Thursday, June 29, 2023

Publishing Contracts You Shouldn't Sign

When writers finally get that long-awaited offer of publication, their first reaction is jubilation, rapidly followed by "Yes, yes, a thousand time YES!!!" But with contracts, as with marriage proposals, it's better to step back before making a commitment, because divorces are long, messy, emotionally draining affairs. 

Here are a few of the red flags - taken from real contracts I haven't signed - that should serve as indications that your work deserves to be in better hands. 

Rights in Perpetuity

Granting rights "in perpetuity" has become increasingly common in the age of the Internet. The idea is that once your work is published online, it is there "forever." This is patently false. Anything that is published online can be removed. But once you have relinquished all your future rights, you have effectively given away your copyright. 

Most standard book contracts ask for limited rights, either extending until the book goes out of print, or until the author asks to have the rights returned. But some literary journals follow the egregious practice of asking for rights in perpetuity. 

Here is an example of a contract clause to avoid:

"The Author grants the Publisher ... perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide rights to copyedit, publish, translate and distribute in all electronic and print formats ... in all languages throughout the world."

(I've left out the long list of every format, but suffice it to say that with this initial clause, the Author has forfeited all rights.)

It gets worse.

On page two of the contract, Article 5 stipulates that "If the Publisher changes its legal form, is acquired by another entity, or otherwise changes ownership, all rights and responsibilities granted in this Agreement will be transferred to the succeeding entity."

Not only does the publisher retain all rights, but any succeeding publisher does as well.

When I received this contract from Six Hens Publishing (a contract that was actually longer than the CNF piece I sent them),  I immediately contacted the editors and explained why I could not sign. "But a lawyer drew it up!" they protested. That was precisely the problem. A lawyer's job is to obtain the best possible terms for the client, not to further the lofty aims of literary achievement.

So, how should a contract for short work be worded? 

One sentence: "All rights revert to the author upon publication." Sometimes a literary journal will request a short period of exclusivity. That's perfectly reasonable. It is also reasonable, and courteous, to mention the first publisher when you submit your work as a reprint elsewhere. Paying journals should also state how much they are paying you, and when. But if the contract is longer than a paragraph, run away.

Requiring authors to do their own marketing

Small book publishers will sometimes require that the author market their own book. While authors are certainly encouraged to promote their work, this should be in addition to everything a publisher does. After all, the reason writers sign with a publisher is precisely because they have marketing and publicity channels unavailable to writers. 

You won't normally find marketing specifics in the contract you receive. And chances are you will feel so overwhelmed by the sheer length of your contract, it won't occur to you to ask what they do for marketing.

You need to ask.

The contract that TouchPoint Press sent me for my YA fantasy, ROWENNA, was fairly standard for the industry. It specified advance (none, in this case) royalty rates, right of first refusal, and many of the other clauses included in contracts from larger publishers. (My contract with Random House was 17 pages long.) I didn't sign it immediately, because I had questions. Specifically, I wanted to know what they would do for marketing. This is what I asked:

1) The contract mentions Ingram. What other 3rd party distributors does TouchPoint use?

2) I am pleased to see that there is a clause mentioning libraries. Does Touchpoint distribute titles through Overdrive? Are reviews solicited from the major publications received by librarians (Library Journal, Booklist, etc)?

3) To which trade/industry publications does TouchPoint send requests for reviews?

4) In addition to these, does TouchPoint submit a marketing plan to authors? If so, what does a typical marketing plan include?

5) What is TouchPoint's usual advertising budget for marketing/promotion?

Their reply was cut and pasted into my original email (which I considered unprofessional), and while it contained some details, it was essentially generic. But the real clincher was that the books they had published were only getting two or three ratings on Amazon, and no industry reviews at all. If their marketing department had been up to snuff, there would have been far more ratings on Amazon, and certainly reviews.

Charging writers

Vanity presses are businesses that charge people for printing their books. They are completely upfront about what they charge (which can be a lot), because, typically, their customers only want to give a few books to family members and friends. There is no oversight, so what you submit is what they print.

Hybrid presses, on the other hand, portray themselves as a "partnership" between publisher and author. However, in the end they are actually not much better than vanity presses. They charge exhorbitant fees for each publishing function (cover design, editing, printing, etc.) while offering very little of what an author actually needs from a publisher. Though hybrid publishers like to present themselves as selective, in reality they are a form of self-publishing. But instead of keeping 100% of the royalties, authors only get to keep half. 

A contract that charges a writer for anything is not a publishing contract. It is a printing arrangement minus the pedigree conferred by a publishing house. 


Always read contracts carefully. Book contracts are almost invariably drawn up by lawyers, which means they are long and complicated. Writers need help to understand them. So, if you haven't joined Authors Guild yet, go ahead and join before you start sending queries to publishers. Authors Guild offers invaluable legal assistance with contracts of all types. (Even if you have an agent, it's worth your while to join Authors Guild. It's always good to get a second opinion,)

Contracts can (and should) be negotiated. In most cases, royalty rates are carved in stone, but if you don't like how a clause is worded, or you would like more author copies, you can make a request for changes. Remember: You are the source of income for publishers. Publishers merely handle what you produce.

Do your homework. Look up books the publisher has published. Do they have reviews? Are the covers professional, or do they look cobbled together from open source images? How many books have they published? Are they all written by staff members? Look "inside" a few of them on Amazon. Do you spot any editing errors? A small publisher is not necessarily a bad publisher, but be aware that their resources may be limited.

Last, but not least, Google them. Have other writers posted good or bad experiences with the publisher?

Forewarned is forearmed. 

Further reading

Publishing Contracts: What Are Some Red Flags?

When Your Publishing Contract Flies a Red Flag: Clauses to Watch Out For

Red Flags That Authors Should Be Aware of With Contracts

A Publishing Contract Should Not Be Forever

IMHO: A Nuanced Look at Hybrid Publishers

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

4 Established Agents Seeking Genre Fiction, Literary Fiction, Kidlit, YA, Nonfiction and more

Here are four established agents open to queries right now. All work with reputable agencies with good track records. 

Caitlin Mahony represents romance, genre, and commercial fiction. She loves a hard-won, epic love story (historical and contemporary), a transporting fantasy or sci-fi novel that helps parse earthly questions, a delightful beach read, or a pulse-pounding thriller.

Jenny Savill is looking for literary fiction, literary and commercial women’s fiction, psychological suspense, gothic thrillers and stories with a touch of creeping horror, ghost stories, historical fiction (the whole gamut – including alternate histories), and memoir as well as children's and young adult literature.

Ingrid Beck is seeking compelling nonfiction proposals in the following categories: practical self-help, mindfulness, mental health and wellbeing, religion and spirituality, social and cultural issues, and lifestyle.

Marin Takikawa is looking for literary fiction, YA, and memoirs.

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


Ms. Caitlin Mahony of William Morris Endeavor

Caitlin has been at WME since 2016. Caitlin’s clients include bestselling romance authors Chloe Walsh and Shantel Tessier, fantasy author Henry Neff, among others.  Caitlin is passionate about breaking out authors who originate from the self-publishing world, and bringing new opportunities their way—whether it’s a transition to traditional publishing in the US and UK, translation and audio deals, or merchandising.

