Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Calls for Submissions — June 2015

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On the first Wednesday of each month, Literary Mama shares a list of current calls for submissions. Good luck sending your work out into the world!

Photo by Dina Relles

Photo by Dina Relles

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Mamalode announced a July theme of "dive in." This online magazine pays for publications. Find more information on how to submit here. Submissions are ongoing, including topical pieces not related to the theme.

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The American Short Fiction Short Story Contest is open for submissions (2,000-6,500 words) until June 15th. Guest judge: Elizabeth McCracken. There is a $20 entry fee. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication in the spring issue. One runner-up will receive $500 and all entries will be considered for publication.

All entries must be single, self-contained works of fiction, previously unpublished, without any identifying information on the manuscript itself, and submitted through Submittable. Simultaneous submissions allowed, but please notify promptly of publication elsewhere.

American Short Fiction also publishes shorter works (under 2,000 words) online. More information can be found here, and you can submit here.

Deadline: June 15, 2015

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The $4,000 Narrative Prize is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative. $23 entry fee. Please see here for specific submission guidelines and the link to submit your work.

Deadline: June 15, 2015

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Two Sylvias Press, an independent press dedicated to publishing the exceptional voices of writers, is holding its 2015 Chapbook Prize competition. Submit your manuscript of 17-24 pages of poetry (not including title page, table of contents, end notes) to twosylviaschapbookprize@gmail.com to enter. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Individual poems may be previously published. Your name should not appear anywhere in or on the manuscript. Email subject line should include: your last name, chapbook title, and the year, 2015.

Reading Fee: $15.00. Winner receives $300, 20 author copies of print chapbook, 1930's depression glass trophy, and book published as an eBook as well.

For more complete submission information, please click here.

Deadline: June 15, 2015

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Hey, Who's In My House? Stepkids Share Their Stories is an upcoming anthology by Erin Mantz (Motivational Press) that is seeking submissions.

"Stepkids young and old – How is (or has) growing up in a stepfamily impacting your life? Whether you are fifteen or thirty-five, if you are a stepkid, submit to share your story for consideration . . . There's no story too negative or too positive – just be honest."

Submit a personal essay (700-1,700 words) for consideration to heywhosinmyhouse@aol.com and include "Hey Submission" in the subject line and your name, age, phone number and city/state in the email.  Those selected will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book.

Deadline: June 30, 2015

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Mash Stories has announced new keywords for its seventh flash fiction competition: "congress," "art," and "jealousy." $100 for the winning story. Learn more about how to submit your original fiction creation here.

Deadline: July 15, 2015

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Room is Canada's oldest literary journal by and about women. Its Poetry & Fiction Contest is now open for your best short stories and poems--now with even more prize money.

Fiction Judge: Shani Mootoo
Poetry Judge: Jen Currin

1st Prize: $1,000 + publication
2nd Prize: $250 + publication
Honourable mention: $50 + publication on Room's website

All shortlisted pieces, including the honourable mentions, will be considered for publication in subsequent issues of Room at regular rates ($50-$120 depending on page count).

Review full contest guidelines on the website.

Deadline: July 15, 2015

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Narrative's Spring 2015 Story Contest is open for submissions (under 15,000 words) of previously unpublished short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction.

"As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total. We look for works that have the ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world."

$23 entry fee. First Prize is $2,500, Second Prize is $1,000, Third Prize is $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication.

Deadline: July 31, 2015

Narrative also runs a Poetry Contest that is open for submissions through July 20, 2015.

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Helen : A Literary Magazine announced an open call for submissions for its third issue on the theme "Animal."

"We're looking for short stories, poems, essays, personal narratives, artwork, graphic narratives, and photography for our upcoming animal issue… a collection of various work that awakens our inner beasts."

"Show us your beasts, your friendly creatures, your creatures of habit. Make us love your pets and the animal in each other. Let us hear the song of your people in your words. Reveal your inner animal in pictures that will take our breath away. Make us laugh, make us cry, but most importantly … send work in that makes us roar."

They will pay $10 for short stories and essays, $2 for poems. Click here to submit.

