Written by S. Kalekar

Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices This November

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.

Each month we’ve been featuring a different resource for underrepresented writers. This month the resource is Black Writers Collective which is a community for Black writers and has many valuable resources, including a Black Editors Directory.

Journals/Magazines

KOENING ZINE
They publish art, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction submissions  primarily by Asians, but they are open to submissions from non-Asians. The current theme theme is ASIAN FOLKLORE. Submitters must be over 18.

diaCRITICS
Their mission is to represent Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic literature, art, and culture and they publish essays, reviews, creative writing, as well as profiles and interviews with culture makers. They offer an honorarium of $75 per prose piece or interview and $50 per poem, and are currently seeking themed work, On Mothering and Language.

Tangled Laces
A magazine focused on publishing writing by queer teen authors between the ages of 14-18.

Fantasy Magazine
This is a digital magazine of fantasy and dark fantasy; send flash or short fiction (up to 7,500 words), or poetry. Pay is $0.08/word for fiction and $40/poem. They plan to remain open to BIPOC authors only for the remainder of 2022, though these plans are subject to change.

Arc Poetry Magazine: Crip Lives — Restoring Subjectivity
Arc Poetry Magazine is accepting fee-free submissions for their Crip Lives: Restoring Subjectivity issue, from “artists who live with disability/chronic illness/mental illness and other forms of existence that are impacted by ableism to send us poems, prose, essays, and reviews exploring what it means to be in the world, or your topic of choice”. Arc pays $50 per page for poetry or prose published in the magazine, $50 per webpage for online reprints on the website, and $50 per column for How Poems Work. The deadline for their Crip Lives issue is 15 May 2023. They have other opportunities listed too, both fee-based and fee-free. Details here (general guidelines) and here (Submittable, with theme guidelines).

Tasavvur
This is a magazine of South Asian science fiction and fantasy. “Our definition of South Asia is not restricted to traditional geographical terms and we welcome authors from neighboring regions and diaspora communities to submit too. … However, please do not submit to us if you are not from any BIPOC community”. They accept fiction (1,000-5,000 words), and pitches (do not send unsolicited submissions) for nonfiction. Pay is 2.5c/word for fiction, and $100 for commissioned nonfiction. Pitches for nonfiction are open on an ongoing basis. And they are open for fiction submissions from 19 November to 19 December 2022.

Apparition Lit: Dread
This is a quarterly speculative fiction and poetry magazine. They’re reading submissions on the Dread theme. Send 1,000-5,000 words for fiction, or up to 5 poems. Pay is $0.05/word for stories, and  $50/poem. As part of their equity initiative, they have a one-week extra reading period for writers who self-identify as BIPOC in their cover letters. So while their reading period for general submissions (i.e. submissions by all writers) is open till 30 November, their window for BIPOC writers is open for an extra week after this date.

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. 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. “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 read submissions by underrepresented authors in January, March, May, July, September, and November, and by all writers during the other months.

Agbowó
This magazine publishes work by African writers only; they want 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. Their next reading period is 1 December 2022 till 26 January 2023. Please send submissions to this, or any other literary magazine, only during their reading period.

Cinnabar Moth: Love Lost
Their website says, “For LGBTQIA+ authors, we are looking for short stories between 3,000 and 3,500 words on the topic of love lost all genres are accepted. … Accepted stories will appear in the June 2023 issue of Cinnabar Moth Literary Collections ezine.” They pay $50, and the deadline is 31 December 2022.

Open Minds Quarterly
Their website says, “We welcome writing and art from people with lived experience of what is variously called mental health challenges, mental illness, madness, and neurodiversity. We strive to promote these voices and perspectives by publishing work based on first-hand lived experience. “ They’re accepting submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and other genres for their upcoming unthemed issue, to be published in Spring 2023. They pay CAD25. The deadline is 31 December 2022.

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.

Heavy Feather Review: #NoMorePresidents
They have a print issue, open periodically, and submissions for the online magazine are open now; they accept work from all writers for most sections. They publish poems, short stories, flash fictions, nonfictions, hybrid works, visual art, etc. They have various sections, too – one of these is #NoMorePresidents. For this feature, they say,HFR is invested in supporting and publishing art by the LGBTQ+ community, Muslim writers, writers of color, female-identifying writers, aging writers, undocumented immigrant writers, survivors of abuse or assault, disabled writers, neurodivergent writers, non-American writers, plus other marginalized groups. White supremacy and other hate is inexcusable, and we wish to counteract and stand against these prevalent attitudes. HFR has reaffirmed its mission to elevate these marginalized groups by initiating a new blog feature, #NoMorePresidents, an online space for these communities to publish new writing.” Their general guidelines, including link to Submittable, are here.

Indecent
This is a space for Queer creators and Queer representation. “You do not have to be Queer to submit, but your work should be related to Queer representation”. Also, “If a connection to the Queer community is not readily apparent in your work, let us know your connection in the body of your submission email or your bio.” Send fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and multimedia. They have detailed guidelines for each category. They can offer token payment, of $4 or less. They were open to submissions at the time of writing.