What she is seeking: She represents romance, genre, and commercial fiction. Caitlin is looking for books that offer a total escape and full immersion, in either this world or an imagined one. She loves a hard-won, epic love story (historical and contemporary), a transporting fantasy or sci-fi novel that helps parse earthly questions, a delightful beach read, or a pulse-pounding thriller; and is always looking to get swept up in something that you can’t put down.

How to submit: Submissions should be emailed to

Caitlin would love to see your query letter (including a bio) and the first chapter of your manuscript. For previously self-published work, a link to your website, Goodreads, Wattpad, and/or Amazon page would be great too.


Ms. Jenny Savill of Andrew Nurnberg Associates Ltd 

Jenny joined Andrew Nurnberg Associates in 2002. She represents authors writing for both children and adults.

What she is seeking: On the adult side, she’s looking for literary fiction, literary and commercial women’s fiction, psychological suspense, gothic thrillers and stories with a touch of creeping horror, ghost stories, historical fiction (the whole gamut – including alternate histories), and memoir. High fantasy is not her thing, though she is partial to a story with a speculative thread running through it. Her roster of adult authors includes internationally bestselling novelist Natasha Pulley, Shirley-Jackson winner Catriona Ward, writer of the darkly comic Sweetpea series C J Skuse, and graphic novelist Fred Fordham.

On the children’s side, she’s always on the look-out for new voices in 7+, Middle Grade and Young Adult writing. Her authors include Matt Brown, Keren David and Hana Tooke.

How to submit: Follow the agency's guidelines HERE.


Ms. Ingrid Beck of The Bindery

After earning her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Kansas State University, Ingrid Beck spent more than 17 years working in book publishing, serving in diverse roles such as acquisitions editor, managing editor, and editorial director. Ingrid joined The Bindery in 2019 as managing director and oversees day-to-day operations, proposal development, client relations, scheduling, and a variety of other special projects. 

What she is seeking: Ingrid is seeking compelling nonfiction proposals in the following categories: practical self-help, mindfulness, mental health and wellbeing, religion and spirituality, social and cultural issues, and lifestyle.

How to submit: Email your query to Please include the following in the body of your email: a clear summary of your book concept, an author biography, the table of contents (for nonfiction), at least two sample chapters, relevant contact information, and any publishing history. Include the word “QUERY” in the email subject line and if you’ve completed a book proposal, please attach that document to your email. You may address your query to one agent or to The Bindery as a whole.


Ms. Marin Takikawa of The Friedrich Agency

Before joining TFA in early 2021, I got my start as an assistant to three agents at Foundry Literary + Media, following internships at The Book Group, Folio Literary Management, and Triada U.S. Born in Tokyo and raised in Singapore and NYC, I graduated from the University of Rochester with degrees in English and Business. In addition to building my own list, I support Molly Friedrich and Lucy Carson, and handle audio rights for the agency. 

What she is seeking: I’m an eclectic reader, and hope that my list will showcase this range as well—in addition to fiction and nonfiction, I also am looking to represent select YA.
For adult fiction, I’m looking for character-driven upmarket and literary fiction. In particular, I’m always driven by the need to understand people and discover the various kinks that aren’t visible from the surface—what drives them? What do they desire most but can’t get? I’m particularly enamored by genre-bending works, fiction with a speculative or magical bent, literary suspense, narratives about complex family relationships, and those that subvert forms of power, specifically neocolonialist ones. My tastes in YA are similar, although with more focus on speculative concepts and maybe surprisingly, contemporary rom-coms like LOVE & GELATO, ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS, and TELL ME THREE THINGS.
In nonfiction, I gravitate toward memoirs that balance personal narratives with engaging and insightful research and/or cultural analysis. I’m also looking for narrative nonfiction that is resistant and radical in nature, that questions why we have the institutions, ideas, and systems we have in place. I often think about the legacies of colonialism, how it haunts and perpetuates in various forms in the modern age (such as the environment and in capitalism), but also about collective action and its sense of possibilities and what the future could look like. I’d love to hear from you if your work is in this space.
Regardless of category, I’m looking for a singular voice that will guide me through any literary terrain and is not afraid of pushing against the status quo. And above all, it’s important to me that my list is filled with writers from historically underrepresented communities, as well as diasporic voices.

How to submit: Please email your query (no sample pages) to

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

143 Calls for Submissions in July 2023 - Paying markets

This July there are more than eleven 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: Public Domain Pictures)


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

PodcastleGenre: Fantasy podcast. Length: Up to 6,000 words. Payment: $0.06/word for original; $100 for reprints, $20 for flash fiction reprints. Deadline: Opens July 1, 2023.

The Paris ReviewGenres: Poetry. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: Opens July 1, 2023, and closes when they reach capacity. 

LupercaliaGenre: Chapbooks. Art and writing by trans and queer creators that focuses on themes of transgender and queer sex/sexuality/excess/celebration. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Carte Blanche (Canada). Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations. comics, photography. Payment: "Modest" Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Monosyllabic Queer TheoryGenre: Poem about queer theory using monosyllabic words. Payment: $300 per piece. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

The Pleasure in PainGenre: Queer erotic horror. Payment: $0.05 per word for short stories. Flat rate of $5 for Poetry and $15 for Flash Fiction. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - Teaching EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - College Life EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - Special Needs & Disabilities EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

The Cafe IrrealGenre: Magical realism. 2,000 words max. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

A Velvet GiantGenre"We are open to work that takes the shape of basically any format: words, recordings, visual art, hybrid forms, etc. We are open to translated original work." Payment: $20. Deadline: July 1, 2023. 

The Perfectly Fine NeighborhoodGenre: Horror short stories. See themePayment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Reservoir Road Literary ReviewGenre: Literary short stories, lyrical creative non-fiction, photography. Payment: $5. Deadline: Opens July 1, 2023. Note: Submission window closes when their cap is reached.

Thema: The Magic of Light and ShadowGenre: Fiction, poetry, and art on theme: The Magic of Light and Shadow. Payment:  $10-$25 for short fiction and artwork, $10 for poetry. Deadline: July 1, 2023. Accepts reprints.

MythosGenre: Reprint stories SPECIFICALLY concerning those who investigate Lovecraftian/Mythos and Mythos-adjacent weirdness and horror. Stories should be 4-9k words. Payment: £25/piece (c. $30). Deadline: July 1, 2023. Accepts reprints.

It Came from the Trailer ParkGenre: Horror-comedy with the same feel as The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Shaun of the Dead, or Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

HavokGenre: Flash fiction on theme of Legendary Locations. Payment: $50 via PayPal for each story selected for an Anthology. No payment for online publication. Deadline: July 2, 2023.

The Memoirist QuarterlyGenre: Memoirs, personal essays, poetry, and original artwork and photography. Payment: $50 per piece, $25 for art. Deadline: July 2, 2023.

Flame Tree: Learning to Be Human Short StoriesGenre: Speculative fiction. See themePayment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. Deadline: July 2, 2023. Accepts reprints.

Flame Tree: Shadows on the Water Short StoriesGenre: Speculative fiction. See themePayment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for original stories, 6 cents/4 pence for reprints. Deadline: July 2, 2023. Accepts reprints.

