November 2019 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The November 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, stuffing tofurkies. That matters too.

Contests & Awards

Boston in 100 Words

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 8th

Boston in 100 Words is a writing contest that invites all Boston residents to write stories of no more than one hundred words depicting everyday life their communities. A team of renown, local authors will select winning stories, which will be published in large format and posted throughout the city for everyone to read and enjoy.


Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 15th; Prize: $1,000

A prize of $1,000 is given occasionally for a fiction or nonfiction manuscript that has been rejected by a commercial publisher. The award recognizes “worthy manuscripts that have been overlooked by today’s high-pressure, bottom-line publishing conglomerates.” Manuscripts must be submitted with a formal letter of nomination from an editor at a U.S. or Canadian publishing company by November 15. Submit to Pushcart Press, Editors’ Book Award, P.O. Box 380, Wainscott, NY 11975. (631) 324-9300. Bill Henderson, President.


Brunel University International African Poetry Prize

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 30th; Prize: $3,668

A prize is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who was born in Africa, is a national of an African country, or whose parents are African. Poets who have not yet published a full-length collection are eligible. The prize is cosponsored by the African Poetry Book Fund. Submit 10 published or unpublished poems of up to 30 lines each via email.

J. F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 30th; Prize: $500

A prize of $500 and publication in Dappled Things is awarded annually for a short story. They seek carefully crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings. Using only the online submission system, submit a story of up to 8,000 words.


The Blurred Genre Contest

Fee: $8; Deadline: November 30th; First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $300

Redivider seeks previously unpublished works from new, emerging, and established artists and writers. This contest explores the porous boundaries between genres. They welcome all hybrid, genre-blurring and experimental work. Flash fiction and nonfiction, prose poetry, and poetry comics all fall in the broad spectrum of possibilities!


American Library Association W. Y. Boyd Literary Award

Fee: $0; Deadline: December 1st; Prize: $5,000

A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a novel published in the previous year that is set in a period when the United States was at war. Publishers or authors may submit seven copies of a book published in 2019 by December 1.This award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.


Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival Nonfiction Prize

Fee: $0; Deadline: December 1st; Prize: $500

A prize of $500 and publication on the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival website is given annually for a work of nonfiction that is set in Brooklyn, New York, and renders the borough’s “rich soul and intangible qualities through the writer’s actual experiences of Brooklyn.” Using only the online submission system, submit an essay of up to 2,500 words by December 1st. 


African Poetry Book Fund Sillerman First Book Prize

Fee: $0; Deadline: December 1st; Prize: $1,000

A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection by a poet who was born in Africa, is an African national or resident, or whose parents are African. The prize is cosponsored by Prairie Schooner. The African Poetry Book Fund editorial board will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 50 pages.


Langum Foundation Prize in American Historical Fiction

Fee: $0; Deadline: December 1st; Prize: $1,000

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of historical fiction published during the previous year. Publishers or authors may submit two copies of a book (or galleys) published in 2019 by December 1st. Self-published books are ineligible.


Fellowships, Conferences & Residencies


HUES Foundation Fellowship

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 1st

The HUES Foundation is an educational non profit organization that is committed to creative expression and innovation among artists, writers, musicians, and poets of color. HUES will officially launch in 2020 but is currently seeking a Poetry Fellow and a Creative Nonfiction OR Hybrid Art Fellow. HUES 2020 Fellows will receive a monetary grant of $1000 each to be distributed over the course of their fellowship. 


Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 1st

Together with the Talve-Goodman Family, One Story is happy to open submissions for the Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship. This educational fellowship offers a year-long mentorship on the craft of fiction writing with One Story magazine. Their hope is to give a writer outside of the fold a significant boost in their career.


Boston's First Youth Poet Laureate

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 25th

The Youth Poet Laureate will act as an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. They will create a unique artistic legacy and raise the status of poetry in the everyday lives of Bostonians. Applicants must be between 13-18 years old. Benefits include $500 per year, mentoring by the City of Boston Poet Laureate, and a published collection of their poems.


Jobs & Work Experience


Finance Manager at GrubStreet

Boston, MA; Deadline: None

GrubStreet is seeking an experienced Finance Manager to join our team. Reporting directly to the CFO/COO, the Finance Manager will manage and maintain the organization’s day-to-day financials. Duties include accounting operations, financial analysis, payroll and benefits administration, grants management, scholarships and payment plan tracking, and year end audit assistance.


Donor Communications and Events Coordinator at GrubStreet

Boston, MA; Deadline: None

GrubStreet seeks a Donor Communications and Events Coordinator to help with ongoing fundraising appeals, our capital campaign to build a Narrative Arts Center, and events. This temporary position is 30 hours a week from through December 2020, with the possibility of continuing employment. Some evening work is required. This person works collaboratively in our fast-paced, friendly Boston office, and reports to the Senior Development Manager.


Digital Editor for Frontline WGBH

Boston, MA

FRONTLINE is PBS’s flagship investigative documentary series, which explores the issues of our time through powerful storytelling. They seek a talented editor to oversee their journalistic efforts online. Under the supervision of the senior editor, this position is responsible for managing the daily editorial operations of the FRONTLINE website, helping to shape the series' digital footprint and supervising the team assigned to build content. 


General Submissions

Submit to Storyscape

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 1st

Storyscape are accepting submissions of prose of up to 5,000 words. You may submit simultaneously, just let them know if your piece is accepted elsewhere. They do not accept previously published stories, however, upon publication in Storyscape, the right to republish is yours.


Submit to The Albion Review

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 9th

Published annually in the spring, The Albion Review features works of short fiction, poetry, essays, and visual art. They accept only unpublished work from undergraduate students currently enrolled in any college or university, who have not yet obtained an undergraduate degree. Each submission is eligible for a $200 prize for Poetry, Fiction, or Art.


Submit Nonfiction to Fourth Genre

Fee: $4; Deadline: November 30th 

Published twice annually by Michigan State University Press, Fourth Genre is a literary journal that explores the boundaries of contemporary and creative nonfiction. Personal essays are welcome—including nature, environmental, graphic/visual, food, and humorous essays. Essays that reflect the intersections of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexuality, etc are particularly welcome.


Submit to Pushcart Press

Fee: $0; Deadline: December 1st

Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses is awarded annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction published by literary magazines or small presses during the previous year. Editors may nominate up to six poems, short stories, novel chapters, or essays published in 2019; submit one copy of each work by December 1st.


Submit to

Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling accepts unsolicited proposals from established freelance writers. Due to the volume of submissions, they cannot guarantee a response to all inquiries, but if we are interested in pursuing a story, we will contact you.


Submit to F(r)iction Magazine

Fee: $2.50; Deadline: Rolling

F(r)iction Magazine seeks short fiction and creative nonfiction (1,000 – 7,500 words), poetry (three pages or less per poem, up to five poems per submission), flash fiction (750 words or less), and comics (35 pages or less). All genres are welcome, but especially those that celebrate the weird, take risks with form and content, and are driven by a strong, unique voice.

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About the Author

Maura is a third-year student studying English and Communications at Northeastern University. She's from Long Island, New York and in her free time loves watching movies, listening to music, and rock climbing.

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