Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3 New Literary Agents Seeking Clients NOW

Here are three new literary agents seeking clients. Ed Maxwell (Sanford J. Greenburger Associates) is seeking expert and narrative nonfiction authors, novelists and graphic novelists, and children’s book authors and illustrators. Aimee Ashcraft (Brower Literary) is interested in literary and upmarket fiction, historical and women’s fiction, and young adult fiction (all genres). Shana Kelly (Einstein Literary) is looking for novels with great writing and surprising plots; her favorite books fall between commercial and literary. She has a soft spot for well written thrillers and psychological suspense.

Make sure you go to the agency website before you submit! It is always advisable to find out as much as you can about agencies before submitting your work to them.

Note: You can find a list of dozens of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients


About Ed: Associate agent Ed Maxwell joined Greenburger Associates in 2011. Previously, he interned in various political offices on Capitol Hill and in New York. Ed graduated from New York University with a degree in history. Starting as the assistant to Faith Hamlin, he distinguished himself as a close reader with an eclectic range. In addition to agenting on his own, he continues to co-agent certain titles and authors while assisting Faith in managing her list.

What he is seeking: Ed is seeking expert and narrative nonfiction authors, novelists and graphic novelists, and children’s book authors and illustrators. His aim as a literary agent is to help authors grow their intellectual properties into compelling books. He is especially interested in working with authors who may publish across different genres and formats—scholarly and trade—over the course of their careers. Ed believes in popular media as a living cultural record and hopes to connect with authors of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and voices.

How to submit
: Please email emaxwell [@] sjga.com with your submission under the subject line “QUERY: [Project Title].” Include a query letter in the body of the email and attach a proposal or a sample from your project (40 pages maximum).


Aimee Ashcraft of Brower Literary

About Aimee: Aimee has always loved books. She loved them so much that as a child, she was often caught sneakily reading Roald Dahl and Harry Potter under her desk at school. As an adult, she’s thankfully managed to make reading part of her job and is busy seeking out novels that feature engrossing worlds as well as compelling and complex female characters. She loves stories that are told from an original point of view and are as addictive as a good Netflix binge. After earning her BA from Transylvania University, Aimee moved to New York and received her Master’s from NYU. She is based in New York City and is thrilled to be a part of Brower Literary and Management.

What she is seeking: Aimee is specifically interested in literary and upmarket fiction, historical and women’s fiction, and young adult fiction (all genres).

How to submit: Queries should be emailed to aimee@browerliterary.com with the subject line: QUERY [Manuscript/Project Title] and include a query letter, full synopsis, and the first chapter pasted directly in the e-mail.


Shana Kelly of Einstein Literary

About Shana: Shana started her publishing career in the literary department of the William Morris Agency, where she worked for ten years. She began in foreign rights in the New York office and later worked out of the London office for two years. Shana was the signing agent for many successful authors, including New York Times bestseller Curtis Sittenfeld, author of PREP and ELIGIBLE. For the past eight years, Shana has worked as a freelance editor and publishing consultant.

What she is seeking: Shana is looking for novels with great writing and surprising plots; her favorite books fall between commercial and literary. She has a soft spot for well written thrillers and psychological suspense.

How to submit: Please submit a query letter and the first ten double-spaced pages of your manuscript in the body of the e-mail (no attachments) to submissions@einsteinliterary.com. Please put Shana’s name in the subject line of your e-mail.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Free Speech vs Free Market

When Chicago Review of Books editor Adam Morgan made the decision that he would refuse to review any Simon & Schuster titles for 2017, he was kicking the proverbial hornet's nest. What resulted was a string of abuse, profanity, and even death threats. 

Why on earth should the rank and file care what goes on in the literary world? Especially given the fact that the vast majority of the people hurling expletives at Morgan had never read - or even heard of - his publication.

The answer is that a Simon & Schuster imprint, Threshold,  has offered a $250,000 advance to Milo Yiannopoulos, a notorious right-wing "troll" and editor of Breitbart Tech, for his book, Dangerous. Yiannopoulos has made his fame with outrageous racist, misogynist statements that are so beyond the pale that young white men (his main audience) eventually decided that he was "cool." (Not so Twitter, which banned Yiannopoulos for hate speech after his racist tirade against Ghostbusters actress, Leslie Jones.)

