Current Opportunities for Jewish Writers and Writings

Below you’ll find a number of opportunities—many with October deadlines—for Jewish writers and writings. The paying opportunities among these (that aren’t hyper-localized) you will likely also find amplified in The Practicing Writer 2.0 or on the Practicing Writing blog.

  • Reminder: As previously mentioned, the current deadline for the Natan Notable Books Award is October 2 (for non-fiction titles published for the first time between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024). This twice-year­ly award for non­fic­tion books on Jew­ish themes “high­lights vital books and authors, and brings inno­v­a­tive and impor­tant ideas to the atten­tion of diverse audiences. Around Passover and the Jew­ish High Hol­i­days, Natan selects a ​’Natan Notable Book,’ a recen­t­­ly-pub­­lished or about-to-be pub­lished non-fic­­tion title that will cat­alyze con­ver­sa­tions aligned with the themes of Natan’s grant­mak­ing: rein­vent­ing Jew­ish life and com­mu­ni­ty for the twen­­ty-first cen­tu­ry, shift­ing notions of indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive Jew­ish iden­ti­ty, the his­to­ry and future of Israel, and the evolv­ing rela­tion­ship between Israel and world Jewry. Natan Notable Book win­ners receive a Natan Notable Book seal and $5,000 for the author, marketing/​distribution coach­ing and pro­mo­tion from Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Natan, and cus­tomized sup­port designed to bring the book and/​or the author to new audiences.”
  • Deadline extended: Until October 5, the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award is a $1,000 prize that “recognizes unpublished manuscripts of Jewish fiction targeting ages 8-13…to encourage aspiring authors of Jewish children’s books.” For this award’s purposes, an “unpublished author” is defined “as not having previously published any works of fiction for young readers. This includes self-published as well as commercially published work. The manuscript must be a work of fiction in English with universal appeal of Jewish content for readers aged 8-13 years, both Jewish and non-Jewish. It should reveal positive aspects of Jewish life. Short stories are not acceptable.” NB: “While AJL cannot guarantee publication, the prize money has been an incentive for writers with varying experience to try their hands at writing for this genre. The award carries prestige in the publishing world and several Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award winners have subsequently been published.” (NB: Although the website lists a September 30 deadline, you’ll find a note from the competition committee chair about the extension here.)
  • Until October 15, Verklempt! seeks submissions of poetry, fiction, and translation “related to the theme of Seudah/סעודה.” Note: “Verklempt! is interested in publishing works by Jewish artists and writers, whether or not their artwork engages with Jewish ideas or themes. The pieces you submit do not need to relate to or be informed by Judaism or Jewish life, although submissions that do are more than welcome. Above all, we are looking for submissions that are original, thoughtful, engaging, and informed. At this time, we are unable to offer any prize money for published work. We are a young, volunteer, nonprofit organization and we are working to make that possible in the future! 
  • Also until October 15: LABA, “a non-religious house of study whose goal is to function as an international incubator for creativity and to push the boundaries of what Jewish art can be, and what Jewish texts can teach,” is open for fellowship applications for its next New York cohort. (Stipends are awarded). Note that in the Bay Area, LABA is also open for applications, with a later deadline (November 17).
  • The application deadline is October 18 for the Jewish Renaissance Emerging Journalists Programme: “We’re looking for writers of all ages and backgrounds keen to kickstart their career in journalism. Featuring masterclasses, expert panels, mentoring and publication opportunities, plus a writing competition with cash prizes, Jewish Renaissance’s Emerging Journalists Programme offers a solid base from which to launch a career in the media.” Applicants should be “someone aged 18+ (no upper age bracket) who is interested in journalism, but may have had zero experience so far. Or you may have written for student, local or community publications in print, online or broadcast, but have had fewer than two commissions for national and international outlets.” Open to applicants worldwide, “but all events will be scheduled in GMT.” Hosted by Jewish Renaissance in association with Jewish News and the Union of Jewish Students. Sponsored by Dangoor Education.
  • “The Jewish Children’s Book Awards for story and illustration aim to celebrate the work of talented Jewish children’s book authors and illustrators living in Europe and the UK” and confer £1,000 to the winners of the story and illustration categories. “All entries will be considered for publication by Green Bean Books.” For the story prize, submissions “must be Jewish in content, either inspired or informed by Jewish history, folklore, values, festivals or texts.” Submissions, which can run up to 1200 words, “must be unpublished in the English language and cannot be on active submission or under contract with an English language publisher before the award is announced.” Note: “Submissions are accepted in English, French, German, Italian, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish” (and note also the guidance for creators who “have been displaced from your country within the last year”). Deadline: October 23.
  • If you’re interested in the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (MFJC) Fellowship Grants, the first deadline (for eligibility intake form submission) is November 1. “The purpose of the MFJC Fellowship program is to assist well-qualified individuals in carrying out an independent scholarly, literary or art project, in a field of Jewish specialization, which makes a significant contribution to the understanding, preservation or transmission of Jewish culture. Please note that we do not fund conferences, gap years, or study tours.” Grant amounts do not appear to be posted on the site.
  • The Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan is open for fellowship applications until November 6. The 2024-25 theme is “Jewish/Queer/Trans”: “Fellowship applications are accepted from both tenured and untenured faculty as well as from recent Ph.D.’s without a tenure-track position and professors emeriti. Where appropriate, applications are accepted from independent artists, documentary film-makers, and writers. You may apply either for a full academic year (usually September 1-April 30) or for a single term (Fall terms runs September-December and Winter Term runs January-April). Fellows can serve no more than two terms within a period of four years. The Frankel Institute is structured as a residential fellowship. With advance notification, alternative arrangements may be available.” Compensation: “All fellows receive compensation of $62,000 for a full academic year fellowship, or $31,000 for a single term. Additionally, University of Michigan health benefits are available for fellows who carry a 50% or greater appointment for four consecutive months.”
  • “The Rabbi Dresner Center at Temple Beth Tikvah in Wayne, NJ is launching a new-book series in 5784 (2023-2024). We are accepting proposals on a rolling basis from authors of new books (2021+) in Jewish or Holocaust studies. Invited authors will present their work over Zoom to a lay/community audience. We anticipate scheduling one seminar every two months. All speakers will be remunerated.”

NB: You can find a more expansive list of awards and prizes for Jewish writing over on this website page. Please note that I’m aware it’s time for me to recheck and update everything on that page, and I promise to take care of that in 5784!

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