Written by Emily Harstone August 10th, 2023

Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Writers 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.

If you belong to a limited demographic that is not listed here, this list might be helpful to you.

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.

Most months we recommend organizations created by and for underrepresented writers. This month we are featuring Cave Canem which was founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady to support African-American poets in a number of different ways including fellowships, regional workshops, and prizes.

Literary Journals

Tree and Stone: Queer as F issue
They want fiction, nonfiction, and art, and are open for Queer as F issue. “We are open writer/artist who self-identify as queer/LGBTQIA/pan/non-binary. Our cishet/ cisallohet allies, are welcome to submit, but we ask that the story center around a character who self-identifies as queer/LGBTQIA/pan/non-binary. No identity proof is necessary!” Pay is up to $20. The deadline is 28 August 2023. Details here and here.

Heartlines Spec
This is a Canadian online and print magazine, and they have published one issue so far. Please note, they will publish at least 50 percent Canadian content in each issue. “We’re looking for short fiction and poetry focused on long-term relationships: platonic, romantic, or familial. We don’t want the blaze of new love or the obsession of a new friend. We want pieces that show that comfort that develops when people know each other for years. Give us deep space, dusty frontiers, or dreamy fantasy. We want stories and poetry with strong, confident relationships amid all the sci-fi/fantasy. While we are primarily looking for stories with happy endings (yeah, yeah), we also want endings that are earned. If things get a little teary or gory, that’s ok.
We are especially interested in stories featuring queer platonic relationships, ace/aro love stories, and polycules.” Send stories of 1,000-3,500 words, or up to 5 poems. Pay is CAD0.08/word for fiction and CAD60/poem. Their next submission window is 1-30 September for all writers, and they have an early submission period for equity-deserving groups, 24-31 August 2023.

Apparition Lit: Reclamation
Apparition Lit is a quarterly speculative fiction and poetry magazine. Send 1,000-5,000 words of fiction, or up to 5 poems. “Speculative fiction is weird, almost unclassifiable. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and literary.” They will be reading submissions on the ‘Reclamation’ theme soon; see the note about their equity initiative in the guidelines here (scroll down) – “Our submission window will remain open for an additional week each quarter for writers who identify as BIPOC and self-identify in their cover letter.

We will also accept simultaneous submissions from writers who identify as BIPOC or LGBTQIA+. Please just note how you identify in your cover letter, that it is a simultaneous submission.” The reading period is 15-31 August 2023 for all writers; an additional week for BIPOC writers (see guidelines). Pay is $0.05/word for fiction, and $50/poem. Details here and here. (They also publish flash fiction online on monthly prompts, during the first fortnight of every month.)

Canto Cutie – Volume 7
Canto Cutie wants submissions from Cantonese diaspora artists and writers, and you can read more about them here. “Volume 7 of Canto Cutie will be about gender, sexuality, and/or love. We are looking for works that deal with queer identity, gender expression, or intimacy.

There is no submission fee. You may submit up to three works. While this zine may be distributed at zine fairs and bookstores worldwide, submissions are conducted primarily in English. Cantonese language art and writing are accepted and encouraged. Anonymous submissions are permitted for politically sensitive works. We are looking for: Visual art: 3D, 2D, photography, digital art accepted

Writing: poetry, prose, short stories, lists, anything! There is no word limit… yet.” Submission is via a Google form.

NonBinary Review
They are open to submissions from everyone on the theme of “lies for children” – they pay $10-30 for poetry and prose, and the deadline for that theme is end-October, or until filled. They also offer advice on submitting to journals in general through their Dear Horace Greeley column. You can learn  more about both on their Submittable page. They also offer  free Feedback for Poets of Color which is just what it sounds like. Writers of color may submit ONE poem, up to 50 lines, for consideration. Two poets per month will be accepted, and the Poetry Editors will work with those two poets to edit, improve, and strengthen their work. Acceptances are done on the first of the month, although submissions are open year-round.

They want first-person, non-fiction material (500-1,000 words) that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are their primary editorial focus. Two of their upcoming themes are: Fight, Like A Girl, deadline August 15, 2023; and Serve with A Purpose, deadline September 15, 2023. Pay varies. They do not want fiction or poetry.

