Thursday, July 29, 2021

Susanna Clarke: Breaking the Rules

In keeping with my new year's resolution, I am reading as a writer, dissecting as I go. I confess that my resolution is difficult to keep. It is nearly impossible to analyze what I am reading while I am enthralled in a novel. 

But what are resolutions for, if not to be broken almost immediately?

Still, in an effort to be true to my word, I have turned my writerly eye on Susanna Clarke. Clarke gained fame for her masterful Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, a work which took her ten years to write. It was later made into an equally masterful series, which I have watched four times. (Maybe five ... I've lost count.) Rather than tackling Clarke's work with her most famous novel, I began with her second novel, Piranesi, which was published last year, sixteen years after Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Clarke takes her time producing a novel, and there is a good reason for that. Her intellect, and the sheer meticulousness with which she constructs a novel, is daunting. I honestly don't know how she holds it all in her head.

Clarke breaks ALL the rules.

By this, I mean the writing rules that I personally adhere to. (I ignore everyone else's rules.) My number one writing rule is: Situate the reader. Right at the beginning, make readers aware of when and where they are, and who the narrator is. Apparently, Clarke has not heard about my rule. Not only does Clarke leave us totally in the dark for a significant portion of the book as to when, and especially where, we are, we actually don't know who (in the conventional sense) is telling the story until it is nearly at its conclusion. I was so disoriented, that I nearly put the book in the beginning. And then it grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. Because not knowing was intoxicating.

Rather than situate the reader, Clarke plops us into the head of the person telling the story. It is told in first person, so that is relatively easy. But what is so unusual about Clarke's approach is that you, the reader, have no idea what is going on, because the narrator has no idea what is going on. The only way Clarke could pull this off successfully is with a brilliant control of a highly unusual voice. Everything that would normally be accomplished with plot, with back story, with exposition, with dialogue, with description (or at least descriptions that we can understand), is conveyed through voice, and with the dizzying, surreal quality than only a distinctive, atypical manner of expression can produce. 

Indeed, the voice is so unusual, and yet so familiar, that it was hard to place. It could have been from the 19th century, or the far future, or of a child, or an adult with an innocence verging on brain damage. This confabulation of a confusing, strange, incomprehensible environment with an ingenuous, almost A. A. Milne-like voice created a completely incongruent, yet engrossing atmosphere, as if we had been plunged into the ocean without warning. What increases this sense of being absorbed is that fact that the entire book is written as journal entries, except for a scant ten pages written in straightforward prose that occur three-quarters of the way through the book. (I confess those ten pages were a relief. Situating the reader when the book is well past the halfway mark made that sense of relief palpable.) 

In short, Clarke breaks pretty much every literary convention for how to write a novel. And the result is a work that spins a mystery so captivating that it is nearly impossible to break away from once you get caught up in it. Every clue begs you to read on, like bread crumbs leading you through a dense forest. That is something I would like to master, myself. But there is no way I could produce anything as tightly woven as Piranesi. Neverthless, I did learn something valuable as a writer: More than anything else, a skillful use of voice conveys a mood, a context for all the events that happen along the way. Frank Herbert tells us that story is everything. But a story that does not have voice is merely a catalogue of events. In Piranesi, Clarke has demonstrated that simply through a meticulous control of voice a story can be told vividly, and with all the page-turning quality of an action-packed thriller. Can I do what Clarke did? The answer is a decisive no. But I will surely pay more attention to how my characters sound in everything I write from now on.

Not everyone is of like mind on this point. Author Catherine Baab-Muguira completely disagrees with me. In her article, Find Your Topic, Not Your Voice, she argues that topic is more important. She says that her own writing breakthrough, the one that got her a book deal after a dozen years of trying, came from focusing on topic ahead of voice. (I am tempted to make the rather snide observation that publishers always look for a storyline first, and that they rarely give a hoot about literary voice.) 

Writers can argue incessantly about what is most important in a novel: story, voice, metaphor, topic. But the truth is that the only thing that really matters is the skill of the writer. A writer with sufficient skill, combined with that indefinable quality called talent, can pull anything off. And that is the only real rule of writing: You can do anything, provided you can pull it off. Susanna Clarke certainly can.

***

Post script: After I finished reading Piranesi, I decided to look up what that name referred to. The narrator says from the start that he is fairly certain it is not his own name. It has been given to him as a joke by the only other living person in his world. His own name and in fact his entire identity have been forgotten. Clarke does not tell us what that joke is. I only figured out the punchline when I gazed at the fantastical 18th-century etchings of imaginary prisons by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. If you read Clarke's book, you'll get the joke ... and the metaphor.

84 Calls for Submissions in August 2021 - Paying markets

This August there are more than six dozen calls for submissions. 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!

(Image by Christine Engelhardt from Pixabay)

____________________

The Forge Literary MagazineGenre: Fiction, flash fiction, micro-fiction. Length: Under 3,000 words preferred. Payment: $75. Deadline: They open to fee-free submissions on the first of each month and close when they reach their quota.

HavokGenre: Flash fiction on Theme of EVERYMAN / JESTER. Payment: $10 via PayPal for each story published in an Anthology. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Recommended ReadingGenre: Fiction between 2,000 and 10,000 words. Payment: $300. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Fusion FragmentGenre: Science fiction or SF-tinged literary fiction stories and novelettes ranging anywhere from 2,000 to 15,000 words. Payment: Both previously unpublished work and reprints pay 3.5 cents (CAD) per word, up to a maximum of $300 (CAD) per story. Deadline: August 1, 2021. Accepts reprints.

The GhastlingGenre: Psychological horror, folk horror, ghost stories and the macabre. Payment: £15 per story plus copy of magazine. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Moonflake PressGenre: Short stories and poems on theme of Lush. Payment: £25 for each story/poem. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Constelación is a quarterly speculative fiction bilingual magazine, publishing stories in both Spanish and English. Writers can submit their stories in either language. Fifty percent of the stories we publish in every issue will be from authors from the Caribbean, Latin America, and their diaspora. Genre: Speculative fiction. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 1, 2021. See themes.

Last Girls ClubGenre: Poetry, short stories, flash fiction, essays. Payment: $10 - $20. Deadline: August 1, 2021. See themes.

