Written by S. Kalekar May 18th, 2023

Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Writers this May

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 de-canon which is “a literary social practice + publishing + library art project that centers works by BIPOC writers and artists, through creating spaces (virtual, physical, publication) where those works and voices are centered and honored.”


Split Lip Magazine
They like voice-driven writing, pop culture, and more. They publish online monthly and in print annually – flash fiction, short stories, memoir, poetry, and art, as well as interviews and reviews (for interviews and reviews, query first via webform – see guidelines). Fee-free submissions are sometimes closed earlier, if their Submittable cap is reached. Fee-free submissions for all writers are in May, August, September, and November. Send up to 3,000 words for fiction, up to 2,000 words for memoir, or one poem. Pay is $75 for web contributions, $5/page for print, $50 for interviews/reviews, and $25 for mini-reviews for their web issues. Fee-free submissions for Black writers are open till end-May. Details here and here.

Augur Magazine: Fancy & Fantasy
This Canadian speculative fiction and poetry magazine is open for submissions on the Fancy & Fantasy theme. Send stories of up to 5,000 words, or up to 5 poems. They have detailed guidelines, including, “Give us your most gorgeous fairy tale retellings, your most earnest and subversive fables. Introduce us to your beloved mythical creatures; your trans mages and gay knights; your deeply immersive worlds and dreamworlds and underworlds.
We are interested in Fantasy that reflects the reality of our world, and strongly encourage submissions that reject or subvert the colonial and/or Western lens—especially by those with diasporic and/or existing ties to the space and culture they are writing about.” They also accept translations. Regarding the deadline, “We will be open until 11:59pm May 31st EST to everyone from everywhere, and then until June 15th, we will only be accepting submissions from creators who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Disabled, and/or Trans, who are also Canadian citizens/permanent residents and/or who are living within the settler-defined borders of the land colonially known as Canada.” They pay CAD0.11/word for short fiction, CAD110 for flash fiction, and CAD60/poem.

Apparition Lit: Creature
Apparition Lit is a quarterly speculative fiction and poetry magazine. Their website says, “Speculative fiction is weird, almost unclassifiable. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and literary. We want it all. Send us your strange, misshapen stories.” They will read submissions on the Creature theme for two weeks in May 2023; also 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 deadline is 31 May 2023 for submissions from all writers on the theme; and 7 June 2023 for writers who self-identify as BIPOC in their cover letter. Pay is $0.05/word for stories of 1,000-5,000 words, and $50/poem, for up to 5 poems. Details here and here.
(They also publish flash fiction online on monthly prompts.)

sin cesar: Climate
They want fiction (including flash fiction), nonfiction (memoir essays, critical essays, book reviews, & interviews), and poetry on the Climate theme. “We look for subversive and bold voices; thought-provoking pieces that seek to illuminate a truth for the reader.” They prioritize work by Black and Brown artists. And, “We do not accept work that sustains the traditional white literary Western canon that has continuously ignored and poised itself as an authority over the voices of the oppressed. We do not give a voice to stories from the perspectives of cisgender, heterosexual, white, upper-class males that continue this tradition. We also do not give a voice to feminist works that only consider white female perspectives.” This annual magazine was formerly called Dryland. Contributors in the Los Angeles area get a print copy, all other contributors receive a digital copy of the issue. Length guidelines are up to 3,000 words for prose, and 3-5 poems. Pay is $25-75 for poetry, and $100 for prose. The deadline is 1st June 2023.

Lightspeed publishes science fiction and fantasy. They have very brief submission windows – they will be open to submissions from BIPOC writers only, during 24-31 May 2023, for science fiction flash stories, and submissions from all writers are open 1-7 June, for this genre. They also accept translations. They will open in during 23-30 June for fantasy flash fiction for BIPOC writers, and submissions for all writers in this genre will be open during 1-7 July. Flash fiction is up to 1,500 words, and pays $0.08/word.

Midnight & Indigo
They only accept work by Black women writers – speculative fiction, character-driven fiction, and essays. They pay $100 for speculative fiction on their website and $200 for works compiled in their anthology, $100 for essays, and $0.08/word for other fiction. They have rolling submissions for speculative fiction, and deadlines for general fiction and essays – the next deadline is 30 June 2023. Details 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.

