GrubWrites

April Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The April 2023 edition of "Writing Life Essentials" is a monthly hand-curated list of contests, grants, scholarships, submission calls, and awards. We try to prioritize 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, tucking a book into your local Little Free Library. That’s important, too.

 

Contests & Awards

 

Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest | Winning Writers

Fee: $0; Award: $2,000; Deadline: April 1st

A prize of $2,000, a gift certificate for two-year membership to the literary database Duotrope, and publication on the Winning Writers website is given annually for a humorous poem. A second-place prize of $500 is also awarded. Jendi Reiter will judge. Unpublished and previously published works are eligible. Using only the online submission system, submit a poem of up to 250 lines by April 1. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Annual Literary Contest | Solstice Literary Magazine

Fee: $18; Award: $500 - $2,000; Submissions open April 1st

Winners as well as finalists will be published in Soltice Literary Magazine's Summer Awards Issue due out in August. All winners and finalists will be cited in future advertisements and announcements. Previous judges have included Martha Collins, Andres Dubus III, Jennifer Haigh, Terrance Hayes, Robert Lopez, Celeste Ng, Jerald Walker, and Afaa Weaver. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Chapbook Contest | Backbone Press

Fee: $20; Award: $250; Deadline: April 2nd

The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. Winner will receive book publication, $250 prize, and (20) copies of the chapbook. In addition, the winner will receive a small honorarium for a reading or chapbook launch event. All submissions should be submitted via Submittable with a $20 submission fee. Deadline is April 2, 2023 and the final judge is Khalisa Rae. Read more about the judge here: https://khalisarae.com/ Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Poetry Prize | Oberon

Fee: $18; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 10th

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Oberon is given annually for a single poem. Submit up to three poems of no more than two pages each with an $18 entry fee, which includes an issue of Oberon, by April 10. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

First Pages Prize

Fee: $20; Award: $2,000; Deadline: April 10th

A first-place prize of $2,000, a second-place prize of $1,500, and a third-place prize of $1,000 are given annually for the first five pages of a longer work of prose, in the categories of fiction and creative nonfiction. Developmental mentoring and an agent consultation will also be awarded to all winners. Writers from anywhere in the world who are not represented by a literary agent are eligible. Using only the online submission system, submit up to 1,250 words (the first pages) of a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction with a $20 entry fee from March 1 to April 10 ($35 for late submissions entered by the extended deadline of April 24). Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Short Fiction Prize | Desperate Literature

Fee: $21; Award: $1,581; Deadline: April 15th

A prize of €1,500 (approximately $1,581), a weeklong residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in the Umbria region of Italy, and publication in Desperate Literature’s prize anthology is given annually for a work of short fiction. Winners will also receive a consultation with literary agent Charlotte Seymour (Johnson & Alcock Literary Agency), an editorial meeting with the Literary Consultancy, and the opportunity to give readings at Desperate Literature in Madrid and Burley Fisher Books in London. Mariana Enríquez, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Tiffany Tsao will judge. Submit a story of up to 2,000 words with a €20 (approximately $21) entry fee, €10 (approximately $11) for each additional entry, with a maximum of five entries per person, by April 15. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Raymond Carver Short Story Contest | Carve

Fee: $18; Award: $2,000; Deadline: April 17th

A prize of $2,000 and publication in Carve is given annually for a short story. Using only the online submission system, submit a story of up to 10,000 words with an $18 entry fee from March 1 to April 17. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Poetry and Short Story Awards | Sixfold

Fee: $5; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 23rd

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sixfold are given quarterly for a group of poems and a short story. Using only the online submission system, submit up to five poems totaling no more than 10 pages or up to 20 pages of prose with a $5 entry fee by April 23. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize | Australian Book Review

Fee: $17; Award: $4,062; Deadline: April 24th

A prize of $6,000 AUD (approximately $4,062) is given annually for a story. A second-place prize of $4,000 AUD (approximately $2,708) and a third-place prize of $2,500 AUD (approximately $1,692) are also given. The winners will be published in Australian Book Review. Using only the online submission system, submit a story of 2,000 to 5,000 words with a $25 AUD (approximately $17) entry fee by April 24. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Bristol Short Story Prize

