March is a great month for writing contests. There are over four dozen free contests this month, covering the full range of topics, styles and genres, from essays, to poetry, to full-length works.

In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.


Balticon Poetry Contest. Sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Genre: Speculative poetry. Prize: 1st prize: $100; 2nd prize: $75; 3rd prize: $50. Deadline: March 1, 2017. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

Beverly Hopkins Memorial Poetry Contest for High School StudentsRestrictions: High school students living within 100 miles of St. Louis. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First prize $200, Second prize $125, Third prize $75. Deadline: March 1, 2017.

Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writer's Residency PrizeRestrictions: Open to an emerging poet under forty years old—with no major book publication. Genre: Poetry - manuscript in progress. Prize: Stipend of $10,000 with a housing suite and campus meals provided by the College, and three weeks in residence on the Lake Forest College campus during the Spring 2017 term. Possible publication. Deadline: March 1, 2017.

The Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award is sponsored by Broadside Lotus Press. Restrictions: This competition is open to African American poets only. If you have already had a book published by Lotus Press, you are ineligible. However, inclusion in a Lotus Press anthology does not disqualify you. Genres: Poetry collections of approximately 60-90 pages. Prize: $500 in cash and publication  by Broadside Lotus Press within the first three months of 2017 as well as free copies and discounts. Deadline: March 1, 2017.

Natan Book AwardGenre: Nonfiction. The book should address one or more of Natan’s grant areas. Broadly understood, these are: the reinvention of Jewish life and community for the 21st century; changing notions of individual and collective identity for 21st century Jews; and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry. The award is open to non-fiction books that have an existing publishing contract with a recognized commercial publisher. (Academic publishers are also acceptable in certain cases where the book is intended to appeal to mainstream audiences.) Prize: The Award is a two-stage award, offering at most a total of $25,000, to be divided as follows: a cash award to the author of $10,000, to be used during the writing process; and customized support for the marketing and publicity strategy for the book, up to $15,000. This is a pre-publication award and the prize winner will be announced prior to the book's publication date. Deadline: March 1, 2017.

New Welsh Writing AwardsRestrictions: Open to all residents of the UK and Ireland, plus those who have been educated in Wales for at least six months; the Novella Prize is also open to writers based in the US and Canada. Genres: Novella and memoir. Works may be a single, long-form piece or a book divided or structured as the author sees fit. No simultaneous submissions. Deadline: March 1, 2017.

William Foster-Harris Prizes for Young WritersRestrictions: High school and undergraduate students currently enrolled in US schools. Prizes: Two $500 prizes for short stories by high school students (maximum 1,000 words) and undergraduate students (maximum 2,000 words). Deadline: March 1, 2017.

The Ungar German Translation Award is bestowed biennially in odd-numbered years. Genre: Book-length literary translation translated from German into English and published in the United States between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Prize: $1,000, a certificate of recognition, and up to $500 toward expenses for attending the ATA Annual Conference in San Francisco, California. Deadline: March 2, 2017.

The Premises: SPACES. Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story in which the idea of “space” plays an important role. You may interpret “space” any way you want, as long as your readers can figure out how you’re using it.. Genre: Short story. Length: Between 1,000 and 5,000 words. Prize: Between US$60 and US$220, and publication. Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern US time, March 2, 2017.

Roswell Award for Short Science FictionGenre: Science fiction, 1500 words max. Prize: $500. Finalists have their stories read by celebrities in Hollywood. Deadline: March 3, 2017.

The Irish Post's Creative Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Irish residents of UK. Genre: Poetry, fiction on an Irish theme. 1000 words max. Prizes: €500, publication in the Irish Post, and a trip to the Listowel Writers’ Week in Co. Kerry. Deadline: March 3, 2017.

Austin Chronicle Short Story ContestGenre: Short story(2500 words max). Prize: $1,500 to be divided among the five winners. Manuscript to be published in The Austin Chronicle in June 2017. Deadline: March 3, 2017.

Thresholds International Feature Writing CompetitionGenre: Nonfiction feature in one of two categories: Author Profile: exploring the life, writings and influence of a single short story writer. We Recommend: personal recommendations of a collection, anthology, group of short stories or a single short story. Prize: 1st prize of £500, runner-up prize of £100 Deadline: March 5, 2017.

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging WritersGenre: Short fiction. Restrictions: Candidates must be: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident; Under the age of 35 as of March 6, 2017; Previously published in an independently edited magazine or anthology; Unpublished in book form and without a book contract. Prizes: Winner: $5,000; Finalists: $1,000. Deadline: March 6, 2017.

BBC National Short Story Award 2017Restrictions: Open to UK residents or nationals, aged 18 or over, who have a history of publication in creative writing. Genre: Short fiction. Prize: £15,000 to the winner, £3,000 for the runner-up and £500 for three further shortlisted writers. Deadline: March 6, 2017.

NEA Literature Fellowships are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Prize: $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Deadline: March 8, 2017.

