Friday, April 30, 2021

Self-Published Book Gets Movie Deal ... Without an Agent

This is an eye-opening article about a writer who could not get his book published and ended up with a movie deal.
Not a single agent was interested in D. Eric Maikranz' debut novel about a young man who is haunted by the total recall of two past lives and then stumbles upon an ancient secret society of other people just like him. So, he self-published his book. But there was a twist. 

On the first page, he encouraged his readers to help by offering a cash reward to anyone who would introduce his novel to a Hollywood producer. And it worked!

Under normal circumstances, I would raise a skeptical eyebrow about this strategy. But, I know from experience that fans will do more for your book than agents or publishers. And if your fans are motivated by the same reward an agent would get, why not give them the opportunity? 

As a case in point, my first book was sold to Random House by a new assistant. The assistant, who had just been hired, loved my book. My agent had not been able to sell my book in two years, but all it took was her young assistant's enthusiasm to get Random House interested. Who is more enthusiastic about your writing than your loyal readers? Give them a chance. You may be surprised. 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Want To See Your Book Become A Movie? It’ll Take Perseverance And Patience.

By D. Eric Maikranz -April 6, 2021: Book Baby Blog

From Hollywood to Nepal, this story of how a self-published novel became a major motion picture started with an author’s crazy idea of turning readers into agents. Crazy… until it worked!

My debut novel, The Reincarnationist Papers, is being re-released in print, eBook, and audiobook by Blackstone Publishing this year, the same year that the movie Infinite, a Paramount Pictures adaptation of my novel starring Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien, will hit theaters globally. This has been a dream come true for me, but only a few people know what it took to get here. It’s been a long journey of ups and downs, successes and rejections, risks and giant rewards, and it all started with the tiniest of ideas...

Read the rest of this fascinating article HERE.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

104 Calls for Submissions in May 2021 - Paying markets

This May there are more than eight 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 credit: Pixabay)


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: May 1, 2021.

WitnessRestrictions: Black writers only. Genre: Poetry, nonfiction. Payment: $50. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Urhi Publishing: The Needle DropsGenre: Horror: Fiction and poetry. Payment: £15 per poem. £50 - £100 for fiction. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Sundog LitGenre: Poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Payment: $25. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

The Hungry Ghost ProjectGenre: Fiction and creative non-fiction up to 1000 words on the topics of food, hauntings, memory and consumption, both independently and combined. Payment: £5. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Mythulu MagazineGenre: Short stories that feature wildly original biomes or bizarre weather.  Payment: $0.06/word or $15/page. Non-fiction pays 0.08/word. Creative works earn 0.04/word, with short stories capped at $75. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Mud Season ReviewGenre: Nonfiction up to 6,000 words, art, fiction. Payment: $50. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

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

BoulevardGenre: Poems up to 200 lines. Send up to five poems. Also fiction and nonfiction.  Payment: $25-250 for poetry, and $100-300 for prose. Deadline: May 1, 2021. No submission fee for mailed submissions.

Cryptids Emerging: Tales of Dark CheerGenre: "Contemporary supernatural or historical fantasy about cryptids living with humans, or just at the edge of our vision, stories of what the world would look like if cryptids were real." Payment: 0.05¢ American per word for stories up to 5,000 words. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

FoglifterGenres: Poetry, prose, cross-genre work. "Foglifter welcomes daring and thoughtful work by queer and trans writers in all forms, and we are especially interested in cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work." Payment: $25. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Nonbinary ReviewGenre: Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and flash, up to 3000 words on theme of Industrial Revolution. Payment: For prose, 1¢ US per word, and $10 US per poem. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Bear Creek GazetteGenre: Anyhing you might find in a regular newspaper, keeping in mind the fact that Bear Creek does not exist. "The B.C.G is here to document the weird, scary and beautiful things that take place in the town." Payment: $30. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

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

HavokGenre: Flash fiction 300 - 1,000 words on theme of RULER / REBEL. Payment: Pays for anthologies only. Deadline: May 2, 2021. See accepted genres.

Midnight and IndigoGenre: Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, and Personal Essays written by Black women writers. Payment: $50 - $100. Deadline: May 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: May 3, 2021.

The Other Stories (Audio). Genre: Horror on theme of Space. Payment: 15 GBT. Deadline: May 3, 2021.

Black Cat Magazine. Genre: Speculative fiction, art, and poetry. Payment: $30. Deadline: May 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: May 7, 2021.  Opens to submissions on May 1.

SciencefictioneryGenre: Science fiction short stories and poems. Payment: 3 pence per word for fiction and £30 per poem. (Approx 4 cents per word / $40 US) Deadline: May 7, 2021. 

MacroMicroCosmGenre: Speculative fiction, nonfiction and poetry on theme of From Fae Folk to Folk Tales, Folklore. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: May 7, 2021. 

Bennington ReviewGenre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work. Payment: $100 for prose of six typeset pages and under, $200 for prose of over six typeset pages, and $20 per poem, in addition to two copies of the issue in which the piece is published and a copy of the subsequent issue. Deadline: May 8, 2021.

Fantasy Magazine. Genre: Fantasy short stories, flash fiction, poetry. Payment8 cents per word; $40 per poem. Deadline: May 8, 2021.

Kingdoms in the WildRestrictions: Open to Black writers. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $125. Deadline: May 10, 2021.

Shoreline of InfinityGenre: Science fiction, fantasy. LGBTQ writers only. Payment: £10/1000 words. Deadline: May 13, 2021.

Georgia ReviewGenre: Fiction, poetry, non-fiction. Payment: $50 per printed page for prose and $4 per line for poetry. Essay-reviews and standard reviews earn honoraria of $50/printed page. Deadline: May 14, 2021. Fee to submit online; no fee for postal submissions.

The Hero’s Journey. Genre: Short stories with the theme of ‘The Hero’s Journey’ at their core. Length: Up to 5,000 words. Payment: £50. Deadline: May 14, 2021. Africa RisenRestrictions: Open to writers of African descent only. Genre: Speculative fiction up to 5,000 words. “Africa Risen will take readers on a fantastical Pan-African journey inspired by indigenous African lore, and the richness found in immigrant and Diasporan narratives, gathering new tales of alien entities, scientists, spiritual guides, priests, and deities. Ideal contributors will craft tales that reveal all the rich cultural diversity found on the African continent and every corner of our world, for Africa’s reach is wide and expansive, revealing that Africa is not rising; it’s already here.” Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: May 14, 2021.