In his refusal to review Dangerous, and in his boycott of S&S titles, Morgan incurred the wrath of "alt-right" (aka white supremacist) Yiannopoulos fans who, among other things, accused Morgan of denying free speech. But Morgan claims that refusing to review a book has nothing to do with free speech, because Yiannopoulos has not been in any way prevented from expressing his views. Nor has S&S been prevented from publishing their books. Morgan is simply refusing to promote them.

What is Freedom of Speech?

Interestingly, many people don't know what freedom of speech actually means. Most assume that it is the right to say whatever they please. Actually, the First Amendment only guarantees that federal laws (and, by extension, state laws) will not be passed inhibiting the expression of individuals or the press.

This is the amendment in full:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
As you can see, the statement is fairly open-ended, which means that courts have had their hands full interpreting what "freedom of speech" actually entails. And in some cases, while the federal ban on passing laws restricting free speech has been upheld, laws have been amended to include civil and criminal infractions. Here are the main speech infractions that can land a person in court.

1) Slander. Any spoken statement that defames someone's character or spreads false or malicious information, especially when it results in financial loss or some other tangible harm, is slander. Slander is a civil offense, which means it can result in a lawsuit.

2) Libel. While there are no federal laws covering libel, anyone who knowingly publishes false statements that damage a person's reputation can be sued in civil court. Parody does not constitute libel, and there has to be an element of "malice" involved.

3) Hate speech. Speech that incites hatred against a specific group is prohibited by many local codes and statutes. Although hate speech is not curtailed under the First Amendment, if the content of the hate speech includes incitement of actions that are illegal, and which result in imminent danger or threat to people or property, it is not protected.

4) Violent threats. Threats can be considered assault if directed against an individual. Threatening the President of the United States is a class E felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871.

Free Speech vs Free Market

So, where does this leave Simon & Schuster and Adam Morgan? Morgan is absolutely correct when he states that a refusal to review a book is not an inhibition of free speech. The First Amendment does not state that a person has a right to be published in any medium (as writers, we all know that publishers aren't obliged to publish what we send them), or that it must be advertised (through reviews or paid ads), or sold.

The bookstores that have refused to carry Yiannopoulos' book are likewise not infringing on free speech, because there is no law requiring that books - of any kind - must be sold. The First Amendment only has bearing on whether a person can be punished via legal means for expressing an opinion. Once that opinion has been expressed, anyone may feel free to endorse or ignore it.

Why is this important?

The Yiannopoulos case is important for writers because it demonstrates how law and ethics collide. There is nothing illegal about publishing right-wing hatred of minorities and religious groups, and, conversely, there is nothing illegal about refusing to publicize or market it. Neither one has any bearing on free speech, or on the Constitution. However, the maelstrom surrounding Simon & Schuster's decision raises some questions for writers. Do publishers have an ethical obligation to turn down books that are repugnant? Do writers need to watch what they say?

The answer to both of those questions is no. Although we live in a time in which hate speech, racist attitudes, and overt misogyny are becoming normalized, we should not, as writers, call for restrictions on what people can write or publish, because that is a double-edged sword. Those restrictions would inevitably come back to haunt us. However, as consumers, we have the perfect right not to purchase anything espousing those views. And, as writers, we are perfectly free to criticize and oppose them.

From an ethical standpoint, we should.

Informative articles:

Provocateur or Punk? How publishing houses weigh tricky ethical and commercial decisions like giving Milo Yiannopoulos a book deal. (Slate)

Publishing Milo Yiannopoulos’ book is wrong. My magazine is fighting back Adam Morgan announces that his publication will not be reviewing Yiannopoulos' book.

The Booksmith Boycotts Alt-Right Memoir, Takes Financial Aim At Publisher The Booksmith announces it will not sell Yiannopoulos' book, or any other book published by Threshold, and that it intends to cut back on orders of all Simon & Schuster publications.

Milo Yiannopoulos Book May Not Be Coming To a Store Near You Many independent booksellers are planning not to stock Yiannopoulos' book.

Free Speech Groups Defend S&S Yiannopoulos Deal The American Booksellers Association, Association of American Publishers, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition Against Censorship, Freedom to Read Foundation, Index on Censorship, and the National Council of Teachers of English release a statement that, while supporting the right to boycott a book or company for any reason, argues that to do so risks "undermin[ing] intellectual freedom."

Milo Yiannopoulos' book deal is publishing business as usual An LA Times article explores the financial decisions behind publishing controversial books.

