Written by S. Kalekar

Opportunities Open to Submissions From Historically Underrepresented Voices This September

This list of publishers meet our guiding principles, but are only open to free submissions from historically underrepresented writers or focus on publishing content produced by historically underrepresented writers. Some of these publications are open to a wide range of writers including writers of color, gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+ writers, and those living with disabilities. Some have limited definitions and are only interested in work by Black authors. We try to make it as clear as possible who the publisher is seeking work from. Sometimes the focus of the press is limited, even though there are no limitations on who can submit. A few of the opportunities are also limited by geography, again, we try to make this clear.

If you belong to a limited demographic that is not listed here, this list might be helpful to you.

As long as a press/opportunity/journal is open to submissions we will continue to list it, so some of the content on the list is new, some overlaps from the previous month. This article is an ongoing collaborative effort by Emily Harstone and S. Kalekar. Two of these oppertunties were contributed NmaHassan Muhammad. 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. The FOLD Foundation celebrates diverse authors and storytellers at festivals and events based in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Even though they are based in Ontario, some of their resources are accessible and helpful to authors world wide, including their free monthly webinar series.

Journals/Magazines

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.)

Cossmass Infinities

This speculative fiction magazine will open a brief submission period in October. They will open during the first two weeks of October for BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented authors (1-14 October), and will open to general submissions for the second week (8-14 October 2022). Please note, they will close earlier than scheduled if the number of submissions is too high. Send stories of 1,000-7,500 words; pay is $0.08/word.

Open Minds Quarterly: It’s Personal

They want submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, other works, and art, on ‘It’s Personal’ theme from neurodiverse writers, and pay CAD25; the deadline is 30 September 2022.

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 October for art, and 31 December 2022 for poetry and prose.

Reckoning: Oceans

This is a magazine of environmental justice. They want fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translations, on the Oceans theme. They also accept art. And though they publish work from all writers, “We are always seeking work from Indigenous writers and artists, writers and artists of color, queer and trans writers and artists, and anyone who has suffered the consequences, intended or otherwise, of dominant society’s systemic disconnect with and mistreatment of the natural world.” Pay is $0.08/word for prose of up to 20,000 words, and $30/page for poetry. The deadline is 22 September 2022.

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

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  September and November.

The Acentos Review

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

the winnow

This print & digital literary magazine is devoted to showcasing poetry, prose, and artwork from LGBTQAI+ creatives.

The Gay & Lesbian Review

Bimonthly magazine of history, culture, and politics targeting an educated readership of LGBT individuals that publishes essays in a wide range of disciplines as well as reviews of books, movies, and plays, poetry and more. They pay for some content and offer contributor copies for all. They have different themes for every issue. Three of their upcoming themes are:

  • Queer in Both Senses: The weird in history
  • LGBT Subcultures: From bears to bisexuals to dykes on bikes
  • The Social Network Revisited: What has changed?

ALOCASIA

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

Foglifter Journal

A biannual literary journal that publishes the “most dynamic, urgent LGBTQ+ writing today”. They are open to written work of all kinds including cross-genre. They are open to submissions through 1 November 2022 for their spring issue – they also have a couple of paying opportunities listed – a poetry chapbook contest for Bay area residents, and applications for an assistant fiction editor – see Submittable They have also started a Writers in Need Fund for their contributors – see guidelines. 

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.

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.

Agbowó

They publish work by African origin writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, interviews/reviews, and art/photography. Pay is $25-50 for poetry, $50 for one-act plays, $60 for fiction and nonfiction, and $35 for art. Please send only one submission per reading period. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Room Magazine

They publish fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by people of all marginalized genders, including cis and trans women, trans men, nonbinary and Two-Spirit people. They also accept review pitches from Canadian writers (see guidelines). Send prose of up to 3,500 words, or up to 5 poems. Pay is CAD50-200. The deadline is 15 October 2022.

There’s No Place – Tales of Home by Storytellers Who Have Experienced Homelessness

This is an international fiction anthology by those with lived experience of homelessness (inclusive – see guidelines). “The theme of the collection is, simply, HOME. This is not limited to physical spaces; home can be a person, an item, a memory, a sensation. The theme can be interpreted broadly, but home should be at the heart of your story.