NewfoundGenre: Fiction, Flash, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation, and Visual Arts. Payment: $25. Deadline: May 15, 2021. Submit early in the month.

Women Slaying Gothic HorrorGenre: Fresh, modern Gothic Horror stories between 1.000 and 15.000 words written by women. Payment: 4 cents/word. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Prismatic DreamsGenre: Speculative fiction. They are looking specifically for works featuring LGBTQIA+ protagonists. Payment: $20. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Weird Little Worlds: Humans Are The Problem. Genre: Speculative fiction up to 5,000 words. "“Monsters are losing their place in a world flooded with technology and false movie representation. Their hunting grounds are diminishing in an “always-on” world. These are the stories of how monsters are adapting to the 21st century and fighting back to regain their place of power." Payment: $0.06/word. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

OrcaGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $25. Deadline: May 15, 2021. Submit early in the month to avoid submission fee.

Grain Literary Magazine is a Canadian publication. Genres: Individual poems, sequences, or suites up to a maximum of 6 pages, fiction, literary nonfiction. Payment: CAD $50 per page up to CAD $250. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

WitnessRestrictions: Black writers only. Genre: Fiction. Payment: $50. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Honeyguide Magazine is a bi-annual magazine that features fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art, and blog posts about animals and their human neighbors. Payment: $50. Only pays for features. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

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

Outlook SpringsGenre: "Send us your weird, wobbly wordwork: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry." Payment: $10 per poem, $10 per flash piece (under 1,000 words), $25 for short fiction and essays (over 1,000 words). Payment via PayPal or Venmo. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas StoriesGenre: True stories and poems. "The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our lives. Were your traditions and celebrations different this year? Were you able to gather with family, go to church, attend holiday parties and 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. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Please See MeGenre: Poetry, creative nonfiction/essays, fiction/short stories/flash fiction, scripts and digital media (photography, drawings, podcasts, and short films). "Patients, students, family members, caregivers, nurses, physicians, healthcare consumers, artists, mental health providers, physical therapists, writers, clergy—all of us will be patients one day and all are welcome to submit work. We are especially looking for content from vulnerable populations and those who care for them; content that connects us with every community, makes us feel something, helps us see illness, wellness, health, or the healthcare environment differently, and inspires equality in healthcare and the world." Theme: Rest & Recovery. Payment: Unspecified. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

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

Songs of EretzGenre: Poetry, cover art on theme of Love. Payment: $5. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Time CapsulesGenre: Stories about opening time capsules. Payment: $15.00 plus equal share of 50% of the anthology’s royalties for stories. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

LamplightGenre: Dark fiction, both short stories and flash fiction. Payment: Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max. Reprints: 1¢ per word up to 7,000 words. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Queer monsters anthologyGenre: Poems and short stories that "subvert the horror gaze, allowing writers and readers to celebrate monsters that have once been feared, and even question who the real monsters are and what makes something horrific or monstrous." Contributors must be LGBTQIA2S+.  Payment: Honorarium. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Sonder MagazineGenre: Fiction, CNF and poetry on theme of Indulge. Payment: "Small." Deadline: May 16, 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: May 16, 2021.

The Other Stories (Audio). Genre: Horror on theme of Post-Apocalypse. Payment: 15 GBT. Deadline: May 17, 2021.

Mason Jar PressGenre: Short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. "We want it weird but accessible."  Payment: $5 a poem or flash (up to 1,100 words). $10 for longer pieces. Deadline: May 17, 2021.

Savant-GardeGenre: Fiction and poetry. "Our editors are fascinated by the awe-inspiring, almost mystical elements of the world––those that help elicit wonder, or fear even." Payment: $20 CAD. Deadline: May 18, 2021.

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

Claw & BlossomGenre: Poetry and prose. See themes. Payment: $25. Deadline: May 23, 2021. Submit early in the month to avoid submission fees.

Story Seed VaultGenre: Fiction based on science. Up to 200 characters. Payment: Up to $3AUD per story. Deadline: May 24, 2021.

Queer Survivor e-ZineRestrictions: Queer survivors of sexual abuse and violence of all backgrounds, ages, identities, and geographical locations. Prioritizing BIPOC submissions. Genre: Artistic submissions of ANY medium (writing, drawings, paintings, music, songs, poems, prose, graphic design, time lapses, short films, videos). Payment: $25. Deadline: May 24, 2021.

With Painted WordsGenre: Flash fiction and poetry. Theme: Aliens. Payment: $3. Deadline: May 25, 2021.

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

“WHAT ONE WOULDN’T DO” Genre: Short stories. "I’m looking for sacrifices, risky wagers, high stakes, and especially—if you’re familiar with my own writing—the unintended consequences and fallout of said things. I’m interested in the lengths characters would go to “fill-in-the-blank-here.” I’m open to anything in the dark speculative fiction realm. I think blending genres/sub-genres around this theme could make for something special." Payment: 2 cents/word. Deadline: May 29, 2021.

Dragon Soul Press: GlitchGenre: LitRPG genre. "Playing Virtual Reality games is a favorite pastime, but getting trapped in them due to a glitch is another story. It’s a true fight for survival now and the only way out is to finish the game." Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: May 30, 2021.

Sanitarium MagazineGenre: Dark verse, flash fiction and short horror stories. Payment: $5 - $10.  Deadline: May 30, 2021.

Classic Monsters UnleashedGenre: Dark, scary stories featuring a classic monster or monsters (think famous creatures from pre-1960 horror movies). Length: 1500 to 5000 words. Payment: 6 cents/word. Deadline: May 30, 2021.

Madness Heart: Trigger WarningGenre: Horror. "Give us your stories of grave robbing, necrophilia, necrocannibalism, necromancy, necrophobia, desecration, deification. Bring out your dead and paint the streets in the blood of the living and the rot of the disrespected dead... We want stomach-churning, the ultra-violent, the painful to read." Payment: $10. Deadline: May 30, 2021.