The First LineGenres: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction using the first line provided. (See site.)    Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

We'Moon Lunar CalendarRestrictions: Open to women only. Genre: Art, poetry and prose, 350 words maximum. Payment: Small honorarium. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Best Indie Speculative FictionGenre: Previously published speculative fiction, between January 1 2019 and December 31st 2020. This project only considers previous-published stories that are either self-published or published with a small press. Length: Up to 20,000 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

The Zodiac Killers SeriesGenre: Thriller. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

RipeGenre: Poetry, prose, art. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Flame Tree Press: Asian Ghost Short StoriesGenre: Ghost stories written by writers of East, South or Southeast Asian heritage. Payment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for new stories and 6 cents/4 pence per word for reprints. Deadline: August 1, 2021. Reprints accepted.

MudroomGenre: Poetry, fiction, essays, and essays in translation. Payment: $15. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

The Suburban ReviewGenre: Poetry, fiction, CNF, art, comics on theme of PUNCTURE. Payment: $75 - $150. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch ShoresGenre: Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work. 2 cents/word for reprints. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

The Dead InsideGenre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Identity horror. "Explorations of what happens when our core identities are stripped, altered, suppressed, or denied to us, whether by choice or not." Payment: Poetry: $25 per poem. Flash Fiction: $25 per story. Short Stories: $50 per story. Non Fiction: $50 per piece for print and ebook rights. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Third FlatironGenre: SF/Fantasy/Horror short stories on theme Things with Feathers: Stories of Hope. Payment: 8 cents per word. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale MagazineGenre: Fairy tales, and essays on theme of “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50. Deadline: August 3, 2021.

Kate Bush AnthologyGenre: Short stories with elements of weird or dark fiction (horror, bizarro, and magical realism, etc). Original ideas must be drawn from the work of Kate Bush, though the end product need not closely resemble its inspiration. Payment: $15. Deadline: August 3, 2021.

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: August 7, 2021. Opens to submissions on August 1.

Fantasy MagazineGenre: Fantasy short stories, flash fiction, poetry. Payment: 8 cents per word for original short stories and flash fiction. $40 per poem. Deadline: August 7, 2021. Opens to submissions on August 1.

Abyss and ApexGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry. No horror. Payment: USD $.06/word (six cents a word) up to 1,250 words, and a flat payment of $75.00 for longer stories. Deadline: August 7, 2021.

Perennial Press: ArthropodaGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry about insects, crustaceans, arachnids, or myriapods. Payment: $20. Deadline: August 7, 2021. Accepts reprints.

Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer GrowthGenre: Queer speculative fiction on the theme of plants and growth. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 7, 2021.

Lucent DreamingRestrictions: New/emerging writers (someone who has been published in 10 or fewer publications in the past 5 years, and has not published a book or full collection). You must be a Lucent Dreaming subscriber, or have read a recent issue to submit work to the magazine. Genre: Speculative and surreal fiction. Word Limit: 1500-3,999 words. Payment: £100 and a free contributor copy. Deadline: August 8, 2021.

Found: An Anthology of Found Footage Horror StoriesGenre: Horror based on found footage. "We’re looking for your best, original, found footage tales. Stories can be written in first person, third person, as a transcript, journal, radio play, poetry, as a script. Play with the format. Do something you haven’t read before." Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words. Payment: $0.03 per word. Questions / submissions: whatwasfound@gmail.com Deadline: August 8, 2021.

ongoingGenre: Prose in any genre up to 1000 words based on musical prompt. Payment:  30CAD.  Deadline: August 10, 2021.

The Vanishing PointGenre: Horror, Sci-fi, Dark Fantasy. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 13, 2021.
 
Songs of EretzGenre: Poetry, cover art on theme of Religion. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Planet ScummGenre: Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, horror, speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream on theme of Winter Horror. Payment: 3 cents/word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

KaleidoscopedGenre: Poetry, prose, media. "We are particularly interested in experimental and hybrid work across all mediums: send us your fragments, your experiments, your photographs, your drawn, your multi, your undefinable, your sound, your memory, your written, your stuff of resistance." Payment: "Small sum." Deadline: August 15, 2021.

CRICKET: Ancient Worlds (ages 9–14) Genre: Historical fiction, nonfiction, myths and legends, and poetry about ancient cultures, including ancient Greece,  Rome, Egypt, India, China, Africa, the Americas, Pacific Islands, and more. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

CRICKET: Game On! (ages 9–14) Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry featuring a competition, game, rivalry, or challenge. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Spider Magazine: Legendary Kids (ages 6 - 9). Genre: Fresh retellings of  folktales, fairytales, tall tales, and myths that cast a child—not an  adult—as the clever problem-solver. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Spider Magazine: Outside of the Box (ages 6 - 9). Genre: "We love  contemporary stories and poems, but we are excited to read more material  that falls outside these popular categories. This might be plays,  science fiction, or historical fiction and nonfiction. It might be  simple, but inventive, activities like recipes, games, crafts, magic  tricks, science experiments, or silly quizzes." Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ladybug: Exploring Our World (ages 3 - 6). Genre: Compelling explorations of our world written for young  children. "We’re looking for narrative nonfiction (to 800 words), nonfiction and nature writing (to 400 words), and poetry (to 20 lines)." Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ladybug: I Can Help (ages 3 - 6). Genre: Short stories, rebus stories, poems, action rhymes, riddles, and songs about young children learning how to think through problems and help themselves and others. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Babybug: Let's Play (for babies and toddlers). Genre: Poems, stories, finger plays, and action rhymes about little ones’ favorite games. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Babybug: Fantastic Fall (for babies and toddlers). Genre: Poetry, action rhymes, finger plays, and very short stories that celebrate autumn. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

RuminateGenre: Fiction under 5, 500 words. Payment: $20 per 400 words. Deadline: August 15, 2021. Note: Ruminate also accepts short fiction on a rolling basis.

Dose of DreadGenre: General horror flash fiction. Preference for dread-inducing stories. Length: 500 - 1,000 words. Payment: $10. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Cast of WondersGenre: YA Speculative fiction by young adults. Podcast. Payment: $.08/word for original fiction of any length (yes, including flash!). For reprints, a $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Yellow ArrowRestrictions: Open to writers who identify as women. Genre: Poetry Chapbook. Payment: Royalties (?) Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Luna Station QuarterlyGenre: Speculative fiction by woman. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 15, 2021. Accepts reprints.

Hungry ZineRestrictions: Open to writers located in Canada. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, art, poetry about food. Payment: $50. DeadlineAugust 15, 2021.

ParabolaGenre: Original essays and translations, poetry, reviews. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: August 15, 2021. See themes.

