Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Calls for Submissions — January 2016

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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!

Blog CFS_ Alizabeth Rasmussen_for website

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CONTESTS

Ruminate's VanderMey Nonfiction Prize is seeking previously unpublished submissions of 5,500 words or less.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. Finalist judge: Marilyn McEntyre. 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.

Deadline: January 15, 2016 (EXTENDED)

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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's Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest is still seeking submissions of 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 Previously published, stand-alone works are fine, but the ms must be an unpublished body of work.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

Deadline: January 31, 2016 (EXTENDED)

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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.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

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The DISQUIET Literary Prize is now open to submissions for writing in any genre. Winners will be published in Guernica (fiction), Ninth Letter (non-fiction) or The Collagist (poetry). One grand prize winner will receive a full scholarship, accommodations, and travel stipend to attend the sixth annual DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon from July 3-15, 2016. Runners-up and other outstanding entrants will also be considered for financial aid. $15 reading fee. You can read contest guidelines and apply at Submittable.

Deadline: January 31, 2016

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The American Short(er) Fiction Contest is now open to submissions of fiction under 1,000 words. Judge: Amelia Gray. $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.

Deadline: February 1, 2016

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The Willow Springs Fiction Prize is open to submissions. Every entrant receives a one year subscription. $15 fee, no word limit. Prize is $2,000 plus publication.

Deadline: March 15, 2016

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ANTHOLOGIES

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In Fact Books is seeking true stories (previously unpublished, up to 4,500 words) that capture the complexities and comforts of sibling relationships for a new anthology.

"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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JANUARY DEADLINES

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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Matchbook seeks submissions (ideally under 1,000 words) of short fiction and indeterminate prose. $20 per accepted website submission. Submit here.

Deadline: January 14, 2016

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Ploughshares' reading period is open to submissions of 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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Brain, Child Magazine still seeks submissions for its two upcoming blog series on BIRTHDAYS and GRANDPARENTS. Please send submissions via Submittable with "Blog Series: [add 'Birthdays' or 'Grandparents']" in the subject line. Word count: 750 - 1,200 words. Paid opportunities.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

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Feminine Inquiry seeks submissions for Issue 3. "We're interested in literature that excites and thrills, that's heartbreaking, joyous, somber, political, humorous, and full of raw and passionate intensity." Feminine Inquiry began "with the mindset of featuring creative works by self-identifying female artists, as well as featuring works which highlight feminist issues," but they also accept work that falls outside of that realm. You can read specific submission guidelines here and send your work to submit@feminineinquiry.com.

Their Spring 2016 Nonfiction Contest is also open to submissions. The prize is $100, publication in Issue 3 of Feminine Inquiry, an interview, and a free digital copy of the journal.

Deadline: January 15, 2016

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Outlook Springs seeks more fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from women writers. Between January 4th and January 20th, all women writers are encouraged to skip the Submittable lines and send their work straight to the editor's inbox. Email your Fiction, Non-Fiction, or Poetry submissions to Emily Lackey directly at EmilyInOutlookSprings@gmail.com.

Deadline: January 20, 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 submission. 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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FEBRUARY DEADLINES

The Bellevue Literary Review is "seeking submissions of previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for an upcoming special issue on how memory entwines in our lives and how it affects the body, mind, and relationships." Click here for detailed submission information.

Deadline: February 1, 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."

Deadline: February 1, 2016

JOY: "Too often the moments that move us to write are bleak ones—stories of loss, hardship, or learning through painful interactions. For this issue we're looking for well-crafted narratives that explore the brighter moments in life, those that teach and enlighten us through their beauty or humor."

Deadline: May 16, 2016

Click here or here for prize details and specific submission information.

Note: Creative Nonfiction is also seeking Instagram micro essays of "true stories, well told." Simply follow them on Instagram (@creativenonfiction). Post an original photo. Write a CNF-worthy caption (note: IG limits captions to 2,200 characters). Add the hashtags #cnfgram and #tinytruth and they'll take care of the rest. Find more information here.

