April 2019 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The April 2019 edition of "Writing Life Essentials," a monthly hand-curated list of contests, grants, scholarships, submissions calls, and awards, with a focus on opportunities that are at least one of the following: local, free to apply, and/or committed to celebrating and supporting writers from historically marginalized communities. We do the research, so you have more time for what matters: the writing. Or, the stopping to smell the flowers. That matters too.



Contests & Awards

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Fee $0; Award: $1000; Deadline: April 1st

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Winning Writers website is given annually for a humorous poem. Jendi Reiter will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a poem of up to 250 lines by April 1. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.


Google Podcasts Creator Program

Fee: $0; Award: $40,000 and Mentorship; Deadline: April 14th

The Google Podcasts creator program exists to lower barriers to podcasting and to increase the diversity of voices in the industry. Teaming up with PRX, they are holding this open call for podcast ideas from around the world. The six teams we select will receive up to US $40,000, mentorship, and 20 weeks of training, in Boston and virtually at scheduled intervals. The training will start July 29, 2019 and conclude the week of December 9, 2019.


Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize

Fee: $0;  Award: $5,000 ; Deadline: April 15th

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction translated from an Asian language into English and published in the previous year. Publishers or translators may submit a book translated from Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Sanskrit, Tamil, Thai, or Vietnamese into English and published in 2018 by April 15.


Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grants

Fee: $0; Award: $40,000; Deadline: May 3rd

Up to eight grants of $40,000 each are given annually for creative nonfiction works-in-progress to enable writers to complete their books. Creative nonfiction writers under contract with a publisher and at least one year into their contract as of May 3 are eligible.


Ploughshares' Emerging Writer’s Contest

Fee: $24 ; Award: Publication and $2,000; Deadline: May 15th

The Emerging Writer's Contest is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book. fiction and nonfiction must be under 6,000 words, and poetry must be 3-5 pages.


2020 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature

Fee: $0; Award: $50,000; Deadline: June 10th, 5pm EDT

The Vilcek Foundation is currently seeking immigrant applicants for the 2020 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Literature from now until June 10, 2019 at 5pm EDT. Foreign-born literary artists working across a variety of genres are invited to apply, including fiction (novels, novellas, short stories, and graphic novels); nonfiction (memoir, creative nonfiction, general nonfiction, book-length journalism, and graphic nonfiction); and poetry. Applicants should have published at least one full-length book (not self-published), been born outside of the United States, and be 38 years of age or younger. Three winners will each receive a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize and will be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City in April 2020.


Fellowships, Conferences & Residencies

Boston Literary District Writer-in-Residence

Fee: $0; Award: A resident space & More; Deadline: April 14th

The Boston Literary District in partnership with Emerson College is offering a residency in downtown Boston between July 15th and August 15th to a writer from New England. This opportunity will afford the resident space in which to live and work for up to one month, as well as access to other benefits from our partners. Applicants must be current residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine. Individuals who will be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at the time of the residency are ineligible. Writers of color and other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


2019 Wellspring House Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: Housing, monthly stipend of $2,000

The Fellowship will provide housing and a monthly stipend of $2,000 to an emerging writer, for a term of six months to a year. Fellows will have their own bedroom and workspace at Wellspring House, a gorgeous retreat for writers and artists nestled on the edge of the Berkshires, in the village of Ashfield, MA.


Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Fee: $0  Award: $25,800  Deadline: April 30th

Five fellowships of $25,800 each are given annually to U.S. poets between the ages of 21 and 31. Using the online submission system, submit 10 pages of poetry, a one-page writer’s statement, and a list of publications by April 30.


Jobs & Work Experience

Book Reviewer for Booklist

Booklist is actively seeking book reviewers of diverse backgrounds, whether that background is cultural, racial, gender, or another. We are also looking for reviewers fluent in Spanish. Candidates with critical acumen and knowledge of a public-library audience should email writing samples (preferably published work) and reviewing preferences (fiction, nonfiction, adult, YA, picture books, graphic novels, audio, etc.) to one of the following:


Page Street Publishing Seeks Non-Fiction Associate Editor

Location: Salem, MA

Page Street Publishing looking for  a particularly smart, responsible and organized associate editor to join their growing team—particularly someone with a passion for cooking. Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] Please include “Associate Editor/Nonfiction” in the subject of your email.


General Submissions

Call for Poetry: The Mayor’s Poetry Program at Boston City Hall

Fee: $0; Deadline: April 14th

Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture will display selected poems on the walls of city hall. Poets who reside or work in Boston are invited to send in work to help celebrate the city through poetry and to remind people of what a culturally exciting city Boston is to live and work in. Newly appointed, Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola will select 18 poems that will display on the walls of city hall. This year’s theme is “Home.”


Submit to Tin House Online

Fee: $0; Award: $100 - $300; Deadline: April 14th

Tin House Online—a daily blog featuring previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more. Tin House Online does not accept pitches. Please submit only one complete story or essay (word count dependent on category), or up to three poems at a time. Multiple submissions will not be read. Only previously unpublished works will be considered for publication. Tin House Online does accept simultaneous submissions.


Storyscape Journal  Seeks Submissions

Fee: Optional $4 Tip Jar; Deadline: May 1st for Regular Submissions, All year for Tip Jar

Storyscapes seeks genre-bending stories. The premise of the journal is to expand the notion of what stories are while shaking up the labels we use to define them. Because they believe stories are lurking everywhere, they are actively looking for unique modes of storytelling that fall outside conventional boundaries while still maintaining the core essence of "story."


Call for Submissions: Climate Change Issue for Breakwater Review

Fee: $0-$3  Deadline: May 15th

Submit to UMass Boston’s Breakwater Review for their 2019 Summer issue with the theme on climate change. Submit up to 5,000 words of prose or 3 poems per reading period. Deadline is May 15th.


Call for Erasure Work for The Florida Review 2019 Fall Issue

Fee: $3  Deadline: July 31st

The Florida Review seeks erasure works to include as a special feature in our 2019 digital and print issues. They want erasure work that is transformative: that reexamines, amplifies, or subverts the original text. These may use the black-out or white-out method, or they may re-transcribe the original text in a variety of ways. The Florida Review welcomes submissions in black and white and in color, and we are particularly excited by works that incorporate visual art as a component of the erasure itself.


Submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul

Fee: $0 Deadline: Rolling

This long-running anthology is always looking for submissions for their upcoming topics. A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. Aside from stories, they’re looking for poems that tell a story. Please see the story guidelines before submitting.

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About the Author

Hannah Levinson (she/her) is a recent graduate of Northeastern University with a BA in English and Theatre, minor in Writing. As an artist, writer, and human being, Hannah strives to bring an ethic of care and justice into whatever project she's working on. She wears a variety of hats, including playwright, dramaturg, director, avid baker, and devoted plant parent. When she's not at GrubStreet, you can find her crafting social media content for Actors' Shakespeare Project or slinging espresso and croissants at Third Cliff Bakery in her beloved neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, MA.

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