Thursday, December 28, 2023

2024 New Year's Writing Resolution: Revise Your Darlings

William Faulkner is purported to have coined the phrase: "Kill all your darlings." (Although that maxim is attributed to Faulkner, Arthur Quiller-Couch had advised writers to "murder your darlings" decades earlier in 1914.) As a piece of writing advice, "kill your darlings" is simply a warning not to become too enamored with your lovingly created turns of phrase. Like Pygmalion, falling in love with own's own creation doesn't necessarily turn out well for the creator.

This year, in keeping with my tradition of making a New Year's writing resolution, I have resolved, not to kill my darlings, but to rephrase them. I have come to the realization that my work needs some rather drastic pruning. So, I am going to revise.

Writers tend to focus on composition. The act of creation is not only enjoyable, it provides an invigorating boost to the ego. Composition relies on talent, the innate ability to observe, and put those observations into words (or music, or any art form) in a way that is memorable. But while composition begins with talent, which I maintain can't be taught, it ends with revision, which is a skill that has to be learned. 

Revising your own work requires distance. You have to read it as if you didn't write it. That is not easy. Once you have expressed something with language, those words become imprinted in your mind. Not only are they hard to forget, it is very difficult to change those words in any major way. And, of course, there is the dilemma of not knowing if they even need changing.

The best way to revise is to put your work down for a long time, not just a few days, or even weeks, but months. Write something else. Populate your mind with other words, other observations, other stories. Then, once you are thoroughly distanced, go back to your previous work and read it, not as its creator, but as a reader does, with fresh eyes.

Then ask yourself a simple question: "Am I bored?"

Good writing is not boring. It engages the senses, and stimulates thought. Most of all, it produces an emotional response. If your writing doesn't make you feel as if you are there, it needs to be revised. Descriptions need to be more vivid, insights fully expressed, feelings generated. As a writer, your writing needs to make you, its creator, laugh, cry, shrink back in horror (but in a good way).

So, dear writers, come with me on my 2024 quest to take a hacksaw to my writing and transform it into something more perfect, more genuine, more ... just more.  

(Image: Lightspring)

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

105 Calls for Submissions in January 2024 - Paying markets

This January 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 upcoming calls for submissions shortly before 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: Wikimedia)


Three Ravens PressGenre: Cryptid horror. Word Count: 5,000 – 10,000. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Anterior SkiesGenre: Fiction (horror, dark fantasy, sci-fi, noir—anything macabre and weird, preferably with cosmic horror undertones), non-fiction (based on true story, investigative journalism, true crime), poetry, flash fiction. Anything and everything, as long as it fits. Payment: One cent per word. $15 minimum (if you write a 200-word poem, you’ll get $15, not $2); max payment is $50 (if you write a 6,000-word short story, you’ll get $50, not $60). Deadline: January 1, 2024.

June Road PressGenre: Poetry collection, full-length, 40 to 60 poems, preferably the author’s first or second book. "We’re particularly interested in work with strong ecological/environmental themes, or that engages in meaningful ways with nature or place, by writers who identify as women." Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

All My Relations Volume 6 is an art and lit, online and printed magazine, exploring the theme of “resistance.” This volume is open to racially and ethnically marginalized, gender variant, and disabled creatives only, in consideration of the theme. Own voices only, please. Payment: $10. Deadline: Open until filled or until January 1, 2024, whichever comes first.

Wild UmbrellaGenre: Short stories, essays, and poems. Payment: €10 per poem and €25 per fiction story or non-fiction essay. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Cafe IrrealGenre: Magical realism. Length: Up to 2,000 words. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Book WormsGenre: Dark fiction, essays, poetry. Theme is My Bloody Valentine: dark love stories, Tinder dates gone horribly wrong, bitter romance, a lover’s revenge, tragic love, etc. Dark humor is okay, but it should fit the themes of horror and romance. Specifically looking for original poetry (any length). Payment: $0.08/word for prose. $25 – $50 per poem. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Cardinal Rule Press Genre: Children’s picture books that empower children through meaningful stories for readers, age 4-11. They also publish non-fiction books for parents (word count up to 70k). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: Opens January 1, 2024.

Flash Fiction OnlineGenre: Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary flash fiction. Payment: $80. Deadline: Opens January 1, 2024.
The Body’s Experience of ReligionGenre: Poetry. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Totally Entwined: Oh, Baby!Genre: Novellas, 30,000 - 50,000 words. Theme: Surprise Babies. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Here There Be DragonsGenre: Speculative fiction, poetry, art. "Dragons are icons of fantasy and legends about them abound. Found in novels, poetry, and art, they stir the imagination as helpers, heroes, villains, and symbols of love, fear, and wealth. We are looking for renderings of dragons in writing and art that capture the essence of these fascinating creatures." Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Reservoir Road Literary ReviewGenre: Literary short stories, lyrical creative non-fiction, photography. Payment: $5. Deadline: Opens January 1, 2024. Note: Submission window closes when their cap is reached.

table/FEASTGenre: Prose, poetry, CNF, art about food. Payment: $18 per poem, prose $35, art $20. Deadline: January 3, 2024.

The Feminist PressGenre: Full-length manuscripts. "International literature, hybrid memoirs, and intersectional activist nonfiction, either single author or anthology. Our fiction projects range from hilarious to heartbreaking, from literary to playful. We especially encourage Black and Indigenous writers and other writers of color, queer and trans writers, and disabled and neuroatypical writers to submit." Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 3, 2024.
Fourteen Poems Genre: Poems. "We want to represent all that's thrilling about the new wave of LGBT+ poets. If you’re a poet, even if you’ve never been published before, we want to read your work. Every issue we publish 14 of the best queer poems we’ve found, and we want to include you! We publish 4 times a year, but take submissions all year round. To be considered, email up to 5 poems, preferably in a pdf format, with a small paragraph about yourself to" Payment: £25 for each poem published. Deadline: January 4, 2024.

Invisible CityGenre: Art. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 5, 2024.

Poet LoreGenre: Love poems by LGBTQ poets. Payment: $50. Deadline: January 5, 2024.

Room MagazineRestrictions: Open to artists of marginalized genders. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, and poems. See theme. Payment: $50 per page. Deadline: January 5, 2024.

Bad Day BookGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themesPayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: January 5, 2024.

