Thursday, May 14, 2020

Pandemic Writing Wanted - Paying markets

John William Waterhouse - The Decameron
The COVID-19 pandemic is no match for writers! Literary magazines have stepped up and spawned a whole new genre - lockdown writing. How isolation affects people is varied and often unpredictable. People can become more gregarious, sympathetic and communicative, or they can drift toward the opposite side of the spectrum, becoming suspicious, angry and hostile. In all cases, the experience of isolation is disorienting.

These journals are looking for artistic, personal, and even humorous writing about life during the pandemic. All are paying markets, and none charge submission fees.


Critical Read

"As we all adjust to life indoors, isolated from the world, we grow more aware of what gives our lives meaning. Art remains inseparable from our lives. Art is perhaps even more urgent in this time, as we turn to the people and places most important to us in order to find a sense of normalcy and safety. Critical Read is seeking 300-word personal essays about a particular work of art—be it a work of visual art, performing art, or literature—you are turning to in these uncertain times."

Payment: $25

Deadline: September 15, 2020



"Those who read and write for Appalachia journal find their true selves in the backcountry and wilderness areas around the world—but especially in the Northeast. And within the Northeast, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and wild areas of Maine especially call to us.

Appalachia journal is looking for thoughtful essays in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 words on the COVID-19 pandemic. What has getting onto trails and cliffs and hills meant during this terrifying period? Do you see mountains more as life itself and less as recreation now? What is it like going to the backcountry and finding that facilities are closed, people must stay away from each other?"

Payment: Not specified. "We do our best."

Deadline: May 20, 2020.


Owl Hollow Press

Owl Hollow Press wants short fiction on theme of Viruses for their upcoming anthology, 7500 words max. "Viruses are not new to life or literature. But the ways we experience them are always evolving. Join us as we explore love and loss, passion and betrayal, fear and panic, togetherness and separation, community and isolation within viruses of all varieties—real and imagined."

Payment: $50.

Deadline: July 10, 2020.

Muskeg Press

"In 1348, the Black Plague hit Florence, Italy, and it would kill tens of thousands of the city's residents by the time the pandemic was over in 1351. Among those who lived in Florence at the time was Giovanni Boccacio, who would become famous for writing The Decameron. The Decameron's main narrative tells the tale of seven young women and three young men who escape the plague by travelling to a countryside villa. There, they each tell one story each night for ten nights. They told stories of love, of lust, greed, of the fickleness of fortune, of the power of the human will.

We're now living through a similar moment in time, as we each do our part in fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. At Muskeg Press, we look back and admire the attitude of Boccacio, who, in the midst of a terrible pestilence, wrote a great work of art that survives to the present day.

With that in mind, we are putting out a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for any author out there who would like to spend this time in self-isolation to write a story for a forthcoming publication of Muskeg Press. We'll select 10 stories from all the submissions, and publish them in a book around Christmastime of 2020."

Length: Up to 5,000 words.

Payment: $100. Deadline June 30, 2020.


Funny Women Surviving Coronavirus Lockdown by Laughing Through It

You’ve laughed. You’ve cried. You’ve stopped wearing a bra and started day-drinking. Now’s the time to start writing. The Syndrome Mag is curating a book of funny essays about how women across the world are coping with quarantine, social distancing, teleworking and all the other changes we face because of the COVID-19 crisis. We are looking for hysterical first-person stories and lists on specific issues from a women’s perspective. 

Payment: $20 for each essay (800-1200 words) accepted into the book.


Pandemic Publications

This Canadian project has a mandate to "provide relief for multi-disciplinary artists through modest bursaries, while showcasing original and thought-provoking work from a diversity of voices." They are currently seeking writing loosely based around the following three themes: All things considered; On doing nothing; When this is all over. They have particular fondness for positive or darkly comedic writing.

Payment: $120 CAD for fiction and non-fiction; $50 CAD per poem; $150 CAD for photography and illustrations.



Plenitude Magazine is Canada's only queer literary magazine. They are currently seeking poetry and prose from Canadian LGBTQ2S+ writers for their “Queer Isolation in a Pandemic” call.

Payment: $35 CAD per poem and $80 CAD per prose contribution (including book reviews and articles).



Poets Respond is a call for poetry written within the last week about a public event that occurred within the last week. "Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem; all opinions and reactions are welcome."

Payment: $100


Longreads: Life in the Time of Covid

"In recent months, a new reality has been foisted upon us. Coronavirus has changed our home lives, our work lives, our family lives. These essays will look at the virus’ impact on the way we spend our time now, and its effect on our relationships with friends, family, partners, co-workers, and others."

Payment: $500

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