S&S Children's Authors Protest Yiannopoulos Deal More than 160 children's book authors and illustrators have signed a letter to S&S CEO and president Carolyn Reidy protesting the deal.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2 Literary Agents Seeking Writers of Children's and YA Books

Here are two literary agents seeking children's and YA books. Molly O'Neill (Waxman Leavell Literary Agency) is most actively seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction. She is also seeking a select number of children’s illustrators. Ayanna Coleman (Quill Shift Literary Agency) is seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction in all genres.

Note: You can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients

About Molly: Prior to becoming an agent, she spent thirteen years working in various roles inside the publishing industry: as an editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she acquired Veronica Roth’s juggernaut Divergent series, among many other fantastic projects; as head of editorial at Storybird, a publishing/tech start-up; and in school and library marketing at both HarperCollins and Clarion Books. She loves the creative process and early-stage project development, is invigorated by business strategy and entrepreneurial thinking, and is fascinated by the intersections of art, commerce, creativity, and innovation. Molly is especially passionate about the people behind books, and she takes pride in discovering and evangelizing talented authors and illustrators, expanding the global reach of their work, and finding new ways to build connections and community among creators, readers, stories, and their champions.

Molly is an alum of Marquette University, an erstwhile Texan, and a current dweller of Brooklyn, New York. She is drawn to authors and artists who constantly challenge themselves, who are adept at communicating with their audiences, who are creative and flexible thinkers, and who have as much enthusiasm for their readers as for their own successes. Wit, strong writing, vivid settings, a passion for craft, or a well-timed reaction gif will always catch her eye.

Currently Seeking: Currently, Molly is most actively seeking young adult and middle-grade fiction. She is also seeking a select number of children’s illustrators (illustrators who write are especially welcome), as well as authors of kidlit nonfiction, early readers/chapter books, and kidlit graphic novels. She is not currently seeking picture book texts unless the author is also a professional illustrator, a writer of nonfiction, or a direct referral from an industry contact that she knows personally.

How to Submit: To submit a project, please email your query to mollysubmit [at] waxmanleavell.com with the word “Query” as the first word in the subject line. Your short email query should include a description of your project; biographical information (including details about any relevant credentials, subject area expertise, stats, or existing platform); and a summary, if applicable, of prior published works, agent representation, and/or publisher submission history. If you don’t have special credentials or previous publishing history, no worries: Molly welcomes debut talent! Please also be sure to include your phone number, email address, and any relevant Internet/social media links. Below your query letter paste the first 10 pages of your manuscript, or entire picture book text.

Ayanna Coleman of Quill Shift Literary Agency

About Ayanna
: Ayanna Coleman founded Quill Shift Literary Agency in 2013 to help usher inclusive stories worthy of inspiring a passion for reading in children through the publication process.

What she is seeking
: She is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction in all genres. Bring her stories with plucky, realistic characters that represent our multicultural society who grow throughout an engrossing plot in a setting that sucks the reader in.

How to Submit: To submit, please follow the instructions on the Agency website and complete the author submissions form.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Top 10 Publishing Posts of 2016

Last year I decided to review my posts to see which ones had attracted the most readers. (I posted them here: Top 10 Publishing Posts of 2015.)

Not surprisingly, the posts which garnered the most readers were about major publishers (notably HarperCollins) opening their doors to unagented writers. (HarperCollins' brief excursion into democratic operations has since been abandoned.)

This year, I encountered a problem when I simply looked at numbers of views per post. My Free Contests posts, and Calls for Submissions posts, had gotten so many views that they encompassed all of my Top 10. So, I moved down to the next category, which was Agents Seeking Clients. These also had gathered many thousands of views. (You can see all the agents looking for writers by clicking on the link.) 8 Literary Agents Seeking Horror NOW, for example, had gotten 5,060 views.

In all fairness, I had to discount all of those posts as well, and move on to my next category, which had to do with marketing and promotion. Without further ado, here are those top ten posts, in descending order. I hope you will find them useful.

#2 175 Literary Magazines Accepting Reprints (5294 views)

And my top post was (drum roll) ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year's Resolution: Write What You Fear

Every new year I make a resolution, which I dutifully post on this blog. Many of those resolutions have been practical, aimed toward the goal of getting published.

