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November 2020 Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The November 2020 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, baking pies. That’s important, too.

 

Contests & Awards

 

2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest

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

Guest judge Leesa Cross-Smith will select three winning stories. Each winning writer will be awarded $1,000, a bundle of the Rose Metal Press Field Guides, and publication in CRAFT with an introduction by Leesa Cross-Smith. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Gotham Book Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $50,000; Deadline: November 1st

A prize of $50,000 will be given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction about New York City or that takes place in New York City published in the current year. Using the online nomination form, nominate a novel, short story collection, essay collection, memoir, or other book of fiction or creative nonfiction published between January 1st, 2020, and December 31st, 2020; upon request of the organization, mail a finished copy of the book. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

So to Speak’s Fiction: 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $10; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Natalie Lima will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Fiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies. Lima is drawn to stories that speak to emotional truths, from realism to fabulism. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Fee-Free for Black and Indigenous Writers: So to Speak’s Fiction 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $0; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Natalie Lima will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Fiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies. Lima is drawn to stories that speak to emotional truths, from realism to fabulism. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

So to Speak’s Nonfiction: 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $10; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Sophia Shalmiyev will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Nonfiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Fee-Free for Black and Indigenous Writers: So to Speak’s Nonfiction 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $0; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Sophia Shalmiyev will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Nonfiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

So to Speak’s Poetry: 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $10; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Roya Marsh will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Poetry Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Fee-Free for Black and Indigenous Writers: So to Speak’s Poetry 2021 Contest Issue Submission

Fee: $0; Award: Honorarium, publication in their 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies; Deadline: November 10th

Roya Marsh will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Poetry Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

The Story Prize

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

The Story Prize is a $20,000 book prize awarded to the author of the short story collection

named best of the year by three independent judges. Publishers, authors, or agents may submit two copies of a book published between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, by November 15th. (The deadline for books published during the first half of the year was July 15th.) For complete submission guidelines, visit here.

 

Pushcart Press | Editors’ Book Award

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

$1,000 is awarded 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 15th. To learn more, visit their website.

 

Narrative’s 30 Below Contest

Fee: $26; Award: $1,500; Deadline: November 19th

Narrative invites all writers, poets, visual artists, photographers, performers, and filmmakers between eighteen and thirty years old to send their best work. They’re looking for the traditional and the innovative, the true and the imaginary. First Prize is $1,500, Second Prize is $750, Third Prize is $300, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. The prizewinners and finalists will be announced in Narrative. For complete submission guidelines, visit here.

 

Nowhere’s Travel Writing Contest

Fee: $20; Award: $1,000; Deadline: November 20th

Award-winning literary travel magazine Nowhere is accepting submissions for their annual Fall Travel Writing Prize. They are looking for novice and veteran writers of any stripe to send stories that possess a powerful sense of people, place and time. The winner will receive $1,000, with publication in Nowhere granted under First North American Serial Rights (FNASR). Up to ten finalists also will be published. For complete submission guidelines, visit here.

 

The New Guard’s Poetry and Fiction Contests

Fee: $22; Award: $1,500; Deadline: November 20th

The New Guard Tenth Anniversary Editor’s Edition is open for submissions. TNG Volume X will be judged by TNG Founding Editor Shanna McNair and Consulting Editor Scott Wolven. The deadline for both contests is November 20th. For complete submission guidelines, visit here.

 

New Asian Writing Short Story Competition 2020

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000; Deadline: November 30th

The New Asian Writing Short Story Competition 2020 invites entries. The prize for this year is open to all nationalities and aliens. The prize is open to all adults (18 years and above on the date of submission). NAW will accept all stories that are set in an Asian context or have an Asian theme. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Narrative’s Fall Story Contest

Fee: $27; Award: $2,500; Deadline: November 30th

Narrative’s Fall Story Contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. They’re 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. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

The Brunel International African Poetry Prize

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

The Brunel International African Poetry Prize is a major annual poetry prize of $3,668, aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

2021 UNT Rilke Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $10,000; Deadline: November 30th

An annual award of $10,000 recognizing a book that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year. Entrants must have published at least two previous books of poetry. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

LitMag's Anton Chekhov Award for Flash Fiction

Fee: $16; Award: $1,250 and Publication; Deadline: November 30th

$1,250 and publication in LitMag are awarded annually for a piece of flash fiction. The winner will also have their work reviewed by agents from the Bent Agency, Brandt & Hochman, Folio Literary Management, InkWell Management, Sobel Weber Associates, and Triangle House Literary. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction

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

$5,000 is awarded 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 2020 by December 1st. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Pushcart Prizes

Fee: $0; Award: Publication in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses; 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 2020; submit one copy of each work by December 1st. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction

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

The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Publishers or authors may submit two copies of a book (or galleys) published in 2020 by December 1st. Self-published books are ineligible. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Sillerman First Book Prize

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000 and Book Publication; Deadline: December 1st

The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry is awarded annually to an African poet who has not yet published a collection of poetry. The winner receives $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. For complete submission guidelines, please visit their website.

 

Fellowships & Grants

 

Local Cultural Council Program Grants

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 16th

The Mass Cultural Council's Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually. Each year, LCCs award more than $3 million in grants to more than 6,000 cultural programs statewide. The program promotes the availability of rich cultural experiences for every Massachusetts resident. For more information please visit their website.