Maine ReviewGenre: Short fiction, poetry. Payment: Fiction and Nonfiction writers receive a $25 honorarium per published flash (1,000 words or fewer) and a $50 honorarium for work 1,001 words or more. Poets receive a $25 honorarium per published poem. Deadline: July 3, 2023. Opens June 27.

WordworksRestrictions: Open to BC and Yukon writers. Genre: Poetry, flash fiction, short story, and creative non-fiction. See theme. Payment: $125 for articles of 400–600 words and $250 for articles of 800–1,100 words, $100 for cover art and $25 for other interior illustrations, $50 for reprints. Deadline: July 3, 2023.

Bright Wall/Dark RoomGenre: Essays on film and TV on theme of Heists. "For our August issue, we want your takes on this gloriously fun (and sometimes spiritually dark) genre. Are we obsessed with heists and robberies because of their Robin Hood-y class implications—especially since the targets of these heists are often Big Money (The Italian Job, Sexy Beast, Any Number Can Win) and our underdog protagonists are anything but?" Payment: $50 per essay. Deadline: July 5, 2023.

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: July 7, 2023.

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: July 7, 2023. 

Zombies Need BrainsGenre: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror, including all subgenres. Payment: 8 cents/word. Word count: 2500 to 7500 words. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

LightspeedGenre: Fantasy flash fiction. Payment: 8 cents per word. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

Timber Ghost PressGenre: Novels and novellas, including cosmic horror, weird horror, sci-fi/horror, gothic, and contemporary. "We especially love Old West mixed with horror." Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 7, 2023. Opens July 1.

Wyngraf. Genre: Cozy fantasy. Length: 3,000 to 8,000 words long. Payment: $0.015 (one and a half cents) per word. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

The Stone’s Throw. Genre: Short stories between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

Diet Milk: GothicGenre: Gothic fiction, poetry, and art (drawings, paintings, comics, collages). Payment: $0.01/word for fiction (minimum $40); $15/poem; $50/art piece. Deadline: July 8, 2023.

Griffith Review: Animal MagicGenre: Nonfiction. See themePayment: Not specified. Deadline: July 9, 2023.

Sixty Inches From Center. Genre: Pitches only for traditional and experimental arts writing as well as creative writing around topics and practices that are relevant to the cultural landscapes of the Midwest. Priority will be given to writing by, about, and for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists, artists with disabilities, and the long list of writing, art-making, and cultural practices that have been neglected in mainstream conversations and canons. "We publish writing, photography, art, archive materials, video, and conversations that are thoughtful, generative, experimental, and relatable to our variety of readers.” Payment: $150 per article to writers, photographers, and illustrators. A poet will be paid $150 for a collection of poems published via Sixty, regardless of how many poems are published. For interview transcriptions, $1 per minute transcribed. Deadline: July 9, 2023.

Narratively: Why Africa MattersGenre: Nonfiction. This edition will focus on the five key themes that demonstrate just what makes today’s Africa both unique and consequential: Economic Opportunity; People; Technology; Cultural Influence; and Governance/Diplomacy. Payment: $2,000 for 1,500-2,000 words. Deadline: July 9, 2023.

MslexiaRestrictions: Open to women. Genre: Fiction poetry, nonfiction. Theme: Poison. Payment: £30. Deadline: July 10, 2023.

Absynthe MagazineGenre: Fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction. Payment: $75 9CAD). Art $50 (CAD). Deadline: July 10, 2023.

The Ex-PuritanRestrictions: Open to Indigenous writers. Genre: Poetry, fiction, reviews, interviews, essays, and experimental work. Theme: Indigenous storytelling. Payment: $100 - $200 (CAD). Deadline: July 10, 2023.

The Crow's Quill. Genre: Feminist Horror. Payment: $20 per story. Deadline: July 10, 2023.

Feminist Food JournalGenre: Fiction or non-fiction, written or audio/visual. on theme: Sea. Payment: $130. Deadline: July 11, 2023.

Another Name for DarknessGenre: "Stories that dare to face the dark, looking at it with honesty and seeing what it reveals. We want the real and the supernatural, joyful and melancholic, light and dark – as long as it's sincere." Payment: €150. Deadline: July 12, 2023. Will close early if they reach their cap.

Sine ThetaRestrictions: Open to people of the Sino diaspora. Genre: Poetry, prose, art. Payment: $10. Deadline: July 13, 2023.

Electric Literature: The CommuterGenre: Poetry, flash, graphic, and experimental narratives. Payment: $100. Deadline: July 13, 2023.

BOA Editions — Blessing the Boats SelectionsGenre: Book of poetry by Women of Color. Payment: $5,000 + Publication. Deadline: July 14, 2023.

DaikaijuzineGenre: Speculative fiction, poetry, art. Payment: $10.00 for each short story, and $5.00 for each poem and flash fiction piece. Deadline: July 14, 2023.

Solarpunk MagazineGenre: Solarpunk. Payment: $0.08/word for fiction, $40/poem, and $75/essay.  Deadline: July 14, 2023.

BrambleRestrictions: Open to disabled writers and artists based in Australia. Genre: Fiction, CNF, poetry. Payment: $200 (in total). Deadline: July 14, 2023.

RedividerGenre: Hybrid, genre-blurring and experimental work. Submit your flash nonfiction, visual sci-fi poetry, memoir comics, mixed-media fiction collage with a dash of cultural critique, digital or drawn media—all fall in the broad spectrum of possibilities! Payment: $30. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

DrabblecastGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror short fiction — 500- 4,000 words. Drabbles - 100 words. Podcast. Payment:  $.03/word, with a cap of $300.00. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Accepts reprints

The Deeps. Genre: Fiction (500-6,000 words) and narrative poetry (up to 240 lines) that are horror and horror-adjacent. Payment: One cent ($0.01) per word for fiction or twenty-five cents ($0.25) per line for poetry, paid via PayPal in USD. A minimum of $10 will be paid to each accepted author. Accepted contributors will also receive one (1) free copy of the print edition. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Dose of DreadGenre: Horror flash fiction. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: 2c/word. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

evOkeGenre: All things Pagan, polytheist, and witchy. See themes. Payment: $5. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Open from the 1 - 15 of every month.

Able MuseGenre: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction books. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

34 OrchardGenre: Fiction and 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." Length: Up to 7,500 words. Payment: $50. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Opens July 1.

SaseeGenre: First-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are their primary editorial focus. See theme. Payment: Varies. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

The Fantastic OtherGenre: Mainstream and surrealist short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and art. Payment: $5. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Nat. BrutGenre: Short stories, poems, CNF. Payment: $30 per piece. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Dark BloomsGenre: Horror stories by women about girls coming of age. Length: 5000 – 10,000 words. Payment: $20 - $40. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Sonoran Horror AnthologyGenre: Dark fiction. Payment: 1c/word. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

It Was All a DreamGenre: Short horror, weird, dark fiction between 1500 and 3000 words (firm limit) that take your least favorite horror trope and make it work. Payment: 5c/word. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

December Tales IIGenre: Horror. "No gore, no rape, no gratuitous sex, no agendas, just your best chilling ghost story." Payment: $25. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Reprints accepted.

