Written by Emily Harstone

Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices this February

This is a new list we are trying, consisting of publishers that otherwise meet our guiding principles, but are only open to free submissions from historically under-represented 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. I try to make it as clear as possible who the publisher is seeking work from. A few are also limited by geography, again, I try to make this clear.

This is the second month we are publishing this list and we want it to be as helpful as possible. Please send us email at support@authorspublish.com if you have any feedback or an additional listing to add.

Right now 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.

S. Kalekar helped contribute some of these opportunities, and you can read her list of monthly themed calls, which contains even more opportunities here.

Journals/Magazines

Wood Cat Review
A new literary journal focused on publishing writing about nature. This is how they open their current call for submissions: “The natural world can inspire, enchant, and rejuvenate. But far too often, these wild places can also intimidate or elude marginalized groups. We are committed to closing that nature gap. We are working to promote participation in outdoor spaces, and amplify diverse voices from the back of beyond.” They pay between $25 and $50 for work, including poems, fiction, and nonfiction.

The Black Explorer
Their goal is to champion the Black travel community. They are currently seeking submissions for Volume 3 – Africa is not a country, where they plan to feature at least one story for each of the 54 African nations and countries (deadline 28 February 2022), and Volume 4 – Heritage – which explores the places touched and influenced by Afro-descendants across time and history, focusing on the Caribbean and Latin America (deadline 30 April 2022). They are only seeking submissions by Black writers and pay between £50 and £150 per piece.

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.

Speculative City
A  quarterly speculative works magazine featuring literary works that explore themes, characters, and landscapes exclusive to urban environments. This submission window  which is open till 28 February 2022 is only for authors who identify as queer AND BIPOC. “We seek provocative fiction, poetry, and essays that are center on queer life, as seen through a BIPOC lens, in a speculative city—cities are vital spaces of community that act as a welcome ground and place of exploration.”

Rough Cut Press: Soil
They publish work by LGBTQ+ artists – fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They are open year-round, with cut-off dates for themed issues. They are reading submissions on the ‘Soil’ theme. According to their website, “We seek personal, lyrical, critical, and experimental work in under 650 words.” Pay is $25. For the Soil theme, the deadline is 27 February 2022.

Cossmass Infinities
This magazine publishes science fiction and fantasy. Submissions are open from 1st to 7th of every month (though sometimes they close earlier, if they get a high number of submissions); they accept work from all authors, and from underrepresented authors (Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented authors) during alternate months. Their guidelines also say, “To clarify for under-represented authors: Whether you ‘qualify’ as under-represented is something that you decide for yourself. We are not going to act as a gatekeeper on this, nor do we need you to justify your qualification. There is absolutely no requirement or request for you to tell us, in your cover letter or elsewhere, why you feel you qualify.” Submissions from underrepresented authors will be in March, May, July, September, and November. Pay is $0.08/word.

Split Lip Magazine
They favor interesting, literary narratives with a modern, pop culture appeal. 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 March, May, August, September, and November. Fee-free submissions for Black writers are open till end-June. Send up to 3,000 words for fiction, up to 2,000 words for memoir, or one poem. Pay is $50 for web contributions, $5/page for print, $25 for reviews and interviews.

Room Magazine
They publish fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry only “by folks of marginalized genders including, but not limited to, women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit, and nonbinary people.” Underrepresented writers are particularly encouraged to submit. They accept prose (fiction and nonfiction) up to 3,500 words, poetry (up to 5 poems), and art, paying CAD50/page up to CAD200. They’re reading work for an open issue, #45.4: “Send us your contemplative essays, dark poetry, strange fiction, purely wholesome content, and everything in-between.” They occasionally have themed submission calls which are fee-free, and contests which have some free entries. They accept pitches for reviews, as well. The deadline for their unthemed call is 30 April 2022. Details here (general submission guidelines) and here (open call details for issue #45.4).

Midnight & Indigo
They publish work by Black women writers only. They are currently looking for character-driven fiction: “All genres are welcome. Subject matter and plots can run the gamut, but we want emotion, grit, soul, and writing that forges an immediate connection with the reader.” They also publish first-person POV narrative and personal essays: “Essays can be funny, entertaining, serious, or sincere. Content must uplift, inspire and leave readers with something to think about. We want emotion, grit, soul, and writing that forges an immediate connection with the reader around your experience. Submissions cannot include list formats or “5 Ways to…” inspirational instructionals.” They do not publish poetry. They want a minimum of 1,500 words for fiction and minimum 1,200 words for nonfiction. Pay is $50 for short fiction published online, $100 for short fiction published in the print magazine, additional $125 if accepted for print anthology, and $50 for essays. The deadline for creative works is 30 April 2022. Book reviews focused on works by Black women authors are accepted year-round.

