Writer. Poet. Publicist. Resource Maven.

Current Issue


Supporting the Craft and Business of Excellent Writing
Volume 15, Number 12: January 2019
Editor: Erika Dreifus
Copyright (c) 2019 Erika Dreifus



We value our subscribers, and we protect their privacy. We keep our subscriber list confidential.

PLEASE PASS THE NEWSLETTER ON–in its entirety–to your writing friends, students, and teachers. If you’d like to share news about a particular competition or a submission alert with other writers, PLEASE CREDIT THE PRACTICING WRITER for the find. Thanks for respecting the efforts of your volunteer editor/publisher!

Having trouble reading this issue? Have the formatting gremlins been at work again? The current newsletter is available to all at http://www.erikadreifus.com/newsletter/current. Subscribers only may access archived issues at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/practicing-writer.

PLEASE NOTE: Your volunteer editor/publisher *loves* to learn about developments and successes in your writing practice that may result from something gleaned in this newsletter (or on her complementary website). Please feel welcome to share such news with her via https://www.erikadreifus.com/contact/.

This newsletter is sent by subscription only. For instructions on subscribing or unsubscribing, please scroll to the end. Thank you!

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

Greetings, practicing writers!

Here’s hoping that no matter which holidays you may or may not have observed, you’ve had a delightful December.

Since this newsletter launched with a February issue, way back in 2004, we always consider our *newsletter* year to begin in, well—February. Which means that what you’re reading right now is the final issue for our FIFTEENTH anniversary year.

Thanks to all of you for subscribing, reading, and sharing this newsletter. And here’s to a joyous January for us all,


My “Top 10” for 2018

By Erika Dreifus

Maybe you’ve noticed these lists and threads over the past week or so: Writers have been sharing highlights from their own work that has been published over the past year. At first, I wasn’t sure that I’d join in that particular effort. (But it’s amazing how a deadline–even for one’s own newsletter–can serve as a motivating factor!)

So, in case you missed any of these along the way, here are 10 pieces that I’m especially pleased found homes this year. My thanks to the editors who published them–and to everyone who read, commented, “liked,” shared, etc. (Honesty compels me to disclose that there aren’t SO many more beyond these 10 that might have appeared here.)

In reverse chronological order (most recent first):

1. “On Being a Jewish American Writer in 2018”
MOMENT (November)

2. and 3. “On Refinding My First Crush on Facebook” and “The Smell of Infection”

4. “The Analytic Hour of J. Alfred Prufrock”
THE OFFING (October)

5. “This Woman’s Prayer”

6. “The O-Word”

7. “When Your Niece Attends a Jewish Day School”
RHYME ON! POETRY CONTEST (Honorable Mention, Free Verse; June)

8. “Wherever You’ve Gone, Joe DiMaggio”
ALYSS (April)

9. “The Book of Vashti”
JEWESS (February)

10. “Mazal Tov to a New Jewish Book Award”
TABLET (February)

Hoping to bump up your own byline count in 2019? Wondering where to send your poetry and prose?

When I received a recent inquiry from a writer along those lines, I responded that for personalized recommendations, I’d need to charge a consultation fee. But I was also prompted to revisit some of the free resources that I offer on my website and point him to them.

Which also prompted me to review and update this page:

Where to Publish Your Work: http://bit.ly/2Cyy1Ca

Deadline: February 1, 2019

Seeks personal essays (2,000-3,000 words) by emerging writers on the topic of “Humor in the Wild”: “Maybe these scenarios sound familiar. You’re dripping sweat under that pack you’ve overloaded. You’re on an exposed ridge, the sky blackening, thunder rolling in. Your stove has malfunctioned. You’re forced to conclude you’ve gotten the whole party lost. Exhaustion, fear, stupidity: yet you’re surprised to find yourself laughing. The mountain world can bring humor unexpectedly into our lives. Perhaps because the mere act of being in the mountains provides an antidote to the daily bombardment of the news cycle and the traumas of modern life. Perhaps because being in the mountains heightens all kinds of human experience. Perhaps because being in the mountains helps us to remember that life is full of the absurd and the unexpected. Does laughing, or just a bemused smile, bring us closer to wildness? Does humor bring us to the threshold of finding that mysterious something that often eludes us yet draws us into wild places? Is laughter a natural reaction to wildness–the wild within responding the wild outside? How and when does humor intersect with our experience of the wild?” Prizes: “The winning essayist will be awarded $1,500. The runner-up essayist will receive $500. Both will be published online and in APPALACHIA.” NB: “For the purposes of this contest, an emerging writer is considered someone who has a solid writing background or interest but has not yet published a major work of prose on this topic or been featured in national publications.”
Submissions: January 3-February 15, 2019
2019 judge: Khaled Mattawa