HexagonGenre: Speculative fiction short stories, flash fiction, poetry, graphic stories, and visual art, in English or French. Payment: $5 for accepted poetry and cartoons, 0.01$ per word for all short stories up to 7,500 words, $40/page for comics and $150 for cover art pieces. (Payment in CAD). Deadline: January 7, 2024.

Sine Theta MagazineRestrictions: Open to people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original 'homeland' of that heritage. Genre: All genres of visual and literary work as long as they relate to the current theme. (See theme) Payment: $10. Deadline: January 7, 2024.

Only PoemsGenre: Poetry. "We love prose poems, traditional forms (ghazals, villanelles, sestinas), love poems, sex poems, and experimental questionnaires, but we are not married to a style or genre. We are welcoming of anything you think is your most exciting work. Ultimately, we want poems that move us or make us go: “God, I wish I had written this!” Payment: $55. Deadline: January 7, 2024.

Stone’s ThrowGenre: "We're looking for dark fiction, crime and noir, length between 1,000 and 2,000 words." Payment: $25. Deadline: January 7, 2024. Open to submissions the first week of every month.

Cosmic Horror MonthlyGenre: Cosmic Horror, Lovecraftian, Weird stories, art. Payment: 6 cents/word. 50 dollars for artwork chosen as interior content. 200 dollars for cover art. Negotiable. Deadline: January 7, 2024.

Flickers of FearGenre: Horror. See themePayment: $10 for poetry and flash fiction. $25 - $50 for art. Deadline: January 7, 2024.

Flame Tree: Myths, Gods & ImmortalsGenre: Speculative fiction. "Myths, Gods & Immortals brings together the new and the ancient, familiar stories with a fresh and imaginative twist. Each book brings back to life a classic mythological or folkloric figure, with completely new stories alongside the original tales." Payment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. Deadline: January 7, 2024. Accepts reprints.

Griffith ReviewGenre: Non-fiction short (1,000–1,500 words) pieces of commentary, analysis and critique on subjects as diverse, esoteric or topical as you like. Payment: $500. Deadline: January 7, 2024. Pitches only.

MslexiaRestrictions: Open to women. Genre: Fiction poetry, nonfiction. Payment: £25. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

Diet Milk: GothicGenre: Gothic fiction, poetry, and art. See theme. Payment: $0.01/word for fiction (minimum $40); $15/poem; $50/art piece. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

GeistRestrictions: Canadian connection required. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Payment: $100 - $1000. Deadline: January 9, 2024. No-fee submissions for Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of color.

Full BleedRestrictions: Open to writers who are also parents. Genre: Criticism, belle lettres, visual art, illustration, fiction, poetry, and graphic essays. "We are always happy to feature collaborations between writers and artists; ekphrastic creations; and groundbreaking critical essays. For issue seven, we are especially, though not exclusively, interested in work that explores the meaning of home (or habitat), for human and non-human life, at a time of rapid ecological change, and in an era of acute, ongoing refugee and humanitarian crises. We’d also welcome work that considers the aesthetics of home, the discovery or creation of new homes, homesickness, working from home, chosen families, home-in-exile, housing insecurity, and any other angles on the theme that attract your curiosity." Payment: $50 - $100. Deadline: January 10, 2024.

Bell Press: StasisRestrictions: For this call, we are particularly interested in Canadian authors, though international submissions will be considered. Priority will be given to Canadian work to align with Canadian granting-body requirements. Genre: Science fiction, in particular, retrofuturistic short fiction with a modern lens. Stasis invites submissions that bend the rules of temporality: blending past, present, and future. Payment: $15 CAD plus royalties. Deadline: January 10, 2024.

Alien MagazineGenre: All types of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 13, 2024.

Griffith Review: Attachment StylesGenre: Non-fiction on theme: Attachment Styles. "The attachments we form in our lifetimes shape our experience of the world and our understanding of who we are. ‘Hell is other people,’ wrote Jean-Paul Sartre, his point being less about misanthropy and more about how entwined our self-perception is with the ways in which others perceive us. And alongside our personal relationships – from filial to friendship, from collegiate to romantic – sit the complex emotional connections we form with places, ideas and objects. How do we navigate these varying attachments, and what can they offer us when our lives are so mediated by technology?" Payment: Negotiated. Deadline: January 14, 2024.

DaikaijuzineGenre: Speculative fiction, poetry, art. Payment: $10.00 for each short story, and $5.00 for each poem and flash fiction piece. Deadline: January 14, 2024. Opens January 1.

Seaside GothicGenre: Seaside gothic fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or a collection of photographs or illustrations. Payment: £0.01 per word. Deadline: January 14, 2024.

WaystationGenre: Space opera. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 14, 2024.

Solarpunk MagazineGenre: Solarpunk. Payment: $0.08/word for fiction, $40/poem, and $75/essay.  Deadline: January 14, 2024.

Yankee ScaresRestrictions: All stories must be set in Connecticut. Preference will be given to writers who: Live in Connecticut -- Have some connection to Connecticut -- Live in New England. Other writers may apply and will be offered space as available. Genre: 80s and 90s nostalgia horror. Length: 1000 - 8000 words. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

ShenandoahGenre: Fiction and novel excerpts. Payment: $80 per 1000 words of prose up to $400. Deadline: Opens January 15, 2024, and closes when they reach capacity. 

OrionGenre: Essays on the environments of film and television. Payment: Who Pays Writers lists payment of 25 cents/word. Deadline: January 15, 2024. Pitches only.

Markaz ReviewGenre: Various literary forms, including but not limited to short stories, essays, film, photography, art and music on theme: Love Sex Desire. Payment: Small honorarium. Deadline: January 15, 2024. 

Sunlight PressGenre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, photography, reviews. Payment: $15 - $40. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Women Artists DatebookRestrictions: Open to women. Genre: Poems and art. Theme: Peace and Justice. Payment: $200 for art, $70 for poetry. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

34 OrchardGenre: Fiction, poetry. "We like dark, intense pieces that speak to a deeper truth. We’re not genre-specific; we just like scary, disturbing, unsettling, and sad." Payment: $50. Deadline: January 14, 2024. Opens January 1.

just femme & dandyGenre: Fashion for the LGBTQIA+ community. Theme: Time Travel. "We want to hear about the historical figures that informed your developing queer/trans styles, what you imagine for our queer future. Think Queerasures & Queertopias: Past, Present, and In Futurity! We’re particularly interested in receiving submissions that considers queer fashion, past, present, or future in terms of climate change and fashion’s role in (un)sustainability. We would love to hear from up and coming drag artists and independent fashion designers." Payment: 50 USD per text-based submission and 150 USD per multimedia submission (video, photography, image + text, fashion spread + interview, etc.). Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Bad Day BookGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themesPayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Great Weather for MEDIA: Annual Print AnthologyGenres: Poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction. "Our focus is on the fearless, the unpredictable, and experimental but we do not have a set theme for our anthologies." Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2024. Only pays US writers.

