June 2020 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers
The June 2020 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, celebrating the Summer Solstice. That’s important, too.
Contests & Awards
American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Award
Fee: $0; Award: $2,500; Deadline: June 15th
A prize of $2,500 and publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review is given annually for an English translation of a work of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction written in a Nordic language. A prize of $2,000 and publication is also awarded to a translator whose literary translations from a Nordic language have not previously been published. Translations of works by Scandinavian authors born after 1900 that have not been published in English are eligible. Submit up to 25 pages of poetry or 50 pages of prose, a copy of the original work, and a curriculum vitae by June 15th. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Omidawn Poetry Chapbook Prize
Fee: $18; Award: $1,000; Deadline: June 15th
A prize of $1,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Victoria Chang will judge. Submit a manuscript of 20 to 40 pages with an $18 entry fee by June 15th. For an additional $2, entrants will receive one chapbook of their choice from the Omnidawn catalogue. For full details on application guidelines, please visit their website.
Bard Fiction Prize
Fee: $0; Award: $30,000; Deadline: June 15th
A prize of $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College is given annually to a U.S. fiction writer under the age of 40. The recipient must give at least one public lecture and meet informally with students but is not expected to teach traditional courses. Submit three copies of a published book of fiction and a curriculum vitae by June 15th. There is no entry fee. Click here to see the complete application guidelines.
Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Awards
Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: June 25th
Three prizes are given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer to honor their first books. The winners each receive an all-expenses paid trip to several of the 13 GLCA colleges, each of which pays an honorarium of at least $500, to give readings, meet with students, and lead discussions and classes. Books published in 2019 and 2020 are eligible. Publishers may submit four copies of one book in each category by June 25th. There is no entry fee. To view the full application guidelines, visit their website.
Lascaux Review Prize in Flash Fiction
Fee: $15; Award: $1,000; Deadline: June 30th
A prize of $1,000 and publication in Lascaux Review is given annually for a work of flash fiction. Using only the online submission system, submit up to three stories of no more than 1,000 words each with a $15 entry fee by June 30th. All entries are considered for publication. Click here for more details.
Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition
Fee: $16; Award: $1,000; Deadline: June 30th
A prize of $1,000 and publication by Finishing Line Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a woman who has not yet published a full-length collection. Submit a manuscript of 16 to 35 pages with a $16 entry fee by June 30th. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Writer’s Center First Novel Prize
Fee: $0; Award: $1,000; Deadline: June 30th
A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a first novel published in the previous calendar year. Publishers or authors may submit three copies of a novel published in 2019 by June 30th. There is no entry fee. To learn more about the prize and application process, click here.
Louise Meriwether First Book Prize
Fee: $0; Award: $5,000; Deadline: June 30th
A prize of $5,000 and publication by the Feminist Press is given annually for a debut book of fiction or narrative nonfiction by a woman of color or a nonbinary writer of color. Submit a story collection, essay collection, novel, memoir, or manifesto of 30,000 to 80,000 words via e-mail by June 30th. There is no entry fee. View the complete guidelines on their website.
Griffin Poetry Prizes
Fee: $0; Award: $48,750; Deadline: June 30th
Two prizes of CAD $65,000 (approximately $48,750) each are given annually for poetry collections by a Canadian poet or translator and by an international poet or translator published during the previous year. Finalists receive CAD $10,000 (approximately $7,500) each for their participation in the shortlisted readings event to be held in Toronto in June. Publishers may submit four copies of a book of at least 48 pages published by June 30th. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize
Fee: $0; Award: $15,000; Deadline: June 30th
A prize of $15,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Writers who have published at least one previous book of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in nationally distributed magazines or literary journals are eligible. Submit a manuscript of 150 to 300 pages between May 1st and June 30th. There is no entry fee. Click here to see the full details.
Walt Disney Television Writing Program
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 5th
The twelve-month program is tentatively set to begin in February 2021 and end in February of the following year. Please note, time frames are subject to change. For the first few months of the Program, writers participate in a professional development curriculum designed to better prepare them for staffing consideration, including developing, writing, and polishing at least one (1) original pilot script to be used as a staffing sample. For more information on how to apply and program details, click here.
Mass Poetry AmeriCorps VISTA Events & Communications Coordinator
Deadline: June 30th
Mass Poetry—a Boston-based nonprofit that promotes poetry and offers poetry programming across Massachusetts—seeks a self-starter with strong communication skills and a background in event management. This stipended service position will run from approximately August 5, 2020 to August 3, 2021. For complete details of roles and responsibilities and the application process, please visit their website.
