“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
“That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
― Octavia E. Butler
FALL 2021–CONTESTS AND MARKETS
Do you run a writing contest with or without a fee? We’d like to help you promote it by listing it here. All we need is the name of the contest, the deadline, and your URL. Interested people will click through. Use the Contact button on the home page to let us know. Easy, free publicity.
No Deadline Given:
Bright Flash Literary Review
Feisty Women Non-Fiction
JEFF MARKS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 1, 2021. First Prize: $1,500 and publication. Honorable Mention: $500 and publication. All finalists published in the Spring/Summer 2022 Awards issue. Finalists will be paid at regular contributor rates. Find more details by clicking on the link above.
• Months to Years
(poetry and essays about terminal illness – December 1)
• Rain Fiction Pod: “In Tartarus We Drink Ambrosia”
(poetry and stories about pain that led to joy – December 1)
Bellevue Literary Press Accepting Narrative Nonfiction Submissions Deadline is 12-15-21
THE WRITER FALL SHORT STORY CONTEST
$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 15, 2021. Grand prize: $1,000 and publication in The Writer magazine. Other prizes: Second prize: $500 and publication on The Writer’s website; third prize: $250 and publication on The Writer’s website. Limit 2,000 words.
Call for Subs: Writing about teaching and teachers!submitted by Porcupine Literary Deadline is 12-31-21
This long list is taken from The Practicing Writer Newsletter by Erika Dreyfus. Look her up and subscribe if interested. If you click on any blue link the URL should appear. A few opportunities have January deadlines.
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY (VCU) CABELL FIRST NOVELIST AWARD
Deadline: December 30. Honors “an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year.” An award event is arranged “in which the winning author and two others involved in the writing and publishing worlds, typically the author’s agent and editor, appear at a public reading and Q&A session.… Travel to and lodging in Richmond for the author and the additional speakers are provided, and the author receives a cash prize.”
ELIZABETH ALEXANDER CREATIVE WRITING AWARD
Deadline: December 31. Confers “prize of $500 and publication in Meridians Journal: feminism, race, transnationalism.” Open for fiction, poetry, nonfiction.
ANISFIELD-WOLF BOOK AWARDS
Deadline: December 31. These awards recognize “outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity. Awards are given for fiction, poetry and nonfiction.” Submissions of books published this year are now open. Prize: “Award recipients traditionally receive $10,000 from the Anisfield-Wolf fund.”
BLACK CAUCUS OF THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, INC. (BCALA) LITERARY AWARDS
Deadline: December 31. Confers four prizes of $1,000 each “for adult books written by African American citizen authors: a First Novelist Award, a Fiction Award, a Nonfiction Award, and a Poetry Award.” Books must have 2021 publication dates.
BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTS POETRY CONTEST
Deadline: December 31. Awards cash prizes: $350/$200/$100. “Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.”
THE LYRIC MAGAZINE COLLEGE POETRY CONTEST
Deadline: December 31. Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university. “Poems must be original and unpublished, 39 lines or less, written in English in traditional forms, preferably with regular scansion and rhyme. We welcome up to three poems per student. Winners are announced and published in the Winter issue of The Lyric.” Cash prizes: $500/$150/$100.
SHADY GROVE LITERARY QUARTERLY CONTEST
Deadline: December 31. For flash fiction up to 300 words. Awards one $100 prize; two runners-up receive online publication. (Thanks to Pamelyn Casto’s FlashFictionFlash newsletter for this one.)
TARTTS FICTION AWARD
Deadline: December 31. For writers who have not published a short fiction collection (American citizens only). “Winning short story collection will be published by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama, in simultaneous library binding and trade paper editions. Winning entry will receive $1000, plus our standard royalty contract, which includes 60 copies of the book.”
STACY DORIS MEMORIAL POETRY AWARD
Deadline: January 1. “Stacy Doris was a poet, translator, and an Associate Professor in San Francisco State University’s Department of Creative Writing….Following upon her spirit of creative invention, engaging wit and ingenious playfulness, discovery in construction, and radical appropriations based on classical forms, pastiche, etc., and love, the Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry Award is given to a poet with a truly inventive spirit.” Prize (for one poem, 3-10 pp.) includes $500 and publication in Fourteen Hills.
STEINBECK FELLOWS PROGRAM
Deadline: January 3. “Offers emerging writers of any age and background the opportunity to pursue a significant writing project while in residence at SJSU [San Jose State University].….Fellowships include a stipend of $15,000. Residency in the San Francisco Bay Area is required during the academic year….Currently, SJSU offers one-year fellowships in Steinbeck scholarship and in creative writing, including fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and biography. Applications in poetry will not be accepted.” NB: “The creative writing fellowship does not require that there be any direct connection between your work and Steinbeck’s.”
MASS MoCA FELLOWSHIPS FOR BLACK OR INDIGENOUS ARTISTS AND WRITERS
Deadline: January 8. “These fellowships fund all residency fees for up to four weeks in residence. To apply, simply select the appropriate box on the fellowships question of the Summer/Fall 2022 residency application.”
PRISM PRIZE FOR CLIMATE LITERATURE
Deadline: January 8. Aims “to promote and support fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction writing in the emerging genre of climate literature.” Confers an award of $1,000 and publication with Homebound Publications. Open to U.S. and U.K. authors.
ANISFIELD-WOLF FELLOWSHIP IN WRITING & PUBLISHING
Deadline: January 14. “The Cleveland State University Poetry Center is accepting applications for the Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship in Writing & Publishing, a two-year postgraduate fellowship that offers an emerging writer time to work toward a first or second book and professional experience teaching creative writing and engaging in community-oriented literary work in collaboration with the CSU Poetry Center….The salary is $42,000 per year with health insurance and benefits.”
REMINDER: Multiple opportunities that were listed in last month’s newsletter remain open at this time. ALSO: my list of post-MFA fellowships, though not limited to fee-free opportunities, has been recently updated!
At THE CINCINNATI REVIEW, print-magazine submissions will reopen December 1st and will most likely close again soon thereafter; act quickly if you’re interested. Pays: “$25/page for prose and $30/page for poetry in the print journal.”
Also opening December 1 (and closing December 23): the fee-free submissions period at HIPPOCAMPUS magazine, which seeks personal essays, memoir excerpts, and flash creative nonfiction. Pays: $40, via Paypal.
“In December only, NEWFOUND accepts unsolicited chapbook-length manuscripts from writers who have not yet published a full-length book.” Selected poet receives 25 contributor copies and a royalties contract (25% print/50% digital).
THE KENYON REVIEW “will accept submissions for a guest-edited issue of work in translation during the month of December.” Guest editors include Jennifer Croft, Jeremy Tiang, and Anton Hur. “Payment for the translator will be $120 per poem or $300 for a work of prose, with a $75 honorarium paid to the author of the original work.”
Reminder that online submissions of fiction, poetry, and essays for the print edition of NINTH LETTER are free during December. Pays: $25/printed page, up to $150, plus two copies.”