The Practicing Writer 2.0: March 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 writing 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 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


Thank you to everyone who congratulated me/the newsletter on our recent “birthday” (we’re now in Year 18 of publication).

And since some have asked—I’d *love* any of the following “gifts”:

  • recommending this newsletter to others;

  • reading my books and then (if you like them!) writing a brief review on that site where algorithms matter so much (link for Quiet Americans: Stories; link for Birthright: Poems); and/or

  • doing whatever you can, however you can, to make our common literary community a better place.

With all best wishes for all of you—and your writing practices,


I wanted to thank you for including the call for work from Channel magazine in Ireland. I submitted an essay about the ways that the pandemic has influenced touch, aging, love, and loss in my life, and it was just published today!

This year, I am trying to make a go of it as a full-time writer/editor, and what’s most difficult (as you know) is to find outlets that pay for work beyond social media exposure and a contributor’s copy. I so appreciate that you share information on markets that pay. This ended up being my first international publication and (other than an essay I published in True Story) my best-paying piece. Thank you again for sharing these opportunities!

All the best,
Gabriela Denise Frank

And from Jacqueline Jules, who wrote to tell me that her new poetry collection Manna in the Morning (for which I contributed a “blurb”), has been published:

Wishing you all the best in your life and your writing. You are an inspiration to me. I enjoy your Practicing Writer Newsletter very much. And I must admit that I submitted to Kelsay Books after purchasing your book, Birthright, and being impressed. That means you also played a part in the publication of Manna in the Morning. Thank you so very much.

All the best,
Jackie Jules

REMINDER: I 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.


The Washington Post’s Book Club newsletter is modestly subtitled, “Reviews and recommendations from critic Ron Charles.” If you’re already acquainted with Ron Charles, you know how witty and well-informed he is on all matters literary. But if you’ve yet to encounter him, check out one recent issue of his Friday newsletter.

Among other items, you’ll discover a report on a new literary award that you’ll find mentioned again when you scroll down this issue.

Ron’s is one of the newsletters that I most look forward to reading! Subscribe here.


    Opens: March 1 (deadline: May 3, 2021). Honors “the legacy of Missouri-born author Maya Angelou by celebrating contemporary authors whose work has demonstrated a commitment to social justice in America and/or the world. The Angelou Book Award is alternatively presented each year for poetry and fiction.” (This year: poetry.) Prize details: “Each year, one author will win $10,000, conduct a reading tour of Missouri colleges, universities and libraries, and be recognized in a ceremony sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the event COVID-19 protocols are still in place by November 2021, the tour will be conducted virtually.” Note that several criteria apply, including U.S. citizenship and residency and publication of “at least two books with well-regarded publishers, at least one of which was published in the last five years.”

    Deadline: March 5. “For very short fiction or prose poetry under 200 words long.” Prizes: “1st Place: $250, 2nd Place $100, 3rd Place $50. All submissions are considered for publication in Coastal Shelf (which has a payment of $30 currently).” NB: You may submit one entry for no fee; fees apply for multiple entries.

    Deadline: March 5. “For ‘FUnny and POignant’ poems under 60 lines. We want witty, we want dark humor, we want to look at things in a new way or learn a fact that fits perfectly into a well-told-tale. We aren’t looking for linguistic puzzles, but we’re also not looking for Ogden Nash—apologies to Nashites.” Prizes: “1st Place: $250, 2nd Place $100, 3rd Place $50. All submissions are considered for publication in Coastal Shelf (which has a payment of $30 currently).” NB: You may submit one entry for no fee; fees apply for multiple entries.

    Deadline: March 7. Awards £10,000. “The award accepts entries by writers of any nationality writing in English.” Check guidelines for additional eligibility and other information.

    Deadline: March 15 (9 a.m. GMT). Awards £15,000 to the winner, £600 to four (4) shortlisted stories. Open to British nationals and UK residents, aged 18 years or over on the submission deadline, “who have a prior record of publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom.” Check the website for further info. 