Fee: $11; Award: $1,222; Deadline: April 26th

A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,222) and publication in the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology is given annually for a short story. Submit a short story of up to 4,000 words with an entry fee of £9 (approximately $11) by April 26. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Short Story Contest | F(r)iction

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 28th

A prize of $1,000 is given twice yearly for a short story. Using only the online submission system, submit a story of 1,001 to 7,500 words with a $15 entry fee by April 28. All submissions are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

100-Word Writing Contest | Tadpole Press

Fee: $10; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 30th

A prize of $1,000 is given twice annually for a work of flash poetry or prose. Multilingual submissions are eligible, including work that is written entirely in a language other than English or that includes non-English words and phrases. Any translation provided will not be included in the overall word count. Using only the online submission system, submit a work of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction of no more than 100 words with a $10 entry fee by April 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Chapbook Prize | Oversound

Fee: $18; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 30th

A prize of $1,000, publication by Oversound, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Andrew Zawacki will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 15 to 30 pages with an $18 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Oversound, from March 1 to April 30. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry | Beloit Poetry Journal

Fee: $15; Award: $1,500; Deadline: April 30th

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Beloit Poetry Journal is given annually for a single poem. Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems totaling no more than 10 pages with a $15 entry fee by April 30. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Poetry International Prize | Poetry International

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000; Deadline: April 30th

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Poetry International is given annually for a single poem. Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems of any length with a $15 entry fee ($3 for each additional poem) by April 30. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Emerging Writer’s Contest | Ploughshares

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

Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Ploughshares are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Each winner also receives a consultation with the literary agency Aevitas Creative Management. Writers who have not published a book or a chapbook with a print run of over 300 copies are eligible. Using only the online submission system, submit three to five pages of poetry or up to 6,000 words of fiction or nonfiction with a $24 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Ploughshares (there is no entry fee for current subscribers), between March 1 and May 15. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Fellowships, Grants & More

 

AmeriCorps Writers’ Room Fellowship | 826 Boston

Roxbury, MA

826 Boston seeks mission-driven change-makers to join the 826 Boston AmeriCorps Fellowship for the 2023-2024 school year. This is an exciting opportunity to join a cohort of 16 AmeriCorps members and play a key role in driving impact to serve more students in the Boston Public Schools through 826 Boston’s innovative In-School and Writers’ Room Programs. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

FSG Writer’s Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $15,000; Deadline: April 3rd

The FSG Writer’s Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to give an emerging writer from an underrepresented community additional resources to build a life around writing: funding, editorial guidance, and advice on how to forge a writing career. It offers the unique opportunity for a writer to spend time with and enjoy the support and mentorship of the FSG community. The fellowship celebrates the spirit of the FSG list and its commitment to invention, curiosity, and extending the limits of literature. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships | Poetry Foundation

Fee: $0; Award: $25,800; Deadline: April 14th

Five fellowships of $25,800 each are given annually to U.S. poets between the ages of 21 and 31. Using only the online submission system, submit 10 pages of poetry and an application from March 2 to April 14. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and to register in the foundation’s new online grants and awards portal, which must be done before accessing the fellowship application. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Writing Fellowship for New Parents | Pen Parentis

Fee: $20; Award: $2,000; Deadline: April 17th

A prize of $2,000, a year of mentorship, and publication in Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine is given annually to a fiction writer who is the parent of a child under the age of 10. The winner also receives an invitation to give a reading virtually in November. Submit a story of up to 531 words with a $20 entry fee between March 1 and April 17. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Creative Nonfiction Grants | Whiting Foundation

Fee: $0; Award: $40,000; Deadline: April 25th

Up to 10 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 as of April 25 are eligible. Using only the online submission system, submit up to 25,000 words of the book-in-progress; the original proposal to publishers that led to the contract; a signed contract; a statement of progress; a plan for the use of funds; a list of grants, fellowships, or other funding received for the book-in-progress; a résumé; and a letter of support from the book’s editor or publisher by April 25. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

