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


Narratively announced several calls for pitches, with two still open: "Urban Legends," and "Falls from Grace."

Urban Legends: Stories that dive into the popular legends, myths and folklore of a particular place, pulling the veil back on these true (or not-so-true) icons of local lore.

Falls from Grace: The president who became a potato farmer; the high-flying hotshot who was sent back to earth, and other tales of success gone very, very wrong.

Send all pitches or submissions to "A good pitch should consist of 2-3 tight paragraphs outlining the main subjects of your story, how you plan to tell it, and why it needs to be shared. If you have a completed draft already, please include that with your pitch. If you are pitching to one of these particular themes, include that in the subject line of your email."

Deadline: September 4, 2015


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"The contest is open to unpublished, full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections.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 15, 2015


Synaesthesia Magazine will open on September 20, 2015 to submissions of stories, poems, essays, art, photography on their latest theme -- Sound.

"Tell us how you swore you felt the air change around you in a thunderstorm. How the world muted when you submerged your head underwater. How she was always within the sound of the train whistles. How you knew he’d gone when you couldn’t hear his footsteps anymore. Tell us if you can’t hear it, how you feel it. Show us how noise divides and unites, how it fills your world with textures. How you communicate. Show us wavelengths and underwater acoustics, the patterns of speech and the purple of ultrasound. Transform us into mp3 players and headphones. Soundproof the world. Lay out the timbre and beats, the blue-grey echoes. Open your mouth and let it out."

Submissions will open September 20, 2015, close on October 12, 2015


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) 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) 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.


This month, Glimmer Train seeks submissions on the theme "Family Matters," "looking for stories about families of all configurations. It's fine to draw heavily on real life experiences, but the work must read like fiction and all stories accepted for publication will be presented as fiction." Most entries run from 1,500 - 6,000 words, but up to 12,000 words is welcome.

1st place wins $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue.
2nd place wins $500 (or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies).
3rd place wins $300 (or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies).

For more information and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: September 30, 2015


Hippocampus Magazine's 2015 Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction is open for submissions!

Prizes: $1,000 grand prize (1) – plus complimentary registration to HippoCamp 2016, $150 runner-up (1), and $25 honorable mention (3).

Judges: Amy Jo Burns, J. Michael Lennon, and last year's grand prize winner, Jennifer Alise Drew.

Submit previously unpublished memoir excerpts and personal essays of up to 3,500 words. $12 entry fee supports the prizes. For more details and to access the Submittable link, please click here.

Deadline: September 30, 2015


Speaking of Marvels Press is now open for submissions of novellas and chapbooks
(prose, poetry, and cross-genre). Selected manuscripts will be published as online PDFs with attractively design covers and layouts, announced on social media, and archived at

Send novellas (>7,500 words) and chapbooks (15-30 pages) to Include a table of contents and acknowledgement page if applicable. Attach submissions in .doc or .docx format.

Deadline: September 30, 2015


Sage Hill Press is accepting poems by mothers and about mothers for their upcoming anthology, All We Can Hold.

"The genesis of a 'motherhood' poetry collection came when we had trouble finding one. Motherhood essays are on the shelves, parenting guides, and honeyed collections of mothering exist. We needed, and we believe others need, a range of voices about what it means to be mother: witching-hour poems of sleeplessness, first smiles, miscarriage. The poems of broken windows and broken hearts, of first school and college days. The poems of lament and poems of fulfillment. We hope to serve as a forum for all voices, for we all have a mother."

Submit no more than five previously unpublished poems in a single document (or no more than five pages total) to (.doc, .pdf, or .docx preferred). For more specific submission information, please see here or here.

Deadline: September 30, 2015


Understorey Magazine is currently seeking submissions for Issue 7, to be published in October 2015. "We publish essays, fiction, poetry, spoken word & visual art about motherhood. We define motherhood broadly and welcome diversity of experience, style & voice." For more information, please visit the site.

Deadline: September 30, 2015


The Aura Estrada Short Story Contest is open for submissions of previously unpublished stories up to 5,000 words. Judge: Jennifer Egan. No simultaneous submissions, $20 entry fee. The winning author will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published in the July/August 2016 issue of Boston Review. For more information and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: October 1, 2015


River Teeth's Literary Nonfiction Book Contest is a yearly national contest conducted by River Teeth's editors and editorial board to identify the best book-length manuscript of literary nonfiction. It is open to manuscripts between 150-400 pages long, double-spaced. All manuscripts are screened by the head editors of River Teeth. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by The University of New Mexico Press. Final Judge: Andre Dubus III.

