Written by S. Kalekar December 21st, 2020

24 Creative Nonfiction Markets Open in December 2020

These magazines publish creative nonfiction, including personal essays, memoir, lyrical essays, narrative nonfiction, and others. Most of them also accept other genres, like fiction and poetry. Some of these pay writers. Here they are, in no particular order.

Small Print Magazine
They publish fiction and creative nonfiction (flash pieces to 8,000 words; serialized and longer works will be considered), poetry, book reviews, articles on the craft of writing, features and interviews, cartoons, and software/hardware reviews relevant to writers. Details here.  

The New York Times: Modern Love; Solver Stories
They are reading personal essays on two themes.
— Modern Love:
Modern Love publishes honest personal essays about contemporary relationships; see guidelines for details and examples of past published essays. They especially encourage BIPOC to submit, as well as those outside of the United States and people who identify as members of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ communities. Modern Love pieces are 1,500-1,700 words, and pay is $500. Submissions are also open for Tiny Love Stories (of 100 words), though these are unpaid. The deadline is 31 December 2020. Details here.
— Solver Stories: The Tweet from NYTimes Wordplay says, “Submissions to our Solver Stories feature for the latter half of 2021 are now open. We’re looking for fresh voices and well-told stories about how puzzle-solving or games have had an impact on your life, or how they might have changed a relationship.” Their guidelines are extensive, and include this: “The most important thing is that the writing be emotionally honest and for the story to be freshly and compellingly told.” Essays have to be 800-1,300 words, and pay is $200. Details here (Tweet) and here (guidelines).

They want “writing that pushes into, dares to reveal, its own truth, that takes emotional risks, that gets to the heart of the matter.” For creative nonfiction (up to 3,000 words), they read many kinds of submissions including personal essay, memoir, lyric, literary journalism, or some blurring in between. They also accept fiction and poetry, and have an Appalachian Arts Interviews section. The deadline is 31 January 2021. Details here.

Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry
Their guidelines say, “We seek work that conjures the experiences, observations, and insights of backcountry journeys. By “backcountry,” we mean away from paved roads, preferably more than a day’s journey by foot, skis, snowshoes, kayak, canoe, horse, or any other non-motorized means of conveyance. … We are open to a wide spectrum of carefully-crafted work, from the personal to the political (however you construe that word).” Apart from creative nonfiction (up to 3,000 words; will consider longer), they also publish fiction and poetry. Payment is one copy of the journal. They will read one fee-free submission per writer, and they are open for submissions until 1 January 2021. Details here and here. (They are also open for an undergraduate fee-free poetry contest, with a later deadline.) 

Adventures in Ideas: Movement and Stillness
This is an online literary journal that explores the intersection between travel and ideas. They are reading now for their first issue, on the ‘Movement and Stillness’ theme, broadly interpreted. Their guidelines say, “We are primarily interested in ideas-driven travel articles and essays. We also accept book excerpts for forthcoming titles and thematic reviews for the journal. We are keen to read experimental writing, photo essays, reported features, and the like. We do not publish listicles, commercial travel writing, or travelogues that do not engage with larger issues and ideas.” They pay $75, and the deadline is 31 December 2020. They don’t pay for book excerpts or blog posts. Details here.

They publish place-based writing. Submit one essay, article, flash essay series, community case study, or other piece up to 6,000 words; creative nonfiction, personal essays, photo essays, articles, flash essays, case studies, and other essays need not follow any particular style. They also publish fiction, poetry, artwork, videos, and other contributions. They want “material that reaches deep into the earth’s fiery core, or humanity’s incalculable core, and brings forth new insights and wisdom.” They publish translations, as well. The deadline is 30 April 2021. Details here.   

Bennington Review
This literary magazine aims to carve out a “distinctive space for innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing and cross-genre work. In the spirit of poet Dean Young’s dictum that poets should be “making birds, not birdcages,” we are particularly taken with writing that is simultaneously graceful and reckless.” They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and film writing essays – they will also consider pieces on television, video art, viral videos, Vines, or any of the other alternative forms that moving images might take. For fiction and nonfiction, they also accept self-contained excerpts from longer pieces. They also publish translations. Send up to 30 pages of prose. They pay $100-200 for prose, and $20/poem. The deadline is 8 May 2021. Details here.

Atlas and Alice

They are interested in intersections. Chief among them are the meetings-up of science and the arts, prose and poetry, and any piece that seems to do more than one thing at once. For creative nonfiction (up to 4,500 words) their guidelines say, “Honestly, we’re not in love with memoir. Personal essays, yes. We also love meditative and lyric essays — so, pieces that read a lot like poetry, but are technically nonfiction.” They also publish fiction and poetry. The deadline is 15 January 2021. Details here.

They publish personal essays and features/perspective pieces, some of them themed, as well as work in alternate formats, like graphic memoir, on the parenting experience. For personal essays, their guidelines say, “We are looking for evocative first-person narratives that have a unique focus, or take a novel angle, on a slice of the parenting experience. We are open to a range of styles and tones: the only requirement is that the essay works on its own terms—be it lyrical, humorous, research-oriented, etc—and conveys something fundamental about its writer. Up to 1,200 words. Completed essays only and please include word count.” Pay is unspecified, and some types of submissions are unpaid (see guidelines). Details here

The Bare Life Review: The Latest
They only publish work foreign-born writers living in the United States, or by writers living abroad who currently hold refugee and/or asylum-seeker status. For their online forum, The Latest, they primarily publish memoir, criticism, and politics; generally, anything timely (i.e. reviews of new books, or work responding directly to current events) should be addressed to The LatestThey periodically open submissions for their print journal, which also publishes fiction and poetry. Send work of up to 3,000 words for the online forum; pay is $100. Details here.