Lampblack Magazine
Lampblack is a volunteer-based organization led by Black writers. For Lampblack Magazine, they want submissions from Black writers only, of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, on the ‘Labor’ theme. “Across the diaspora, we experience labor in different ways: labor of love; emotional labor; physical labor; service work; the resistance of labor. For the third issue of Lampblack magazine, we invite you to submit poetry, short fiction stories, and non-fiction essays on the subject of labor.” Send up to 20 pages of prose, or up to 10 pages of poetry. “If your submission is selected, you will be awarded $350 and an invitation to read your work live alongside other authors upon publication. Lampblack is a community, and we may invite accepted authors to future readings and events as well.” At the time of writing, there was no deadline specified in the guidelines. Details here.

This award-winning magazine publishes work of immigrant and Diaspora writers and artists only, in the broadest sense of the term, and they are open for submissions. They want “fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and any genre in between or around it, as long as there’s a speculative element. We’re especially interested in writing and art that explore some aspect of migration, whether explicitly (themes of immigration, colonialism, etc.), metaphorically, or with a sly nod and a wink.” They also accept artwork. Pay is $0.08/word for stories up to 5,000 words. They have changed their submission window for this cycle, and will now be open until 15th August 2023. Details here and here.

They publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, articles, and fun stuff by women (see eligibility). They ask for some mixed-genre submissions too, including Eyeverse in poetry – “A short poem (no more than four lines) on any subject, plus an original illustration – related to the poem – which may be a drawing, painting or photograph, but must be created by the poet herself or by someone who has given permission for the illustration to be used with the poem.” Some sections are only open to subscribers, but not all. Fees start at £30 for most pieces, while some pieces are unpaid (see here). While the (themed) Showcase section is closed, some sections are open. The deadline for inclusion in Issue 100 is 9th October 2023.

Gay Flash Fiction
They welcome submissions on any theme and in any genre, as long as there is a is a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex connection. Please only submit one story at a time. They are also open to poems under 500 words in length, as well as related artwork.

Magnets and Ladders
Writers with disabilities may submit up to three selections per issue. Their submission guidelines are very specific so please review them carefully before submitting. They close to submissions on August 15.

Born in Africa and bred in the diaspora, Transition  is a publication of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, published three times annually. Transition publishes writing by and about Africa and the African diaspora, with an eye towards a global perspective. They accept submissions year-round on a rolling basis, and generally respond to submissions within four months.

Lavender Review
An international, biannual e-zine published in June and December, they are open to submissions of poetry and art by, about, and for lesbians (including whatever LGBTQ might appeal to a lesbian readership). Submissions are open year round.

This publication offers Asian Canadian context to ongoing arts and cultural issues, new perspectives on emerging and established Asian Canadian artists, and challenges mainstream media perspectives, little-known facts of interest, or critical stories that haven’t been told elsewhere. They are open to submissions from Asian writers around the globe as long as the editors can see a link between the content and some aspect of the Asian Canadian experience.

Raising Mothers
Raising Mothers celebrates and centers the experiences of  Black, Indigenous, and Brown parents. Some sections have reading periods; columns are open year-round.

Prismatica Magazine
An LGBTQ fantasy and science-fiction magazine that publishes short stories, poetry, reviews, interviews, and articles. They have very specific submission guidelines so please read those carefully.

Published since 1974, RFD is now one of the oldest continuously published gay journals. From now through August 15th they are reading submissions on the theme of Queer Mental Health.

Rough Cut Press
They publish fiction, nonfiction, visual art, and poetry. They release a monthly issue with works by emerging and established voices from within the LGBTQIA community. They want work on the Tender theme of up to 650 words, and the deadline is 27 August 2023. They offer a $25 honorarium.

Aurelia publishes the nonfiction work of marginalised genders: women, non-binary people and trans men. “Aurelia is a publication dedicated to personal thoughts, feelings and experiences. The things you think and the way you feel must be at the centre of your piece. All article submissions must be written in the first-person (“I think, I feel, I want…”)” Please send them pitches only, not unsolicited submissions. They pay £50. Details on how to pitch are here.

African Writer
They are open to all genres of literature from Africa and the African Diaspora. They do not allow simultaneous submissions.

Djed Press
This journal is based in Australia and they “prioritise submissions from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, on whose land we live and work and whose sovereignty has never been ceded.” They only accept submissions from “Australian and/or Australia-based Bla(c)k and other POC creators.” They really stress that work is likely to be edited and that you shouldn’t submit if you are not comfortable with that. Pay is AUD50-150 for text.