Rattle: Tribute to the GhazalGenre: Poetry. The poems may be any subject or length, but must be ghazals. Payment: $100. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Electric SpecGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $20 per piece. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Hansen HouseGenre: Hansen House is looking for anything with queer protagonists or by queer authors so long as the story does not fall into the “bury your gays” trope. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Cricket Media: ASK MagazineGenre: Science articles for children 7–10 years old. Theme: Shipwrecked. Payment: Unspecified. Deadline: January 15, 2024. Queries only.

Muse MagazineGenre: Nonfiction articles for children. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 15, 2024. See themesQueries only.

PloughsharesGenre: Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Payment: $45/printed page, $90 minimum per title, $450 maximum per author. Deadline: January 15, 2024. (Charges for online submissions. No charge for snail mail.)

Ploughshares SolosGenre: Fiction and nonfiction up to 20,000 words. Payment: $450 maximum per author. Deadline: January 15, 2024. (Charges for online submissions. No charge for snail mail.)

Apex: Strange LocationsGenre: Speculative microfiction in the form of tourist brochures, travel blogs, and travel guides to the strangest, darkest places you can imagine. Length: Up to 250 words. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2024. 

Philly Poetry Chapbook ReviewGenre: Reviews of chapbooks coming soon or published in the past three years, essays on the crafts of poetry and chapbook making or publishing, and features about authors or publishers of chapbooks. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2024. 

Ploughshares Look2 SeriesGenre: Essays about underappreciated or overlooked writers. The Look2 essay should take stock of a writer’s entire oeuvre with the goal of bringing critical attention to the neglected writer and his or her relevance to a contemporary audience. Payment: $45/printed page, $90 minimum per title, $450 maximum per author. Deadline: January 15, 2024. Queries only.

And One Day We Will DieGenre: Short weird fiction between 2000 to 5000 words (firm limit) using a song from the Neutral Milk Hotel song catalog for inspiration. Payment: 5¢ per word, paid via PayPal, and an ebook copy of the anthology. Deadline: January 16, 2024. Extended submission window exclusively for writers from marginalized communities January 16, 2024 - January 23, 2024.

FacesGenre: Nonfiction, activities for children 9 - 14. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 16, 2024. Queries only. See themes.

berlin litGenre: Poetry. Payment: 20 euros per poem. Deadline: January 16, 2024.

Off Topic Publishing: Poetry BoxGenre: Poetry. Payment $30 CAD. Deadline: January 25, 2024. This is a monthly call.

Every Day FictionGenre: Flash fiction on themes. Length: 1000 words max. Payment: $3. Deadline: January 27, 2024.

Nightmare MagazineRestrictions: Open to BIPOC writers. Genre: Horror fiction, flash fiction, poetry, CNF. Payment: 8 cents a word for fiction, $75 per essay. $40 for a poem. Deadline: January 28, 2024.

The Fairy Tale MagazineGenre: Fairy-tale inspired stories/poems. Payment: $25. Deadline: January 29, 2024.

Corvid Queen JournalGenre: Fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and pieces that are in-between up to 5,000 words. "Feminist tales, feminist retellings of traditional tales, and personal essays related to traditional tales." Payment: $5. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

Toxic WorkplacesRestrictions: Open to women writers. Genre: CNF up to 5,000 words on theme Toxic Workplaces. Payment: 2 cents/word. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

MythaxisGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

The PolyglotRestrictions: Open Canadian and International contributors of Philippine descent. Genre: Multilingual art, poems, essays, stories, artworks, and translations. Payment: $100 CAD. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

Paris ReviewGenre: Poetry, prose. Payment: Unspecified. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Closes when they reach capacity, so submit early. 

GwyllionGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: £10 per accepted story or poem. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

BrinkGenre: Hybrid, cross-genre fiction, nonfiction poetry. See themePayment: $25 Poem; $50 Work (less than 1500 words); $50 Art (1-3 Images); $100 Art (4+ Images); $100 Work (more than 1501 words). Deadline: January 31, 2024.

EcotoneGenre: Nonfiction. "We are glad to consider all nonfiction that engages with place, whether subtly or overtly. We are particularly interested, this reading period, in personal essays and other narratives that engage with the climate crisis and/or with the natural and social sciences—ecology, natural history, sociology, and other fields, not limited to Western contexts and modes of doing science. During this window, we especially welcome work from groups historically underrepresented in literary publishing." Payment: $100.  Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Quarter Press: Quarter(ly)Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. See themesPayment: $5. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Garland. Genre: Poetry, prose poetry, short prose (<1500 words), and other experimental writing by queer, trans, and gender variant writers. Visual components and hybrid formats are welcome. Payment: $5. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Split Lip MagazineGenre: Fiction (flash and short stories), memoirs, and poetry. with a pop-culture twist. Payment: $75 for poems, memoirs, flash, fiction, and art, $50 for interviews/reviews, and $25 for mini-reviews web issues. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Closes when they reach capacity, so submit early. 

Mirrorball: How Taylor Swift Reflects the Loss, Hope & Love of Millions Around the WorldGenre: Poems or prose up to 3500 words. See theme. Payment: $50/poet and $100/essay or prose. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

West Avenue: A Frolic of FairiesGenre: Short stories of up to 5,000 words and poems. Payment: £10. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Propel MagazineRestrictions: Open to poets based in the UK or Ireland who have yet to publish their first full-length poetry collection. Genre: Poetry. Payment: £20. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Stonehouse Publishing. Restrictions: Open to Canadian writers. Genre: Full-length literary and trade fiction. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

JMS BooksGenre: LGBTQ romance stories, 12,000 words minimum. See theme. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Augur MagazineGenre: Speculative fiction short stories and poetry. Translations accepted.   Payment: $0.11 cents (CAD) per word for short fiction (1000+ words), and a flat fee of $110.00 per flash fiction piece (1000 words and under), $60 per poem. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Tales and FeathersGenre: Cozy SFF fiction up to 2500 words. Payment11 cents CAD/word. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

HeathenGenre: Horror, dark fantasy. Payment: 5 cents/word. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

The Tower Magazine. Genre: All genres, including horror, sci-fi, fantasy and erotica. See theme. Payment: €20. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Accepts some reprints.