If There's Anyone LeftRestrictions: Open to people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, members of marginalized genders, and disabled people. Genre: Speculative fiction. Length: 1000 words max. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

The Nightmare Never EndsGenre: Horror. "Stuck inside a dreamworld, stuck inside your head, terrors unfold. We are looking for stories that blend dreamscapes into reality, stories where nightmares come alive, where fears take shape, and we can no longer tell what’s real and what’s not." Payment: $25. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

VautrinGenre: Short stories on theme: “Oswald in Mexico City,” Length 2,000 - 5,000 words. Payment: $35. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Fairy Tale ReviewGenre: Modern fairy tales. Payment: $50. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Cricket Media: ASK MagazineGenre: Science articles for children 7–10 years old. Theme: Fancy Feet. Payment: Unspecified. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Queries only.

Electric SpecGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $20 per piece. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

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: July 15, 2023.

Invisible CityGenre: Nonfiction up to 5,000 words. Payment: $20. Deadline: July 16, 2023.

Seaside GothicGenre: Seaside gothic fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or a collection of photographs or illustrations. Payment: £0.01 per word. Deadline: July 16, 2023. 

Headland: Speculative Fiction IssueGenre: Speculative fiction and CNF. Payment: NZ$50. Deadline: July 16, 2023. 

Muse MagazineGenre: Nonfiction articles for children. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: July 17, 2023. See themesQueries only.

McSweeney’sRestrictions: Open to previously unpublished writers. Genre: Fiction of any length up to 10,000 words. Payment: $400. Deadline: July 19, 2023. 

AstrolabeGenre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography & art. Payment: $50. Deadline: July 21, 2023.

Room MagazineRestrictions: Open to artists of marginalized genders. Genre: Fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, and poems of utopic exploration. Payment: $50 per page. Deadline: July 21, 2023.

Flash Fiction OnlineGenre: Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary flash fiction. Length: 500- to 1000-words. Payment: $80. Deadline: July 21, 2023. Submit early. Closes when submission cap is reached.

The Other Stories (Audio). Genre: Horror on themes. Payment: 15 GBT. Deadline: July 22, 2023. See themes.

Dark BloomsGenre: Horror stories by women about girls coming of age. Length: 5000 – 10,000 words. Payment: $20 - $40. Deadline: July 22, 2023. Extended deadline for trans women and women of color.

It Was All a DreamGenre: Short horror, weird, dark fiction between 1500 and 3000 words (firm limit) that take your least favorite horror trope and make it work. Payment: 5c/word. Deadline: Extended submission window exclusively for LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and marginalized writers open July 16 - July 22, 2023.

ChannelGenreFiction, art, creative non-fiction, and poetry that engages with the natural world, and have a particular interest in work which encourages reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. Payment€40/poem, and €50/page of prose up to €150. Deadline:  July 23, 2023.

MudroomGenre: Poetry, fiction, essays, and essays in translation. Payment: $15. Deadline: July 25, 2023.

Cake Zine: Tough Cookie. Genre: Fiction, poetry, hybrid work, essays, humor, and art. See theme. Payment: $125 - $300. Deadline: July 25, 2023.

MonstrousGenre: Dark flash fiction. Payment: 6 cents per word. Deadline: July 27, 2023.

Black OceanGenre: Full-length poetry manuscripts. Payment: Royalties? Deadline: July 28, 2023.

MythaxisGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: $20. Deadline: July 30, 2023.

B Cubed Press: Alternative Truths, Southern Edition: Bless Their HeartsGenre: Stories, essays, and poems. "Bless Their Hearts will examine the South, a place where politicians and their followers compete to peg the outrage meter. Why—and how—are they turning the United States into a cauldron of bigotry and hate? This book will look at the mindset behind these and other efforts to bring back the Old South, a mythical place and time when everyone knew their place. We want stories that speak to the consequences of such a mindset and where it may be taking us as individuals and as a culture. What, if left unfettered, would these efforts make of America, the world, and the future? And more importantly, how will we fight to stop them?" Payment: $.03 a word upon publication, plus a share of the profits. Deadline: July 30, 2023.

khōréōRestrictions: Open to writers who identify as an immigrant or member of a diaspora in the broadest definitions of the terms. "This includes, but is not limited to, first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, persons who identify with one or more diaspora communities, persons who have been displaced or whose heritage has been erased due to colonialism/imperialism, transnational/transracial adoptees, and anyone whose heritage and history includes ‘here and elsewhere’. We especially encourage BIPOC creators who identify as the above to submit their work." Genre: Stories, essays, and art: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and any genre in between or around it, as long as there’s a speculative element. Payment: 0.08/word for fiction, $100 for nonfiction, and $40-300 for art. Deadline: July 30, 2023.

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. Theme: Belonging. Payment: $150 per story. $50 per poem. $300 per novelette. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Pyre Magazine: Eldritch Harvest Anthology. Genre: Cosmic folk horror. Payment: 2 cents/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023. 

UWA Publishing (University of Western Australia). Genre: Fiction and poetry. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

WesterlyGenre: Short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism. Payment: Poems: $120 for one poem or $150 for two or more poems; Stories: $180; Articles: $180; Visual art/Intro essay: $120; Reviews: $100; Online Publication: $100. "We expect our contributors to be subscribers of the Magazine. While we will accept submissions from non-subscribers, should your work be accepted for publication in this instance, you will be asked to accept a subscription to the Magazine as part payment for your work." Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Dread MachineGenreFuturistic dark fiction, speculative fiction, cyberpunk, slipstream, and science fiction. Payment: Original stories $.05.word, $.01/word for reprints. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

ManyworldsRestrictions: Open to those who identify with and as any of the following descriptors: trans, two-spirit, disabled, neurodivergent, Mad, queer, crip, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex. Genre: All genres. Payment: $10. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Heduan ReviewGenre: Prose, poetry, art, reviews. CNF. Payment: 5 cents/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Spoon Knife Anthology: Smoke & MirrorsGenre: Genre-bending short fiction, short literary memoir, and poetry. Theme: Smoke & Mirrors. Payment: $20 plus 1 cent per word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Nonbinary ReviewGenre: Poetry, fiction, essays, and art on theme: World Tour. Payment: 1 cent per word for prose, and a flat fee of $10 for poetry. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Closes when cap is reached, so submit early.

Silver BladeGenre: Science Fiction, Slipstream, Classic and Modern Fantasy; short fiction, flash fiction, novellas, and poetry. Payment: $15 for novellas, $3 for flash fiction, $8 for short stories, $8 for single poems and $15 for Featured Poets (by invitation only). Silver Pen will pay half of these rates for previously published works. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Reprints accepted.

OficGenre: Short fiction (up to 12,000 words), nonfiction (CNF, etc.), art. "Send us your dead doves, your blorbos, your plinkos, your wretched meow meows yearning to be free; that thing you wrote that made you think, “I don’t know where this belongs”; the stuff you’d never show anyone you know IRL. Give us your shameless, self-indulgent smut; the manuscript to the video essay you dictated to your YouTube subscribers in your head; your thoughtful explorations of trauma and identity; your Pepe Silvia wall; your sci-fi, your fantasy, your romance, your realism. We want anything and everything. As long as you identify as a fan, we want to read your work." Payment: Small honorarium. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Diabolical PlotsGenre: Science fiction, fantasy and horror up to 3,500 words. Payment: 10 cents/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Offing: EnumerateGenre: Hybrid — cross-genre, and work in all genres (fiction, CNF, flash, poetry) — as long as it uses the form of a list (which you may interpret widely). Any length, any subject, any medium (i.e. text, video, photo, music, etc.). The lists should add up to some kind of literary foray, exploration, meditation, commentary, collage. Payment: $25–$100. Deadline: July 31, 2023. 