According to their website, “Afritondo is a media and publishing platform that aims to connect with and tell the stories of Africans and black minority populations across the globe.” They accept a wide range of work, including manuscript-length work.

Brittle Paper
Brittle Paper is an online literary magazine for readers of African Literature. They accept the following: “fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, book reviews, essays, literary commentaries, fun listicles, and any writing with a literary bent”.

The Awakenings Review
The Awakenings Review is a project of The Awakenings Project. Established in cooperation with the University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in 2000, this print journal accepts poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from writers that have a personal connection to mental illness.

Torch Literary Arts
Torch Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization. They publish and promote creative writing by Black women only; you can read more about them here. They publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers. “We are interested in work that challenges and disrupts preconceived notions of what Black women’s contemporary writing should be.” General submissions are accepted for Friday Features only, in which they publish fiction, hybrid works, poetry, and drama (including that accompanied by video or dramatic audio). Send up to 2,500 for fiction/hybrid works, up to 10 pages for drama, or up to 5 poems. Pay is $100. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis; you can submit here.

Tagg Magazine
Tagg is a US-based queer women’s publication. Their website has several themes they accept articles on, including personal essays, listicles, dating advice and fashion-related content. Articles are 350-1,000 words long and pay $75-175. They welcome pitches for article ideas. See the pitch guide for contributors here.

Bi Woman Quarterly
BWQ features the voices of women “with bi+ sexualities (i.e., bi, pan, fluid, and other non-binary sexualities)” and they see “woman” as a broad category and welcome contributions those who identify as trans, non-binary, cis, etc. They publish articles, creative writing, musings, and more.

A bi monthly zine that pays their contributors $40 for creative work, and prioritizes BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creatives. They are currently not accepting writing-only submissions. Their submission guidelines, and form, are here.

They publish art, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction submissions  primarily by Asians, but they are open to submissions from non-Asians. Their uniting theme is Asian Folklore. Submitters must be over 18.

Tangled Laces
A magazine focused on publishing writing by queer teen authors between the ages of 14-18.

We only usually include journals currently open to submissions, but this list is always published on the third Thursday of a given month, and this journal is only open to submissions through the 1st to the 10th of each month, so we are listing it and encouraging you to set a calendar alert for when it reopens on the 1st of the next month. “We are interested in poems with a keen connection to a sense of place, nature, or otherworldly geographies.” They only publish African poets, and pay N2,500 per poem.

Afternoon Visitor
This is an online quarterly publication of poetry, hybrid text, visual poetry, and visual art, and they’re particularly interested in giving space to trans + queer writers in each issue.

Dream Pop Journal
They welcome submissions from marginalized voices, and are especially interested in publishing work from emerging writers working in experimental, non-narrative forms. “Please send us your strange utterings, hybrid works, collaborative pieces, visual poetry, collages, and linguistic inventions. We hope that you will challenge the limits of what literature can be and that you will share your results with us.” They publish poetry, a speculative diary, visual art, as well as visual poetry & erasure. They are open year-round.

Class Collective
Their website says, this is “An annual literary magazine that illuminates the class struggle(s) hidden in the shadows of our culture.” They accept submissions from all writers. They publish poetry, including visual poetry (up to 5 poems), fiction (up to 5,000 words), essays (pitches and submissions), and commentary — writing that has a class-based perspective on politics and culture. Pay is CAD10 for poetry and CAD20 for prose. Submissions are open on a rolling basis.

Reappropriate: Filipinx American identity
Reappropriate is an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) race advocacy and feminism blog, focusing on race, gender, identity, Asian American history, and current events. Pay is $75-150 for work of 800-2,500 words. Their current call for pitches – Asian America x LGBTQIA – is here.

The Gay & Lesbian Review: Three themes
The Gay & Lesbian Review is a bimonthly magazine of history, culture, and politics targeting an educated readership of LGBT people, and their allies that publishes themed features (2,000-4,000 words), reviews, interviews, and departments. They have announced three themed calls, and they also invite suggestions for future themes.

— The Age of Innocence: Gay life in the time of Wilde
  The Great Transformation: From bar culture to hookup world
—  LGBT Science: New research on gender & sexual orientation
Writers can send proposals or complete pieces. They pay for features ($200) and full-length book reviews ($100).

The Acentos Review
The Acentos Review publishes writing, art, music and multigenre work by Latinx writers. They are open to submissions all year long. Details here.