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In honor of Valentine's Day, Barrelhouse Blog "wants stories, essays and poems of real or imagined Weird Love, Bad Love, Awkward Love, Dress Up in Your Date's Mother's Wedding Dress Love. Make us cringe, make us squirm, make us laugh. Make us pity your poor prom date." Submit here.

Deadline: February 14, 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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The Essay Review, a Journal for Literary Criticism of the Essay, welcomes submissions of original pieces of criticism on the history, development, and future of the essay; essays on essaying; reflections from instructors of nonfiction; and other work that fits a broad definition of nonfiction criticism in any length and form. Detailed submission info can be found here.

Deadline: February 19, 2016

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MARCH DEADLINES

Slice is seeking submissions of poetry and prose (up to 5,000 words) for Issue 19, for which the theme is "Distraction." Contributors are paid $250 for stories and essays and $75 for poems. Click here to submit.

Deadline: March 1, 2016

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APRIL DEADLINES

Granta is now accepting submissions. "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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Hippocampus has announced its 2016 theme issue: Firsts. Submit works of creative nonfiction, up to 3,500 words, that explore "firsts."

"We'll leave the interpretation up to you. While we know we'll see first kiss and 'first time' stories, don't be afraid to get creative with the 'firsts' theme. We're looking for variety!" A dozen stories that fit the theme will be featured in the July 2016 issue. Click here to submit.

Deadline: April 15, 2016

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MAY DEADLINES

Understorey Magazine Call for Submissions: Women & Justice. Understorey seeks submissions on all aspects of social and legal justice related to women's lives in Canada. Personal essays, fiction, poetry, spoken word, and visual art by new or established writers and artists who self-identify as women are welcome.

Deadline: May 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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JUNE DEADLINES

Helen: A Literary Magazine is open for submissions.

"We appreciate polished work in all genres and actively seek pieces that explore themes such as hope and perseverance. Our issues include poetry, flash fiction, short stories, essays, personal narratives, art, and photography. We also feature video exclusives from our print issues as well as in our ongoing blog series Friday Night Specials."

Short Stories: 1,500-4,000 words
Flash Fiction: 50-1,500 words
Poetry: 4 poems (12 page limit)
Essays & Personal Narratives: 1,500 - 4,000 words

No theme or genre restrictions. Send in your best! We offer token payment. Please click here to submit.

Deadline: June 1, 2016

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ROLLING SUBMISSIONS

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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The Collapsar is now accepting submissions of book reviews and pop culture essays (up to 2,000 words) or reviews (up to 1,000 words) of albums, movies, shows, etc. For guidelines and the link to submit, please click here.

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Electric Literature is seeking essays. Send reflections on storytelling, the arts, your lights & darknesses to kelly@electricliterature.com.

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The Fem, a literary journal that publishes feminist, diverse, and inclusive creative works, is now open to feminist poetry, fiction, and nonfiction submissions. For detailed submission guidelines, please click here.

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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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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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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 and suggested monthly themes at the site.

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Tell Us a Story publishes stories (less than 2,000 words) that are true and happened to the author. One new story every Wednesday, occasionally with original art. Also interested in very short stories (flash [non]fiction), experimental stories, poems, or plays as long as they are true. You can find submission details here.

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Vela has launched a new column on motherhood, Milestones, curated by Sarah Menkedick. The column "wants to encourage more women to explore the depths and possibilities of this fundamental subject, exploring motherhood as milestone; as consciousness; as daily routine; as radical or gradual shift; as feminist awakening; as voyage; as challenge; as corporeal and spiritual and intellectual condition." Milestones will publish essays between 1,000 and 3,000 words, as well as occasional interviews and reviews. Please see Vela's submission guidelines for more information.

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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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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. Around 1,000 words 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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LITERARY MAMA OPPORTUNITIES

The 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 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 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 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 seeks 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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