Written by S. Kalekar

Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices this May

This list of publishers meet our guiding principles, but are only open to free submissions from 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.

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 S. Kalekar and Emily Harstone. Please send us an email at support@authorspublish.com if you have any feedback or an additional listing to add.

The resource we are promoting this month is Melanin in YA, a database of Black writers of Young Adult fiction founded by Melody L. Simpson. They also have a great list of additional resources for BIPOC writers of Children’s, MG, and Young Adult Books, here.

Journals/Magazines

The Republic: Artists/cultural practitioners focusing on Africa/African Diaspora
The Republic ​is a new publication providing in-depth coverage of underreported stories and issues affecting Nigerians and Africans at large. Their managing editor has Tweeted, “accepting pitches for profiles of artists (painters, musicians, writers etc) and cultural practitioners with a focus on Africa and the African diaspora. Paying $150.” Also, “Stories will typically explore culture from a political lens e.g. how the artist’s politics (relationship with race, sexuality, gender, migration or other social/political issues) has evolved along with their person and their art.” See the Twitter thread here. Pitch deadline is 31 May 2022.

Jaggery
They publish fiction, essays & interviews, poetry, and reviews. The magazine “connects South Asian diasporic writers and homeland writers; we also welcome non-South Asians with a deep and thoughtful connection to South Asian countries, who bring their own intersecting perspectives to the conversation. (By South Asia we mean Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.)  Our hope with Jaggery is to create a journal that offers the best writing by and about South Asians and their diaspora”, according to their guidelines. They pay $100 for fiction and $25 for other genres. The deadline is 17 July 2022.

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.

Minola Review
They publish work from writers who identify as women and non-binary. They accept fiction (micro, as well as short fiction up to 5,000 words), nonfiction, poetry, and reviews. Please note, there is a difference in pay rates between their June and September issues for all genres – for the June issue, fiction and nonfiction pay $175, poetry and reviews pay $50; for the September 2022 issue, fiction and nonfiction pay $75, poetry pays $25, and reviews pay $20. The deadline is 31 May 2022.

smoke and mold: Across/With/Through–Trans Writers in Translation
smoke and mold is a magazine of trans and Two-Spirit nature writing. You can read more about them here and see their Twitter feed here. “The journal will publish 24 issues: 2 each year for 12 years — the amount of time allotted us by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” For the current submission call, Across/With/Through – Trans Writers in Translation, they say, “The root of this issue is simple: a desire to see more work from trans writers working in a language other than English. How are writers around the globe bending their tools of story and language to push at the strictures and structures of categories, from genre to gender? What is left out of “trans literature” when the only authors included are those working primarily in English? And who are Western audiences missing out on because they aren’t considered “trans enough” in a framework of colonial gender norms reinforced by centuries of war, white supremacy, and eugenics? … We look forward to introducing readers to voices they didn’t know they were missing in our spirit of small, focused issues devoted to uplifting trans writers working today at the intersection of place, geography, land and language.” Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis from authors, translators, and teams working together, with publication in spring 2023. Pay is $100.

The Willowherb Review
This UK-based magazine only publishes nature writing by writers of color from anywhere in the world. They want non-fiction especially, but will consider fiction and poetry as well — on nature, place, and environment. Their guidelines say, “we believe nature writing can tackle all sorts of issues: from stories of farming to long treks, tales of migration, racism, community, and beauty. You might be writing about remote places, cities, lost landscapes, or old homes. We’re looking forward to seeing what matters most to emerging nature writers. Above all, your submission should have a great sense of place and attention to the natural world.” Send up to 3,000 words for prose, or up to 3 poems. Pay is £250 for prose, and £100 for poetry. The deadline is 30 June 2022.  

Puerto del Sol
A highly respected literary journal funded by New Mexico State University, Puerto Del Sol has an ongoing Black Voices Series featured on their website.

The Bitchin’ Kitsch
The Bitchin’ Kitsch a little different than a lot of the journals listed here, because it is open to submissions from everyone, but prioritizes traditionally marginalized creators. Submissions are temporarily on pause, but they are still taking submissions for All My Relations, Volume 3 on the theme of “belonging.” This volume is open to BIPOC, LGBTIQA2+, and disabled creatives only. The deadline is 1 July 2022, or until filled. 

Sine Theta
A print creative arts magazine featuring work by people who are part of the Sino diaspora. They define this as “people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage.”  Submitters need not know Chinese. They pay a $10 honorarium per contributor.

Alebrijes Review
 They bill themselves as an “indie Latino literary magazine dedicated to art that is colorful, whimsical, and monstrous.” They try to respond to all submissions within a month.

Tint Journal
A biannual literary journal that publishes the original work of writers for whom English is a second or non-native language.

Hyphen Magazine
Their tagline is “Asian America Unabridged”, and their primary audience is Asian Americans in their 20s and mid 30s. They publish a wide range of work including but not limited to creative nonfiction, original fiction, original poetry, as well as articles pertaining to news, politics, and social justice. They pay $25 per published piece. They are only open to submissions by Asian Americans. They have detailed submission guidelines, please read them carefully.

