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In early 2004, Erika launched a free monthly e-newsletter, The Practicing Writer.

In early 2020, the newsletter moved from the YahooGroups platform to Substack (thus acquiring an edited title: The Practicing Writer 2.0). Please subscribe (or resubscribe) at Substack!

Each issue includes:

  • a highlighted online resource to assist you with your writing practice;
  • announcements for upcoming contests and similar opportunities, none of which charge entry/reading/processing fees, and all of which pay for winning work; nothing featured limits eligibility to residents of a single city/state/province.
  • a “Submission Alerts!!!” section, where Erika keeps subscribers posted about calls from paying literary journals and anthologies and nuances in editorial calendars (also limited to fee-free opportunities that pay); and
  • reminders of relevant content from Erika’s blogs.

What Writers Say

“Back in December 2020, upon seeing a call for submissions in The Practicing Writer, I sent off my flash fiction story ‘Growth Hacking’—a fun send-up of pre-pandemic life in a high tech company—to The Maine Review, and I’m thrilled that it was accepted and published a few weeks ago. Thanks again for everything that you do for the literary community!”
—Julie Zuckerman

“Thank you so much for letting me know about the Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers programme. I applied thinking I had no chance (I’ve never published any fiction), but to my surprise, I was selected as one of 10 emerging writers (5 non-fiction, 5 fiction/poetry) to work with 10 well-known writers, who are running seminars and acting as mentors for us. My mentor is Tracy Chevalier!!!–how cool is that? I’ve been working on my novel, Ness, for a number of years, but I felt like I was just writing for myself. With this program, I can get feedback from my peers and from Tracy, and more importantly, I feel like I’ve gained confidence in my ability as a fiction writer. So thank you, Erika, for this amazing resource you provide. I am very grateful to you.”
Karen E.H. Skinazi

“Just so you’d know that your newsletter service is not in vain: my essay just got accepted by The Shmita Prizes, a contest I entered from your invaluable newsletter, The Practicing Writer 2.0. While the winner will be announced later, I remain grateful for my piece having made the cut and to you for your pro bono resources and submission opportunities. Keep them coming. Thanks lots and keep up the labor of love.”
—Mike Ekunno

“Thank you for sharing the Jewish Book Council (JBC)’s call for submissions on your My Machberet blog. I am thrilled that they chose my poem “There Is a Prayer” for publication (with a nice payment) on PB Daily, the digital arm of their literary journal Paper Brigade. Through my 18 years as a Judaic librarian—working with the JBC to organize numerous author events in my community—it has been a dream to one day be a JBC author. Thank you for helping me fulfill that dream! Thank you for everything you do for all of us who write!”
—Elizabeth Edelglass

“Thank you for advertising the submission period for The Spectacle! They accepted my story and I’m so glad it found a good home. Your newsletter has been an invaluable resource to me as I’ve started getting back in the groove of submitting my work to magazines.
—Paula Weiman

“Hi, Erika! Several months ago, you posted news of a contest for teachers who are writers. The contest invited submissions of an experience of teaching writing virtually. I have been nearly incapable of writing during the pandemic, but I had just finished a powerful experience teaching poetry to my third-graders, so I wrote it up. I was stunned to learn that I was runner-up in the contest, and received a substantial payment. I’m ecstatic, not just to have my piece out there, but also because it features the poetry of eight or nine of my young students. (I shared the prize money with them.) They are beside themselves with excitement at seeing their poetry published. It’s been one of the highlights of this whole year for both them, and for me. A million thanks! Here’s the link to the piece, if you’re interested in reading it. THANK YOU!”
—Sue Granzella

“Greetings Erika, unfortunately I cannot recall what pandemic internet rabbit hole lead me to your blog and wondrous newsletter, but I wanted to reach out and express my deep, deep gratitude to you! You publicized the MASS MoCA FELLOWSHIP FOR WRITERS OF COLOR opportunity for “one writer working in English in any genre who self-identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color” and I am absolutely STUNNED to report that I am the ONE! I was actually notified of the acceptance and fellowship award today and plan to depart for the Berkshires in mid-June, all because of you! I’d not heard of this opportunity before but had the chance to visit the massive and magical MASS MoCA campus a couple summers back and have wanted to find to way to return and immerse myself in that energy ever since. I will be spending a whole month working on my first full length poetry collection, Hoard, and I owe you the world, or at least a coffee (or of course, something stronger), if our paths ever cross post-plague IRL. Thankyouthankyouthank, all the glory to you.”
S. Erin Batiste

“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!”
Gabriela Denise Frank

“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.”
Jacqueline Jules

“Hi Erika, I look forward enthusiastically to your newsletter each month. It’s informed me of many opportunities I would never hear of otherwise, including consistent reminders to check out calls from Chicken Soup for the Soul. I started to, and they recently had one for stories about self-care. I sent them an essay about quitting smoking in my 30s and they accepted it! I’m thrilled and very grateful that you made me aware of this opportunity. Thanks for your generosity to writers like me.”
Laura M. Martin

“Thank you for the information about Stonecrop Review. My essay, ‘An Asphalt County Almanac,’ will be published in the next issue.”
Sandy Schuman

“Here is an essay both written and read aloud about my grandfather Schmulka Bernstein, which is now up on the online zine and podcast ‘The Dirty Spoon.’ Thank you Erika, for this listing a while back, which I wouldn’t have known about without you. And thanks for all you do.”

