Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Calls for Submissions – April 2020

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Each month Literary Mama shares a list of current calls for submissions. Good luck sending your work out into the world!

LITERARY MAMA OPPORTUNITIES

Fiction

The Fiction department at Literary Mama seeks fiction under 5,000 words about all aspects of motherhood. We look for pieces with strong narrative structure, great characters, interesting settings, beautiful language, and complicated themes. See our submissions guidelines. For additional information, check out this blog post for tips on what we look for.

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Profiles

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 an interview (Q&A) or narrative format. More information can be found here. A sample of what the editors are looking for can be found in this post.

See our Submissions page for guidelines.

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Literary Reflections

The Literary Reflections department at Literary Mama seeks essays 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, which explore some aspect of reading or writing as a mother. Please send submissions of 1500-3500 words to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com in the text of an email (no attachments), along with a brief cover letter. See submissions guidelines for further information, and check out our recent blog post to get a feel for what we publish.

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Poetry

The Poetry department is looking for unpublished poems extraordinary in vision, craft, integrity, and originality. Poems of any length and form are welcome. Maximum of two poems per submission, please. If more than two poems are submitted, only the first two poems will be read. See our full submissions guidelines for more information and check out this blog post for tips on what we look for.

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Photography

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. Please note these two excellent examples of the types of photos we seek:

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.

Photo by Jennifer DeVille Catalano. See more of Jennifer's work at her website Someplace Serendipitous.

Reviews

The Reviews department seeks 1000 word reviews about poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction (memoir) books that address motherhood as a primary theme/subject; we also consider longer essay reviews that feature a round-up of a particular genre such as chapbooks or anthologies. We are open to both veteran and novice reviewers. Writers are welcome to pitch books they may want to review or submit reviews they have completed with Literary Mama in mind as a potential forum. We also invite reviewers to introduce themselves with relevant biographical information and clips/samples.

We exclusively publish positive reviews; although our reviews often feature critique, we favor heralding good work rather than spending time and space on work that does not merit our attention. To get a sense of our style, please read through several back issues.  Please send queries to LMreviews (at) literarymama (dot) com.

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CONTESTS

The 2020 Orison Prizes in Poetry & Fiction is offering $1,500 and publication of a book-length manuscript in each genre. Katie Ford will judge in poetry and Samrat Upadhyay will judge in fiction. Entry fee: $30.  For guidelines, click here.

Deadline: April 1, 2020

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Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the 2019 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction. The contest awards $1,500 and publication in Gulf Coast to the winner. Two honorable mentions will be awarded $250. All entries will be considered for publication, and the entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast. The judge for this year’s contest is Daniel Peña. Guidelines are here. 

Deadline: April 15, 2020

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The Sunlight Press is seeking entries for its Flash Fiction Contest. Submissions should be approximately 1,000 words or less. Guest judge Cathy Ulrich will pick the winner. No entry fee. Publication accepting entries starting on March 16, 2020. Check out full guidelines here. 

Deadline: April 17, 2020

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Storm Celler's FORCE MAJEURE Flash Contest offers $500 in prizes (300/100/100) for single flashes. All entries considered for publication, all entrants receive a prizewinner issue.  For guidelines, click here.

Deadline: April 30, 2020

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International Human Rights Art Festival announces a new literary award, celebrating poetry, short stories, and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice. This ideal may be imagined in any manner in which the writer sees fit, however, it must be based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement.  We do not publish work or engage with artists whose work is based in anger, or stems from an “us v. them” mentality.  We feel strongly that all human conflict is representative of human spiritual immaturity — and no group of people, ethnicity or religion are immune from human spiritual immaturity. There are three monetary prizes in each category: Poetry, Short Story and Essay.  Each writer may make one submission in each category (total of 3 submission per writer).   Please send submissions to: ihrafpublishes@gmail.com with the subject line: “Creators of Justice Literary Award.”

Deadline: June 1, 2020

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The Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition invites writers from around the world to stitch together their own stories between the opening and closing lines of a classic work of literature. There are no genre requirements. The author of the winning story in each contest will receive a$500 cash prize and a complimentary copy of the forthcoming 2020 Literary Taxidermy Anthology.

