GrubWrites

February 2021 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The February 2021 edition of "Writing Life Essentials" is a monthly hand-curated list of contests, grants, scholarships, submissions 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, finally putting away your holiday decorations. That’s important, too.

 

Contests & Awards

 

Levis Reading Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $3,000–$5,000; Deadline: February 1st

A prize of $3,000 to $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to give a reading at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond is given annually for a first or second book of poetry published during the previous year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Paterson Poetry Prize

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

The Paterson Poetry Prize is a $1,000 award for a book of poems, 48 pages or more in length, selected by their judges as the strongest collection of poems published in 2020. The winning poet will be eligible for the monetary prize only if he/she participates in a reading at Poetry Center on the date specified. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Prizes in Poetry and Prose

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 1st

Slippery Elm is awarding $1000 prizes in Poetry & Prose. Submit up to three poems of any length or up to 5,000 words of prose with a $15 entry fee, which includes an issue of Slippery Elm, by February 1st. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

American Short(er) Fiction Prize

Fee: $17; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 1st

The prize recognizes extraordinary short fiction under 1,000 words. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication. Previous winners of the Short(er) Fiction Prize have gone on to be anthologized in places such as The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. All entries will be considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Yeats Poetry Prize

Fee: $15; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 1st

Named in honor of the first Irish poet to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, the Yeats Poetry prize has been awarded to poets of all ages and backgrounds since 1994 by the WB Yeats Society of NY. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award

Fee: $18; Award: $100–$1,000; Deadline: February 1st

Honoring Allen Ginsberg’s contribution to American literature and his Paterson upbringing, this annual poetry competition awards a first prize of $1000, second prize of $200 and a third prize of $100. Poems by the Winners, Honorable Mentions and Editor's Choice recipients are included in the Paterson Literary Review and the poets are invited to read at The Poetry Center in historic downtown Paterson. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

Fee: $20; Award: $1,500; Deadline: February 4th

Ruminate Magazine invites you to enter the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize 2021. Kelli Jo Ford is the final judge. Submit a story of up to 5,500 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a digital copy of the prize issue, by February 4th. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Writing Contest

Fee: $11; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 10th

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Winter Anthology is given annually for a group of poems, a story, or an essay. Both unpublished and previously published work is eligible. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Ambroggio Prize

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

The Ambroggio Prize is a $1,000 publication prize given for a book-length poetry manuscript originally written in Spanish and with an English translation. The winning manuscript is published by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, publisher of literary works, scholarship, and art books by or about U.S. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Harold Morton Landon Translation Award

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

Established in 1976, this $1,000 award recognizes a poetry collection translated from any language into English and published in the previous calendar year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Veterans Writing Award

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

Syracuse University Press and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) invite unpublished, full-length novels or short story collections in manuscript form for consideration. This contest is open to U.S. veterans and active duty personnel in any branch of the U.S. military and their immediate family members. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Crystal Wilkinson Creative Writing Prize – For Emerging Black writers

Fee: $0; Award: $250–$500; Deadline: February 15th

New Limestone Review & PLUCK! welcome emerging Black writers to submit to the inaugural Crystal Wilkinson Creative Writing Prize. Submissions may be fiction, nonfiction/memoir, poetry, and other hybrid forms. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction

Fee: $29; Award: $2,000; Deadline: February 15th

The Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction includes a $2,000 cash award, publication of a full-length collection of poetry, and a standard royalty contract. Kathryn A. Morton was a published author and devotee of fine literature, especially poetry. The judge for the 2021 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry is Victoria Chang. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry

Fee: $29; Award: $2,000; Deadline: February 15th

The Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry includes a $2,000 cash award, publication of the winning manuscript, and a standard royalty contract. The judge for the 2021 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction is Danielle Evans. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

First/Second Poetry Book Contest

Fee: $27; Award: $3,000; Deadline: February 16th

The winner of each of Omnidawn's poetry book and chapbook contests wins an immediate cash prize ($3,000 for the 1st/2nd Book and Open Contest, $1,000 for the Chapbook Contest), publication of the book by Omnidawn with a full color cover (unless the author prefers black and white), 100 free copies of the winning book, and extensive display advertising and publicity. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Sustainable Arts Foundation – Writing Awards

Fee: $20; Award: $5,000; Deadline: February 26th

Up to twenty awards of $5,000 each are given annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers with children. Writers with at least one child under the age of 18 are eligible. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Self-Publishing Literary Awards

Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: February 28th

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), in partnership with Biblioboard, is accepting submissions for the 2020 Self-Publishing Literary Award. Each year, BCALA honors the best self-published eBooks by an African-American author in the United States in the genres of Fiction and Poetry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Short Story Contest

Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: February 28th

The Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories for its eighth annual Imagine Little Tokyo short story contest in the categories of English language, Japanese language and youth (18 and younger). The contest is presented by LTHS in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum’s Discover Nikkei project. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Association of Writers & Writing Programs – Award Series

Fee: $30; Award: $5,500; Deadline: February 28th

Two prizes of $5,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. In addition, two prizes of $2,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a novel and a book of creative nonfiction. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Snowbound Chapbook Award

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 28th

The Snowbound Chapbook Award includes a cash award of $1,000 in addition to publication by Tupelo Press, 25 copies of the winning title, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. Manuscripts are judged anonymously and all finalists will be considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Women’s Prose Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000; Deadline: February 28th

Established in 2018, the Women’s Prose Prize is for previously unpublished, original work of prose. Novels, short story collections, memoirs, essay collections, and all other forms of prose writing are eligible for consideration. The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual competition which is open to all writers who identify as women. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize 2021

Fee: $25; Award: $50–$500; Deadline: February 28th

The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize honors a collection of original poetry in English by a single author; translations are not eligible. The first place winning poet will receive a $500 honorarium upon publication plus 10 copies of the book; second place will receive $100 plus 5 copies of their published chapbook; third place will receive $50 plus 5 copies of their published chapbook. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: March 1st

This competition is open to African American poets only. If you have already had a book published by Lotus Press or Broadside Press, you are ineligible. However, inclusion in a Lotus Press or Broadside Press anthology does not disqualify you. Any other serious African American poet, whether previously published or not, may submit a book-length manuscript for consideration. Do not include illustrations, essays, short fiction, or other material that is not poetry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Fellowships & Grants

 

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing

Fee: $0; Award: $5,000; Deadline: February 1st

Named for Bucknell's renowned literary alumnus and initiated in fall 1993, the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers up to four months of unfettered writing time for a writer working on a first or second book of fiction or creative nonfiction. The residency provides lodging in Bucknell's "Poets' Cottage" and a stipend of $5,000. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Raiziss/De Palchi Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $25,000; Deadline: February 15th

The Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Awards recognize outstanding translations into English of modern Italian poetry through a $10,000 book prize and a $25,000 fellowship, given in alternating years. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Universal Writers Program

Fee: $0; Award: Salary of $75,000; Deadline: February 21st

The Universal Writers Program develops up-and-coming and experienced storytellers with commercial sensibilities and cultural perspectives, with the goal to create material for potential UFEG development consideration; however, concept development is not guaranteed. If selected, writers will be compensated with a non-negotiable salary of $75,000 annualized. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Black Writers in Focus

Fee: $20; Award: $5,000 stipend; Deadline: February 21st

DIVERSO has partnered with RIDEBACK (Aladdin, It, The LEGO Movies) and THE WRITERS GUILD FOUNDATION, to create Black Writers in Focus: a paid internship program for Black student screenwriters. Four talented students will spend ten weeks over the summer fine-tuning a writing sample with a personalized mentor, attending panels and classes with industry leaders, and learning from the best by shadowing in a writers' room. Students will be paid to develop their craft.  Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Susan M. Haas Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $25,000; Deadline: February 21st

Emmy- and WGA-award winning writer Cord Jefferson is excited to partner with the WGA Foundation to launch the 2021 Susan M. Haas Fellowship, which will provide two journalists interested in TV-writing with financial and creative support as they develop original pilots. Two writers with backgrounds in journalism will receive $25,000 each to assist with living expenses for a six-month period, during which recipients will develop their original teleplays. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

GrubStreet’s Emerging Writer Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: Tuition-free access to GrubStreet’s classes and Muse & the Marketplace conferences; Deadline: February 22nd

The Emerging Writer Fellowship aims to develop new, exciting voices by providing three writers per year tuition-free access to GrubStreet’s classes and Muse & the Marketplace conferences. Over the course of one year, each Emerging Writer Fellow will attend a combination of seminars and multi-week courses of their choosing, bookended by attendance at both the 2021 and the 2022 Muse & the Marketplace conference, in order to enhance their understanding of craft and the publishing industry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

GrubStreet’s Teen Summer Writing Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $625 stipend; Deadline: February 23rd

The Teen Summer Writing Fellowship is an intensive, three-week creative writing program for young writers. Through classes, workshops, and readings, students will generate new work, learn about the craft of writing, and gain knowledge of the writing/publishing world. In the tradition of adult writing fellowships, each student will receive a stipend of $625 upon completing the program and successfully completing its requirements. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships

Fee: $50; Award: $39,000: Deadline: March 1st

An academic year in residence, which includes a stipend of at least $39,000, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison is given annually to at least five writers working on a first or second book of poetry or fiction. Writers with an MFA or PhD in creative writing who have not published more than one book are eligible. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Mentorship Matters Program