Deadline: October 15, 2015


The Timberline Review is a new literary journal that welcomes new work from established and emerging writers. Short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry — tell us about life! Tell us a story! Submissions should aim for a word count of up to 5,000, or up to five poems per entry. Previously unpublished work only; simultaneous submissions accepted. Payment: $25 and a copy of the journal. For more detailed submission guidelines and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: October 15, 2015


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


Women's Studies in the Library: Case Studies of Innovative Programs and Resources is seeking "one or two chapters from U.S. practicing academic, public, school, special librarians, LIS faculty, sharing practical know-how about what works for women's studies programs and resources. Chapters are encouraged that could apply to more than one type of library: useful to public, school, special, LIS faculty. Proven, creative, case studies encouraged. How-to chapters based on experience to help colleagues; innovative workshops, outreach, grant resources highly valued."

Book Publisher: McFarland. Carol Smallwood and Lura Sanborn, co-editors. No previously published, simultaneously submitted material. Compensation: one complimentary copy per 3,000-4,000 word chapter accepted no matter how many co-authors, or if one or two chapters: author discount on more copies. Please e-mail titles of four proposed chapters, each described in a few sentences to along with a brief bio on each author, and name in the subject line.

Deadline: October 28, 2015


Multiples Illuminated: An Anthology of Stories and Advice from Parents with Twins, Triplets and More seeks personal essays and/or advice (800-3,000 words) on "experience with infertility, pregnancy and the first couple of years of raising multiples." The anthology will be edited by Megan Woolsey and Alison Lee, both writers and mothers of multiples (triplets and twins respectively). "Make us laugh, cry, think, and help us learn about multiples through your words."

Original essays only. Compensation: $40 per essay. For more information on suggested topics and to submit, please click here.

Deadline: November 1, 2015


Whiskey Island is specifically seeking creative essays (500-6,000 words) this reading period. Poetry, fiction, and flash fiction welcome too. "Our editors look for writing that surprises with language and plot. We love experimentation, and we love to be entertained."

Simultaneous submissions accepted, but please identify them as such in your cover letter. No multiple submissions or previously published work. Please keep fiction submissions to 8,000 words or less. For more submission info, please click here.

Deadline: November 15, 2015


Creative Nonfiction is open for submissions on its newest theme, Childhood, "seeking new essays that explore the joys and struggles, the indignities and infinite possibilities of childhood."

"Maybe you lived Where the Wild Things Are or during The Wonder Years; maybe you're a parent or a pediatrician or a marketer of breakfast cereals, witnessing young people discover themselves and the world. Whatever your perspective, we're looking for well-crafted true stories that examine kid-dom in all its messy, exhilarating, turbulent glory."

$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: November 16, 2015


A River & Sound Review, "an online literary journal that features the best in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and humor" is open for submissions.

Simultaneous submissions are considered; writers are limited to one submission for each genre per reading period. Only submit previously unpublished manuscripts. Literature in translation is welcome too. Fee of $2 for each submission. Contributors paid upon publication: $25 for poetry, $50 for prose. Click here to submit your work.

Deadline: November 30, 2015


The Postpartum Year: Tales From The Trenches in the First Year of Motherhood is a new anthology open for submissions! The book will be curated by Kellie Edson, host of the bi-weekly "Postpartum Podcast," and seeks "well-crafted personal essays of prose relating to your first year of motherhood."

"The postpartum year is one of such fundamental change in a new mom's life, and one that is given so little thought in our modern society. This anthology is to bring to light this special, joyful and at times excruciatingly hard time by sharing our stories and experiences to bring comfort and let each new mom who reads it know that she is not alone."

Please send previously unpublished (except on your own blog) pieces of 500-3,500 words embedded in the body of your email and a short bio (50-100 words) to Kellie Edson postpartumyear at

For more details about possible topics, payment, and other information, please see here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015


Clockhouse calls for submissions in poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction for its 2016 issue. "We welcome all submissions, but are especially interested in diverse voices and nontraditional narratives. We seek writing that attempts to understand our place in the world and responsibility to each other." The reading period is from August 15th-December 1. Writers can submit here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015


Mud Season Review is accepting submissions for its second print issue. "We seek deeply human work that will teach us something about life, but also about the craft of writing or visual art; work that is original in its approach and that in some way moves us." Mud Season Review's online issues are published monthly and feature fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art. Its first print journal was released earlier this year. For submission guidelines and the link to submit, click here.

Deadline (for print issue): December 1, 2015; online submissions read year-round


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


The Open Bar, the online arm of Tin House, is now open for submissions via Submittable. The Open Bar is a daily blog featuring previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, comics, and more. Please submit only one complete story or essay (word count dependent on category), or up to three poems at a time. Please include a cover letter with a brief bio, word count, and an indication of intended theme, if applicable. For more detailed information and to submit, please click here.


