The Practicing Writer 2.0: April 2021

Current competitions and calls for submissions. No fees to enter/submit. Payment for winning/published work. Nothing limited to residents of a single city/state/province.

Welcome, new readers, and welcome back to the regulars.

For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check the “Practicing Writing” blog and follow Erika Dreifus on Twitter (@ErikaDreifus) and/or Facebook.

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  1. Editor’s Note

  2. Success Stories

  3. Featured Resource

  4. Current Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY OR APPLICATION FEES; PAYING OPPORTUNITIES ONLY)


  6. Blog Notes

  7. Newsletter Matters


Greetings, practicing writers:

Whew. Time flies. I had a busy March, and an even busier April awaits. But it’s all good! (Well, there was one especially disappointing manuscript rejection, but you all know how that goes.)

If it’s April, it’s National Poetry Month. I’m happy to tell you that I’ll be reading from Birthright: Poems on April 27, hosted by the Head for the Hills Reading Series. This virtual reading, which will also feature Leanne Grabel, includes an open-mic component. Details will be posted soon on my website. [UPDATED ON APRIL 2 TO NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED.]

Speaking of poetry readings: Among March’s highlights was an invitation for me to read alongside celebrated poets Erika Meitner, Alicia Ostriker, and Alicia Jo Rabins. Happily, the event was recorded. (There’s a bonus document with info about all the poets/our work that you can download thanks to our hosts at the Women’s League [for Conservative Judaism] Reads.)

I hope that you’re all healthy and happy (and, increasingly, vaccinated!). And I wish an amazing April for all of us and our writing practices.



Greetings Erika, unfortunately I cannot recall what pandemic internet rabbit hole lead me to your blog and wondrous newsletter, but I wanted to reach out and express my deep, deep gratitude to you! You publicized the MASS MoCA FELLOWSHIP FOR WRITERS OF COLOR opportunity for “one writer working in English in any genre who self-identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color” and I am absolutely STUNNED to report that I am the ONE! I was actually notified of the acceptance and fellowship award today and plan to depart for the Berkshires in mid-June, all because of you! I’d not heard of this opportunity before but had the chance to visit the massive and magical MASS MoCA campus a couple summers back and have wanted to find to way to return and immerse myself in that energy ever since. I will be spending a whole month working on my first full length poetry collection, Hoard, and I owe you the world, or at least a coffee (or of course, something stronger), if our paths ever cross post-plague IRL. Thankyouthankyouthank, all the glory to you.—S. Erin Batiste

Hi, Erika, it’s time to thank you again for a listing—the J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction. I’m currently a finalist (winners not chosen yet). This wouldn’t have been on my radar if not for Markets and Jobs for Writers—Laurinda Lind

Hello, Erika, Thanks to your list of potential sites, I have had two pieces published in Jewish Women of Words and a short story published in the spring, 2021 issue of Much appreciated.—Anna Gotlieb

REMINDER:love learning about ways in which the newsletter/blogs/my resources support your writing practice. Keep me posted! You just may find your own work celebrated here.


If it’s April, it’s National Poetry Month here in the United States (and in Canada). As the event celebrates its 25th anniversary, learn more about it from the Academy of American Poets:


    Deadline: April 12. From Grist’s solutions lab (Fix): “We’re calling for 3,000- to 5,000-word stories that envision the next 180 years of climate progress — roughly seven generations. The winning writer will be awarded $3,000, with the second- and third-place finalists receiving $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. An additional nine finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium. Winners and finalists will be published in a stunning (trust us), immersive digital collection on Fix’s website and will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.” 

    Deadline: April 15. Artists (including writers) “may apply for residencies of 12 days between September 21 and October 23.” Note: “BAC offers a weekly subsidy to resident artists.”

    Deadline: April 15. “Open to QTBIPOC-identified feminist innovative writers/poets. Prize includes publication and “a $1,000.00 cash award to help aid in book promotion, travel, event attendance, and a general contribution to the hopes of thriving as an artist.” Judge: Metta Sáma.