Breath & Shadow
Breath & Shadow only publishes work from people with disabilities. This is how they define disability: “We use the term “disability” broadly to encompass anyone with a physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, or sensory impairment that significantly affects one or more major life functions. ” They accept writing on any topic in terms of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama. Pieces do not have to be about disability. The academic or article type nonfiction, including profiles, interviews, and opinion pieces, do have to relate to disability in some way. They pay $20 for poetry and $30 for prose.

Screen Door Review
They only publish work by individuals who are Southern and queer. You can learn more about how they define Southern here. They publish flash fiction and poetry.

Emergent Literary
An exciting new literary journal that accepts a wide range of submissions from Black and brown authors.

the other side of hope
This is a journal of refugee and immigrant literature. Fiction and poetry are open to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only. They accept nonfiction, book reviews, and author interview submissions by everyone on the theme of migration. They publish one issue online, and one in print. Pay is £100 per published author in the print issue, and £50 per published author in the online issue, and £300 for cover art. Authors who are seeking asylum will receive a £100/£50 online gift card. The deadline is 31 May 2022.

Fourteen Poems
This UK-based journal publishes LGBTQ+ poets only. Each issue publishes 14 queer poems. Send up to 5 poems. Pay is £25/poem. They publish thrice yearly, but take submissions throughout the year. The deadline for submissions for their next issue is 15 June 2022. They also publish pamphlets.

Fairy Tale Review: The Rainbow Issue
They want queer fairy tales written by queer writers for this issue. They want prose (fiction and nonfiction – up to 6,000 words), poetry (up to 4 poems), graphic novels, comics, drama, and artwork. Pay is $50, and the deadline is 30 June 2022.

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). 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. Fee-free submissions are sometimes closed earlier, if their Submittable cap is reached. Fee-free submissions for all writers are in May, August, September, and November. Fee-free submissions for Black writers are open till end-June. They’re also accepting micro submissions of 275 words or fewer for their 10th anniversary issue until 31 May 2022, and pay $75 for these submissions. Details here and here.

beestung: Trans is the future, the future is Trans
beestung is an online micro-magazine from Sundress Publishing that is intended for non-binary and two-spirit writers and readers, with an emphasis on intracommunity sensibilities. They publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrids, and art, and pay $20. Their general submission guidelines are here. They’re reading submissions for a special issue, ‘Trans in the future, the future is Trans’, until 5 July 2022.

Midnight & Indigo
They publish work by Black women writers only. Their current open calls are for fiction, speculative fiction/horror, and nonfiction. They want 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.” For  speculative fiction, they want work that “includes, but is not limited to, science fiction, fantasy, superhero fiction, horror, utopian and dystopian fiction, fairytale fantasy, and supernatural fiction.” 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. 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 is 30 July 2022. Book reviews focused on works by Black women authors are accepted year-round.

The Massachusetts Review: disabled and/or D/deaf artists call
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”. Their general submission period is also open. 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. The deadline is 1 June 2022 for the disabled and/or D/deaf artists call.

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.

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). 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), and $0.01/word for nonfiction.

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.” They publish two themed issues yearly on climate emergency. The Wet issue, published in September, focuses “on stories of water—monsoons and the rising tides, hurricanes and the disappearing coast”. The Dry issue, published in March, relates to “dry aspects of climate change—desertification and falling reservoirs, rising temperatures and endless droughts.” Stories by climate refugees are welcome. They have no deadlines specified for their themed issues. “To submit a story for the theme, make sure to mention in your cover letter how your submission relates to the theme and, if you’d like, how you’ve been personally affected by the crisis at hand.” 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. Windows for underrepresented writers are May, July, September, and November.

Presses/Anthologies

Rural Writers of Color Fiction Anthology
This is a call from EastOver Press, for a reprint anthology by BIPOC writers who live in or hail from rural or semi-rural locales in the US and whose short stories feature characters living and/or working in rural or semi-rural spaces. Pay is $100-300. There is no deadline listed.

Green Linden Press: Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry
They’re reading poetry by queer US writers for this anthology. “The Essential Voices anthology series intends to make less insular the various poetries of the world, to bridge readers to cultures misunderstood and under- or misrepresented. It has at its heart the ancient idea that poetry can unite us by revealing our shared humanity. This anthology, the second in the series, will feature new or recent poetry by living queer U.S. poets. (We’re using “queer” in the broad sense: people who live outside mainstream sexual and gender norms.)” Send up to 6 pages of poems; they also accept reprints. They also have other submission categories, both paid and fee-free. Click on the ‘Guidelines’ section for this anthology on the press’s Submittable page, for details. The deadline is 1 October 2022, for this anthology.

Fifth Wheel Press: The Truth is in the Stars
Fifth Wheel Press is an independent community-focused publisher of art and writing by queer, trans, and gender non-conforming creatives, and The Truth is in The Stats is their biannual digital anthology. They pay $10 per piece and close to submissions for their digital anthology on 30 June 2022, but have other opportunities to submit. Make sure to read and follow their complete guidelines before submitting.