A journal of queer plant-based writing, open on a rolling basis.

the archipelago
They publish creative work that rewrites the map. Rewriting the map may involve oceans; islands; travel; movement; the decolonial/transcolonial; multilingualism; geography; cartography; displacement; relationships between unlikely places. They primarily publish short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction essays, fine art, photography, film. They publish work in  فارسی ,  اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ , Somali, မြန်မာဘာသာ, bahasa Indonesia, español, français and English. While they prioritize writers of color they are open to submissions from all. They pay for accepted work and also have an ongoing mentorship program which you can learn about at the bottom of this page. To submit, visit the link and email pitches@thearchipelago.org.

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 mis- and underrepresented writers, here. Craft pays $100 for flash and $200 for short fiction and creative nonfiction.

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.

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 $0.25-$1/word. Pay for art (graphic design, cartoons and photo essays) is $150-1,000.

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.

(They have also listed an opportunity to submit for a Malay translation portfolio, deadline 1 September 2023.)

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.


Flame Tree: African Ghost Stories
This is a fiction anthology; they want “tales from African and African-diaspora writers to be included in our powerful collection of African Ghost Short Stories. The volume will explore the deep-seated supernatural element in African storytelling – whether reaching back to the spirits, ancestors and ogres of folklore or the vibrantly modern ghosts of today’s African horror.” They also accept reprints. Flame Tree is partnering with Brittle Paper Magazine for this project. Pay is $0.08/word and the story length most likely to succeed is 2,000-4,000 words (see guidelines). The deadline is 27 August 2023.

Queens in Wonderland Anthology
Their website says, “This is an LGBTQ+ Alice in Wonderland themed anthology, and we want to see it all. Throw some of those iconic characters into space. Put them in an urban fantasy. We’d love to see a cyberpunk or decopunk (or any punk!) version. A classic Lewis Carroll version would be good too. Feel free to take any of the characters (don’t forget about the White Queen or the Dormouse) or use any of the world-building from the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There you wish.” Please see their note about contributor copies. Payment is $20 for stories of 1,500-5,000 words. The deadline is 31 August 2023.

Sundress Publications: Open Reading Period
They open for submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts fee free from writers of color. For authors who are not writers of color, the fee can be waived if you purchase a book instead. The deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2023.

The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series
This opportunity, from Black Lawrence Press, is for immigrants living in the US – for manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid writing. “Poets and authors, at any stage of their careers, who identify as immigrants are welcome to submit a book manuscript of poetry or prose or a hybrid text for consideration. Submissions are accepted year-round. However, selections are made in June and November for a total of two books per year. In addition to publication, marketing, and a standard royalties contract from Black Lawrence Press, authors chosen for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series will receive a travel stipend of $500, which can be used for book tours or in any manner chosen by the authors.”

North Dakota State University Press: Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series
The goal of this series to feature the authentic stories, poetry, and scholarly works of Native Americans, First Nations, Maori, Aborigines, Indians, and more to give voice to contemporary Indigenous peoples. NDSU Press considers book-length manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for publication in this series.

Random House Canada
The Canadian arm of Random House changed their submission policy have opened their policy exclusively to LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC writers, as well as those from other traditionally underrepresented communities. They are particularly looking for “High quality commercial fiction in the following genres: literary, romance, speculative fiction, historical fiction, and mystery. Please note that we do not currently accept screenplays, stage plays, young adult fiction, children’s fiction, or picture book queries. All non-fiction submissions must be submitted via a literary agent.” They are open to submissions internationally, this is not limited to Canadians.

Phoenix, is a new speculative imprint launched by Nigerian publisher Ouida Books in collaboration with Nnedi Okorafor and Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn. Phoenix is dedicated to publishing African speculative fiction and fantasy (Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism). You can learn more about it here.

Somos en escrito Literary Foundation Press
They publish a literary magazine as well as books, they are “dedicated to publishing raza authors to express the narratives and needs of our communities, which typically get overlooked by the mainstream presses. We intend to be the institution nobody else will build for us.”

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

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.

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.

We’ve reviewed Sourcebooks here, and their adult nonfiction imprint and their romance and horror imprints 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.

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.

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 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.

An imprint of Running Wild Press, RIZE only focuses on publishing work by historically underrepresented authors. Their main focus is manuscript length genre work but they are also have an annual short story and novella anthology.