    Deadline: April 16. “Recognizes a select group of media professionals, including journalists, writers, and others who create exemplary work that contributes to a deeper understanding of and greater public awareness about mental health issues.” The prize “carries an award of $3,000 and will be presented at an event where the honoree (or honorees) are invited to speak about their work.” Regarding eligibility: “Work must have been written in English, intended for the layperson, and must have been first published/released after April 1, 2020.”

    Deadline: April 26. Grants of $40,000 “will be awarded to as many as eight writers in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction for a general readership.” Note that “projects must be under contract with a US publisher to be eligible” and that “applicants must be US citizens or residents.”

    Deadline: April 30 (11:59 p.m. CDT). Administered by the Sejong Cultural Society in conjunction with the Harvard Korea Institute, this competition awards cash prizes (in the adult division: $1000/$750/$500, plus $50 honorable mention, plus publication). NB: For more about this poetic form, read this article by Nancy Jorgensen, which is where I discovered this contest in the first place.

    Deadline: April 30. From Lucas Aykroyd: “I’ve been very fortunate, and it’s time for me to give back. With the Irene Adler Prize, I’m awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada, based on an essay competition.”

    Deadline: April 30. Memorial prize that honors “the best crime short story by a New England writer or with a New England setting.” Includes $100, publication, conference admission, and a plaque.

    Deadline: April 30. This first-book award “is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by black poets of African descent.” Prize includes “$1,000, publication by Graywolf Press in fall 2022, 15 copies of the book, and a feature reading. Both the winner and runner-up will be invited to individual critique sessions with the final judge [this year, Rachel Eliza Griffiths].”

    Deadline: April 30 (midnight GMT). Winner receives a publishing contract with erbacce press (20% royalties). “Two runners-up will also be considered and they will win either a perfect bound book or a high quality chap-book under similar terms as the winner.” Additional (nonpaying) recognition for selected others.

    Deadline: April 30. “A prize of $10,000 will be awarded for a novel of at least 50,000 words published during 2020. Self-published books will not be accepted. The winner will be notified in the fall of 2021 and invited to attend the Willie Morris Award ceremony in Oxford, Mississippi, with travel expenses paid for the occasion.” Eligibility criteria include: “compels readers to engage with or reflect on the complexities of the American South” and “author is an under-recognized, original voice in Southern fiction.” NB: “Current University of Mississippi students and employees are not eligible for this award.”

    Deadline: April 30. “A prize of $2,500 will be awarded for an original, unpublished poem that evokes the American South. Poets may enter only one poem in any style no longer than three pages (12-point font, one-inch margins). Submissions will not be returned so be sure to keep a copy. Susan Kinsolving will judge. The winner will be notified in the fall of 2021 and invited to attend the Willie Morris Award ceremonies in Oxford, Mississippi, with travel expenses paid for the occasion.” NB: “Current University of Mississippi students and employees are not eligible for this award.”

    Deadline: April 30. “Actively working visual artists, writers, instrumentalists, and composers with at least two years of professional experience since graduation may apply. Residencies are from two to five weeks, however preference is given to applicants requesting residencies of three to five weeks. (If scheduling permits, shorter residencies will be considered.) A limited number of $500 grants are available.”

    Deadline: May 1 (10:59 p.m. GMT). “In these uniquely challenging times, we encourage young poets to raise their voices and share a message with the world. We are seeking poems about FREEDOM.” Note: “Open to persons up to the age of 25.” Prize: “The winner will receive £350, and their poem will be published” on the website and social-media accounts of the School of Philosophy and Economic Science.

