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Current Issue


Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 15, Number 10: November 2018
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2018 Erika Dreifus



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1. Editor’s Note: What’s New
2. Article/Lessons Learned
3. Featured Resource
4. Upcoming/Ongoing Contests, Competitions, and Other Opportunities (NO ENTRY/APPLICATION FEES; CASH PRIZES)
5. Submission Alerts!!! (NO READING FEES; CASH PAYMENTS)
6. Blog Notes
7. Newsletter Matters

Greetings, Practicing Writers:

I’ll be blunt: This doesn’t feel as though it’s anywhere near the cheeriest time I’ve prepared a newsletter. But routine is important, and writing is important–and community is important. And everyone who reads this newsletter is part of my community.

And so, I present the November issue.

Sending heartfelt wishes for peace and every other sort of well-being for all of us,


P.S. If you are able to vote in the forthcoming U.S. election, PLEASE MAKE A PLAN TO DO SO.

Please accept my profuse apologies–and a promise that this feature WILL return next month.

Last month, as you may recall, I shared with you a couple of resource lists that I’d recently updated: a list of low-residency/summer-study MFA programs (http://bit.ly/2PGHuLx) AND a list of post-MFA/early-career fellowships (http://bit.ly/2MJspGV).

Similarly: I’ve since updated ANOTHER resource list. This one is focused on venues that explicitly welcome flash nonfiction/micro-essays. Within these parameters, I had to include fee-charging and/or non-paying venues. But I’ve signaled to you fee/payment status wherever possible.


Deadline: December 11, 2018

Open to Canadian citizens/permanent residents with at least one published book: “It could be the best three months of your life–a time to reflect, to discover the Yukon, and to fully dedicate yourself to your work-in-progress. Berton House is a cozy cottage situated on the edge of the historic northern town of Dawson City. With special roots as Pierre Berton’s childhood home, the residency has hosted 84 writers since it was launched in 1996 and has played an influential role in the publication of dozens upon dozens of manuscripts. Poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, playwrights, and writers of children’s literature are invited to apply. Housing and travel costs to and from Dawson City are covered. Residents also receive a $6,000 honorarium, part of which may be covered by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Research and Creation grant program. Writers are required to deliver two public readings and encouraged to interact with the community during their stay.”
Deadline: December 1, 2018

“This contest is for a metrical sonnet. Your sonnet can be Shakespearean, Petrarchan, Spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. We’ll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Some metrical variation is fine, but don’t forget the volta!” NB: “As always, we do accept previously published work.” You can submit up to two poems. No simultaneous submissions. Prize: $100 to the winning poet (via Paypal). NB: “We will also publish at least 4 honorable mention sonnets.”
Deadline: December 31, 2018 (midnight GMT)

“We’re inviting you to send us a poem that deals with any aspects of the Brexit process. Love it or hate it most people have strong opinions about the whole Brexit issue. Why not channel your thoughts by writing a poem about it? Do you feel European or do you think living on an island makes a difference? Are you or will you be affected? Has it influenced the way you think about your own identity or future? We are not interested in whether you are for or against leaving the EU, because when reading poetry, it does not matter if you agree or disagree with the poet but what is important is that you submit a great poem. Or as one of our judges puts it: ‘I don’t have to like Philip Larkin’s vision of the world to admire his poems.'” Prize(s): “The author of the winning poem will receive GBP200. The winning poem and runners-up will be published in our online magazine.”
Deadline: November 23, 2018

“The Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 2018 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize. The Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, a cash award of $500, will be awarded to the best Brooklyn-focused non-fiction essay which is set in Brooklyn and is about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters. We are seeking compelling Brooklyn stories from writers with a broad range of backgrounds and ages who can render Brooklyn’s rich soul and intangible qualities through the writer’s actual experiences in Brooklyn. From the collection of selected Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize submissions, five authors will be selected to read from their work and discuss their Brooklyn stories with the audience at our December 2018 event. The exact date/time and venue will be announced later. These stories and several other submitted stories will be published on the Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival website and made available to the public.”
Deadline: December 12, 2018

“The Brunel International African Poetry Prize is a major annual poetry prize of GBP3000, aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. Now in its sixth year, the Prize is sponsored by Brunel University London and supported by the African Poetry Book Fund.” Eligibility: “The Prize is open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize.”
Deadline: “the end of November”
Judges: Paul McVeigh and Kirsty Logan