Deadline: June 4, 2020

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ANTHOLOGIES

Coffee House Anthology & Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop is inviting submissions for an essay anthology taking a contemporary look at "silences around class and caste systems that divide us", which will be co-edited by a collective of award-winning incarcerated writers and published by Coffee House Press. "The pieces should tell the stories of the unseen and the unspoken, and articulate lines of our division. We encourage submissions from all walks of life and across the gender spectrum." Submit essays of 2,500 - 7,500 words to wheredoibelonganthology@gmail.com. All accepted contributions will be paid. Learn more here.

Deadline: April 3, 2020

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APRIL DEADLINES

Simlish Magazine is seeking all forms of fiction, including stories, poems, lyrics, comic strips, scripts, etc., as well as memoirs. Word count is 10 to 1,600. Previously published work is accepted. All subjects welcome. Submissions must be illustrated with at least 1 screenshot from the video game The Sims 4. Submission guidelines are here. 

Deadline: April 20, 2020

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ROLLING SUBMISSIONS

After the Art seeks personal review essays that explore the ways reading can enrich the experience of looking at art. Each essay must be about the relationship between a piece of art and a written text. Find detail guidelines here. 

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Akashic Books (of Go the F*ck to Sleep fame) seeks submissions for their Terrible Twosdays series. "Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say)." Stories must not exceed 750 words. E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. More details here.

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The American Journal of Poetry is now reading for Volume Five. Please visit us to read Volume Three (dedicated to the memories of Mary Louise Arlen and Marjorie Joan Wilson): 300+ poems by 160+ poets from the world over, from beginners to the most renowned. A unique voice is prized. Be bold and uncensored. Our hallmark is "STRONG Rx MEDICINE." Long poems welcome. Published biannually online. Submissions accepted through our online submission manager Submittable. There is a small reading fee.

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Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine seeks essays, stories, and poems that capture the essence and immediacy of the beast. Animal is a subject-specific litmag, however loosely we define “animal.” In some form, we want a literal beast as a central character or motif. Render on the page what is both alien and familiar about an animal, animals, or being “animal.” Our submission guidelines are available 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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Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal is a quarterly digital magazine accepting submissions all year round. They welcome inspirational, uplifting poetry. They also allow submissions from 13-16 year olds. Our Submission Guidelines are available here.

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Balloons Literary Journal (BLJ) is looking for extraordinary poetry, short stories, and artwork for our young audience (12+). BLJ publishes twice a year and we are open to all themes and generations of writers and artists. Every issue is downloadable for free as a PDF and contributors get a print copy as payment. Please visit the site for details.

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Braided Way: Faces & Voices of Spiritual Practice is seeking nonfiction centered on personal spiritual journeys,braiding of different faith practices, insight into wisdom texts, and more. We currently accept reprints. Submission details here.

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Cecile's Writers Magazine is a digital publication focused on intercultural writers.  Writers with a mixed heritage or who have lived abroad or write in English as a second language are all welcome.  Whether previously unpublished or veterans, we work closely with writers.  We accept previously unpublished flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, novel excerpts, personal essays, plays, and poetry.  Please see our guidelines on submitting.

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The Coachella Review is open for submissions of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, plays or short scenes. Please see submission guidelines here. 

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The Cossack Review is open for submissions of creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and works in translation. We seek thoughtful, surprising writing, and have published meaningful work from both well-known and emerging writers since 2012. As always, we especially seek submissions from women, people of color, and new and diverse writers. Submission guidelines available here.

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C&R Press is open for submissions and is accepting compelling literary work about all aspects of life which includes fiction and memoirs about women and families. They are accepting submissions for novels, essay collections, short story collects, memoirs, cross-genre, and experimental manuscripts. Submission information is available here. 

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Divergents Magazine seeks original work - memoir, poetry, essays, photography, art -- that expresses the experience of the neuro-divergent community. For the first issue, the subject is "Camouflaging." Think of a time when you felt the need to pass as normal to the neuro-typical community. How does it feel to want to hide the truth of your nature? It could be as simple as the attitude of a teacher/professor or as violent as being targeted by an employer. To submit, email Ben.Mitchell@divergents-magazine.org.