Cosmic Double
Cosmic Double publishes work from underrepresented writers – including, but not limited to, Black, indigenous, & other writers of color; members of the LGBTQ+ community; adopted, displaced, or separated writers; writers without formal education, including high school, college, or masters level degrees; writers with mental or physical disabilities; new & emerging writers. They’re always open for nonfiction submissions (send up to 4 pages). Details here (guidelines) and here (Submittable). Until January, they are reading on the ‘Where We Come From’ theme – featuring writers who identify as adoptees, birthparents, donor-conceived, or discoverers of genetic secrets in their immediate families.

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 were open at the time of writing.

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. They want pitches or full-length drafts of personal essays on Filipinx American identity. “How does Filipinx American history and identity shape or complicate the Asian American experience? Why are Filipinx American stories so often undertold or overlooked?” Pay is $75-150 for work of 800-2,500 words. Details here and 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.
— Bigger Than Life: Uncommon people who shaped our times
– 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).

PRIDE Quarterly
This magazine accepts fiction and poetry from Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, or/and People of Color (QTBIPOC) authors only. They accept original (flash to novelette length), reprint (flash to novella length), and translated genre fiction year-round with periodic, unannounced closures. “We’re particularly interested in romance, historical fiction, mystery & crime, thriller & suspense, horror, science fiction, and fantasy.” Payment is $0.08/word for the first 1,000 words and $0.01/word after for original fiction, and $15 for poems. They also pay for cover art, comics, and  reviews on bookish QTBIPOC topics. Narrators can reach out for podcast and audiobook work. This publication used to be called AURELIA LEO Originals.
(They are also accepting flash to novella-length work from all authors for their anthology, Fable: An anthology of horror, suspense and the supernatural, until 30 November 2022; a paying market.)

FIYAH
They only accept submissions by writers of the African Diaspora. They want speculative fiction (2,000-17,000 words), nonfiction (800-1,200 words) and poetry (up to 1,000 words), as well as reviews, nonfiction for the web, and art. Pay is $0.08/word for fiction, $0.10/word for nonfiction, and $50/poem. The deadline is 31 December 2022 for poetry and prose.

The Acentos Review
The Acentos Review publishes writing, art, music and multigenre work by Latinx writers. They are open to submissions all year long.

ALOCASIA
A journal of queer plant-based writing, open on a rolling basis.

Wishbone Words
A new literary journal that publishes work, including poetry, creative nonfiction, personal essays, and illustrations, by chronically ill and disabled writers and artists.

Travesties?!: A Journal of Uncanny Arts
They accept submissions on a rolling basis from anyone that identifies as LGBTQIA+. They say “We are looking for pieces that are queer in all senses of the word, but that doesn’t mean they should be limited to traditional ideas of LGBTQ+ experience.”

The Arrow Journal: Black Dreaming and Black Dream Geographies
This established journal is seeking work on the theme Black Dreaming and Black Dream Geographies. This Special Issue “seeks to contribute to the collective archiving and analysis of Black dreaming, by centering the work of Black contributors. The Guest Editor especially invites Black, African, and Black diaspora contributors to submit their work, including but not limited to  Black folks living outside of the Americas and contributors who identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Indigenous, Afro-Asian, and/or Afro-Arab.”  Learn more about the details of the call by tapping on the + symbol next to the call, here

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.

Craft
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 underrepresented writers, here. Craft pays $100 for flash and $200 for short fiction and creative nonfiction.

Aloka
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.

Spoonie Magazine
Spoonie Magazine is a new weekly digital publication; they published their first volume in June 2022. “We want art, articles, poetry, and prose by disabled, chronically ill, and / or neurodivergent individuals (or their loved ones) that engages with these topics in some way. We’re not looking for any specific form or perspective; we’re looking for honesty.” They publish art, articles, poetry, and prose (including fiction and creative nonfiction). They are always open for submissions. They also have Spoonie Journal, a print journal, which has specific reading periods.

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 $0.10-0.75/word, which averages out to about $200-1,250 per story. 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. Scroll down the page to see the listing.

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

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

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

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

LatinX Lit Audio Mag
LatinX Lit Mag is a safe space for literary work written by authors who identify as Latinx or Hispanic.

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. They are closed to general submissions currently and will resume these in late 2022, but continue to accept mailed work from incarcerated writers; see the notice here.

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.

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.

Presses/Anthologies

Flare: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Told Through Flash Narratives
They want fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid submissions (up to 750 words) about chronic illness, widely interpreted, by “those who occupy this wilderness”. They also accept reprints, translations, and collaborations. (Please click on ‘Flare: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Told Through Flash Narratives on Submittable, where there are other projects listed, as well.) Pay is $10, and the deadline is 30 November 2022.