“Dearest compatriots, collaborators, friends, foes, gentlepeople, unicorns (both sparkly and plain), folkingtons, allies and everyone in between and either side and up and down and diagonal and round and round the whole glorious spectrum of humanity. Welcome to our flash fiction competition….We won’t amplify it with links but we all know about that rather unpleasant exclusionary flash fiction comp….You cannot fight hate with hate. The answer is love. Only love and always love. Whatever damn kind of love you’re into. Because love knows no bounds, people. And so. We’re running a flash fiction competition on the theme: From LGBTQ+ With Love, with all proceeds going to MindOut, a mental health service for LGBTQ+ people. Specifically, we want your LGBTQ+ stories, your stories of love, grace and compassion (and most importantly your creative swearing). Word limit is 500 words. Think flash. Think pash. Think Hulk smash.” Prizes: 1st prize: GBP100 + 12 months Writers’ HQ membership and 3 free retreats; 2nd prize: GBP50 + 6 months Writers’ HQ membership and 3 free retreats; 3rd prize: GBP25 + 3 months Writers’ HQ membership and 3 free retreats; Honourable mention: GBP25. (Thanks to http://winningwriters.com for the info on this one.)
Deadline: December 10, 2018

“Two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, in the amount of $25,000 are given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. Recognizing that a nonfiction book based on extensive original research often overtaxes the resources available to its author, the project envisions the award as a way of closing the gap between the time and money an author has and the time and money that finishing a book requires. Applicants for the award must already have a contract with a U.S.-based publisher to write a nonfiction book. The judges will make their decision on the basis of trying to achieve maximum impact on a promising book project. Therefore, their selection criteria will represent a blend of the merit of the book and the financial need of the author. For this reason, the judges will need to know the amount of the author’s advance, as well as any other financial support for the book, such as a grant.”
Deadline: December 2, 2018
Judge: Paul Mariani

“The Encounter invites all poets writing in English to submit up to 3 poems (maximum 40 lines each), related in some way to the theme, “Something to Start From”.” More information about the guidelines provided at the website. Prizes: $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems. “The winners will be invited to read their poems on the New York Encounter stage at Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street during the 3-day festival which will take place February 15–17 (Presidents’ Day Weekend). Winners will also have the option of having their poems published on the New York Encounter website after the reading.”
Deadline: January 1, 2019
Judge: Richard Blanco

“The On Teaching Poem Prize is a $1,000 prize, given to honor the best unpublished poem written about K–12 teaching and/or teachers. The winning poem is published in the Academy of American Poets popular Poem-a-Day series during May and published on Poets.org. A finalist will also be chosen and awarded $500. The award is given in partnership with the Academy for Teachers, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that honors and supports exceptional teachers by bringing them together with prominent experts and artists for inspiring master classes and other events. It also seeks to raise respect for the teaching profession by encouraging artistic works that highlight the essential work of teachers.” (via http://twitter.com/Duotrope)
Deadline: December 1, 2018

“Writers are invited to create and submit a short story consisting of 50 paragraphs. The contest provides the 1st and 25th paragraphs, and the short story writer crafts the rest. First prize is $3000, 2nd prize is $2000, and 3rd prize is $1000 with the winning short stories published in a short story anthology, as well as an invitation to give a public reading at Inkberry Books in Niwot, CO.” NB: “The twenty-four (24) Finalists will also have their short stories included in this anthology.”
Deadline: December 22, 2018
Judges: Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Carmen Giménez Smith, and Rosanna Warren

“The Four Quartets Prize is for a unified and complete sequence of poems published in America in a print or online journal, chapbook, or book in 2018. Poems in the sequence may have been published in different journals provided that they were published in 2018 and that brought together, they form a complete sequence. Fourteen pages of published poems unified by subject, form, and style is the minimum per submission. Entire books composed of a unified sequence however long are also welcome. Only one submission per author will be considered.” Prizes: “Three finalists will receive $1,000 each. The winner will receive an additional $20,000.”
Deadline: November 30, 2018

“An annual award of a $10,000 recognizing a book that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year. The prize is named after the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), a writer whose work embodies the qualities of ambition, intellectual and imaginative scope, and technical mastery we seek to recognize.” Entrants must have published at least two previous books of poetry. Eligible books must have been published between November 1, 2017, and October 31, 2018. NB: “The winner will travel to Texas to give readings at UNT and in the DFW metroplex on April 3rd and 4th, 2019. UNT will pay for travel expenses. The author must also allow portions of the winning work to be reproduced for promoting the award. Poets who enter the prize must agree to these terms in order to accept the prize.”

