The Practicing Writer 2.0: July 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.

Please share this newsletter with your networks! If you’d like to share a particular competition or submission alert with others, PLEASE CREDIT THE PRACTICING WRITER for the find (preferably with a link back to this newsletter). Thanks for respecting your editor’s volunteer efforts.


  1. Editor’s Note

  2. Success Story

  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:

Can you believe that we’re halfway through 2021? (I can’t.)

Last month, I used this space to tell you this: “There’s a lot swirling in my mind right now. Maybe someday (maybe soon?), I’ll articulate it in a way that I can share. But this isn’t the time or place.” I can tell you now that there was a brief, shining moment this month when I thought that I was beginning to recover my equilibrium.

Well, that moment has passed.

These unspecific musings may be bewildering to you, and if so, I apologize. But I’m too heartsick about it all to say much more about what’s been happening in some of my communities—including writing/publishing communities. (Besides, Substack is AGAIN warning me that I am “near email length limit.”)

So for now, I’m focusing on positive strategies (and quiet, private outreach) to try to make things better. I’m immensely grateful to everyone who has been willing to hear me out with patience, an open mind, and a generous heart. And to everyone else who’s doing what they can to improve matters in their own ways.

In the meantime, I’m wishing for a kinder, better, wiser world—in “real life” and virtually—for us all.

And, of course, for a meaningful month engaged with our writing practices.



Thank you so much for your help. Inspired by your list of paying publications, I've submitted several essays. Although I write primarily for children, my essays are now in the Lilith blog (“Adar, Mussar, and Vaccines,” March 2021) and in the Kveller blog (“A Lifetime of Factory-Store Shopping Prepared Me to Make the Most of this Less-Than-Perfect Time,” April 2021). Thank you, Erika. Much appreciated.
Linda Elovitz Marshall

P.S. I hope you’ll check out one of my latest - and very timely - picture book biographies, THE POLIO PIONEER: DR JONAS SALK AND THE POLIO VACCINE (Knopf, 2020).

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.


Also last month, I pointed you to a book-promo resource that can help you find potential podcasts to pitch. So perhaps another recent discovery—Sue Campbell’s “How to Be a Great Podcast Guest: A Guide for Authors”—is an appropriate follow-up.

Fun fact: This guide appears on Jane Friedman’s website; Jane’s “Electric Speed” newsletter is what introduced me to last month’s featured resource, too.


    Deadline: July 4. “We first did a broadside contest way back in 2016 as an homage to 48th Street Press. It's well overdue we bring it back.” Submit a poem or prose piece “to be printed on a limited edition, numbered, & signed cardstock.” Prizes: Five winners will receive a $40 honorarium. “25 copies of each winning broadside will be printed. We ask that you sign and send 2 of them back to us in a pre-stamped return envelope for our archives and distribution. The rest are yours to do whatever. Hopefully, we see them wheat-pasted on a wall someday.”

    Deadline: July 10 (“23:00,” presumably UK time). “Open to all living British writers and international writers living, working, or studying in the UK, over the age of 18 years. This year’s theme is: ‘Together for a Fair Climate Future.’ We want to hear writers’ imaginative visions, creative ideas and practical steps for societal change, with pieces of writing that respond to the question: ‘How do we achieve meaningful social changes in the UK to tackle the climate crisis and develop a fairer society?’ Writing could include, but is not limited to, an article, a personal account, an essay, a short story, or a poem. Written entries will need to look at both climate change and fairness in society. We particularly invite suggestions for how to challenge existing structures and achieve wider behavioural, social, cultural and/or systems changes in a constructive and practical way. The writer of the winning piece of writing will receive a prize of £1,000 with £500 for second prize and £300 for third prize. Maximum length 2000 words. (Via Freelance Writing Jobs)

    Deadline: July 11 (8 pm US Eastern time) [UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 16]. “Tap into the emotional, academic, or a little bit of both, and let us know ‘what does Zionism mean to you?’.” Two categories (one for high school students or younger; the other for college-aged writers “and above,” with submissions running 500-1000 words [for this latter category, one $200 prize will be awarded]). Winning essays will also be published, with an introduction by Dr. Einat Wilf.