Canthius
­­­­­They welcome submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, experimental works, play excerpts, and poetry. They publish work by women, transgender men, nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and genderqueer/gender non-conforming writers only, and accept submissions in Indigenous languages. They have a Submittable cap each month for fee-free submissions, when submissions are open. Length is up to 3,500 words for prose, up to 5 poems, and 5-8 pages for play excerpts. Pay is $50-150 . The deadline is 5 March 2022.

Apparition Lit: Wanderlust
Apparition Lit, a speculative fiction and poetry quarterly magazine, wants submissions for the Wanderlust theme, and pays $0.05/word for stories of 1,000-5,000 words, and $50/poem. The reading period is 15-28 February for all writers, and an extended reading period, 1-7 March 2022, is for BIPOC writers only. They also have a monthly writing challenge based off a photo, which pays $30 for 1,000 word stories and is open from 1st to 14th every month.

Nightlight Podcast
This is a podcast for Black horror writers. They accept fiction, and reprints that have not previously appeared in radio format from Black writers. They are open for submissions on even months from February to August. Length guidelines are up to 3,000 words for flash, and 3,000-10,000 words for short fiction. Pay is $75 for flash fiction, $200 for short fiction, and $50 for reprints. The deadline is 28 February 2022. They are also looking for audio narrators.

Mascara Literary Review
Mascara Literary Review is an Australia-based journal. They want submissions of fiction (including flash fiction), nonfiction, and poetry on the ‘Resilience’ theme for their first print anthology. Their guidelines say, “Resilience looks upwards to the ever-changing, ever-present skies, where fingers and fist touch the horizon. Resilience is often deeply imagined and hard won. Resilience, by turn, is fervent, supple, rhizomatic, generative. Like the beguiling evenness of an orchid, resilience is enduring and delicate.
Against the odds, the impediments and rigid boundaries that may limit our lives, we channel resilience as our guide and our key to rejuvenation and regeneration. Resilience offers a futuristic and promising gaze into the future: What does it look like? How did we get here? What have we lost and/or inherited?”. Their deadline is March 20th, and they pay up to 200 AUD.

Presses/Contests/Anthologies

Ghost Orchard Press
They are a small press seeking submissions for Rewired, an anthology of nurodiverse horror. They will pay 3 cents per word and will close to submissions on 30 April 2022.

Sundress Press
Sundress Publications is open for submissions of full-length prose manuscripts in all genres. All authors are welcome to submit manuscripts their work before the submission window closes on 28 February 2022, fees are waived for BIPOC writers and for those who purchase or preorder any Sundress title. They are also accepting submissions to their anthology, A Body You Talk To: An Anthology of Contemporary Disability, till 30 April 2022. The guidelines are on the same page.

Stillhouse Press
“Stillhouse Press is committed to publishing work from voices often excluded from traditional publishing, including writers of color, gender non-conforming and LGBTQ writers, and those living with disabilities. To create an accessible platform for marginalized voices, we offer fee-free submissions to writers who request a fee waiver via our contact form.” They are currently open to submissions of Nonfiction/Memoir, not including essay collections, and fiction. No deadline is listed. They are also open to submissions for the 2022 Stillhouse Press Novella Contest through 31 March 2022, and offer to waive fees for this as well.

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

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

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

Peepal Tree Press
Peepal Tree Press is a little different than the opportunities listed above, because it has limited submissions overall rather than just a free reading period. Peepal Tree only publishes international writing from the Caribbean, its diasporas, and Black British writers. It is the world’s leading publisher of Caribbean and Black British writing. They publish around 15 titles a year, and have published many respected books over the years. They are temporarily closed and hope to re-open in March for submissions.

Zero Street Fiction
A fiction imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, they “invite submissions of novels and short story collections, from LGBTQ+ authors new and established, that feature LGBTQ+ characters and/or themes. We are particularly interested in BIPOC authors, trans authors, and queer authors over 50.”

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

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

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.

