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

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Blog CFS_ Alizabeth Rasmussen_for website

Six Hens seeks women writers' "true stories about the moments that define and redefine."

"Our writers take us to the places and events that changed what they believe in, changed how they see their place in the world, and changed them. Through their storytelling, they change us. We are looking for powerful, first-person nonfiction about the moments that segment life into before and after."

Submissions should be previously unpublished, no longer than 2,000 words. Featured writers will receive $50. For more specific submission guidelines and to submit, please click here.

Deadline: November 9, 2015

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Brain, Child Magazine is seeking submissions for two upcoming blog series:

Birthdays: Yours, your child's, a parent's special day. Tell us about a birthday celebration that has meant something to you and why. Topics might include reflections of a milestone birthday, writing "no gifts" on your child's party invitation, the decision not to invite the whole class to your elementary-aged child's birthday celebration or a list of the top 15 birthday books to gift to parents—and kids.

Deadline: November 15, 2015

Grandparents: Share your special stories about the importance and love of grandparents and grandparenting. Topics might include: The struggles of grandparenting teens, coping with the grief and loss of a grandparent's death, caring for aging parents while raising your own.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Please send submissions via Submittable with "Blog Series: (Insert Birthdays or Grandparents)" in the subject line. Word count: 750 - 1,200 words. These are paid opportunities.

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PANK has temporarily reopened submissions. Click here to submit. (Note: It was also recently announced that PANK will live on under new management.)

Deadline: November 15, 2015

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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

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Split Lip Magazine, an online affair for literature, music, fine art and film, is currently seeking submissions for two contests:

Livershot Memoir Contest: Submit memoir/personal essay of 750 words or less. No reading fee.

Prize: $200 + Publication in Spring 2016 Issue; 2 Runners-Up: Publication in Spring 2016 issue + Split Lip swag bag.

Final Judge: Matthew Dexter, Memoir Editor, Split Lip Magazine. Click here to submit.

Deadline: November 16, 2015

Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest: Submit Fiction, Poetry, CNF or a hybrid. Please send mss of 20 - 36 numbered pages with a table of contents. Previously published, stand-alone works are fine, but the ms must be an unpublished body of work. So no book excerpts or do-overs. $10 reading fee.

Prize: $100 + Publication + 20 Author Copies

Final Judge: Sara Lippmann, author of Doll Palace. For more detailed submission information and the link to submit, click here.

Deadline: January 16, 2016

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Creative Nonfiction is open for submissions (under 4,500 words) on the theme of 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

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Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers is now open exclusively to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled to appear, in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (All entries must not have appeared in any print publication.) Most entries run from 1,500 - 6,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 words are welcome.

1st place wins $1,500, physical publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies.
2nd place wins $500, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.
3rd place wins $300, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.

$18 reading fee. Please click here to submit.

Deadline: November 30, 2015

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Narrative Magazine's Fall 2015 Story Contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers.

"We're looking for 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."

Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest. $23 submission 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: November 30, 2015

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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

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For its next issue, Hot Metal Bridge is looking for the best writing by a diverse range of authors and artists with ties to Pittsburgh and Western PA.

"Whether you were born and raised on the Allegheny, or spent a fleeting four college years here, or got trapped at a gas station in Canonsburg for one unforgettable night, we want your art – visual, literary, or otherwise."

They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry & visual art. Please submit one story or essay (up to 6,000 words), up to five poems, or up to eight images at a time. Please tell about your connection to the area in your cover letter. More details can be found on their site, and the Submittable link is here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

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The Tupelo Quarterly Prizes in Poetry & Prose are open for submissions.

To be considered for the Poetry Prize, send up to 5 unpublished poems of any style or sensibility. The author of the winning poem will receive $1,000 and publication in TQ9. Finalists will also be named and published.

To be considered for the Prose Open Prize, submit one piece of short fiction or creative nonfiction, 15 pages or less. Both fiction and nonfiction are eligible; neither genre preferred. The author of the winning piece of short fiction or creative nonfiction will receive $1,000 and publication. Finalists will also be named and published.

