The Practicing Writer 2.0: August 2020

Latest fee-free, paying opportunities—and more.

Supporting the Craft & Business of Excellent Writing

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

We value our subscribers, and we protect their privacy. We keep our subscriber list confidential.

PLEASE SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER—in its entirety—with your writing networks. If you’d like to share a particular competition or submission alert with others, PLEASE CREDIT THE PRACTICING WRITER for the find. Thanks for respecting your editor’s volunteer efforts!


  1. Editor’s Note: What’s New

  2. Success Story

  3. Featured Resource

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


  6. Blog Notes

  7. Newsletter Matters


Hello again, practicing writers:

This newsletter issue brings one structural change: For a few reasons—including Substack’s length restrictions for these emails and my own workload—I’m discontinuing the newsletter’s “Featured Article/Lessons Learned” segment.

But I would like to include brief “success stories” from subscribers for whom this newsletter, or the blog(s), or the other resources on the website, have proved to be fruitful for their own writing practices. You’ll find an example below.

Onward to August!

All best,


I was delighted to receive this from Georgia A. Hubley:

“When I see your name in my email box I can't help but smile. I enjoy all your writing news, the market info, tips and suggestions. I also follow you on Facebook.

I want to thank you for directing me to a writing market that was unfamiliar to me, THEMA Literary Journal. I was elated to have a submission accepted for their 2020 Spring Issue. Also, just had another story accepted for their 2021 Spring Issue. Thank you for all you do for fellow writers.”

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


While reviewing my archive for a project, I rediscovered a phenomenal resource: “Story of the Week,” presented by the Library of America (LOA). Selected short stories come from the LOA’s own archive. Terrific for reading, inspiration, and/or teaching purposes.

NB: They’re on a break until mid-August—you might use that time to begin exploring the archive.

(Interested in the project that had me searching back for short-story-related posts/materials? Voilà:

4. UPCOMING/ONGOING CONTESTS, COMPETITIONS, AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST (now listed by deadline, with earliest deadline first)

    Submissions: August 1-September 30 (postmarked). “The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages.” Must send via postal mail. “Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press's standard contract.” Note that writers “are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English.”

    Deadline: August 14, 2020. Open to women poets in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, this prize “is awarded once every two years to three women poets. Each winner is carefully matched with a poetry mentor and offered pastoral coaching, facilitating a holistic body of support that nurtures craft and personal wellbeing in equal measure. The Prize also offers a programme of support and creative professional development opportunities with the Foundation’s partners: Faber and Faber, The Literary Consultancy, RADA, City Lit, Verve Festival, Bath Spa University, and The Poetry School. In addition to these opportunities which constitute the Women Poets’ Prize professional grant, each successful poet receives a cash bursary of £1,000.”

    Deadline: August 15, 2020. Semiannual award for non­fic­tion books on Jew­ish themes “that will cat­alyze con­ver­sa­tions aligned with the themes of Natan’s grant­mak­ing: rein­vent­ing Jew­ish life and com­mu­ni­ty for the twen­­ty-first cen­tu­ry, shift­ing notions of indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive Jew­ish iden­ti­ty, the his­to­ry and future of Israel, and the evolv­ing rela­tion­ship between Israel and world Jewry. Natan Notable Book win­ners receive a Natan Notable Book seal and $5,000 for the author, marketing/​distribution coach­ing and pro­mo­tion from Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Natan, and cus­tomized sup­port designed to bring the book and/​or the author to new audiences.” Submissions are now open “for non-fiction titles published between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.”

    Deadline: August 30, 2020. An award of $1,000 “given for an article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Articles focused on historical events AND articles about current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) that include historical context are both welcome. The work should be published in print or online between August 26, 2019 and August 30, 2020.”

    Deadline: August 31, 2020 (received). This award includes a $15,000 cash prize, “honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and serves to inspire and recognize rising African-American fiction writers of excellence at a national level.” 2020 judges: Anthony Grooms, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Nunez, Francine Prose and Patricia Towers. “The Baton Rouge Area Foundation sponsors the winner’s travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to receive the prize at a ceremony….The literary award winner also participates in educational activities at selected area schools and after-school programs in keeping with the Gaines Award's interest in emphasizing the role of literature and arts in education.” Eligible authors must have had published in 2020 a novel or collection of short stories and must be African-American U.S. citizens who are rising authors, “not yet widely recognize for their work.”