For 2013, I posted a "Know Your Market" resolution. It was a good one. (Although I strongly suspect my market hasn't been born yet.) The following year I made a resolution to get more rejections than C. S. Lewis. (He got over 800; I clocked in at a measly 160.) Last year, I actually went ahead and made a publishing plan for myself, and for anyone else who might be listening. And I even got some stories published by following it.

This year, I am going to embark on unexplored territory. I mean that literally. This coming year I will face my deepest fear as a writer - not the daunting task of sending hundreds of queries, nor the overwhelming rejections, and not the sense of futility that comes with wondering if I am on the wrong track entirely.

In 2017, I am going to ditch all that and do something I have not yet done. I am going to write the thing I fear the most -  a memoir.

To most people, writing a memoir may not evoke a feeling of mind-numbing terror. But to me, it does. I write children's fantasy. Even my adult stories conscientiously avoid anything personal. They almost religiously skirt things that might point directly to me, or to any of the difficult, often painful. emotions experienced by adults. I am a feverishly private person, and to go down those paths makes me quake with cowardice.

And yet, I find I must. I have had the (mis)fortune of having lived through a war, and that experience, with all its violence, pain, and loss, demands to be written in a time of national crisis.

Let me be clear; I really don't want to.

So, come with me. Let this be your year to confront the thing you don't want to write. Are you a non-fiction writer? Write a piece of fiction. Do you write speculative fiction? Write an essay. If you are frightened of writing a novel - do that. If you can't seem to conquer the short form, go ahead. Write a poem. Write a history book. Do anything you have never attempted. Because to try out new forms, new ideas, new media will only expand you.

Ta-Nehisi Coates got it right when he said, "The craft of writing is the art of thinking."

Go forth into 2017, and think.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

47 Calls for Submissions in January 2017 - Paying Markets

The New Year opens with nearly four dozen calls for submissions. Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets.

Many of these journals have recurring calls for submissions, so if you miss this window, you can always submit during the next reading period.

For more literary journals seeking submissions see: Paying Markets.


Fiyah Magazine: 'Spilling Tea' issue. Genre: Speculative fiction featuring stories by and about people of the African Diaspora. Payment: $150 per story, $50 per poem. Deadline: January 1, 2017.

Bellevue Literary Review. Genre: Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that explores the concept of family. "Illness can rattle the struts of a family unit, often irrevocably. Most families, of course, do not break completely apart because of illness, but there is no doubt that illness in one member can have profound, often permanent, effects on the nature of the family structure. By turning a creative lens to these dynamics, we hope to produce a collection of works that paints a picture—however complicated—of the frustrations, hopes, and connections that define a family."  Payment: Small honorarium and print copies. Deadline: January 1, 2017.

Garden of FriendsGenre: Addiction-themed horror. Payment: $500 per story. Deadline: January 1, 2017.

Lethe Press: 'A Scandal in Gomorrah' anthology: Queering Sherlock HolmesGenre: Short stories with queer aspects of Victorian era sexuality.  Payment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: January 1, 2017.

Six Hens. Genre: Creative nonfiction. "Six Hens features true stories about the moments that define and redefine women." Payment: $50. Deadline: January 2, 2017. Note: Read the contract carefully.

Inkubus Publishing: Fairy Tail. Genre: Fairy tale. ‘Fairy tales have long been used to entertain, teach, and even sometimes frighten readers of all ages. Whether it’s witches eating unsuspecting children, princes cursed because they are terrible people, young maidens outsmarting fairy creatures, or just tales of mystical fairy folk, fairy tales are an indelible part of the storytelling experience. For this anthology we want you to give us your sexy take on fairy tales or fairy stories.’ Payment: $15 and Contributor's Copy.  Deadline: January 2, 2017.

Ashland Creek Press: Writing for Animals Nonfiction Anthology. Genre: Nonfiction. "We seek articles from authors and educators about the process of writing about animals in literature. Our focus is on including a mix of instructional and inspirational articles to help readers not only improve their work but be inspired to keep at it. Articles may be previously published and should not exceed 10,000 words." Payment: $100 per essay. Deadline: January 3, 2017.

Chrome Magazine. Genre: Articles and creative essays only – no poetry or fiction. ‘The only instructions are that the piece should be based around the colour Red, between 500-1500 words. The article is also to be ideas based: intelligent, thoughtful, provocative, different, creative, beautifully written, accessible and interesting. Also the piece has to be timeless, a reflection rather than fast news.’ Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 5, 2017.