Flash FrogGenre: Flash fiction. Theme: Ghost Stories. Length: 1000 words max. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

WesterlyGenre: Short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism. Payment: Poems: $120 for one poem or $150 for two or more poems; Stories: $180; Articles: $180; Visual art/Intro essay: $120; Reviews: $100; Online Publication: $100. "We expect our contributors to be subscribers of the Magazine. While we will accept submissions from non-subscribers, should your work be accepted for publication in this instance, you will be asked to accept a subscription to the Magazine as part payment for your work." Deadline: August 16, 2021.

Life Beyond UsGenre: Science fiction short stories exploring the unknown: life forms we’re not familiar with on Earth (from extreme environments, to those right beneath our noses) and beyond our planet; strange life’s discovery, peculiarities, and the ethical questions arising from these. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 20, 2021.

Flash Fiction OnlineGenre: Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. Deadline: August 21, 2021.

Carte Blanche (Canada). Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations. comics, photography. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: August 21, 2021.

TypehouseGenre: Fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction. Payment: $21. Deadline: August 22, 2021.

Claw & Blossom Equinox IssueGenre: Prose and poems that touch upon the natural world. Theme is Strange. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 22, 2021.

Night Shift RadioGenre: Fiction, non-fiction, memoir - 7,000-10,000 words. Payment: $50 or $25. Deadline: August 28, 2021. Opens August 21.

Dedalus Press - Local WondersRestrictions: Irish poets or poets currently living in Ireland, north or south. Genre: Poetry. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: August 30, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Humorous StoriesGenre: True stories and poems. "Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?" Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 30, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from HeavenGenre: True stories and poems. "We want to hear from you if you have experienced communication from the other side or received a sign or signal from a loved one who has passed. Has someone who has died come to you in a dream? Given you counsel or comfort? Have you gone beyond, but returned to life with new knowledge, insight, or awareness? Have you intuitively known the moment someone died?" Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Lackington’s: BotanicalsGenre: Speculative fiction, art on theme of Botanicals. Payment: 1 cent/word (CAD). Deadline: August 31, 2021.

BrinkGenre: Hybrid, cross-genre fiction, nonfiction poetry. Payment: $25 Poem; $50 Work (less than 1500 words); $50 Art (1-3 Images); $100 Art (4+ Images); $100 Work (more than 1501 words). Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Griffith Review 75: Learning CurvesGenre: Essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry,  memoir and picture stories. "This edition of Griffith Review explores the breadth of our educational experiences – from preschool to postgrad, from private to public, and from sandstone to the school of life." Payment: Negotiated. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Madness Heart Press: Nafallen University – College CatalogGenre: This is a call for a new anthology chapbook from John Baltisberger and Matthew Henshaw. The conceit is that the chapbook is a course catalog for a strange and horrible university in North Texas, (think Miskatonic of the south). Submissions should follow the example on the site, with a department heading followed by course descriptions. Each description can be anywhere from 1-200 words long. They may be written to be funny, bizarre, or horrifying. They will take as many courses from submissions as we feel are a good fit. Payment: $0.01/word. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

ProspectusRestrictions: To qualify to be published in Prospectus, you must NOT have done EITHER of the following, no matter what category you are submitting to: Have had a collection of poems published that is longer than 48 pages; Have had a collection of short stories, a novella, or a novel published longer than 150 pages. Genre: Poetry, fiction, reviews, art. Payment: $25. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: MiraclesGenre: True stories and poems. "We want your true stories, both religious and non-religious, that will awe us with examples of amazing events. Inspirational stories to remind us that each day stunning miracles do happen and that a miracle can happen at any time." Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: KindnessGenre: True stories and poems. "Has someone performed an act of kindness for you? How did it feel? Did you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else? Did that person know it was you doing that kind thing? Did you do something kind for a stranger knowing you would not be paid back? How did that feel?" Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and RecoveryGenre: True stories and poems. "This collection of emotional and inspirational stories will provide comfort, support, and peace to those who have lost someone close to them. What helped you the most when you were grieving? Who were the people who helped you and what did they do? When did you know that you had finally “turned the corner” and were on the road to recovery? When and how did you realize there was light at the end of the tunnel? What are you doing to support others?" Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: DogsGenre: True stories and poems. "We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your dog does. What have you learned from your dog? How does your dog improve your life? What crazy things does your dog do? Has your dog ever done anything heroic? How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog. Stories can be serious or humorous." Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Crazy FamilyGenre: True stories and poems. "We all have that certain someone in our own family who, while lovable, sweet, and caring, is also nutty or weird. We love that person but, at the same time, that family member makes us crazy! A parent or grandparent, an in-law, a brother or sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin. We all have them and you know who they are! We are looking for true stories and poems about those family members. We would like your stories to be silly, outrageous, hilarious, and make us laugh, but they should also show the kindness and caring of your family member too." Payment: $200. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

Dragon Soul Press: Timeless 2Genre: Fairytale. "Anything involving a twist on old fairy tales, whether it be the classics or lesser known ones.Note: As long as you keep to the theme and use a fairytale, originality is fully appreciated. Cliff-hangers are more than welcome." Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Broken Sleep BooksGenre: Non-fiction pamphlets (up to 70 pages). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Black Coffee & Vinyl PresentsGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music. The theme is “The City.” Payment: $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

CHROMOPHOBIA: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women in Horror. Genre: Horror written by women on theme of color. Payment:1 cent/word. Deadline: August 31, 2021.


Academia LunareGenre: Speculative non-fiction in theme "Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome."  Payment: £30. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

ReliquiaeGenre: Poetry and Prose. "Reliquiae is a journal of landscape, nature and mythology. Your work must engage with these themes." Payment: "small payment" Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Bloody Good HorrorGenre: Horror. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

SpartanGenre: Literary prose, 1500 words max. Payment: $20. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

KaleidotropeGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry—science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but also compelling work that blurs the lines between these and falls outside of neat genre categories.    Payment: For fiction, $0.01/word (1 cent a word) USD. For poetry, a flat rate of $5 USD per accepted piece. For artwork, a flat rat of $60 for cover art. DeadlineAugust 31st, 2021.

NightlightRestrictions: Open to Black writers. Genre: Horror. 10,000 words max. Audio format. Payment: $75 - $200 depending on length. $50 for reprints. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

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: August 31, 2021. Note: Submit early in the month.