Kweli Journal. "Kweli is the first online journal of its kind to celebrate community and cultural kinships. In this shared space, you will hear the lived experience of people of color. Our many stories. Our shared histories. Our creative play with language. Here our memories are wrapped inside the music of the Muscogee, the blues songs of the South, the clipped patois of the Caribbean." Genre: Self-contained novel excerpt, short story, or creative non-fiction piece, poetry. Length: No more than 7,000 words. Payment: "upon publication." Deadline: May 30, 2021.

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

Crunchy With KetchupGenre: Speculative stories that feature really badass dragons. Payment: $15.00 plus equal share of 50% of the anthology’s royalties for stories. Deadline: May 31, 2021.'

Joining ForcesGenre: Speculative stories on theme of Collaboration and Cooperation. Payment: $5 per thousand words., Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Night Terrors. Genre: Unpublished short horror stories that focus on ghosts, the supernatural, paranormal, monsters, and dark tales. They want dark, creepy, weird, and unsettling fiction up to 7,000 words. Payment: 1 cent per word ($10 for every 1,000 words prorated, $50 for every 5,000 words prorated). Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Railroad Tales. Genre: Supernatural stories of between 2.000 and 10.000 words that involve the supernatural in connection with railroads, railways, or any aspect of rail travel or location. The stories should be set at any point in the past and be historically accurate where appropriate. Payment: £50  for original stories, £50 for reprints. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

MIT Technology ReviewGenre: Poetry on the theme of the Mind/Brain and technology (this can be quite loosely interpreted). Payment: $250 a poem. If you're interested, submit no more than 2 poems, and please include a very brief bio. Nothing that's been published before and no simultaneous submissions, please. Email Niall Firth: niall dot firth at technology review dot com. Deadline: May 31st.

AntithesisGenre: Poetry, research articles, art, and short fiction, creative nonfiction, and personal essays up to 3,500 words on the theme of Defy. Payment: $50 AUD. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Prairie FireGenre: Fiction, poetry, CNF on theme of Roots & Routes. Payment: Prose: $0.10 per word; Poetry: $40 per poem. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

League of Canadian Poets: The Way Out Is the Way In. Restrictions: Open to disabled Canadian citizens and poets living and/or practicing in Canada. Genre: Poetry. Payment: $25. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Blood & Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by WomenGenre: Horror. "We’re looking for body horror stories by women writers that explore, celebrate and dissect (perhaps literally!) femininity and the female experience." Length: Anything between 1,000 – 6,000 words. Payment: 0.01 USD per word, plus an electronic contributor’s copy. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Antioch ReviewGenre: Nonfiction articles and fiction geared to an educated audience. Payment: $20/page. Deadline: May 31, 2021. Snail mail submissions only.

Tinderbox Poetry JournalGenre: Poetry. Payment: $15. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

NectarGenre: Poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

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

University Press of Kentucky New Poetry & Prose SeriesGenre: Books of poetry or fiction (novels, short story collections, etc.). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Pole to Pole Publishing: Re-EnlistGenre: Dark science fiction stories related to the military and war. "Send us military science fiction stories, ones you’ve had published before, for which full rights have already reverted back to you. We have open minds about what constitutes “military” and “science fiction” but we’re insisting on good stories told well." Payment: $10. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Die Laughing: An Anthology of Humorous MysteriesGenre: Mystery/crime stories with off-beat characters, bungling detectives, or funny premises. Length: 1k-8k words. Payment: 2 cents USD per word, B&W comics $25 USD. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

University Press of KentuckyGenre: Books of poetry, fiction, and short stories. Payment: Royalties (?) Deadline: May 31, 2021. Opens May 1. 
CrimeucopiaGenre: Crime Fiction. Payment: Reprints - To a Maximum of - £7.00 at present - but negotiable. New Material - 1,000 - 5,000 - up to £10 .00 at present. New Material - 6.000 - 10,000 - up to £20.00 at present. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Darkness BloomsGenre: Dark fiction on themes of Identity, Security, and Community. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Hidden Timber BooksGenre: Literary fiction or narrative nonfiction in the form of a novel, a memoir, or a collection (short stories, essays, or hybrid). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: May 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: May 31, 2021. Note: Submit early in the month.

Broken Sleep BooksGenre: Fiction pamphlets (up to 50 pages). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Alien DimensionsGenre: Science Fiction. Payment: $10. Minimum 3500 words, maximum 4,500 words. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Madness Heart PressGenre: Horror. "Give us your stories of grave robbing, necrophilia, necrocannibalism, necromancy, necrophobia, desecration, deification. Bring out your dead and paint the streets in the blood of the living and the rot of the disrespected dead." Payment: $10. Deadline: May 31, 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. DeadlineMay 31, 2021.

Re-Enlist AnthologyGenre: Dark science fiction stories related to the military and war. Payment: $10. Deadline: May 31, 2021. Reprints accepted.

Baltimore ReviewGenre: Poetry; send up to three poems, fiction, creative nonfiction, videos (including poetry), and cross-genre work. Payment: $40. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Red Cape Anthologies: J is for Jack-o’-LanternGenre: Horror. "Halloween is the theme for these stories but the Jack-o’-Lantern must play a key role." Payment: £10. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Contemporary Verse 2Genre: Poetry and critical writing about poetry, including interviews, articles, essays, and reviews. Payment: $30 - $150. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

The Other Stories (Audio). Genre: Horror on theme of Mythology. Payment: 15 GBT. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Coastal ShelfGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Payment: $20 - $30. Deadline: May 31, 2021. Opens May 15.

AgniGenre: Poetry, fiction, essays. Payment: $10 per printed (or printed-out) page for accepted prose, and $20 per page for accepted poetry, up to a maximum of $150. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

One Story. Genre: Short story. Payment: $500. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Liminality: A Magazine of Speculative PoetryGenre: Speculative Poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

The Gettysburg ReviewGenre: Poetry, fiction, essays. Payment: $2.50 per line for poetry, with a maximum of $300.00 for an individual poem, and $25.00 per printed page for prose. Deadline: May 31, 2021. Fee to submit online; no fee for postal submissions.

Cast of WondersGenre: YA Speculative fiction on Seasonal Holidays. 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: May 31, 2021.