BLUE MESA REVIEW re-opened for submissions in October. “Each piece is published in our online issue and considered for our Annual Print Issue.” Fiction/nonfiction/poetry. Pays $25. NB: “International submissions are accepted and are eligible for publication, but we are not able to process contributor payments outside the United States.” Visit the website for more information: http://bmr.unm.edu/submissions/.
BENNINGTON REVIEW will re-open for submissions on November 1. “We aim to stake out a distinctive space for innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work.” Pays: $100 for prose of six pages or under; $200 for prose over six pages; $20 per poem. Visit http://www.benningtonreview.org/submit/ for more information.
Ireland’s CRANNOG MAGAZINE will be open for submissions of fiction and poetry during the month of November. Pays: contributor’s copy and EURO50 per story, EURO30 per poem.” Publication also confers “an invitation to attend/read at the launch of Crannóg at The Crane Bar, Galway, Ireland.” Visit http://www.crannogmagazine.com/submissions.htm for more information.
The current submissions window (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) at BALTIMORE REVIEW will close November 30. Pays: “web exposure, a copy of the annual compilation in which the author’s work appears, and a small payment ($40 Amazon gift certificate or $40 through PayPal, if preferred).” Find more information at http://baltimorereview.org/index.php/submit.
Also closing November 30: the current submissions window at THE BARE LIFE REVIEW. “We are committed to publishing work exclusively by immigrant and refugee authors, and to showcasing the immense—indeed, infinite—value and diversity of this literature.” To this end, they seek work only from 1) “foreign-born writers living in the United States” and 2) “writers living abroad who currently hold refugee and/or asylum-seeker status.” They are looking for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Pays: $750 for full-length prose pieces and $300 “for accepted poems or shorter prose.” Visit https://www.barelifereview.org/submit for guidelines.
The end of November also brings the end of the fall submissions season at SPARTAN, “a journal of minimalist prose,” which “considers literary prose submissions of fifteen hundred words or less.” NB: “We do not accept multiple submissions, except in the case of linked micro fictions and/or prose poems. For linked micro fictions, the entire series must be two thousand words or less. For micro fictions and prose poems, please send no more than five at a time.” Pays: “$20 for each published story or series of micro fictions and prose poems. Those included in the print journal [which compiles work published online] receive a free contributor’s copy.” Website: https://spartanlit.com/.
And a heads-up from POETRY, which “will be closed to submissions for the month of December.” Recall that payment is “the rate of $10 per line (with a minimum payment of $300), and $150 per page of prose, for first serial rights.” Guidelines: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/submit.
From THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE: “For the December 2018 issue (Pedestal 83), editors will be accepting submissions of poetry. No restrictions on theme, style, length, or genre.” Send work from November 5 to December 2. Payment: $40 per accepted poem. Visit https://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/submissions/ for more information.
SMOKING PEN PRESS is issuing a Call for Submissions for a short story anthology. “This will be the next title in the Read on the Run series…and the tentative title of this new anthology is VAMPIRES, ZOMBIES, AND GHOSTS. We welcome stories involving all types of supernatural beings… and mixing and matching of different types of beings in the same story is acceptable. There is no requirement as to genre; stories can be sci-fi, mystery, romance, adventure, etc. Simultaneous submissions permitted, but please let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere. Reprints are accepted as long as all rights have reverted to you; please identify your submission as a reprint when you send it in. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2018.” Payment: “US and Canada authors of stories that are selected will receive their choice of a one-time payment of $20 USD, or 2 complimentary copies of the paperback; non US/Canada authors will receive their choice of a one-time payment of $20 USD, or 1 complimentary copy of the paperback.” Guidelines: http://smokingpenpress.com/submissions-2.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, THE CANTABRIGIAN focuses on literary fiction (stories up to 8,000 words). They’re receiving work until December 31. Pays: $20-$50/contributor. NB: They note that they do not charge submission fees UNTIL they exceed the number of unpaid submissions allowed by the portal. “Submit early to avoid the fee.” Website: http://www.cantabmag.org/.
“SMOKELONG publishes flash fiction up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry or non-fiction.” Pays: “We pay $25/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.” More guidelines at http://www.smokelong.com/submissions/guidelines/.
FOUNDRY, which has been publishing poems since inception, is now inviting “essays that explore elements of craft and the writing process. We are looking for 800-1,200 word essays that engage and interrogate contemporary poetics.” Pays: “We pay $20 per essay via Venmo or Paypal shortly after publication.” Visit https://www.foundryjournal.com/essay-guidelines.html for more information.

Reminder: The newsletter is published just once each month, but there’s *always* something new at our Practicing Writing blog: fresh market news, current contest and job listings, links to writing-related articles, newly-discovered craft and business resources, and so much more. Regular blog features include:

–Monday Markets for Writers
–Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer (formerly “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress”)
–Friday Finds for Writers
–Sunday Sentence

Please visit, and comment! http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing/.

And for those of you practicing writers who are interested in matters of specifically Jewish cultural interest, please also visit My Machberet (http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/my-machberet). For the curious, “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 to the best of our ability but readers should verify information when necessary and appropriate. THE PRACTICING WRITER and its editor/publisher disclaim any liability for the use of information contained within. Thank you for subscribing.
For updates and additional opportunity listings between newsletters, please check in with our “Practicing Writing” blog, http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing.
ABOUT THE EDITOR: Based in New York City, Erika Dreifus is a freelance writer and book publicist. She is the author of QUIET AMERICANS: STORIES, which is an American Library Association Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. She has taught for Harvard University, the Cambridge (Mass.) Center for Adult Education, and the low-residency MFA programs in creative writing at Lesley University, the Northwest Institute for Literary Arts, and Oklahoma City University. From 2014-2017, Erika served as Media Editor for Fig Tree Books LLC. Please visit http://www.erikadreifus.com to learn more about Erika’s work, and go directly to http://www.erikadreifus.com/quiet-americans/book-clubs/ to arrange for her to visit your book club!
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