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

Sovereign: An Anthology of Black Fantasy Fiction
This is a project by Pride, which runs the Aurealia Leo imprint. For their ‘Sovereign’ anthology, they want stories by Black writers only, from Africa and the African Diaspora. They want works from flash to novella-length. The sub-genres are: Heroic; Mythic; Flintlock; Gaslamp; Medieval; Religious; Weird West; Arcanepunk; High/Epic Fantasy; Sword and Soul/Planet; Noblebright/Nobledark; Fables/Fairytale Retellings. They also accept reprints. They will accept up to two submissions from writers – one original fiction, and one reprint. Length is 1,000-39,999 words, and they pay $0.08/word for the first 1,000 words, $0.01/word thereafter. The deadline is 16 July 2022, or until filled.

Forest Avenue Press: Disabled Authors SFF Anthology
They want submissions only from writers who live in the US, and who are disabled. They want science fiction, fantasy, and speculative short stories. Also, “The disabled community is intersectional and we want this project to reflect that intersectionality. We are especially eager to see stories from disabled folx of color and queer folx. Neurodivergent writers who self-identify as disabled are welcome to submit.” Pay is $100 for originals and $25 for reprints. The deadline is 17 March 2022.

Book of Witches anthology
This is an anthology project from Harper Voyager, for BIPOC writers only. They want submissions on the ‘Witches’ theme – “more specifically your witch and what it means to you”. They want fiction submissions only, not poetry, for the open call (see guidelines and the comments section on the guidelines page). They do not want explicit content. They are open to submissions from the 14th to the 18th of March 2022. They want stories up to to 6,000 words, and pay $0.08/word.

First Peoples Myths and Tales anthology
This is a speculative fiction anthology from Flame Tree Publishing and they want submissions from people with the appropriate heritage. This collection is “inspired by stories of the first peoples in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, the first migration, the first exploration, the discovery of land and landscape without the footprint of humankind. Stories of injustice will sit with memories of hope and wonder, dreamtime tales of creation and joy will highlight the enduring spirit of humanity.
We are looking for submissions from writers with appropriate heritage, whose stories will be cast alongside ancient myths and legend from around the world and will bring new perspectives to the legacy of First Nations, of First Peoples. The stories themselves can be speculative, fantastic, mythic or folkloric, they can delve into themes such as colonisation, other worlds, natural ecology and utopianism, they can be challenging and adventurous.” They also accept reprints. They want stories of 2,000-4,000 words, and pay $0.08/word. The deadline is 16 March 2022.

Black Caucus of American Library Association Awards
This is for the best self-published ebooks by African American authors born in the US. The prizes are for fiction and poetry genres.
Writers will be awarded $1,000 in each category. The deadline is 28 February 2022.

Opportunities/Support

Biographers International Organization: The Frances “Frank” Rollin Fellowship
The fellowship is open to all biographers anywhere in the world who are writing in English, who are working on a biography of an African American figure (or figures), and who are at any stage in the writing of a book-length biography. A publishing contract is not required for eligibility. Memoirs are not eligible. The application includes an excerpt of up to 20 pages. The Biographers International Organization also has other awards, some of which are open for all writers, as well as other resources. The award is $2,000, and it is open to all biographers. The deadline is 1 March 2022.

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

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

ECW’s BIPOC Writers Mentorship Program
This program is  part of ECW’s  “commitment to promote diverse and inclusive voices in books. The goal of this program is to find and nurture upcoming writers from BIPOC communities and equip them with tools and information to navigate the industry, submission process, and publishing process. The program is only open to writers who have never published a book and are currently living in Canada.” They have two admission deadlines a year: November 30 and May 31. They also have positions for freelance editors.

VS Books
This is a mentoring opportunity for writers who fit the following description:

“If you are an unpublished writer living in Canada who is Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour and who is fifty or older”. Please note that self-publishing work does not count as long as the manuscript you are submitting is unpublished. They close to submissions on 15 April 2022.

Their guidelines also say, “The recipient of the mentorship will receive the following:

  • regular editorial feedback and writing support on your manuscript from me in person or via Skype meetings
  • advice and support relating to the writing process, grant-writing, CV-writing, social media, promotion, organization, self-motivation, the publishing process, touring, performing, and anything else that might be pertinent (e.g., informal conversations about art, process, the intersection of art with gender, sexuality, race & religion)
  • a publishing contract with Arsenal Pulp Press & VS. Books, with a $1,500 CAD royalty advance and book release slated for Fall 2023.
  • my assistance in developing a marketing plan (alongside Arsenal Pulp Press’s marketing team)
  • my assistance with booking and organizing a launch event
  • a one-month post-publishing debrief period with me to brainstorm future goal”.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2021 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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