Toxic Workplaces Anthology
They plan to publish anthologies by women writers, starting 2023. The theme of the first creative nonfiction anthology is Toxic Workplaces. “This series is intended to amplify women’s voices, but writers need not necessarily confront issues of gender, sexual harassment, patriarchy, etc. Essays may be politically conscious, but please avoid didactic writing and polemics. Successful pieces will include a strong, relatable voice, engaging narrative, rich sensory detail, and thoughtful reflection.”  Send works up to 5,000 words. Pay is $0.02/word for original essays; there is no cash payment for reprints. The deadline is 1 December 2022. Details here and 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.”

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. They close to submissions on the 1st of December.

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. They are currently open to fee-free submissions for their Machete nonfiction series and their Latinographix series.

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.

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.

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 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.

Forever
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.

Amble Press
Amble Press an imprint of Bywater Books, publishes fiction and narrative nonfiction by queer writers, with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on queer writers of color.

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
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.

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.

Opportunities/Support/Contests

Table//Feast Literary Magazine: Two contests
They have two contests: one is for women/ womxn writers, and the other is for BIPOC writers.
— Rise & Shine Mini Contest: This is for women/ womxn writers only.
Submit one piece of prose or one poem; your submission can also be a micro story, essay, or poem. The prizes are $75 for poetry, and $75 for prose. The deadline is 15 December 2022.
— Blossom Contest: This contest is only for BIPOC writers. Entrants may submit up to three poems (2 pages each) in the Poetry Category or one piece of fiction or creative nonfiction (up to 3,000 words) to the Prose Category. The prizes are $200 for poetry, and $200 for prose. The deadline is 1 January 2023.

Grist Fellowships
These are opportunities for US-based journalists with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues – the program aims to help underrepresented, early-career climate journalists gain a stronger foothold in the industry. They have openings for 6 Fellows, in Environment Justice, Indigenous Affairs, News & Politics, Food & Agriculture, Climate Solutions, and Data – click on each fellowship link on the main guidelines page to get details. It is a paid writing opportunity for 12 months. There are writing samples and other submission requirements for each fellowship. Applicants should have a four-year degree, or equivalent professional experience, and strong understanding of Grist’s brand. Writers can work remotely from anywhere in the US; they must have a US address, and be eligible to work in the US (see guidelines). Each fellowship has $50,000 annual base pay, other benefits, and mentorship. The deadline is 19 December 2022.

Two Dollar Radio: Sator New Works Award
This is a prize for writers who identify as trans or nonbinary. They want a manuscript, fiction or nonfiction, of at least 30,000 words. The prize is $3,000 advance, and the deadline is 31 December 2022. Details here and here.

Discoveries 2023
This prize is run by The Women’s Prize Trust, Audible, Curtis Brown Literary Agency, and Curtis Brown Creative writing school. It is for UK- and Ireland-based women writers, for a novel-in-progress (adult fiction) – send the first 10,000 words and a synopsis. Apart from a cash prize of £5,000, the winner also gets literary representation. There are also non-cash prizes for shortlisted and longlisted writers.

The deadline is 15 January 2023.

The African Poetry Book Fund: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry
The African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) runs writing contests, and one of them is open for submissions now. The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry is for poets born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African, and who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published (this includes self-published books if they were sold online, in stores, or at readings. Writers who have edited and published an anthology or a similar collection of other writers’ work remain eligible). Manuscripts have to be at least 50 pages long. Only poems written in English can be considered, but they accept poems in translation too. In the case that the winning work is translated, a percentage of the prize money would be awarded to the translator. Apart from a cash prize, the winner also gets publication from the University of Nebraska Press. The prize is $1,000, and the deadline is 1 December 2022. Details here (guidelines) and here (Submittable).

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

Thin Air Magazine: The Bird in Your Hands Prize
This is a literary contest for BIPOC writers; send fiction, poetry, or nonfiction of up to 500 words. The prize is $500, and the deadline is 20 November 2022. Details here and here.

Queer Adventurers 2022 Essay Contest: Shelter
Queer Adventurers is looking for 1,000 to 1,500 word personal essays on the theme of Shelter. It must be a first-person story, that happened to you, about a time you found shelter outdoors, and the story must connect to the theme of shelter, outdoor adventures and the writer’s LGBTQ+ identity. This can be taken literally or metaphorically.  Winner receives $150, runner-up receives $50, and winners and longlisted writers receive perks. Submissions must be made by December 15th, 2022

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.

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

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

Forward Funds: Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Creator Fund
The crowdsourcing platform for creatives, Kickstarter, now has Forward Funds. Their website says, “Forward Funders are foundations, nonprofits, and organizations that back Kickstarter campaigns related to their visions and missions around a more creative and equitable world. Each Forward Funder makes a public commitment and then backs projects just like anyone else—through single pledges that bring the works one step closer to reality.” One such fund is the $500,000 Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Fund. This backs projects by Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx creators in the US on the crowdfunding platform – “Effective immediately, funds will be awarded on an ongoing basis to creators with active projects across all of Kickstarter’s categories: Arts, Comics & Illustration, Design & Tech, Film, Food & Craft, Games, Music, and Publishing.” Projects launched on Kickstarter following their rules are eligible, and creators can nominate themselves for specific Forward Funds via a form. This is for both, creators and organizations.


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

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