Apparition LitGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry on theme of Wonder. Payment: $30. Deadline: August 31, 2021. Opens August 15.

The Astronaut Only Rings TwiceGenre: Hard-boiled detective and science fiction mashups. Payment:  $50.00 (CAD). Deadline: August 31, 2021. 

Camden Park Press: Holiday Hijinks! Genre: Short stories centered around holidays. (Three anthologies) Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31, 2021. 

The New Gothic ReviewGenre: Gothic fiction. Eerie atmosphere is key. Payment: $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

And a few more...

Bethlehem Writers RoundtableGenre: Short stories and poetry. See themesPayment: 20.00 USD for featured authors, or $10.00 USD for stories published on their &More page and $5.00 USD for poems. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

VautrinGenre: Gritty urban fiction, Crime/Mystery Fiction, Ghosts, The Supernatural, Literary Essays. "We’re interested in essays that talk about contemporary crime fiction, or essays that walk the path between, say, 19th century fiction and fiction in the here and now." Payment: $130.00 and two contributor’s copies for fiction over 2,000 words. $65.00 and two contributor’s copies for fiction under 2,000 words. $50.00 and two contributor’s copies for literary essays. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

The AntihumanistGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, art - all genres. "We seek to publish the most challenging and thought provoking flash fiction and essays. We believe only by confronting the bare bones of reality we understand our place in the world." Payment: 5 cents/word. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

Books and Bikes in SpaceGenre: Stories about bicycling and books, from a feminist perspective. Stories can be in any speculative or fantastical genre—hard science fiction, space opera, epic fantasy, alternative history, paranormal romance, hope punk, modern fairy tales and anything around or in between. Payment: $50 minimum. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

Madame Gray's Vault of GoreGenre: Horror. Payment: $5. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

Moonflake PressGenre: Short stories and poems on theme of Escapism. Payment: £25 for each story/poem. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

The Southampton ReviewGenre: Poetry, prose, art. Payment: Prose: $100+, Poetry: $75 per poem. Illustration: $100 per page. Art Portfolios: $200 for up to 12 images Deadline: September 1, 2021. Submit early in the month to avoid fees.

The Wire’s Dream MagazineGenre: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Art, Photography, Combined Work from underprivileged individuals. Payment: $5. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

The Best Nnew True Crime Stories: Unsolved Crimes & MysteriesGenre: Nonfiction, true crime accounts of unsolved criminal cases and mysteries that can take place anywhere in the world and be from any time period. Payment: $130. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

The Zodiac Killers SeriesGenre: Thriller. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

Young Dragons. Genre: Middle Grade and Young Adult full-length manuscripts. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: September 1, 2021.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

36 Writing Contests in August 2021 - No entry fees


This August there are nearly three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $50,000 to publication. None charge entry fees.

Some of these contests have age and geographical restrictions, so read the instructions carefully.

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! 

(Image: Photo Stock Editor)

___________________


Leeway Foundation Art and Change GrantsRestrictions: Open to women and trans artists in Greater Philadelphia to fund art for social change projects. People living in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties Delaware who are 18 years of age or older and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Genres: Art in traditional or nontraditional modes, mediums or disciplines. Prize: $2500. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

2021 District Fray + The Inner Loop Creative Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of the Washington, DC area. Genre: Short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $50 and publication.  Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist FellowshipsRestrictions: Delaware poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in Delaware for at least one year prior to application and who are not enrolled in a degree-granting program. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Peter Blazey Fellowship.  Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15,000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Costa Short Story AwardRestrictions: Open to writers in the UK or Ireland. Genre: Short story (maximum 4,000 words). Prize: £3,000. DeadlineAugust 2, 2021.

Epigram Books Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Authors must be Singaporean, Singaporean permanent resident or Singapore-born. Genre: A full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. Prize: $20,000. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Micro MadnessGenre: Cosmic horror, dark science fiction, or weird flash fiction. Length: 500 words max. Prize: $100. Deadline: August 7, 2021.

Furious FictionGenre: Flash fiction, 500 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: Opens August 6, 2021. Closes August 8, 2021.

Briefly Write Poetry PrizeGenre: Poems up to 10 lines. Prize: Winner = £25 / Runners-up (5) = £5 each. Deadline: August 8, 2021.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English between July 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100.000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: August 13, 2021.

The Yale Drama SeriesGenre: Original, unpublished full-length plays, with a minimum of 65 pages. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Poets living in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., or West Virginia. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, ten author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary ExcellenceRestrictions: Emerging African American writers.  Genres: Short story collection or novel published in the current year. Prize: $10,000.  Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ligonier Valley WritersGenre: Flash fiction on theme of "snakes and other reptiles";1000 words max. Prize: The first prize winner will receive $50, second prize $25, and third prize $15. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

The Medium Writers Challenge. Restrictions: Except for residents in Quebec, Canada, open to Medium users who are at least age 18 (or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, whichever is older) at the time of entry. Genre: Personal essay of 500 words or more based on one of four weekly prompts: Reentry, Death, Work, and Space. Prize: Four finalist winners — one for each prompt — will each be awarded with $10,000 each. One of the four finalists will be selected for a grand prize of $50,000. Additionally, 100 honorable mention selections will each win $100. Deadline: August 24, 2021.

Eerie River PublishingGenre: Horror on theme of Old Gods. Prize: ¢.5 per word CAD (half a cent), with a max of $15 plus a one-time royalty bonus payment based on six months of sales. Deadline: August 25, 2021. This is a monthly contest.

Green Stories Writing CompetitionGenre: TV/radio series about building a sustainable society.  Prize: Free script appraisal and treatment by the Literary Consultancy, plus will be sent to production companies for consideration. Deadline: August 26, 2021.

Boroondara Literary AwardsRestrictions: Open to Australians. Genre: Short fiction and poetry. Prize: More than $5,000 in prize money across various age groups in the Young Writers’ category. More than $3,500 in prize money in the Open Short Story category. Deadline: August 27, 2021.

Val Wood Prize for Creative WritingGenre: Uplifting, feel-good short story with an overall word-count of 2000 on theme: ‘Now and Then.’ Prize: £200. Deadline: August 28, 2021.

YORKSHIRE PRIZE: The Good Old DaysRestrictions: The Yorkshire Prize  is open to residents of Yorkshire, UK. Genre: Short story on theme: The Good Old Days. The story should mark a significant moment in Yorkshire history. Up to 2 entries per person to the maximum word count of 2000 per entry. Prize: £100, and two further commendations of £25. Deadline: August 28, 2021.

Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism PrizeGenre: Article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Articles focused on historical events AND articles about current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) that include historical context are both welcome. The work should be published in print or online between August 26, 2019 and August 30, 2020. Prize: $1000.  Deadline: August 30, 2021.

Apparition LitGenre: Poetry and short fiction between 1k – 5k words based on the theme Wonder. Prize: $30. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

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: August 31, 2021.

Ruritania PrizeGenre: Short fiction. "The Ruritania Prize is a prize for those writing from a place that doesn't exist, English-speakers who are struggling to find their role in a contradictory literary tradition which is simultaneously patronizing and affectionate. Its judges are drawn from a variety of major Central and Eastern European cities, to better reflect the real diversity of the lands in which the Ruritanian romances were (and are) set." Prize: 350 euros and publication. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

International Human Rights Art Festival: Creators of Justice Literary AwardGenre: poetry, short stories and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice. Prize: First Prize: $150; Second Prize: $100; Third Prize: $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Preservation Foundation Essay Contest for Unpublished WritersRestrictions: The contest is open to writers whose creative writing has never produced revenues of over $750 in any single year. Genre: Biographical Nonfiction. Prize: First prize is $200. Runners-up will receive $100. Finalists will receive $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

#GWstorieseverywhereGenre: Micro fiction or essay on theme of Forgiven. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation or Multi-Lingual TextsRestrictions: Translators and authors of multi-lingual texts. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $200. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative NonfictionGenre: Essay, maximum 5,000 words. Prize: $250 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Kindle Storyteller Award (UK)Restrictions: The prize is open to all authors who publish their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk. Genre: Book. Prize: £20,000. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Jacques Maritain Prize for NonfictionGenre: Essay, Catholic themes. Prize: $500 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Levar Burton ReadsGenre: Speculative fiction on Theme: Origins & Encounters. "We are interested in stories that examine the magical joys and tragic pitfalls of blended civilizations and cultural exchanges in all their forms. As our worlds change, what precious things do we carry with us and allow to be altered or demand they remain untouched? What is taken from us and what will we do to get it back? What do we allow ourselves to remember of our histories, our roots, and what do we allow ourselves to forget? What do we leave behind and what do we choose to carry into the future?" Prize: $500 top prize. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry collection (in English), at least 48 pages long, published between July 1 of the previous year and June 30 of the deadline year by an upstate New York author. Prize: $2000. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Jack Grapes Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Prize: WINNERS will receive $200 each, plus publication. FINALISTS will receive $50 each, plus publication. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year AwardRestrictions: Open to authors aged 18-35 as of December 31 of the deadline year. Books must have been first published in the UK and/or the Republic of Ireland, in the English language, between June 23 of the preceding year and August 31 of the deadline year. Authors must be UK or Irish citizens, or residents for the three years preceding the award. Genre: Published or self-published book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, Prize: £10,000. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

HysteriaGenre: Poetry, short story, flash fiction. All genres except erotica or horror. Theme: Hope and Unity. Writers under 16 may enter. Prize: £25. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The End of Trade Publishing As We Know It?

Publishing has gone through a great many upheavals over the past few decades. There has been an increasing consolidation of publishing houses into the Big 4, which used to be the Big 5, and before that Big 7, etc. And with Random House's merger with Penguin, there was speculation that soon there would only be the Big 1. But mergers and monopolies aren't the only trend on the horizon. The increasing acquisition of publishing houses by private equity firms is another disturbing development.

In an article posted in Publishers Weekly, Gary Gentel bemoans the demise of Houghton Mifflin. Gentel, who was president of the HMH trade division from 2007 to 2016, traces the trajectory of the purchase of Houghton Mifflin by Riverdeep Holdings, which then purchased Harcourt Education and created Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which in turn led to the eventual cash purchase of Scholastic’s EdTech business by HMH, which created HMH Books and Media (Trade), which was then sold again. HMH, which doesn't really exist anymore as a publishing house, is now focused entirely on digital sales to grades K - 12.

So, why is this a problem? After all, mergers and acquisitions are not a new phenomenon. The problem, as many people in the publishing industry see it, is that publishing companies are increasingly being bought and sold ("flipped") by private equity firms, which are merely leveraging capital. Unlike publicly owned companies, private equity firms require a certain amount of money for entry, anywhere from $250 thousand to several million. These firms have absolutely no interest in publishing. As they buy publishers, including magazines and journals, they are simply stripping them down, selling them off, and drawing as much cash out of them as possible. And in the process they are destroying what publishing is, or rather what is once was, and should still be, which is a forum for ideas.

When the intellectual clarity of historians and philosophers, the creative imagination of novelists, the insights of poets and memoirists are no longer of interest to publishers, these things cease to be readily available to the general public. Unlike the production of shoes or cars, books are not mere physical objects: Books are ideas. Once publishers cease to have interest in what books contain, the ideas perish, because like everything else in the ephemeral world of the mind, ideas must be shared.



Bonnier Corp to Sell Its Biggest U.S. Magazines to Venture Equity Group

Image by Christine Engelhardt from Pixabay

____________________


Saluting HMH, a Storied Trade Publisher by Gary Gentel, June 18, 2021

I came to the trade division at Houghton Mifflin in fall 2003 as senior v-p of trade sales, at the tail end of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The French conglomerate Vivendi had purchased Houghton a few years earlier, taken it private, and had sold it to a consortium of bankers and investors at a huge loss. Vivendi was the first, but it wouldn’t be the last disastrous foreign investor in what had historically been the highly profitable U.S. education business. Meanwhile, the trade division was coming off an outstanding three-year run thanks to Tolkien—perhaps the best in its long and storied history.

The longevity of HM (founded in 1832) isn’t unique among publishing houses, but it was certainly a source of pride inside the division and within the larger corporation. There was a deep respect for the history, close attention to the present, and a vision for the future. In other words, it was a company that knew what it was about: educating and entertaining children and adults. But dark clouds were forming on the horizon.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Monday, July 26, 2021

24 Awesome Writing Conferences in August 2021


Summer writing conferences are going ahead as planned via online formats. You can still attend workshops, presentations, readings, discussions, lectures, and critiques via Zoom. Some are also offering workshops in person. 

Conferences are not only the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry, they make you feel like a writer.

Plan ahead! Conferences often offer scholarships, but these have deadlines. If one of these conferences interests you, put the scholarship deadline date on your calendar for next year, or for whenever the conference rolls around again.

