Written by NmaHassan Muhammad January 12th, 2023

New Year, New Opportunities for Writers in January 2023

It’s a brand new year! As we go forward with our resolutions, we hope we will achieve our writing and publishing goals.

On the January list, we’ve included open calls – reproduced from their respective websites – in journalism, book prizes, and other opportunities available to all disciplines which may include Creative Writing, Journalism or Literary Arts. Before you apply, always check out each open call for detailed guidelines, prizes, eligibility, and FAQ pages. The contests we have listed here do not charge a submission fee, or they have some fee-free options. If you find they do charge a fee for all submissions, please contact us.

Dynamo Mentoring Scheme

Dynamo provides free of charge one-to-one mentoring over a period of 18 months for emerging poets with experienced poet mentors and support and guidance from Nine Arches Press. The scheme is being targeted at emerging and early-stage poets who are from backgrounds which have been underrepresented in poetry publishing and in contemporary poetry in general. There is no upper age limit to this scheme, but applicants must be aged 18+. This scheme is offered in partnership with Writing West Midlands, for poets living, working or studying in the West Midlands region of the UK. Applications must be made online. Materials to submit include Writing Sample (stories, extracts, poems, scenes or creative prose; 3000 words max.) and Statement of Demonstrable Need (200 words max.).

Deadline is January 10, 2023. For details, go here.

French-American Foundation Translation Prize

The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation have announced the 36th Annual Translation Prize competition. A $10,000 award in fiction and a $10,000 award in nonfiction will be disbursed to translators in 2023 for excellent translations from French into English, and winning books will be promoted to their networks. Finalists will be named in March and winners will be named in May. Translations for consideration must have been published in the United States for the first time during the previous calendar year (between January 1 and December 31, 2022), though translators can be of any nationality. All categories of fiction and nonfiction works are eligible, with the exception of poetry, technical, scientific and reference works, graphic novels, and children’s literature. Prize money will be bestowed at an awards ceremony in the spring or summer of 2023. They plan for the ceremony to be in person in New York, dependent on and fully respecting City and State health and safety protocol. In the event that the winning translator cannot participate in the ceremony, the Foundation reserves the right to give the prize to a second choice finalist who is able to attend and promote the prize. Please note: While they ask for electronic excerpts at this stage, finalists (notified in March) may be asked to mail hard copies of books to the jury, located at 5 or 6 addresses in the New York area. PDFs of the books are also acceptable when hard copies are not available, but finalists must also be ready to print and mail them to the jury.

Deadline is January 13, 2023. For the official rules, see here, and submission is here.

Outpost Residency

Outpost is a residency for creative writers of color from the United States and Latin America. Each September, two writers are awarded a $2,000 stipend as well as complimentary travel, lodging, and meals to spend a month cultivating a generative writing community in the mountains of Southern Vermont. In addition to the time spent in residence, Outpost Fellows will engage in organized interactions with the community of local universities and bookstores, allowing space to share their work and expand their networks. (No application fee is stated, so we’ll assume it’s free).

Deadline is January 15, 2023. For details and submission, go here and here.

The Levis Reading Prize

The Levis Reading Prize is for a published first or second book of poetry, of at least 48 pages. It is presented by the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in the VCU Department of English and VCU Libraries with additional support from Barnes & Noble @ VCU, the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, and the family of poet Larry Levis. Some of the entry requirements are physical copies of the book as well as a digital copy. Entries must have been published within the 2022 calendar year. Entries from vanity presses or self-published works are not eligible. So are entries from VCU program graduates and affiliates ineligible. Traditionally, the winner receives an honorarium and are invited, expenses paid, to Richmond to present a public reading in the following fall.

Deadline is January 15, 2023. For details and mailing address, go here.

2023 Kresge Artist Fellowship and Gilda awards

Metro Detroit artists working in Literary Arts and Visual Arts are invited to apply for a 2023 Kresge Artist Fellowship. Kresge Arts in Detroit will award 20 fellowships and 10 Gilda Awards to artists of all career stages living and working in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Kresge Artist Fellowships are $25,000 no strings attached awards plus a year of professional development support including workshops, mentorship, and promotion (for example, the MI Emmy Award-winning film series). Gilda Awards are unrestricted $5,000 awards plus professional development opportunities. Artists apply for both awards using the same online application. Awards will be divided between the two categories—Literary Arts and Visual Arts—based on the number of applications received in each category.

