Written by Emily Harstone

55 Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices This August

This list of publishers meet our guiding principles, but are only open to free submissions from historically underrepresented writers or focus on publishing content produced by historically underrepresented writers. Some of these publications are open to a wide range of writers including writers of color, gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+ writers, and those living with disabilities. Some have limited definitions and are only interested in work by Black authors. We try to make it as clear as possible who the publisher is seeking work from. Sometimes the focus of the press is limited, even though there are no limitations on who can submit. A few of the opportunities are also limited by geography, again, we try to make this clear.

As long as a press/opportunity/journal is open to submissions we will continue to list it, so some of the content on the list is new, some overlaps from the previous month. This article is an ongoing collaborative effort by Emily Harstone and S. Kalekar. Please send us an email at support@authorspublish.com if you have any feedback or an opportunity/journal/publisher, to recommend.

Each month we’ve been featuring a different resource for underrepresented writers.

Journals/Magazines

Wishbone Words
A new literary journal that publishes work, including poetry, creative nonfiction, personal essays, and illustrations, by chronically ill and disabled writers and artists.

Travesties?!: A Journal of Uncanny Arts
They accept submissions on a rolling basis from anyone that identifies as LGBTQIA+. They say “We are looking for pieces that are queer in all senses of the word, but that doesn’t mean they should be limited to traditional ideas of LGBTQ+ experience. ”

The Arrow Journal
This established journal is seeking work on the theme Black Dreaming and Black Dream Geographies. This Special Issue “seeks to contribute to the collective archiving and analysis of Black dreaming, by centering the work of Black contributors. The Guest Editor especially invites Black, African, and Black diaspora contributors to submit their work, including but not limited to  Black folks living outside of the Americas and contributors who identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Indigenous, Afro-Asian, and/or Afro-Arab. ”  Learn more about the details of the call by tapping on the + symbol next to the call, here.

Craft
This respected literary journal is open to creative work from authors of all backgrounds, but they offer free submissions + fast response times to BIPOC and other underrepresented writers, here.

beestung
beestung is an online micro-magazine from Sundress Publishing that is intended for non-binary and two-spirit writers and readers, with an emphasis on intracommunity sensibilities. They publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrids, and art, and pay $20. Their general submission guidelines are here.

Electric Lit: Both/And Essay Series
This award-winning magazine wants pitches for ‘Both/And’, an essay series focused on personal narratives from trans and gender non-conforming writers of color. They have detailed guidelines, including, “previous publication is not necessary for consideration. Pitches should center personal narrative and engage with any of the following themes and questions: Imagination as liberation; Coming to light, being seen; Balancing and/or integrating multiple, and sometimes conflicting identities; Trans lives and voices as transgressive; Heightened visibility and/or heightened invisibility; Trans joy, euphoria, or freedom; Trans anger, rage, or revenge. Additional ideas are welcome as befitting the spirit and themes of the series.” Pay is $500/essay, 5x their usual pay rate, and they will publish 12 essays in this series. They will accept pitches (do not send completed submissions) on an ongoing basis from 18 July to 31 August 2022.

Aloka
They want work by non-native English speakers only – poetry, translations, fiction, and hybrid work. Send up to 5 poems, or up to 2 prose pieces, up to 2,500 words each.

Agbowó

They publish work by African origin writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, interviews/reviews, and art/photography. Pay is $25-50 for poetry, $50 for one-act plays, $60 for fiction and nonfiction, and $35 for art. Please send only one submission per reading period. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Room Magazine

They publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by people of all marginalized genders, including cis and trans women, trans men, nonbinary and Two-Spirit people. They also accept review pitches from Canadian writers (see guidelines). Send prose of up to 3,500 words, or up to 5 poems. Pay is CAD50-200. The deadline is 15 October 2022.

There’s No Place – Tales of Home by Storytellers Who Have Experienced Homelessness

This is an international fiction anthology by those with lived experience of homelessness (inclusive – see guidelines). “The theme of the collection is, simply, HOME. This is not limited to physical spaces; home can be a person, an item, a memory, a sensation. The theme can be interpreted broadly, but home should be at the heart of your story.