Deadline: August 1, 2015

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The New Guard Literary Review is seeking submissions for fiction and poetry contests:

Machigonne Fiction Contest: $1,500 and publication for an exceptional work of fiction in any genre. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash to the long story. Novel excerpts are welcome if the excerpt functions as a stand-alone story. Judge: Adam Braver.

Knightville Poetry Contest: $1,500 and publication for an exceptional poem in any form. Three poems per entry. Up to 150 lines per poem. Please submit all three poems in a single document. Judge: Roger Bonair-Agard.

$20 to submit. Deadline: August 20, 2015.

There is also a running call for submissions to the BANG! page, where they showcase a single author online for one month.

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Creative Nonfiction has a new call for submissions on the theme of Marriage, seeking well-crafted essays (under 4,000 words) that "truthfully portray what married life is all about."

"Send us your true stories of arranged marriages or shotgun weddings; walking down the aisle or running from the altar; mail-order brides or stay-at-home dads. We're looking for a variety of perspectives—from fiancés to florists; ministers to marriage counselors; divorce attorneys to wedding planners."

$20 reading fee; $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US only)
$1,000 award for Best Essay; $500 for runner-up
For submission specifics and to learn more, please visit the site.

Deadline: August 31, 2015

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RHINO, an annual high-quality print journal featuring well-crafted, diverse poetry, flash fiction, and translations, is open for general submissions to the 2016 issue.

"Our editors look for the very best in contemporary poetry, poetry in translation and flash-fiction. We welcome all styles of poems, and value work that is well-crafted, reflects passion, originality, engagement with contemporary culture, and a love affair with language."

Online submissions preferred. Please visit the website for more details, and to read and listen to poems!

Deadline: August 31, 2015

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Ashland Creek Press is receiving submissions for the second annual Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature.

"The contest is open to unpublished, full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,000, a four-week residency at PLAYA, and an offer of publication by Ashland Creek Press."

"New environmental literature" refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife. For complete writers' guidelines, see here.

Deadline: September 1, 2015

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Sequestrum is pleased to announce their New Writer Awards, in which over $500 will be awarded to up-and-coming writers and poets. The contest will accept both prose (fiction & creative nonfiction) and poetry submissions, with first-prize winners selected in each genre. $15 entry fee.

Fiction and nonfiction: entries up to 10,000 words accepted.
Poetry: Up to to three pieces per submission. Most Sequestrum poems average under 40 lines.

Please see the contests page for full guidelines.

Deadline (tentative): October 15, 2015

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Eater is looking for essays for its award-winning column Life In Chains.

"Life in Chains is Eater's recurring personal essay series exploring the essential role chain restaurants play in our lives. We're interested in publishing essays of 1500-2500 words about unique, interesting, funny, sad, or just plain weird ways writers have been affected by a specific restaurant chain, or a single location of a specific restaurant chain. We're looking for essays that are not general appreciations or overviews, but instead are built around a discrete story, incident, or anecdote that occurs in or because of the chain restaurant — the restaurant should be central to the story, but the essay should nevertheless be able to stand on its own without the restaurant connection."

Send pitches to Helen Rosner at helen@eater.com with "Life in Chains" in the subject line, with either a detailed description of the proposed essay (including complete outline of both the narrative and expected conclusion or takeaway) or a completed essay (in email body), along with a succinct description of the story and the takeaway at the top. All pitches should include a very short bio with direct links to previously published essays and social media presence(s). For more information on how to submit your work to Eater, click here.

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Gawker welcomes freelance feature submissions. Send yours to features@gawker.com.

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The Rumpus is looking for new bloggers:

"We need 2-4 volunteer bloggers to help out with the Rumpus blog on an ongoing, weekly basis. Send a brief email with relevant experience and a sample Rumpus blog post to marisa@therumpus.net for more information."

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Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing seeks fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art by both emerging and established writers. They publish two digital issues per year, in spring and fall. Learn more about Compose here and submit via their Submittable page here.

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SmokeLong Quarterly has open submissions for their Fridge Flash series, which publishes flash fiction and artwork from children ages 12 and younger on their blog.

"Stories, art or a combination of such must have been conceived of and written by someone under the age of 12. However, we ask that an adult over the age of 18 please submit this work to us with permission to publish it online. If the piece is a story, whenever possible we would like to see a photograph of the writing itself (scrawls, misspellings, colors and all). Where necessary, the parent or guardian can also provide a 'translation' for us!"