    Deadline: March 15. “Awards £3,000 to the best proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) by a writer resident in the UK & Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. In addition to the £3,000 prize the winner has the opportunity to spend up to three months in residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, to work on their book. The book will then be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.” As always, be sure to check detailed terms/guidelines.  

    Deadline: March 15. Supports “work by academics, independent scholars and writers working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830.” Award supports “two months of research and two months of writing. The stipend is $5,000 per month for a total of $20,000, plus housing and university privileges. The research is conducted at the John Carter Brown Library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The two-month writing period of the fellowship will be at the Starr Center at Washington College in Chestertown [Maryland] during the summer following the research term.” 

    Deadline: March 15. Check the guidelines for eligibility. Scholarships cover conference tuition; fellowships cover tuition, room, and board.

    Deadline: March 15. “Annual grant of $2,000 for an emerging writer in the LGBTQIA+ community.” Note: “An unpublished writer is preferred, however publication of not more than ten pieces of short fiction and/or up to two self-published or traditionally published books will not disqualify an applicant.”

    Deadline: March 15. Program “seeks to create connection and conversation across the Great Plains by cultivating opportunities for artists/artist teams who currently live in a place that is ecologically considered prairie (← click the link to see a general map of this area). However, we also have one dedicated residency period for an artist/artist team outside of the prairie ecoregion, treated as an ‘ecoregion exchange’.” Residency award includes 10 nights of lodging during the residency period, a $500 stipend, and other items detailed on the website.

    Deadline: March 17. “North Dakota State University Press seeks poetry submissions of any style for our annual Poetry of the Plains and Prairies letterpress chapbook publication. While authors may call any place home, their submissions must deftly capture the feeling of, as well as the reality of, living on the plains and prairies.” No simultaneous submissions. Award confers “our standard university press publishing contract with royalties, ten free copies, and an author discount on purchases of additional copies. The author(s) must agree to give a public reading at a time and place in North Dakota, convenient to NDSU Press and the author, the day of, or soon after, publication.”

    Deadline: March 31. This Brown University center “invites artists, media makers, and writers whose work focuses on race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity in the United States to apply to be a Practitioner Fellow for the Spring 2022 academic semester.” Confers a $10,000 stipend for a semester-long fellowship; fellows have access to up to $1,500 each in research/project funds. NB: “This program is a virtual Spring semester fellowship. The terms of the program may be subject to change.”

    Deadline: March 31. Annual prize from the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature “honors an individual who, like Paul Engle, represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts….The award seeks to recognize a writer, like Engle, who makes an impact on his or her community and the world at large through efforts beyond the page. It also seeks to raise awareness about Engle and his works. As of 2020, the winner receives a $15,000 cash award and a one-of-a-kind work of art.” (Per the Poets & Writers listing for this opportunity, self-nominations are permitted.)

    Deadline: March 31. From America (“the Jesuit Review”): “given in honor of William T. Foley, M.D. Each entrant is asked to submit one poem of 45 lines or fewer.” Awards $1,000 and publication. No simultaneous submissions.

    Deadline: March 31. For this year’s award, “writers of novels, novellas, short stories, flash fiction, plays and screenplays whose work engages with one or more of the following broad topical areas are welcome to apply: religion (which includes spirituality and ultimate questions of human existence), the arts, politics, economics, sports and/or public affairs on the national or international level.” About the prize: “Winners of the Hunt Prize will be awarded a $20,000 monetary reward and will be published as a cover story in America magazine.” 

    Deadline: March 31. Open for nonfiction entries, in “the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.” Among eligibility criteria: “Candidates must be first-generation residents of their country. ‘First-generation’ can refer either to people born in another country who relocated, or to residents of a country whose parents were born elsewhere….Nonfiction candidates must not have previously published a book of nonfiction with a US publishing house.” Prize includes “a $10,000 advance and publication by Restless Books.”

    Deadline: March 31. This four-month part-time position, “either September-December 2021 or January-April 2022,” confers $20,000 CAD. (ED note: I inquired via email and received confirmation that eligibility is not limited to Canadians.)

