The Practicing Writer 2.0: September 2020

Latest fee-free, paying opportunities—and more.

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

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.

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


  1. Editor’s Note: What’s New

  2. Success Stories

  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:

As always, I’m sending an issue that is packed with info for YOU, so I’ll keep the personal message brief.

In short: There continues to be a lot to worry about in our collective World, and I continue to be grateful for each and every blessing within my own environment, including developments in my own writing and “writing-adjacent” work.

You’ll routinely find news on those within the “Midweek Notes” on the Practicing Writing blog, but here are a few recent items I’d like to spotlight for those who may be interested:

  • My latest podcast appearance: an episode of “The Rabbi’s Husband,” talking with host Mark Gerson about the “Eshet Chayil” (Woman of Valor) text, which inspired my Pushcart-nominated poem “A Single Woman of Valor,” the penultimate poem in Birthright: Poems.

  • My latest virtual reading: hosted by Jerusalism, literally just yesterday, as part of a larger open-mic event.

  • Coming soon: I’ve just signed a contract to lead an online book club for American Jewish University. Join the group on September 23 to discuss Cassell’s The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Family’s Desperate Plea for Help. (I’ll post registration info on my Events page when it’s available.) Meantime, consider “meeting” the writer herself via this free author talk, happening on September 1.

And with that, let’s turn to the rest of the issue!

Wishing you all a stellar September,


I’m delighted to share the following communications:

Hi, Erika,

I hope you remain safe and well! Your emails are a special delight in these most difficult times, but I’m putting my time in quarantine to good use.

Prior to COVID, you mentioned a webzine I was unaware of and I submitted a short story that they published. Although a complete fiction, my tale was inspired by the memory of a Hebrew School teacher who made a big impression on me. I’m very grateful for the lead you provided.

Take good care!
Jane R. Snyder


Dear Erika,

Thank you for all your diligent work and effort. I'm pleased to say that I found your call for the Donn Goodwin Prize here and entered my poem, and “Birth River” is this year’s winner. Keep up the great work, and here’s to the success of your many and varied projects!

Best wishes,
Lee Nash

Editor’s note: 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.


Over on my website, I’ve refreshed my list of venues that publish flash nonfiction/micro-essays:

Please be forewarned: Since this is a niche topic, I’ve included there places that do charge fees and/or don’t pay for published work. But I’ve done my best to signal each publication’s policies up front.

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

    Submissions: September 1-14 (“or when we receive 300 entries per category”; there is also a tip-jar option). Prizes: “The first-place winners will be awarded $500.00 (writers who reside outside the United States must be able to receive payment via Paypal) and publication as well as a two-year membership sponsored by Duotrope (a $100 value).”  

    Deadline: September 7. Organized by No Contact (which was “founded by Columbia MFA writers, in a quarantined Morningside Heights apartment”), this competition seeks only “your finest prose (fiction/nonfiction) under 1200 words. (Sorry, poets—we’ll be hosting a dedicated poetry contest soon!) Prizes: “Winner receives $250, first-slot publication in Issue Thirteen, and an interview to be featured in The Artist’s Bubble. Two runners-up receive $50 and publication in Issue Thirteen.” NB: There’s no fee to enter this contest, but you’ll need a free Duotrope account to do so, as the organizers are using Duotrope’s new submissions platform.

    Deadline: September 14. Stays in this Swiss residency program “can be granted for individual projects or projects in pairs. For example: writer-translator, writer-other discipline, writer-writer, etc. This year, a percentage of the residences are set aside for projects related to nature, or Nature Writing.” NB: “Residents’ travel costs to and from their home address will be covered by the Foundation. Residents are granted a monthly allowance of CHF 1200. The Foundation provides breakfast and lunch for residents and the village has a small grocery shop.”

    Deadline: September 15. Open to “submissions of work that have been written (or published) within the last year. A variety of creative approaches and formats to writing on the visual arts are encouraged, and can include thematic essays, exhibition reviews, and scholarly essays.” Awards “one first place prize of $3,000 dollars, and two runners up, awarded $1,000 each.” Winning essay is published in the print journal Gulf Coast; runners-up have option of publication as GC Online Exclusives.” Judge: Franklin Sirmans.

    Deadline: September 15. This is a “semester-long residency, beginning in February of 2021, which provides a prose writer at any stage of his/her career an opportunity to work on a writing project, while also being involved in the Colby [College] literary community.” Duties include “teaching one class designed by the Resident and giving one reading during the semester; being available for office hours, working with selected seniors in the appropriate genre, and interacting with the broader Waterville [Maine] community (in consultation with the Program Director).” Provides honorarium, housing, and expense stipend. “The first Forese Writer-in-Residence will be in prose; writers in other genres may apply in fall of 2021 for a residency in February of 2022.” Note “qualifications,” which include “MFA or creative PhD in hand by September, 2020; two book-length works; some demonstrated experience of teaching at the undergraduate level.”