The Lifted Brow Magazine. Genre: Translated Literary Work. "Our translations will largely focus on works from the margins: people who live and write from demographic margins, and/or writers whose work sits in the literary margins, and/or translators who interpret the translation act in surprising ways or stretch the bounds of what ‘translation’ means: your work might be cross-modal or cross-genre, might include insertions, erasure or collage." Payment: Up to $300/submission. Deadline: January 8, 2017.

Crab Orchard Review: Weather Reports: All About the Weather. Genres: Original, unpublished poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction in English. "We are open to work that covers any of the many possibilities in how we think about and experience the weather through science, history, popular culture, art, and our own lives." Payment: $25 (US) per magazine page ($50 minimum for poetry; $100 minimum for prose) and two copies of the issue. Deadline: January 10, 2017.

Texas Home School Coalition Review. Genre: Nonfiction articles about home schooling. (See website for topics.) Payment: $40 for nonexclusive print and electronic rights to feature articles that have been published previously, or works to which the author wishes to retain the copyright. (Authors should confirm that agreements with previous publishers will not conflict with THSC’s nonexclusive rights.) $110 for the exclusive print and electronic copyright to previously unpublished works.  Deadline: January 10, 2017.

Twelfth Planet Press: Octavia Estelle Butler IssueGenre: Nonfiction. "We are looking for letters addressed to Butler, which should be between 1000 and 1500 words." Payment: 5 cents/word up to $USD75 for letters, to be paid on publication. Deadline: January 12, 2017.

Tor.com. Genre: Fantasy novella: 20K - 40K words. They are looking for "epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy genres, whether set on Earth or on an original fantasy world. However, we will only be considering novellas that inhabit worlds that are not modeled on European cultures. We are seeking worlds that take their influences from Africa, Asia, the indigenous Americas, or any diasporic culture from one of those sources. To qualify, novellas should center the experiences of characters from non-European-inspired cultures." Payment: Advance. Deadline: January 12, 2017.

Splickety: Time Warp. Genre: Fiction. "If the Coen brothers could turn the The Odyssey into O Brother, Where Art Thou?, imagine all the classics that could be recast and retold. For our Literary Retellings theme, we want recognizable characters and plot thrown into unique settings. Take Shakespeare or Dickens, Twain or Hemingway beyond where we’d expect. Moby Dick in the great lakes? Sure. Robin Hood during the Roaring 20s? Why not? The Tell-Tale Heart beating below a samurai’s tatami-covered floors? Absolutely. (Please include the title of the original classic story in your submission.)" Payment: $0.02 per word. Deadline: January 13, 2017.

Rattle: Poets with Mental IllnessGenre: Poetry. Payment: $100. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

VersalGenre: Poetry, prose, art. Theme: Migration. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Ploughshares Journal: ‘Look2 Essay series’. Genre: Essay about an under-represented or neglected writer with talent. Submit pitch only. Payment: Up to $250/essay. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Living Education Updates. Genre: Nonfiction articles on homeschooling. Payment: $50/article. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Qu Literary Magazine. Genres: Prose, poetry, nonfiction, drama/screenplay. Payment: $100 (prose), $50 (poem). Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Outlook Springs. Genre: Fiction, poetry, CNF tinged with the strange. Payment: $25 for pose, $10 for poetry. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

The Capilano ReviewGenre: Poetry, fiction. Experimental writing and art. Payment: $50 per page. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Great Weather for MEDIA: Annual Print Anthology. Genres: Poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction. "Our focus is on the fearless, the unpredictable, and experimental but we do not have a set theme for our anthologies." Payment: $10. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Liminal. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. "We like stories that are strange and unsettling, sharp-edged and evocative.  Although we will consider any genre, we have a soft spot for weird fiction, magical realism, soft science fiction, and those uncategorizable stories that straddle the line between genres." Payment: 6 cents/word/fiction. $50/poem. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Spirit's Tincture. Genre: Fiction and poetry that includes some element of fantasy, myth, fairy tale, or folklore. Payment: 6 cents/word. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Wizards in Space. Genres: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Payment: $30. Deadline: January 15, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Helios Magazine. THEME: Commercial Cosmonauts & Hired Guns. Genres: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art: "stories that delve into various journeys of unwilling and daring adventurers. What propaganda forces these individuals to battle against the universe and formidable foes? What are the stories being left untold in these narratives dominated by the lone white male savior against the world?" Payment:$0.03 USD per word for the first 1,500 words and $0.01 USD after for short stories, and $0.25 USD a line for poetry. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Bikes in Space: Volume 5. Genre: Speculative short story on the theme of Intersections. "Stories that are accepted will all have a feminist perspective and incorporate bicycling in some way, whether or not they are actually about feminism or about bicycles." Payment: Percentage of Kickstarter. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Sharkpack Poetry Review. Genre: Poetry. Long form. Payment: $25. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Ella @ 100Genre: Poems, stories, essays, scripts, and graphic essays or stories inspired by the life and work of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. Payment: $10 and contributor copy. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Morel. Restrictions: Authors must live in Southwestern Ontario or write about the region. Genres: Fiction, poetry and essays about Southern Ontario. Payment: $25 per piece. Deadline: January 22, 2017.