For a full list of conferences, organized by month, see Writing Conferences. While nearly all of these are in the United States, you can find links on that page that will take you to world-wide conference lists.

(Image by kandhal keshvala from Pixabay )

__________________________


Fine Arts Work Center Summer Workshops (poetry, fiction, art, and creative nonfiction). June 7 - August 27, 2021: Provincetown, Massachusetts. Last year's faculty included David Baker, Samiya Bashir, Jill Bialosky, Sophie Cabot Black, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Martha Collins, Kate Daniels, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Gabriel Fried, Jorie Graham, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Fred Marchant, Gail Mazur, Jane Mead, John Murillo, Eileen Myles, Matthew Olzmann, Gregory Pardlo, Carl Phillips, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Victoria Redel, Martha Rhodes, Brenda Shaughnessy, Nicole Sealey, Alan Shapiro, Carmen Giménez Smith, Craig Morgan Teicher and many more. See individual workshops for dates.

Community of Writers Workshops in Nonfiction and Memoir. August 1 - 6, 2021. These workshops assist serious writers by exploring the art and craft as well as the business of writing. The week offers daily morning workshops, craft lectures, panel discussions on editing and publishing, staff readings, and brief individual conferences. The morning workshops are led by staff writer-teachers, editors, or agents. In addition to their workshop manuscripts, participants may have a second manuscript read by a staff member who meets with them in individual conferences. Nonfiction or memoir submissions should be in a narrative form. Travel, self-help, how-to, or scholarly works will not be considered. Featured Writers Include: Frances Dinkselspiel, Alex Espinoza, Glen David Gold, Debra Gwartney, Sands Hall, Lauren Markham, Greg Pardlo, Julia Flynn Siler, Grace Talusan. Tuition: $850. Will be held online.

Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. August 1 - 6, 2021, St. Helena, California. The faculty includes Victoria Chang, Brenda Hillman, Brian Teare, Gillian Conoley, Charles Baxter, Lan Samantha Chang, Daniel Orozco, Joan Silber, Robert Hass The cost of the conference is $1,100. Will be held onlineWaitlisted.  

Speculative Fiction NIP Bookcamp & Writing Retreat Work Week. August 1 - 7, 2021: West Bend, Wisconsin. Six days of personal writing time with opportunities to discuss writing issues with the Retreat Mentor (an award-winning novelist and editor), opportunities to attend certain Bookcamp presentations, all social activities, critiques, and chat with fellow writers and publishing professionals in a relaxed environment.

Green Mountain Writers Conference. August 2 - 6, 2021: Chittenden, Vermont. The program features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as discussions, one-on-one consultations, and readings. The faculty includes poets Justen Ahren, Joan Aleshire, and Verandah Porche; fiction writers Jensen Beach, Elizabeth Inness-Brown, and Stephen P. Kiernan; creative nonfiction writer Chuck Clarino; and poet and nonfiction writer Yvonne Daley. Tuition is $600 before May 1, $650 until June 1, and $700 thereafter. Registration is first come, first served; attendance will be capped at 25 participants to ensure social distancing. 

Revision Retreat. August 3 - September 30, 2021: Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Highlights Foundation. Join editors Eileen Robinson and Harold Underdown to learn revision strategies to help you identify problems in your picture book, chapter book, novel, or narrative nonfiction manuscript. The Revision Retreat is set up to meet you wherever you are in the process of revising a manuscript, whether you are at the beginning, mid-draft, or near the end, and to help you move along in the process while learning tools and techniques that can be used in the future. It’s designed to provide extended support to you as you begin, develop, or complete a revision and/or generate new material. Will be held online and in person.

Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. August 5 -  August 7, 2021: Mendocino, California. The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft talks, readings, manuscript consultations, open mics, and pitch sessions with agents and editors. The faculty includes poet Victoria Chang; fiction writers Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Charlotte Gullick, Mitali Perkins, Shobha Rao, and Scott Sigler; and nonfiction writers Myriam Gurba, Ismail Muhammad, and Jeannie Vanasco. Participating publishing professionals include agents Sarah Bowlin (Aevitas) and Rayhané Sanders (Massie & McQuilkin) and editors Andrew Karre (Dutton Books) and Philip Marino (Little, Brown). An optional post-conference daylong Publishing Boot Camp taught by Marino will be held on August 4. The registration fee, which includes most meals, is $575. One-on-one manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60. The Publishing Boot Camp is $150.  Will be held online.

Cape Cod Writers Center Conference. August 5 - 7, 2021: Hyannis, Massachusetts. Supporting published and aspiring writers. Featuring distinguished authors, editors and agents in workshops on fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, poetry, mysteries and thrillers, social media, promotion and more! Will be held virtually.

The 2021 Writers' Police Academy: MuderconAugust 6 – 7, 2021: Raleigh, NC. "MurderCon is a rare opportunity for writers to participate in hands-on “for law enforcement eyes only” training, using modern testing and evidence collection tools and equipment, in workshops taught by some of the world’s leading homicide investigation experts. This incredibly detailed, cutting-edge instruction has never before been available to writers, anywhere."

Colrain Classic. August 6 - 9, 2021. "A select group of poets will work with nationally known poets, You will work with poet-editors Peter Covino, Joan Houlihan, Martha Rhodes and Ellen Dore Watson. All poets with an in-progress book-length or chapbook-length manuscript are welcome to apply. Will be conducted online.

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference, August 6 - 14, 2021: West Coast Writers Conferences presents a full weekend of panels, workshops and presentations by educators, noted speakers, and industry professionals focused on the craft and business of writing.

Tennessee Writing Day Workshop. August 7, 2021. Online. This “How to Get Published” writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get yor questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited online “seats” at the event (200 total). Will be conducted online.

The All-Genre Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp & Writing Retreat. August 8 - 14, 2021: West Bend, Wisconsin. The Bookcamp offers morning instruction, an afternoon editing clinic, group critique sessions, discussions on the current publishing industry, one-on-one consultations with our staff, pitch sessions with literary agents and acquisition editors, and presentations on writing or publishing topics.

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. August 8 - 21, 2021: Ripton, VT. Workshops in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction are at the core of the conference. Each faculty member conducts a workshop that meets for five two-hour sessions over the course of the 10 days. Groups are kept small to facilitate discussion, and all participants meet individually with their faculty leaders to elaborate on workshop comments. Faculty members also offer lectures on issues around literary writing and one-hour classes on specific aspects of the craft. Readings by the faculty, conference participants, and guests take place throughout the day and into the night. Participants meet with visiting editors, literary agents, and publishers who provide information and answer questions, individually or in small groups. 