    Deadline: September 25. The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers “offers fifteen Fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers….Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Candidates for the Fellowship will need to work primarily at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building rather than at other divisions of the Library….A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of up to $75,000, the use of an office with a computer, and full access to the Library’s physical and electronic resources. Fellows work at the Center for the duration of the Fellowship term, which runs from September through May.”

    Deadline: October 1 (6:00pm EST); informational webinar will be offered for interested applicants on Thursday September 10th, 2020 at 11:00am EST, with the link to be provided on the Foundation’s website in early September. “Each year, an esteemed panel of scholars and arts professionals selects 18 individuals or teams from over 1,000 submissions from around the world. Winners are awarded residencies in a stunning, contemplative environment [Cassis, France]…. Fellowships span 6 to 11 weeks.” NB: “A stipend of USD 250 per week is provided, as is funding for basic transportation to and from Cassis for the Fellow for the residency. In the case of air travel, basic coach class booked in advance is covered.” This year, there is additional funding for parent artists.

    Deadline: October 1. “The Bergen International Literary Festival for Non-Fiction and Fiction is held in February every year in the Norwegian city of Bergen and attracts writers from every continent. We are looking for new, excellent writing and are pleased to announce the Bergen International Essay Competition open to everybody under the age of 30. Theme: My generation.” Prizes: “The winner will receive EUR 2 500. Three runners up each receive EUR 500. The winning essay and the runners up will be published both online and in a printed format.” A six-person jury is listed on the website.

    Deadline: October 1. This annual contest “is open to women writers over the age of 40 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S., who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction.” Awards a prize of $2,500 and publication for one poem. “In light of the current pandemic and in the interest of supporting women writers, we have waived the submission fee for the 2020 Dobler Award.” Judge: Jan Beatty.

    Deadline: October 2. “This year’s theme is ‘Life & Stories from the Texas Gulf Coast.’ All stories must reference Texas and the Gulf Coast in some meaningful way, shape or form.” First-place winner receives $1,000 and publication. Second- and third-place winners receive Bethune & Son store credit and publication. Open to U.S. residents only.

    Deadline: October 11. The Dream Foundry, whose mission “is to bolster and sustain the nascent careers of professionals working in the field of speculative literature,” welcomes contest submissions from “writers who are relatively new to paid or incoming-earning publication of speculative short fiction in English.” (Check the website for details on eligibility.) “The contest coordinators, Vajra Chandrasekera and William Ledbetter, will select ten finalists from all valid submissions received during that time. The judges will select winners for first, second, and third prize from the finalists.  This year's judge is Neil Clarke. This year, the prizes for contestants will be: 1st: $1000; 2nd: $500; 3rd: $200.”

    Deadline: October 15. “Professionals and freelancers are encouraged to write non-fiction inspirational and practical articles that describe their experience living, moving, and working abroad.” Scroll down the webpage linked above to arrive at this year’s guidelines. Prizes: $500 cash prize for the first place winner, $150 for the second place winner, $100 for the third place winner, and $50 for all finalists. “The Contest is open to professional and freelance writers from any location around the globe.”

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


  • NEWFOUND, a nonprofit publisher based in Austin, Texas, whose mission includes exploring “how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding,” re-opened journal submissions in mid-August. They’ll consider general submissions in fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, translation, and visual arts (plus book reviews). Pays: “The honorarium for publication is $25.” NB: They’re also seeking submissions on the theme of “Inner Spaces” until December 21.

  • NASHVILLE REVIEW is open for submissions of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and translation throughout September. Payment: “$25 per poem and $100 for prose and art pieces.” NB: “We cap the number of submissions to be considered at 750 per section,” so here, again, you may want to get your work in early.

  • Re-opening for submissions on September 1 (and closing at the end of October): BRICK, “an international literary journal published twice a year out of Toronto. With a focus on literary non-fiction—and a willingness to stray when our hearts are taken—the magazine prizes the personal voice and celebrates life, art, and the written word with the most invigorating and challenging essays, interviews, translations, memoirs, belles lettres, and unusual musings we can get our hands on.” 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.”

  • Also open again on September 1: NINTH LETTER. “We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work.” Pays: “$25 per printed page, upon publication, for accepted material, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears.”


  • THE BALTIMORE REVIEW will also re-open on September 1. “Payment for general submissions is Web exposure and a copy of the compilation in which the author's work appears. In addition, we are now able to provide contributors with a small payment for their work ($40 Amazon gift certificate or $40 through PayPal, if preferred). We hope to continue this as long as funding is available.”

  • Yet another journal re-opens for submissions on September 1: THE CINCINNATI REVIEW. Pays: $25/page for prose; $30/page of poetry.