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. Genre: Prose or poem fairy tale on theme: "Steadfast Tin Soldier." Payment: $30/story; $10/poem US dollars only. Deadline: January 30, 2017.

Three Drop from a Cauldron: A Face in the Mirror, a Hook on the Door (An Anthology of Urban Legends & Modern Folklore). Genre: Poetry and flash fiction based on urban (or rural, or suburban, or the internet…) legends and modern folklore from any culture and any continent. Payment: Revenue sharing. Deadline: January 30, 2017.

Black RabbitGenres: Fiction (900 words max) and personal essays (250 words max). Payment: $25 per piece. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Crystal Lake Publishing: C.H.U.D Tribute AnthologyGenre: Stories between 3,000 and 10,000 words. Theme is the 1984 slasher film, C.H.U.D. Payment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Kristell Ink. Genre: Speculative fiction. Themes: Infinite Dysmorphia, Terra Nullius or Holding on By Our Fingertips. Payment: £10 on acceptance of story, plus a physical copy of the publication, the eBook, and royalty share of profits. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Broken Eye Books: Ride the Star WindGenre: Speculative tales that combine space opera with cosmic weird horror, either set within the Cthulhu Mythos or inspired by it. Payment: 8 cents per word. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams, Premonitions and the UnexplainablePayment: $200. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Dreaming Robot Press: Young Explorer's Adventure Guide. Genre: Middle Grade Science Fiction. (Ages 8 - 12) 3,000 to 6,000 words. Payment: 6 cents per word. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

On Spec. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. Payment: $50 poem, up to $200 story. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Room Magazine: Migration. Restrictions: Open to Canadian women. Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and art that explores migration in all its many forms. Payment: $50 CAD for one page, $60 for two pages, $90 for three pages, $120 for four pages, $150 for five or more pages. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Wordrunner E-Chapbooks. Genres: Fiction, memoir and poetry. "The theme for this year's anthology is breaking barriers or pushing against boundaries. Fiction on this topic can be contemporary or historical. Our preference, whether in fiction, nonfiction or poetry, is for emotional complexity. We are not interested in genre fiction unless it transcends genre." Payment: $100 for collections, $5 to $25 for poems, stories and essays published in the annual anthology. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Carnival of Madness Anthology. Genre: Horror. "Buy the ticket and step into the last Carnival you will ever attend! Authors, let your darkest ideas and fantasy unite at the Carnival of Madness. Psycho-thrillers invite their audience to be a part of the nightmare that you create! So....Wanna go for a ride?" Payment: $25 and contributor copy. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Martian Migraine Press: A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession. Genre: Weird Fiction. "We encourage our authors to unshackle themselves from the standard tropes that can weigh down the imagination and move into truly authentic dimensions of fear, awe, and cosmic wonder. We want to see the Weird move with confidence into the 21st Century, and want our authors to share that commitment. For A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession, the seed story will be H P Lovecraft’s classic The Colour Out of Space." Payment: 3 cents/word (CAD) and contributor copies. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Hyperion and Theia. Genre: Fiction, poetry, and art on theme of Saturnalia. Payment: 2 - 3 cents/word. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

The Cantabrigian. Genre: Literary fiction. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Pen&Ink: Triskaidekaphilia Book #2: Ravenous! Genre: Vampire Romance. Payment: $10 USD and a paperback copy of the anthology. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

NonBinary Review: Issue #12 The Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Genres: Poetry, fiction, essays and art on theme of Edgar Allan Poe. Payment: 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 per poem and $25 per piece of visual art. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

The Fantasist. Genre: Fantasy novellas, 15,000 to 40,000 words. Payment: $100. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

36 Writing Contests in January 2017 - No entry fees

There are three dozen free writing contests in January. They cover the full range of genres, from debut mystery novels to poetry. In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, a few of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.