They are reading creative nonfiction submissions by marginalized writers only. Their guest editor says, “For this open call, I am looking for Creative Nonfiction Flash/micros, from writers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and/or from other marginalized identities. As a queer, latinx writer, I want to give a platform to other marginalized voices and our lives, which are often foregrounded—as our currency often lives in our imagination, in the fictive realities we create for others. …. While I don’t have any preferences for a particular topic or concept, I do gravitate to stories that, as Maggie Nelson writes in The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, “bring us spectacular pain.” One that either lingers silently or makes you feel like you’ve reached into a flame. I love work that is risky, innovative, and, perhaps above all else, full of heart.” Send pieces of up to 1,000 words. Shenandoah pays $100 per 1,000 words of prose, up to $500. The deadline is 31st May 2023, or until filled, for flash CNF submissions. Please note, Shenandoah has a monthly submission cap during their reading periods. Details here and here.
(They’re also open for comics submissions, from all writers.)

The Other Side of Hope: Journeys in Refugee and Immigrant Literature
They publish poetry, fiction, and art from refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only; these are unthemed. Nonfiction and book reviews are open to all, and the theme for those is migration. Pay is £100 for print, £50 for online contributions, and £300 for art; asylum seekers get gift cards. The deadline is 31 May 2023.

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.

Apple A Day 
A zine published by Bitter Pill Press, Apple A Day is “is a food zine, for people who have a complicated relationship with it. Apple a Day is about how one’s food experiences are affected by life with disability, neurodivergence, eating disorders, chronic illness, mental illness, etc.” They are currently reading for their second issue. 

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.

Magnets and Ladders
A journal that publishes the work of authors with disabilities, their next deadline is 31st August 2023.

Kweli Journal
They seek “to publish work of writers and artists of color that is relevant, engaging, and uncompromising”. Submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are fee-free. Payment is after publication. The deadline is 30th May 2023. Details here and here.

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 priortizes 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.

Fantasy Magazine
This is a digital magazine of fantasy and dark fantasy; send flash or short fiction (up to 7,500 words), or poetry. Pay is $0.08/word for fiction and $40/poem. They are open for submissions by BIPOC authors only for the whole of 2023, with occasional submission windows for all writers. The dates are subject to change.

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.

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 other opportunities on that page with later deadlines — a Malay translation portfolio, and an undergraduate essay contest on Singapore and other literatures, open to students worldwide.)

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.


Brigids Gate Press: Scissor Sisters – Sapphic Villains Anthology
They want erotic horror, gothic horror, quiet horror, and body horror for this anthology. “We’re reclaiming the predatory lesbian trope, think Mrs Danvers in Rebecca or Roxy in Basic Instinct, so we’re looking for stories of sapphic villains. Because we’re looking to reclaim this trope and not reinforce it, we don’t just want sapphic villains. Sapphic characters can also be heroes and anti-heroes. We’d like to see a diversity of queer identities in a multitude of roles. We’d especially love to see stories of feminine rage, erotic horror, genderbent retellings and reclamations of power by queer femmes.” Stories must have diverse LGBTQ+ representation, can be set anytime in the past or present; the location can be anywhere on Earth. And, “Please note that #ownvoices is important to the editors, but this call is open to everyone.” They pay $0.08/word for stories of 1,500-4,000 words. The deadline is 31 May 2023. Details here and here.

Cutleaf: Rural Writers of Color Anthology
Their website says, “The anthology will focus on BIPOC writers who live in or hail from rural or semi-rural locales (in the United States) and whose short stories feature characters living and/or working in rural or semi-rural spaces. In addition, we’ll also accept work from BIPOC writers who’ve spent a significant amount of time in rural or semi-rural locales and whose work might reflect those spaces.” And, “Submissions should be no more than 25 pages or 7500 words and may include up to three submissions per author or five submissions per editor of a literary journal.” Payment to authors is upon publication, $100-$300. The deadline is 15th June 2023.