Writers & Artists: Working-Class Writers Prize

This prize is for writers with a working class background, in the UK and Ireland. Submission requirements include the beginning of a work-in-progress in any genre of prose, of up to 2,000 words. They have other prizes also apart from the cash prize, including mentorship, and a year’s free subscription to The Society of Authors. The award is £200. The deadline is 2 October 2023.

The Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize
This award is given for a published or soon-to-be-published article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Articles must be focused on historical events OR focused on current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) and include historical context. The article must be published in print or online between August 31, 2022 and August 30, 2023. The prize is given to insightful work that contributes to the understanding of labor history; shows creativity; demonstrates excellence in writing; and adheres to the highest journalistic standards of accuracy. Publications and subject matter should target the United States and Canada. The prize is $1,000. The deadline is 5 September 2023.

International Women’s Media Foundation: The Kari Howard Fund for Narrative Journalism
These grants are for women and nonbinary journalists worldwide, for a narrative journalism project. Applicants may be a print journalist or a print journalist leading a multi-media team. All reporting and publishing must be completed within six months of the award of the grant. Applicants may be freelance or staff print journalists with at least 3 years of professional experience, and may apply individually or as part of a multi-format team; professional journalism must be the applicant’s primary profession. Applicants must be able to show proof of interest from an editor or have a proven track record of publication in prominent media outlets. The grants are up to $5,000, and the deadline is 20 August 2023.
(See other funds/opportunities from International Women’s Media Foundation on their Submittable page here.)

Canongate Books: The Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing
This is for unpublished UK and Ireland based writers who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances; you can see the eligibility requirements here. Writers need to send a sample chapter/chapters of up to 7,000 words as part of the submission. Apart from a publishing contract with £10,000 advance, the winner also receives editorial mentoring and literary representation. The deadline is 25 August 2023. Details here and here.

Queer Adventurers 2023 essay contest: Firsts

They are looking for 1,000 to 1,500 word personal essays on the theme of Firsts. They further define the theme by saying “Specifically, we’re looking to hear a true first-person story of the first time you tried an outdoor activity and how it went. Trying something new outdoors builds skills and breaks us out of routine. It can lead to new friendships, confidence, and growth. Stories of the good, the bad and the never-doing-that-again kind are all welcome! All submissions must connect to the chosen theme and center your LGBTQIA identity. This means more than a passing mention of a sexuality or gender identity. We want to see LGBTQIA identities woven into the stories.” The Winner will be awarded $150  and a runner up will receive $50. They close to submissions on 31st October 2023.

Unlock Her Potential
They are offering free mentorship for women (includes cis, trans, non-binary, femmes, gender non-conforming, gender-expansive, & gender-fluid people) of color based in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Applications close 11:59 PM EST August 31, 2023. The mentors have experience in a wide range of different fields. To learn more about the publishing mentors, you can go here.

Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour

This is an annual prize jointly presented by Morley College London and the Rachel Mills Literary Agency, awarded to a previously unpublished and unagented aspiring author of colour in the UK/Ireland. For 2023 they will be offering two independent prizes, one for works of fiction, and one for Life Writing and Creative Non fiction. Apart from cash, the winner and shortlisted writers get editorial consultation with an agent. Submission requirements include writing samples from the manuscript, and summaries of the manuscripts. The prizes are £500 each. The deadline is 14 August 2023. Details here and here.

Society of Authors: Dursilla Harvey Access Fund
These are small grants for UK-based/British writers, giving authors support for travel, subsistence, childcare or access needs for events, residencies, and retreats. “The fund will be open all year round and claims under £150 will be assessed on a rolling basis (usually within two weeks) with larger requests processed on a quarterly basis.” They are accepted on a rolling basis starting 1 January 2023.
(Society of Authors also has awards for works in progress as well as contingency funds – all their grants are here.)

PEN America: US Writers Aid Initiative
This is intended to assist fiction and nonfiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists, who are facing acute financial need following an emergency situation. To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States, be professional writers, and be able to demonstrate that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them to address a short-term emergency situation; there are other eligibility requirements, too. This grant is not for subsidizing writing-related expenses. Writers do not have to be PEN members to apply. The next deadline is 1 October.

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.

BIPOC scholarship for Emily Harstone’s classes at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish
Each time Emily Harstone offers a class through the Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish, there is now an opportunity for one to two writers who identify as BIPOC to take it for free. If you registered last year, please note that the form re-set in January, and you are encouraged to fill it out again. Last year about 50 people who filled out the form, and out of that 14 received a scholarship.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2023 Guide to Manuscript Publishers.

She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


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