  • Still another September 1 re-opening: THE ARKANSAS INTERNATIONAL, which welcomes “previously unpublished, unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, essays, comics, and works in translation.” NB: They charge a sub fee once they hit their Submittable cap, which is “usually…around the 12th or 13th of each month.” Payment: “will be reevaluated based on the budget of each issue,” but was most recently listed as “$20 a printed page (capped at $250) and in copies of the journal.”

  • UPSTREET also re-opens, for fiction and creative nonfiction on (you guessed it) September 1. Pays: on publication, “between $50 and $250 for short stories or essays. Each author will also receive one complimentary copy, and may purchase more copies at a reduced rate.”

  • Re-opening for submissions on September 8: ONE STORY, which seeks literary short fiction “between 3,000 and 8,000 words.” Pays: “$500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights.”

  • September 15 is the deadline to send work for the inaugural issue of THE PERIODICAL, FORLORN. “Theme: Artifacts of the forest. The woods are full of the strange leavings. Stone walls that hold the only clue to what landscapes of the past may have looked like. The foundations of buildings that have long since decayed. Rusted automobiles and, if you're nearer the coast, lobster traps and boats. We want stories about items like these. Where did they come from? Who left them there? What purpose did they serve?” They “will accept short-form fiction any way you want to write it. This can include poetry, flash fiction or short stories.” They’re interested in anything that’s “dark, creepy, weird and just a little off-kilter. We’re open to genre fiction, particularly anything related to horror, science-fiction, speculative fiction or weird fiction. But we’re also interested in anything that twists or subverts these genres in some unexpected way.” Pays: “flat $15 fee upon publication, plus a digital copy of the magazine.”​

  • Another September 15 deadline: “The NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER FOR PARENTS WITH DISABILITIES, a program of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University, is currently looking for parents with disabilities to contribute to a quarterly blog on the experiences and needs of parents with disabilities. Contributors will be paid $100 per accepted submission.” NB: “Because our program receives federal funding, we’re not allowed to talk about politics. Avoid writing posts that directly support or oppose political candidates, ballot questions or propositions, or government officials. Other than that, though, we’re fairly open. This time we're looking for essays or vlogs (video blogs) about the barriers parents with disabilities encounter.”

  • From KENYON REVIEW: “Our next submission period will open on September 15 and close on October 1, 2020….Please note that all submissions are considered for publication in either the Kenyon Review or KROnline. The two are aesthetically distinct spaces and, if accepted, your work will be published in one. We urge our submitters to read and become familiar with both. We are especially eager to discover and publish work by new voices from traditionally underserved communities.” Payment: “upon publication.” Note also policies (and $50 payment) for book reviews.

  • CHESTNUT REVIEW will close for winter-issue submissions on September 30 (and begin reading for spring-issue submissions immediately thereafter). The publication “appears four times per year online and once per year in print in our annual anthology. We are always interested in work that speaks to the season, even if it is in unusual and contradictory ways, but that is in no way a requirement….We accept work year round, but with an eye towards the following periods for each issue. Please submit seasonal-themed pieces in the appropriate period.” Pays: “$100 per piece + 1 copy of annual anthology (released in July).” Note: “Our limit on Submittable is 500 free submissions/month.”

  • September 30 is also the deadline for submissions for a CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL volume on “Making Me Time and Taking Care of Yourself.” Payment: $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100.

  • “AWP presents the best contemporary writing in its flagship magazine the WRITER’S CHRONICLE, as well as on our website through Online-Only Exclusives, short blog pieces on the Writer’s Notebook, and articles giving job advice in our Career Advice section. The Editors read submissions for the Writer’s Chronicle from February 1 through September 30 of each year. Submissions for the Writer’s Notebook and the Career Advice section are read throughout the year.” Payment: “We buy first serial rights and electronic rights for all manuscripts accepted for publication. We pay $18 per 100 words for accepted manuscripts. Regretfully, we do not pay kill fees. Authors are paid upon publication. We reserve the right to publish articles from the Writer’s Chronicle electronically on AWP’s website and the Chronicle App.”

  • PENLIGHT magazine “is an independent, ad-free publication dedicated to showcasing personal stories from people from all walks of life. We welcome personal essay submissions from writers of all levels of experience. Submissions must be full drafts (not pitches), be a minimum of 700 words and must not have been published elsewhere. We aim to publish 1–2 stories per month and currently only accept submissions in English. We pay $100 (CDN) per accepted story.” (Thanks to Sonia Weiser for the tip about this one.)

  • SYLVIA, a new online magazine based in the UK, is now open for submissions from around the world. “We are particularly looking for poetry, short stories and flash fiction. Any genre will be accepted, although we are looking to publish strong storytelling. For our first set of pieces, we would love to see work that can help our readers to make sense of the world right now.” Essays/narrative nonfiction also welcome. Payment: “All contributors will be paid at a rate of £1.75 per line for poetry or £0.25 per word for prose.”

REMINDER! If you didn’t catch them last month, you’ll find several still-open calls listed in the August issue, too.


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.

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 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.”