This collection will be limited to short stories—we are seeking fiction only. While lived experience will inform the stories told, our hope is to share tales of home imagined into being.” Send stories of 500-3,500 words. While the publisher, Renaissance Press, will prioritize diverse Canadian voices, all writers who have experienced homelessness in some form are encouraged to submit. Stories can be in any genre, and pay is CAD0.08/word. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Fat Coyote Literary Arts

This magazine publishes work by neurodivergent writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, and comics. They also accept reprints. Pay is $30-120. The deadline is 15 October 2022.

Spoonie Magazine
Spoonie Magazine is a new weekly digital publication; they published their first volume in June 2022. “We want art, articles, poetry, and prose by disabled, chronically ill, and / or neurodivergent individuals (or their loved ones) that engages with these topics in some way. We’re not looking for any specific form or perspective; we’re looking for honesty.” They publish art, articles, poetry, and prose (including fiction and creative nonfiction). While they are always open for submissions, work sent from February to April and August to October are also considered for Spoonie Journal, their bi-annual print/digital publication.

Bad Form
They only publish writers of color. Their website says, “Bad Form is a books magazine. That means we write a lot about books – everything from book reviews, to reading lists, to opinion pieces about the publishing industry. The world of literary reviews is a pale and stale place, and we’re here to fuck it up with a lot of colour.” They have a website and a print magazine. You can view their articles here. For the website, they accept pitches for literary essays, long-form reviews, reading lists and features. Also, “We open regularly for submissions to our print issues. We’ll advertise this across our socials and website so you know when to pitch. We take literary essays, interviews, reviews and short stories for our print issue.” Pay is a small honorarium. Details here (guidelines) and here (Masthead).

The Lighthouse / Black Girl Projects
The tagline of The Lighthouse is, “Cultivating spaces of solidarity and safety for southern Black girls to shine through focused programming and research.” They have an extensive guide for pitching articles, including “We … are always looking for thought-provoking stories and other content from marginalized communities, Black girls, (in particular, but not exclusively) and gender non-conforming people. In addition to story and long-form story pitches and op-eds, they accept photography and original artwork for their online blogging platform, The Black Girl Times, and their monthly newsletter, The Black Girl Times Redux. Also, “Each month, we have an editorial theme board (kind of like the mood boards interior designers use) we post on our social media accounts (@luvblkgrls). The theme board is intended to be an inspiration and provocation of thoughts, ideas and feelings. Your response(s) can be literal or abstract and loose. And again, it might not have anything to do with anything we’ve seen.” Pay is $0.10-0.75/word, which averages out to about $200-1,250 per story. Pay for art (graphic design, cartoons and photo essays) is $150-1,000.

Under a Warm Green Linden: Issue 14, Indigenous Ecopoetry
This magazine, from Green Linden Press, “invites Indigenous writers to submit poems for a special issue to be published in December 2022. We are interested in poems that illustrate, redefine, or reimagine relationships—land, nature, culture, history—to expand the possibilities of ecopoetics.” Send up to 5 poems. The deadline is 15 November 2022.
(Green Linden Press has another fee-free project, Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry – details in the Presses/Anthologies section below.)

Singapore Unbound: SUSPECT
Their website says, “SUSPECT grew out of SP Blog, the blog of the NYC-based literary non-profit Singapore Unbound.” They want poetry, literary fiction, essays, and any kind of writings that do not fall into these categories, written or translated into English by authors who identify as Asian. They also publish reviews of books by Asian authors and interviews with Asian writers and artists. Pay is $100, and there is no deadline listed.

Puerto del Sol
A highly respected literary journal funded by New Mexico State University, Puerto Del Sol has an ongoing Black Voices Series featured on their website.

Sine Theta
A print creative arts magazine featuring work by people who are part of the Sino diaspora. They define this as “people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage.”  Submitters need not know Chinese. They pay an honorarium if $10 per contributor.