    Deadline: July 12. Open to college undergraduates worldwide. There will be “three awards of USD250.00 each” for the best critical essays on topics in Singapore literature. “The purpose of these awards is to encourage the teaching and study of Singapore literature at college level and the cultivation of general appreciation for the character and achievements of Singapore literature….The award-winning essays will be published on Singapore Unbound’s SP Blog and, possibly, in a professional journal. For the purpose of these awards, Singapore literature is defined as literature written in English from 1965 onwards by a Singaporean citizen, permanent resident, or anyone with a strong personal and literary association with Singapore. The author does not have to be residing in Singapore nor to have maintained their citizenship. The work(s) discussed may be in any of the literary genres, including but not limited to poetry, fiction, literary non-fiction, drama, and graphic novels. In future iterations of the awards, we hope to include Singapore literature written in other languages besides English.” Judge: Professor Koh Tai Ann.

    Deadline: July 15. “Categories: #1 Traditional Sonnet – Shakespearean or Petrarchan #2 Modern Sonnet.” See website for definitions/guidelines. “Enter only one poem in either Category #1 or #2, or one poem in each. The entries must be original and unpublished. Poets can only win or be noted in one category.” Prizes for both categories: “First Prize: $50. Second Prize: $35. Third Prize: $15. Three Honorable Mentions and three Special Merits per category, ranked. First, Second, and Third-Place sonnets in each category will be published (with poets’ permission) in the Spring, 2022 edition of THINK: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction, and Essays.” (Hat tip to for alerting me to the earlier-than-usual deadline this year.)

    Fee-free submissions for one day only: July 15 (see note below). “Texas Tech University Press and Iron Horse Literary Review are pleased to announce the Iron Horse Prize, awarded annually to a first book of collected prose. The author of the winning entry will receive $1000, and their collection will be published in the summer of 2022 by Texas Tech University Press. We are looking for emerging writers who have yet to publish collections of their own prose, either short fiction or nonfiction.” Judge: Katie Cortese. NB: On July 15, they will “accept a limited number of submissions free of charge to ensure the inclusion of as many authors as possible. If you can afford to pay the fee, we ask that you reserve the free slots for others who may not be able to submit otherwise.”

    Deadline: July 15. Two-week program at Tarleton University (Texas). Applications are currently being received for the September 2022 residency. Award include a $500 cash prize, two weeks’ lodging, free registration to Langdon Review weekend (where the writer is expected to present), and publication in Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas.

    Deadline: July 15 (“priority”). “The Revealer is partnering with Sacred Writes, a Henry R. Luce-grant funded initiative at Northeastern University, to fund TWO writing fellowships for scholars of religion to write for the Revealer on the topic(s) of their choosing. Each fellow will receive a $2,000 stipend….Applicants must have training in religious studies, theology, biblical studies, or a related field. This partnership is open to faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students….Each fellow will produce three articles on topics related to religion in the scholars’ areas of expertise….These three pieces may take the form of research essays, opinion pieces, or book/film/tv reviews.”

    Deadline: July 16. Open to un-agented/un-contracted writers 18 years or older, living in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, who consider themselves to be “from a working class background.” Prize includes £200, a mentoring session with judge and author Paul Mendez, “access to a number of W&A writing and publishing events,” a year’s membership in The Society of Authors, and more. 