Submittable is interested in "anything to do with the publishing industry or digital media," as well as "book reviews and eclectic essays on any topic as long as they are of high literary quality." They'd also "love to hear from people with contrary opinions to any posts on our blog and/or critiques and criticisms of our services. We'll absolutely publish opinions that suggest there's a better way."

Submissions should be 1,000 words or less (600-800 is a good sweet spot), accompanying artwork may be included. $50 per post is payable upon publication. For more information or to submit, please click here.


Another New Calligraphy publishes limited-edition books and CDs and seeks "work that successfully balances originality and sincerity. We love music and writing that simply exists within its own space, rather than making concessions to genre or attempts at mass accessibility. Given the nature of our books and the philosophy that guides their production, we typically prefer shorter written material . . . We are currently on the lookout for more music, short-form nonfiction writing, and quality work by marginalized voices."

For more information on how to submit or to explore the site, please click here.


Anthropoid, a literary collective and magazine of the humanesque, welcomes submissions to its second issue on the theme of Folk. "Give us the folk, and folkiness, of this earth. Our cultures, our curiosities, our habits, our categories, our commonalities and our differences." Folk will consist of general submissions as well as several mini-folios organized around sub-themes. For specific information about the various theme categories and submission guidelines, please see here.


The Midwest Review is a Madison-based regional publication that seeks submissions from writers from Wisconsin and the surrounding states, and all writers who have some tie to and admire this part of the world.

"We are looking for thoughtful and thought-provoking writing and visual art that examines, interprets, and redefines the wide spectrum of life, past and present, in the Midwestern heartland. We are especially interested in new and emerging voices. We accept unsolicited submissions of original poetry, creative nonfiction, scripts, short stories, and visual art from June through September through our online submission system."

No mailed submissions or previously published work. Simultaneous submissions okay, but notify immediately if work is accepted elsewhere.

Prose/Scripts: up to 5,000 words, double-spaced, Times New Roman or similar book typeface.
Poetry: 1-5 poems or 10 pp.
Photography/Art: 1-5 images
Submission fee: $5

The 2016 book will debut April 15-17 at the Writers' Institute in Madison. Please click here to submit.


Red Hen Press and The Los Angeles Review are pleased to announce the third annual Wild Light contest. A prize of $1,000 and publication in The Los Angeles Review are given annually for an exceptional poem. Amy Uyematsu is the final judge. Submit up to three previously unpublished poems of up to 200 lines each, simultaneous submissions accepted, $25 entry fee. For more information and the link to submit, please click here.


Zoozil, an innovative children's and Young Adult literature publishing company, is launching soon and looking for new and 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, and "come change the story!"


For The Vignette Review's autumn issue, they seek "exemplary examples of short fiction [300-900 words] that incorporate the beauty of the season. We're looking for short, evocative stories that depict the beauty in the mundane and the quality of small moments."  For more guidelines and to submit, please click here.


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.


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 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.


The Atlantic is seeking your culture stories--"your smart, original pieces about arts, entertainment, and the world beyond." "The best Atlantic culture pieces examine questions people have long had but never quite identified. They aim for strong arguments and analysis, exploring the less obvious facets of film, television, books, music, theater, art, design, media, fashion, architecture, language, food, and sports." Send initial pitches to entertainment @ For more specific information on topics of interest and how to pitch, click here.


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.


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.


SmokeLong is also open to submissions of flash fiction up to 1,000 words. Click here to learn more and submit your work.

~~~~~ 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.


EMSA Publishing, a new independent hybrid publisher, is now accepting submissions from new and seasoned authors for novels and novellas in all genres. They seek:

Top notch novel-length fiction for Middle-Grade and YA through Adult.
Page-turning storylines.
Characters readers care about.

Please send a cover letter via email as well as a brief synopsis (no more than two pages long) and the first 20 pages of your manuscript in the body of an email to query @ Note that attachments will not be opened. Please include the novel title and your name in the subject line. For more information, please visit the site's submissions page.


"American Short Fiction has published, and continues to seek, short fiction by some of the finest writers working in contemporary literature, whether they are established, or new or lesser-known authors. In addition to its triannual print magazine, American Short Fiction also publishes stories (2000 words or less) online. Submit here." $3.00 fee.


Mothers Always Write, an online literary magazine for mothers by mother writers, is seeking submissions of poetry (up to 3 poems) and essays (up to 2,000 words) about the parenting experience. Tell us your beautiful story about motherhood. Please see writers' guidelines for specific requirements at the site.


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.


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.


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.


Also, keep in mind that now that it is September, submissions have reopened at the following places, among others:




The Common

The Iowa Review

Fourth Genre

New Mexico Review

Passages North

Prairie Schooner

Rathalla Review

Tin House


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 editor is Bridget Lillethorup; read her bio here

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