March 2019 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The March 2019 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, the adjustment to daylight savings time. That also matters.

Contests & Awards

Broadside Lotus Press currently accepting applications for the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award

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

A prize of $500 and publication by Broadside Lotus Press is given annually for a poetry collection by an African American poet. Submit two copies of a manuscript of 60 to 90 pages.

The Missouri Review’s 12th Annual Miller Audio Prize

Fee: $10-$30  Award: $1000 Deadline: March 15th

Submit your recorded poetry or prose to The Missouri Review! $1000 for first prize in each of the following four categories: prose, poetry, audio documentary, and humor. All entries must be 15 minutes or shorter.

McLaughlin–Esstman–Stearns First Novel Prize

Fee:$0 Award: $1000 Deadline: March 15th

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a first novel by a U.S. author published during the previous year. Authors, publishers, or agents may submit three copies of a novel published in 2018 by March 15. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Friends of the West Roxbury Branch BPL All-Ages Poetry Contest

Fee: $0 Deadline: March 29th

Judge Mary Pinard (Boston poet, essayist, and teacher) will award prizes in categories Primary School through Seniors. This year’s theme is “Look Closer.” Contest judge Mary Pinard will read award-winning poems. The Friends will serve refreshments. All are welcome.

Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Fee: $0 Award: $10,000 and a trip to New York Deadline: March 29th

A prize of $10,000 will be given annually for a novel published during the previous year that takes place in the South and reflects late author Willie Morris’s “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.” The winner will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City in October. Submit a novel of at least 50,000 words published in 2018 by March 29.

Fellowships, Conferences & Residencies

Hodson Trust—John Carter Brown Library Fellowship

Fee: $0 Stipend: $20,000 Deadline: March 15th

A fellowship, which includes a stipend of $20,000, is given annually to a novelist or nonfiction writer working on a book relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. The fellowship includes a two-month research period to be conducted at the John Carter Brown Library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a two-month writing term at the C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

White Snake Projects: Call for Immigrant Writers and Immigrant Composers

Fee: $0   Deadline: March 30th

SING OUT STRONG: Immigrant Voices is a community-based project that sets Boston immigrant stories to music. They are collecting stories from Boston immigrant communities and will commission composers who are new or first generation immigrants, and/or who identify strongly with the immigrant experience, to set these stories to music. These songs will be presented in free public concerts in August and September 2019, as well as on the Robert J. Orchard Stage of the Paramount Theater as the Prologue to I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Any new or first generation immigrant who resides in Massachusetts is eligible to submit songs, poems, text, and stories predominantly told in English. Immigrant composers should submit 2 recorded samples of their work.

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Fee: $0 Award: $10,000 Deadline: March 31st

A prize of $10,000 and publication by Restless Books is given in alternating years for a debut book of fiction or nonfiction by a first-generation immigrant. The 2019 prize will be given in nonfiction. Writers who have not published a book of nonfiction in English are eligible.

Jobs & Work Experience

GrubStreet Neighborhood Program Fellow: Mattapan

Application Deadline: March 8th

The Neighborhood Program Fellow for Mattapan is a resourceful, culturally competent, skilled and creative writer, teaching artist, and organizer who works well independently. The Fellow should have a passion for building community through the arts and advancing the work of underrepresented writers in the U.S. This is a flexible role that includes administrative, programmatic, outreach, instructional, and curriculum development work for our Write Down the Street Program (WDTS) and requires a fluctuating 5-15 hour/week time commitment. Ideal start date: April 15 or May 1.

Summer Internship at GrubStreet

Application Deadline: March 28th

Interns typically work for a minimum of 15 hours per week during office hours. Schedules are casual, as are dress code and office atmosphere. In exchange for your hard work, you'll get an insider's look at the Boston creative writing scene, free GrubStreet classes, and some valuable new skills. We've also been known to write some killer recommendations for those who are worthy. This is a great opportunity for students, recent grads, and anyone interested in nonprofit work and the arts.

Summer Internship at Beacon Press

Application Deadline: March 31st

A variety of summer internships are available at Beacon Press, a publishing firm located in Boston. Beacon Press values a diverse workforce; people with disabilities, people of color, and those who identify as LGBTQ  are strongly encouraged to apply.

General Submissions

Free Submissions to Auburn Avenue

Fee: $0  Deadline: March 31st

Auburn Avenue is currently accepting poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and photography submissions. The theme for their upcoming Spring/Summer 2019 Issue is: "The South Got More to Say...". With this issue, they are aiming to feature an array of content that speaks to the diverse experience of the American South from those that: 1) Were born and/or raised in the South, 2) Currently reside in the South, or 3)  Are not directly connected to the region, but have a unique perspective on it. Please send all submissions and questions to [email protected]

Free Submissions to The Sun Magazine

Fee: $0 Deadline: Open

The Sun publishes nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. They tend to favor personal writing, but they’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues. They encourage submissions from writers of color.

Free Submissions to Storyscape Literary Journal

Fee: $0 Deadline: May 1st

Storyscapes seeks genre-bending stories. The premise of the journal is to expand the notion of what stories are while shaking up the labels we use to define them. Because they believe stories are lurking everywhere, they are actively looking for unique modes of storytelling that fall outside conventional boundaries while still maintaining the core essence of "story."

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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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