Written by S. Kalekar September 14th, 2023

Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Writers this September

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 Kundiman which is dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American Literature.

Literary Journals

This is a journal for LGBTQ+ contributors. They want fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, hybrid works, and drama. They are especially interested in cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work. They also have a Writers In Need fund to support sliding scale payments for their contributors who opt into the fund. The deadline is 1 November 2023. Details here.
(Foglifter also has a poetry chapbook contest for unpublished QTBIPOC+ poets in the San Francisco Bay Area – see their Submittable for details.)

Split Lip Magazine
Split Lip Magazine is a voice-driven literary journal with a pop culture twist. 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). 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 all writers are in September and November, and sometimes close early if a cap is reached. Fee-free submissions for Black writers are open till mid-December. Details here and here.

This is a Canadian intersectional feminist magazine that publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by writers of marginalized gender identities including trans, Two Spirit, non-binary, agender, cis women, genderqueer, GNC, and intersex writers. They also welcome submissions in Indigenous languages. They accept both fee-based and fee-free submissions. Pay is $50-150; send up to 2,500 words for prose, or up to 3 poems. The deadline is 15 September 2023; please note, they have a monthly submission cap during their reading periods (see guidelines), and so may close earlier than the deadline. Details here and here.

They publish work on environmental justice – fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, translation, and art. Query for reprints and reviews. They are accepting submissions for issue 8. They have detailed guidelines, including, “For Reckoning 8, we want thinking, writing and art about … this. All of this, right now. We want to hear about active resistance to the patriarchofascist, corporate-captured extractive state. … Help us understand how strategies of repression and control all over the world concentrate agency in the hands of the few at the expense of all other life. We are looking for work in opposition to a broad, insidious fascism that treats water, trees, and bodies as exploitable, expendable resources rather than sacred, essential components of our global, infinitely interconnected and interdependent web of life.” Their guidelines also say, “We are always seeking work from Indigenous writers and artists, racialized writers and artists, queer, trans and/or disabled writers and artists, and anyone, anywhere in the world, who has suffered the consequences, intended or otherwise, of dominant society’s systemic disconnect with and mistreatment of the natural world.” Length guidelines are up to 20,000 words for fiction and creative nonfiction, and up to 10 pages for poetry. Pay is $0.10/word for prose, $50 for reviews, and $50/page of poetry. They are always open for submissions, with cut-off dates for annual issues. The deadline for this issue is 22 September 2023. Details here (issue-specific guidelines), here (general guidelines), and here (submission portal).

They publish speculative fiction by Black writers of the African Diaspora. They also accept poetry, nonfiction, and art. They are reading submissions for an unthemed issue. Length guidelines are 1,000-15,000 words for fiction, and up to 1,000 words for poetry. Pay is $0.08/word for fiction, and $50/poem. The deadline is 31 October 2023.

Haven Speculative
They publish science fiction and fantasy – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art. They accept submissions through the year; every alternate month, they accept submissions only from underrepresented writers. The publish climate-crisis focused work twice a year, in their Dry (published in March) and Wet (published in September) issues. They have extensive guidelines, including on the special issues. Length guidelines are up to 6,000 words for fiction, up to 3,000 words for nonfiction; and up to 5 poems. They pay $0.01/word for prose, and $5-10 for poetry. During September, they’re reading submissions from underrepresented writers only; during October, they will accept submissions from all writers.

Rough Cut Press
They publish short prose from the LGBTQIA community, and have monthly themed submission calls. Send short prose on the Tender theme, of up to 650 words. Pay is $25, and the deadline is 27 September 2023.

Room Magazine
They publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by people of all marginalized genders, including cis and trans women, trans men, nonbinary and Two-Spirit people. They also accept review pitches from Canadian writers (see guidelines). Send prose of up to 3,500 words, or up to 5 poems. Pay is CAD50-200. The deadline is 30 September 2023.

They publish work by African origin writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, interviews/reviews, and art/photography. Pay is $25-50 for poetry, $50 for one-act plays, $60 for fiction and nonfiction, and $35 for art. There is also an editor’s prize for poetry, for $100. Please send only one submission per reading period. The deadline is 30 October 2023.

The Kenyon Review
This respected journal is open for submissions through September 2023. They publish fiction (including flash and excerpts from longer works), nonfiction, poetry, and drama, as well as translations. While they have no specific call for underrepresented writers, one of the themes for this reading period is, Writing from Rural Spaces. The other two themes are: Extinction,  and Literary Curiosities. Writers can also send unthemed submissions. They do not accept paper submissions, except from writers (such as those who are incarcerated) who do not have ready access to the internet (see guidelines). Length guidelines are: up to 7,500 words for prose, up to 6 poems, up to 30 pages for plays. Pay is $0.08/word for prose, up to $450; $0.15/word for poetry, up to $200. The deadline is 30 September 2023. Details here and here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 also have a call for short historical fiction featuring Lim Ching Seong; pay is $100, and the deadline for that is 1 December 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 17 September 2023.