Ampersand ReviewRestrictions: Priority is given to Canadians. Genre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews. Payment: Poetry: $50 per poem/page to a maximum of $100. Fiction: $100 per story. Non-fiction: $100 per piece. Reviews: $100 per piece. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Alpennia: Lesbian Historic Motif PodcastGenre: Historical fiction on lesbian-relevant themes, open for all writers. Stories must be set before 1900. Payment: $0.08/word. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

FIYAHRestrictions: Submissions are restricted to people of the African Diaspora. Genre: Speculative fiction, art, and poetry about African Diaspora. Length: Short fiction 2,000 – 7,000 words and novelettes up to 15,000 words. Payment: $150 per story. $50 per poem. $300 per novelette. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Malahat Review. Genre: Poetry. Payment: CAD $70/page. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Submissions by Canadian writers are accepted for consideration all year.

Dragon Soul Press: The Hunt. Genre: "All monster hunter stories. From dragons and dinosaurs, to Cthulhu and sirens, to the usual vampires and werewolves. Gore, horror, and originality are appreciated. All genres accepted." Payment: Royalties. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Variant LitGenre: Fiction, nonfiction. Payment: $10. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Funemployment QuarterlyGenre: Science-fiction/fantasy. See theme. Payment: $20 CAD. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

The Temz ReviewGenre: Prose (fiction and creative non-fiction) up to 10,000 words long. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Alien DimensionsGenre: Science Fiction, 5000-7000 words. Theme: Mars Colonization. Payment: $20. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Belmont Story ReviewGenre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Payment: $100 for prose, $50 for poetry. Deadline: January 31, 2024. 

Event MagazineGenre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Payment: CAD $40/page for poetry and $35/page for prose, up to a maximum of $500. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Terrain.orgGenre: Poetry, nonfiction, fiction, artwork, videos, and other contributions on place, climate, and justice. Payment: $50. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

december magazineGenre: Poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction (essays, memoirs, biography, literary journalism, social or cultural commentary or analysis) and visual art that can be reproduced in their print format. Payment: $10.00 per page with a minimum of $40.00 and a maximum of $200.00. Deadline: January 31, 2024. No charge for BIPOC writers.

Nightmares Before Bed  Genre: Horror. "No sexual violence, abuse of children, overly disturbing images and ideas, or gore will be published.  We want horror, we want to be scared, but let's do it in a way that is respectful. We'd love to see fantasy horror or sci-fi horror here. We are looking for polished manuscripts of about 3,500 - 12,000 words." Payment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

The Cellar Door: Marshland Horrors and After TomorrowGenre: Creature feature, serial killer, undead/zombies, voodoo/witchcraft, suspense/thriller, cosmic horror. Looking for horror/suspense stories that take place in swamps, bayous, and marshlands. Special preference for stories with backwater cults/legends, cryptid monsters, and other slimy creatures lurking just below the water. Word Count: 2,000 - 10,000 words. Also: Post-apocalyptic stories, but can include elements of: thriller/suspense, survival horror, creature feature, supernatural/paranormal. Payment: $25.00 + digital & paperback copy. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Critical Blast Publishing: The Devil You Know BestGenre: All genres. "We are looking for stories that involve an encounter with the literary/mythological/theological Devil himself in situations that range from comedy to tragedy, via horror, comedy, fantasy, or science fiction. All genres welcome as long as the theme is met." Payment: $25. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Space and TimeGenre: Science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, magical realism. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Nonbinary ReviewGenre: Speculative fiction, poetry, art. "We’re looking for speculative takes on old friends – the weird, the outrageous, the mysterious. Length: Up to 3,000 words for prose; up to 3 pages for poetry Payment: $0.01/word for prose, $10 for poetry. $25 flat fee for visual art, or $50 for pieces chosen as cover art. Deadline: January 31, 2024.


Contested Landing AnthologyGenre: Military Science Fiction. Payment: "a percentage of sales divided equally between the contributing authors." Deadline: February 1, 2024.

Last Girls ClubGenre: Feminist horror: short stories and poems - see themes. Payment: Fiction, 15 cents/word. Poetry, $10. Deadline: February 1, 2024.

The First LineGenre: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction using the first line provided. (See site.) Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction. Deadline: February 1, 2024.

Bigfoot CountryGenre: Stories about Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti. The genre is open. Payment: $100 CAD. Deadline: February 1, 2024.

Bad Day BookGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themesPayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: February 1, 2024.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

69 Writing Contests in January 2024 - No entry fees

This January there are more than five dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes range from $25,000 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 has passed, you can prepare for next year.

Good luck! 

(Image: Ralph) 


Defenestration Lengthy Poem ContestGenre: Lengthy poem (at least 3 pages). Prize: $300. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Vermont Writers' PrizeRestrictions: Open to residents of Vermont. Genres: Short story, poem, play or essay on the theme of Vermont - its people, places, history or values. Entries must be unpublished and fewer than 1,500 words long. Writers may submit only one entry per year. Prize: $1,250 and publication in Vermont Magazine. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Electa Quinney Award for Published American Indian StoriesGenre: Story. "This award seeks to highlight the work of story creators who continue the tradition of teaching through narratives often crossing the boundaries of genres, formats and disciplines. To celebrate the dissemination of stories into spaces where they can be shared all published stories qualify including small press and fine arts printing." Prize: $250. Deadline: January 1, 2024.

Jack Hazard FellowshipRestrictions: Open to writers who teach full time in an accredited high school in the United States. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and memoir. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 4, 2024.

San José State University: Center for Steinbeck Studies – The Steinbeck Fellows Program. Fellowships are currently offered in Creative Writing (excluding poetry) and Steinbeck Studies; Fellows may be appointed in many fields, including fiction, drama, creative non-fiction, and biography. The creative writing fellowship does not require that there be any direct connection between your work and Steinbeck’s. The emphasis of the program is on helping writers who have had some success but have not published extensively, and whose promising work would be aided by the financial support and sponsorship of the Center and the University’s creative writing program. Prize: $15,000. Deadline: January 5, 2024.

