Publication Opportunities for Writers: May and June 2015

Over 50 publication opportunities for both established and emerging writers.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions. 

The O. Henry Prize Stories
is an annual collection of the year’s twenty best stories published in American and Canadian magazines. Entries must be submitted by the magazine’s editors and should reach the series editor, Laura Furman, by 1 May. The 20 stories selected for the 2014 O. Henry Prize collection are available here.

Prairie Schooner
was established in 1926. Its intention is to publish the best writing available, both from beginning and established writers. Submissions close 1 May.

Diverse Voices Quarterly
aims to be an outlet for and by everyone: every age, race, gender, sexual orientation and religious background. Submissions received by 1 May will be considered for the August/September issue.

Southampton Review
is dedicated to “discovering new voices and visions while savoring long-standing favorites”. Some of the established writers it has published include Billy Collins, Meg Wolitzer, Frank McCourt and David Rakoff. The current reading period closes on 1 May.

Pilcrow & Dagger
is accepting submissions for its July 2015 issue. The theme is A Mid Summer’s Night Dream and pieces may be up to 5000 words.

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Top Ten Tips for Writing Novellas

A guest post Dan Peacock, 2014 Project Coordinator for The Novella Award.

1. Plan, plan, plan

Many writers think that because of their length, novellas are something they can just sit down and write. This is not the case. As with the novella’s longer cousin, the novel, it needs to be planned thoroughly beforehand. What’s the point of writing ten thousand words only to realise the story has reached its conclusion? Forward planning using any stimulus such as the snowflake method or a simple brainstorm can make the difference between a novella and another short story.

2. Describe your novella in one sentence

Novellas have simple plots and minimal characters. If it is not possible to describe this in a single sentence, the idea will likely become a full-blown novel when written. The key aspects of a novella are its simple plot and few central characters. If the plot can’t be described in a sentence, the idea may be suited more for a novel than a novella.

3. Start with conflict

Creating a conflict in the first few pages of a novella will draw in the reader and encourage them to continue reading. This could be anything from a battle of life and death or something going missing. Create a conflict that the character must face early on and the reader will be enticed to find out how this conflict is resolved, if at all.

4. Consider writing in the first person

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Buzzfeed Announces $12,000 Emerging Writers Fellowships

Popular news and entertainment website BuzzFeed has announced it will be offering $12,000 fellowships to emerging writers. The selected writers will spend four months working with BuzzFeed News’ senior editorial staff in New York City.

The program is designed to open the gates to writers traditionally locked out of opportunities in the media. In an interview with Electric Literature, BuzzFeed’s newly appointed Literary Editor Saeed Jones explained “when we expect young writers to get experience via unpaid internships, we’re actually saying we want only wealthy people writing about American culture in an influential way. That’s what we get, right? Or rather, that’s what we’ve gotten used to accepting as normal when in fact, it’s a kind of fiction. Diversity is reality. So, in order to do my part to support being in step with reality, I’m really excited about creating an opportunity for emerging writers to get experience and mentorship while also receiving financial support.”

The writers accepted into the program will receive training and experience aimed at ensuring they are equipped to thrive as freelance writers or in staff roles at media organisations.

The successful fellows will start work in these full-time fellowship positions in January 2016 and all applicants must be authorised to work in the United States.

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Writing Character Driven Short Stories (Giveaway)

Yiyun Li is a professor at the University of California Davis, a MacArthur Fellow, and was featured The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Fiction IssueHer debut novel The Vagrants was shortlisted for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and she is a contributing editor for Brooklyn-based literary magazine A Public Space.

Yiyun Li has recently launched Writing Character-Driven Short Stories, an eight-part short course for online learning community Skillshare.

The course aims to provide prompts, strategies and advice for writing compelling characters, turning situations into stories, and revising work into a polished piece. According to the Skillshare website: “Beginning writers can take this class to get started writing fiction, and experienced writers can take this class to try out new writing styles and get feedback on their work. It’s perfect for writers, bloggers, literature lovers, and everyone who loves a compelling story.”

The first fifty readers to click here can enrol in this class for FREE. Alternatively, click here to sign-up for a free 30-day Skillshare membership. Other writing classes available on the site include creative nonfiction with Susan Orlean, picture books with Christine Fleming and personal essays with Emily Gould.
(Update: All free places have now been claimed but you can still partipate in the course via a 30-day free trial).