 

Work Experience

 

Writers’ Room Slam Poetry Coach at 826 Boston

Roxbury, MA / Deadline: November 2nd

826 Boston seeks a dynamic and experienced poet to serve as the Slam Poetry Coach at the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. This is an exciting opportunity to join the organization during a time of growth and play a key role in developing writers and slam poets. For complete details of roles and responsibilities and the application process, click here.

 

Chirp Editor at BookBub

Cambridge, MA / Remote

BookBub is expanding its team to address the challenges and opportunities of the publishing industry while continuing to help readers find stories and authors they’ll love. Check out BookBub and our audiobooks retailing platform, Chirp, and learn more about what to expect working at BookBub. For complete details of roles and responsibilities and the application process, please visit their website.

 

Culture Vertical Editor, Opinion at The New York Times

New York, NY

Times Opinion is looking for a seasoned, innovative editor to lead and champion their coverage of culture. They are looking for someone with mature editorial judgment and management skills, who can guide a team of editors and contributing writers to produce path-breaking work. For complete details of roles and responsibilities and the application process, please visit their website.

 

Associate Production Editor, Simon & Schuster Children's Books

New York, NY

Simon & Schuster, a division of ViacomCBS, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. For complete details of roles and responsibilities and the application process, please visit their website.

 

Submissions

 

Submissions to One Story

Fee: $0; Award: $500; Deadline: November 14th

One Story is seeking literary fiction. They are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone. One Story pays $500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights. All rights will revert to the author following publication. View complete submission guidelines here.

 

Proposal Submissions - 2021 Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Fee: $0; Deadline: November 15th

Mass Poetry is searching for individuals and groups to submit proposals for the 2021 Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 14-16, 2021). They are committed to showcasing creative, innovative, and diverse events; including panel discussions, poetry readings, poetry slams, poetry with music, workshops, and other events that defy categorization. All presenters will receive a stipend as compensation. To learn more, visit their website.

 

CRAFT | Short Fiction Fast Response: Free for Black Writers

Fee: $0; Deadline: N/A

While CRAFT submissions for short and flash fiction are always free and always open, this year they are offering fast responses for free to Black writers. This form is for short fiction (short stories and standalone excerpts) between 1,000 and 6,000 words. CRAFT will pay $200 for accepted short stories. To learn more visit CRAFT’s website.

 

CRAFT | Short Fiction Fast Response: Free with Proof of Donation in Support of BLM

Fee: $0; Deadline: N/A

While CRAFT submissions for short and flash fiction are always free and always open, this year they are offering fast responses for free to Black writers. This form is currently open ONLY to writers who attach proof of donation ($12 minimum) to an organization in support of Black lives. CRAFT will pay $200 for accepted short stories. To learn more visit CRAFT’s website.

 

CRAFT | Flash Fiction Fast Response: Free for Black Writers

Fee: $0; Deadline: N/A

While CRAFT submissions for short and flash fiction are always free and always open, this year they are offering fast responses for free to Black writers. This form is for flash fiction up to 1,000 words. CRAFT will pay $100 for accepted flash fiction. To learn more visit CRAFT’s website.

 

CRAFT | Flash Fiction Fast Response: Free with Proof of Donation in Support of BLM

Fee: $0; Deadline: N/A

While CRAFT submissions for short and flash fiction are always free and always open, this year they are offering fast responses for free to Black writers. This form is currently open ONLY to writers who attach proof of donation ($12 minimum) to an organization in support of Black lives. To learn more visit CRAFT’s website.

 

Submissions to Delacorte Review - Longform Nonfiction Stories

Fee: $0; Award: $500 per story; Deadline: N/A

The Delacorte Review publishes narrative nonfiction and connects passionate nonfiction writers with readers. They are seeking original works of narrative nonfiction of between 3,500 and 20,000 words. The work cannot have been published elsewhere. 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.

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSION: A Notebook of Lullabies 

Fee: $0; Accepting submissions now until December 1st

The Transpacific Literary Project is calling for writing and translations that swirl around in lullabies. Possible projects might include translating a traditional lullaby into another form, creating a contemporary lullaby, or analyzing an existing lullaby. All contributors, writers and translators, will be paid. Submissions are accepted in any language spoken in Southeast Asia and East Asia. View more submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to FIYAH 2021: Unthemed 

Fee: $0; Accepting submissions now until December 31st

FIYAH is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine that features stories by and about Black people of the African Diaspora. This definition is globally inclusive (Black anywhere in the world) and also applies to mixed/biracial and Afro-appended people regardless of gender identity or orientation. They accept submissions of short fiction 2,000 – 7,000 words, novelettes up to 15,000 words, and poetry with speculative elements. View more submission guidelines here.

 

Submissions to SFWP's Quarterly Issue 24 (BIPOC Writers Only)

Fee: $0; Accepting submissions now until December 31st

SFWP invites writers who identify as non-white to submit their poetry, prose, and hybrid works surrounding the theme of pleasure for this issue. If you miss the deadline for this particular issue, just submit to one of the other issues! They're looking for BIPOC writers for the entire year. View more 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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