Wildfire Anthology. Genre: South Broadway Press is seeking poetry and photography inspired by living in the line of wildfires. We are interested in your experiences during or after a wildfire. We seek work that shares the realities of living with the effects of climate change, the main contributor of the increase and ferocity of wildfires, and wildfire climate refugees. Payment: $20. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Good Life Review. Genre: Poetry, Short fiction, flash fiction, micro fiction, short cnf, flash cnf, micro cnf, stage and screen plays, and any of the aforementioned translated from Spanish to English (with the original author's permission). Payment: $25-$55. Deadline: July 31, 2023. No submission fee for BIPOC writers.

The Temz ReviewGenre: Prose (fiction and creative non-fiction) up to 10,000 words long. Payment: $20. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Hidden Timber BooksGenre: "We love literary fiction or memoir (in a collection or as a whole), and we’d love to read your middle grade novel!" Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

BrinkGenre: Hybrid, cross-genre fiction, nonfiction poetry. Payment: $25 Poem; $50 Work (less than 1500 words); $50 Art (1-3 Images); $100 Art (4+ Images); $100 Work (more than 1501 words). Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Socrates on the BeachGenre: Longer essays and fiction at least 3000 to 10,000 words. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Artisans of the Soul: An Anthology of Teacher AppreciationGenre: Fiction and CNF. "We are looking for pieces that specifically highlight the strength, courage, and commitment of teachers to their students. Pieces must be from the perspective of the teacher so that you can fully highlight the heart and soul of the teacher or mentor you are writing about. Genres are limited to general fiction, realism, magical realism, creative nonfiction, fantasy, and literary." Payment: $25 for short stories, $10 for flash fiction, and $5 for poems or drabbles. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Reprints accepted.

Bad BettyGenre: Full-length poetry collections. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Written Backwards: Qualia NousGenre: Dark science fiction and all blended sub-genres of science fiction (horror, fantasy, etc.) Length:  3,000 – 10,000 words, or poetry (up to 100 lines). Payment: 10 cents/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Fifth Wheel Press: DreamlandRestrictions: Open to queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming writers. Genre: Poetry, prose poetry, short prose (<1500 words), and other experimental writing by queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming writers. Payment: $5. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Cellar Door: After TomorrowGenre: Dark fiction. Post-apocalyptic, thriller/suspense, survival horror, creature feature, supernatural/paranormal. Word Count: 2,000 - 10,000 words. Payment: $25.00 + digital & paperback copy. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Epic EchoesGenre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Crime, Adventure, Horror, and everything in between. "We love genre-blending stories and unique takes on classic tropes. Grounded, more realistic stories are also welcome." Payment: $10 - $20. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

AwakeRestrictions: Submissions are restricted to Black authors. Genre: Poetry, prose, hybrid, art. Theme: Frontier. Payment: $15 - $50. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Midnight EchoRestrictions: Open to Australians. Genre: Horror fiction, poetry, and non-fiction on horror-related subjects. Payment: AU$0.05/word for fiction. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Malahat Review. Genre: Poetry. Payment: CAD $70/page. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Submissions by Canadian writers are accepted for consideration all year.

Taco Bell QuarterlyGenre: Short stories, non-fiction, prose, essays, poetry, art, comics, flash, films, "undefinable auras, experiments, and completely ordinary shit." "We are looking for innovative ways to lower the bar. We are looking for ways to degrade ourselves with flair. We are looking for universes that could be extremely traumatizing if the writers weren’t cowards. We are looking for ways to address the nightmares more directly." Payment: $100. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

What Really HappenedGenre: Short stories, flash fiction. "Pick a famous incident, an unknown one, or make up your own and let us know what really happened! I mean, we’re not saying it was aliens, but…" Word count maximum (firm) of 7,000 words. Anything under 2,000 words will be considered flash fiction. Payment: Royalties. Flash fiction will be paid at 1/2 rate. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Planisphere QuarterlyGenre: Fiction. "I Am - theme is metamorphosis, where the main character is changing into something. Any interpretation is welcome." Payment: $25. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Rebel Satori: QueerMojo imprintGenre: Book-length fiction and single-author collections of short fiction or poetry. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Red Cape Publishing: A - Z of Horror: T is for TarotGenre: Horror on theme. Payment: £10. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Variant LitGenre: Fiction, nonfiction Payment: $10. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Haven SpeculativeRestrictions: Open to authors of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other underrepresented groups. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: 1 cent/word for fiction and $5 - $10 for poetry. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

parABnormalGenre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry on the paranormal. "For us, this includes ghosts, spectres, haunts, various whisperers, and so forth. It also includes shapeshifters and creatures from various folklores." Payment: $25.00 for original stories, $7.00 for reprints.$6.00 for each poem. $20.00 for original articles, $6.00 for reprints. $7.00 for reviews and interviews. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

New MythsGenre: Speculative fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Payment: 3 cents/word with a minimum payment of $30 for all submissions, fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction and poetry; $50 for book reviews; $80 for art. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

JMS BooksGenre: LGBTQ romance stories, 12,000 words minimum. See themePayment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

FanaticalGenre: Sci-fi, fantasy and horror stories between 2,000 and 6,000 words. Payment: £20. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Dark Recesses PressGenre: Horror/dark fiction pieces 500-5000 words. Payment: 5 cents/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Arc Poetry MagazineGenre: Poetry. Payment: $50 per page. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The RumpusGenre: Essays. "We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere, and to lift up new voices alongside those of more established writers we love. We work to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power." Payment: $300 divided among all contributors. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Tales of Sley HouseGenre: Short stories in the genres of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, noir mysteries with dark elements, and thrillers, each around 6000 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

PseudopodGenre: Horror Anthologies and Collections of stories that have been published by Pseudopod. Payment: USD $0.08 per word for original fiction. USD $100 per story for reprint fiction. Deadline: July 31, 2023. 

Witch Wizard WarlockGenre: Short fiction. "Submissions must feature a witch, wizard, warlock, two of those, or even all three. Horror, humor, fantasy, science fiction, or even some entertaining, but bizarre mashup of genres that we haven’t considered." Payment: $10. Deadline: July 31, 2023. 

5 Second RuleGenre: Short stories. Theme: Superhero, specifically in the 5 Second Rule universe. Payment: $75. Deadline: July 31, 2023. 

GwyllionGenre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: £10 per accepted story or poem. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Flash FrogGenre: Flash fiction ghost stories. Length: 1000 words max. Payment: $25. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Space and TimeGenre: Science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, magical realism. Payment: 1 cent/word. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Ricochet EditionsGenre: Hybrid/Experimental work between 40 and 200 pages. "We are looking for purposeful experimentation with language and form that challenges or plays with convention." Payment: $500 and 50 copies of the perfect-bound book. Deadline: July 31, 2023. No submission fee for POC and Indigenous writers and writers facing financial hardship.