Hyphen Magazine
Their tagline is “Asian America Unabridged”, and their primary audience is Asian Americans in their 20s and mid 30s. They publish a wide range of work including but not limited to creative nonfiction, original fiction, original poetry, as well as articles pertaining to news, politics, and social justice. They pay $25 per published piece. They are only open to submissions by Asian Americans. They have detailed submission guidelines, please read them carefully.

Breath & Shadow
Breath & Shadow only publishes work from people with disabilities. This is how they define disability: “We use the term “disability” broadly to encompass anyone with a physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, or sensory impairment that significantly affects one or more major life functions. ” They accept writing on any topic in terms of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama. Pieces do not have to be about disability. The academic or article type nonfiction, including profiles, interviews, and opinion pieces, do have to relate to disability in some way. They pay $20 for poetry and $30 for prose.

Screen Door Review
They only publish work by individuals who are Southern and queer. You can learn more about how they define Southern here. They publish flash fiction and poetry.

Emergent Literary
An exciting new literary journal that accepts a wide range of submissions from Black and Brown authors.

LatinX Lit Audio Mag
LatinX Lit Mag is a safe space for literary work written by authors who identify as Latinx or Hispanic.

Midnight & Indigo
They publish work by Black women writers only. They are currently seeking Book reviews focused on works by Black women authors. (They are also accepting online teaching position inquiries, open until filled.)

Nightlight
This is a horror fiction podcast featuring Black writers all over the world (at least one of your birth parents must be Black). Their reading periods this year are February-June, and August-October. They also accept reprints. At the time of writing, they were also looking for story performers. Length is up to 10,000 words. Pay is $75 for stories up to 3,000 words, and $200 for stories of over 3,000 words.

Snarl
This magazine publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions from creators of marginalized identities only: “We are looking for writers and artists who have been marginalized due to their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and/or disability. We seek to publish and promote queer writers, black writers, writers of color, trans writers, native writers, undocumented writers, disabled writers, impoverished, and incarcerated writers.” (See their FAQ section for details). Send up to 8,000 words of prose, or up to 5 poems. Pay is $25 for flash & micro, $50-$75 for longer prose; $15/poem, plus $5 per additional printed page.

Future SF Digest
This speculative fiction magazine publishes only translated fiction, and fiction written by authors for whom English is not their first language and who reside outside of primarily English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland). They also accept nonfiction pitches. Send 500-10,000 words for fiction (under 5,000 words strongly preferred). Pay is $0.08/word for fiction (for translations, this is split between author and translator), and $0.01/word for nonfiction.

smoke and mold: Across/With/Through–Trans Writers in Translation
smoke and mold is a magazine of trans and Two-Spirit nature writing. You can read more about them here and see their Twitter feed here. “The journal will publish 24 issues: 2 each year for 12 years — the amount of time allotted us by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” For the current submission call, Across/With/Through – Trans Writers in Translation, they say, “The root of this issue is simple: a desire to see more work from trans writers working in a language other than English. How are writers around the globe bending their tools of story and language to push at the strictures and structures of categories, from genre to gender? What is left out of “trans literature” when the only authors included are those working primarily in English? And who are Western audiences missing out on because they aren’t considered “trans enough” in a framework of colonial gender norms reinforced by centuries of war, white supremacy, and eugenics? … We look forward to introducing readers to voices they didn’t know they were missing in our spirit of small, focused issues devoted to uplifting trans writers working today at the intersection of place, geography, land and language.” Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis from authors, translators, and teams working together, with publication in spring 2023. Pay is $100.

Presses/Anthologies

Flame Tree Publishing: Immigrant Sci-Fi Short Stories

This is a fiction anthology. “We are seeking stories from a diverse range of writers who have direct or familial experience of immigration and migration and its complex issues. Writers with origins from all over the world, including but not limited to Latinx, Caribbean, Asian, African, Arabic, North American and East European, are invited to challenge the reader with stories that spill out into space, parallel realms or just hidden in plain sight. The stories will explore the world from the gaze of the incoming, whether forced through slavery, economic choice, necessitated through war or oppression, or hope for a better future, examining the perspectives of displacement in a future or fantastical setting.” Pay is $0.08/word for stories of 2,000-4,000 words. They also accept reprints. The deadline is 30 August 2022.