Thyme Travelers: An anthology of speculative fiction by Palestinian writers

Their website says, “Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing, will be publishing Thyme Travelers, an anthology of speculative fiction by Palestinian writers”. And, “This anthology is open to writers who identify as Palestinian. This includes all Palestinians living anywhere in the world, and of any race. Authors from marginalized groups are encouraged to submit.” Payment is $0.08/word for stories up to 5,000 words. The deadline is 30 June 2023.

Medusa Publishing Haus: The Book of Queer Saints Vol II
This is an international anthology, accepting submissions from all writers who identify as LGBTQ+. Their website says, “The horror anthology where unabashedly queer villains, anti-heroes, and outlaws reign supreme.” Payment is $0.05/word for stories of 1,000- 4,000 words. The deadline is 30 June 2023.

Owl Kids: Open call for BIPOC Writers and Illustrators

This respected Canadian publisher, with good distribution within Canada, is open to submissions from BIPOC writers through May 31st. They are seeking  submissions of picture book, early fiction, and non-fiction manuscripts.

Through the Portal: Stories from a Hopeful Dystopia, and other calls
They welcome international submission, but 90% of the work for the ‘Through the Portal’ anthology will be from people who live in/have ties to Canada. They have extensive guidelines, including, “Send us your eco-fiction stories or prose poems––literary, magical, speculative, solarpunk, supernatural, slipstream, reimagined folk/fairy tales. We want eco-fiction that envisions imaginaries and relationships in a new or changing world. How do we walk through the portal to the other side? How will we address or overcome the legacy of the past: the negative actors and social constructs, environmental devastation, racism, exploitation, pathologies? … We want submissions from everyone, emerging through established, and from all communities––including but not limited to LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indigenous, marginalized, culturally diverse, the deaf and disabled. Stories can be literary or speculative, with the environment playing an essential role in the narrative. We welcome visual content in the form of illustrations accompanying a story or prose poem, or as graphic stories.” They want works up to 3,500 words, and pay CAD0.05/word. The deadline is extended to 31 July 2023.
(They have other fee-free calls on the page, including for AKI, or Mother Earth, and ONWAACHIGEWIN, or Prophecy themed anthologies by Indigenous authors. Pay is CAD0.05/word, and the deadline for these, too, is 31 July 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.

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.


Faber Children’s: Faber and Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize
This is for undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators. Entrants must be of black, Asian or minority ethnic background and UK- or Ireland-based, and unpublished (see guidelines). Entries must be text or artwork for children. For writers, they want a maximum of 5,000 words of text (no minimum word count); if it is for a picture book, they want the full manuscript. Also, “it does not have to be a short story (though those are welcome too!)
We do strongly advise you to complete your work insofar as you can, even if you do not enter the whole manuscript: after the ceremony agents will request the full manuscript, so in order to get the most out of the prize, it is best to have the whole manuscript ready to go.” The prize is £1,500; second place wins £500 – the categories are for a writer and an illustrator, and winners also get mentorship. The deadline is 30th June 2023. Details here and here.

The Irene Adler Prize
The competition is open to women worldwide, commencing or continuing to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in 2023-24. (Earlier, it was for US- and Canada-based women writers.) Applications include a 500-word essay on one of these five topics on the website:
— Write your journalistic take on a real-life story that has not gotten the attention it deserves – as either an opinion column or a news report.
— Maya Angelou said: “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” Tell a story about a time when you put that philosophy into action in your life.

— Write about the funniest thing that has ever happened to you.

— Name the book that has had the greatest impact on your life and describe how it affected you.
— Write a fictional story about a meaningful episode in someone’s life.
The prize is intended to be applied to educational expenses such as tuition fees – please see the rules. There is one prize of $1,000, and  two prizes of $250 each. The deadline is 30 May 2023. Details here (download 2023 submission guidelines and rules).

Speculative Literature Foundation Grants: Older Writers Grant
The Speculative Literature Foundation has some upcoming submission periods for grants. The one open now is their Older Writers Grant, for a writer who is 50 years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The writing application sample could be of poetry, fiction, drama, or creative nonfiction, of speculative literature. A writing sample (up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction — if sending a segment of a novel, novella, or novelette, include a one-page synopsis as well) is part of the application. The grant is $1,000, and the deadline is 31 May 2023.

