Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Calls for Submissions — July 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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Black Fox Literary Magazine, a print and online biannual publication featuring quality fiction of all styles and genres, poetry and nonfiction, is pleased to announce its third annual contest. The theme is: Summertime. "We will be choosing one short story, creative nonfiction piece or poem that interprets the theme best. The winner will receive a prize of $100 and publication in our Summer 2015 issue. Writers who submit will also be considered for publication in the Summer 2015 issue, which will also be themed Summertime." Entry fee of $7. For more information and the link to submit, click here.

Deadline: July 5, 2015

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Cargo is a nonfiction literary journal looking for pieces (essays up to 4,000 words or up to five poems) with a strong narrative and interior journey, such as immersion reportage, memoir, and personal essay.

For their third issue, they seek writing focusing on passage and transformation. "Looking for personal essays, poetry, and visual art (photography and more) that explore episodes of travel and personal growth. We want your honesty and your bravery." See more here.

Deadline: July 15th, 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.

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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Synaesthesia Magazine is seeking submissions of stories, poems, essays, art, photography on their latest theme -- ATLAS.

"Tell us where you're going. Tell us about the bridge above the river that looks like milk. Point out your favourite spot. Map out your route. Show us how it happened, where he was, where he is now. Circle the place you first kissed, the place you kissed him last. Show us where you left him, do it in red. Take us to Tibet. Get us lost. Take us home again. Draw us a map of your hand. The muscles and tendons. Where she kissed it, where she pinched it, scratched it, slapped it, held it. Send us tickets and postcards. Think about structure, style. Break conventions: give us stories and poems told through graphs, tables, charts and maps." Click here to submit.

Deadline (fiction, poetry, nonfiction): July 30, 2015; (art, photography, music): August 1, 2015

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Crazyhorse's Crazyshorts! short-short fiction contest is accepting entries through July 31st. Submit 1-3 short-short stories of up to 500 words each. First place receives $1,000 and publication, and three runners-up will be announced. All entries will be considered for publication. The $15 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Crazyhorse. For more information on how to submit, please visit the site.

Deadline: July 31, 2015

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The competition for the 2015 Red Hen Press Short Story Award is now open to all writers and themes.

Award is $1000 and publication of the awarded story by Red Hen Press in The Los Angeles Review. Entry fee is $20 for two stories, 25 page limit per story. Please include your name on the cover sheet only. Send SASE for notification. Final judge: Sean Bernard.

Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by July 31, 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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The Prairie Schooner Creative Nonfiction Contest is accepting submissions of all types of creative nonfiction essays, up to 5,000 words. The entry fee is $18 and includes a one-year subscription to Prairie Schooner. Winner receives $250 and publication in the Spring 2016 issue. Entries include a cover letter with the submission's title and your contact information; your name and contact info shouldn't appear anywhere on the manuscript. Multiple submissions are encouraged, but an entry fee must be paid for each. Guest judge Rigoberto Gonzalez will name a winner and finalist.

For more submission guidelines and the Submittable link, please click here.

Deadline: August 1, 2015

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Bird's Thumb is interested in new and emerging writers and seeks "writing that offers startling views of the new and familiar and that stays with us long after we look away." "Arresting language and strong story will always keep us reading."

They accept unsolicited work that has not been previously published for their three issues a year (February, June, and October). They publish poetry, short stories, and essays from emerging writers in every issue. To learn more and submit, please click here.

Deadline (October issue): August 1, 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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RUMINATE Magazine, an award-winning quarterly literary arts print magazine engaging the Christian faith, is currently accepting submissions (5,500 words or less) for their William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. Along with publication in the Winter 2015/2016 issue, the winner and runner-up will be awarded $1,500 and $200, respectively. The entry fee is $20, which includes a complimentary copy of the Winter 2015/2016 issue.

To read the complete contest guidelines and to submit, please visit the website.

Deadline: August 5, 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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Brain, Child Magazine has a new call for submissions for two upcoming Brain, Mother blog series:

Friendship: The bond of a new friendship, the pain of losing a lifelong friend. We are looking for personal essays on the universal theme of motherhood and friendship. Examples might include a friendship based on new motherhood; a friend breakup based on child-related battles; reflections of drifting away from a childhood friend.

Cultural Diversity: What is it like raising children in different cultures or mixed-race families? We are looking for personal essays that explore raising children in a multicultural family. Examples might include fostering the cultural identity of adopted children; an ex-pat's experience raising a family in Djibouti; a white mother's challenges brushing her black daughter's hair each morning.

Please send posts (750-1,200 words) to editorial@brainchildmag.com with series name in the subject line.

Deadline: August 30, 2015

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Creative Nonfiction has a current 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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Demeter Press is seeking creative submissions (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) for an edited collection entitled Borderlands and Crossroads: Writing the Motherland. "We are seeking highly-crafted literature about mothering that reflects a wide range of voices and experiences."

