Written by S. Kalekar

Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices this March

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. We try to make it as clear as possible who the publisher is seeking work from. A few are also limited by geography, again, we try to make this clear.

This is the third month we are publishing this list and we want it to be as helpful as possible. Please send us an 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.

This article is a collaborative effort by S. Kalekar and Emily Harstone. In addition, if you are a writer that identifies as BIPOC, this resource is also a good one, and although it has not been updated in a year, some of the information in contains is still helpful. There is also a good list of literary scholarships, grants, and residencies here.

Journals/Magazines

Honey Literary

Honey Literary is a BIPOC-focused literary journal / 501(c)(3) literary arts organization built by women of color and founded in 2020. They describe themselves by saying, “Our pillars are access, advocacy, and intersectionality. We encourage mentorship with and for emergent writers of color. Honey Literary is a space for BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color and any combination therein). We publish BIPOC women, non-binary and trans people,  disabled writers, and anyone of color from the LGBTQIAP2+ community. We crave the work of agitators, righteous disruptors, weirdos, and wild ones”. They publish work that falls into the following categories: Poetry, Essays, Hybrid, Comics, Animals, Interviews, Rants & Raves, Valentines, as well as Sex, Kink, and the Erotic. Their current reading period for issue four closes 1st May 2022.

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.

The Black Explorer
Their goal is to champion the Black travel community. They are currently seeking submissions 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.

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.

Mascara Literary Review
Mascara Literary Review is an Australia-based journal and they are particularly interested in the work of contemporary migrant, Asian Australian and Aboriginal writers. We specialise in publishing platforms for subaltern writing and human rights, focussing on cultural cohesion and participation” – see their ‘About us‘ section. 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 20 March 2022, and they pay AUD200.

The Massachusetts Review
The Massachusetts Review is seeking submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid work for a forthcoming issue focusing on publishing work by disabled and/or D/deaf artists. The guest editors are actively soliciting work from writers and poets “who identify as D/deaf, disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill, and/or neurodiverse”. The deadline is June 1st for this call. Pay is $100 for general submissions, and $250 for Working Titles submissions, which are longer. Also, for general submissions, under the ‘What kinds of writing are you looking for?’ subhead, they say, “Submissions from authors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color will be accepted year-round” – please see the guidelines for further details.

Afreada
Afreada is a literary magazine that publishes stories from writers and creatives across Africa. You can read more about it here. Pay is £25 for stories up to 5,000 words. Submissions are open until 31 March 2022. Their next reading period will be in June.

Roulette: Fantasy
Roulette is a literary magazine for queer folks, and anyone on the QUILTBAG spectrum can submit. They are reading for their ‘Fantasy’ issue – submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry can be up to 5,000 words. The deadline is 31 March. They pay.

Translunar Travelers Lounge
This magazine publishes “fun” speculative fiction. Their open reading period is 15 March-15 April 2022. The first week of this period – 15-21st March – is only open for writers of color. They pay $0.03/word for stories up to 5,000 words. Their next reading period is in September.

Snarl
This magazine publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions from creators of marginalized identities only: “We are looking for writers and artists who have been marginalized due to their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, and/or disability. We seek to publish and promote queer writers, black writers, writers of color, trans writers, native writers, undocumented writers, disabled writers, impoverished, and incarcerated writers.” (See their FAQ section for details). Send up to 8,000 words of prose, or up to 5 poems. Pay is $25 for flash & micro, $50-$75 for longer prose; $15/poem, plus $5 per additional printed page.

Omenama Speculative Fiction Magazine: Positive Visions of Democracy
Omenama publishes speculative fiction by writers from Africa and the African Diaspora. As part of a global project, supported by the US-based National Democratic Institute, they are publishing stories about positive visions of democracy – please see their extensive guidelines on the theme. Some stories from this issue will be published in a special anthology later. They want stories of 1,000 to 5,000 words, and will pay $100 for stories. The deadline is 30 April 2022. (Other partners for this project are Brazil-based Mafagafo and A Taverna, which have collaborated for the mash-up, Mafaverna, and India-based international journal Mithila Review – please see the individual websites for their submission guidelines, including deadlines and pay rates.)