    Deadline: July 30. “Founded in 2020 in partnership with Red Hen Press and the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, the Ann Petry Award seeks to publish prose literature by Black authors. The Ann Petry Award is for a work of previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a minimum of 150 pages, by a Black writer. The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual submission process, with primary review by the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, who will winnow the submissions to a list of finalists for the final judge. The final judge for 2021 will be Maurice Carlos Ruffin. The Ann Petry Award will consist of $3000, publication of the awarded manuscript by Red Hen Press, and an opportunity to be in residence for up to four weeks at The Community Library’s Ernest and Mary Hemingway House in Ketchum, Idaho. In addition, the opening chapter or story of the awarded manuscript will be published in the Peauxdunque Review.” NB: “Authors who have had a full-length work published by Red Hen Press, or a full-length work currently under consideration by Red Hen Press” are not eligible to enter this competition.

    Deadline: July 31. Open for books published 2017-2020 that illuminate “the heritage of North America’s mid-continental prairies, whether of the tall-grass, mid-grass, or short-grass regions. Authors’ first books receive extra consideration. Books may be in any genre, and topics may include but are not limited to social or natural history; prairie culture of the past or in-the-making; and interactions between society and ecology. From its founding, Prairie Heritage Institute, Inc. has had a special focus on the African-American settlements of the Flint Hills of Kansas; therefore, books exploring non-European prairie heritage are especially welcome. Also encouraged are books that confront the question of prairie ways of life-how denizens of the prairie, human and non-human, have lived or can live together without the destruction and exterminations that have characterized the past. The Prairie Heritage Book Award comes with a cash prize of $1,000.00 and a sponsored book-signing.”

    Deadline: July 31. Open to women 18 years of age and older, who may submit “previously unpublished nonfiction essays of 1,200 words or less.” Essays “should focus on the theme of identity and belonging. Oppressive systems and structures seek to prevent us from living into the complexities of our identities and lived experiences. How do you know when you are showing up as your full self and experiencing true belonging? Prizes: “$300 for first place, $200 second, and $100 third. The winning essay will be published in the RCWMS newsletter, South of the Garden, in September or December 2021.”

    Deadline: August 1. For a winter-session residency (November 1-May 1). “The Creative Writing Fellowship fully covers all residency fees for a residency of up to one month in length. We welcome applications from writers at any stage of their career.”

    Deadline: August 15. “The nineteenth annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for the winning book-length manuscript by a poet residing in the following states: DE, MD, ME (a new addition this year), NC, NJ, NY, PA,VA, WVA, and District of Columbia, will consist of $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties).” Final judge: Hayden Saunier. NB: “The author of the winning manuscript also agrees to provide a color head-shot photograph, with photographer’s credit, a dedication page for the interior of the book, and an acknowledgement page of poems previously published, and in which publications and/or websites they appeared. The winner agrees to travel to Delaware at the winner’s expense for awarding of the prize. Dogfish Head will provide the winner two nights lodging at the Dogfish Inn in the beach resort town of Lewes, Delaware.” No simultaneous submissions.

    Deadline: August 15. “This year's topic is the evil twin or evil twins.” Judge: Damian Dressick. Prizes: “The first prize winner will receive $50, second prize $25, and third prize $15. There will also be three honorable mentions, which will not receive cash prizes but will be published and read aloud with the other winners. All six winning stories will be edited by a professional editor. The authors of all six winning entries will also receive a one-year complimentary membership in Ligonier Valley Writers. If possible, winning entries will be read at various venues during the Halloween season of 2021. Winning writers will be invited to read their stories at those locations. Winning entries will also be published on here.”

REMINDER: Some opportunities listed in last month’s newsletter remain open.


  • New print quarterly: RIVANNA REVIEW. “The content is general interest, for young adults to senior citizens. Half is short fiction, stories and sketches. The rest is essays and book reviews.” Pays: “on publication, $100 per story or essay.” 

  • TINDERBOX EDITIONS will be open for fee-free submissions (“Prose & Prose-like Manuscripts”) from July 1-July 7. Note that fee-free submissions may close early if they reach a cap of 300 submissions. Note also that “the fee-free option is meant for those who cannot afford to pay the reading fee.”

  • VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW receives “unsolicited fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions July 1-31 through our Submittable portal.” Pay rates are detailed in the guidelines. 