Olive B. O’Connor Creative Writing Fellowship. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $55,000, Deadline: January 5, 2024.

Furious FictionGenre: Flash fiction. "On the first Friday of every month, a new set of story prompts will be revealed. You will have 55 hours to submit your best 500-word (or fewer) story." Prize: $500AUD. Deadline: January 7, 2024. Opens January 5.

Quantum Shorts CompetitionGenre: Fiction stories, under 1,000 words, that are "clearly inspired by some aspect of quantum physics." Entries also must contain the phrase “Nobody said this was going to be easy” (“Constraint”) Prize: First prize $1,500 and online publication. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

Grass Routes PrizeRestrictions: Open to working class UK writers. Genre: TV script. Prize: £5,000 and other benefits. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

Discoveries PrizeRestrictions: Open to female novelists of all ages and backgrounds, from across the UK and Ireland. Genre: Novel in progress. Prize: The winner will be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

Japan Center-Canon Essay Competition. The aim of the Japan Center Essay Competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons. Genre: Essay. Contestants should write, in English, one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals. (Contestants do not need to have any experience in visiting Japan or studying Japanese. Prize: Best Essay Award in the High School Division: 1st Place: $3,000 and a Canon camera, 2nd Place: $1,500 and a Canon camera, 3rd Place: $750 and a Canon camera; Best Essay Award in the College Division: $3,000 and a Canon camera; Uchida Memorial Award: $1,000 and a Canon camera; Merit Award: $200 (each) for up to five awards. Deadline: January 8, 2024.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi Writing AwardRestrictions: Open to medical students, residents, fellows. Genre: Short stories, essays or poetry addressing patients and providers facing chronic or life limiting illness. Fiction and non-fiction submissions are welcome. Prize: $300. Deadline: January 10, 2024.

Northern California Book AwardsRestrictions: Books written by authors based in northern California and published for the first time the previous calendar year are eligible for nomination. Genre: Published book. Prize: $1000. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

Miriam Chaikin Writing AwardGenre: Poetry and prose, including plays, short stories, and other creative writing. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

The Lancaster Playwriting PrizeRestrictions: The competition is open to applicants living or learning in Lancashire and who must have reached their 12th birthday/must not have reached their 19th Birthday by the date of the submission deadline on Friday, January 12, 2024. Genre: Script (for a play). Scripts must be 15 to 30 minutes long. Prize: There will be two winners – one from each age group - who will each receive a prize cash and vouchers worth up to £750. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

International Booker Prize. The International Booker Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually by the Booker Prize Foundation to the author of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. The work must be published by a UK or Ireland publishing house. Authors are not permitted to enter their own works. Prize: £50,000 divided equally between the author and the translator. There will be a prize of £2,000 each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator. Deadline: January 12, 2024 for works published between December 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024.

The Bechtel PrizeGenre: Essays essays describing a creative writing teaching experience, project, or activity that demonstrates innovation in creative writing instruction. "We are looking for essays that describe a project or activity that got students excited about writing and fostered a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the classroom." Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Restrictions: The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program; and US citizens attending schools overseas. Genre: Essay on an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1956. Prize: The first-place winner receives $10,000 comprised of a $5,000 cash award and $5,000 from John Hancock. The second-place winner receives $1,000. Up to five finalists receive $500 each. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

French-American Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: Book. Best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

Encore AwardRestrictions: Open to British or Commonwealth citizens. Genre: Second published novel. Book must have been first published in the UK. Prize: 10,000 pounds. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award seeks to elevate the written arts in Indiana. Restrictions: Any living published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years will be eligible. Authors who have published works of fiction, prose, poetry and/or non-fiction are eligible; reference works, scholarly monographs and books of photography will not be considered. Self-published authors are considered. Prize: $5000. Deadline: January 12, 2024.

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging WritersRestrictions: Candidates must be: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident; Under the age of 35; Unpublished in book form and without a book contract. Genre: Poetry and fiction. Prizes: Up to C$10,000. Deadline: January 14, 2024.

Apparition LitGenre: Flash fiction up to 1000 words on theme. Prize: $30. Deadline: January 14, 2024. See themes.

The Levis Reading Prize is sponsored by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Restrictions: The prize is given annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $5000. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

The Bakwin AwardGenre: Full-Length Prose (fiction or nonfiction). Prize: $1000 advance and publication by Blair. Deadline: January 15, 2024. (Note: Closes when cap is reached)

Stephen A DiBiase Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry. Prize: $600. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Ballard Spahr Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to residents of MN, IA, ND, SD, WI, or MI. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $10,000 & book publication with Milkweed Editions. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American HistoryGenre: Essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Janet Heidinger Kafka PrizeRestrictions: Open to women, US citizens only. Genre: Prose fiction. All entries must be submitted by publishers who wish to have the work of their authors that were published in the previous year considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted. Prize: $15,000. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry AwardGenre: Poem, 3-10 pages long, that demonstrates a "truly inventive spirit." Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

The Tom La Farge Award for Innovative Writing, Teaching and PublishingGenre: "literary activity that combines serious play, imagination, erudition and innovative practice." Prize: $10,00. Deadline: January 15, 2024.

53-Word Story ContestGenre: Flash fiction of exactly 53 words based on monthly theme. Prize: Publication and a free book. Deadline: January 15, 2024. This is a monthly contest.

Bethesda Urban Partnership Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Essays. Length: 500 words maximum. Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 16, 2024.

Bethesda Magazine Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of Washington, DC and select counties in Maryland and Virginia. Genre: Short stories. Length: 4000 words maximum. Prize: $500 in adult category (age 18+) and $250 in high school category (ages 14-17). Deadline: January 16, 2024.

Moving Words Poetry Competition for AdultsGenre: Poems of 10 lines or less that will be displayed inside Arlington Transit buses. Prize: $250. Deadline: January 17, 2024.

Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book: fiction, nonfiction, poetry for adults or children. Prize: Recognition (?) Deadline: January 19, 2024 (For books published Oct. 16-Dec. 31, 2023.)

Poetry Society of Virginia - Student Contest. Restrictions: Open to students in Virginia, grades 3 - 12. Prize: $10 - $25. Deadline: January 19, 2024.