Lanternfish Press. Genre: Manuscripts between 20,000 and 40,000 words that fall in the mist-wreathed borderlands between literary and speculative fiction. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Pulp Literature. Genre: Any genre or between-genre work of literature, or visual art (black and white for interiors, colour for covers) up to 50 pages in length. Payment: $0.05 – $0.08 per word for short stories (to 5000 words),  $0.03 – $0.06 per word between 5000 and 10000 words,  and $0.02 – $0.04 per word for works over 10000 words. Poetry and interior illustrations pay between $25 – $50. Sequential art (graphic novels and cartoons) and illustrations are at a rate of $25 to $75 per page. Reprints accepted at 1/2 rate. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

WesterlyGenre: Short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism. Payment: Poems: $120 for one poem or $150 for two or more poems; Stories: $180; Articles: $180; Visual art/Intro essay: $120; Reviews: $100; Online Publication: $100. "We encourage our contributing authors to be subscribers of the journal, and support the publication which is supporting them! For this reason, we will offer any authors selected for publication who are not subscribers the option to take out a discounted year’s subscription as part-payment for their work." Deadline: July 31, 2023.

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: July 31, 2023.

Tupelo PressGenre: Book-length poetry collections (48-90 pages) and chapbook-length poetry collections (28-47 pages). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

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: July 31, 2023.


The First LineGenres: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction using the first line provided. (See site.) Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

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

We'Moon Lunar CalendarRestrictions: Open to women only. Genre: Art, poetry and prose, 350 words maximum. Payment: Small honorarium; art up to $500. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Upbeat TalesGenre: Upbeat and/or comedic fantasy, science fiction and horror stories. Payment: 1 cent/word. Length: 100-6,000 words. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Totally Entwined: Falsely, Madly, DeeplyGenre: Novellas, 30,000 - 50,000 words. Theme: Fake relationships. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Wizards in SpaceGenre: Poetry, prose, art. "We’re ready to hear about the chapters of your own journeys. Which pages have you turned, and which are you now opening? We want your cliffhangers, we want your tidy knots, we want your open endings. Fresh starts and sweet farewells." Payment: $40 per original poem or per page of original art; $20 per reprinted poem or per page of reprinted art; $0.04 per word for original prose, based on final published word count; $0.02 per word for reprinted prose, based on final published word count. Deadline: August 1, 2023. Accepts reprints. 

Grimoire: Medusa—The Stone-Cold BitchesGenre: Short stories, poems, CNF. See themePayment: $20. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Monosyllabic Queer TheoryGenre: Poem about queer theory using monosyllabic words. Payment: $250 per piece. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Occult Detective MagazineGenre: Mystery short stories, nonfiction, art. "We love both old-style and modern, cutting edge weird fiction, and we love folk horror; we embrace unashamed arcane adventure, and we also draw gritty noir mysteries into our domain. At the heart of all these tales are the occult detectives." Payment: $0.01/word (up to $50, up to $30 for nonfiction). Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - Parenting EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - Kids (Written by kids for kids) EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Bad Day Book - Teenage Years (Written by teenagers for teenagers) EditionGenre: Poetry and prose. See site for themePayment: $40 - $75, depending on length. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Propertius PressRestrictions: We are actively seeking submissions by and about persons who identify as Trans and/or Non-Binary. Genre: Full-length literary fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Propertius Press.  Genre: Cozy mysteries. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2023. May close early if cap is reached.

Terrors from the Toy BoxGenre: Horror. Payment: £20 regardless of story length plus a paperback and digital (pdf & Epub.) copy. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

L’Esprit Literary ReviewGenre: Short fiction, creative non-fiction, novel extracts, drama, art, literary criticism, autotheory, and book reviews "written in the fearless, risk-adept, and revolutionary spirit of High Modernism." Payment: $10. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Last Girls ClubGenre: Feminist horror: short stories and poems - see themes. Payment: Short Story-2,500 words or less. $0.01 USD per word/$25 USD and copy of magazine; Flash Fiction-less than a 1,000 words $0.01 USD per word/$10 USD; Poems-less than 200 words $10 upon acceptance and a PDF of the magazine. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Acre Books Genre: Poetry, nonfiction, translation, graphic essays, & fiction by women of color, including writing by trans, nonbinary, & genderqueer writers. Subject line: OPEN CALL. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Fractured Lit: BIPOC Love Story. Genre: Flash fiction. See theme. Payment$50 for original micro fiction and $75 for original flash fiction. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

Madame Gray's Graveyard of BloodGenre: Horror. "Open to all subgenres of horror, as long as the story takes place in, or is connected in some way to a cemetery. The more ghoulish, the better! The scarier, the merrier! And a bit of gallows humor is always welcome, but not required." Payment: $5. Deadline: August 1, 2023.

B Cubed Press: Alternative LeadershipGenre: Stories, poetry, and essays. "This anthology is about leadership. Leadership by the under-represented, by those too often forced to watch as those less qualified, less capable rise in a system that cannot see the value of diversity and change. We’re looking for broken barriers of all kinds. Can a man lead the National Organization of Women? Can a woman lead the NFL Players Association? Not in our current world, perhaps, but maybe in alternative worlds?" Payment: $.03 a word upon publication, plus a share of the profits. Deadline: August 1, 2023. Reprints accepted.

Monday, June 26, 2023

69 Writing Contests in July 2023 - No entry fees

This July there are more than five dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes range from $100,000 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: Wikimedia: Sunflowers at Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography in Pyrohiv, Kyiv, Ukraine)


PEN America’s U.S. Writers Aid InitiativeRestrictions: Applicants must be professional writers based in the United States, and be able to demonstrate that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping address a short-term emergency situation. Prize: Grant, amount not specified. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

The AutoEthnographer Student ScholarshipsRestrictions: Open to creatives anywhere in the world who identify as active students at any age or level. Works must be nominated by an instructor, professor, tutor, or other educator; the author/artist must have been an enrolled student in the 2022-2023 school year. Genre: Works of literary and artistic autoethnography. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Virago 50th Furies Short Story CompetitionRestrictions: Open to people of underrepresented genders and women who are from Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage, and multiple-ethnic groups; part of the LGBTQIA+ community; neurodiverse; have a disability; self-identify as working-class individuals; or are from a working-class background. Entrants must be aged 18 or over, resident in the United Kingdom and must not have an agent at the time of entering the Competition or have had any book or short story previously published by a publisher or self-published in whole or in part in any format. Genre: Feminist short story inspired by a synonym for ‘virago.’ Prize: £1,500 prize money and the opportunity to be published in the Furies paperback and ebook. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Dan Veach Prize for Younger PoetsRestrictions: Open to poets aged 18-23. Genre: Poetry. Prize:  $100 and publication in the Atlanta Review. Deadline: July 1, 2023. 