  • The next reading period for 34 ORCHARD, “a literary journal that takes you dark places” and considers poetry and short fiction, will run from July 1 to July 31. Payment: “$50 on signing of the contract, usually shortly after acceptance,” via Paypal or paper check.

  • Re-opening for submissions on [UPDATE: JULY 15]: CONSEQUENCE FORUM, “an independent, non-profit organization that publishes two monthly features online (in addition to other online content) and a print journal in the fall and the spring. We are interested in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, reviews, visual art, and translations focused on the human consequences and realities of war and geopolitical violence.” Pays: $40-$80 as detailed on the website.

  • Also re-opening for submissions on July 1: [UPDATE: NOW FINDING CONFLICTING INFO ON WEBSITE/SUBMITTABLE—OPENING MAY NOT BE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1] THE ARKANSAS INTERNATIONAL. “We welcome previously unpublished, unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, essays, comics, and works in translation….Until we reach our monthly cap with Submittable, there will be no fee to submit.” Pays: “Payment will be reevaluated based on the budget of each issue. For issue eleven, contributors will be paid $20 a printed page (capped at $250) and in copies of the journal.”

  • “In celebration of Pride Month, THE MAINE REVIEW is offering free submissions” until July 4, “or until we reach our allowed free submission maximum” for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.” Pays: $25/published poem and, for prose, “$25 honorarium per flash (1,000 words or fewer) and a $50 honorarium for work 1,001 words or more.”

  • VESPER, a “literary zine born to delve deep into the many different aspects of the mystery that is night,” is receiving submissions for VESPER I until July 5. “This summer, Vesper I will focus its gaze on the night sky….Vesper I will gather short radiant pieces about or inspired by it: naked-eye visible objects such as constellations, individual stars or planets, stargazing, cyclical & linear time reflected on the heavens, mythology, mortality.” They seek “poetic prose” up to 1500 words or poetry. Payment: “€40/piece and a complimentary copy of the zine.”

  • Closing July 6: submissions for The Lilac Issue of FAIRY TALE REVIEW (Vol. 18, 2022). “The Lilac Issue is themed around sleep and dreams: the forgotten language of fairy tales.” Payment: “For the first time, we will offer a fixed payment of $50 to each contributor upon publication. Contributors also receive two (2) issues of The Lilac Issue. We welcome submissions directly from authors or agents.”

  • Until July 9, Claire Wade is receiving “article pitches by disabled and chronically ill authors, editors & agents for The Disability Issue of @thebookseller. This is our chance to celebrate those already working within the industry and address the issues that have kept many talented writers from finding their place within the publishing industry. Commissioned articles will be paid £120/500 words. If you have an idea, send me a 50 word pitch, plus a short bio and a list of any work you’ve had published.” NB: International pitches are fine, but keep in mind that “the magazine is aimed at an audience of UK traditional publishing.” (Found this one via Opportunities of the Week.)

  • From THIRTY WEST PUBLISHING HOUSE: “It's been a while, but Elevator Stories is back in action. For Level 3, we are going to focus on Pride. June is a celebratory month for many folks. How do you feel pride in yourself, your sexuality, race, gender, and other factors that make you, you? No matter what you choose, we're ready to read.” Note information about audio recordings. Pays: $20 (via Venmo or Paypal). Deadline: July 11.

  • GORDON SQUARE REVIEWwill reopen for general submissions from writers of all geographic locations on July 15, 2021 and will remain open through October 1, 2021. Writers accepted for publication receive $25 per prose piece and $10 per poem.”

  • Receiving submissions until July 15: JAGGERY, “a DesiLit arts and literature journal” which “connects South Asian diasporic writers and homeland writers; we also welcome non-South Asians with a deep and thoughtful connection to South Asian countries.” Note: “By South Asia we mean Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.” Pays: “$100 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction/poetry/art/reviews.” 