All poetry and prose submitted to the contest will be considered for publication either in TQ9 or later issues of Tupelo Quarterly. Simultaneous submissions are welcome as long as you provide immediate notification if your work is accepted elsewhere. $20 contest entry fee.

Final Judge, Poetry: TRACY K. SMITH
Final Judge, Prose: ADAM JOHNSON

For complete submission guidelines, please click here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

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The Normal School is now open to online submissions of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. For detailed submission guidelines and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

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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 gmail.com.

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

Deadline: December 1, 2015

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Tethered by Letters is open to submissions in three categories for its third annual Summer Literary Competition:

1) short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words,
2) flash fiction with a word limit of either 55, 250, or 500 words, and
3) poetry no longer than three pages.

They are "looking for engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh perspectives and styles." For more specific submission information, prize details, and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: December 1st, 2015, Midnight PST

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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." Writers can submit here.

Deadline: December 1, 2015

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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

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For The Vignette Review's winter issue, they seek short fiction (300-900 words). For more guidelines and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: December 11, 2015

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december is now accepting entries for the 2016 Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize. Submit up to three poems to be eligible to win the following:

1st Prize: $1,500 and publication
Honorable Mention: $500 and publication
All finalists printed in Spring/Summer 2016 Awards issue. Finalists will be paid at regular contributor rates.

This year's judge: Marge Piercy, author of 19 collections of poetry, 17 novels, and a memoir. Click here to learn more and to submit.

Deadline: December 15, 2015

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Ashland Creek Press is now accepting short story submissions (2,500-7,500 words) for Among Animals, a book-length fiction anthology focused on animals.

"We're looking for stories of how the lives of animals and humans intersect, particularly in regards to the conservation and protection of animals. We are not seeking stories about hunting, fishing, or eating animals—unless they are analogous to a good anti-war novel being all about war."

Previously published stories are fine, as long as you have retained the rights to reprint your story in an anthology. Click here to submit your story, along with cover letter, brief author bio and acknowledgment(s) if the story has been previously published.

Deadline: December 15, 2015

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Barking Sycamores is a literary journal publishing poetry, short fiction (1,000 words or less), creative nonfiction (8,500 words or less), and art by neurodivergent (autistic, ADHD, bipolar, dyslexic, etc.) writers and artists. They seek submissions on the theme of "Reconstruction" for Issue 8 (Winter/Spring 2016). In addition to poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and artwork, they also seek essays on neurodivergence and how it impacts the creation of literary works. For more detailed submission information, please click here.

Deadline: December 19, 2015

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Acquired Taste is seeking submissions (up to 6,000 words) for a "print anthology of freshly made and previously published contemporary food writing, broadly defined. We're looking for excellent literary work that puts food in the center of the table, the to-go bag, the brain." They are open to creative nonfiction in any form, including personal essay, literary journalism, cultural criticism, graphic memoir, and lyric essays.

Email submissions as PDF or MS Word document attachments to acqtaste@gmail.com with your last name and “Anthology submission” in the subject line. The body of the email should include your full name, contact information, and a brief bio. If submitting previously published work, please indicate that you still retain publication rights. For more submission information, please click here.

Deadline: December 31, 2015

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DUENDE seeks authenticity & soulfulness, earthiness & expressiveness, a chill up the spine. They are currently accepting prose, poetry, hybrid work, visual art, translation and collaboration. Their mission is to publish work from writers and artists who are from communities underrepresented in U.S. literary magazines and journals. Read the Fall 2015 issue and full guidelines here.

Deadline: January 8, 2016

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Stand There Shining: A Recovery Anthology is seeking essay submissions written by those who are recovering from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol as well as family members of those in recovery. There is no reading fee, contributors receive a free copy, and proceeds from the book will benefit Recover Wyoming.

Please click here for specific submission information; email submissions to jennifer@tuliptreepub.com.

Deadline: January 9, 2016

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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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Mash Stories has announced the new keywords for its latest flash fiction competition: "halloween," "common," and "missile." $100 for the winning story, max. 500 words. Learn more about how to submit your original fiction creation here.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

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Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays (up to 4,000 words) about LEARNING FROM NATURE.