The Roadrunner Review
This magazine only accepts work from students around the world, both graduates and undergraduates. They are reading now for issue 7. They accept submissions of prose – fiction and creative nonfiction (up to 1,000 words), poetry, and cover art. All submitted work will also be considered for a prize of $100. The deadline is 24 January 2021. Details here

The Cincinnati Review
This literary magazine accepts literary nonfiction (up to 20 pages), fiction, poetry, poetry translations, and art. Query for drama submissions. They also have a weekly online Flash feature called miCRo (payment for this is a digital contributor copy). See guidelines for editors’ preferences. Pay is $25/page for prose in the journal, and $30/page for poetry. The deadline is 1 January 2021. Details here.

Border Crossing
They’re especially interested in writing that crosses boundaries in genre or geography, and voices that aren’t often heard in mainstream publications. For creative nonfiction (up to 5,000 words), they are interested in personal essays, memoir excerpts (when self-contained), flash creative nonfiction, works of creative nonfiction in experimental forms, and graphic nonfiction. They may close periodically when a monthly submission cap is reached during a reading period. They also publish fiction and poetry. The deadline is 1 February 2021. Details here.

The Offing
The Offing publishes nonfiction (personal essays), fiction, poetry, translations, and cross-genre work. Not all sections are open for submissions, but some are. Pay is $25-100, and they are not charging a submission fee this year. Details here.

This is a Canadian journal of arts and literature. They publish nonfiction (up to 3,500 words), poetry, fiction, and art from both local and international contributors. The deadline for submissions to be considered for Spring/Summer issues is December 31. They read work year-round. Pay is CAD50 per submission (up to CAD250). Details here.

This respected literary journal accepts fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and essays. All work will be considered for print and online publishing. There’s no word limit for prose. Pay is $10/page of prose, $20/page of poetry, up to $150. The deadline is 31 May 2021.
Details here

Green Hills Literary Lantern
They publish creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, travel-writing, excerpts from larger works, genre-blurring work, and all forms of prose that can be considered “creative nonfiction” – see guidelines for what kind of writing they like; send 15-18 pages, or 2-3 shorts). They also publish fiction and poetry. They read work year-round. Details here.  

Bending Genres
They’re looking for “thrilling, fanciful, oddball, unusual, stunning” nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. For creative nonfiction (up to 1,500 words), they want writing that is “experimental, gut-wrenching, terrifying, honest, breakneck speed, whooshing out, fabulous and secretive. We like blending genres, mixed and hybrid writing, blurred and creative lines crossed”, according to guidelines. The deadline is 5 January 2020. Details here.

This is a thrice-yearly online literary magazine from Eastern Illinois University. They publish creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.
Length guidelines are 3,000-5,000 words for prose (shorter work is also ok). They pay $75 for prose, and $20 for poetry. The deadline is 1 January 2021. Details here.

Quarter After Eight
This is a journal of innovative writing. Apart from nonfiction, they also publish fiction and poetry. They celebrate work that directly challenges the conventions of language, style, voice, or idea in literary forms. The deadline is 15 April 2021. Details here

They publish nonfiction, as well as fiction and poetry, and the work must be connected to music. Their nonfiction guidelines say, “We seek nonfiction (personal essay, memoir, academic essay) animated by music, up to ~9,000 words. But truly, we don’t care about the man’s definition of art!  If it grabs us, we won’t stop reading because of some stupid stupid’s rules. Just so we’re on the same page, please submit an accompanying artist’s statement explaining how your work engages the world of music. We encourage all submitters to peruse our archives to get a better feel for our scope and aesthetic.” They pay $8 per page with a cap of $200 for prose, and $25 per poem. They’re open now for submissions. Details here.

Midnight & Indigo
This is a new platform for Black women writers, and they publish fiction as well as narrative and personal essays (at least 1,200 words). They accept book reviews year round, though these are unpaid. Pay is $50 for essays, and $50-75 for fiction. The deadline is 10 January 2021. Details here.

We Were So Small
Their website says, “The small often gets lost. Dismissed. Drowned out in the great, the loud, the large. We Were So Small is a journal that believes small is important. We question the connection between scale and significance. We encourage celebration of the small, a focus on small moments, small feelings, small goals.” They accept nonfiction, fiction, poetry, hybrid, and open-form work, of up to 2,000 words. They will release their first issue in March 2021. They are accepting submissions now, on a rolling basis. Details here.

Catapult: Turning Points; Debut
They’re reading nonfiction submissions (up to 2,000 words) as well as pitches for two series.
Turning Points: “This series features stories about those moments in our writing lives where everything suddenly seems to click, where we’re given new motivation to carry on with our work—or even where we need to take a well earned pause, to remember that the life of a writer, for better or for worse, is always about twists and turns”, according to guidelines. They anticipate essays that are a mix of memoir and craft writing.
Debut: “This series features authors writing about their experiences writing, publishing, and promoting their first books—and often to broader topics that investigate what it means to write when the world is now watching”, according to guidelines. They anticipate essays that are a mix of memoir and cultural criticism. 
The deadline for both series is 4 January 2021. Details here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.


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