Local Word Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Entries are welcome from living poets anywhere in Australia 16 years or older. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,000 AUD top prize. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Richard J. Margolis AwardGenre: Journalism. Prize is awarded annually to a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. Prize: $5,000 and one month of residency at Blue Mountain Center. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. Book must be author's first full-length book of poetry, published between between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Self-published books are accepted. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Sponsored by Claremont Graduate University. Restrictions: Poets must be citizens or legal resident aliens of the United States. Genre: Poetry. The work submitted must be a first book of poetry published between between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Manuscripts, CDs, and chapbooks are not accepted. Prize: $100,000. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest (BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Caribbean-American Writer’s Prize and BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean)Restrictions: All entrants must be of Caribbean heritage/of Caribbean descent or writers who were born/raised and holding nationality in the Caribbean. Genre: Unpublished short fiction (3000 words max). PrizeUS$1750 for each contest. Deadline: July 1, 2023.

Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry. "The awards contest is an annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit." Prize: $200. Deadline: July 1, 2023. Free entry for poets age 12 and under.

Limnisa Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story under 1,500 words on theme: A room of one's own. Prize: One-week, all-inclusive writers' retreat in Limnisa, Greece. Deadline:  July 2, 2023.

The Michael O’Pray PrizeRestrictions: Open to all early-career writers based in the UK. Genre: Nonfiction writing on innovation and experimentation in the moving image. Prize: £750 top prize. Deadline:  July 2, 2023.

4thWrite Short Story PrizeRestrictions: Open to Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic writers aged 18+ living in the UK or Ireland. Genre: Short story, 6,000 words maximum. Prize: £1,000, a one-day publishing workshop at 4th Estate and publication of their story on the Guardian website. Deadline: July 2, 2023.

Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist FellowshipsRestrictions: Open to writers who have lived in the state of Maine for at least one year. Genre: Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. Prize: $5,000.  Deadline: July 6, 2023.

The Richell Prize for Emerging WritersRestrictions: Open to unpublished Australian residents aged 18 years or older. Genre: Fiction and narrative non-fiction, the first three chapters plus synopsis (max 20,000 words). Prize: $10,000 and a year’s mentorship with one of Hachette Australia’s publishers. The Guardian Australia will publish an extract of the first chapter of the winning work on its website. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

Sine Theta PrizeRestrictions: Open to  members of the Sino diaspora. Genre: Fiction (prose) and poetry. See theme. Prize: All authors published in sinθ receive a $10 USD honorarium. For the two contest winners, there is an additional $200 USD prize, amounting to a total of $210 USD. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

Wingate Literary PrizeGenre: Published book that explores Jewish themes. Book must be published between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023, must be published, distributed or easily available in the UK and Ireland, and must be published in English, whether originally or in translation. Prize: £4,000. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

AAAS/Subaru Book PrizeGenre: Published science book. Categories include: Children's Science Picture Book (prize to author and illustrator); Middle Grades Science Book (prize to author); Young Adult Science Book (prize to author); Hands-On Science Book (prize to author). Winning authors and illustrators will be recognized at the AAAS Annual Meeting which will be held February 15-17, 2024 in Denver, CO. Prize: $1500. Deadline: July 7, 2023.

Furious FictionGenre: Flash fiction based on their prompt. Length: 500 words max. See prompt. Prize: $500AUD. Deadline: July 9, 2022.

HG Wells Short Story Competition. Genre: Short story on theme of "Motion." Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: £1,000 and publication in the annual HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology.  Deadline: July 10, 2023. No fee for writers under the age of 21. Those over 21 can enter for a fee.

Stony Brook Short Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges are eligible. "This Prize has traditionally encouraged submissions from students with an Asian background, but we urge all students to enter." Genre: Fiction of no more than 7,500 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: July 14, 2023. 

The Stephen Spender PrizeRestrictions: Open to UK or Irish citizens, or pupils at a British School overseas. Genre: Translated poetry. Prize: £50-£100. DeadlineJuly 14, 2023.

Blessing the BoatsRestrictions: Open to all women poets of color in the U.S., including poets who identify as cis, trans, and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers on women’s experiences, regardless of citizenship and publication history. Genre: Full-length poetry manuscript. Prize: $5,000 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. Deadline: July 14, 2023. 

Working Class Writers Nature PrizeRestrictions: Open to working class writers over 18 and living in the UK. The author must self-identify as working class and not have been published professionally in full-length book form. Genre: Fiction, non-fiction and poetry nature writing. Prize: £300 and a mentoring session. Deadline: July 14, 2023.

Apparition LitGenre: Flash fiction. See themesPrize: $30. DeadlineJuly 14, 2023.

Iron Horse PrizeGenre: First book of collected prose. Prize: The author of the winning entry will receive $1000, and their collection will be published in the summer of 2024 by Texas Tech University Press. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Free submissions on July 15 only.

Iron Horse PhotofinishGenre: Brief ekphrastic work that pushes beyond an absolute literal read of a photo prompt. "We're looking for work that recognizes what's hidden in the world we see, responding to the physical details that the picture offers or what emotion it conveys or both. We provide the photo on our website and social media platforms every mid-May. Responses should be no longer than 500 words for prose or 15 lines for poetry. Prize:  Winner receives $250. The finalists receive: $50. Deadline: July 15, 2023. Free submissions on July 15 only.

Kaidankai podcastGenre: Stories with a haunted house theme. Length: 1000 - 3000 words. Prize: $25 - $100. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Valiant Scribe Poetry CompetitionGenre: Poetry. "Valiant Scribe calls for submissions that focus on war and peace, despair and hope. In a world filled with war, poverty, natural disasters, human rights violations, and other ills, we seek poetry that evokes thoughts of hope, telling us there is a light at the end of the tunnel." See theme. Prize: $500 CAD. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Helen Schaible International Sonnet ContestGenre: Poetry. Categories: #1 Traditional Sonnet – Shakespearean or Petrarchan; #2 Modern Sonnet. Prize: $50, 2nd Prize $30, 3rd Prize $20, three Honorable Mentions, three Special Recognitions. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Boardman Tasker PrizeRestrictionsThe prize will be awarded for a work first published or distributed in the United Kingdom between July 17, 2022 and July 15, 2023. Genre: Books with a mountain, not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Arablit Story PrizeGenre: Short story translated from Arabic. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

Stone CanoeRestrictions: Open to people who live or have lived in Upstate New York (not New York City). Genres: Drama, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: July 15, 2023 for fiction. (It is difficult to find this information on their website.) 

LSU Alexandria English & Humanities Department. Genre: Flash Fiction. Tell a short-story with a title. In a minimum of 6 words and a maximum of 1,500 words, tell a story about what happened, who it happened to, and why. Prizes: First, second, and third place finishers will be awarded $250, $150, and $100 respectively, and the stories will be published on the LSUA website. Deadline: July 15, 2023.

The Burlington Contemporary Art Writing PrizeRestrictions: Entrants must have published no more than six pieces of writing in print or online prior to their submission. Genre: Review of a contemporary art exhibition. Prize: £1,000. Deadline: July 17, 2023.

Donn Goodwin and Joseph Gahagen Poetry Prizes: Milwaukee Irish FestGenre: Poetry. Entries should have a culture/literary relation to either Ireland, Irish-America, or to Irish poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: July 17, 2023.

Nan Shepherd Prize. Restrictions: Open to unpublished, underrepresented nature writers in the UK or Ireland. Genre: Nature writing. Prize: £10,000 publishing contract with Canongate. Deadline: July 17, 2023.

