GrubWrites

March 2021 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The March 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, stocking up on allergy medicine. That’s important, too.

 

Contests & Awards

 

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.

 

Hazel Rowley Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $2,000; Deadline: March 1st

The Hazel Rowley Prize rewards a first-time biographer with: funding (the $2,000 award); a careful reading from an established agent; a year’s membership in BIO (along with registration to the annual Biographers International [BIO] conference); and publicity for the author and project through the BIO website, The Biographer’s Craft newsletter, etc. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Hunger Mountain Literary Prizes

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 1st

The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, and the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize: One first place winner receives $1,000 and online publication, and one runner-up receives $100 & online publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 5th

The 2021 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize will be judged by Joshua Ferris. The winning work will be performed and recorded by an actor in spring 2021, and published on Electric Literature. The winning writer will receive $1,000 and a free 10-week course with Gotham Writers. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award

Fee: $30; Award: $2,000; Deadline: March 7th

The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize competition is open to self-identifying women who have yet to publish a full-length book of poems. The winner receives publication, an advance of $1,000.00, and publication of her collection by Persea. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Wild Women Story Contest

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 8th

TulipTree Publishing is looking for empowering stories with female main characters (written by anyone) that celebrate the Wild Woman: women who are the heroines of their own lives. They especially love stories about the ways women use their power to create and shape the world, and stories about discovering—or remembering—this power in the first place. These can be fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Fee: $17; Award: $2,000; Deadline: March 14th

The Nelligan Prize is offered annually. The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review. All stories are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Raz-Shumaker Book Prizes

Fee: $25; Award: $3,000; Deadline: March 15th

The Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize Series welcomes manuscripts from all living writers, including non-US citizens, writing in English. Both unpublished and published writers are welcome to submit manuscripts. Winners will receive $3,000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

National Poetry Series Open Competition

Fee: $35; Award: $10,000; Deadline: March 15th

The National Poetry Series seeks book-length manuscripts of poetry written by American residents or American citizens living abroad. Manuscripts are submitted online only via Submittable with an entrance fee of $35.00 (per manuscript). Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

The Word Works Washington Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,500; Deadline: March 15th

Each year, The Word Works awards a living American or Canadian poet $1,500, a generous supply of author copies, and book publication for a volume of original poetry in English. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Steinberg Essay Prize

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 15th

The first place winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the next year’s spring issue. Finalists and the first-place winner will be announced on Fourth Genre’s Facebook, Twitter, and website. This year’s contest judge is Xu Xi. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Hidden River Arts Eludia Award

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 15th

This is a "first book" award for an unpublished book-length work of fiction–novel, short stories, novel-in-stories, no length limit, by a woman writer, age 40 or older. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation Poetry Prize

Fee: $10; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 15th

The annual Tor House Prize for Poetry is a living memorial to American poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962). $1,000 1st prize award for an original, unpublished poem not to exceed three pages. $200 for Honorable Mention awards. Open to poetry in all styles, ranging from experimental to traditional forms, including short narrative poems. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Tartt Fiction Award

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

Winning short story collection will be published by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama, in simultaneous library binding and trade paper editions. Winning entry will receive $1,000, plus our standard royalty contract, which includes 100 copies of the book. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Bellingham Review Literary Awards

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 15th

Bellingham Review awards three $1,000-dollar first-place prizes for fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 31st

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes awarded on publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award

Fee: $25; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 31st

The Red Hen Nonfiction Award seeks to recognize the art of true storytelling through literary craft. The awarded nonfiction manuscript is selected through an annual submission process which is open to all authors. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Narrative Winter Story Contest

Fee: $27; Award: $2,500; Deadline: March 31st

Narrative is looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature - Paul Engle Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $20,000; Deadline: March 31st

The annual Paul Engle Prize from the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature seeks to recognize a writer, like Engle, who makes an impact on his or her community and the world at large through efforts beyond the page. As of 2021, the winner receives a $20,000 cash award and a one-of-a-kind work of art. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

2021 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry

Fee: $6; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 31st

The Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, NH, and the Hyla Brook Poets invite submissions for the 11th Annual The Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry. The winner receives $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in the next The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm (or virtual, depending). The winner also receives a scholarship to attend the conference. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Indiana Review Poetry and Fiction Prizes

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

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Indiana Review are given annually for a poem and a story. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest

Fee: $8; Award: $1,000; Deadline: March 31st

Gemini Magazine annually awards $1,000 and publication for a short story. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Lascaux Prize Poetry

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

Poems 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.