Brigids Gate Press: Gothic Romance Anthology

This is a fiction call for women (including trans women and femme-identifying individuals) and non-binary authors only. They want “gothic romances that are equal parts horror and romance. The short stories should be mysterious, atmospheric, and include a HEA (or happy for now).” Length guidelines are 2,000-6,000 words, and pay is $0.08/word. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Rural Writers of Color Fiction Anthology
This is a call from EastOver Press, for a reprint anthology by BIPOC writers who live in or hail from rural or semi-rural locales in the US and whose short stories feature characters living and/or working in rural or semi-rural spaces. Pay is $100-300. There is no deadline listed.

Green Linden Press: Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry
They’re reading poetry by queer US writers for this anthology. “The Essential Voices anthology series intends to make less insular the various poetries of the world, to bridge readers to cultures misunderstood and under- or misrepresented. It has at its heart the ancient idea that poetry can unite us by revealing our shared humanity. This anthology, the second in the series, will feature new or recent poetry by living queer U.S. poets. (We’re using “queer” in the broad sense: people who live outside mainstream sexual and gender norms.)” Send up to 6 pages of poems; they also accept reprints. They also have other submission categories, both paid and fee-free. Click on the ‘Guidelines’ section for this anthology on the press’s Submittable page, for details. The deadline is 1 October 2022, for this anthology.(Green Linden Press has another fee-free project, Under a Warm Green Linden: Issue 14, Indigenous Ecopoetry – details in the Journals/Magazines section above.)

Bold Strokes Books: BIPOC Publishing initiative
This established LGBTQ+ publisher started a BIPOC publishing initiative.  This is their commitment “If you are an author who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, we welcome you to submit your manuscripts to Bold Strokes Books. We guarantee to publish every manuscript that meets our publishing criteria, subject to contract agreement. We guarantee we will publish these within twelve months of date of contract. In addition, we will choose ten additional manuscripts deemed publishable after revisions and provide a full manuscript critique. We will look favorably upon resubmission, although not required.”

Sundress Publications
This established indie press is open for submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts. Manuscripts should be between 48 and 80 pages to be considered. There is a reading fee ($13) attached except for BIPOC writers. Submitters who are not BIPOC can also have the fee waived if they purchase or pre-order a title from Sundress. Any poet can submit their manuscript before 31 August 2022 to be considered.

Mad Creek Books
Mad Creek Books is the literary trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. With a mission to foster creativity, innovate, and illuminate, Mad Creek Books champions diverse and creative literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. They are currently open to fee-free submissions for their Machete nonfiction series and their Latinographix series.

Arsenal Pulp Press
A Canadian independent press that publishes a wide variety of work prioritizes work by LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors. We have reviewed them here.

Blind Eye Books
Blind Eye Books publishes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance novels featuring LGBTQ protagonists. They are a print publisher and their book covers are beautifully designed and really stand out. The books they have published have won and been nominated for a number of awards, including the Lambda. We have reviewed them here.

Peepal Tree Press
The world’s leading publisher of Caribbean and Black British writing publishes around 15 titles a year. They try to respond to all submissions within 20 weeks.

Flashpoint Publications
They historically specialized in publishing books of interest to lesbian readers but their focus expanded a while ago to include LGBTQ+ work. They have been using their re-branded name of Flashpoint Publications for over a year now. They mostly publish popular fiction, but they have also published short stories, essays, and anthologies. They have a nonfiction imprint as well. We have reviewed them here.

Alternating Currents
A small publisher that charges a $6.99 submission fee for all authors except Black and Native American writers. Please note that they close submissions when they reach their monthly Submittable submissions cap. Submit early in the month.

Lily
A small poetry press that publishes work of varying length. Submitting shorter work is free for everyone, but submitting poetry manuscripts is free only for poets who identify as Black. They are always open to these submissions.