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Dying Dahlia Review is an online literary journal seeking poetry, flash fiction and art by women writers and women artists. We are looking for work that is brief, but powerful. To get a better idea of what we are looking for, check out our archive section on our website at Dying Dahlia Review. Submit up to 5 poems or 3 flash fiction stories. For more information on how to submit, click here. 

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Edify Fiction seeks submissions for our new online magazine Edify Fiction.  This magazine's focus is positive/uplifting work.  We accept short stories, flash fiction, poetry, photography, and digital art. Guidelines available here.

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The Fiction Desk is seeking submissions of 1000-20,000-word short stories for their anthology series. Pay is £20 per thousand words, and will be considered for the Writers Award of £100. Read the full guidelines here.

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Flash Fiction Magazine seeks unpublished fiction stories between 300–1000 words. Free and priority submissions are available. Click here for full guidelines.

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The Forge Literary Magazine seeks fiction and nonfiction submissions. While we prefer work below 3,000 words, we will consider work of rare quality up to 5,000 words. Since we are a diverse, international group of writers, our tastes and styles are wide-ranging. Submissions are read anonymously year-round. We publish one prose piece per week selected by a rotating cast of editors. Our selection is competitive, so send us your best! There is no fee to submit, and we pay all contributors. Visit our website for better insight into who we are and what we publish.

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Glass Poetry Press is interested in poetry submissions that enact the artistic and creative precision of glass. "We are not bound by any specific aesthetic; our only mission is to publish collections of high-quality writing. All styles, forms, and schools of poetry are welcome, though easy rhymes and 'light' verse are less likely to inspire us. We like poems that show a careful understanding of language, music, passion, and creativity." To submit, click here.

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Glassworks Magazine seeks flash fiction, prose poetry, and micro essays for publication in Flash Glass, our online feature. In glassworking, "flashed glass" is a specific technique by which color is not simply added, but is created by layering, opening almost unlimited possibilities of variation. The glass allows light to shine through but prevents inquisitive eyes from invading people's privacy. Send us your written work that does the same! All work published online in Flash Glass is included in a print anthology at the end of the year. Submit up to three shorts under 500 word. Find submission guidelines here.

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Gazing Grain Press is an inclusive feminist press, and we are currently seeking submissions of reviews or micro-reviews of new chapbooks (poetry, prose, or hybrid) for publication on our blog. More details can be found here.

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HerKind Collective is looking for 500-1,000 word nonfiction essays or articles. Poems are also welcome. We are looking to publish pieces written by women about anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, body issues, relationship and family dynamics, body and image issues etc. If you have any interest in writing for us please submit your articles or interest to HerKindco@gmail.com

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Hip Mama seeks personal essays or articles related to mothering. Visit our site for submission details.
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The Hong Kong Review is published in December, March, June, and September to promote letters, arts, and humanities. The Hong Kong Review publishes short stories, novellas, excerpts of novels, poems, creative nonfiction, critical essays, translations of poetry or short prose, and pictures of artwork. Submissions accepted through our online Submission manager Submittable. There is a small reading fee.

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In Flux is looking for artists and writers to submit that exhibit facets of everyday moments, thoughts, and dreams. Contributing artists and writers must be of high school or college age. Because it is a relatively new magazine, submissions will be confirmed within 24 hours and the staff is easily contactable. This is a good opportunity to creators to get feedback on their work as well as get exposure. More details on submission requirements are on our website.

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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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Mastodon Publishing is a new endeavor interested in books, from instructionals teaching a hobby, fiction or poetry, history or memoir, to comics, cookbooks, and art books. We love ideas and imaginative minds, creative minds, and technical minds: anyone with good thoughts and good writing. We want to bring as diverse and uncensored a catalog to life as we can, through print and digital, from short books to large books, technical to creative. See guidelines here. 

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Mindful Littles, a mindfulness and service-learning resource for families of young children (ages 4 to 11), is open to submissions of first-person essays about the successes and challenges around mindful parenting. Tell us a relatable, authentic story about the way mindfulness influences your relationship with your child, your partner and yourself. We accept both original and previously published work. Inquire here for more information.