    Deadline: August 31, 2020. “The $500 Diverse Writers grant is intended to support writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. The $500 Diverse Worlds grant is intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background. Writers may apply for either or both grants. Please note: your project does not need to center on identity issues.”

    Deadline: August 31, 2020. Established by Linda Parkinson-Hardman, this competition originally supported the work of the Hysterectomy Association, which closed in 2019; content was then moved to the founder’s blog. “The purpose of the competition is to showcase entries that appeal to all [site] visitors,” in any genre “except erotica or horror.” Awards £25 to the winners in each of these categories: short story (600 words maximum); flash fiction (100 words maximum); poetry (12 lines maximum); “Under 16s”: any of the previous genres. “Nine additional entries will be included in the Hysteria 7 anthology to be published in November 2020,” presumably without payment.

    Deadline: September 1, 2020. Annual contest aims to inspire “honest, unsentimental stories about teachers and the rich and complex world of schools. Our partner this year is A Public Space.” Criteria: “The story’s protagonist, or its narrator, must be a K-12 teacher. Stories must be between 6 and 749 words and previously unpublished. Any adult over the age of eighteen (whether a teacher or not) is welcome to submit. Only one submission per writer. Sentimentality is discouraged and education jargon is forbidden. The winning story comes with a $1000 prize and publication in the print edition of A Public Space. Runners-up will receive a subscription to A Public Space.” Judge: Jonathan Lethem.

    Deadline: September 1, 2020. Open to all, this contest welcomes submissions in two categories: traditional (Shakespearean and Petrarchan sonnets) and modern (as defined in the guidelines). Poets can win in only one category. Prizes (“for both categories”): “First Prize: $50. Second Prize: $35. Third Prize: $15. Three Honorable Mentions, Unranked.”

    Deadline: September 1, 2020. For “a debut book-length work of fiction or non-fiction by an author who identifies as trans or nonbinary. The selected work will be published by Two Dollar Radio in 2021 or 2022, and will receive a $2,500 advance. This publishing prize was made possible by Sator Press, a small nonprofit publishing company owned and operated by Ken Baumann from 2009 to 2019. Sator’s goal was to publish and promote innovative literature; Two Dollar Radio is happy to continue this tradition.”

    Deadline: September 10, 2020. “Radcliffe Institute fellows are in residence for a period of nine months from September 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022 and receive a stipend of $78,000 plus an additional $5,000 to cover project expenses….As this is a residential fellowship, fellows are expected to reside in the Greater Boston area for the duration of their fellowship. Fellows may be eligible to receive additional funds for moving expenses, childcare, and housing….Healthcare options are made available as needed. Radcliffe Fellows receive office or studio space in Byerly Hall and full-time Harvard appointments as visiting fellows, granting them access to Harvard University’s various resources, including libraries, housing, and athletic facilities. If fellows would like to hire Harvard undergraduate students as Research Partners, we will cover their hourly wages.” NB: Be sure to check the requirements for publication criteria in the various writing-related fields.

    Deadline: September 11, 2020. “Established in 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories.” NB: “The publisher must submit all books. Authors may not submit their work on their own.” Check the link above for additional criteria.

    Deadline: September 15, 2020, 5:00 p.m. (EDT). “Given to artists and writers of exceptional promise to pursue independent projects at Princeton University during the academic year. Potential Hodder Fellows are composers, choreographers, performance artists, visual artists, writers or other kinds of artists or humanists who have ‘much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts’; they are selected more ‘for promise than for performance.’ Given the strength of the applicant pool, most successful Fellows have published a first book or have similar achievements in their own fields; the Hodder is designed to provide Fellows with the ‘studious leisure’ to undertake significant new work.” The fellowship provides “$84,000 for one 10-month academic year”; there are no teaching or residency requirements.

    Deadline: September 15, 2020, 5:00 p.m. (EDT). For “artists whose achievements have been recognized as demonstrating extraordinary promise in any area of artistic practice and teaching….Princeton Arts Fellows spend two consecutive academic years (September 1-July 1) at Princeton University and formal teaching is expected. The normal work assignment will be to teach one course each semester subject to approval by the Dean of the Faculty, but fellows may be asked to take on an artistic assignment in lieu of a class, such as directing a play or creating a dance with students. Although the teaching load is light, our expectation is that Fellows will be full and active members of our community, committed to frequent and engaged interactions with students during the academic year. An $84,000 a year stipend is provided. Fellowships are not intended to fund work leading to an advanced degree. One need not be a U.S. citizen to apply. Holders of Ph.D. degrees from Princeton are not eligible to apply.” NB: Finalist interviews “are scheduled for the week of December 15, 2020. We will be following University and Government guidelines for COVID-19 throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Should these dates or in-person interview format change, we will update our website and notify finalists of the changes.”