    Deadline: May 1. “The Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy  with the desert as both subject and setting. Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love of Central Oregon’s High Desert, the Prize recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide. Emerging, mid-career and established nonfiction writers are invited to apply. Previous applicants who have not won an award are eligible to submit a new project. The Prize is awarded to a nonfiction full-length book proposal” and includes “a $2,500 cash award, a residency at PLAYA at Summer Lake and a reading and reception at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.”

    Deadline: May 1. From Spider Road Press, this competition calls for “precise and moving microfiction stories” on the theme of “metamorphosis.” Word count: 20-100. First prize includes $150 USD, publication on the SRP website, and one free copy of a book by the contest judge [Jae Mazer]. (Found this one via @Duotrope.)

    Deadline: May 5 (9 a.m. UK time). “The purpose of the award is to inspire a project of creative writing by making it possible for the holder to engage in relevant, project-related travel and study….The award is intended for unpublished creative writers in the early stage of their career and the successful candidate must be a graduate of any university in the UK, Ireland, the Commonwealth or the USA by the time they take up for post on 1 October 2021….All or part of the tenure should be spent in a country outside the UK. Those applying for the award are asked to provide a detailed outline of their proposed course of study/research and travel plan, as well as making a strong case for its relevance to their creative writing project. The award-holder is expected to engage in a course of study or research, not necessarily attached to a university or other institution, culminating in the production of original fiction, poetry or drama. The successful candidate will become a member of St John’s and will be invited to visit the College following the end of their tenure, to present at least one talk about their experience. Funding up to a maximum of £15,200 is intended to cover accommodation and other living expenses during the course of the year.” 

    Deadline: June 30, 2022. Grant awards of $2,000 support “a milestone opportunity in an individual artist’s career that is likely to lead to substantial and significant career advancement….Applications are due at least 60 days prior to activities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until this program’s funds are depleted.” NB: Applicants must reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee.


  • Until April 5, NINTH LETTER is receiving fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for an online edition themed “Distanced”What forces push us apart? What choices made, or not, put distance between us and our loved ones and places? Send us your distanced pandemic stories, poetry and essays, but also those pieces that deal with other separations.” Pays: “a small honorarium ($25 per poem, $75 per story or essay) and a complimentary 2-­year subscription to Ninth Letter.”

  • And until April 6, HELD, based at the University of Guelph, welcomes submissions for an issue themed “Generations.” Note: “We prioritize contributors who identify as Black, Indigenous, racialised. People who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. People living with disabilities. We will ensure that 70% of contributors identify with these communities.” Pays: $50 (presumably in Canadian funds).

  • For its journal of speculative literature, HOUSE OF ZOLO seeks “provocative works of fiction and poetry…that examines the future of our planet as it relates to Climate Change.” Deadline: April 15. Pays: “$25 per poem, and $50-$75 per story.”

  • MIDNIGHT BREAKFAST, which is “excited by fiction, personal essays, cultural criticism, and interviews,” is open for submissions until April 15. Pays: $50. (Thanks to @Duotrope for the alert on this one.)

  • LEMONSPOUTING, “a new quarterly Canadian and International online Journal of Literature & Art,” is receiving submissions for its first issue until April 24. Pays: $10/poem, $15 per story, and $15 per non-fiction piece.

  • Canada-based BRICK, which “prides itself on publishing the best literary non-fiction in the world,” closes for submissions on April 30. Pays: “$55–660, depending on the length of accepted work, plus two copies of the issue the work appears in and a one-year subscription to the magazine.”

  • HARBOR REVIEW welcomes poetry submissions for its summer issue, themed “Other,” until April 30. Pays: $10/poem.

  • SUTRA PRESS, “an independent micro-press that publishes chapbooks that serve to change our lives and wake us up,” is open for submissions until April 30. “We offer a monetary prize of $200 per manuscript chosen to be published.”

  • THREEPENNY REVIEW, which does not read submissions “during the last two-thirds of the year (May through December),” is therefore open for them through April. Pays: “At present The Threepenny Review is paying $400 per story or article, $200 per poem or Table Talk piece.” No simultaneous submissions.

