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

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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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: December 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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Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture, an anthology about rape culture and identity, is seeking original essay submissions (2,500 - 7,500 words).

"Not That Bad is an opportunity for those whose voices were stolen from them, to reclaim and tell their stories. This anthology will explore what it is like to navigate rape culture as shaped by the identities we inhabit."

The anthology will be edited by Roxane Gay and Ashley C. Ford and published by Harper Perennial. All accepted contributions will be paid. For more detailed submission guidelines, suggested topics, and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: December 15, 2015

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DIAGRAM's yearly Essay Contest encourages submissions of unpublished essays (up to 10,000 words)—essays in an expansive sense, meaning essay as experiment, essay as heterogenous and sometimes strange or unruly beast.

"We don't have any particular aesthetic biases for this contest other than the name: we are looking for works of nonfiction that essay interestingly--however you'd like to define. That's a pretty open definition, we admit. Best strategy is to read the nonfiction that we publish! It's all online."

$17 reading fee. The prize is $1,000 + publication. The contest is judged by Nicole Walker and Ander Monson. Several finalists will likely be published along with the winner in a spring issue of DIAGRAM. For more submission details, please click here.

Deadline: December 15, 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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New South Journal is open to submissions of micro prose (stories/essays < 500 words) to be featured on the NS website. No fee. Submit up to 3 pieces in one document. Simultaneous submissions welcome. Click here to submit.

Deadline: December 16, 2015

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Atticus Review is seeking narrative and literary nonfiction, lyrical essays and reportage (up to 7,000 words) for the Transit Issue: Wuthering Travels.

"Along railroads lacing the countryside or steaming beneath cityscapes, in omnibuses or Greyhounds, tucked inside canoes or aboard speedboats, many find themselves in constant states of wanderlust and flux. Take us on an adventure with you, whether it was a time when you found yourself running to or from something, someone, an idea that drove you to a bus stop, subway station or airport. Essays and profiles of train and plane spotters, captains and wayfarers are welcome, as are industrious looks into the infrastructure that drives public transportation."

Please click here for specific guidelines and the link to submit.

Deadline: December 18, 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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Plan B Zine hopes to initiate conversations about women's experiences with emergency contraception ("plan B", "take action", "the morning after pill") and the questions embedded in those experiences. These include but are not limited to: consent, ambiguity, entitlement, identity, sexuality, patriarchy, classism, politics, power. How are these issues embodied by women or enacted in sexual exchanges? How is entitlement to female sexuality claimed?

The main goal is to open up a dialogue about our experiences, to provide a safe space to talk about things we often shy away from, or that we are discouraged from talking about. Submit work in the form of creative writing, essays, and/or visual art to plan.b.zine@gmail.com.

Deadline: December 31, 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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GRAPHfeeties: New Zine of walking stories seeks "true stories of walking, strolling, rambling, and other forms of self-propulsion, all told in a mixed media/genre format. Please send in your great tales of moving through the world, expressed in a glorious mix of poetry, cartoons, comics, lyric prose, collage, b & w photography, or whatever else can print legibly in b & w on a 5.5 x 8.5 inch page."

Submit a PDF file, formatted to print legibly on up to two 5.5 x 8.5 inch pages to graphfeeties at rebeccafishewan.com.

Deadline: January 1, 2016

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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: January 4, 2016

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Ruminate's VanderMey Nonfiction Prize is seeking previously unpublished submissions of 5,500 words or less. Any type of creative nonfiction welcome–personal essay, short memoir, literary journalism, etc.

$20 entry fee. The winner will be awarded $1,500 and publication in the Fall 2016 Issue. The runner-up will receive $200 and publication in the Fall 2016 Issue.

Click here for detailed submission guidelines.

Deadline: January 7, 2016

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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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Split Lip Magazine, an online affair for literature, music, fine art and film, is still seeking submissions for its 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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3Elements Review is now accepting submissions for Issue 10! The elements are MEASURE, CLEAVE, and SLIVER. All three words must be used in any poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction submissions. Art and photography submissions must represent at least one of those elements. For more details and the link to submit, please click here.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

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The Indianola Review's 2016 Leap Day Flash Fiction Prize is accepting entries of any type of flash fiction, up to 1,000 words.

Guest judge: David James Poissant. $20 entry fee. Grand prize is $1,000 and publication in March 2016 issue and one-year print subscription. Five finalists receive $50 and one-year subscription. All entries considered for publication. Follow @IndianolaReview on Twitter for $5 off entry. Grand prize winner announced on February 29th.

For detailed submission guidelines, please click here.

Deadline: January 31, 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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The American Short(er) Fiction Contest is now open to submissions of fiction under 1,000 words. Amelia Gray will be judging this year's contest. $17 entry fee covers three 1,000 word fiction submissions. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 prize and publication, and the second-place winner will receive $250 and publication. All entries will be considered for publication.

For detailed submission information, please click here.

Deadline: February 1, 2016

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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.

Deadline: February 15, 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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KERNPUNKT Press is currently reading manuscripts of literary fiction, art & architecture, science fiction, historical fiction, and children's books. For more information and the link to submit, please click here.

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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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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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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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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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