Fee: $0: Deadline: March 1st

Mentorship Matters is an intensive year-long mentorship program with a simple goal:

To help place emerging writers of color inside television writers rooms, and change the landscape of who gets to tell stories in our industry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Submissions

 

Submissions to Hypertext Magazine

Fee: $0; Award: $40

Hypertext Magazine is looking for short stories, personal essays, or memoir pieces that are 3,000 words or less. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels

Fee: $0; Award: Copy of the anthology

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for a new anthology of essays. Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You've Been Told about Black Women revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women's perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women's humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women's experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Fatal Flaw Vol. 3: (UN)CONFINED

Fee: $3; Deadline: February 5th

Fatal Flaw is a quarterly online magazine publishing unexpected, topical writing and photography that considers the world through a cracked lens. They are currently accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction, and photography for their March 2021 issue. The theme: (UN)CONFINED. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Iris Literary Journal

Fee: $3; Deadline: February 8th

Iris Literary Journal is published quarterly in print and ebook. Each journal includes poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, and visual art, including photography. For this issue, they seek work that creatively addresses passion: appetite, fancy, favor, like, liking, partiality, preference, relish, taste, craving, crush, desire, infatuation, longing, lust, yearning. ardor, eagerness, enthusiasm, fervor, zeal. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to East French Press’ Quarterly Publication Vol.3

Fee: $0; Deadline: February 27th

Prose, poetry, essay. No theme or restrictions. 2-4 poems or a short story/creative nonfiction submission for our collected works series. This is the third volume featuring emerging & established writers, musicians, miscreants, barflies, lovers, winners, losers, & 11th hours. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Humana Obscura

Fee: $6; Deadline: February 28th

Humana Obscura is now accepting submissions of poetry, prose/short fiction, and art for its Spring/Summer 2021 issue. Humana Obscura is an independent, bi-annual literary magazine published twice yearly. They seek to publish the best of new, emerging, and established writers and artists in what they like to call the “nature space.” View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Bluing the Blade: Vol. 1, No. 2 – Poetry, Fiction, & Art

Fee: $5; Award: $10 per published piece; Deadline: February 28th

Tempered Runes Press is looking for works of poetry, fiction, and art to appear in Volume 1, Number 2 of Bluing the Blade. All works accepted for publication will receive payment and a contributor page on our website (mini sagas will be posted on the website and published in the journal). Works published in Bluing the Blade will automatically be considered for our biannual awards. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Lucky Jefferson’s Jam Session-Esque Issue, Riff

Fee: $0; Deadline: February 28th

If instruments could speak, what would they say? You’re invited to submit to Issue 6, Riff, their first poetic and collaborative jam session-esque issue. All submissions will be used to create a larger “never-ending” musical poem. 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 Hippocampus Magazine 

Fee: $3; Award: $40; Deadline: Rolling

Looking for a literary magazine that accepts personal essays? Hippocampus Magazine enthusiastically considers unsolicited, previously unpublished creative nonfiction submissions in the following categories: memoir excerpt, personal essay, flash creative nonfiction, and more. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Solstice Magazine’s Features Blog: Anti-Oppression Theme

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling

Solstice Magazine is looking to feature the voices of previously unheard and also established writers who write to make us see, to clarify injustice, and to move us to action. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Redivider

Fee: $0 - $3; Deadline: Rolling

Redivider seeks previously unpublished works from emerging and established writers. They welcome general submissions year-round. View complete 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.

 

Submissions to Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder

Fee: $0; Deadline: March 1st

This is an open call to fill two slots in Out There. Black, Indigenous and Authors of Color are strongly encouraged to apply. Authors may be published or unpublished, agented or unagented. Submissions will be considered by the review panel, featuring Saundra Mitchell, and award-winning authors Tehlor Kay Mejia and Julian Winters. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to Speculative Nonfiction Issue #5: Hold

Fee: $3; Deadline: Extended to March 1st

Hold your tongue; Put a hold on that; To have and to hold; Hold me tight. Hold me. Hold tight. Hold on. Do you mind if we place you on hold for a minute? Hold that thought. Speculate on it. Wondering what Speculative Nonfiction is? Read more here. Speculative Nonfiction will waive the submission fee for writers who make a financial contribution (any amount) to either the NAACP or The Movement for Black Lives. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to No Longer Ignored Anthology

Fee: $4; Award: Royalties per published piece; Deadline: Now until April 25th

The Auroras & Blossoms No Longer Ignored Anthology wants art, photography, poetry, stories and testimonies from people who have risen above their experiences with social injustice, including racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. They are particularly interested in entries from women, minorities, POC and disabled artists. View complete submission guidelines here.
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