“The Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry supports outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and brings their work to a national stage. Expanding on the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, which was established in 2011, this prize awards $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to a poet residing in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, or Michigan. Selected from a small number of finalists by an independent judge, the prizewinning poet will also receive a standard royalty contract, national distribution, and a comprehensive marketing and publicity campaign. Finalists will be invited to read at Milkweed’s annual National Poetry Month Party on April 24, 2019 at Open Book in Minneapolis. A public book launch and celebration for the winning poet will be held in Minneapolis around publication.”
Deadline: January 31, 2019

“Held for three weeks in June, the Seminar provides an extended opportunity for undergraduate poets to write and to be guided by established poets. Staff and visiting poets conduct writing workshops and offer lecture/discussions, present readings of their own work, and are available for individual conferences….Applicants compete for ten places in the Seminar, all of which come with fellowships. Fellowships include tuition, housing in campus apartments, and meals. Accepted students are responsible only for their travel to Bucknell and a modest library deposit. A limited number of travel scholarships are available.”
Deadline: January 23, 2019

“The Driftless region of Wisconsin state is land that the glaciers never reached–a dramatically hilly landscape, unpressed by the weight of glaciers, with ore so close to the surface it was collected by individual miners who dug their own ‘badger holes’ in the mineral-rich ground. Since the miners left, this beautifully strange region has collected artists and makers, inspired by each other and the shadows and light created by ancient trees and changes in elevation. Brain Mill Press holds the Driftless Unsolicited Novella Contest to select the novellas that will be published in the series. Two winning novellas each receive a $250.00 cash prize, a publication contract, and royalties for the novella with Brain Mill Press. The novellas are published in print and ebook and receive international distribution.” The categories: fiction and genre fiction (explained in the competition description). NB: “Brain Mill Press has an acquisition mission to publish underrepresented authors and considers submissions from authors of color, LGBTQIA+ authors, disabled authors, First Nations authors, BAME authors, 50+ authors, and women/femme authors. All submissions are read in full by the editorial staff at Brain Mill Press.”
Deadline: February 1, 2019 (received)

Annual prize in the name of the late Larry Levis is awarded for “the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year.” Prize: $5000 an invitation, expenses paid, to present a public reading in the following fall in Richmond, Virginia.
Deadline: January 31, 2019

For a short story set in Little Tokyo (Los Angeles). “The story must be original, fictional, written in either Japanese or English by the submitting author and never been published (even online). One author for each story. The same story submitted in a previous year cannot be resubmitted. The setting of the story should be in Little Tokyo — either past, present or future — capturing the ‘spirit and sense’ of the historic neighborhood. Submitted manuscript should be 2,500 words or less for English or 5,000 ji or less for Japanese and have a title.” Prizes of $500 each for the best English-language story, the best Japanese-language story, and the best Youth (18 and under) story.”
Deadline: February 28, 2019

For the month of July 2019, “five writers across disciplines (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, translation, comics) are awarded residencies. Residents receive a $900 stipend, travel reimbursement, a private room in a house shared with the other residents, and exclusive use of one of the Mastheads studios, which are located at a new site throughout the Berkshires each summer. On weekdays, we provide on-call transportation to the studios. For other transportation needs, residents may use the bikes provided, their own cars, taxis, or Lyft.” NB: “Public programming during the residency includes weekly lectures and community conversations with scholars and experts across disciplines. In 2019, our five focus authors from the Pittsfield area will include Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, James Weldon Johnson, and James Van Der Zee….At the end of The Mastheads residency, we ask each resident to submit a minimum of 1,000 words or 2 to 5 poems to publish in the The Berkshire Eagle and to preserve in an ongoing Pittsfield Anthology.”
Deadline: January 21, 2019

“The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Entrants are asked to respond to a question in 3,000 words, with the winner receiving US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas. The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. The name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle–a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box. The Nine Dots Prize question is: Is there still no place like home?” NB: This is an international competition, and the resulting book is to be published by Cambridge University Press. As always, read the guidelines and FAQ on the website, where you’ll discover in this case, among other bits of information, a note that fiction submissions may be acceptable. (Found this one via http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com.)
Deadline: February 19, 2019