Strange Wars, Strange Religion, and Wight Christmas! Genre: Speculative fiction. (3 anthologies). Payment: CAD 2c/word for originals; 50% rate for reprints. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Planet ScummGenre: Speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream. Payment: 2 cents a word. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Dark Moon Digest: Night Frights Issue #2. Genre: Young adult horror. Payment: 3 cents a word. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Sage Cigarettes Magazine: Mixtape EditionGenre: Poems and art works inspired by that song you heard cruising down a sun-scorched boulevard. Payment: $5 - $10. Deadline: May 31, 2021.


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: June 1, 2021.

Partners in CrimeGenre: Nonfiction, true crime accounts featuring lawbreaking couples who have joined forces to commit crime. Payment: $130. Deadline: June 1, 2021

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

Strange Orbits Sci-fi SeriesGenre: Space Opera. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title.  Payment: Royalties. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Eternal Haunted SummerGenre: Poetry, short fiction, essays about The Written Word. Payment: $5. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: AngelsGenre: True stories and poems. "We are looking for true personal stories about how an angel has touched your life – stories of true wonder and awe from people who have directly encountered or received help from angels. We’re looking for amazing stories that will make people say “wow” or give our readers chills. Have you experienced something otherworldly or celestial? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? How did your angel manifest himself or herself to you? Were you the only person who saw your angel? How did your angel protect or guide you?" Payment: $200. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Bodies Full of Burning: An Anthology of Menopause-Themed HorrorGenre: Menopause-Themed Horror. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: June 1, 2021. (Or until filled) 

Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 6Genre: Horror by Texas writers. Payment: 10,000 words - $200; 7,500 words - $150; 5,000 words - $100; 2,500 words - $50; 1,500 words - $30.00. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Parabola: FireGenre: Retellings of traditional stories: 500-1500 words, original essays and translations, poetry, reviews. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Cemetery Gates: Generation DreadRestrictions: Open to writers 15-19 years of age. Genre: Horror. Payment: $100 scholarship. Deadline: June 1, 2021.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

44 Writing Contests in May 2021 - No entry fees

This May there are nearly three dozen writing contests calling for every genre and form, from poetry, to creative nonfiction, to completed novels. Prizes range from $60,000 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! 

(Photo credit: Flickr)


Spider’s Web Flash Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Open to female-identified writers. Genre: Microfiction on the theme of Metamorphosis. Word Count: 20 to 100 words. Prize: $150. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

The CookOutRestrictions: Open to black writers. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Message to the World Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to persons up to the age of 25. Genre: Poem about Freedom. Prize: £350. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

West Virginia Fiction CompetitionRestrictions: Open to West Virginia residents or students. Genre: Short fiction, 5,000 words max. Prize: $500. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

The Waterston Desert Writing PrizeGenre: Literary nonfiction, desert theme. Prize: $1,500.   Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Questions Writing PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors aged 18-30. Genre: Short stories of any genre or nonfiction between 1500 and 2000 words. Prize: First place winners (or prize pool for a tie) is $2000. The work will also be published in a book. Deadline: May 1, 2021. 

CINTAS Creative Writing FellowshipRestrictions: Open to any Cuban author (including those of direct Cuban lineage; need not reside in Cuba). Genre: Novel excerpts, short stories, plays, or poems of up to 25 pages. Prize: $20,000 fellowship. Deadline: May 1, 2021.

Remastered Words Short Story CompetitionGenre: Fantasy short story up to 5,000 words. Prize: £75, £50, £25. The winning stories will be produced as audio shorts by voiceover artists. Deadline: May 1, 2021. Accepts reprints.

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation's history. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay, Photography, Interview with a Warrior. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: May 2, 2021 (postmarked).

Mavis Batey Essay PrizeRestrictions: Open to any student, worldwide, registered in a bona-fide university or institute of higher education, or who has recently graduated from such an institution. Genre: Nonfiction. Scholarly essay on gardening history. Prize:  £250, free membership of the Gardens Trust for a year and consideration for publication. Deadline: May 2, 2021.

The Maya Angelou Book Award was founded in 2020 to honor the legacy of Missouri-born author Maya Angelou by celebrating contemporary authors whose work has demonstrated a commitment to social justice in America and/or the world. Restrictions: Entrants must be U.S. Citizens and reside within the United States. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: May 3, 2021.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingGenre: Book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on contemporary Canadian political life. Book must be published in Canada. Prize: CAN $25,000.  Deadline: May 4, 2021.

Harper-Wood Creative Writing & Travel Award for English Poetry and LiteratureRestrictions:   Open to any student who has graduated from any university in the UK, Ireland, the Commonwealth or the USA. Genre: The Award Holder is expected to engage in a course of study or research, and produce a piece of original fiction, drama or poetry. Prize: £15,000 is provided to cover accommodation and living expenses during the course of the year. Deadline: May 5, 2021.

Spectator Contest: No. 3198: Now We Are RichYou are invited to supply an extract from a children’s book that is designed to explain economics to youngsters. Please email entries of up to 150 words/16 lines to Prize£30. Deadline: May 5, 2021.

On The Premises Mini Contest. "QUESTION EVERYTHING. For this mini-contest, show, tell, or evoke a complete story between 25 and 50 words long in which every sentence is a question (and ends with a question mark). It’s okay if technically, the sentence ends in quotation marks, because dialogue that asks a question is fine. For the purposes of this contest, “Hello?” ends in a question mark." Prize: $40. Deadline: May 7, 2021.

Reedsy. Genre: Short story on theme of Chiaroscuro. Prize: $50. Deadline: May 7, 2021.

RTÉ Radio Short Story CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Irish writers and residents of Ireland.  Genre: Short story. Prize: Up to 3,000 euros. Deadline: May 7, 2021.

All Our Various Voices. Montpelier Arts Center is seeking original and unpublished submissions for All Our Various Voices, an anthology celebrating the rich diversity of personal or family stories of immigration from writers who are 18 years of age and older and reside in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia. Prize: First Place ($200), Second Place ($150), Third Place ($100) and two Honorable Mentions ($50 each). First Place ($200), Second Place ($150), Third Place ($100) and two Honorable Mentions ($50 each). Deadline: May 7, 2021.

