September Top Picks: Opportunities for Writers

Welcome to the September 2017 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 staring into the middle distance while silently drowning in existential crises. That matters too. 

Contests & Awards

Juniper Literary Prizes for Poetry & Fiction.

Fee: $30; Award: $1000 & publication contract; Deadline: Sep 30.

Awarded annually to original short story collections, poetry collections, and novels. Publication by The University of Massachusetts Press.


Massachusetts-based Consequence Magazine's 2017 Women Writing War Awards in Fiction and Poetry. 

Fee: $10; Award: $250 & publication; Deadline: Oct 1.

Open to all those identifying as women. Entries must capture the nuances of the cultures and consequences of war. Fiction Judge: Siobhan Fallon. Poetry Judge: Danielle Legros Georges.  


Free application to NALAC fund for Latinx Artists and Art Organizations

Fee: $0; Award: $5-15,000; Deadline: Oct 5.

Four grant categories for artists and ensembles in all disciplines: Project Grant, San Antonio Artist Project Grant, Mentorship Artist Grant, and the Adán Medrano Legacy Award in Film. Open to Latino artists and ensembles in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 


Free application to MASS Moca's Assets for Artists Grant Program 

Fee: $0; Award: $1-2,000 matched grants; Deadline: Oct 9.

Innovative support model that gives artists in all disciplines a range of financial and professional development tools to advance their careers.


Fellowships & Residencies

Fee: $0; Location: Berlin, Germany; Stipend: $5,000 monthly; Deadline: Sep 29.

Seeks to enrich transatlantic dialogue in the arts, humanities, and public policy. Considers projects that address the themes of migration and social integration, as well as questions of race in comparative perspective. Fellowships awarded for an academic semester. Includes round-trip airfare, partial board, and accommodations at the Academy’s lakeside Hans Arnhold Center.


Fee: $0; Location: New York, NY; Stipend: $70,000 annually; Deadline: Sep 29.
International fellowship program open to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building—including academics, independent scholars, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets).


Fee: $0; Location: New York, NY; Honorarium: $1,000; Deadline: Oct 15.
Fellowships support writers who embrace risk in their work and their own singular vision. Open to writers who have not yet contracted to publish a book. Six months of editorial support, meet with members of the publishing community, and participate in a public reading and conversation with A Public Space editors and contributors.

Free application for the Carmargo Foundation Residency Fellowships

Fee: $0; Location: Cassis, France; Stipend: $250 weekly; Deadline: Oct 17.
Artists, in all disciplines, should be the primary creators of a new work/project and have achieved a track record of publications/performances/exhibitions, credits, awards and/or grants. Residencies span 6-11 weeks.


General Submissions

Fee: $0; Deadline: Sep 25.

Fiction up to 7,000 words, non-fiction up to 5,000 words, and up to three poems of no more than forty lines. Work must explore themes relevant to immigrant and refugee communities. Open to any immigrant or refugee writer living in the United States or abroad.

Fee: $0; Deadline: Oct 5
Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, visual art, sound art, audiovisual art and movies, cartoons, and any other artistic creations by people of color. Accepts all genres, with a particular affinity for science fiction, superheroes, and other “geek” genres. 


Fee: $0; Deadline: Oct 5
Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and artwork (photography, paintings, etc.). ROOTS section focused primarily on mainland and maritime Southeast Asia. BRANCHES section focuses primarily on the Southeast Asian diaspora. All submissions under 2,000 words, no more than three poems, or one piece of prose. 


Fee: $0; Honorarium: $85 for prose & $35 per poem; Deadline: Rolling.
Defines queer literature and arts as works created by LGBTTQI people, rather than works which feature queer content alone. Accepts literary fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, and novel excerpts. Fiction and Nonfiction up to 5,000 words, poetry up to 10 pages. 


Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling.
Short stories, investigative reporting, reviews, essay and memoirs, flash fiction, poetry, journalism, short documentary film, and visual arts. Offer editor feedback for small fee. 


Fee: $0; Deadline: Rolling.
Fiction, poetry, translations, and nonfiction (including personal essays, essays on writing, and short reviews).


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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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