Lucent Dreaming: For a Friend Anthology
This is an opportunity for writers in the UK. “We are looking for prose to publish in our For a Friend anthology, a giftable collection of writing you would send to a friend. As a guide, we think we are looking for prose pieces that are a source of comfort, inspiration, advice, learning and escape. This might take the form of letters, dedications, advice columns, stories, flash fiction, or any other prose form. We are looking especially for work from writers of colour and working class writers living in the UK.” Pay is £100 for prose of 400-3,999 words, and the deadline is 30 September 2023.

Neon Hemlock Press: Embodied Exegesis – Transfeminine Cyberpunk Futures
Neon Hemlock Press publishes queer writing and they are open now for a transfeminine cyberpunk anthology. “Submissions are open to transfem authors, including trans women, transfems, nonbinary trans women, etc. We’re not the gender cops, and you don’t need to justify or explain your identity. If you think you’d fit in an anthology of transfem authors, you belong here.” They want cyberpunk and posthuman short stories. They have detailed guidelines, please read them carefully. Pay is $0.08/word for stories up to 6,000 words. The deadline is 15 October 2023. Details here (scroll down), here, and here.
(Neon Hemlock will also open for speculative fiction novella submissions from all writers during 15-30 October 2023. Details here.)

Amplitudes: Stories of Queer and Trans Futurity
This is an anthology of queer short speculative fiction. “During a time of rising threat against queer and trans people’s flourishing, this anthology project aims to imagine other, better worlds as an act of literary resistance. …these stories explore what might happen if the oppressive status quo of the here and now is rejected—instead asking, but what if things were different? Whether speculating on new technologies and cultural shifts; imagining community politics through utopias and dystopias; exploring the materiality of how queer and trans people navigate an ever-changing world as well as their own relationships; or something else entirely: the stories Amplitudes seeks will offer engaged, imaginative perspectives on “queer futurity.”” They are open to any and all forms of speculative fiction, including cross-genre and/or literary works. They also want translations (query for translations or submit the full piece – see guidelines). Pay is $0.08/word + royalties for stories of 1,000-7,500 words. The deadline is 15 October 2023.

Hungry Shadow Press: Little Bastards — Too-Short Horror Stories Nobody Wants
They want horror flash fiction. “They got sub calls for flash and sub calls for 2000+, but what about those little bastards no one wants? What about those stories YOU wrote for no call at all, just because you wanted to? Those guys that never get picked for dodgeball. Let’s find them a home. Let’s find a place for those treasures, those stories that said all you had to say in 1600 words. Those outcasts, those weirdos, those stories that Goldilocks wouldn’t look at twice.”
Pay is $0.08/word for stories of 1,000-2,000 words. The open call submission window is September 15 – September 30, 2023, and there is an extended submission window exclusively for LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and marginalized writers, October 1 – October 7, 2023. Submission is via a form.

Cybear Punk Anthology
This submission call is for science fiction stories – they want cyberpunk, Afrofuturist, solar punk, space opera, hard and soft sci-fi, futuristic speculative fiction, raypunk, dystopian, sci-fi noir, post-apocalypse and utopian stories. They want “sci-fi stories that feature fat/chubby/big-boned’ed gay/bi/queer men in heroic leads (bonus points if there’s — gasp! — more than one fat gay man in your story!)”. Please see their preferences and also the kind of work they do not want. Regarding who can submit to this anthology, they say, “literally anyone! We would love for those in the gay bear community to submit, own-voice matters to us. But anyone who wants to can submit a story.” Pay is $0.08/word for stories of 5,000-10,000 words. The deadline is 1 October 2023.

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.

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.

Hub City Press: Open Call for Prose (Novels and Nonfiction) by BIPOC Writers
They usually publish work by writers in the Southern US states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia). For the current call, they want submissions of novels and nonfiction by BIPOC writers from these states, until mid-September. They want “prose manuscripts (novels or nonfiction projects) for completed, full length Southern book projects from Black, Latinx, SWANA (South West Asian/ North African), Asian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous writers. We are interested in projects that stretch the bounds of what “the South” can mean, and in representing Southern-ness where it is often overlooked. Projects could include: historical and contemporary novels; narrative nonfiction; memoir and essay collections; accessibly written books of cultural criticism; hybrid genre works.” They have this, as well as other and upcoming opportunities, both fee-free and fee-based, on their Submittable page. The deadline for this call is 15 September 2023; also, “If you do not identify as BIPOC, you may submit your manuscript during our standard open calls. A shortened call for fiction will open September 16. Our nonfiction call will open as usual in October.” They accept non-agented submissions in March/April and September/October.

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. They will reopen on 1st October.

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.


Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway
This participant focused writer’s conference is offering 29 attendance-based scholarships for writers this January as part of the 30th annual Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. Most scholarships completely cover workshop tuition and a Double Room Package. There are also a few tuition-only scholarships available for commuters. Some are only available for writers of color and some are open to all. It’s important to note that if selected writers must still cover the cost of getting there, some meals, and an additional 20 dollar fee that can be waived under certain circumstances. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is October 1, 2023 at 11:59pm EDT.