This collection will be limited to short stories—we are seeking fiction only. While lived experience will inform the stories told, our hope is to share tales of home imagined into being.” Send stories of 500-3,500 words. While the publisher, Renaissance Press, will prioritize diverse Canadian voices, all writers who have experienced homelessness in some form are encouraged to submit. Stories can be in any genre, and pay is CAD0.08/word. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Fat Coyote Literary Arts

This magazine publishes work by neurodivergent writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, and comics. They also accept reprints. Pay is $30-120. The deadline is 15 October 2022.

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). While they are always open for submissions, work sent from February to April and August to October are also considered for Spoonie Journal, their bi-annual print/digital publication.

Bad Form
They only publish writers of color. Their website says, “Bad Form is a books magazine. That means we write a lot about books – everything from book reviews, to reading lists, to opinion pieces about the publishing industry. The world of literary reviews is a pale and stale place, and we’re here to fuck it up with a lot of colour.” They have a website and a print magazine. You can view their articles here. For the website, they accept pitches for literary essays, long-form reviews, reading lists and features. Also, “We open regularly for submissions to our print issues. We’ll advertise this across our socials and website so you know when to pitch. We take literary essays, interviews, reviews and short stories for our print issue.” Pay is a small honorarium. Details here (guidelines) and here (Masthead).

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.

Under a Warm Green Linden: Issue 14, Indigenous Ecopoetry
This magazine, from Green Linden Press, “invites Indigenous writers to submit poems for a special issue to be published in December 2022. We are interested in poems that illustrate, redefine, or reimagine relationships—land, nature, culture, history—to expand the possibilities of ecopoetics.” Send up to 5 poems. The deadline is 15 November 2022.
(Green Linden Press has another fee-free project, Essential Queer Voices of U.S. Poetry – details in the Presses/Anthologies section below.)

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.

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. They’re reading submissions on the Touch theme until 1 November 2022.

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.

Midnight & Indigo
They publish work by Black women writers only. They are currently seeking book reviews focused on works by Black women authors. For short stories and narrative essay submissions, the deadline is 31 October; speculative fiction/horror are accepted on a rolling basis. Pay varies.

Nightlight
This is a horror fiction podcast featuring Black writers all over the world (at least one of your birth parents must be Black). They also accept reprints. At the time of writing, they were also looking for story performers. Length is up to 10,000 words. Pay is $75 for stories up to 3,000 words, and $200 for stories of over 3,000 words. The deadline is 31 October 2022.

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 thise 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

Clan Destine Press: Sherlock is a Girl’s Name
This is an anthology about a female-identifying Sherlock Holmes, written by female-identifying writers. The detective can be young or old, and the stories set in any time, place, or culture. “Of course, wherever there is Holmes, Watson must follow – in this anthology Watson could be nonbinary, female- or male-identifying, queer or straight. Whatever suits your setting.
Who is Ms Sherlock Holmes in your story? Who is her Watson?
Her clients? And what are the mysteries only she can solve?” The detective’s name must be Sherlock Holmes, or the local cultural equivalent, and they’d love a Holmesian-style adventure and mystery. Send stories up to 5,000 words (can write longer, but payment capped at 5,000 words), and pay is AUD0.05/word. The deadline is 30 September 2022.

Brigids Gate Press: Gothic Romance Anthology
This is a fiction call. “Women and non-binary authors only (our definition of women includes transgender women and femme-identifying individuals – and always will. If you identify as woman by any definition, or identify as non-binary, this call is open to you).” They want “gothic romances that are equal parts horror and romance. The short stories should be mysterious, atmospheric, and include a HEA (or happy for now).”
Length is 2,000-6,000 words, pay is $0.08/word, and the deadline is 30 September 2022.

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.

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.

(They’re also open for unthemed nonfiction submissions from all writers thtough September 2022; a paying opportunity).

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.(Green Linden Press has another fee-free project, Under a Warm Green Linden: Issue 14, Indigenous Ecopoetry – details in the Journals/Magazines section above.)

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.

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 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 illustrotors only. Authors need not be Canadian.

Opportunities/Support/Contests

WNDB 2023 Mentorships
In 2023, WNDB will offer fifteen mentorships split among the following categories: Picture Book Text (PB), Middle Grade (MG), Young Adult (YA); and Illustration (IL). (Please note there is NO separate nonfiction category and both fiction and nonfiction writers will enter their application by target age category). The winners will communicate with the mentor for approximately one year in a mentor/mentee custom-defined program. This is an opportunity to be matched with an experienced children’s book creator and receive individual support and feedback on a completed draft of a work-in-progress or your portfolio. They strongly encourage applicants to submit their application materials early. Deadline is September 30, 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.

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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