“The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award is a grant of $12,500 to support the work of a promising early-career nonfiction writer on a story that uncovers truths about the human condition. In 2019 we will again offer a runner-up prize of $4,000. Offered for the first time in 2015, the Award has been endowed by individuals and organizations touched by the life and work of Matthew Power, a wide-roving and award-winning journalist who sought to live and share the experience of the individuals and places on which he was reporting. Power, a longtime friend of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, died in March 2014, while on assignment in Uganda. The award proceeds from the recognition that many important stories need to be reported from afar, and that publications do not always have the resources to send a writer where the story is. The money need not be used exclusively for travel, but we expect that most successful applications will include such expenses.” NB: “The award will not fund proposals to report on armed conflicts where journalists are already imperiled, nor projects that are mainly investigatory. The winner will receive visiting scholar privileges at NYU, including library access.”
http://www.bucknell.edu/centers-institutes-and-resources/stadler-center-for-poetry/programs-and-residencies/philip-roth-residences-in-creative-writing.html or http://bit.ly/1w7NFvW
Deadline: February 1, 2019

“Named for Bucknell’s renowned literary alumnus and initiated in the fall of 1993, the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers up to four months of unfettered writing time for a writer working on a first or second book of fiction or literary nonfiction. The residency provides lodging in Bucknell’s ‘Poets’ Cottage’ and a stipend of $5,000. In the spring semester of 2019, the Stadler Center will accept applications for the 2018-19 Philip Roth Residences (August-December 2019 and February-May 2020).” NB: “The Roth Residence is no longer awarded to poets; only writers of fiction and/or literary nonfiction are eligible.”
Deadline: February 1, 2019

“The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre was established in 2016. Open to emerging writers living in the UK aged 18 or over, the Prize was established to celebrate and develop life writing in the UK thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. Blake Morrison is Patron of the Prize. Free to enter, the Prize aims to find the best life writing from emerging writers from across the UK. The Prize defines life writing as ‘intended to be true’, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences and is not fiction. The 2019 Life Writing Prize winner will receive GBP1,500, publication on Spread the Word’s website, an Arvon course, two years’ membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a development meeting with an editor and an agent. Two highly commended entries will each receive GBP500 and two mentoring sessions, a development meeting with an editor and an agent, and be published on the Spread the Word website. Three writers will be shortlisted, and six will be longlisted.”
Deadline: March 1, 2019

“For the Spring 2020 Fellow, we are searching for a writer of creative nonfiction (broadly defined) who also has editorial experience with literary journals or other literary publications. The Mary Wood Fellow spends approximately three days at Washington College, during which she holds individual conferences with select female and nonbinary undergraduate creative writers. The Fellow also gives a public reading and a craft talk. The Fellowship includes a $1500 stipend, overnight accommodations, and travel. The Fellowship enables female and nonbinary creative writing students at Washington College to work with and learn from successful female-identifying writers who spend several days on campus.”