Spectator Contest: No. 3199: I spy. Are we facing a future in which we are spied on not only by Alexa, Siri and Cortana but also by our mattress, our vacuum cleaner, even our children’s toys? You are invited to supply a poem in which an inanimate object comments on its owner’s behaviour. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to Prize£30. Deadline: May 12, 2021.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and French-Language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

MindPath Poetry ContestGenre: Poems on the theme of mental health struggles and recovery. Prize: $100. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Leeway Foundation: Transformation AwardRestrictions: Women and transgender poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the Philadelphia area who have been creating art for social change for five or more years. Writers who have lived for at least two years in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties, who are at least 18 years of age, and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. Award: $15,000. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions: Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

The James Laughlin Award is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Genre: A second book of poetry forthcoming in the next calendar year. Must be under contract with US publisher. Restrictions: Open to US citizens and residents only. Prize: $5,000, an all-expenses-paid week long residency in Florida, and the Academy will purchase approximately 1,000 copies of the book for distribution to its members. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

Sunlight PressGenre: Flash fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: May 15, 2021.

The Roadrunner Review: High School Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Poetry, prose. Prize: $100. Deadline: May 16, 2021.

Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-FictionGenre: Literary non-fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. Prize: $60,000 will be awarded to a literary nonfiction book published between March 10, 2021 and May 18, 2021. Deadline: May 19, 2021.

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeGenre: Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. Prize: $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between March 11, 2021 and May 18, 2021. Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists. Deadline: May 19, 2021.

Writers' Trust Fiction PrizeGenre: Literary fiction, novel or short story collection. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. Prize: $60,000 will be awarded to a literary fiction book or short story collection published between March 10, 2021 and May 18, 2021. Deadline: May 19, 2021.

Erewash: A Holiday Romance. Genre: Flash fiction and poetry. "We're inviting you to write about a holiday romance. You may want to write about a holiday romance that has yet to happen, or possibly one currently happening.  It could be your writing is a memory  of a holiday romance from the past." Prize: £10. Deadline: May 27, 2021.

New Beginnings Poetry CompetitionGenre: Poetry. "Open to: anyone who feels their voice was silenced in 2020. Anywhere in the world, any age." Prize: 1st prize: £200; 2nd prize: £100.  DeadlineMay 21, 2021.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction ContestGenre: Unpublished fiction approximately 1,000 - 5,000 words. Story should pertain to music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America. Prize: $100 and publication in Jerry Jazz MusicianDeadline: May 31, 2021.

The Zachary Doss Friends in Letters Memorial Fellowship. Genre: Collaborations between two people in any genre or form. Length: 10 pages. Prize: $50. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Storytwigs micro-writing competitionRestrictions: Open to citizens/residents of United States or Canada. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Genre: Short prose 100 words or fewer on prompt of String. Prize: From $10 to $100. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Speculative Literature Foundation Older Writers GrantRestrictions: Open to writers who are fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application. Genre: Speculative fiction. Prize: $500.  Deadline: May 31, 2021.

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

The Wolfe Pack Black Orchid AwardGenre: Mystery novellas in the style of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novellas. Manuscript length: 15K-20K words. Prize: $1,000, plus recognition and publication in a forthcoming issue of AAMM. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

The Drabble Harvest ContestGenre: Drabble on theme of "Interplanetary Vacation Rentals." A "drabble" is defined as a short story containing exactly precisely no more and no fewer than 100 words. It has a title, which can be from 1 to 15 words-- but no more than 15. Prize: $5. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

bpNichol Poetry Chapbook AwardGenre: Published poetry chapbook. Restrictions: Canadian publishers only. Prize: The author receives $4,000 and the publisher receives $500. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing AwardsRestrictions: Open to aboriginal youth, 18 years or younger, residing in Ontario, Canada. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

CNO Naval History Essay ContestGenre: Essay: Naval history.  Prize: First Prize: $5,000. Second Prize:$2,500. Third Prize: $1,500. DeadlineMay 31, 2021.

Sapiens PlurumGenre: Short stories that personalize the consequences of climate change. "This year’s short-fiction contest challenges authors to ask: How can technology increase empathy and connection? The news today is full of examples of technology creating dissension and amplifying differences. We ask authors to imagine ways that technology can improve how we relate to each other and bring us closer, even across species. We welcome stories that view life from another species’ point of view and/or explore empathy between different forms of life."  Prize: 1ST PRIZE: $1000; 2ND PRIZE: $500; 3RD PRIZE: $300. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Bacopa Literary ReviewGenres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry. Prizes: First ($200) and Runner-Up ($160) prizes in each genre. All published will receive $20 and a copy of the print journal. After publication, Bacopa will be promoted online. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

A Very Short Story Contest. Genre: Short story in ten words or fewer. Prize: Free Gotham 10-week workshop. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

22 Great Writing Conferences in May 2021

Despite the pandemic, spring writing conferences and workshops are going ahead! This May most writing conferences will be held online. Virtual events still offer everything a writer might want: intensive workshops, pitch sessions with agents, to how to market yourself and your books, discussions - there is something for everyone.

For a full list of conferences held throughout the year see Writing Conferences. During the pandemic most of these are being held virtually at reduced rates. Quite a few offer scholarships, so apply early.

Photo credit: Wikimedia


Austin SCBWI 2020 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. May 1 - 2, 2021: Austin, TX. Conference on children's books with keynotes; general sessions; breakout sessions for writing, professional development and illustration; intensives for novels, picture books and illustration; critiques; pitches and more. Will be held online.

The Loft's Wordplay Conference. May 2 - 8, 2021, Minneapolis MN. "The Loft’s Wordplay aims to be Minnesota's largest celebration of readers, writers, and great books. Imagine a weekend full of famous authors and celebrated books; a weekend of readings, conversations, workshops, kids’ activities, demonstrations, and one-of-a-kind happenings with outdoor stages, cooking stages, book signings, quiet reading corners, boisterous parties, food trucks, beer tents, and books, books, books." Will be held online.

Washington Writers Conference. May 4 & 6, 2021: Bethesda, MD. Register by April 1. "Expert sessions with authors and publishing pros on the many paths to publishing — from writing killer query letters and landing an agent to going your own way and utilizing a self/hybrid model — and publicizing your book once it exists!" Will be held online.

Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference. May 5 - 7, 2021: Conducted online.

Atlanta Writers Conference. May 7 - 9, 2021, Atlanta, GA. The conference features publishing panels, pitch sessions, manuscript and query letter critiques, and a workshop on author branding for fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and graphic novelists. Previous participating publishing professionals have included editors Lashanda Anakwah (Simon & Schuster), Sean deLone (Atria Books), Sarah Grill (St. Martin’s Press), Carolina Ortiz (HarperCollins), and Melissa Ann Singer (Tor), and agents Lisa Abellera (Kimberley Cameron & Associates), Ashley Lopez (Waxman Literary Agency), Ann Rose (Prospect Agency), Eva Scalzo (Speilburg Literary Agency), and Saba Sulaiman (Talcott Notch Literary Services). NOTE: You must be a 2021 Atlanta Writers Club (AWC) member to participate in the conference (i.e., your dues need to be current through May 9, 2021). If you are not a current member or need to renew your membership, the registration process will add $50 in nonrefundable annual dues for the Atlanta Writers Club (AWC)–with membership valid for 365 days–to the total amount for the conference activities you select. Conducted via phone.

The Spring Writers' Conference. May 8, 2021: Rochester, MI. Lectures, Workshops, and Panel Discussions with a focus on nonfiction. Open to new writers, working journalists, and published authors. Professional development to move writers to the next level.

Expand Your Imagination: An Online Poetry Workshop. May 9 - June 13. "Join us for this five-week online poetry workshop to expand the geography of your imagination and create new poems that will surprise you. Write to inspiring prompts, get insightful feedback and connect with a supportive community of writers."

Longleaf Writers Conference. May 10 - 17, 2021: Seaside, Florida. "Formerly the Seaside Writers Conference, Longleaf Writers Conference is an annual gathering of creative writers from all over the nation, featuring award-winning writers in poetry and fiction and screenwriting who will offer a full week of intensive writing workshops, one day seminars, school outreach programs, and social events. This event occurs every year in May, and offers the opportunity for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers to celebrate writing, to network with other writers, and to hone their craft. There will also be seminars hosted by professional editors and literary agents who will offer one-on-one consultations. All participants who pay the full conference tuition fee will be able to take part in all daily activities, while those paying a la carte pricing will have the pick of which classes and workshops they would like to attend. The Longleaf Writers Conference is one of the only conferences in the nation to take place on one of the most beautiful beaches in the US, and every year will feature notable guest writers, literary agents, and professional editors."

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival. May 13 - 16, 2021, Salem, Massachusetts. The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. More than 150 poets will engage with thousands of New Englanders. 

VORTEXT Returning to Indigenous Wisdom for a New Time. May 14, 2021. "Chenoa will share excerpts from The Whale Child; stories and traditions of her Lummi and S’Klallam people, and wisdom from other indigenous peoples she has come to know on her travels. Participants will be guided to connect again to their own life experiences with the Natural world and their families of origin as a way to remember how to return to harmony and balance with all beings." Conducted online.

Washington Writers Conference. May 14 - 15, 2021: Bethesda, MD. Register by April 1. "As always, the centerpiece of our annual conference is one-on-one pitch sessions (six minutes apiece) with literary agents from across the country, and this year is no exception! The only difference? You’ll be pitching your book or idea via Zoom." Will be held online.

San Diego Writing Workshop. May 14 - 15, 2021. "This is a special two-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on May 14-15, 2021. In other words, it’s two days full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome. And even though this is the “San Diego” Writing Workshop, make no mistake — writers from everywhere are welcome to attend virtually."

Pennwriters Conference. May 14 - 16, 2021: Pittsburgh, PA. The 32nd Annual Pennwriters Conference features three days of workshops, panels, networking and learning to help you learn, grow, soar! Friday, Saturday and Sunday feature an open attendance slate of one-hour workshops on all things writing. The schedule is structured with open attendance, so you can take whichever classes appeal to you. Attendees will have 40+ hours of sessions to choose from. Our faculty is comprised of published authors, literary agents and editors, and other writing industry professionals. Pitch appointments are available at no additional fee. Conducted online.

Biographers International Organization Conference. May 14 - 16, 2021. The conference features panels on current issues in biography and the craft of biography, including discussion of the topics of interviewing, writing about writers, and obituary writing. The faculty includes biographers Blake Bailey, Kai Bird, David W. Blight, and Claudia Dreifus. Biographer David Levering Lewis will deliver the keynote address. The cost of the conference is $99 ($49 for BIO members). Registration is rolling through May 16. Conducted online.

VORTEXT Stars & Scars: A Poetic Constellating of the Things that Broke Us. May 15, 2021. "In this generative writing workshop, we will explore our scars—the text of healing inscribed upon the skin and within the body; and our stars—the points of brilliance and insight gathered from the movement from wound to healing. We will create a constellation of personal metaphors from which you can recognize your own distinct patterns and form your own unique narratives and mythologies." Conducted online.

Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference. May 15 - 18, 2021. The faculty for the 2021 conference will be: Francisco Cantú, Victoria Chang, Brandon Hobson, Anis Mojgani, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, and Vera Starbard. The closing speaker will be Ernestine Hayes. There will be other panels and guest speakers that will be announced as they are finalized. Conducted online.

Annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. May 18 - 22, 2021 at various locations in New York City and Los Angeles. "Join more than 125 writers and artists representing over 50 nationalities in New York City for the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival: Open Secrets. In 60+ events in venues across New York City, the 15th anniversary of New York’s first international literary festival will gather nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, and activists to discuss what we reveal and what we withhold, and the opportunities and dangers inherent in the rapid reconfiguring of the public and the private in the literary, cultural, social, and political realms." 

Bear River Writers’ Conference. May 20 - 23, 2021: Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, discussions, nature walks, and time to write.