(They also have other grants application periods coming up later – Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants during July; Working Class Writers Grant during September; Gulliver Travel Research Grant during November; A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian and Diaspora writers in January 2024. Links to all Speculative Literature Foundation grants can be found here.)

Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors
This is a climate fiction contest from Fix, Grit’s solutions lab. “We’re looking for stories of 3,000 to 5,000 words that envision the next 180 years of climate progress — roughly seven generations – imagining intersectional worlds of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope.” And, “A great Imagine story showcases creative climate solutions, particularly through narratives that center the communities most impacted by the climate crisis, and that envision what a truly green, equitable, and decolonized society could look like. We celebrate fiction rooted in hope, justice, and cultural authenticity, and aim to amplify voices that have been, and continue to be, affected by systems of oppression. … Imagine 2200 was inspired and informed by literary movements like Afrofuturism and Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, disabled, queer, and feminist  futurisms, along with hopepunk and solarpunk. We hope writers of all genres look to these movements for inspiration, and we urge writers within these communities to submit stories.
We also invite you to bring climate fiction and the principles of Imagine 2200 into other genres. Write a climate mystery or comedy. If you love steamy romance, thread a climate story through that titillating enemies-to-lovers arc. Climate connects to every part of life — all sorts of stories can be climate stories.” They have detailed guidelines, please read them carefully. The prizes are $3,000, $2,000, $1,000; and $300 each for nine winners. The deadline is 13 June 2023, and it is open to writers internationally. Details here and here.

Sapiens Plurum Short Fiction Contest: Building Communities in the Face of Climate Change
Sapiens Plurum conducts an annual short fiction contest, opening on Earth Day of each year. The theme is ‘Building Communities in the Face of Climate Change’. They have detailed guidelines, including, “We invite stories that explore how we can use science and technology to build resilient communities in a rapidly changing world. We are most interested in the ways that science and technology can help us to ride out the coming storms, especially in communities already under stress.” Submissions should be 1,500-3,000 words. The prizes are $1,000, $500, and $300. The deadline is 15 June 2023, and it is open for all writers. Details here and here.

The Jenny Brown Associates Over 50 Award
This is an award for all unpublished and unrepresented writers resident in the UK aged 50 and above. One of the submission requirements is the first 5,000 words of your debut novel. They will not consider science fiction, horror, or fantasy. Apart from a cash prize of  £1,000, the winner will receive a placement on a residential writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. Runners-up will receive tailored mentoring sessions. The deadline is 31 May 2023.

Poetry Bulletin Submission Fee Support
This is a confidential, poet-to-poet support. Over $5,000 has been committed to this circle since March 2021, and given to 80 poets so far. It covers submission fees for poetry chapbooks and full-length poetry manuscripts. A maximum of three submissions per poet. This support is designed for poets who cannot otherwise afford to submit their manuscripts to publishers; poets who face barriers of time, access, or energy; and poets who have historically been underrepresented. Support is confidential. If you’re matched with an anonymous supporter, you’ll be asked to keep their identity confidential. There’s no deadline.

The Africa Institute: Global Africa Translation Fellowship
The fellowship welcomes applications from across the Global South for a grant to complete translations of works from the African continent and its diaspora, into English or Arabic. This is a non-residential fellowship. Projects may be retranslations of old, classic texts, previously untranslated works, poetry, prose, or critical theory collections. The project may be a work-in-progress, or a new project feasible for completion within the timeframe of the grant. Application includes a translation sample. The award is $1,000-5,000, and the deadline is 1 June 2023.

The Writers Union of Canada: BIPOC Writers Connect

BIPOC Writers Connect is a virtual conference that includes one-on-one feedback, query letter-writing workshop, an industry panel discussion, as well as lots of networking opportunities. This years conference will be held on Thursday, October 19th.

Advance application is required for this free event. Only BIPOC writers in Canada are eligible. Applications are open until Monday, July 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time (PT).

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 deadlines listed for 2023 (subject to change) are: 1 July, and 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.

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


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