—Michele J. Clark

“Thank you so very much for posting information about The Ekphrastic Review a while ago. My poem “Evening at Kuerners, after Wyeth” was accepted and published online in mid-October. As a longtime subscriber I can say without hesitation that your newsletter is invaluable and you deserve a Pulitzer for it.”
—E.D. Lloyd-Kimbrel

“Based on one of your listings, I sent poems to ‘Pandemic Publications,’ and two of those poems were just accepted! I would not have known of this publication (based in Vancouver, BC) if not for you! Virtual hugs from here, and thanks again for your wonderful efforts on behalf of writers.”
Carolyne Lee Wright

“I guess I should have told you before now that I owe at least four publications to you: my poems published in Fifth Estate, Amsterdam Quarterly, Phoenix Soul, and the big one–in 2018 I won first place in the Keats-Shelley Prize for adult poetry, which included a trip to London to read my poem—I heard about that contest from you. So, thanks, Erika!”
—Laurinda Lind

“It happened again—an opportunity which I learned about in The Practicing Writer yielded fruit. Night Shift Storyteller Series just published my piece, entitled ‘Teacher and Student,’ and it’s 100% because of you. THANK YOU, ERIKA!!”
—Sue Granzella

“I just wanted you to know that I sold my essay [“The Language of the High Holidays”] after submitting it to a few of the sites listed on your blog (actually, I received two offers). Thanks and Shana Tova!
—Belinda Brock

“I have submitted several poems and CNFs using your newsletter as a source. No success to date. But…I wanted to drop you a line anyway – just to let you know how much your unselfish efforts (not forgetting Trish [Hopkinson] & Cathy [Bryant]) means to me personally. It means I can spend less time surfing the net in frustration looking for a home for my creations, and spend more time writing. This is truly a wonderful gift from all three of you. So please accept my sincerest thanks for what you do!”
Dr. Thomas Davison

“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.”
—Jane R. Snyder

“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!”
—Lee Nash

“When I see your name in my email box I can’t help but smile. I enjoy all your writing news, the market info, tips and suggestions. I also follow you on Facebook. I want to thank you for directing me to a writing market that was unfamiliar to me, THEMA Literary Journal. I was elated to have a submission accepted for their 2020 Spring Issue. Also, just had another story accepted for their 2021 Spring Issue. Thank you for all you do for fellow writers.”
Georgia A. Hubley

“As a reader of your newsletter for years, I have followed up on many of your leads. Often I am already familiar with a journal, but your newsletter gives me a timely prod to submit work. Such was the case with RATTLE: POETS RESPOND. On Sunday, June 21, 2020, my poem ‘Malcolm X Park’ was the winner.”

“A few weeks ago, [you] posted a request for poems for the National Poetry Month feature on Parks & Points, a public lands digital newsletter. I submitted, and today my poem, ‘where water has no skin,’ was published. There’s a small honorarium too. Thank you for your newsletter, from which I’ve learned much and been directed to explore many opportunities.”
—J.C. Todd

“I also had a piece that I thought that Parks & Points might be interested in and they did. They did a beautiful job–they added a lovely visual of a beached canoe on a beach on a deserted looking lake. Thank you for the opportunity. It’s a lovely publication.”
—Virginia Chase Sutton

“Thanks so much for keeping us up to date with calls and competitions. My poem was accepted for Parks & Points & Poetry 2020 – something I only learned of through your Monday updates.”
—Fiona Ritchie Walker

“Thank you, Erika. You include Christi Craig’s class scholarship offer in your newsletter, and she kindly awarded me that scholarship. I have loved working with her. The class is about to wrap up but I’m also enrolled in her class next month. It’s a lovely community, and I am grateful to have stumbled into it.”
—Linda Levitt

“A couple of months ago you listed Greenprints magazine as looking for contributions about gardening. A couple of days later something clicked in my brain, and I dashed off an account of the period in my life where I learned to prune apple trees. It was accepted with just two edits! Thank you for your consistent focus on helping writers achieve success.”
Kay Sexton

“Here’s the latest of several success stories I’ve had thanks to Erika’s top-notch efforts in publicizing paying opportunities: [A Monday Markets post] mentioned ‘Teach.Write.,’ which I’d never heard of. I’m not a teacher but had several poems related to writing. I submitted three and all were accepted recently. I especially appreciated having a bit of good news while stuck home alone these days. So thank you again, Erika.”
—Pat Tompkins