Send completed manuscripts: 3-5 poems that total no more than 10 pages; 15 pages of prose, plus a 50-word biographical note.

Please send inquiries and submissions to editors Laurie Kruk (author of My Mother Did Not Tell Stories) and Jane Satterfield (author of Her Familiars and Daughters of Empire: A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond) at: WritingtheMotherland@gmail.com. For more specific information and topic ideas, please visit the site.

Deadline for Abstracts: September 1, 2015

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The Fourth River, a journal of nature and place-based writing, is now seeking submissions on the concept of "climate change" in a theme insert to be included in their 13th print issue, scheduled for Spring 2016.

"We want to hear your responses to the doomsayers and the deniers, the evidence before us and the emotions that evidence elicits. In addition to our regular open call, we will be accepting fiction, nonfiction and poems that explore the themes of climate change and global warming from July 1-Sept 1, 2015."

For more specific information and to submit your work, click here.

Deadline: September 1, 2015

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Mom Egg Review seeks poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art on the theme of CHANGE for its 14th annual print issue. MER publishes work by mother writers or by others about motherhood. See full guidelines here and on Submittable.

Deadline: September 1, 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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Bared, a new anthology of poetry and art forthcoming from Les Femmes Folles Books, seeks poetry and art by women on bras and breasts.

Poetry: Submit 3-5 new, unpublished poems along with a 50-100 word bio in the body of the email or as a doc to lesfemmesfollesbooks (at) gmail.com with "Bared Submission" in the subject line. (The anthology will accept previously published poems, as long as the author retains the rights to the work or it can be reprinted at no cost other than acknowledgement to the original source.)

Art: Submit 3-5 images as a .jpg labeled with your last name and title along with a 50-100 word bio written in the third person in the body of the email to lesfemmesfollesbooks (at) gmail.com. Please include an art information sheet.

With all submissions, please also include a list of your favorite poems and art about bras and breasts by women. All contributors will receive a copy of the anthology as well as a discount to purchase additional copies.

Deadline: September 18, 2015

There is also an ongoing call for submissions to be featured on Les Femmes Folles, the online journal. Please see the site for more detailed submission information.

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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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Ploughshares' reading period is now open. Submit fiction and nonfiction (less than 6,000 words) or poetry (1-5 pages at a time). Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained. Significantly longer work can be submitted to the Ploughshares Solos series. $3 service fee; digital submissions preferred. For more specific guidelines and the link to submit, click here.

Deadline: January 15, 2016 at Noon EST

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Zoozil, an innovative children's and Young Adult literature publishing company, is launching soon and looking for new & experienced authors to write one-of-a-kind, interactive historic fiction stories.

"We publish interactive literary adventures in digital and print formats that engage readers in brand new ways. We welcome inquiries from unpublished authors - all you need is talent, passion and a story to tell." When you write, please include fiction writing samples (published or unpublished) and, if you want, a resume and/or cover letter.

For more information contact meredith@zoozil.com, and "come change the story!"

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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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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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Vox is now seeking "thoughtful, in-depth, provocative personal narratives that explain the most important topics in modern life" for its new section, First Person.

"If you have a great story to tell that helps explain an important issue, send us a pitch at firstperson@vox.com. We're looking for a wide range of perspectives from writers of every age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and political leaning. We also happily accept pitches from previously unpublished writers — or, for that matter, from non-writers who may have an important story to tell but need help turning it into a piece; we're here to provide that help." Vox will pay for accepted pieces.

For more information on how to pitch, and on suggested topics of interest, please click here.

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The Atlantic health channel published a detailed and helpful guide to pitching for freelance writers. They are seeking several types of pieces from reporting to Q&As to "personal essays with a unique angle, underrepresented perspective, or ties to current trends/research." For more specific information on how to pitch and the topics of interest, click here.

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Luna Luna,  a digital diary for creative thinkers, individuals, dreamers & darklings, is open to everything, including poetry & fiction.

"We are seeking original, creative and engaging content. While our staff is largely made up of women, we welcome and encourage all voices to submit. Luna Luna is into diverse, powerful, sexual, risky, absurd, dark and intellectual opinions & ideas. We're a progressive site but we're not into peddling over-saturated ideas and rants. We're interested in authenticity, beauty and detail. We like engaged and lush writing. We like the uncomfortable."

Send submissions to LUNALUNASUBMIT (at) gmail (dot) com.

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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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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 photography submissions to pair with the posts on our site. We are looking for photos that offer unique perspectives on motherhood, and we like photos that are artful, versus those that appear staged, and that encourage us to reflect.

If you would like to feature your evocative, creative photography on Literary Mama, you can review complete submission guidelines here and send .jpg images to: lmphotos (at) literarymama (dot) com. We always give photo credits and provide a link back to the photographer's website.

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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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