FROM OUTSIDE IN: A Memoir Intensive with Patricia Weaver Francisco. August 9, 2021: Fish Creek, WI. "We’ll gather in this spacious and gorgeous natural setting to let what’s available “outside” lead us in, to a day of surprising ourselves. Our aim is to discover new paths toward our oldest stories, re-purpose personal and familial mythologies, and let the call of bird, tree, rock, and flower open our senses, memories and imagination. This is a day to write happily and freely and fiercely, using the intensity of the day, the company of one another, and the spur of the unexpected to generate new work. We’ll work with liberating forms and structures in memoir, play with the narrative strategies of dialogue and storytelling, and pursue the wild original detail in honor of capturing readers. We’ll have lunch together, private time to wander and to write, and listen to one another throughout the day."

Vermont College of Fine Arts Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. August 9 - 14, 2021: Montpelier, Vermont. The conference is designed for writers with graduate degrees or equivalent experience. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, craft classes, and individual consultations with faculty members. "At the heart of the Postgraduate Writers' Conference's unique model is the small workshop size, with groups led by acclaimed faculty limited to five or six writers. The intimate format allows for an extraordinarily in-depth, far-reaching discussion of participants’ work. Beyond the daily group sessions, each member has an individual consultation with the workshop instructor. The schedule also features a rich menu of readings by faculty and participants, craft talks, generative writing sessions and social events that galvanize our vibrant, inclusive community." Will be held online.

A Poetry Intensive with Debora Keenan. August 10, 2021: Fish Creek, WI. "During this day-long plus intensive, we will read a wide range of poetry, consider our lyric and narrative voices, think about how we want to use white space, and various structures for our work. We will think about the poems we must write, the poems we want to write, and the reasons we create. Seven hours of handouts, poems to ponder, enjoy, puzzzle over, and write from. We’ll do some quick, intense first draft work (bring your work notebooks!) and take brief breaks throughout the day in honor of the beautiful natural world around us. We’ll have visual art to challenge and inspire or image-making, share lunch together, and have moments of solitude in which to think and write. We’ll end the day with brief readings of our drafts and have a conversation about present and future goals for your poetry."

HippoCamp Creative Nonfiction Conference. August 13 - 15, 2021: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This three-day creative writing conference in PA features 50+ notable speakers, engaging sessions in four tracks, interactive panels, readings, social activities, networking opps and optional, intimate pre-conference workshops. 

Elk River Writers Workshop. August 15 - 20, 2021: Chico Hot Springs, MT. The Elk River Writers Workshop embodies the idea that deep, communal experiences with the wild open the door to creativity. We bring together some of the most celebrated nature writers in the United States with students who are serious about fostering a connection with the environment in their writing. It all happens at Chico Hot Springs, a historic retreat just north of Yellowstone National Park. Faculty members: Rick Bass, Beth Piatote, J. Drew Lanham, William Pitt Root, and Pamela Uschuk.

Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. August 19 - 22, 2021: Nashville, TN. The Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference was created in 2006 by author/filmmaker Clay Stafford in an effort to bring together forensic experts, writers, and fans of crime and thriller literature. "At the conference, we try diligently to ensure that the weekend has something for every writer and lover of literature, and our sessions are structured to assist writers on multiple career levels. Our learning tracks tackle the craft of writing, business of writing, marketing, and forensics. Killer Nashville features nine breakout sessions for intense smaller group interaction, an authors’ bar (free for hotel guests), a moonshine and wine tasting, free agent/editor roundtable pitch sessions, a mock crime scene designed by special agents and other law enforcement professionals, cocktail receptions, the Guest of Honor Dinner and Awards Banquet, film previews, live music performances and—of course—all the great activities one can enjoy in downtown Nashville."

The Alabama Writers' Conclave. August 20 - 22, 2021: Orange Beach, Alabama. The Alabama Writers' Cooperative presents this year's conference as a virtual opportunity on Zoom; it is free to all humans who register to participate. The Conclave is today one of the oldest continuing writers' organization in the United States. Writers, aspiring writers and supporters of the writing arts may join. Sharing information, developing ideas, honing skills, and receiving practical advice are hallmarks of the annual meeting. Will be held online.

The Whole Novel Workshop. August 21 - 27, 2021: Honesdale, PA. "This is a seven-day online workshop that features a full manuscript critique, evening “live” lectures and discussions, daily writing prompts, one-to-one mentorship, faculty Q&A, optional open mic readings and more! Online Workshop Participant Cap: 20 students. Join Us To: Have the entire draft of your novel read and critiqued." Application Deadline: June 1, 2021. Will be held online and in person.

Writing on the Door: Fiction Master Class with Jane Hamilton. August 23 - 27, 2021. Application Deadline: May 10, 2021. Full.

Storymakers & Indie Author Hub Writing Conference. Aug 26 - 28, 2021: Blue Springs, MO. "The SMIAH Writers Conference is a writing event sponsored by both the Storymakers Author Guild and Indie Author Hub Guild. This conference is on it's tenth year of inspiring authors from across the country and around the world, giving them the tools they need to take their writing to the next level. The 2021 will continue to bring a unique spin to the traditional writers conference, offering both in-person and virtual attendance options. With a distinctly Indie flavor and all the traditional building blocks, this is the conference you need to step out of the ruts and see your writing and career clearly." Will be held online and in person.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

7 Agents Seeking Nonfiction, Social Justice, Kidlit, Memoir, Literary Fiction and more

Here are seven literary agents actively seeking clients. Rebecca Eskildsen is actively growing her list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. She is looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives. 

Delia Berrigan Fakis is looking for nonfiction, as well as literary and commercial fiction, mysteries, and children’s picture books. Alison Lewis represents a wide range of nonfiction and fiction, with a particular focus on journalism, narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, history, science, literary fiction, memoir and essays. Kathryn Willms is seeking History; Memoir; Sports; Business; Biography; Health and Wellness; Women’s Issues; Culture; Current Affairs; Journalism; Food and Drink; Self-improvement; Science; Film.

Sulamita Garbuz gravitates primarily towards nonfiction, with an emphasis on books with a social justice bent. Nicole Eisenbraun is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, in all genres. Lisette Verhagen is seeking fiction and nonfiction, especially from immigrants and foreign language writers.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change. 