    Deadline: March 31. “ is pleased to announce the inaugural Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American high school and college students, and to foster discussion and community around such work. Submissions may be in any literary genre including fiction, poetry, personal essays or other creative non-fiction….Submissions must be from writers of Taiwanese heritage (or writers with other significant connection to Taiwan), or have subject matter otherwise relevant to the Taiwanese or Taiwanese American experience.” Prizes: “A total of $1500 will be awarded to the winners,” plus publication and a mentoring session. Judges: Shawna Yang Ryan and Charles Yu. (Discovered this one via Ron Charles’s aforementioned newsletter.)

    Deadline: April 1. “Awarded for the best piece of writing on the theme of the Alpine Fellowship 2021 - Untamed: On Wilderness and Civilization. The winner receives a £10,000 cash prize and is presented with the award by the poet John Burnside. A £3,000 cash prize will go to the second place, and £2,000 to the third place runner up. The winner and two runners up are invited to attend the Fjällnäs [Sweden] symposium.” Eligibility: “Open to all nationalities and to anyone aged 18 and above.” “Submissions can be prose, poetry, non-academic essays, but must be standalone and cannot be extracts from a larger piece.”

    Deadline: April 1. From September 1- December 1, “the writing fellow will reside in a spacious private apartment inside Carson McCullers’s childhood home, the Smith-McCullers House. The fellow is provided with a stipend of $5,000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to take an active role in the community and to meet informally with students and local residents interested in writing. The fellow will work with the McCullers Center director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency.”

    Deadline: April 1. “Now in its 20th year, this contest seeks today's best humor poems….Submit published or unpublished work. $3,500 in prizes.”

REMINDER! Several opportunities listed in last month’s newsletter remain open for entries/applications.


  • Open for submissions (briefly!) from March 1-3 (within ET): ENCHANTED CONVERSATION, where the 2021 theme is “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Consult the detailed guidelines for more information on their interest in “new fairy tales” and poetry (which must connect with the theme) and essays (which don’t necessarily have to be theme-focused). Pays: $50 (Paypal only).

  • March is a fee-free submissions month for SPLIT LIP. Pays: “(via PayPal) $50 per author for poems, memoirs, flash, fiction, and art, and $25 for interviews/reviews for our web issues. Payment for print is $5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2 contributor copies and a 1-year subscription.” NB: “Sometimes we have to shut free subs early….And hey - if the fees are a burden, please reach out to us!”

  • March is an open-submissions month for full-length poetry manuscripts at UK-based VERVE POETRY PRESS. Pays: royalties.

  • Throughout March, YELLOW ARROW JOURNAL is open for submissions of creative nonfiction and poetry, by authors that identify as women, for an issue on the theme of “Renascence.” Pays: $10 (via Paypal), plus a PDF copy.

  • INTO THE VOID, which is “dedicated to providing a platform for world-class fiction, flash, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art from people of all kinds all over the world,” is open for subs until March 7. NB: “Until we reach our Submittable-allotted monthly free submissions limit, there is no fee to submit, but free submissions fill up quickly.” Pays: (via Paypal only) “$10 per poem, flash fiction or visual art piece, and $20 per long-form prose piece; plus a contributor copy and one-year online subscription.”

  • MSLEXIA, “the magazine for women who write,” is open for themed poetry and prose submissions until March 8. “For Issue 90 we’re looking or pieces about artists and their subjects, about seeing and being seen, about paint, pencil and film.” Payment: “usually” £25.

  • March 14 is the deadline for an UNBOUND EDITION PRESS anthology of new American writing (editor: Peter Campion). “This collection will not be simply an anthology of experimental writing; it will be also an experimental anthology.” They’re open “to all genres, cross-genres and forms.” Payment: $20 per page, poem or cross-genre piece), plus a copy. Contributors will also “be included in various community readings.”

  • Canada-based HUNGRY ZINE, “centering radical food stories, art and culture,” is open for submissions until March 15. “With our first and pilot issue, we honour everyday food knowledge. We are asking for submissions on the theme of home cooking.” Poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and visual art and photography. Pays: $50 (presumably in Canadian dollars). (Discovered this one via @Duotrope.)