Tony Hillerman Prize. Sponsored by St. Martin's Press. Genre: Debut mystery novel set in Southwest. Prize: $10,000 advance against royalties and publication, Deadline: January 2, 2017. Read guidelines HERE.

Christopher Doheny Award. The award recognizes excellence in fiction or creative nonfiction on the topic of serious physical illness. The award is presented annually for a completed manuscript that has not yet been published. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 2, 2017.

Nuff Said Publishing's annual Speculative Writing Contest to Promote Diversity (SWCPD). Restrictions: The contest is open to United States residents. Genre: Speculative fiction less than 10,000 words. Prize: $100 and publication in anthology. Deadline: January 3rd, 2017.

Texas Institute of Letters Literary AwardsRestrictions: Entrants must have resided in Texas for at least 2 consecutive years, or have been born in Texas. Genre: Book (published). 11 different categories. Prize: $6,000. Deadline: January 3, 2017.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Restrictions: The contest is open to United States high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of twenty enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program; and US citizens attending schools overseas. Genre: Essay on an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1956. Prize: The first-place winner receives $10,000 comprised of a $5,000 cash award and $5,000 from John Hancock. The second-place winner receives $1,000. Up to five finalists receive $500 each. Deadline: January 4, 2017.

Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out Essay Contest. Stop the Hate® is designed to create an appreciation and understanding among people of differing religions, races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Genre: Essay, 500 words. Restrictions: Northeast Ohio 6-12th Graders. Prize: $40,000. Deadline: January 6, 2017 for Grades 6-10, January 20, 2017 for Grades 11-12.

Japan Center-Canon Essay Competition. The aim of the Japan Center Essay Competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons. Genre: Essay. Contestants should write, in English, one or more aspects of Japan including art, culture, tradition, values, philosophy, history, society, politics, business, and technology in relation to their personal views, experiences, and/or future goals.  (Contestants do not need to have any experience in visiting Japan or studying Japanese. Prize: Best Essay Award in the High School Division: 1st Place: $3,000 and a Canon camera, 2nd Place: $1,500 and a Canon camera, 3rd Place: $750 and a Canon camera; Best Essay Award in the College Division: $3,000 and a Canon camera; Uchida Memorial Award: $1,000 and a Canon camera; Merit Award: $200 (each) for up to five awards. Deadline: January 8, 2017.

New York Times "Win a Trip with Nick Kristof" ContestGenre: Essay (700 words max) on why you should win this prize. Prize: A reporting trip in the developing world with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Restriction: Open to US college and graduate school students. Deadline: January 8, 2017.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community. The prestigious award aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement. Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, 85 writers from 33 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. Restrictions: Open to Maine residents. Genre: Poetry and Fiction. Prize: A $500 honorarium; A trip to New York City to meet with editors, agents, publishers, and other writers. All related travel/lodgings expenses and a per diem stipend are covered by Poets & Writers. Winners will also give a public reading of their work; and One-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. Deadline: January 9, 2017. For guidelines click HERE.

Moving Words Poetry ContestRestrictions: People who live within the DC Metro transit area (the Northern Virginia counties Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun and the cities Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church; the District of Columbia; and the Maryland counties Montgomery and Prince George's) and who are over 18. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $250 honorarium. Deadline: January 12, 2017.

Orwell PrizeGenre: Political writing published between 1st January and 31st January 2016. All entries must have a clear British link. Fiction and non-fiction. Prize: £3,000.00. Deadline: January 12, 2017. (Their website is impossible to figure out, which is ironic.)

The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers was established in 2005 to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy. The Fund provides support to writers whose work reflects the spirit and passions embodied in Ellen’s writing and her commitment to a “deep map of place.” Ellen’s own map-in-progress was of the desert country she called home. Genre: Only literary or creative nonfiction proposals will be considered. No fiction or poetry proposals will be reviewed. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

French-American Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: Book - best English translation of French in both fiction and non-fiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet AwardRestrictions: Open to poets who have published no more than two books of children's poetry. Genre: Children's poetry (for children and young adults up to grade 12). A book-length single poem may be submitted. The award is for published works only. Poetry in any language may be submitted; non-English poetry must be accompanied by an English translation. Poetry copyrighted from 2016 to 2018 may be submitted. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Women Artists DatebookRestrictions: Women. Genre: 4 poems. Peace and Justice. Prize: $70. Deadline: January 15, 2017. See more details HERE.

VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardGenre: First novel published July–December 2016. No self-published books. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: January 14, 2017.

Posen Society of Fellows AwardsGenre: Jewish-themed dissertation. Prize: $40,000 fellowship. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Stacy Doris Memorial Poetry AwardGenre: Poem, 3-10 pages long, that demonstrates a "truly inventive spirit." Prize: $500. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Bethesda Literary Festival Essay and Short Story Contest. The Bethesda Urban Partnership & Bethesda Magazine have partnered to honor local writers at the Bethesda Literary Festival held April. Genres: Essays and short stories. Restrictions: Residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. Prizes: First Place: $500 and published in Bethesda Magazine. Second Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Honorable Mention: $75. Deadline: January 20, 2017. For more details click HERE.

James White AwardRestrictions: Non-professional authors from anywhere in the world. Genre: Previously unpublished science fiction stories of 6000 words or less, but the stories must be written in English. Prize: £200 plus publication in Interzone. Deadline: January 20, 2017.

IGGY/Litro Young Writers' PrizeRestrictions: Open to 13–18 year olds. Genre: Short story. The theme is Memory. Prize: £1,000 and publication. Deadline: January 20, 2017. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay PrizeRestrictions: Open to authors aged 18-35. Genre: Scholarly or journalistic essay on a topic of your choice. 3,500 words max. Prize: £1,000, e-publication with Bodley Head, a mentoring session with the Financial Times/Bodley Head editorial staff, a subscription to FT.com, and a selection of books from Bodley Head. Deadline: January 29, 2017.

Jerry Jazz Musician Fiction Contest. "The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America." Genre: previously unpublished work of short fiction. Prize: $100.00. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

College Undergraduate Poetry and Florence Kahn Memorial AwardRestrictions: Undergraduates working toward a degree in an accredited U.S. college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year.  Genre: Published fiction or non-fiction, may include: novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, essays and correspondence. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

14th Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards. Restrictions: Only undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited United States medical schools are eligible. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2017. Note: Winners do not retain copyright.

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for best first collection of short fiction in the English language was initiated by John Gleed in honour of his late wife to promote and celebrate the genre of short fiction, which she loved. Restrictions: Canadian residents only. Prize: A $10,000 prize will be awarded for the best first collection of published short fiction in the English language. Two finalist will also be awarded $500 each. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Imagine Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) seeks fictional short stories in Japanese or English for its second annual “Imagine Little Tokyo” writing contest. The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA– either past, present or future. Prize: $600. The winner of the youth division (18 or younger) will receive $400. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Caine Prize for African WritingRestrictions: Open to writers born in Africa, or nationals of an African country, or with a parent who is African by birth or nationality, Genre: Short fiction (published). Prize: £10,000. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Nelson Algren Literary Awards is a short story contest sponsored by the Chicago Tribune. This contest is open to residents of the United States. All entries must be: fiction, less than 8,000 words, double spaced, written in English. Prize: One grand prize winner will receive $3,500. Four finalists will each receive $1,000. Five runners-up will each receive $500. Total value of all prizes: $10,000. Deadline: Closing date January 31, 2017.

Walter Rumsey Marvin GrantRestrictions: Open to authors under 30 years of age who have not had a book published. Applicant must have been born in Ohio or have lived in Ohio for a minimum of five years. Genre: Short fiction and creative non-fiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Words and BrushesGenre: Fiction inspired by artwork. Prize: $300 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

El Chapo Review Essay Contest 2017. Genre: Creative non-fiction. Prize: $500 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Outlet Publishing Young Writers' Short Story Competition. Restrictions: Open to ages 16-25, UK residents only.  Genre: Short story. Prize: £150 top prize. Deadline: January 31, 2017.

Publishizer. Genre: Fiction and nonfiction book proposals for LGBTQ writers, or for stories with LGBTQ themes and characters. Proposals must be 1,000 words. Prize: $2000 and publication. Deadline: January 31, 2017.
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