Scottish Book Trust New Writers AwardsRestrictions: Scottish writers over 18 years of age. Genres: The awards are divided into three different categories.: Fiction and Narrative Non-fiction in English and Scots, Poetry in English and Scots, Children’s and Young Adult Fiction in English and Scots. Prize: £2,000 and personal development opportunities, which can include mentoring from writers and industry professionals. Training in PR, performance and presentation training, and the opportunity to showcase work to publishers and agents. Deadline: July 19, 2023. (Noon)

Undiscovered VoicesRestrictions: Current members of SCBWI who live in the UK or one of the current countries of the EU or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. Genre: Opening of an already completed novel for children, aimed at any age from 5 years through to Young Adult. You may submit up to 4,000 words – choosing a suitable place to stop your extract. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 20, 2023.

PEN/Bare Life Review Grants. Restrictions: Open to immigrant and refugee writers in the US and abroad. Genre: Unpublished work-in-progress that will not be published prior to April 1, 2025. The project must be a work of a literary nature: fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Prize: $5000. Deadline: July 21, 2023.

Black Voices in Children's Literature Writing ContestRestrictions: The contest is open to Black authors who at the time of entry are at least 18 years of age and residing anywhere in the United States. Genre: Original children’s books for ages 0–4 (50–125 words) or for ages 4–8 (300–800 words) featuring authentic, realistic Black characters and culture and focusing on one or more of the following topics: character development, self-esteem, identity, diversity, getting along with others, engaging with family and community, or other topics related to positive childhood development. Religious and fantasy themes will not be considered. Prize: First Place: $1000. Second Place: $500 cash prize. Third Place: $250 cash prize. Deadline: July 24, 2023.

Literature MattersRestrictions: UK residents. Genre: "Awards will be given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Launched as part of the RSL’s new Literature Matters programme, priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters." Award: £20,000. Deadline: July 28, 2023.

Brannan Prize. Restrictions: Poet must not have published a full-length book at the time the prize is given, although chapbook publication is fine. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1000. Deadline: July 28, 2023.

Kari Ann Flickinger Biennial Memorial Literary PrizeGenre: Poetry chapbook. Prize: $1500 plus publication with Rare Swan Press; four finalists will receive $250 along with a Literati Magazine Portfolio. Deadline: July 30, 2023.

The Governor General’s Literary AwardsRestrictions: Books must have been written, translated or illustrated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Genre: Best English-language and the best French-language book will be chosen in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Children’s Literature (text), Children’s Literature (illustrated books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Mustapha Matura AwardRestrictions: The competition is open to any playwright of Caribbean or African descent, resident in the UK. Entrants must be 25 years or under at the time of submission. Genre: Stage play in English. Television, radio plays and film scripts will not be considered. Prize: £3,000 top prize. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Prescription Prizes in Creative WritingGenre: Prose (including scripts), poetry and hybrid writing. "In 2023 the RCPSG is launching its new ‘the prescription’ competition for creative writing around its historic collection of medical items representing Glasgow’s health care history. You can access our online collections here and you should include the name of the item that inspired you and its catalogue number in your competition entry." Prize: £100 top prize. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to students who are FULL TIME, undergraduate students in an AMERICAN COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY during the Spring 2023 semester. Genre: Essay on topic: ““2023 is the 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Does Abraham Lincoln deserve the title of ‘The Great Emancipator’? Why or why not?” Prize: 1st Prize $1500 | 2nd Prize $750 | 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

SLF Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds GrantsRestrictions: Open to writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. -- those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. Genres: Book-length works (novels, collections of short stories) of speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Foyle Young Poets of the Year AwardRestrictions: Open to young poets age 11 - 17. Genre: Poetry. Prize: Publication. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Landfall Essay CompetitionRestrictions: Open to New Zealand writers. Genre: Essay about New Zealand. Prize: The winner will receive $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Polar Expressions Publications Short Story and Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadians only. Genre: Short story, poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Tilted House: 1BR / 3BATH Poetry Chapbook ContestGenre: Poetry chapbook, 16 - 35 pages of  "experimental, puckish, political, funny, playful, polemical, and/or uncomfortable. In a word: anti-poetry. While there is no theme, per se, we are hungry for work that twists the arm of poetry’s status quo. We like meta poetics, satire, work that is aware of itself and what’s in the air. Maybe you “don’t know what you’re doing” or feel like your work is “unpublishable.” Send it to us! Give us your freaky. Give us your fun." Prize: $200.  Deadline: July 31, 2023. READING FEE: $0–$20, sliding scale.

Crossing the Tees Book FestivalGenre: Short stories, 3000 words max. Prize: Cash prize. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Singapore UnboundRestrictions: Open to undergraduates. Genre: Critical essays on topics in Singapore literature. Prize: $250. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

The Washburn Chapbook PrizeRestrictions: Open to women or non-binary writers. Genre: Chapbook exactly 10 poems long. Prize: $200 and publication of their micro chapbook online at Harbor Review. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Fees are waived for BIPOC identifying writers only.

BiopageGenre: "Inspiring, uplifting, and heartwarming stories." Prizes: Up to $300. Deadline: July 31, 2023. Registration required.

The 1729 Book Prize in PoetryGenre: Book-length poetry. Prize: $1000 and publication. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Arvon AwardRestrictions: Open to writers living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months. Genre: Full-length work of fiction, poetry or narrative non-fiction work in progress. Prize: Arvon course. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

TLC Free ReadsRestrictions: Open to writers living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months. Genre: Full-length work of fiction or narrative non-fiction work in progress. Prize: In-depth editorial report on their work in progress, Deadline: July 31, 2023.

NorthBound Book AwardRestrictions: Open to writers living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months. Genre: Completed full-length work of fiction or narrative non-fiction. Prizeadvance against royalties of £5000, publication with Saraband and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. Royalties will be paid on Saraband’s standard terms. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Surging TideGenre: Poetry, prose. Prize: The winner of each category will be awarded $100 and each runner-up will also be awarded $25. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime WritersGenre: An unpublished work of crime fiction, aimed at readers from children’s chapter books through adults. This may be a short story or first chapter(s) of a manuscript in-progress of 2,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: $2,000. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Lune Spark Young Writers' Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to writers 10-13 years old, and 13-16 years old. (Two categories.) Genre: Short story. Prize: $500 for first place; $250, 2nd place; $100, 3rd place. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

#GWstorieseverywhereGenre: Micro fiction or essay on theme of Mirage. Your story must be no longer than 25 words, with a max of 280 characters, including spaces and the hashtag. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South Essay ContestRestrictionsOpen to women (including trans and nonbinary women) age 18+.  Genre: Nonfiction essay, 1200 words max, on repair, release, or renewal. Each of us writes amid torn hearts, fractured communities, and broken systems. When do we repair? What do we release? How do we renew? We invite essays that explore, complicate, and/or write against this theme. Prize: $300. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

What’s Your Story? Restrictions: Open to Victorian residents. (Australia) Genre: Poetry, short stories, CNF. Prize: $500. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

WintermuteRestrictions: Open to emerging writers who have not published a full-length manuscript or chapbook. Genre: Speculative fiction. Length: 4500 words max. Prize: Book prizes and publication in Wintermute. Deadline: July 31, 2023.

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: July 31, 2023. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.

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