Deadline is January 19, 2023. For details, go here.

Right of Return USA Fellowship Round 5

The fellowship is open to US-based and formerly incarcerated artists, age 18 or older, working in all creative disciplines, including but not limited to visual, performance, storytelling, poetry, media, and design. They invite the artists to propose art projects aimed at transforming criminal legal and immigration systems and reducing their scale and reach. The goal of the fellowship is to support the creation of new bodies of work that uplift the voices of people directly impacted by the criminal justice system, reflect the humanity of criminalized and incarcerated people, and build public will for ambitious and visionary change. Embedding artists within the reform movement results in more nimble, resonant, and creative campaigns to end mass incarceration and advance racial equity. If selected, fellows will be asked to commit to participating in a group retreat in spring 2023 and be invited to a multi-cohort retreat in late 2023. Their retreats are meant to foster community, develop political advocacy skills, and support practice sustainability. If COVID-19 makes in-person convenings impossible, abbreviated versions of the retreat will be held online.

Artists must collaborate with an advocacy organization during the development and/or execution of their proposed project (collaborating organizations do not need to be secured at the time of application); artists may be at any stage of their career; and projects and applicants must be U.S. based. The fellowship grant is $20,000 total: $10,000 artist award, $10,000 for materials and production

Deadline is January 20, 2023. For details, including eligibility and requirements, go here.

The Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling

This award honors up-and-coming journalists in Africa who strive to strengthen people’s voices and illuminate the transformational change taking place on the continent. The award entries must represent groundbreaking journalistic work published between December 1, 2021, and December 1, 2022. Winners will be selected on the quality of their articles and the impact their work has had on communities. They welcome submissions in all media, especially those that demonstrate analytical skills in addition to outstanding writing ability. The winners will receive a $5,000 cash prize. The winners will have an opportunity to spend up to two weeks at The Economist headquarters in London, or to complete a tailored study tour of US newsrooms.

The contest is open to English-speaking journalists working in Africa for print, broadcast, and online news media. Applicants must have no more than 10 years of journalism experience.

Applicants must submit one published piece that exemplifies Africa through thoughtful reporting and excellent storytelling. They are looking for impactful investigative or explanatory pieces, especially those illuminating transformational change in Africa. A copy of the published story or broadcast clip must be submitted in English. Works in other languages must include English translations. Submissions from print, broadcast, or digital journalists are welcome. Multimedia submissions may include web, audio, video, visual, or mixed media.

Deadline is January 31, 2023. For details, go here.

Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship

This program invites poets, writers, translators, visual artists, composers, and scholars to propose creative projects that would benefit from an immersive encounter with the Woodberry Poetry Room and its collections at Harvard University. The fellowship includes: a stipend of $5,000, access to the Woodberry Poetry Room (and several other Harvard special collections), and research support from the Poetry Room curatorial staff. The fellowship recipient will also receive a one-week residency to work on their project at the T. S. Eliot House in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The Eliot House residency may be scheduled between May–October of the fellowship year, but does not have to coincide with the fellow’s research visit to Harvard. The fellowship recipient will receive a Harvard Library special access card that is active for one year, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in terms of scheduling. It is hoped that the $5,000 stipend (which is the comprehensive honorarium for individual and collaborative recipients) will help to offset travel and lodging costs. Applicants will be asked to provide the following information and materials: a project description, a curriculum vitae, and a work sample. No application fee or letter of reference is required. Submissions are welcome from applicants representing a wide range of perspectives, demographics, aesthetics, causes, and questions. The fellowship is open to candidates of all nationalities. (While non-U.S. citizens awarded a fellowship are required to obtain a J-1 visa, Harvard University can help sponsor the visa. Fellows will be responsible for paying any visa-related fees).

Deadline is February 1, 2023. For details, including eligibility, go here, submission here.