  • THE ARKANSAS INTERNATIONAL welcomes fiction, poetry, essays, comics, and works in translation until May 1. “Until we reach our monthly cap with Submittable, there will be no fee to submit.” Payment: “For issue eleven, contributors will be paid $20 a printed page (capped at $250) and in copies of the journal.”

  • CONSEQUENCE, which is “interested in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, reviews, visual art, and translations focused on the human consequences and realities of war and geopolitical violence,” will close for submissions on May 1. Pays: $25-$100.

  • Until May 1, NONBINARY REVIEW seeks work for an issue themed “The Industrial Revolution”: “What we don't want: Henry Ford, cotton gins, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fires. Instead, think about things that might have been subject to the assembly line approach that weren't. Or how life may have changed for someone who did a job that wasn't made obsolete. Or the story of a particularly Rube Goldberg or chindogu invention.” Pays: “1 cent per word for prose, and a flat fee of $10 for poetry (singular poems or a suite) and $25 per piece of visual art, payable upon receipt of the signed publication contract. NonBinary Review accepts previously published work as long as the original publication is clearly credited. All contributors will receive a complimentary .pdf copy of the issue in which their work appears.”

  • SUNDOG LIT receives submissions of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction until May 1, and “the first 300 submissions to each are free.” Pays: $25.

  • THE SUNLIGHT PRESS will be closed for poetry submissions in May (re-opening in June), so if you have poetry you’ve been meaning to send them, take note! Per a recent update, they pay “$25 for a single poem; $10 per additional poem in same submission.” (The update includes pay rates for all genres.)

  • BENNINGTON REVIEW’s current submissions window closes on May 8. “We aim to stake out a distinctive space for innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work.” Pays: “$100 for prose of six typeset pages and under, $200 for prose of over six typeset pages, and $20 per poem, in addition to two copies of the issue in which the piece is published and a copy of the subsequent issue.”

  • UK-based NEON is open for submissions; the theme for their next themed issue is “Cities.” Pays: 2p/word for prose and 20p/line for poetry. NB: In response to my query about a deadline, the publication responded: “No deadline - the guidelines page is updated once a themed issue is full, and any extant themed submissions are considered for an unthemed issue.”

  • HERMINE, “a print-only journal of short stories, published annually in Toronto,” is open for submissions. Pays: “$50 to $200 per story, plus two contributor copies.” Deadline: “This project has established a quota. Submissions will close when it is reached.” (Thanks to @Duotrope for the alert on this one.)

  • Reminder: Make it a habit to check the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL website, where titles in development are posted. “If this is your first time, please visit our Story Guidelines page, which will answer many of your questions about subject matter, length, and style.” Pays: $200 plus 10 free copies. Among upcoming project deadlines: April 30 is the closing date for a book on “Counting Your Blessings.”

REMEMBER: Several calls from last month’s newsletter remain open for submissions.


The newsletter is published just once each month, but there’s always something new on the Practicing Writing blog:

  • (Monday) Markets and Jobs for Writers (including opportunities that don’t make it into the monthly newsletter)

  • Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  • (Friday) Finds for Writers

  • Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment! 

Interested in matters of specifically Jewish literary and cultural interest? Please also visit the My Machberet blog (“machberet” is the Hebrew word for “notebook”).


Information contained in The Practicing Writer is collected from many sources, with the purpose of providing general references. It is researched carefully but readers should verify information when necessary and appropriate. The Practicing Writer and its editor disclaim any liability for the use of information contained within. Thank you for subscribing/reading.

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About the editor: Erika Dreifus is a writer, teacher, and literary consultant whose books include Birthright: Poems and Quiet Americans: Stories. A Fellow in the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute and an adjunct associate professor at Baruch College, she lives in New York. Please visit to learn more about her work and follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter, where she tweets “on matters bookish and/or Jewish.”

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