STORY has returned! Now based in Columbus, Ohio, this magazine “devoted to the complex and diverse world of narrative with a focus on fiction and nonfiction” is open for submissions. “STORY does not have any formal guidelines with regard to style, content, or length (we consider anything from flash fiction to novellas).” Pays: “$10 per page upon publication. Website: https://www.storymagazine.org/. UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that STORY is charging a $3 fee; had I realized that initially, I would not have included it here.
Open for submissions during the month of January: BARRELHOUSE BOOKS. “This go-round, we’re open to reading book-length works of personal, innovative nonfiction, as well as essay collections. We’re especially keen to see books that take interesting or unusual vectors through their subject matters.” Pays: “Barrelhouse Books pays authors a $500 advance as well as a generous split of any royalties.” Guidelines: https://www.barrelhousemag.com/submission-info/.
Also open (to new fiction, poetry, and nonfiction) throughout the month of January: NASHVILLE REVIEW. “Submissions in all other genres are open year-round.” Pays: “We pay $25 per poem & song selection; $100 per selection for all other categories, including featured artwork. Translators receive $25 per poem & $100 for prose selections.” Find out more at https://as.vanderbilt.edu/nashvillereview/contact/submit.
Submissions for the summer 2019 issue of THE STINGING FLY will close January 9. THE STINGING FLY publishes “We publish new, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers. We have a particular interest in promoting the short story. Each issue includes a mix of poetry and fiction, alongside our Featured Poets and Comhchealg sections, commissioned essays, occasional author interviews and novel extracts. We also welcome submissions of poetry and prose in translation.” The upcoming issue will be guest-edited by Danny Denton (whose editorial statement is included on the website). Payment: EURO25/magazine page for fiction and nonfiction; EURO40 for a single poem/magazine poem; EURO200 for “featured poet.” Guidelines: https://stingingfly.org/submissions/.
Closing January 10: submissions for the next issue of FULL BLEED, “an annual print journal of art and design.” For this issue, they’re “especially, but not exclusively, interested in submissions that concern *machines*. We seek new writing about or related to artificial intelligence, robotics, the machination of labor, political machines, Rube Goldberg-type contraptions and related absurdities, virtual reality, and games. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, we’d welcome submissions that dwell on various man-made monsters of the past, present, and future, and the relationship between machines and natural forms and processes. Send us writing and artwork, too, about broken, manipulative, and harmful machines and strategies for resisting their operations. We seek essays that critique art and design involving machines and automation as a subject of inquiry, and portfolios of thematically relevant art and design.” Pays: “modest honorarium.” More info: https://www.full-bleed.org/submit.
Open for submissions until January 15: QU, “a contemporary literary magazine from Queens University of Charlotte.” Pays: “$100 per prose piece, $50 per poem (unfortunately we cannot accept international submissions).” Guidelines: http://www.qulitmag.com/submit/. UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that this publication has instituted a sub fee (although that doesn’t seem to be disclosed on its main submissions page, which I had re-checked; the fee shows up only on the Submittable page).
Canada’s ARC POETRY MAGAZINE continues to receive submissions of previously unpublished poetry in English, and translations, for its summer issue until January 31. Pays (presumably in Canadian dollars): $50/page. Guidelines: http://arcpoetry.ca/submit/.
Open until February 1: “VOLNEY ROAD REVIEW is a biannual literary magazine based in Youngstown, Ohio. We have decided to dedicate the magazine to the Youngstown great, Volney Rogers, whose actions led to the creation of Mill Creek Park. VRR is also dedicated to Volney Road, a historical neighborhood in Youngstown, which contains some amazing homes–hidden gems of the city. Our goal is to give a platform to the unpublished gems hidden within the repertoires of established and emerging authors. Send us the work that you think will change the world. We publish during the fall and spring seasons.” Pays: $10/accepted piece (via Paypal). Website: https://volneyroadreview.com/.
February 20, 2019, is the deadline to send work for possible inclusion in the 2020 TEXAS POETRY CALENDAR. “Poems should have a Texas connection.” NB: “We welcome the expression of diverse voices, diverse cultures – including poems partly or entirely in Spanish. Please include an English translation.” No simultaneous submissions. Payment: “All work accepted for publication will receive $20 per poem.” Find out more: https://kallistogaiapress.submittable.com/submit.
“JACK WALKER PRESS seeks personal essays of up to 4000 words on the theme of friendship for a new anthology. Stories must be true. We seek dimensional characterizations of the people you write about. First-person essays preferred. Reprints considered if you own rights to the story. Essays should have a clear beginning, middle, and end with a story arc. Stories do not have to end with happily-ever-after. Literary and experimental essays welcome–coherence required. Make us laugh and cry. Make us cringe and applaud. Make us feel; make us think; don’t bore us. We reserve the right to edit/proofread. We enjoy authors who will cross-promote with us.” Pays (after publication): “$25 for essays of at least 1000 words and ask for one-time publishing rights. We know your work should garner more, and if our anthologies of personal essays sell well, we will pay more.” Deadline: “Submissions will be accepted through Feb[ruary], 2019.” Guidelines: https://greensubmissions.com/723/the-xyzs/index.php.
Re-opening for submissions on January 15 (and remaining open until March 1): COPPER NICKEL, which looks for poetry, fiction, essays, and translation folios. Pays: “$30 per printed page + two copies of the issue in which the author’s work appears + a one-year subscription.” Guidelines: http://copper-nickel.org/submit/.
“VEGETARIAN ALCOHOLIC accepts submissions year-round for finished full manuscripts of fifty pages or more. There is no filing fee. We specialize in poetry but may consider other forms of creative writing. Compensation is based on sales. You’ll get $5 per physical book sold and 20 free copies to do with what you wish. No gimmicks or prizes.” Info: http://www.vegetarianalcoholicpress.com/submissives. Discovered this press via Entropy’s “Where to Submit” feature: https://entropymag.org/category/where-to-submit/.

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!
This newsletter may be duplicated/forwarded as long as it remains unaltered and is replicated in its entirety. If you find this information valuable please pass the newsletter along to your writing friends. Thank you!
To receive alerts when new newsletter issues are available, please subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]
Need to leave us? We’ll be sorry to see you go. To unsubscribe, please send a blank e-mail to [email protected]