BWOC Literary Support Program | GrubStreet

Fee: $0; Award: $125-250; Deadline: Rolling

BWOC’s Literary Support Program offers stipends for BIPOC writers to be used for submissions, contests, fellowships, retreats, writing supply expenses, and any other literary opportunities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and will be reviewed every three weeks at the time of each submitted application. Funding is issued as a Visa or Mastercard e-gift card. Applicants must be in the US, and may reapply every six months/twice a year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Work Experience

 

Events & Engagement Specialist | Alice James Books

In-person, hybrid, or remote

AJB seeks an hourly Events & Engagement Specialist for approximately 15-18 hours per week. The Events & Engagement Specialist works closely with authors and the AJB team to coordinate and amplify author activity. The Specialist is dedicated to engaging authors and the press with audiences in relation to events, thereby aiding and enhancing the visibility of books, authors, and AJB. The Specialist arranges readings for frontlist authors in addition to overseeing 2-3 press events per year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Writing Instructor | midnight & indigo

Remote

midnight & indigo is seeking applicants to the paid, contract position of Writing Instructor for its online writing program, which serves Black women writers of all experience levels. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Reader | The Common

Remote

Readers are responsible for evaluating short works of fiction and essays, quickly and thoroughly judging the literary merit of each submission and the rightness of its fit for The Common given its sense-of-place mission. Readers are expected to be open-minded yet analytical, be concise and articulate writers, be thoroughly familiar with work published in The Common, be passionate about contemporary fiction and nonfiction, and have demonstrated skill and experience in critical reading and comprehension. Undergraduate and MFA students as well as avid, sophisticated readers of all kinds are welcome. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Illustrator | The Tomahawk Creek Review

Remote

The Illustrator is expected to be able to hand draw, paint, and use computer software to make covers for the journal’s issues. For Issue 1, which has a pastoral theme, the editor seeks a cover similar in theme to the photos currently featured on the website, which the Illustrator will be asked to produce once they have been selected. The Illustrator will be involved in choosing themes for future covers, which will vary in subject matter. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Submissions

 

Submissions to FIYAH

Fee: $0; Deadline: March 31st

FIYAH is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine that features stories by and about Black people of the African Diaspora. This definition is globally inclusive (Black anywhere in the world) and also applies to mixed/biracial and Afro-appended people regardless of gender identity or orientation. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to midnight & indigo

Fee: $0; Deadline: March 31st

midnight & indigo, a new literary magazine celebrating Black women writers, has issued a call for submissions to review short stories and narrative essays. We publish content on our digital platform and in our literary journals (paperback/ebook/audiobook). In 2023, we will publish our first long-form anthology! View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to New Ohio Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: April 15th

We accept literary submissions in any genre. We do not reprint previously published work, book reviews, or unsolicited translations. Our submission periods are September 15th to December 15th, and January 15th to April 15th. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Bayou Magazine

Fee: $0; Deadline: May 1st

Founded in 2002, Bayou Magazine is a biannual, international literary magazine published by The University of New Orleans. We publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and the winner of the annual Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Contest. Our mission is to publish exceptional, exciting work by both established and emerging writers. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Kweli

Fee: $0; Deadline: May 30th

Kweli welcomes submissions of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We currently publish four (4) online issues each year. The journal's reading period is September 1 through May 30.  We are now accepting online submissions through May 30. Submissions received outside this reading period will remain unread. Submit your work at any time during our reading period.  View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to AGNI

Fee: $0; Deadline: May 31st

We look for writing that catches experience before the crusts of habit form—poetry and prose that resist ideas about what a certain kind of writing “should do.” We seek out writers who tell their truths in their own words and convince us as we read that we’ve found something no one else could have written. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Barnstorm

Fee: $0; Deadline: May 31st

Barnstorm publishes only previously unpublished work in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. While we welcome submissions in multiple genres, please wait to hear from us before submitting twice in the same genre. We also accept visual art which accompanies each written piece published. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to sin cesar (formerly Dryland)

Fee: $5; Deadline: June 1st

sin cesar (formerly Dryland) is an independent print literary journal from South Central Los Angeles established in 2015. We seek to publish the best in Black and Brown poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from established, emerging, and never-before-published writers around the world. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to West Trade Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: August 1st