 

Chautauqua Janus Prize

Fee: $20; Award: $5,000; Deadline: March 31st

The Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded for the fourth time this summer, celebrating an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder readers’ imaginations. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

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

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing was created in 2016 to honor outstanding debut literary works by first-generation immigrants, awarded for fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Restless Books. Submissions for the 2021 Prize in Nonfiction are open until March 31, 2021. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Fee: $0; Award: $4,029; Deadline: March 31st

The prize is an annual award of £3,000 ($4,029), made to the translator(s) of a published translation in English of a full-length imaginative and creative Arabic work of literary merit published after, or during, the year 1967 and first published in English translation in the year prior to the award. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Arts & Letters Prizes

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

For Arts & Letters prizes in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, they offer the winner a $1,000 prize and publication in the next year’s Fall or Spring issue. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Imagine 2200 — A New Climate-Fiction Contest

Fee: $0; Award: $8,700; Deadline: April 12th

Welcome to Imagine 2200 — a new climate-fiction contest by Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. What they’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What they’re offering: $8,700 in prizes, publication, and a reason to stay hopeful. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Fellowships & Grants

 

Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships

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

At least five writers working on a first or second book of poetry or fiction are awarded an academic year in residence, which includes a stipend of at least $39,000, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. 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.

 

Creative Capital Awards

Fee: $0; Award: $50,000; Deadline: March 8th

Creative Capital supports forward-thinking and adventurous artists across the country by providing up to $50,000 in project funding, counsel, and career development services. Our pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

James Jones Literary Society First Novel Fellowship

Fee: $33; Award: $10,000; Deadline: March 15th

A prize of $10,000 is given annually for a novel-in-progress by a U.S. writer who has not published a novel. Runners-up will receive $1,000. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Hodson Trust–John Carter Brown Library Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $20,000; Deadline: March 15th

The Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship is open to applicants from a wide range of disciplines who are pursuing projects on the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. The award supports two months of research and two months of writing. The stipend is $5,000 per month for a total of $20,000, plus housing and university privileges. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000 and mentorship; Deadline: March 17th

The Emerging Voices Fellowship provides a five-month immersive mentorship program for early-career writers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the publishing world. The program is committed to cultivating the careers of Black writers, and serves writers who identify as Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Work Experience

 

Copywriter, 2021 Mternship (Creative)

Durham, NC / Los Angeles, CA / New York, NY / Remote

The McKinney Mternship program is a 10-week program offered each summer to allow full-time undergraduate or graduate students who bring diversity in experience and perspectives, a peek inside a creatively driven advertising agency. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Lifestyle Editor, Elite Daily

NYC / Full-Time / Remote

Elite Daily is seeking a full-time Lifestyle Editor to help develop and oversee the site’s Experiences vertical. From the latest TikTok challenges to service-driven how-tos, the Experiences vertical brings readers the tools they need to live their best lives. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Associate Editor, Lion’s Roar

Part-Time / Remote

Lion’s Roar is looking for an associate editor with a focus on Black Buddhist voices, views, achievements, challenges, and communities. This is a half-time contract position which can be done remotely. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

 

Submissions

 

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 AGNI

Fee: $0; Deadline: N/A

AGNI looks 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 us as we read that we’ve found something no one else could have written. 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 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 Raising Mothers

Fee: $2; Deadline: Rolling

Raising Mothers celebrates and examines the realities of parenthood for Black and brown mothers. Raising Mothers publishes experimental and traditional pieces of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, interviews, book reviews, photo essays, comic and graphic narratives that explore what it means to identify and coexist as a parent on the margins. 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.

About the Author

GrubWrites is a space for the writing and reading community to share ideas and seek advice, a place where writers at the very beginning of their careers publish alongside established authors. Book lovers, we bring you reviews, recommendations, and conversations with exciting new authors to keep you up to speed on all things lit. Writers, this is your one stop shop for expert craft talk, opinions on how we learn and teach writing, and essential advice about the publishing industry.

Plus, we want to hear from you! Our ongoing call for submissions is open to literary community members of all types and persuasions. We want to hear from students, teachers, authors, readers, editors, agents, publicists, and any devotee of the written word. If you have something to say about writing, reading, the publishing industry, or anything related to the literary world, this is the place to voice it. We’re particularly committed to advocating for a diverse range of voices in the literary marketplace and raising the visibility of writers from under-represented communities.

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