    Deadline: September 15, 2020. Provides grants (up to $2,000 for “junior grants”; up to $5,000 for “senior grants”) to support “research or artistic projects in Jewish women’s and gender studies across a range of disciplines.”

    Deadline: September 15, 2020. For “exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets.” Prize confers “$500, publication by Jai-Alai Books in 2021, 10 copies of the chapbook, a residency in early April at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival.” Note: “Winner agrees to be present in the continental United States at her or his own expense shortly after the book is published in order to participate in O, Miami 2021.” Final Judge: Mahogany L. Browne.

REMINDER! These deadlined opportunities, listed in last month’s newsletter, remain open for entries.


  • RUMINATE, a “mindful literary arts magazine,” has re-opened for poetry submissions. “We currently pay $20/page of poetry (with a maximum of $80 per poem).”

  • “Established in 1967, the PITT POETRY SERIES annually publishes books by poets who have previously published full-length collections of poetry….Manuscripts for the Poetry Series should be sent during the annual submission period of August and September….The qualification of prior full-length publication is defined as a book of 48 or more pages, exclusive of front matter, in a recognized publisher’s print edition of at least 500 copies.”

  • BOOKS BY HIPPOCAMPUS will re-open for queries/proposals on August 1. They’re interested in memoirs, essay collections, craft (of writing) books, and books for young people. (Be sure to read the complete guidelines, which were updated in July 2020.)

  • THE SUNLIGHT PRESS, “a literary journal for new and established voices,” re-opens for submissions on August 1. Pays an unspecified amount for original work, via PayPal.

  • Also re-opening on August 1: BLACKBIRD, “an online journal of literature and the arts.” Payment (amount also not specified) occurs “after publication.”

  • Starting August 1 (and continuing until April 1): WEST BRANCH receives submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. Payment: “$50 per submission of poetry, $10/page of printed prose with a maximum payment of $100, and .$.05/word of online prose with a maximum payment of $100,” plus copies and a subscription. Note: “Book reviews are typically arranged by assignment, and we publish only poetry reviews. If you are interested in writing reviews, please query with a sample. Our pay rate for reviewing is highly competitive.”

  • August 15 is the deadline if you’d like the chance to have your flash narratives (up to 1000 words) read by guest editor Sara Lippmann for SMOKELONG QUARTERLY, which pays “$50/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.” (Also fyi: this SMOKELONG update, about openness to nonfiction.)

  • From SHENANDOAH: For the fall 2020 reading period, “we will be open for PROSE (short stories, essays, and novel excerpts) from August 15 to August 31, 2020. We will not be reading regular POETRY submissions in fall 2020. We have been reading a few issues ahead, and our poetry editor, Lesley Wheeler, is on sabbatical this fall.” Pays: “$100 per 1000 words of prose up to $500.”

  • STRANGE HORIZONS, “a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction,” is receiving submissions for a “Mexico Special” issue to be published at the end of November. Libia Brenda will guest-edit. “This issue will focus on speculative fiction by Indigenous people in Mexico, Mexican people, and people of Mexican origin. This includes people living in Mexico, in the borderlands/la frontera and Rio Grande Valley, and in diaspora, as well as displaced and undocumented peoples making home in these places. We welcome work from people who live at the intersections of multiple cultures and identities, including people born in Mexico living in other countries. We especially welcome work by writers who are Black, Indigenous, trans, queer, in disability community, and of marginalized genders and sexualities.” The magazine seeks “speculative fiction broadly defined, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, surrealism, weird, interstitial, etc. There is no theme; though we welcome those that are, stories do not have to be about or set in Mexico.” Payment: “Authors will be paid 0.10 USD per word for original fiction and $100 flat rate for reprints. Translators will be paid 0.08 USD per word in the source text.”

  • August 31 is also the deadline for CLAW & BLOSSOM’s upcoming issue on the theme “Rise.” Recall that this publication seeks “pieces that explore human striving with an awareness of the larger context. To that end, your work MUST contain some element of the natural world. The natural world need not be the main focus, but it should have a distinct and relevant narrative presence.” Pays: “$25 USD per acceptance upon publication via PayPal only.