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing 2023-24

At the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University, the Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers up to four months of writing time for a US-based writer working on a first or second book. In the current application season, The Roth Residence is open to writers in any creative genre in the literary arts, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, graphic novel, etc. The residency provides an apartment in Bucknell’s Writers’ Cottage and a stipend of $5,000. An applicant must be at least 21 years of age, reside in the United States, and not be enrolled as a student in an academic program or hold competing professional, academic, or fellowship obligations during the period of the residency. Some record of publication is desirable. Publication (or acceptance for publication) of a second book is disqualifying. Documents to submit include an application letter, CV, writing sample, and three recommendation letters. Please note that, to apply you’ll be required to sign up for a SlideRoom account.

Deadline is February 1, 2023. For details and eligibility, go here.

The Frances “Frank” Rollin Fellowship

The Frances “Frank” Rollin Fellowship awards $5,000 each to two authors working on a biographical work about an African American figure or figures whose story provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the Black experience. This fellowship also provides the recipients with a year’s membership in Biographers International Organization (BIO), registration to the annual BIO Conference, and publicity through BIO’s marketing channels. The Rollin Fellowship aims to remediate the disproportionate scarcity and even suppression of Black lives and voices in the broad catalog of published biography. The fellowship is open to all biographers anywhere in the world who are writing in English, who are working on a biography of an African American figure (or figures), and who are at any stage in the writing of a book-length biography. A publishing contract is not required for eligibility. Biography as defined for this prize is a narrative of an individual’s life or the story of a group of lives. Innovative ways of treating a life (or lives) will be considered at the committee’s discretion. Memoirs are not eligible. A single document to submit will include: project description (500 words max.); statement of need (500 words max.); author’s bio (500 words max.); and an excerpt from your manuscript (20 pages max.).

Deadline is February 1, 2023. For details as well as terms and conditions, go here.

The Robert and Ina Caro Research/Travel Fellowship

In honor of the work of Robert and Ina Caro, Biographers International Organization has set up an annual research and travel fellowship. BIO members with a work in progress can apply to receive funding for research trips to archives or to important settings in their subjects’ lives. This fellowship is supports authors in writing beautifully contextualized and tenaciously researched biographies. The Caro fellowship is open to all biographers anywhere in the world who are writing in English and whose work requires travel to a particular archive and/or a particular place significant to the life of the biographical subject. The fellowship is restricted to support works of biography, e.g. not of history, autobiography, or memoir. BIO welcomes submissions for non-print biographies such as documentary films. A publishing contract is not required for eligibility. BIO will award up to four winners with a minimum award of $2,500 each, based on the judgment of the panel of three judges. You do not need to be a member of BIO to apply. Submit a single document that includes: project description (500 words max.); details of your proposed budget; anticipated result of receipt of a Caro fellowship; and author’s bio (500 words max.).

Deadline is February 1, 2023. For details as well as terms and conditions, go here.

The JIAS Writers’ Workshop

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) invites applications from emerging African creative writers for its Second Annual Writers’ Workshop, at Johannesburg. From 1 August to 31 October 2023, JIAS will host a group of promising African creative writers. The workshop will be a writing-intensive, three-month program for early career writers who have a current work in progress that they would like to complete or polish. Each writer will focus on her/his/their individual work as well as read others’ work and provide feedback. The JIAS Writers’ Workshop is open to African writers who work in fiction (long and short form), creative nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, and poetry. Workshop participants will be mentored by accomplished, critically-acclaimed, and award-winning writers. This is a great opportunity for novice writers to learn from established writers.

Deadline is February 1, 2023. To apply, go here.

Bio: A 2022 Ebedi Fellow, NmaHassan Muhammad is a Nigerian children’s book writer. He’s currently in submissions for the Wakini Kuria longlisted picture book story HAMOOD’S WISH TREE, which was inspired by the memory of a tree planting activity with his son Hamood. NmaHassan writes from Minna, Nigeria. He tweets at @NmahassanM.



We Send You Publishers Seeking Submissions.

Sign up for our free e-magazine and we will send you reviews of publishers seeking short stories, poetry, essays, and books.

Subscribe now and we'll send you a free copy of our book Submit, Publish, Repeat