RAFTA (Rise Against Fanaticism Through the Arts) PrizePrize. £500. Genre: Stage play script against extremism, intolerance and xenophobia. “The script length must be between 25-35 pages, suitable for up to a one-hour presentation and characters for up to 5 actors. The script can be in any style on any historical, future, or regional context so long as it fulfils RAFTA aims to tackle extremism, intolerance and xenophobia." Prize: £500. Deadline: January 20, 2024.

The Fantastic OtherGenre: Flash fiction of theme of Hope. Prize: 35 USD, for second place is 25 USD, and for third place is 15 USD. Deadline: January 21, 2024.

Zocalo Public Square Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Open to US poets only. Genre: Poetry that evokes a connection to place. Prize: $1000. Deadline: January 22, 2024. 

Bethesda Poetry ContestGenres: Poetry. Adult and high school student categories. Restrictions: Residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. Prizes: First place: $350, published on The Writer's Center's blog and magazine, and a free class and membership to The Writer's Center. Second Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Honorable Mention: $75. Prize for high school students, $75. All winners will be published on the Bethesda Urban Partnership website and honored at a special event during the Local Writer's Showcase. Deadline: January 22, 2024.

The Orwell Prize for Political WritingRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Writing is open to nonfiction first published in the UK or Ireland. (See publication deadlines.) Genre: Nonfiction, including entries addressing political, social, cultural, moral and historical subjects. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: January 24, 2024.

The Orwell Prize for Political FictionRestrictions: The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction is open to novels and short story collections first published in the UK or Ireland. (See publication deadlines.) Genre: Fiction that explores ideas and issues, political themes, dilemmas and injustices through imagined narratives. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: January 24, 2024.

Porter House Review Editor's PrizeGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Prize: $750. Deadline: January 29, 2024. (No entry fee from January 22 - 29)

Future Worlds PrizeRestrictions: Open to unpublished SFF writers of color. Genre: Speculative fiction. Submit a 5,000-10,000 word extract of either a short story or the opening chapters of a novel. Prize: £4,000 top prize. Deadline: January 29, 2024.

Technology Addiction Awareness ScholarshipRestrictions: Open to a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior or a current or entering college or graduate school student of any level. Home schooled students are also eligible. There is no age limit. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Genre: 500- to 1,000-word essay about technology addiction. Prize: $1000 scholarship.  Deadline: January 30, 2024.

Scottish Book Trust: Monthly CompetitionRestrictions: Open to four categories: adult writers, all-age Gaelic writers, young writers 5-11 and young writers 12-18. Genre: Short story based on prompts. (See site for prompt) Prize: Various items. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

The Hillman Prize for JournalismGenre: Journalism. "Since 1950, the Sidney Hillman Foundation has honored journalists, writers and public figures that pursue investigative journalism and public policy in service of the common good." Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 30, 2024.

Story Unlikely Short Story ContestGenre: Short story. Length: 2,250 words max. Prize: First prize $750. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

#GWstorieseverywhere. Genre: Micro fiction. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. See themesPrize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Rattle Ekphrastic ChallengeGenre: Poem inspired by artwork. (See site for image.) Prize: $100. Deadline: January 31, 2024. This is a monthly contest.

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political WritingRestrictions: Titles must be published in Canada. Self-published books are not eligible. Genre: A 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. Prize: Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

A. C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative LiteratureRestrictions: Open to South Asian or South Asian diaspora writers. Genre: Speculative fiction. Prize: $1000. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Cheshire Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: The writer must have been born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK. Age ranges from 4 to adult. Genre: Short story, piece of poetry, script or children’s literature piece (this can be a script, story or poem, for children ages seven to 14) on the theme of Sustainability. Prize: Cash prizes. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Dandelion Cottage Short Story Contest for Michigan StudentsRestrictions: Open to students attending or being home-schooled in an Upper Peninsula School District. Genre: Short story, 5,000 words max. Prize: Up to $250. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Witcraft Monthly Humour Competition. Genre: Humor with the emphasis on wit, word play, absurdity and inspired nonsense. Prize: First prize A$50, second prize A$20, third prize A$10, payable via Paypal only. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language was initiated by John Gleed in honour of his late wife to promote and celebrate the genre of short fiction, which she loved. Restrictions: Canadian residents only. Prize: A $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalist will also be awarded $500 each. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book AwardGenre: Any published book, whether fiction or nonfiction, that promotes public understanding of Chicago; titles must be available for purchase by the general public in either hardcover or bound paperback form; All subject areas, disciplines, and genres are eligible, including but not limited to: history, biography, the social sciences, art, architecture, poetry, drama, graphic novels, or fiction; Translations, textbooks, anthologies, reprints or new editions of previously published works, pamphlets, digital publications, travel guides, children’s books, or self-published works are not eligible. Prize: $25,000. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Annual Hortensia Anderson Haiku ContestGenre: Haiku. Prize:? Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest. "The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America." Genre: previously unpublished work of short fiction. Prize: $150. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

StorytwigsGenre: Microfiction up to 100 words. Prize: 1st Place: $100; 2nd Place: $25; 3rd Place: $20; 4th Place: $15; 5th Place: $10. Deadline: January 31, 2024. See prompt.

The Caribbean Writer PrizesGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays or one act plays which explore the ideas resonating within the region and its diaspora, written by a US or UK Virgin Islands resident accepted for publication by The Caribbean Writer during the deadline year. 2023. See themePrize: $300 - $600. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Deadline extended.

Laureate PrizeGenre: Full-length poetry book. Prize: $500 and publication. DeadlineJanuary 31, 2024. No entry fee for BIPOC writers

Iridescence AwardRestrictions: Open to literary or visual artists of the Black, Indigenous, or People of Color Community. Genre: Fantasy, folk mythology, science fiction, and the paranormal. Short fiction, poetry. Prize: Up to $500. Deadline: January 31, 2024. (Deadline extended)

Highlights Foundation ScholarshipsPrize: 25 full tuition scholarships and 20 partial tuition scholarships for workshops that take place at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center. 30 full tuition scholarships for online courses through the Highlights Foundation. 15 scholarships for personal retreats at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Voice.clubGenre: Flash fiction, 350 words max. Prize: $25 Amazon gift card. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Note: You have to join in order to enterSee themes.

The Drabble Harvest ContestGenre: Drabble on theme of "Alien Fetishes." 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: January 31, 2024.

