GrubWrites

December 2021 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The December 2021 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, finalizing your holiday menu. That’s important, too.

 

Contests & Awards

 

Slipstream Press | Chapbook Contest

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 1st

Slipstream is a not-for-profit press, established in 1980. Our annual poetry chapbook contest offers a $1,000 prize plus 50 professionally-printed copies of your book. Deadline to enter is Dec. 1.There is a $20 reading fee to enter the contest. To enter, send up to 40 pages of poetry: any style, format, or theme (or no theme). Contestants must provide a U.S. mailing address to participate.Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Pushcart Prize | Pushcart Prize

Fee: $0; Award: publication; Deadline: December 1st

We welcome up to six nominations (print or online) from little magazine and small book press editors throughout the world. The nominations may be any combination of poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs or stand-alone excerpts from novels. We welcome translations, reprints and both traditional and experimental writing. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Five Points | James Dickey Poetry Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $1000, publication; Deadline: December 1st

Each year we select a poet to receive The James Dickey Prize for Poetry. The award is named in honor of James Dickey, who we are proud to say served on our Advisory Board. The contest winner receives $1,000, and the winning poems are published in an issue of Five Points. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Regal House Publishing | The W.S. Porter Prize for Short Story Collections

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 1st

The W.S. Porter Prize is awarded to recognize a masterfully written short story collection, while also honoring William Sydney Porter, a native born son of North Carolina and an accomplished short story writer who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Langum Foundation | Prize in American Historical Fiction

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000; Deadline: December 1st

A prize to encourage and reward excellent American historical fiction is a natural element in our effort to make the rich history of America accessible to the educated general reader. The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Breakwater | The Breakwater Fiction Contest

Fee: $10; Award: $1000, publication; Deadline: December 1st

We are seeking submissions for pieces that breathe freshness to the form. We are interested in previously unpublished prose ranging from 1,000 - 4,000 words, each with a $10 entry fee. All entries will be considered for publication. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify Breakwater if submission is accepted elsewhere. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

American Library Association | W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

Fee: $0; Award: $5000, certificate of success; Deadline: December 1st

This award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Donated by William Young Boyd II. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Meadowlark Books | The Birdy Poetry Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 1st

Meadowlark Books created The Birdy Poetry Prize to celebrate the voices of this era. All entries will be considered for standard Meadowlark Books publishing contract offers, as well. Full-length poetry manuscripts will be considered. Poets are eligible to enter, regardless of publishing history. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Friends of American Writers Chicago | FAW Literary Award

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000; Deadline: December 10th

Each year FAW recognizes new emerging Midwestern authors or those whose novels or nonfiction writing are set in the Midwest. Books are eligible for review based on the following criteria. Send in your book and become a FAW Literary Award Winner!  Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Nowhere Magazine | Fall 2021 Travel Writing Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 15th

Award-winning literary travel magazine Nowhere is accepting submissions for our annual Fall Travel Writing Prize. We are looking for novice and veteran writers of any stripe to send us stories that possess a powerful sense of people, place and time. Every submission will be read blind, so anyone can win!  Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Poetry International | The C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 15th

The C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize is one of two annual contests sponsored by Poetry International honoring a single poem. Editors of Poetry International will judge each submission and select prize winner. The winning poem is awarded a cash prize of $1000 and publication. Entry fee is $15. You may submit a maximum of three poems with a $15 entry fee. Each additional poem will require $3 extra.Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Writers Digest | Short Short Story Competition

Fee: $30; Award: $3,000, publication; Deadline: December 15th

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Enter the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference! Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Virginia Commonwealth University | First Novelist Award

Fee: $-; Award: cash prize; Deadline: December 30th (postmark entries)

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award honors an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year. Symbolized by a three-dimensional compass, the award is a tribute to writers who have navigated their way through the maze of imagination and delivered a great read, taking the reader someplace new. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Crosswinds Poetry | Poetry Contest

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 31st

 Crosswinds seeks English language poetry in all styles. We’re pleased to let you know we’ve raised our awards to over $2,000 for the 2021 contest! As always, each book sale results in a $1 donation to the RI Community Foodbank, along with a .50 donation from every submission we receive. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Silverfish Review Press | 2021 Gerald Cable Book Award

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 31st

Silverfish Review Press sponsors the Gerald Cable Book Award. This prize is awarded annually to a book-length manuscript of original poetry by an author who has not yet published a full-length collection. There are no restrictions on the kind of poetry or subject matter; translations are not acceptable. The editor, Rodger Moody, will serve as final judge. Friends and former associates of the editor are ineligible to submit their work to the GCBA. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Lascaux Review | The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 31st

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards | Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction Prizes

Fee: $0; Award: $10,000; Deadline: December 31st

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of cultural diversity. Awards are given for fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The winners are announced in the spring. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Press 53 | Short Fiction Award

