February Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

Check out our February 2019 edition of "Writing Life Essentials," a monthly hand-curated list of opportunities for writers. We do the research, so you have more time for what matters: the writing. Or, the eating the candies that will go on sale the day after Valentine’s Day. That matters, too.

Contests & Awards

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Self-Publishing Literary Awards in Fiction and Poetry

Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: February 28th, 2019

Two prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry e-book and a fiction e-book by an African American writer self-published in the United States during the previous year. The awards honor books that depict the “cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.” Submit an e-book self-published in 2018 by February 28. There is no entry fee.

Fellowships, Conferences & Residencies

Grubstreet Emerging Writer Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: fellowship; Deadline: February 15th, 2019

This fellowship is open to anyone 18 and older with a passion for writing. The fellowship specifically aims to assist writers in need of financial assistance in reaching their writing goals. We particularly encourage writers of color, ethnic minorities, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by the literary community to apply.

The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing: Voices of Color Fellowships

Fee: $25  Award: Fellowship  Deadline: February 25th

The fellowships assist MVICW with their commitment to expanding the American literary canon by promoting voices from a wide array of cultural backgrounds, and to increasing philanthropic support for writers of color in the arts. Application for these fellowships is open to all writers of color, ages 18 and older. The awards provide funding to attend a week of choice at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Four First Prize recipients (two in poetry and two in fiction/CNF) will receive the full retreat package, covering tuition and lodging. Two Second Prize recipients (one in each genre) will receive $500 credit toward the cost of tuition.

The Muse and the Marketplace Writing Conference adds NEW Literary Agents

Fee: Depends on Membership Status; Location: Boston, MA; Conference Dates: April 5th-7th

Established and emerging authors lead 130+ interactive sessions on the craft of writing – the “muse” side of things – while editors, literary agents and other industry professionals tackle the business side – the “marketplace.” For an additional fee, attendees meet one-on-one in our Manuscript Mart with an established literary agent, an acquiring editor at a publishing house, and/or a literary journal editor. New agents such as Chris Bucci, Sandy Lu, Dana Murphy, and Adrienne Rosado recently added!

Boston Harbor [Re]creation: Boston Harbor Islands Artist In Residence & Harborwalk Artist in Residence

Boston Harbor Now, the National Park Service (NPS), and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are excited to announce the call for proposals from artists whose practice will use the theme of Edges and Spaces Between as a point of departure to engage with the natural environment, community assets, activities, and history of Boston Harbor. Projects will be selected by a juried process. They are looking for artists who are interested in using art and culture to activate and animate Boston’s iconic harbor islands, public lands, and social fabric. People who love parks and have an understanding of the dynamics of park processes and public space. Opportunities are open to artists of any medium, including writers and poets, Boston Harbor AIRs will receive a $1,500 stipend. Harborwalk AIR’s will each receive a $5,000 stipend, plus $1,000 for materials.

Jobs & Work Experience

JuxtaProse Literary Magazine Seeking a Poetry Intern

Application Deadline: February 20th

JuxtaProse is seeking to expand their current staff by bringing on a poetry intern to help ease the workload on their poetry editors. As a predominately online publication, their staff serves remotely and telecommutes to a weekly meeting held each Thursday at 7:30 pm Mountain Time (6:30 pm Pacific, 9:30 pm Eastern). The selected individual will be required to attend the meeting each week and will also assist our editors in reading submissions, maintaining records, and corresponding with authors. The ideal candidate will have previous literary journal experience. Please send resumes to [email protected]. Applicants must be available for a minimum six month commitment.

General Submissions

Ecotone Magazine’s LOVE issue seeks Poetry and Fiction

Fee: $3; Deadline: February 14th

Ecotone welcomes work from a wide range of voices. They are particularly interested in hearing from writers historically underrepresented in literary publishing and in place-based contexts: people of color, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, gender-nonconforming people, LGBTQIA+, women, and others. They welcome the work of emerging writers.  They’ll be holding a special open submissions window for their Love Issue, one-day-only, on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

Free submission for upstreet literary journal

Fee: $0; Deadline: March 1st, 2019.

We invite you to submit your fiction and creative nonfiction to upstreet, an award-winning literary journal based in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Fiction and nonfiction pieces must be 5,000 words or less. Payment, upon publication, will be between $50 and $250 for short stories or essays.


Free ongoing submissions to Screen Door Review: Literary Voices of the Queer South.

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling.

Screen Door Review is a quarterly literary magazine that publishes all types of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and comics authored by individuals belonging to the southern queer (lgbtq) community of the United States. Short Stories up to 10,000 words, 1-3 flash narratives up to 1,000 words, 3-5 poems, or up to 8 pages of comic or graphic narratives.

Free ongoing submissions to WomenArts Quarterly Journal, for women writers.

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling.

A platform for woman-identified creators. Short stories up to 7,000 words, essays up to 5,000 words, and up to six poems, plus art, interviews, and reviews.


Ready for more? Check out our ever-evolving list of deadline-free opportunities!

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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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