Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Calls for Submissions – May 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The Poetry department is looking for unpublished poems extraordinary in vision, craft, integrity, and originality.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

Janet B McCabe Poetry Prize is open for submissions. There is no theme, but the submission limit is two poems, under 40 lines each. Katie Peterson will judge this year's contest. Winner receives $1500 and publication in Ruminate. Entry fee: $20. More information here.

Deadline: May 15, 2020

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The 2020 International Poetry Contest offers $1000 and publication in River Styx. You may submit up to three poems, no more than 14 pages total. The guest judge this year is Lee Ann Roripaugh. Entry fee: $15-$20. For further guidelines, click here.

Deadline: May 31, 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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Burnside Review Chapbook Contest offers $200 and 10 copies for a winning chapbook submission (20-45 pp.) of poetry. Lara Glenum will judge. Entry fee: $15. For guidelines, click here.

Deadline: July 1, 2020

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The Orison Chapbook Prize awards $300 and 20 copies for a winning chapbook (20-45 pp.) of any genre. Luke Hankins will judge. Entry fee: $12. For guidelines, click here.

Deadline: July 1, 2020

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Black Warrior Review has several contests open in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Winners in any genre receive $1000 and publication in their Spring issue. Judges include Paul Tran for poetry, Lucy Corin for fiction, and Mayukh Sen for nonfiction. Entry fee: $15-$25. For guidelines on each of these contests, click here.

Deadline: September 1, 2020

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ANTHOLOGIES

Regal House Publishing is currently collecting essays for an anthology about women's experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. They are looking for diverse voices and a myriad of experiences that relate to womanhood or motherhood during this pandemic, with an aim to "offer compelling stories for leaders to consider in planning for our collective future." Entry fee: $5. For further guidelines, click here.

Deadline: May 22, 2020

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The Aunt Flo Project seeks poetry, short stories, and essays about menstruation. They are looking for submissions which "deal with any aspect of the menstrual experience from the emotional to the physical." They are open to diverse voices and experiences. There is no submission fee. Submissions can be sent to auntflo2020@gmail.com.

Deadline: June 15, 2020

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MAY DEADLINES

Angel City Review is open for poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and translations. They currently have a call out for a new series on music. More submission information can be found here.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

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Lammergeier seeks fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and hybrid work. They are particularly interested in work from diverse voices. Information and submission details here.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

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Paperbag accepts poetry, visual art, music/sound, and hybrid work. They are more interested in portfolios than individual pieces. They are currently looking for submissions for their 13th issue. Details here.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

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Pitymilk Press seeks chapbook manuscripts as well as submission for their DUETDUET series. Chapbook manuscripts should fall into the experimental or hybrid category. DUETDUET is an experiment in "accidents" and publishes poems from two separate authors together as one. More details and submission information here.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

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TriQuarterly accepts poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They are particularly interested in "work that embraces the world and continues, however subtly, the ongoing global conversation about culture and society." Craft essays and interviews are accepted year-round. Venture here for specific submission information.

Deadline: May 31, 2020

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JUNE DEADLINES

Willow Springs is currently open for fiction and poetry (nonfiction is open year-round). If work is accepted, Willow Springs pays their writers for publication. More guidelines can be found here. There is a small reading fee.

Deadline: June 1, 2020

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YesYes Books seeks poetry and fiction manuscripts in a broad range of styles and from a broad range of voices. Reading fee: $22. Further information can be found here.

Deadline: June 1, 2020

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Unbroken Journal seeks submissions for their July issue. They accept poems and poetic prose with a focus on "stunning imagery and compelling language." More information on submission guidelines here.

Deadline: June 10, 2020

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Counterclock has extended their deadline for prose, poetry, and art. They seek work that reflects "diversity, complexity, and resilience of the human experience." Submission guidelines are explained here.

Deadline: June 15, 2020

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West Trestle Review seeks all genres written by "women and nonbinary creators from around the globe." The magazine was inspired by a VIDA panel promoting the importance of opportunities for women in the literary world. Here you can find more submission information.

Deadline: June 16, 2020

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The HerStories Project seeks personal essays about the ways in which COVID-19 has affected the lives of Gen X women. This is an ongoing call through the end of June. Word count: 750-1200 words. Payment: $50. More details on the project can be found here.

Deadline: June 30, 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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Another New Calligraphy seeks work exploring the human experience, our internal worlds, and life among others; these complex systems are often clearest in our slightest moments. While the catalog's niche may seem primarily poetic, other modes of expression are more than welcome. The press is always on the lookout for more music and nonfiction, as well as further opportunities to broaden the inclusivity of its community. Marginalized creators are highly encouraged to consider Another New Calligraphy as a home for their work. Further guidelines can be found 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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Baobab Press considers completed poetry, creative nonfiction, novels, and comics/visual narrative manuscripts. Further details here.

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BlazeVOX publishes innovative works of the greatest minds writing poetry today, from the most respected senior poets to extraordinarily promising young writers. We select for publication only the highest quality of writing on all levels regardless of commercial viability. More details here.

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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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The Coachella Review is open for submissions of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, plays or short scenes. Please see submission guidelines 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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Disorder Press publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. We’re looking for unapologetic writing that pushes the boundaries of conventional genres. More details 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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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. Click here for more submission guidelines.

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Half Mystic Press considers all types of writing (including poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and hybrid work) as long as it pertains in some way to music. More submission info 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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Inside the Castle is always open for submissions. A word on their aesthetic: "Our books are unique from one another but share a vision, that literature is not representational but incantatory, that books are objects that exist much like other objects in your life and home, only they have additional dimensions, not dimensions separate or distant from the ones you occupy, but involuted dimensions that only become apparent when you reach out to them." More information here.

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Kiddiepunk accepts demos and submissions/proposals for zines and books. Send an email (kiddiepunk@hotmail.com) introducing yourself and the project you have in mind, as well as links or small image files. Keep in mind, Kiddiepunk generally publishes things in some way centered around the theme of childhood.

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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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Milk Press seeks poetry and visual art that steeps itself in identity, performance, social critique, cultural contemplation, body politics, empathy, and everything within and beyond. Underrepresented voices are in particular encouraged to apply. Check out the submission page 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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Outpost 19 is interested in novels, memoirs, biographies, short fiction and essay collections, reportage and innovative hybrids of all stripes. More details here.

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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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Platypus Press is currently accepting submissions of poetry and prose in a variety of genres. They are an independent publisher of poetry, fiction & narrative non-fiction based in England. Further details can be explored 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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Spuyten Duyvil is currently open to poetry and prose that is and makes new, and genre-bending cross-pollinating trans elocutions too. More details on their submission guidelines 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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Tupelo Press accepts nonfiction entries year-round. They are an independent, literary press devoted to discovering and publishing works of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers. There is a $45 reading fee. Click here for more details.

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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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Vegetarian Alcohol Press accepts submissions year-round for finished manuscripts, twenty-five pages or more, of all forms (poetry, essay, fiction, drama, etc). Cover letters are discouraged. Your work should speak for itself. There is no submission fee and we compensate the writers we publish. Interested parties should send their work to vegalpress@gmail.com.

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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 Rudri Patel; read her bio here.


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