Swamp Pink. Restrictions: Submissions are restricted to Indigenous people in the USA. Genre: Short stories and essays of up to 25 pages or a set of 1-3 poems. Prize: $2000. Deadline: January 31, 2024.

Substack runs a monthly short story competition. Their mission is to "revive the art of the short story, support artists, and produce something wonderful." Genre: Short story. Length: 6000- 10,000 words. Prize: $100 plus 50% of subscription revenue to be sent by Paypal, Zelle, or check. Deadline: January 31, 2024. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

11 (Warm) Writing Conferences and Workshops in January 2024

We all dream of sunshine during the cold, dark days of winter. Fortunately for writers, there are eleven delightful conferences this January held in places we would rather be. 

If you miss your ideal conference this year, don't worry. Many of these are annual events, and quite a few offer scholarships. (Apply early!) 

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

(Image: Key West, Picryl)


Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Residency Writers Conference. January 4 - 14, 2024: Seaside, Oregon. Writers seeking to deepen their craft and expand their professional community are invited to attend the Residency Writers Conference together with MFA students, faculty and guest speakers. Join us for 10 full days of craft talks, workshops, panels, classes, readings and more featuring some of the best minds of the literary world. This residency is a rare opportunity to engage in sustained and meaningful conversation with others who share your passion for the art of writing. Application deadline: November 21, 2023.

Key West Literary Seminar. January 11–14, 2024: Key West, Florida. Each year, the Key West Literary Seminar explores a particular literary theme. In January 2024, we’ll turn our attention to this weird, wild, always-going-underwater bellwether of a state that (for better and for worse) we call home — FLORIDA.

Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. January 12 - 15, 2024, Atlantic City, New Jersey. A participant-focused writers’ conference. Advance your craft and energize your writing at the 30th annual Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. Enjoy challenging and supportive workshops, insightful feedback and an encouraging community. Choose from workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, songwriting, playwriting and more.

Colrain Classic. January 12 - 15, 2024: Online. "The Colrain Manuscript Classic is a highly focused, 3.5 day conference designed for poets with manuscripts in progress. The Classic features in-depth pre-conference work and candid, realistic evaluation and feedback from nationally-known poets, editors and publishers. In preparation, participants work at home on pre-conference assignments and then, in the workshop, review, arrange, and winnow their work based on the pre-conference work. In addition to the manuscript preparation workshop and editor sessions, there will be an editorial Q&A, and an after-conference strategy session." Will be conducted online.

TMW January Jumpstart. January 13 - 14, 2024: Oak Ridge, TN. “We will have a “Meet and Greet” session Friday from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern. On Saturday there will be concurrent Poetry and Fiction morning sessions from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and afternoon sessions from 1:30 – 4:30 Eastern." Registration $150. Application deadline December 29.

Eckerd College Writers in Paradise Conference. January 13 -20, 2024, St. Petersburg, FL. Workshops, roundtables, panel discussions, Q&As, readings book signings, and receptions. Emmy-award winning journalist and NYT best-selling author of the memoir, Between Two Kingdoms, Suleika Jaouad, will kick off the week as our Keynote Speaker.
  • Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer-prize finalist and “literary badass” (NPR), joins the Workshop Faculty at Writers in Paradise for the first time.
  • Newly minted St. Petersburg Poet Laureate and winner of the Poetry Gold Medal Florida Book Awards, Gloria Muñoz, returns to Eckerd College as this year’s Emerging Artist in Poetry.
  •  NYT Editor’s Choice and “Best Books to Read in 2023” by Today, author of the short story collection, When Trying to Return Home, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, will read and lecture at Writers in Paradise as this year’s Emerging Artist in Fiction.
  • Writers in Paradise welcomes back Poet, Collaborator, Professor and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist (Blowout), Denise Duhamel, as Faculty to lead the Poetry Workshop.
  • Mitchell Kaplan, Founder and Owner of Books & Books, co-founder of the Miami Book Fair, Podcast host of The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan, and Producer (The Mazur Kaplan Company), joins the publishing panel at Writers in Paradise.
  • International best-selling debut sensation whose short story collection, If I Survive You, who has garnered countless accolades including the PEN/Faulkner Award and National Book Award short lists, Jonathan Escoffery, will close the 2024 conference.
Digital Book World Conference. January 15 - 17, 2024: NYC. This is the premier event for digital publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models. 

Writing By Writers GET THE LEAD OUT! January 19 - 21, 2024: Online. This workshop brings all levels of writers together for a weekend of inspiration, craft and the generation of new work. Faculty: Pam Houston, Keenan Norris and Lidia Yuknavitch. Tuition: $750 includes one three-day workshop, admittance to all craft talks and readings.

St. George Island Writers’ Retreat for Women. Jan 21 - 28, 2024: St. George, FL. Program Focus: Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction. Contact Perky Granger at for further information and/or to have a registration form emailed to you.

Sunshine State Book Festival. January 26 - 27, 2024: Gainesville, Florida. "Authors from around Florida and the nation will gather at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on January 27th, from 10 am to 5 pm to sell books and talk about their work. Festivities include guest speakers, giveaways, storytelling, and more." Admission is free.

Northeast Texas Writers Organization. January 27, 2024: Mt Pleasant, TX. Children's Book Writing Workshop, 

Monday, December 18, 2023

5 New Agents and a New Agency Seeking Literary and Commercial Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories, Nonfiction, Memoirs and more

Here are five new literary agents actively seeking clients. New agents are a boon to writers. They are actively building their lists, and will go the extra mile for their clients.

All of these agents work for established agencies with good track records. They are looking for all genres.

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 several agents at the same agency simultaneously. If one rejects you, you may then submit to another. (Some small agencies share. Be alert to a notice that "a no from one is a no from all.")

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


Mr. Pieter Swinkels of Transatlantic Literary Agency

Pieter Swinkels worked as Chief Content Officer at Rakuten Kobo for the past twelve years, leading Kobo’s global publisher relations, the self-publishing platform Kobo Writing Life, the Kobo Originals publishing program, and the launch of Audiobooks and Kobo Plus subscriptions. Before that, Pieter was Publisher at the premiere Dutch publishing houses De Bezige Bij and Meulenhoff Publishers in Amsterdam, where he published bestselling and critically-acclaimed authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Ann Patchett, Aravind Adiga, Damon Galgut, Sebastian Barry, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mohsin Hamid, Rachel Cusk, Paolo Giordano, Robert Harris and Karin Slaughter.