  • Also open until July 15, WRITER SHED PRESS, which seeks “submissions of short prose and poetry to be considered for Writer Shed Stories, Vol 3, a paperback and ebook journal. We are looking for stories that leave lasting impressions, and in 2021 we are considering fiction, creative nonfiction, personal essays, and poetry that is directly or loosely linked to the theme of SECOND THOUGHTS. All prose should be no more than 2000 words.” Pays: “Payments of $20 will be offered to writers whose work is selected for publication.” NB: Pays only through Venmo.

  • Until July 16, CATAPULT magazine is receiving “short stories and translated fiction. We pay for all pieces that we publish, a minimum of $200. We publish pieces that are anywhere from 500 to 4000 words long. We are particularly interested in flash fiction (about 1000 words or less).”

  • Until July 20, RICOCHET EDITIONS invites fee-free manuscript submissions (from “self-identifying POC and Indigenous writers and writers facing financial hardship”) that “interrogate how memories are recorded and how the past is remembered. Which voices are preserved and which are silenced? What do those silences sound like? How has history splintered into fragments? We are looking for purposeful experimentation with language and form that challenges or plays with archives—whether textual or visual, contemporary or historical, personal or cultural. Send us your texts that merge genres and languages, that draw on found forms, that are collaboratively or collectively authored, that collage, fragment, and blend mediums to expand beyond the limits of the book form. We see archives as bodies of knowledge and bodies as living archives, and we look for work that explores this tension.” Payment: “$250 and 50 copies of the perfect-bound book with ISBN.”

  • Also until July 20, SOFT SKULL PRESS “is accepting unagented submissions of complete manuscripts. We are primarily seeking and strongly encouraging submissions from BIPOC writers and underrepresented voices of any race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability….We publish work of adult literary Fiction, Non-fiction, poetry, and hybrid projects.”

  • “To draw attention to climate change and its catastrophic consequences, SINGAPORE UNBOUND’S SP Blog is devoting the month of October 2021 to the publication of literary works that speak powerfully to the theme. We seek poetry, fiction, and essays that imaginatively explore the global crisis in local terms. We are especially interested in less well-known stories located in Asia. In accordance with our mission, we welcome submissions by authors of Asian heritage residing anywhere around the world.” Deadline: July 31. Payment: “We pay USD50 for a short story or essay and USD25 for a poem.” (Be sure to scroll down the page to locate information on this opportunity.)

  • Submissions received by July 31 at Canada-based ARC POETRY MAGAZINE will be considered for the Winter issue. Payment: “ARC pays for poetry at the rate of $50 per page,” on publication, with one copy. Additional information regarding prose features is available on the website.

  • UK-based THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE is receiving submissions until July 31. Although open to international submissions, they seek fiction and poetry from “refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only. We accept non-fiction, reviews, and interview submissions by anyone as long as the subject matter sheds light on the refugee and immigrant life.” Pays: “£100 per published author in the print issue, and £50 per published author in the online issue. Sadly, due to legal constraints from the Home Office, we cannot offer payment to people who are seeking asylum; however, accepted authors who are seeking asylum will receive a £100/£50 online gift card (you choose which one, and we'll try to get it for you). The authors we publish in print will also receive one complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.”

  • Also closing July 31: submissions for SHORT FICTION, which publishes “one story per month as our Featured piece. We will also periodically seek to publish one story in a new section - ‘Introducing’ - which will be a showcase for excellent new writers; that is, writers for whom this is their first published piece.” Pays: “2p (£0.02) per word, to the nearest 100 words, with a minimum of £30 and maximum £100, paid via PayPal. (For those without a PayPal account, we can work out an alternative method of payment.)” NB: “We accept submissions from the UK, Europe, the Commonwealth and every other country except for the United States of America. We are sorry to exclude the excellent work of our US friends, but in order to manage the volume of submissions, we’ve had to close this door.”

  • 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.

REMEMBER: Some outlets listed in 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/CUNY, 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.”