Mass Poetry AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator
Deadline: June 30th
Mass Poetry seeks a strong project manager with a background in event management. This stipended service position will run from August 3, 2020 to August 2, 2021. The AmeriCorps VISTA Community Engagement Coordinator will play a key role in planning and coordinating the festival from recruiting volunteers to seeking event sponsorships to and securing venues. To view the complete details of the roles and responsibilities, as well as the application, click here.
Mass Poetry Contract Bookkeeper
Deadline: June 30th
Mass Poetry seeks an experienced, contract bookkeeper. This role will require approximately 2-4 hours per week. To view the complete details of the roles and responsibilities, as well as the application, click here.
Litro Magazine Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 11th
Africa’s identity has too often been dictated by people who wanted to exploit and manipulate the continent and its people for their own gain. But, all over the world Africans and people of African descent are claiming and creating a future permeated with African notions of identity, home, culture, and community. The Future is African issue will feature stories that portend and celebrate the African future. They accept short fiction, flash/micro fiction, and nonfiction. Given the focus of this issue, they are especially open to travel memoir and travel-related fiction in this instance. They do not accept poetry. For full submission guidelines, click here.
Tint Journal Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 12th
Tint showcases the original work of writers for whom English is a second or non-native language. Short stories, essays, flash and poetry will only be accepted by writers who have learned or acquired the English language after being fluent in another language and within an open call for submissions. Reviews, interviews, and profiles focusing on ESL writers are welcome year-round by writers of all linguistic backgrounds. For more details, visit their website.
Matter Press Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 15th
The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is looking for “compressed creative arts.” They accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way. Work is published weekly, without labels, and the labels here only exist to help them determine its best readers. Click here for more details.
The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism Submissions
Fee: $3 per submission; Deadline: June 15th
The journal will provide a voice for the articulation of feminist and social justice concerns from a Latina perspective, broadly construed to include Latinas in the U.S., Latin America, and other countries. The journal will be an online, open access, peer-reviewed academic journal that considers narrative and poetic entries as legitimate forms of scholarly feminist analyses. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to view submission guidelines.
midnight & indigo Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 28th
midnight & indigo is looking for previously unpublished, character-driven, speculative short stories written by Black women writers, in the genre of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction is a broad genre encompassing fiction with certain elements that do not exist in the real world, often in the context of supernatural, futuristic or other imaginative themes. This includes, but is not limited to, science fiction, fantasy, superhero fiction, horror, utopian and dystopian fiction, fairytale fantasy, and supernatural fiction. For more submission details, click here.
Black Lesbian Literary Collective’s Serendipity Submissions
Fee: $15; Deadline: June 30th
The Black Lesbian Literary Collective a non-profit collaborative dedicated to creating a nurturing and sustainable environment for Black lesbian and queer women of color writers. They specialize in building appreciation and sustained support for women of color literary artists and their work by increasing lesbian visibility in literary and independent publishing spheres, and promoting ethical publishing practices through education and rigorous standards. For submission guidelines, visit their website.
Under the Radar Magazine Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 30th
Under the Radar is a magazine of new contemporary writing and is published three times a year by Nine Arches Press. They welcome submissions of new poetry and short fiction to Under the Radar. They especially welcome submissions of new work by writers from diverse backgrounds who have been traditionally under-represented in literature and publishing, and actively encourage women, writers of colour, LGBTQ+, Disabled, D/deaf, and low-income writers to consider sending us their work. They are currently accepting works of short fiction. Click here for complete submission guidelines.
At Home Boston Submissions
Fee: $0; Deadline: June 30th
The Boston Book Festival has launched a citywide writing project, At Home Boston, to capture slices of everyday life — the ordinary to extraordinary — during these unprecedented times. Their aim is to weave together a crowd-sourced portrait of how Boston-area residents are experiencing, responding to, and coming together in new ways during these challenging circumstances. They hope to hear from frontline workers, parents at home with kids, teens studying virtually, grandparents removed from family members, and business owners trying new ways to make it work. The collection will be an important community-wide archive of lived experiences during this time. For complete submission guidelines, visit their page.
Split Lip Magazine Submissions
Fee: $0 during June; Deadline: Rolling
Split Lip Magazine is looking for literature of all types, including: short fiction, flash fiction, memoir, poetry, photography & art, as well as interviews & reviews. They only accept one piece per writer at a time, so please do not submit a variety of genres. Guidelines for each genre are listed on their website.
Mia is the Spring 2020 Marketing Co-Op at GrubStreet. She is currently studying English at Northeastern, and minoring in East Asian Studies and Japanese. When Mia isn't at GrubStreet, she likes to study languages, read, write, sing a little, and spend some of (read: all of) her time with NU Barkada, Northeastern's Filipino American student association.See other articles by Mia Narciso