  • Open for poetry submissions through March 15: BRACKEN, which considers “any style of poetry, although we confess our bias toward the lyrical. We look for natural-world, and especially arboreal, elements in the poems we receive.” Pays: $30/poem.

  • Opening for subs March 15: OUTLOOK SPRINGS, “a literary journal from another dimension. It is devoted to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction tinged with the strange.” Payment: $10 per poem, $10 per flash piece (under 1,000 words), $25 for short fiction and essays (over 1,000 words). Payment via PayPal or Venmo.”

  • Re-opening for submissions on March 15: THE JOURNAL OF COMPRESSED CREATIVE ARTS, which accepts “fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way.” Pays: $50.

  • Submissions to the 21st CENTURY ESSAYS SERIES at Mad Creek Books, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press, are open annually from March 15 to April 15.

  • Canada-based CARTE BLANCHE is open for submissions of comics, nonfiction, photography, poetry, and translations for Issue 41 until March 18. “Our theme for Issue 41 is resilience.” Pays: “a modest honorarium.”

  • Closing March 31: MOJO, the online literary journal of Wichita State University. Accepts fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. “All selected work is considered for the annual edition of Mikrokosmos—our print journal.” Pays: “$15 USD flat rate….All payment is subject to any budget alterations that occur throughout the year. We prefer to issue payment through mailed checks, but we can arrange other options if a check does not work for you. You will need to submit a completed W-9 or W-8BEN in order to receive payment.”

  • At UK-based, poetry-focused RIALTO, the window “is open for submissions for Rialto 96, to be edited by Degna Stone.” Check the website for more information about the editor’s interests. Deadline appears to be March 31. Pays: “£20 per poem on publication.”

  • Also until March 31, ROULETTE, “a queer lit mag with a focus on genre pieces, with each issue exploring a different genre,” seeks fiction, poetry, and art for an issue focused on Fantasy. “We aim to be a sanctuary for queer folks. Anyone who self-identifies as falling under the vast QUILTBAG spectrum is welcome to submit their work, whether it features queer characters or not.” Pays: “variable—$105 is divided equally between all contributors, with a $15 minimum.”

  • Ireland-based SOUTHWORD remains open for short-story submissions through the end of March. Payment: “Authors are paid €250 per story published in Southword. If the writer lives outside of Ireland, they will be paid by PayPal.”

  • GORDON SQUARE REVIEW remains open for submissions until April 1. Pays: “Writers accepted for publication receive $25 per prose piece and $10 per poem.”

  • Another April 1 deadline: The HERSTORIES PROJECT, “a writing and publishing community for Gen-X women at midlife,” invites essay submissions for an anthology that will address the question, “What has the pandemic been like for you?”. Pays: $50.

  • Also open until April 1: THE /TƐMZ/ REVIEW, “a literary journal based in London, Ontario that publishes fiction, poetry, and reviews.” Pays: $20/piece of prose or batch of poems. (Thanks for the lead, Arc Poetry Magazine newsletter.)

  • POETRY magazine’s current Guest Editor, Ashley M. Jones, is “hoping to share poems that reflect the full landscape of people creating vital poetry—that means poems that are formal, poems that are not formal, audio-based poems that exist in voice before page, multi-discipline poems or collaborative work that exists in body before page, poems written in languages that are not English, poems that stem from academia and poems that don’t.” Pays: “For text poems, we pay $10/line with a minimum honorarium of $300 per poem. For visual poems, audio poems, and video poems, we pay $300 per poem. If a piece is published in multiple formats, such as print and video, we pay for each format.”

  • CLASH BOOKS looks for “strong, fresh voices & POVs in any genre. Fiction, nonfiction, & poetry. Especially looking for unique voices of female identifying, LGBTQ & POC from all over the world. CLASH Books is about global perspectives, contrasts, & juxtapositions.” ED note: I discovered Clash Books through this spotlight in Poets & Writers magazine; following up directly with the press, I confirmed that they pay royalties to their authors (a 50/50 split).

  • BETTER THAN STARBUCKS considers full-length poetry and fiction manuscripts. Pays: royalties (via Paypal).

  • 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: 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.

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

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.”