November Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

The November 2018 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 grip-strengthening exercises that'll ensure the wishbone breaks in your favor. Those matter too.



Contests & Awards

Free applications to the Live Arts Boston Grant.

Fee: $0; Award: $15,000; Deadline: Nov 7.

LAB will provide up to $15,000 in project-specific funds to create, produce or present artistic work for Greater Boston audiences. In addition to grant funding, grantees will receive support for project documentation, mentorship, peer networking opportunities, and professional development.


Free submissions to the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival's Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize.

Fee: $0; Award: $500 and publication; Deadline: Nov 23.

Submit up to 2500 words of nonfiction set in Brooklyn and about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters.


Free submissions to the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry.

Fee: $0; Award: $1,000 and publication; Deadline: Dec 1.

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 $1000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal.


Fellowships, Conferences & Residencies

Free applications to the Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship.

Fee: $0; Award: Tuition, Stipend, Consultation; Deadline: Nov 15

Year-long mentorship on the craft of fiction writing with One Story magazine. The fellow will receive free tuition for all One Story online classes and programming offered in 2019, a $2,000 travel stipend, tuition to attend One Story’s July 2019 week-long summer writers’ conference, and a manuscript review and consultation with Executive Editor Hannah Tinti.


Jobs & Work Experience

Reader positions at Boston-based Salamander magazine.

Salamander is seeking experienced students and post-graduates of prose and poetry to act as volunteer submission readers for the 2018-2019 submission period. Read 20-25 submissions per month for six months. All work is done remotely and readers receive credit in the masthead and a free subscription. Please contact [email protected] with your name, genre preference, and past experience.


Editorial Internship at GrubStreet.

Deadline: Nov 13.

The Editorial Internship is a unique opportunity to intern with GrubStreet from anywhere in the world! During a fully remote six-month-long internship, the Editorial Intern assists the Editor in the day-to-day running of GrubWrites, GrubStreet’s online publication. Responsibilities include proofing drafts, formatting content, optimizing articles for social media, sourcing and creating imagery, communicating with contributors, and maintaining the editorial calendar. Editorial Interns work one-on-one with the Editor to develop copyediting and developmental editing skills, gaining a better understanding of how editors work with contributors to take a piece from initial submission through a series of drafts to the final published version. The intern will work remotely and must be able to commit 10 hours a week for a six-month period. We are particularly interested in applicants who are living outside of Boston and/or are unable to apply for other GrubStreet internships due to pre-existing commitments.


General Submissions

$ Submissions to Fourth Genre.

Fee: $4; Award: publication; Deadline: Nov 30.

Submit personal essays, memoirs, literary journalism, and personal criticism. Essays that reflect the intersections of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexuality, etc are particularly welcome.


$ Boston-based Post Road Magazine.

Fee: $3; Award: publication; Deadline: Nov 30.

Submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short plays, and monologues.


Free submissions to the Black Women/ Superheroes Issue for Transition Magazine.

Fee: $0; Award: publication; Deadline: Nov 30

Grounded in Black feminist theory, this special issue of Transition Magazine seeks to engage a dynamic conversation on the topic Black Women/Superheroes. This issue will explore the notion of Black women’s persistence within a globalized, racialized, and gendered contemporary world. Writers, poets, artists, designers, musicians, and scientists encouraged to submit.


Free submission to Damaged Goods Press' 2019 Chaplet Series.

Fee: $0; Award: publication; Deadline: Dec 15.

Damaged Goods Press is a small press specializing in books by queer and trans people. Chaplets are small single-author collections of poetry, only 6-8 pages, with about 25 short lines per page. The 2019 series theme is technology and dis/ability.


Free submissions to Third Coast.

Fee: $0; Award: publication; Deadline: Dec 15.

Submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, book reviews, and interviews.


Free submissions to the Tell-All Reading Series

Fee: $0; Award: Invitation to read; Deadline: Nov 30.

TELL-ALL is a quarterly literary performance series celebrating all things memoir. Co-sponsored by GrubStreet and curated by alumni of GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator. Submit first-person stories of 1200-1500 words.



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About the Author

Colwill is an instructor and manuscript consultant at GrubStreet, an associate editor at Bat City Review, and an MFA candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating a scholarship awardee of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, Colwill found representation for her first novel, Before We Tear Our Selves Apart, with Robert Guinsler of Sterling Lord Literistic, which is currently on submission to publishing houses. She is the recipient of the Wellspring House Emerging Writer Fellowship, the Henry Blackwell Essay Prize, and a Crawley-Garwood Research Grant, and has received fellowships and support from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The University of Texas at Austin, Boston College, Kansas State University, the Anderson Center for Disciplinary Studies, and GrubStreet. She was a finalist for the 2019 Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize, the 2019 Reynolds Price Award, the 2019 Far Horizons Fiction Award, the 2019 Disquiet International Literary Prize, and the 2019 Lit Fest Emerging Writer Fellowship. Colwill’s fiction is forthcoming in Granta and is anthologized in Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53). She has served on the editorial team for Post Road magazine, The Conium Review,  Solstice Literary Magazine, and Pangyrus magazine. Colwill is a founding member of the  Back Porch Collective, a Boston-based group of writers. With members connected to Cuba, India, Albania, Atlanta, Bosnia, Miami, Jamaica, and the UK, they bonded over a common passion for global narratives and literature’s potential to create empathy and understanding across all geographical, political, and cultural borders. Hailing from Yorkshire, in the north of England, Colwill is determined to introduce the word “sozzard” to the American vernacular. For a full list of publications, projects, and services, please visit

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