three books together." Reviews should be no longer than 1,000 words, double-spaced, and formatted using a standard font. Payment is a complimentary copy. See submission periods.

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review is a literary journal based in Austin, Texas that publishes poetry along with art series, reviews and essays. All reviews must be germane to poetry. Reviewers must include a cover letter with a brief bio. Reviews should be no longer than 1500 words, though longer reviews are acceptable when several books are under consideration. Please submit your review in Times or Times New Roman font. Include date of publication, price, and publisher for all works considered. Poets may send books for review consideration. Payment is a complimentary copy. See submission periods.

Mid-American Review

This journal seeks book reviews of around 400 words, following the MLA style sheet, of works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction published within six months of their publication dates (April & November). Please query before sending a book review. They also accept works of fiction, poetry, translations, and nonfiction, including personal essays and essays on writing. Contributing authors will receive two complimentary copies of MAR as payment.

London Review of Books publishes poems, reviews, reportage, memoir, articles for Short Cuts and Diary slots, and blogposts. They also accept physical copies of books for review by their editors. 

Rain Taxi

Rain Taxi publishes work by writers in all stages of their careers. "Our quarterly magazine provides a place for the spirited exchange of ideas about books, particularly those overlooked by mainstream review media. While Rain Taxi focuses on current releases, it also devotes space to the discussion of older works that continue to resonate. Interviews, essays, and "Widely Unavailable" (reviews of out-of-print books) are also regular features of the magazine." Rain Taxi considers books in the categories of poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, art, and graphic novels. Editorial reviews only. 


Terrrain “searches for the interface—the integration—among the built and natural environments that might be called the soul of place. It is not definitely about urban form, nor solely about natural landscapes. It is not precisely about human culture, nor necessarily about ecology. It is, rather, a celebration of the symbiosis between the built and natural environments where it exists, and an examination and discourse where it does not.” They accept poetry, essays, fiction, articles, artwork, videos, and other contributions—"material that reaches deep into the earth’s fiery core, or humanity’s incalculable core, and brings forth new insights and wisdom." They publish reviews of published or forthcoming books, CDs, magazines, community planning resource kits, websites, movies, and other items, as well as “Recommended Reads”, in which authors provide a list and narrative description of the books that have most influenced their own work. No maximum word length. See submission periods.

Literary Mama

This is a monthly online magazine featuring creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, columns, essays about writing and/or reading as anyone who identifies as a mother, as well as book reviews, and profiles of mother writers and artists. “We seek reviews exploring literary work that reflects a wide-ranging understanding of motherhood as experienced through multiple lenses and bodies. We review both newly-released work and older books that we consider to be important to the genre." They want "a reasoned, fair, well-balanced and supported critique of the work, offered in a positive tone. If you include a summary, please be sure it serves a purpose in illustrating a point or reinforcing a thesis rather than giving away the plot. Do not attack the author; please restrict your critique to the author’s craft, ideas, execution, arguments, etc. We publish reviews that help us understand how a book adds to the conversation about motherhood. If you cannot recommend a book, we prefer not to review it. We’d like to see reviews that consider craft as well as content.” Reviews are 800-1500 words. Genres accepted are fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Please send a query first.

The New York Review of Science Fiction

They want reviews of science fiction, fantasy, and horror books. “Our credo is that we publish reviews which reveal the strengths and weaknesses of good books. We tend not to publish negative reviews, though we do publish reviews that examine with precision the unsuccessful elements of worthwhile books. Contrawise, we do not publish reviews which are simply gushes of unexamined praise even of the best books; we want thoughtful reviews. We are not interested in reviewing every book published — nor even the majority of books published; please query us beforehand if you are interested in reviewing a specific title. We will consider well-written and substantial reviews of books by any author, from any publisher. Reviews need not be limited solely to one book; we encourage reviewers to compare books with similar themes and to place individual works in context within an author’s oeuvre and/or within the context of the field of speculative fiction as a whole.” They also seek popular articles, essays, parodies, studies, and thought-pieces on topics related to science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. For a submission to be considered for any specific issue, they must receive the submission by the first Wednesday of the month before the issue is to be published. They publish monthly. Payment is in copies.

Boston Review primarily publishes long-form essays, substantial book reviews, and political and social analysis. They do not publish op-eds, and they do not accept unsolicited personal essays. They consider pitches (at least two substantial paragraphs) and drafts (between 2,000 and 6,000 words). 

Notes is 433's new channel for reviews, interviews and criticism. "We will consider consider any book, film, music, art or other reviews/criticism/interviews, but we will place a special emphasis and are particularly interested in writing that emerges from within the author’s communities." 

"Booklist is a recommendation-only journal; every book we review is recommended for purchase in a library setting because of the content, the potential popularity, or other compelling collection development metrics. It’s crucial to keep this in mind when writing and submitting your review. If you don’t personally love a book but understand how some reader out there likely will, your review can help a librarian put that book in the hands of its ideal reader. Because our audience is school and public library workers, Booklist seeks reviewers who are familiar with both books and libraries. A library degree is not required."

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