10 Publication Opportunities for Young Writers

Writers like Françoise Sagan, Sonya Hartnett and S.E. Hinton demonstrate that youth doesn’t have to be a barrier to literary success. Here is a list of 10 magazines, journals and websites that are committed to publishing young writers and that champion the work of those just starting out.
If you have never submitted your work for publication before, we highly recommend reading How to Submit Your Writing to Literary Magazines, a practical step-by-step guide from the editors of Neon Literary Magazine.

Cadaverine Magazine
believes in showcasing contemporary, innovative and original new writing from the next generation of literary talent. It welcomes submissions of literary fiction, poetry and reviews by writers under the age of 30. Cadaverine Magazine is based in the UK but welcomes international submissions. Cadaverine’s editors may suggest changes or ask you to resubmit an edited draft to help you develop your work. They ask that writers only submit work if they are willing to participate in this editorial process.

Rookie
is an American online magazine created by fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson in 2011, then aged just 15, with Jane Pratt (founding editor of Sassy) and Ira Glass (This American Life) among its many high-profile supporters. The site has monthly themed content, with updates three times every weekday, and once a day on weekends, and every school year the editors compile the best from the site into a printed yearbook  There are no restrictions on the age of contributors and all written pieces should be at least 800 words long (except poems). Rookie’s April 2015 theme is ‘Both Sides Now’.

Claremont Review
is based in British Columbia and publishes young artists, aged 13 to 19 from anywhere in the English-speaking world. It accepts poetry, short stories, short plays, graphic art, photography, and interviews twice a year in the spring/summer and fall/winter. The Claremont Review’s website includes a resources section with tips and examples of the types of work it publishes.

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A guest post by Andy Jackson

Being a writer involves intense and maddening dichotomies. The work of writing requires isolation and withdrawal from the world, a retreat into obsession, both in the act of writing and in the months and years of deep imaginative work while the book takes mental shape. It is a job for an introvert. The process of publishing requires a schizoid opposite, as the work that has been nurtured in the safe, protected space of the computer (or the notebook or the typewritten page) is turned into a commodity…  The sensation of handling stacks of printed galleys of my book was at once deeply satisfying and strangely terrifying. To see the book become more than one – to see it become multiple, reproduced – that was very weird…  And then, with the reviews, comes a different experience: what was produced in seclusion had become subject to public scrutiny…  What surprised me most was how excruciating it was to be reviewed at all. It was an extension of the weirdness and ambivalence that came with seeing my book in print, for sale….

– Kirsten Tranter, “Go, Little Book“, Overland, Summer 2014.

I read this fascinating essay by Tranter in the wake of reading a few short reviews of my book the thin bridge, and it seemed to make some sense of the swirl of enigmatic and contrary feelings I’d experienced. Reading reviews, I found myself scanning the page for negative words and impressions. I read implied criticism into ambiguity, a nonplussed tone into what was actually mere description. I swelled at the unambiguous praise and felt the reviewer must be insightful; they really “got it”. I read these reviews a second time, carefully, expecting both condemnation and celebration. Somewhere in my nerves, I was a genius and a fraud, and I just knew the review would uncover either or both of these truths.

It’s analagous to standing naked in front of a doctor, or a mirror. Awkward, heightened, nowhere to hide. But the thing is, is there any “truth” to be found there? Doesn’t it depend on what we’re looking for?

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Competitions for Writers in April and May 2015

Competitions from around the world for both established and emerging writers.

Please check the relevant websites for all terms and conditions and be aware that entry fees are payable in many cases. 

North American Review’s Torch Prize for Creative Nonfiction
offers a first prize of $500. Writers may submit only one piece of creative nonfiction, no longer than 30 pages. Entries close 1 April.

Grain Magazine’s Annual Short Grain Writing Contest
offers prizes for both fiction and poetry and is open to writers worldwide. A total of CA$4500 in prize money is on offer. Entries close 1 April.

Historical Novel Society’s New Novel Award
with a prize of £2000 (or US$3000), is for an outstanding unpublished or self-published novel. In a change from the 2013 Award, unfinished novels are now eligible for entry, though they must be completed by 1 October 2015 to be considered for the prize. Closes 1 April.

To the Lighthouse & Clarissa Dalloway Book Prizes
are awarded annually to one woman’s unpublished poetry collection and one woman’s “everything but poetry” manuscript. Winners of both prizes receive US$1000 and publication by Red Hen Press. Entries close 1 April.

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