NOTEDon't submit to two agents at the same agency simultaneously. If one rejects you, you may then submit to another.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

____________________

Ms. Rebecca Eskildsen of Writers House

I’ve been at Writers House since 2017, supporting Merrilee Heifetz with all client needs, from editorial to accounting, contract negotiation, and other administrative details. I have worked closely with a range of authors, including Neil Gaiman, the Estate of Octavia E. Butler, Alexandra Bracken, Beth Revis, Melissa Marr, Ellen Datlow, Kristen Orlando, Amanda Panitch, and Robin McKinley, among many others.

What she is seeking: I am actively growing my list, with a particular interest in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Across the board, I’m looking to elevate LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices, among other underrepresented narratives.  In middle grade, I’m looking for a range of fiction, from fun adventure stories to contemporary books that make kids feel seen. Mostly I want to see fresh, engaging voices, particularly narratives with a sense of humor and a strong emotional core. For YA, I’m looking for some darker themes and twisty, gripping stories, but also some lighthearted fun! Give me your ambitious “unlikable” girls (ugh - I’ll like them) and your funny, slow-burn romances. I’m looking for a more limited variety of adult books. I’d love to have my inbox full of contemporary rom coms. I’m also looking for sagas about families and/or friends, of any age or topic, and I’m looking for 20-something coming-of-age stories.

How to submit: Please send a personalized query letter and the first 15 pages of your manuscript, pasted in the body of your email, to me at reskildsen[at]writershouse[dot]com. The subject line should read “Query [genre] [TITLE].” Please include any information you feel is relevant.

____________________


Ms. Delia Berrigan Fakis
 of Martin Literary Management

I grew up in Washington, DC, earned my BA in English from Drew University in Madison, NJ and my MS in Publishing from New York University in New York City. I spent the first 15 years of my career at John Wiley & Sons, the Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency, and was subsequently recruited to Hallmark Cards, Inc. headquarters in Kansas City to help lead the book division. 

What she is seeking: Adult Nonfiction in the areas of:

  • Business
  • Thought Leadership
  • Memoir
  • True Crime
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • History and Current Affairs
  • Religion and Spirituality

She will also take on select projects that strike her personal interest the areas in literary and commercial fiction, mysteries, and children’s picture books.

How to submit: Submit query letters to Delia@MartinLit.com

____________________

Ms. Alison Lewis of The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency

Alison Lewis joined the agency in January, 2016, having previously worked in editorial at W. W. Norton & Company. A native of Boulder, Colorado, she studied English at Middlebury College and, for five years, was editor of the literary magazine American Chordata.

What she is seeking: She represents a wide range of nonfiction and fiction, with a particular focus on journalism, narrative nonfiction, cultural criticism, history, science, literary fiction, memoir and essays.

How to submit: Please send a query letter to submissions@zpagency.com with a brief synopsis of your work and a short bio, along with up to 25 pages of sample material in the body of the email (no attachments will be opened).

____________________

Ms. Kathryn Willms of The Rights Factory (CANADA)

Kathryn Willms has over 12 years of professional writing, editing, and management experience. Since 2017, she has run Kwill Communications, an editorial firm specializing in educational and academic work, as well as providing substantive, stylistic, and copy editing for non-fiction authors. Prior to this, she was vice-president and senior editor at Colborne Communications, where she managed, wrote, and edited projects for corporate, government, and education clients. As publisher at Iguana Books, she oversaw acquisitions, production, sales, and marketing for over 25 books, a list that included fiction, non-fiction, and children’s. Before her foray into publishing, she worked in financial services and as a sports reporter. She holds an MA in English from the University of Calgary and was awarded the Marsh Jeanneret Award for academic excellence while studying editing at Ryerson University. Over the course of her career, Kathryn has taken pride in building strong and supportive relationships with authors, and helping them find the right voice, structure, style, and audience for their work. She is excited to be continuing this work with The Rights Factory.

What she is seeking: History; Memoir; Sports; Business; Biography; Health and Wellness; Women’s Issues; Culture; Current Affairs; Journalism; Food and Drink; Self-improvement; Science; Film.

How to submit: Use her form HERE.

____________________


Ms. Sulamita Garbuz of Frances Goldin Literary Agency

Sulamita Garbuz joined the agency in 2021, after over four years at Trident Media Group. A graduate of Swarthmore College, she worked in the white collar crimes division of the US Attorney’s Office and for several labor unions before entering publishing. 

What she is seeking: Sulamita gravitates primarily towards nonfiction, with an emphasis on books with a social justice bent. Her areas of specialty include narrative nonfiction, memoir, psychology, science, and journalism. She is also looking for character driven literary fiction, and is especially excited by novels that use speculative or dreamlike elements to explore current social dynamics, stories of obsession and women misbehaving, and narratives about immigration and the 2nd generation experience.

How to submit: Send your query to  sg@goldinlit.com


____________________

Ms. Nicole Eisenbraun of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Nicole Eisenbraun is an associate agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. 

What she is seeking: She is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, in all genres. For fiction, she is particularly interested in great fairytale retellings with colorful twists and stories that tackle difficult subjects in unexpected ways. For nonfiction, she is looking for books focused on science, history, popular culture, and social issues. She graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and now lives in Brooklyn. She is a member of the AALA Contracts and Copyright Committees.

How to submit: Please email queries to nme@cbltd.com with ‘nmequery’ in the subject line, including just your query letter and contact information. Nicole will respond if she’s interested in seeing more.

____________________


Ms. Lisette Verhagen
 of Peters Fraser & Dunlop (UK)

Lisette Verhagen joined PFD from David Godwin Associates, where she has been Head of Rights for the past five years. She is actively building a list with a strong focus on foreign-language clients for sale both to the UK and around the world. She is also working with International Rights Director, Rebecca Wearmouth, and the foreign rights team selling rights to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

What she is seeking: "I’m especially looking for sweeping stories big in scope, strong narrative and original voices that need to be shared with the rest of the world. I especially have a weak spot for gripping immigrant novels that tell us something about ourselves and the world we live in. Submissions can be written in any language, as long as they have high potential to travel and are submitted with an extensive synopsis and author’s biography in English. Making foreign books travel has always been a dream to me, and I’m very excited to see that there is a growing interest in foreign authors from publishers all over the world."

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...