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Minola accepts poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, and visual art exclusively from those who identify as women. They are "interested in the fearless and unsympathetic, featuring only work that goes where others are uncomfortable or afraid to go, collecting raw yet well-crafted work to create a space that is honest about the otherwise under-represented female experience." Specific submission guidelines can be found 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 their writer's guidelines for specific requirements and suggested monthly themes at the site.

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Motherwell is a publication that tells all sides of the parenting story. It is open to submissions of personal essays (up to 1,200 words), opinion pieces (1,200 words), dialogues (1,000 words), and dilemmas (800 words). Original submissions only. Paying market. Co-founders: Randi Olin and Lauren Apfel. For genre-specific submission guidelines, please visit their Submittable page.

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MUTHA Magazine, exploring real-life motherhood from every angle, at every stage, seeks personal essays (~1,500 words), comics / graphic narratives/photo essays, and select interview pitches. MUTHA is a labor-of-love for all involved and does not pay at this time; ongoing open submissions; no reading fees; may take 3-4 weeks to respond to submissions (sometimes faster!). Editor: Meg Lemke c/o muthamagazine@gmail.com. Submission guidelines available here.

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Mystery Weekly, a short story mystery magazine, seeks short mysteries (1,000-10,000 words). Mystery Weekly Magazine presents crime and mystery short stories by some of the world's best established and emerging mystery writers that run the gamut from cozy to hardboiled fiction. Click here to read guidelines and submit.

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Narratively seeks original and untold human stories, delivered in the most appropriate format for each piece, from writing to short documentary films, photo essays, audio stories, and comics journalism. They accept both pitches for story ideas and completed submissions. Visit the submissions page here.

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New Reader Magazine, a young online literary, arts, and culture journal, seeks contributions to the first issue of our quarterly, slated for March 2018, and for the journal’s website. Visit the submissions page for details.

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Outsider Poetry, a literary review for those who create with mental illness, are self-trained, or create art and poetry that challenges cultural and academic norms, is accepting submissions at all times and is open to poets of all experience levels. Submit work via email to either Olivia Suchs at oliviasuchs@gmail.com or Thomas Vaultonburg at vaultonburg@gmail.com. Editors will respond to submissions promptly.

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[PANK] — PANK Magazine and PANK Books, Pankmagazine.com, the Little Book and Big Book series, fosters access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose, publishing the brightest and most promising writers for the most adventurous readers. To the end of the road, up country, a far shore, the edge of things, to a place of amalgamation and unplumbed depths, where the known is made and unmade, and where unimagined futures are born, a place inhabited by contradictions, a place of quirk and startling anomaly, and no soft pink hands allowed. Find submission info here.

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Peacock Journal a daily online literary & arts magazine highlighting beauty in all its forms, seeks original submissions of Fiction, Art, Photography, Translations, Non-Fiction, and Poetry from emerging and established writers and artists. We want to see your most beautiful work, however you define the term. Submissions are read year round. For more details please visit our Guidelines page, and for our aesthetic preferences, please read our About page. Submit work here.

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Pithead Chapel, an online journal of gutsy narratives, seeks essays (personal, memoir, lyric, experimental, etc.) under 4,000 words. For detailed submission guidelines and to submit, please see here.

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Poor Yorick, A Journal of Rediscovered Objects brings back into light the skeletons hidden in our cultural closets.  The free online journal welcomes writing and other creative productions about lost objects and images of material culture: sculptures and paintings in the back rooms of museums or in dusty corners of public spaces; murals forgotten in plain view; lost photographic archives and restored films; newly discovered letters or manuscripts; knickknacks in attics; oddities and curiosities in misbegotten sideshows; forgotten stories that remind us of pasts that we cannot afford to forget.

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Pretty Owl Poetry is looking for new and exciting poetry, visual art, and flash fiction. Part of the Sundress Publications family, the seasonal online journal features established and fresh voices alike. Pour out your old wounds and bumbling indecisions. We want jilted couch cushions, germaphobic handrails, and body-shy thermostats. Send 3-5 poems or no more than 3 flash pieces (1,000 max/each). No submission fee. Submission details can be found here. 