One Story: Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship
This fellowship is for an early-career writer of fiction who has not yet published a book and is not currently nor has ever been enrolled in an advanced degree program (see guidelines). “We are seeking writers whose work speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference. This means writing that centers, celebrates, or reclaims being marginalized through the lens of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, illness, disability, trauma, migration, displacement, dispossession, or imprisonment.” Apart from the stipend and tuition to attend One Story’s week-long summer writers’ conference, it offers free tuition for all One Story online classes and programming; a full manuscript review & consultation with One Story Executive Editor Hannah Tinti (story collection or novel in progress up to 150 pages/35,000 words). A fiction writing sample of 3,000-5,000 words is part of the submission requirement. The winner receives a stipend ($2,000) and free admission at their writers’ conference, other benefits. The deadline is
12 October 2022. There are other opportunities also on the Submittable page, please submit to the correct one.
(At the time of writing, the Fall fiction submission window for One Story was also open; they pay $500 for literary fiction of 3,000-8,000 words, and will close when filled.
And their fiction contest for teen writers is also open for submissions – there are three categories divided age-wise for this contest. The deadline is 27 November and the prize is $500. See this page and Submittable for details.)

Speculative Literature Foundation’s Working Class Writers Grant
This grant is to help writers of speculative literature. This grant is awarded annually to assist working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers, and writers from these backgrounds, who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction due to financial barriers. One of the submission requirements is a writing sample, of poetry, drama, fiction, or creative non-fiction (see guidelines); the submitted work must be speculative. Unlike their other grants, writers may receive this grant anonymously or pseudonymously. They also have other grant submission periods coming up. The grant is $1,000, and the deadline is 30 September 2023. See here for the schedule for all grants.

PEN America: Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund
This is for US-based emerging/early-career screenwriters who are able to demonstrate a financial need (see guidelines). Their website says, “PEN America recognizes the financial hardship that many screenwriters are experiencing due to the work stoppage in the industry. To demonstrate our support for film and television writers and their families, we have launched the Screenwriters Emergency Financial Assistance Fund, a new, short-term program of PEN America’s  U.S. Writers Aid Initiative. This emergency fund will serve early career screenwriters with one-time, rapid-response grants to help meet essential financial needs, such as housing, food, utilities, and health care. Grants in amounts of $500 or $1000 will be distributed on a first-come-first serve basis to eligible screenwriters.”
The grant is $500-1,000, and the deadline to apply is 30 October 2023.

The Haven Foundation Grants
These grants, for legal US residents, were instituted by Stephen King after he suffered a debilitating accident. They give financial assistance to help freelance artists and writers who have suffered disabilities or a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe. Also see their FAQ. Applications have to be mailed.
The deadline is 20 October 2023 (must be received by this date).

Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship
This is for published fiction and nonfiction writers who were born in Africa or whose parents were born in Africa (see ‘Do I need to prove my African birth place?’ in FAQ). The money is paid monthly over a course of a year. For non-fiction writers, additional funds can be made available, and given over a period of 18 months. A published writing sample is part of the application (see guidelines). One of the scholarship requirements is, writers have to submit 10,000 words of writing every month (see guidelines). They also say, “The Foundation will not review or comment on the monthly submissions as they come in. However, each Scholar will be offered the opportunity to be mentored by an established author or publisher. In most cases the mentorship will begin after the book has been finished and the Scholarship period has ended.” Writers are asked to donate a percentage of earnings from sales of what they have written in the scholarship period to the Miles Morland Foundation – a moral obligation, though not a legally binding one. The scholarship is £18,000 for fiction writers, with possible additional funds for nonfiction writers, and mentorship. The deadline is 18 September 2023 (see ‘important dates’ in the entry requirements here.) The application form is here.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize
This is a contest for writers from the Commonwealth (see the list of eligible countries here) – send a piece of short fiction, in any genre, of 2,000-5,000 words. They take entries in several languages apart from English. The top prize is £5,000, regional prizes are £2,500, and the  deadline is 1 November 2023. Details here.

Canada Council for the Arts’ Explore and Create Grants: Research and Creation Grants
These are for Canadian artists, curators and writers (literature includes fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novel, young people’s literature, literary non-fiction, exploratory literary works using new technologies, spoken word creation, storytelling and literary performance). There are various types of grants and sub-categories. Research and Creation Grants (within Explore and Create) provide support for creative research, creation and project development. Individuals who self-identify as Deaf or disabled, including those living with mental illness, or a First Nations, Inuit or Métis artist facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers, and require to pay someone to help them with the application process, may be eligible for application assistance. The Research and Creation grants are up to CAD25,000 per year (up to CAD50,000 for 2 years), and the deadline for these is 4 October 2023. Details here and here.
(They also have Professional Development for Artists, Concept to Realization Project Grants, and more within Explore and Create Grants, some with October deadlines for Canadian artists – see here.
And see all Canada Council for the Arts’ grants for individuals, groups, and organizations here. One of the categories is the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.)

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.

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.

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.

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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