  • Hosted by Jaded Ibis Press, SCARLET “is a bimonthly blog dedicated to publishing the work of artists whose pieces give voice to the complexities of our multiple identities.” Although submissions had been scheduled to close over the summer, “due to the current crisis, the editor has decided to keep Scarlet’s SUBMISSIONS OPEN year round.” Poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction are welcome. “Payment for submissions selected for publication on Scarlet is now $80.” (HT @Duotrope)

  • LILITH magazine “especially welcomes feminist fiction submissions from Black Jewish feminist writers and BIJOC writers of all gender identities this summer for our upcoming print issues. Publishing since 1976, Lilith has always been committed to diverse representation from Jews of Color, and we’re eager to expand this with more fiction from YOU. Specifics: All genres welcome as long as there’s a Jewish feminist connection, the story feels complete enough for standalone publication, and the word count is under 3,000. We pay $150 or more depending on length. Please mention SUMMER 2020 call in the title of your work.”

  • From JELLYFISH REVIEW: From mid-September until mid-October 2020, we will be running Just Like the River, another special issue exclusively for writers of colour.” Pays: $25 by PayPal. NB: “The deadline (loosely) is September 1, but we encourage submitting earlier than that.” Submissions should run under 1000 words: “We accept fiction, nonfiction, and many things that don’t fall neatly into either category. We don’t publish straight poetry, but do publish hybrid work and are open to experimentation.” [UPDATE: Payment is $50, per @nayasrai.]

  • THE SATURDAY EVENING POST magazine “continues to look for and publish great short stories by both emerging and established authors. In addition to publishing one short story in every print issue of the Post, we welcome submissions to our online fiction platform New Fiction Friday.” Pays: “For New Fiction Friday stories, we pay $25 for first exclusive online publication rights for six months; payment for stories selected for print will be negotiated separately.” NB: In a “Calls for Submissions” Facebook group, Managing Editor Andrew Hollandbeck recently wrote: “This summer, Post slush pile readers are particularly hoping for some good historical fiction. Also, considering the lag time, it’s a good idea to start submitting your (non-gory) Halloween stories.”

  • From JOYLAND: “The publishing industry has a long way to go in terms of diversity and championing Black writers. If you are a Black writer, we’d like to invite you to submit your short stories, creative nonfiction, and novel excerpts for us free of charge. We do not publish poetry.” Pays: $100/piece. “This offer has no expiration date.”

  • FOURTEEN POEMS “is a London-based poetry journal, publishing the most exciting LGBT+ poets.” Pays: “£25 for each poem published.” (via @Duotrope)

  • TEACHERS & WRITERS magazine is published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative “to provide resources and inspiration in support of our stated mission: teaching creative writing and educating the imagination. The magazine’s online format offers a wide and continually changing selection of lesson plans, articles, essays, and interviews tailored for those in the field of creative writing education. We publish both practical and theoretical work and look for writing that is vivid, original, concise, and geared toward a general audience.” Payment: “Our compensation for articles ranges from $50 to $350, payable upon publication. All submissions are on spec, and there is no kill fee.”

  • PARANOID TREE is a new monthly zine featuring “one micro piece of fiction, creative nonfiction, or prose poetry,” plus one full-page illustration on one sheet of paper. Pays: “All of the writers and artists we publish will be paid, starting at $50 for each piece of writing.” (via @Duotrope

  • Writer Yi Shun Lai's new project, READS & EATS, will publish a new or emerging under-represented writer within each monthly issue. Submissions should be 750 words or fewer, either fiction or nonfiction, related to food, and will pay $100 (Venmo or Paypal only). Complete details, including definitions of “new or emerging” and “under-represented,” within this announcement (you’ll need to scroll down).

  • Received via email newsletter: CRAFT, formerly fiction-focused, is now also open for creative nonfiction. “We’re reading CNF between 1,000 and 6,000 words, and flash CNF fewer than 1,000 words. As we have always done with our fiction, each published work of CNF will include an author’s note and an editorial introduction that each discuss craft and stylistics in the piece.” Pays: $100 for flash CNF; $200 for longer CNF, as specified within the guidelines.

REMINDER! These deadlined opportunities from last month’s newsletter remain open:


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 state/province/city-specific opportunities that are typically omitted from 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.

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

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 assistant 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.”

Share The Practicing Writer 2.0: A Newsletter from Erika Dreifus