“Erika, I have benefited greatly from your listings, including winning first prize in the Interview section of the 2018 Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors Annual Contest and Anthology, but the most remarkable connection came after I purchased Birthright. Kelsay Books has just published Beautiful Corpus: Poems of the Body, Mind & Spirit, my debut collection after an extraordinary number of decades spent writing poems.”
—Nancy Brewka-Clark

“I wanted to say thanks – about a year ago I discovered the post you had for the Portage Press call…and it resulted in my first published book of poetry, Everything Wrong Feels Right. Thanks for all the calls and contests you list here and in your newsletter – the info you provide is appreciated!
Adrian S. Potter

“I wanted to let you know that my short story ‘The Quickening’ was recently published in Slice literary magazine. I saw the submission opportunity in your newsletter. This the first time my fiction has been published, and I am very excited about it! Thanks for everything that you do.”
—O’rya Hyde-Keller

“My essay ‘The Terrible Twins’ was published in the Route 7 Review. Your inspiration for writing has given me the courage to submit my writing. I always find something in your newsletter to submit to. Thank you, Erika, for your inspiration, and I will always be grateful to you for acceptance to all who inspire to write.”
—Janet Fein

“If you don’t already subscribe to Erika Dreifus‘ free monthly newsletter The Practicing Writer you may be missing some great opportunities. It’s a nice reminder that you need to submit your writing on a regular basis to get your work out there… it’s also a nice reminder that you need to write!”
Trish Hopkinson

“Just sending gratitude for all your hard work–you offer some of the best opportunities for writers. Much thanks.”
Hunter Liguore

“One of the best sources of resources for writers. Sign up for her free newsletter at her site.”
Betsy Robinson

“Just want to remind you that there are those out there – such as myself – who really appreciate this newsletter both for its offerings and for the community it creates.”
Joy Gaines-Friedler

“I wanted to write and thank you for helping me get a short story on the web. You posted a call for submissions from a blog called Writing Through Your Divorce a little while ago. I had a piece I thought might fit, submitted it and heard last week that it is to go up today. I’m even getting paid! The link is You give so much of your time and energy to helping other writers and it is very much appreciated.”

Best wishes,
–Clive Collins

“Just dropping a quick line to say thanks for compiling all these resources. As Duotrope and similar services charge fees and add to the burden of the writing life, sites like yours restore my faith in the literary community.”
John Davis Jr.

“Just a note to say how much I appreciate your newsletter. I especially enjoy the many submission opportunities that you proffer. It’s nice to have someone doing homework for us. Your newsletter is relevant and very beneficial.”
Charles Weinblatt

“Just a note to thank you for drawing my attention to Wordrunner echapbooks. Their Spring chapbook is my novella “Our Place”, three stories about how a man loses pieces of his life on a religious kibbutz in Israel. They’ve been a joy to work with, and even paid money.”
Atar Hadari

“Hi, Erika. I get many newsletters dealing with writing, many of which do not always yield useful information. Your newsletter always does. I particularly appreciate the current one on creative nonfiction, an area in which I’ve dipped a toe and have already ordered the Rose Metal book and am delighted to learn about the Gutkind one.”
—H.D. Alcaro

“Thanks for publishing the Practicing Writer. I am often inspired, encouraged, and pleased by articles I read within.”
Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer

“Just wanted to let you know that I love your newsletter for writers. There is always good information relevant to my writing life. Thank you for the time and care you put into it…you are appreciated!”
Monica Devine

“Thanks for such a great newsletter. It’s always packed full of valuable information.”
—Mike Hooker

“I owe you a thank you, and though it is overdue – here it is. I’ve been following the Practicing Writer blog and receiving your newsletter (both wonderful, by the way) for a few years. Way back in July 2008 you posted that Second Story, a small press here in Canada, was looking for fiction manuscripts. I had just finished writing my first novel, so sent it off to them. Well, they bought the manuscript! [The Last River Child] came out in Canada last fall and is being released in the US this month [March 2010]. I’ve been wanting to share my happy story with you for a while and to thank you for your part in my success…. Please encourage your readers to keep writing and to keep submitting! ”
Lori Ann Bloomfield

“Just want to tell you your newsletter is one of the most helpful I’ve found, on or off the Web. Especially the market lists and contests with no fees. Thanks!”
— Lorraine S.

“Dear Erika: I’ve been receiving your newsletter for several months and just wanted to thank you for this free service. The time and effort you take to inspire and support other writers is appreciated. I look forward to each issue: the featured article, workshop entries, freelance opportunities, and contest listings. [….] Again, many thanks.”
— Katharine Morgan

“[The Practicing Writer is] one of my essential writing resources that just happens to be in digital format. [….]This newsletter contains an amazing array of free and low-fee writing competitions every month.”
— Achaessa James, Editor, Whidbey Island Writers Association Newsletter, August-September 2006

“Hello, Erika. I LOVE your newsletter. It is practical and is helping me quite a bit as I pursue my writing career. Keep up the good work!”
— Erin Di Paolo

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