"The natural world has long been a source of inspiration. We're interested in stories about how we learn from nature—whether it's airlines developing boarding methods based on movement in ant colonies or aviation engineers studying eagles' wings in order to build more aerodynamic planes; new-age fabric inspired by pine cones or energy-efficient skyscrapers modeled after termite mounds. We're looking for well-crafted narratives that will illuminate the relationship between humans and the environment, particularly as we face the challenges of climate change."

No reading fee. $5,000 for best essay and $1,000 for runner-up. All essays will be considered for publication in a special "Learning from Nature" issue of the magazine to be published in Fall 2016. Click here for more specific submission information.

Deadline: February 1, 2016

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For a new anthology, In Fact Books is seeking true stories (previously unpublished, up to 4,500 words) that capture the complexities and comforts of sibling relationships.

"Chronicle life as the only brother in a house full of sisters. Recount wisdom dispensed by a much older sibling (Did you follow it? Was it any good?). Enlighten us about birth order or genetics. Confess: as a kid, did you ever wish for a different sibling altogether? As an adult, do you still? We want to read about moments of familial revelation, too. Tell us about the day you realized you loved your sibling, but didn't like them very much, or when you figured out that perhaps you hadn't been doing a bang-up job in the sibling department yourself." No reading fee. For more detailed submission information, please click here.

Deadline: March 7, 2016

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Granta is now accepting submissions through April 1. "Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art will be considered for both our print and online editions, unless you specifically state otherwise in your cover letter. We remain open to submissions of photography and art year-round." Only original material; most submissions are between 3,000-6,000 words. Please click here for more information and the link to submit.

Deadline: April 1, 2016

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Boulevard is now open to submissions. It strives "to publish only the finest in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. While we frequently publish writers with previous credits, we are very interested in less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise. If you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send it to Boulevard." Simultaneous submissions are fine, but work must be previously unpublished. Please click here for more detailed guidelines and to submit.

Deadline: May 1, 2016

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YARN, an award-winning YA literary journal, is open for submissions for the Spring-Summer 2016 edition. YARN welcomes submissions of short stories, essays, and poetry written for a YA audience. Please read some of the journal, and their submission guidelines, before sending.

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Origins, a literary journal that explores narrative arts through the lens of identity, is now open to submissions for its Spring 2016 issue on the theme of BORDERS. It accepts fiction, nonfiction, flash fiction, poetry, and more. For more detailed submission information and the link to submit, please click here.

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Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies is open to submissions in all disciplines. Assay "publishes the best peer-reviewed critical scholarship of creative nonfiction to provide a space for work that elevates the genre in an academic setting." For more information on what they are looking for and how to submit, please click here.

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Brain, Child Magazine is now open to opinion/op-ed submissions (up to 1,200 words), seeking "a concise, strong opinion or angle on a timely or noteworthy issue related to the theme of motherhood/parenting. For example, questioning whether children should be labeled as gifted in elementary school." Please click here to submit.

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Youshare is seeking true, personal stories about life-shaping events or experiences – in the form of written essays, audio and video essays, and photo essays – from storytellers of all skill levels.

Length: Around 1,000 words are recommended for print submissions; a 2-minute minimum is recommended for audio and video essays; a 5-photo minimum is recommended for photo essays. Please click here to learn more and submit.

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Catapult is accepting pitches for essays, fiction, interviews, and profiles. Email: morgan.jerkins@catapult.co. Contributors are paid.

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Front Porch is now accepting flash fiction, short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction. "Please submit only one piece of fiction and nonfiction at a time (up to or around 5,500 words), and no more than five poems at a time as DOC or RTF files only. Make sure your name and the page number appear on each page of the document." For more information and the link to submit, please click here.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Literary Mama blog seeks submissions for its After Page One series. We're looking for 300- to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama writers about getting started, returning to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. Here are some questions to get you started and a sample After Page One post. Please send submissions to LMblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com in the text of an email and include "After Page One" in the subject heading.

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The Profiles department at Literary Mama seeks "profiles of writers who are mothers, or writers who write about motherhood (who may or may not be mothers themselves), or writers who have something to say to mothers." Submissions should range from 750 to 2,500 words and may be Interview (Q&A) or narrative format. More information can be found here.

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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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