Are you a writer or artist that wants to be published and recognized? West Trade Review wants to hear from you! We are looking for original and unpublished works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry by both new and established writers/artists.  We also accept novel excerpt submissions. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Apex Magazine

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Apex Magazine is an online zine of fantastical fiction. We publish short stories filled with marrow and passion, works that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. Creations where secret places and dreams are put on display. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Poetry London

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Poetry London aims to publish the best, most exciting poetry being written now, and we are always interested in work by unpublished poets, as well as celebrated ones. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Santa Monica Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The Santa Monica Review features fiction and nonfiction only. The editors are committed to fostering new talent as well as presenting new work by established authors. There is a special effort toward presenting and promoting writers who make their home in Southern California. To this end, each issue combines work by established and emerging writers from Southern California and beyond. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Coffin Bell

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Coffin Bell is a quarterly online journal of dark literature. Submissions now open–seeking poetry, flash fiction, short stories, creative nonfiction, essay, and short criticism that explore dark themes. We publish two themed and two unthemed issues per year, and a print annual anthology of highlights. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Persimmon Tree

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Persimmon Tree’s mission is to bring the creativity and talent of women over sixty to a wide audience of readers of all ages. We are looking for work that reveals rich experience and a variety of perspectives. Each issue of the magazine will include several fiction and nonfiction pieces, poetry by one or more poets, and the work of one or more visual artists. The magazine is published quarterly. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Bodega

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Bodega releases digital issues on the first Monday of every month, featuring poetry, prose, and occasional interviews by established and emerging writers. We’re here to give you a handful of essential pieces you can digest in one sitting. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to SmokeLong Quarterly

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

SmokeLong publishes flash narratives--fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid--up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Decadent Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The Decadent Review is seeking spectacularly written texts of any length on the subject of Dmitri Shostakovich and his music. They’re looking for: Criticism (cultural, literary), reviews (recordings, books, poetry, art), essays (aesthetics, linguistics, meta, history), musical ekphrasis of compositions (poetic, euphonious, discordant). They value: Erudition, cynicism, sarcasm, classicism, brutality, humor, and existential despair. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Flash Fiction North

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Welcome to Flash Fiction North. The intention of this website is to promote shorter fiction from around the world. It also exhibits poetry and art images. FFN champions both experienced and newer writers. If your writing is coherent and interesting - you’re in. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Boston Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The Boston Review welcomes nonfiction and book review submissions on a wide range of subjects, from politics, philosophy, and economics to science, law, gender, sexuality, and race. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Incessant Pipe

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The WebSalh0n for Poetry and Poetry related writing and media. Accepting poetry, essays, reviews, and audio recordings.Send submissions w/short bio to: [email protected]. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Share Journal

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Contributors can submit fiction, non-fiction, poetry or visual artwork that portrays experiences from their lives, or activities and happenings in the world around them. We encourage you to share your work in any form as long as each mode represents a topical theme relatable to life, human nature, human condition, human concerns, human growth and achievements, etc. Whatever your story is, you are welcome to share it with us. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Capsule Stories

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Capsule Stories is a print literary magazine published once every season. Our first issue was published on March 1, 2019, and we accept submissions year-round. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Rollick Magazine

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Rollick’s mandate is to attract cutting-edge, quality content that inspires real engagement. We will consider any pitch that expresses unique and original thought. You can send in short stories, essays, poetry, memoirs, confessionals, experimental fiction, and anything else in between. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Puritan

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The Puritan seeks submissions all year round, from anywhere in the world. Regular submissions to the magazine are free of charge and should fall under one of four categories: fiction, essays, poetry, and reviews. Unless we are soliciting your work, all submissions must be previously unpublished (this includes self-publishing, publishing on blogs, and in chapbook format). View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Voyage YA

Fee: $0; Award: $200 per accepted story; Deadline: Rolling

Voyage YA simply aims to publish good work and provide a space for new and established voices. To get an idea of what they publish, please read their archives. General submissions are open year-round and there is no fee to submit to their general categories. New work is published weekly. View complete submission guidelines here.

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