Fee: $30; Award: $1,000, publication; Deadline: December 31st

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished short story collection. This competition is open to any writer, regardless of his or her publication history, provided the manuscript is written in English and the author lives in the United States or one of its territories. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Tupelo Press | Dorset Prize

Fee: $30; Award: $3,000, $1,500 residency, publication; Deadline: December 31st

The Dorset Prize is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications. Submit a previously unpublished, full-length poetry manuscript with a table of contents. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Moth Magazine | Poetry Prize

Fee: €15; Award: €6,000; Deadline: December 31st

The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide. The prize is judged anonymously by a single poet. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

American Library Association | BCALA Literary Awards

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000 each; Deadline: December 31st

BCALA presents four (4) $1,000.00 awards: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a

first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the

presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

LitMag | Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction

Fee: $20; Award: $2,500 each; Deadline: December 31st

LitMag‘s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction is open until December 31, 2021.Entries must be short stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Only previously unpublished short stories are eligible. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Poetry Society of America | Various

Fee: $10; Award: $250-$2,500 each; Deadline: December 31st

The PSA's Annual Awards are among the most prestigious honors available to poets. They offer emerging and established poets recognition at all stages of their careers, including our student poetry award and book awards for publishers. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Boulevard | Short Fiction Contest For Emerging Writers

Fee: $16; Award: $1,500, publication; Deadline: December 31st

$1,500 and publication in Boulevard awarded to the winning story by a writer who has not yet published a book of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Kallisto Gaia Press | Acacia Fiction Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,200, publication; Deadline: December 31st

All who enter will receive a copy of the winning collection. Please submit a collection of any combination of short stories, flash fiction, or novellas totaling between 40K and 75K words. Winner will receive $1200, publication by Kallisto Gaia Press, 20 copies of the collection,  and up to 20 ARCs to be sent to reviewers and award sponsors chosen by the winner. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Florida Review | Leiby Chapbook Contest

Fee: $25; Award: $1,200, publication; Deadline: December 31st

Each year The Florida Review Publications honors past editor Jeanne Leiby with the publication of a prose or graphic narrative chapbook. Reading a copy of one or more of our chapbooks and/or reading about the award’s history and winners will give you a good idea of the type of work we are looking for. The contest runs from September through December each year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Ashland Creek Press | The 2021 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

Fee: $25; Award: $1,200, residency; Deadline: January 1st

The Siskiyou Prize is open to published books and unpublished, full-length prose manuscripts with environmental themes, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections. Manuscripts should be approximately 40,000 to 90,000 words (i.e., please do not send novellas or individual essays or stories; please also note the contest is not open to poetry or children’s books). Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Fellowships & Grants

 

Mass MoCA Assets for Artists | Fellowship for Black or Indigenous Artists and Writers

Fee: $0; Award: Fellowship, residency; Deadline: January 8th

Recognizing the additional barriers faced by Black and Indigenous creators of all disciplines, the Studios shall award a limited number of additional fellowships to artists or writers working in any discipline who identify as Black or Indigenous. These fellowships fund all residency fees for up to four weeks in residence. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Flamboyan Foundation | Letras Boricuas Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $25,000 fellowship; Deadline: TBD

Home to a rich literary tradition, Puerto Rico has produced some of today’s most celebrated writers, yet there are few dedicated platforms for the elevation and amplification of Puerto Rican literary voices, including funding to support artists in the field. The Letras Boricuas Fellowship aims to identify and connect writers from diverse backgrounds and identities who embody the vastness, diversity and complexity of Puerto Rican experiences. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Job Opportunities

 

Head of Faculty, GrubStreet

Boston, MA

GrubStreet is seeking a Head of Faculty to support its growing organization. They encourage POC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other communities historically underrepresented in arts administration spaces to apply. See the full job description at this link.

 

Programs Assistant, GrubStreet

Boston, MA

GrubStreet is seeking a Programs Assistant to support its growing organization. They encourage POC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other communities historically underrepresented in arts administration spaces to apply. See the full job description at this link.