The Writer’s Hotel Virtual Fiction Weekend. May 20 - 24, 2021. Application Deadline: April 19, 2021. "The conference features workshops, lectures on craft and publishing, one-on-one pitch sessions with agents, and readings by faculty and as well as conference attendees. The faculty includes fiction writers Chris Abani, Dan Chaon, Kwame Dawes, Elyssa East, Jeffrey Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Christina García, Tod Goldberg, Isabella Hammad, Elizabeth Hand, Pam Houston, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Rick Moody, Nami Mun, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Justin Torres, and Lidia Yuknavitch and conference directors Shanna McNair and Scott Wolven. Participating publishing professionals include editor Kevin Larimer (Poets & Writers, Inc.). The cost of the conference is $2,000."

Big Sur on Cape Cod. May 21 - 23, 2021, North Falmouth MA. Focus on children's writing. Faculty: Andrea Brown and four of her agents, four editors and four authors. 

Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers. May 24 - 28, 2021: Houston, Texas. Daily workshops, readings, craft talks, social events and professionalism panels in an intimate and supportive environment designed specifically with the needs of emerging writers in mind.

Balticon 55. May 28 - 31, 2021: Baltimore, MD. Balticon is sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS). BSFS presents the Compton Crook Award, the Robert A. Heinlein Award, and the winner of the annual Jack L. Chalker Young Writer's Contest annually at this event. Faculty: Guest of Honor: Catherine Asaro. Multiple tracks of Programming over the four day weekend, featuring authors, artists, scientists, musicians, podcasters, publishers, editors, costumers and other creative SF luminaries. Will be held online.

Monday, April 26, 2021

13 Mystery and Thriller Publishers Open to Submissions - No Agent Required

Updated 9/26/23

Whodunnits never go out of style, and neither do pulse-pounding thrillers, so if you write mysteries or thrillers, you are in luck. 

Here are a baker's dozen mystery and thriller publishers that don't require an agent. All are traditional publishers. (No vanity presses) Make sure your manuscript is complete before you submit. None of these publishers accept proposals or partially completed work.

Happy submitting!

For a list of over 400 traditional publishers accepting unagent submissions see: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

(Image credit: Pixabay)


Camel Press is the genre imprint of Coffeetown Press. (Coffeetown Press publishes memoir, nonfiction, some literary mysteries, and literary fiction). "Camel Press is a feisty little publisher with a mission: to be your trusted purveyor of popular literature—the stuff that makes you lie in the sun too long and read in bed until the cock crows, the urban chickens start clucking, or your neighbor leaves for her 6 am shift." Seeking: Genre fiction: mystery/suspense, cozy mystery, mystery thrillers, romantic suspense and romance (contemporary and historical). They also consider general fiction, historical fiction and westerns. Read their guidelines here.

Close to the Bone "We are looking for bank robberies gone bad, double-crossing bastards going at it, serial killers with a heart (maybe literally), redemption and revenge. We like it thoughtful and well written. We publish work that is gritty, graphic and disturbing and stress readers err on the side of caution when reading certain themes. We will consider other genres such as western, science fiction, transgressive fiction and maybe fantasy, as long as they fit in with the grit theme we are looking for. We are not bothered about form and shape. As long as it’s noir and punchy, we will consider it. We publish novels, novellas, short story collections and chapbooks." They also publish short stories. Read their guidelines here.

Crooked Lane publishes mysteries, thrillers, and suspense. titles in both print and electronic editions. Crooked Lane Books is distributed through Legato Publishers Group, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Crooked Lane is also represented by Biagi Literary Management for subsidiary rights licensing in foreign and domestic markets, and their business relationships include Bookspan, home of the country’s largest book clubs, and Blackstone Audio, one of the nation’s largest independent audiobook publishers. Read submission guidelines here.

Fahrenheit Press exclusively publishes mysteries and thrillers. They accept self-published and previously published work, provided the author has all the rights. They offer a generous royalty rate of 50% on both eBooks & paperback editions for a 5 year contract. Read submission guidelines here.

Felony and Mayhem was launched in 2005, and now has more than 100 titles in print. Their focus is on literary mystery fiction. "We love wit, we love elegance, we love distinctive narrative voices. And while we may sound a little snotty, the truth is that we would love nothing more than to find your witty, elegant, distinctive manuscript in our inbox." The minimum length is roughly 75,000 words. Read submission guidelines here. Has submission periods.

Hard Case Crime publishes old-fashioned, hard-boiled crime novels with "bare-knuckled" prose. They are unabashedly dedicated to "reviving the vigor and excitement, the suspense and thrills—the sheer entertainment—of the golden age of paperback crime novels, both by bringing back into print the best work of the pulp era and by introducing readers to new work by some of today's most powerful writers and artists. Determined detectives and dangerous women...fortune hunters and vengeance seekers...ingenious criminals and men on the run..." Read submission guidelines here.

Joffe Books is one of the UK’s leading independent publishers of crime and mystery novels. Many of their authors have topped the best-seller lists. They accept submissions from published authors and new writers, as well as authors who wish to relaunch their back-list titles. They are seeking mysteries, crime fiction, psychological thrillers, detective, thrillers, and suspense. Read submission guidelines here.

Level Best, a publisher of anthologies, has recently opened its doors to full-length manuscript submissions. They are seeking crime fiction novels in the following categories: mystery, thriller, suspense, historical, traditional, and contemporary. No works of erotica or science fiction at this time. Read submission guidelines here.

Lyrical Press, an imprint of Kensington, publishes suspense fiction, thrillers, and cozy mysteries. They have a penchant for romance. Submit to one editor only. (The list of editors includes the genres they are receiving.) Response time is three months. Read submission guidelines here.

Oceanview Press is an independent publisher of original mystery, thriller, and suspense titles.  Oceanview Publishing’s titles have received many awards and award nominations.  Submissions will be accepted if the author has previously been published by a traditional publishing house (not self-published or published by a vanity press).  Read submission guidelines here

Red Dog Press (UK) publishes thrillers, crime stories or mysteries. "As a small indie, we are actively trying to promote diversity in publishing. As a result, we are especially keen to hear from authors less well represented in traditional publishing — especially in crime, whether that be authors of colour, authors from the LGBTQ+ community, or authors with disabilities whether seen or unseen. We will accept romance or sci-fi if they break traditional molds. We will look at shorter novellas (25,000 words plus) only as part of a series. No standalone novels under 70,000 words, please." Read submission guidelines here.