All attachments (including photos of your child) should be sent as .jpg files. (Include a short bio as a separate document.) If you prefer your child's full name or photo not be used, just let them know.

Please click here for previous stories or here to submit.

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SparkLit.media is a brand new non-profit publishing collaborative that connects authors of literary work with audiences in a dynamic, innovative and rewarding online environment.

"We are seeking submissions of novel-length (50,000 words +) fiction works showing literary merit and social relevance to be curated by our staff, (eventually) selected by our readers, and made available to our subscribers in serial form. Our authors will be compensated for their work. 50% of all subscriber proceeds will be distributed to our authors." Established and emerging writers are welcome.

Please click here for more information and here to submit.

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Coffee + Crumbs, a collaborative blog about motherhood, seeks well-written, original first-person essays (600-1,000 words) about motherhood, love, truth, and the good kind of heartache.

"We believe the very essence of motherhood can be found in the sweet spot between coffee and crumbs—in that magical place between calm and chaos, beauty and mess, between snuggling newborns on our chests and chasing rambunctious toddlers around the parks."

To submit your stories ("the more honest and vulnerable, the better"), click here.

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Isthmus, a biannual print journal based in Seattle, is seeking creative nonfiction submissions.

"We read year-round and are looking for memoir, personal essay, hybrid essay, experimental or traditional in form. We seek engaging writing and thought-provoking work." Stories and essays should not exceed 8,000 words.

Please visit the website for more information or submit through the submission manager.

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Brain, Child Magazine is looking for exceptional flash fiction (up to 800 words) related to being a parent or having been parented.

"We look for strongly developed characters, vivid scenes and authentic dialogue. Since much of Brain, Child is made up of personal essays, we prefer stories that aren't written from a first-person point of view."

Please submit complete stories to editorial@brainchildmag.com. These are paid pieces.

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Booktrope offers an innovative approach to publishing in which a "creative team work[s] together to refine and rework the story so readers can enjoy the best books possible." You can learn more about their speciality imprints, designed to "best promote and market specific book genres," here -- examples include Gravity (trauma and recovery stories), updraft ("chapter books that go against the grain"), and uprush (nonfiction books about parenting and motherhood that show "we don't have to think the same way to shine under the same sun"). You can learn more about the manuscript submissions process here.

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The editors of Mothers Always Write, a new online literary magazine for mothers by mother writers, are seeking submissions of poetry (up to 3 poems) and essays (up to 2,000 words) as well as micro nonfiction (<300 words) about the parenting experience. Also newly seeking unpublished posts about parenting for the blog. Please see writers' guidelines for specific requirements at the website.

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The Columns department at Literary Mama seeks columns contracted for 11 installments (1,000-1,600 words) that are published either monthly or bimonthly.

This blog post from our senior columns editor provides details about the three essential ingredients to a successful column pitch: hook, roadmap, samples. You can review our current and retired columns to make sure your idea is one that covers new ground in new ways. Most of all, we want a story that is uniquely yours–one that you can't wait to tell, and that we can't wait to read.

Please send queries and submissions to LMcolumns (at) literarymama (dot) com in the text of an email. Include the word "Submission" in the subject line, and allow one to three weeks for a response.

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The Literary Reflections department at Literary Mama seeks "writing by mother writers, both established and emerging, focused on the creative process. We're looking for first-person reflections with an intellectual as well as personal focus." You may choose to write about your reading, writing, or professional life. Submissions should range from 700 to 3,500 words, and more information can be found here.

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Literary Mama is seeking photo submissions to pair with our blog posts. If you would like to feature your evocative, creative photography on Literary Mama, please send .jpg images to: lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com. Photo credits always given.

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If you have information on calls for submissions not listed here that you think Literary Mama readers would appreciate, please e-mail us at lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com. 


The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editors are Laura Roberts and Rudri Patel; read their bios here and here.


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This is such an incredible resource. In addition to submitting poems to several of these, I'm going to tell my 12-year-old daughter about the "Hey, Who's In My House?" anthology--and would never have otherwise seen it. Thank you, LM editors extraordinaire.
Thank you for this generous offering.
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