Pieter holds a Cum Laude MA degree in English Language & Literature from the University of Amsterdam, and a MPhil in Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin. He lives and works in Toronto.

What he is seeking: He represents literary fiction and nonfiction authors, as well as corporate publishing clients from around the world.

How to submit: Submit queries to

Authors are encouraged to email a cover letter with a sample/excerpt of the book in question. Please submit a maximum of 20 pages. Embed the sample/excerpt into the body of the email after the cover letter. Submit an author bio/publishing history and a synopsis. Please note if other agents are also considering the project and do not submit to Pieter if you have already submitted to another Transatlantic Agent.


Mark Tavani of David Black Literary Agency

Mark Tavani has a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. He circumnavigated the globe as a student on Semester at Sea and later worked as a forestry aid in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He is an adjunct professor with NYU's School of Professional Studies and lives with his wife, his daughters, and a headstrong dog in Rutherford, New Jersey. 

Mark started his publishing career in 2000 with Ballantine Books and spent over 23 years with Penguin Random House, Bantam, Del Rey, and G.P. Putnam's Sons. He edited bestsellers and award-winners across numerous categories of fiction and nonfiction, including books by Jim Abbott, Steve Berry, C.J. Box, Robert Crais, Justin Cronin, Clive and Dirk Cussler, Jeffery Deaver, George Dohrmann, Lisa Gardner, Jack McCallum, Lisa Scottoline, Bill Simmons, and R.L. Stine. He is now thrilled to have joined the David Black Literary Agency, where he represents both fiction and nonfiction. 

What he is seeking: Mark is interested in a wide range of literary and commercial fiction, including book club novels, thrillers, mysteries, speculative fiction, and historical fiction. He is looking for fiction that entertains and enriches the lives of readers. 

He is keen to discover nonfiction that illuminates or inspires. He looks forward to working with experts, journalists, and memoirists, especially those in the spaces of sports, history, wellness, narrative nonfiction, and big ideas. Mark also represents collaborative writers who partner with authors in such spaces. 

How to submit: For fiction, he asks for the first 50 pages of a manuscript pasted into the body of an email; for nonfiction, he asks for a pitch by way of email. He cannot respond to every submission he receives, but will respond to any that he is interested in. Send material to:


Ms. Angelique Tran Van Sang of Felicity Bryan Literary Agency (UK)

I joined Felicity Bryan Associates as an agent after seven years as an editor at Bloomsbury, where I worked with authors such as Reni Eddo-Lodge and Kamila Shamsie, and published Jenny Zhang, Olivia Sudjic and Saba Sams amongst others.

What she is seeking: At FBA I am building a list of writers of fiction, non-fiction and select poetry, with a particular openness to authors who can work across these forms. As a former editor, I enjoy working with writers to develop their work at both structure and line level for submission to publishers.

In fiction I am looking for novels, short story collections and novellas that strike the heart and intellect in equal measure, that feature protagonists on the margins, and the full and complex lives of those not often represented in literature. I’m drawn to fresh and unexpected subversions of known narratives, the subtleties of class conflict, and writing that challenges, whether in form or content. Examples of novels I’ve admired recently: Kick the Latch by Kathryn Scanlan, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton and Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis.

In non-fiction, I’m interested in oral and narrative histories, explorations of contemporary political and philosophical issues, gripping investigative journalism, as well as literary and cultural criticism and biography. Works I’ve admired recently range from The Right to Sex by Amia Srinivasan and The Years by Annie Ernaux, to Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe and the work of Janet Malcolm and Helen Garner.

How to submit: Follow submission guidelines HERE.


Ms. Donya Dickerson of Aevitas Creative Management

Donya Dickerson has edited multiple award-winning and bestselling titles, including New York Times bestselling author Joseph Michelli; The Wall Street Journal bestseller Work Better Together by Jen Fisher and Anh Phillips; and The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller Arrive & Thrive by Susan Brady, Janet Foutty, and Lynn Perry Wooten.

Before joining Aevitas, Donya was the Associate Publisher for the Business Trade list at McGraw Hill, where she acquired books by CEOs, highly respected thought leaders, and top industry experts, and built multiple partnerships with global training companies. She’s worked with Crucial Learning, Keller Williams, Deloitte, Zenger Folkman, and other renowned organizations. Prior to McGraw Hill, Donya acquired books for Writer’s Digest on the craft of writing and the business of publishing. She has a BA in English and Philosophy from William Jewell College and a Master’s in Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Fiction Writing from the University of Cincinnati.

What she is seeking: Donya focuses primarily on nonfiction in the categories of business, personal development, self-help, pop culture, science, technology, history, and parenting.  She is looking for breakthrough thinking, experts with a fresh voice, and new approaches to solving the problems people face daily. She is especially drawn to books that help others be their best self and succeed in both their professional and personal lives. 

How to submit: Use her querymanager HERE.


Mr. Eloy Bleifuss Prados of Neon Literary

After studying journalism, Eloy’s first job in publishing was at Simon & Schuster editorial. He switched to the agency side when he joined Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 2019. In addition to working alongside Kirby Kim and Paul Lucas, Eloy is cultivating a growing list of fiction and nonfiction clients.

What he is seeking: Eloy is drawn to genre-blurring fiction and writers with a clear point-of-view. He’s looking for atmospheric horror, thrillers set in an under-explored time or setting, and character-driven speculative fiction. When it comes to nonfiction, he enjoys reading a broad sweep of categories from science writing and forgotten histories to pop culture and relatable self-help. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, he is a fan of writing that is dark, strange, funny, and queer.

How to submit: Follow submission guidelines HERE.


In addition to the above agents, here is a new Canadian literary agency.

The Ballpoint Agency is a new, artist-centred literary agency with many enthusiasms, but mostly books. They currently serve a small roster of writers with focused attention, creativity and care.  The three founders have 75 years of professional experience between them: 

Dave Bidini has spent 25 years writing books, earning valuable insight into the industry from an artist’s perspective. 

Warren Sheffer has 20 years as a lawyer, representing authors and performers and specializing in intellectual property law. 

Janet Morassutti has 30 years of publishing industry experience, most recently as a founder and  managing editor of a non-profit newspaper.

Read submission guidelines HERE.

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