Seventh Street Bookswhere fiction is a crime—is devoted to publishing quality mystery, thriller, and crime fiction. It is an imprint of Prometheus Books, an independent publisher of progressive nonfiction. A number of their debut titles have won prestigious awards, including the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Anthony Award. Read submission guidelines here.

Tule Publishing specializes in romance and mystery ebooks. In mysteries they are looking for Domestic suspense, Cozy mysteries, Private Investigators, Mystery stories with diverse characters, Detective mysteries with women sleuths, Police Procedural, Thrillers. Read submission guidelines here.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Bringing Pulp Fiction Back to Life

Pulp fiction was quite popular through the 1940s, when pulp magazines generated millions of sales. Unlike literary works, pulp fiction was considered "cheap," both literally and figuratively. Pulp magazines were printed on less expensive pulp paper and the topics were often racy, characterized by a lot of action. The stories were appealing to an audience eager for adventure.

Pulp magazines, which had been the nation's single largest outlet for short stories, collapsed in the 1950s on the heels of post-WWII paper shortages. Lately there has been a resurgence of interest in pulp. But, with those magazines out of print, the stories are no longer accessible to readers. 

Enter Michael Tierney and Robert Allen Lupton, two pulp historians who have launched an impressive kickstarter campaign to resuscitate The Cosmic Courtship, a work of pulp fiction. The book is notable because it was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne's son, Julian. 

Tierney and Lupton hope to bring Hawthorne's  swashbuckling space adventure back into print. If there is enough interest and support to turn this into an ongoing project, they will work with pulp archivists to rescue these nearly lost works and make them available both in print and digitally so that they can be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

From the website:

Julian Hawthorne was an incredibly prolific writer in his own right. Julian wrote on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from literary analysis of his father's works to poetry to period romances and adventures. Late in his career, Julian even dabbled in the emerging genre of Science Fiction [Hugo Gernsback had only recently coined the awkward term "Scientifiction" when this story was first published.]

The Cosmic Courtship was serialized in Frank A. Munsey's All-Story Weekly across four issues, beginning with the November 24, 1917 issue and running through the December 15, 1917 issue. While this story has been in the public domain for some time, it has never been collected or published elsewhere until now.

The foremost goal of this project is to get an exciting, essentially lost, classic pulp story back into print and into the hands of scifi fans, pulp aficionados, and readers in general! What do we mean by "essentially lost"? While The Cosmic Courtship is a work in the Public Domain and part of the world's common literary heritage, there's virtually no way for anyone to read it! It has only ever been printed in now very expensive and hard to find pulp magazines. Even if cost were not an object, availability often is. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

4 New Agents Seeking Memoirs, Literary Fiction, SF/F, Romance, Horror and more

Updated 8/3/22

Here are four new literary agents actively building their client lists. Lee O'Brien is looking for books with clear stakes and an immersive world, as well as anything with lots of atmosphere, magic, monsters, intrigue, or a plot full of twists and turns across all age categories. 

Paige Terlip is actively building her list of illustrators and is especially looking for author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators. Isabel Kaufman is seeking young adult fiction (all genres), science fiction/fantasy, romance, historical fiction, literary fiction, thrillers, horror, and graphic novels as well as narratives focused on travel, food, and the science of beauty. Lindsay Guzzardo represents adult fiction. 

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

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


Lee O'Brien
of Irene Goodman Literary Agency

Originally from Long Island, Lee returned to New York to join IGLA after completing an MA in English literature from UC Davis. Since starting at IGLA in 2019, Lee has worked first as an intern, then as a junior agent and assistant. 

What they are seeking: Across all age categories, they’re looking for books with clear stakes and an immersive world, as well as anything with lots of atmosphere, magic, monsters, intrigue, or a plot full of twists and turns. They’re actively seeking underrepresented voices, and they have a particular soft spot for queer romance (whether it’s an epic love story or a first crush), ace rep, and trans kids with swords.

How to submit: See submission instructions HERE. (Note: Lee will re-open to submissions on Sept 5)


Prior to becoming an Associate Agent, Paige was a Senior Assistant for Executive Agent Laura Rennert, and has been with ABLA for over three years. She comes to agenting with a background in marketing, design, and freelance editorial. She’s worked at Charlesbridge Publishing, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and a ranch in the Rockies. She has an MA in Children's Literature and an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. If she’s not reading, you'll find her practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, re-watching the Great British Baking Show, or hiking with her Husky-Shepherd mix.

What she is seeking: Paige Terlip is actively building her list of illustrators and is especially looking for author-illustrators and graphic novel illustrators.

How to submit: Use her submission form HERE.


Ms. Isabel Kaufman
of Fox Literary

Fox Literary is a boutique agency which represents commercial and literary fiction, along with select works of nonfiction that have broad commercial appeal.

What she is seeking: Young adult fiction (all genres), science fiction/fantasy, romance, historical fiction, literary fiction, thrillers, horror, and graphic novels. "We're always interested in books that cross genres and reinvent popular concepts with an engaging new twist (especially when there’s a historical and/or speculative element involved). On the nonfiction side: narratives focused on travel, food, and the science of beauty, as well as microhistories of all things decadent and frivolous."

How to submit: Email a query letter and the first 5 pages of your manuscript IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL to Please include the name of the agent to whom the submission is directed in the salutation of your email.


Ms. Lindsay Guzzardo
of Martin Literary Management

Through tenures at Amazon Publishing, Guideposts Books, and Penguin/Signet, Lindsay Guzzardo acquired and edited numerous bestselling titles to fantastic customer and trade reviews, particularly in commercial fiction, women's fiction, and romance. She edited Guideposts Books’ first New York Times-bestseller, "A Sweethaven Summer," and was one of the original editors brought onboard at Amazon Publishing, where she was pivotal in launching Montlake Romance. At Amazon, she acquired debut romantic suspense author Kendra Elliot, whose titles have sold eight million+ copies, and Marina Adair's bestselling Vineyard Series, which was turned into a hit movie trilogy for the Hallmark Channel. She was also nominated for three RITA Awards, the romance industry’s highest honor.

What she is seeking: Adult genre fiction.

How to submit: Use her query manager HERE.

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