Sourcebooks
We’ve reviewed Sourcebooks here, and their adult nonfiction imprint and their romance imprint are always open to all submissions, but they also deserve to be on this list because their fiction imprint, their mystery imprint, their young adult imprint, and three of their children’s book imprints, all say “Our submissions are currently CLOSED to unagented projects, with the exception of works that directly promote diversity, equality and inclusion. For more information please email InclusiveFiction@Sourcebooks.com.” So if you have work that matches that description in those genres, please reach out to them.

Forever
The romance imprint of Hachette Book Group and Grand Central Publishing is open to direct submissions from BIPOC-identifying authors.

Angry Robot
A great science fiction publisher that only accepts direct submissions from Black authors.

Amble Press
Amble Press an imprint of Bywater Books, publish esfiction and narrative nonfiction by queer writers, with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on queer writers of color.

Scholastic Canada
They are open to direct submissions from Canadian authors or focusing on Canadian content, who are from underrepresented communities, including Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, LGBTQIA2S+ writers and writers who identify with other marginalized groups.

Heartdrum
Heartdrum is an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, which is edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and is in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. Native and First Nations writers and writer-illustrators are welcome to query her directly via a form on her website. Native and First Nations illustrators are also invited to reach out.

Tundra Books, Puffin Canada, Penguin Teen Canada
These children and teen focused Canadian imprints are open to direct submissions by underrepresented authors and illustrotors only. Authors need not be Canadian.

Opportunities/Support/Contests

Room to Read
Room to Read is an international non-profit that focuses on improving literacy and  gender equality in education. They currently have an open call for manuscripts of children’s fiction or narrative nonfiction from established and emerging writers as part of its 3rd global children’s book project. Writers will be paid a non disclosed flat fee for publication within the organization and if the book is made available commercially, they will receive royalties. Submissions should address the themes of play and children’s well being at the intersection of
housing insecurity or homelessness.
Only a draft is needed and you can see the full guidelines here.

The 2022 BWR contest
The Black Warrior Review, a prestigious journal that has long charged for submissions has started allowing free general submissions via email for Black and Indigenous writers, and their yearly contest allows for up to 600 Black and Indigenous writers to submit for free (the fee to enter this contest is otherwise 15.00’s). The contest is for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and flash writers. It closes to entries on September 1st.

Bridport Prize Bursaries for Underrepresented Writers
Bridport Prize bursary gives underrepresented writers a free entry to the Bridport Prize competition in any category. In order to support as many writers as possible, applications are limited to one per year per writer. The bursary runs on a rolling basis so you can apply for a memoir bursary anytime until  the 10th September 2022.

The Writing Barn Scholarship
The Writing Barn has a small but budding scholarship program available for our programming. Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria: seriousness of purpose, talent and financial need. They also offer specific Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity scholarships for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Neurodiverse writers, and writers with disabilities.

Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives and Educators
WNDB provides emergency grants to diverse authors, illustrators, publishing professionals, and K-12 educators who are experiencing dire financial need. They aim to bolster these marginalized groups by giving grants between $500 and $1,000 each.

Forward Funds: Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Creator Fund
The crowdsourcing platform for creatives, Kickstarter, now has Forward Funds. Their website says, “Forward Funders are foundations, nonprofits, and organizations that back Kickstarter campaigns related to their visions and missions around a more creative and equitable world. Each Forward Funder makes a public commitment and then backs projects just like anyone else—through single pledges that bring the works one step closer to reality.” One such fund is the $500,000 Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Fund. This backs projects by Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx creators in the US on the crowdfunding platform – “Effective immediately, funds will be awarded on an ongoing basis to creators with active projects across all of Kickstarter’s categories: Arts, Comics & Illustration, Design & Tech, Film, Food & Craft, Games, Music, and Publishing.” Projects launched on Kickstarter following their rules are eligible, and creators can nominate themselves for specific Forward Funds via a form. This is for both, creators and organizations.

(So far, there is one other Forward Funder: Japanese publishing company Kodansha; it “support artists, designers, makers, and creators of all kinds from around the world. With a $50,000 fund they opt for more backings of slightly smaller amounts—they have been able to support over 100 creators so far.”)


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

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