Future SF Digest
This speculative fiction magazine publishes only translated fiction, and fiction written by authors for whom English is not their first language and who reside outside of primarily English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland). Right now, they are looking for work by Ukrainian writers, to publish in their summer issue – see the editor’s Tweet here; stories can be submitted in English, Russian, and Ukrainian, and there is no deadline specified. They also accept nonfiction pitches. Send 500-10,000 words for fiction (under 5,000 words strongly preferred). Pay is $0.08/word for fiction (for translations, this is split between author and translator).

Haven Speculative
They publish speculative fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and translations; they are open for submissions from all writers, and for submissions by underrepresented writers, during alternate months. “Our submission cycle is … split into two categories, where every other month is explicitly reserved for submissions by authors of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other underrepresented groups. The interposing six months remain open to everyone.” Windows for underrepresented writers are March, May, July, September, and November. They publish two themed issues yearly on climate emergency, the Wet issue, and the Dry issue. For their four unthemed issues, they are open to a wide variety of stories across the SFF and weird spectra. Length guidelines are up to 6,000 words for fiction, up to 3,000 words for nonfiction, and poems of any length. Pay is $5-10 for poetry, and $0.01/word for prose.

Presses/Contests/Anthologies

Shredded: A Sports and Body Horror Anthology
They want stories of body horror in sports and fitness. “Submit your most grotesque, strange, frightening, and thought-provoking stories—ones with complex characters, unapologetic weirdness, and horror that takes bold narrative risks.” Pay is $0.03/word for stories of 2,000-4,500 words. The deadline is 31 March 2022 for general submissions. “The extended submission period for writers of marginalized backgrounds related to race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, and other identity categories is April 1st – 7th, 2022.”

Bioluminescent: A Lunarpunk Anthology
This is a fiction and poetry anthology from Android Press. “Lunarpunk tells optimistic and hopeful stories about future societies led by genuinely diverse communities and powered by renewable energy, where nature and technology coexist in harmony rather than in conflict.” Also, “The main difference between (Solarpunk and Lunarpunk) is the aesthetics not the politics. … in many ways it can be thought of as a gothic take on solarpunk. … think of solarpunk and lunarpunk in terms of a dicotomy. If solarpunk is about bright colors, daylight and sun, science, community, etc… then lunarpunk is about darker colors, nighttime and moonlight, spirituality … introspection and more individual focus”. And “In addition to hopeful and optimistic stories with a lunarpunk aesthetic, we’re looking for stories that highlight the spiritual side of futures where society is more utopian.​”

Lunarpunk spirituality tends to focus on traditions such as paganism and wicca, but need not be limited to such. We’re particularly interested in (but also are not limited to) stories about utopian futures of non-western societies and spiritual traditions, written by authors whose families are from those cultures.​

We’re interested in narratives set against the backdrop of future societies led by historically marginalized communities and their community members, and how such communities that have solved, overcome, and/or adapted to climate change within a lunarpunk aesthetic. We’re looking for #ownvoices stories with characters who are demographically diverse (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, different religions, geographical regions, etc) and how those identities shape their spirituality and their visions of the future.” They want 500-7,500 words for fiction, up to 5 poems; Pay is at least $0.08/word for fiction, $30 for poetry. The deadline is 30 April 2022.
(They will publish a Cyberpunk-Solarpunk Anthology, as well. The deadline for that is 31 March 2022.)

Limp Wrist: 2022 Glitter Bomb Award
Limp Wrist publishes the work of LGBTQ poets, non-binary poets, and their allies; read more about them here. Writers can send up to three poems, each poem a maximum of two pages. Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the majority of the poem is in English. Translations are not eligible. The prize is $600; $50 for honorable mentions, the deadline is 24 March 2022. This contest is open to LGBTQ/Nonbinary poets and their allies. Details here and here.

Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award
This international grant, for writers of color, is for supporting the recipient in crime fiction writing and career development activities. She or he may choose activities that include workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats, online courses, and research activities required for completion of the work. This is for an emerging writer (see guidelines). The application process includes a writing sample – an unpublished piece of crime fiction, written with an adult audience in mind. This may be a short story or first chapter(s) of a manuscript in-progress, 2,500 to 5,000 words. The prize is $2,000; the winner can choose from a range of activities. The deadline is 31 March 2022.

The Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing
This is a prize for a debut literary work by a first-generation resident of their country. The prize alternates between fiction and non-fiction. For this cycle, they are reading non-fiction manuscripts. Non-fiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction. The submission should address some combination of identity, the meeting of cultures and communities, immigration and migration, and today’s globalized society. Non-fiction submissions must consist of either a complete manuscript, or a sample of at least 25,000 words and a detailed proposal that includes a synopsis and an annotated table of contents. All submissions must be in English (translations welcome). Candidates must not have previously published a book of non-fiction in English. Apart from the cash prize of $10,000, the winner also gets publication.  The deadline is 31 March 2022.

CINTAS Foundation: Fellowship in Creative Writing
This is a creative writing fellowship of $20,000, for writers having Cuban citizenship or direct lineage (having a Cuban parent or grandparent).  Applications can be in English or Spanish. Fellows who are not U.S. citizens and who are living abroad must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number when they accept the fellowship to receive payment. The foundation also offers fellowships for other disciplines – architecture & design, music composition, and visual arts (click the ‘Fellowships’ tab on top of the page). The deadline is 1 May 2022.

2022 ALTA Travel Fellowship: Jansen Fellowship
Each year, fellowships are awarded to emerging translators (someone who does not yet have a book-length work of translation published or under contract) to help them pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference. Part of the application requirement is up to 10 pages of translated work (poetry or prose – see guidelines). Among the fellowships is the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship, which is preferentially awarded to an emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented Diaspora or stateless language. Also see ALTA’s other awards for published works, some of which do not charge a submission fee. Also, “Information about the upcoming conference format, and the format that the annual Travel Fellowships will take, is forthcoming.” The fellowships are $500-1,000 each. The deadline is 19 April 2022 for the Jansen Fellowship. Details here and here (scroll down).

Hawaii Speculative Short Story Anthology

This is a fiction anthology – fantasy, science fiction, horror, or any mixture thereof, taking place on the Hawaiian Islands. “Authors may not currently live in Hawaiʻi but must have some significant connection to the islands. Bonus points if your story draws from traditional folklore, but more bonus points if your story reflects authentic experience.” They want stories of 2,000-5,000 words, and pay $50. The deadline is 15 May 2022.

Bold Strokes Books

This established LGBTQ+ publisher started a BIPOC publishing initiative.  This is their commitment “If you are an author who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, we welcome you to submit your manuscripts to Bold Strokes Books. We guarantee to publish every manuscript that meets our publishing criteria, subject to contract agreement. We guarantee we will publish these within twelve months of date of contract. In addition, we will choose ten additional manuscripts deemed publishable after revisions and provide a full manuscript critique. We will look favorably upon resubmission, although not required.”

Cherry Lake Publishing Group

The Own Voices, Own Stories Award is offered annually to children’s picture book manuscripts written by BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ authors with the intention of recognizing and amplifying new and diverse voices with underrepresented perspectives. It’s open to US residents who are over the age of 18 and are BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ writers. Only projects and authors who have not had a previously traditionally published children’s book will be considered and these projects must be unagented. Manuscripts that have been previously submitted to Sleeping Bear Press and/or the Own Voices, Own Stories Award will not be considered. Authors who have previously self-published  are welcome to submit projects that have not been self published. There are a number of criteria the story has to meet, so please read their guidelines carefully. The Grand Prize winners will receive a $2,000 cash prize, as well as a publishing contract with advance and royalties standard for new Sleeping Bear Press authors. In addition least one Honor Award will be offered every year, and the Honor Award winners will receive a $500 cash prize as well as one consulting session with a Sleeping Bear Press editor. They close to submissions on 31 March 2022.

Ghost Orchard Press
They are a small press seeking submissions for Rewired, an anthology of nurodiverse horror. They will pay $0.03/word and will close to submissions on 30 April 2022.

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 mid-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.

Opportunities/Support

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”.

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

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