Bold Strokes Books: BIPOC Publishing initiative
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.”

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.

Mad Creek Books
Mad Creek Books is the literary trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press. With a mission to foster creativity, innovate, and illuminate, Mad Creek Books champions diverse and creative literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Though general submissions are charged, they are currently open to submissions for their Machete nonfiction series and their Latinographix series, which do not have a submission fee.

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.

Flashpoint Publications
They historically specialized in publishing books of interest to lesbian readers but their focus expanded a while ago to include LGBTQ+ work. They have been using their re-branded name of Flashpoint Publications for over a year now. They mostly publish popular fiction, but they have also published short stories, essays, and anthologies. They have a nonfiction imprint as well. We have reviewed them here.

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.

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.” Their window to submit fiction closes on 21 May 2022.

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 color, 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.

Opportunities/Support/Contests

Audible Indigenous Writer’s Circle
Now entering it’s second year, this program’s goal stated goal is “to elevate the voices of Indigenous peoples in Canada, in an effort to enhance equity and support reconciliation”. It’s a six month mentorship program that pairs emerging writers with Indigenous mentors and also offer immersive workshops with some of the industry’s leading creators, publishers, content managers, writers and marketers. The chosen writers are eligible for a 1,500 CAD bursary to support their participation in the program. All applications are due by  31 May 2022. Writers have to meet the following guidelines to apply for the program.

You are a great fit for the program if you self-identify as First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis and:
  • Have background knowledge, interest or training in writing. This could include self-study, mentorships, academic study or combinations of these types of training
  • Are pursuing or considering pursuing a career in literary arts
  • Can provide an example of your literary work
    • Examples of your work could include: works of fiction, nonfiction, biographies/autobiographies, memoirs, graphic novels, illustrated books, blogs, audiobooks and narrative podcasts.
  • Are at least 18 years old as of January 1, 2022
  • Reside in Canada* (not counting Quebec).

Mo Siewcharran Prize 2022
First launched in 2019, the Mo Siewcharran Prize is an initiative of the Hachette UK’s The Future Bookshelf that aims to nurture talent from underrepresented backgrounds writing in English. This year’s prize is for fiction writing in the crime and thriller genre. Entrants must be unagented and previously unpublished, aged 18 or over, resident in the UK, and BAME. Entry requirements are a 700-word synopsis of the plot of the novel, a list of the book’s characters and no more than 8,000 words – either the first three chapters or up to the first fifty pages. Benefits include First prize £2,500, Second prize £1,500 and Third prize £750. The deadline is 31 May 2022.

Speculative Literature Foundation Grants: Older Writers Grant
They have some upcoming reading periods for grants. The one open now is their Older Writers Grant, for a writer who is 50 years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The writing application sample could be of poetry, fiction, drama, or creative non-fiction, of speculative literature. A writing sample (up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction — if sending a segment of a novel, novella, or novelette, include a one-page synopsis as well) is part of the application. This grant is $1,000, and the application deadline is 31 May 2022.
(They also have other grants application periods coming up, later in the year – Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants during July; Working Class Writers Grant during September; and Gulliver Travel Research Grant during November. Details of all Speculative Literature Foundation grants can be found here.)

The Ann Petry Award
This is for a work of previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a 25,000-word minimum (approximately 150 pages) by a Black writer. The award is a residency, $3,000, and publication. The deadline is 31 July 2022.

Faber Children’s: Faber and Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize
This is for undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators in the UK or Ireland. Entrants must be of black, Asian or minority ethnic background and UK- or Ireland-based. For writers, they want a maximum of 5,000 words of text (no minimum word count). Entries must be text or artwork for children. Prizes are £1,500 each for a writer and an illustrator, and mentorship. The deadline is 17 June 2022. You can read more details about the prize, for both writers and illustrators, here.

EcoTheo Collective: Lorca Latinx Poetry Prize
This is a prize for emerging Latinx poets, who have no more than one full-length collection of poetry in print. You can read more about the prize here. Send chapbook manuscripts of 10-15 pages (see guidelines). “All unpublished, original collections of your poems written primarily in English are eligible (no translations unless your own).
Individual poems may be previously published in any medium, but the manuscript as a whole must be unpublished as a collection.” The winner will receive Spanish translation and bilingual publication of their manuscript, a cash prize of $500 from Letras Latinas, and 10 copies of the chapbook. The deadline is 5 June 2022.

The Irene Adler Prize
This is a scholarship of $1,000 for a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the US or Canada, and applicants must be citizens of either of these two countries. Applications include a 500-word essay on one of these three topics on the website.
–Which story from your life best illustrates why writing is important to you?
–If you could embark on an adventure anywhere in the world, what would it be?
–What is a mystery that you’d love to solve via your writing?
The deadline is 30 May 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.

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 a writer (or two) who identifies as BIPOC to take it for free.


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

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