 

Submissions

 

Submissions to Obsidian

Fee: $0; December 1st

Gender Queer/ Genre Queer Playground Special Issue. For all submissions, include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor. Also include a fifty-word bio. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to AGNI

Fee: $3; Deadline: December 15th

AGNI is looking 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.” They seek out writers who tell their truths in their own words and convince them that they’ve found something no one else could have written. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Five Points

Fee: $0; Award: publication; Deadline: December 31st

Five Points welcomes unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, flash fiction and non-fiction, and literary non-fiction. We encourage you to send us your work. The best way to learn about what we are looking for is to order sample copies of the magazine through our website. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Submissions to Ploughshares

Fee: $3; Deadline: January 15th

Ploughshares welcomes unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction during our regular reading period, which runs from June 1st to January 15th. The literary journal is published four times a year: mixed issues of poetry and prose in the Spring and Winter, a prose issue in the summer, and a longform prose issue in the Fall, with two of the four issues per year guest-edited by a different writer of prominence. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Worcester Review

Fee: $3; Deadline: January 31st

The Worcester Review publishes literary fiction and poetry by new and established writers, as well as critical commentary on aspects of Central Massachusetts literary culture and history. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Soundings East

Fee: $; Deadline: February 1st

Soundings East is the annual literary journal of Salem State University, published with support from the Center for Creative and Performing Arts. They are dedicated to publishing high-quality poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. The magazine is distributed nationally, with recent press runs of 750 copies. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Salamander

Fee: $0; Deadline: April 1st

Salamander, which is published biannually, features poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; their open reading period for 2021-2022 is October 1–April 1, with a holiday break between late December and early January. Manuscripts sent outside of this reading period will be returned or discarded. 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 Lily Poetry Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Lily Poetry Review is currently accepting general submissions of poetry, art and flash fiction for the review, chapbook and full-length poetry books. Please go to the Submittable for full details. View complete submission guidelines here.

Submissions to The Massachusetts Review

Fee: $3; Deadline: Rolling

“We seek a balance between established writers and promising new ones. We're interested in material of variety and vitality relevant to the intellectual and aesthetic questions of our time. We aspire to have a broad appeal; our commitment, in part regional, is not provincial.” View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Meat For Tea

Fee: $4.50; Deadline: Rolling

Meat For Tea is a non-academic affiliated magazine committed to recognizing and featuring the work of the artists, writers, and musicians living in western Massachusetts and beyond. Writing submissions should be works of poetry and short prose no longer than 1500 words in length, 8000 words for short fiction and essays, 1200 words for flash and microfiction. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Los Angeles Review

Fee: $3; Deadline: Rolling

The Los Angeles Review is open for submissions year-round. All submissions will be considered for LAR Online and for the new best-of print edition to be released yearly in the Spring. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Natalie Sheree Publishing

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Natalie Sheree Publishing is seeking pieces for their 2022-2023 publishing catalog. Please submit the first chapter of your completed, unpublished novella or novel manuscript.  View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Hare’s Paw

Fee: $3; Deadline: Rolling

Hare's Paw Literary Journal is limitless - representing the ability to walk between our own stillness and the world around us, identifying what matters and what intrigues us, regardless of societal demands. Hare's Paw publishes authentic, strange, soulful, and even joyful work that allows all voices to be heard. If you've ever had a hard time placing your work, consider Hare's Paw Literary Journal your home. 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 BreakBread Magazine

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

BreakBread Magazine is a magazine for all young creatives under the age of 25. We are always looking for vivid, timely poetry, nonfiction, short stories and visual arts—fine art, photography, comics, illustrated narratives, and hybrid work that explores new directions in arts and letters.   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 Mukana

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Mukana Press is currently accepting submissions for our freshman cohort of titles. We will review submissions on a rolling basis. Please allow for up to 8 weeks for a response. Writers may submit more than one manuscript.View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The 365 Collection | Lucky Jefferson

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Lucky Jefferson happily accepts unso­licited sub­mis­sions of poetry year-round into its 365 Collection, a 100% digital collection of poetry and other literature. Upon acceptance, submissions will be included on our website and social media account(s).

 View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Embark Literary Journal

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Embark accepts submissions from all over the world and have no geographical constraints. However, all submissions must be written in English (or translated into English from another language, in which case both the author and the translator must be credited). They do NOT accept submissions of memoirs or other nonfiction works. Only the openings of novels (works of fiction 50,000 words or longer) will be considered. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Frontier Poetry

Fee: $0; Award: $50 per poem, up to $150; Deadline: Rolling

Submissions for Frontier Poetry’s New Voices poetry category are open year round to any new and emerging poet who has not published more than one full-length collection of poetry. 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.

 

Submissions to So to Speak Blog

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

The So to Speak Blog is unique in that it opens itself up to multiple forms of storytelling. Hybrid works, reviews, interviews, and visual art are welcomed submissions. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to The Sun 

Fee: $0; Award: $100-$2,000; Deadline: Rolling

The Sun publishes personal essays, fiction, and poetry. Personal stories that touch on political and cultural issues are welcome. They encourage submissions from writers of color. View more submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Boston Accent Lit

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Submissions to Boston Accent Lit are always open on a rolling basis. They accept works in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art. Issues are published six times per year online. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Boston Poetry Magazine

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Boston Poetry Magazine accepts submissions year-round. They accept both previously published material and simultaneous submissions. View complete submission guidelines here.

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