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Raising Mothers seeks well-written, original first-person essays (1,000-2,000 words max) about anything and everything related to motherhood. All are welcome, but an effort is made to highlight the voices of multiracial/multi-cultural families and mothers of color. Essays should have a literary quality: strong, engaging work without it being at all academic. Excerpts of larger works and poetry (up to 3 poems) also accepted. At this time, they are specifically looking for pieces on step-parenting, raising a child with special needs, and adopting children of color. Submission details can be found here.

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Shift: A Journal of Literary Oddities a student-run journal published by the Ringling College of Art and Design, seeks unpublished creative work for its inaugural issue. We welcome new, emerging, and established writers to submit fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, graphic texts, or other text-based work in English or in translation. We want to see your best work, regardless of style, form, subject matter, or genre. We’re especially interested in literary oddities–language-based creations that push boundaries, challenge expectations and defy easy categorization. Submission details here.

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Sky Island Journal is an independent, international, free-access literary journal; they are dedicated to discovering the finest original poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. They publish accomplished, well-established authors—side by side—with fresh, emerging voices. Submit here. 

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SmokeLong's Global Flash Series is now open to stories 600 words or fewer in French, Spanish, Danish, and German. Submit here.

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Storm Cellar, a national literary arts magazine with a special emphasis on the Midwest, is open to submissions of unpublished, amazing writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, flash) and images. They'd love to see more art, photos, diagrams, graphic narratives. For more detailed information, please visit their Submittable page.

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Tethered by Letters launched Dually Noted, an online group writing project. New and established writers from around the world come together to create one ongoing story through weekly installments. Those interested in adding the next section of the story should submit their 500-word addition before the next Friday night deadline. The editor will publish the best submission at the beginning of each week. For submission specifics and formatting information, please click here, and submit here.

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The Revolution (Relaunch) is interested in literary/historical criticism, literary journalism, creative nonfiction, and poetry. If you’re inspired to produce creative, timely, first-person, social justice-oriented writing about the current state of affairs regarding women and reproductive rights, indigenous rights and land rights, the LatinX community and the border, immigrant and migrant rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, and disability rights, then we’d love the opportunity to read your work. In order to ensure diversity of voice in every issue, and due to the restrictions of the format in which we publish, all prose submissions should be under 750 words. For more information, our submission guidelines are available here.

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The Sunlight Press is an online digital literary journal for new and established voices and is open to submissions of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, book reviews, and photography. For submission specifics, please click here.

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Typishly is an online digital literary journal for emerging and established voices and is open to submissions of poetry and short stores. Details available here. 

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Under the Gum Tree is a quarterly literary arts magazine that seeks creative nonfiction submissions year-round. Details available here.

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Voice Of Eve is seeking women's poetry submissions. Their hope is to build a community of women who can be empowered by sharing and reading each other's work. Visit the submissions page here. 

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Waxwing is reading submissions of poetry, short fiction, and literary essays until May 1; translations of poetry and literary prose are read year-round. Poets should send one to five poems, and prose writers one story, essay, novella, or novel chapter (or up to three short-short stories or micro-essays). Submission details here.

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West Texas Literary Review is a print and online literary journal that seeks fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and photography. They value work that is thoughtful, deliberate, authentic. The guidelines are here.

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wildness is an online literary and arts journal that seeks to promote contemporary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction that evokes the unknown. Founded in 2015, each thoughtfully compiled issue strives to unearth the works of both established and up-and-coming writers and artists. Please check out our guidelines: readwildness.com/submit

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Willow Springs is open to nonfiction submissions all year. Contributors paid $100 per published long-form prose piece, $40 for short prose. $3 reading fee for all submissions. More info here.

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The Woven Tale Press welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, memoir, flash fiction and the experimental. We also consider literary works accompanied by original art images. For more information, our submission guidelines are available here.

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ZiN Daily is the living document and online creative laboratory of ZVONA i NARI in Istria, Croatia, where literature happens every day. ZiN Daily is specifically looking for boundary- and border-crossing work that illuminates underexplored connections as we build a common platform for mutual solidarity and exchange. We seek visual arts, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in English, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, French, German, and Italian. Translations are strongly encouraged. Submission guidelines are available here. 

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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