Nantucket Directory Poetry Contest.  Genre: poem about Nantucket Island. Prize: $250 and publication in the print and online editions of the 2016-2017 Nantucket Directory. Deadline: March 10, 2017.

North Carolina Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to residents of North Carolina (including students). Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: March 13, 2017.

Jo-Anne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry AwardsRestrictions: Open to all adult and high school age Chicago area poets. There is also an elementary and middle school category open to Evanston elementary and middle school students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First Place: $100; Second Place: $50; Third Place: $25. Deadline: March 13, 2017.

Online Writing Tips Short Fiction PrizeGenre: Short story of 2000-5000 words. Prize: £150. Deadline: March 15, 2017. How to enter: Read submission guidelines HERE.

Limnisa Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story under 3,000 words. Prize: One-week, all-inclusive writers' retreat or workshop in 2017 or 2018 in Limnisa, Greece and online publication, or five online personal tutoring sessions instead. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Prospero PrizesGenre: Poems of philosophical and imaginative heft, haft, and polish. Prize: $150 and feature publication in their digital magazines. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

The Critical Junior Poet’s AwardRestrictions: Open to students between the ages of 13 and 18. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written or translated by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books) and Translation (from French to English). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Poetry composed in the traditional modes of meter, rhyme and received forms. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Myong Cha Son Haiku AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Haiku. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to undergraduate poets who are enrolled in a United States college or university. Genre: Original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish. Prize: First prize $1,500, and a runner-up prize $500. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Lynn DeCaro Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to Connecticut Student Poets in Grades 9-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: 1st $75, 2nd $50, 3rd $25. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Binnacle Ultra-Short CompetitionGenre: Short story of 150 words as well as poetry of sixteen lines or fewer and 150 words or fewer. All works should have a narrative element to them. Prize: A minimum of $300 in cash prizes will be awarded, with a minimum prize of $50. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

ESME (Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere) ContestRestrictions: Open to current or former single mothers. Genres: Poetry, fiction, memoir, essay, blog post. Prize: First ($500), second ($350) and third ($150). Deadline: March 15, 2017.

Hodson Trust–John Carter Brown Library FellowshipGenre: Nonfiction (includes creative nonfiction). A book-in-process  relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. Award: $20,000. Deadline: March 15, 2017.

The Tomorrow PrizeRestrictions: Open to high school students in Los Angeles. Genre: Science fiction, 1500 words max. Prize: $250. Deadline: March 17, 2017.

Sunken Garden Poetry Festival's Fresh Voices CompetitionRestrictions: New England high school students. Prize: Reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and publication. Deadline: March 17, 2017.

Jane Martin Poetry Prize (UK)Restrictions: Open to  UK residents between 18 and 30 years of age. Genre: Poetry. Prize: £700, second prize, £300. Deadline: March 17, 2017.

The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award seeks to elevate the written arts in Indiana. Restrictions: Any living published writer who was born in Indiana or has lived in Indiana for at least five years will be eligible. Authors who have published works of fiction, prose, poetry and/or non-fiction are eligible; reference works, scholarly monographs and books of photography will not be considered. Self-published authors are considered. Prize: National Author: $10,000 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Regional Author: $7,500 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Emerging Author: $5,000 cash prize and $2,500 grant for his or her hometown Indiana public library. Deadline: March 17, 2017.

Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition for High School StudentsRestrictions: Open to students in Grades 7-12. Genre: Haiku. Prizes: $50. Deadline: March 25, 2017.

Southern Pacific Review Short Story Contest 2016. Located in Chile. Genre: They are not sure what they want, but they'll know it when they see it. Length: 1600 words max. Prizes: $100 USD and publication in Southern Pacific Review. Deadline: March 30, 2017.

EIR Longform Lyric Essay AwardGenre: 2000 to 10,000 words of a longform lyric essay only. No personal essays, generic creative nonfiction, etc. Prize: $250 top prize.  Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Striking 13Genre: Flash fiction on theme of "Journeys." Prize: Three Amazon voucher prizes, for the top 3 entries ($25, $15, $10). Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Archibald Lamp­man AwardRestrictions: Open to residents of Canada's National Capital region (Ottawa). Genre: Book of any genre published by a recognized publisher. Prize: $1500. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Foley Poetry ContestGenre: One unpublished poem on any topic. The poem should be 30 lines or fewer and not under consideration elsewhere. Prize: $1000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

The Gover Story PrizeGenre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished, or published with a circulation of less than 500. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: March 31, 2017. No reprints or simultaneous submissions.

The Willie Morris Award for Southern FictionGenre: Novel published in 2016 (50,000 words minimum). Book has to be set in one of the original eleven states in the Confederacy. (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.) Prize: $2,500.00, and an expense paid trip to New York City. (The winner must come to NY to receive the award, attend a luncheon with the contest judges and a reception in his/her honor.) Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Speculative Literature Foundation Older Writers GrantRestrictions: Open to writers who are fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application. Genre: Speculative fiction. Prize: $500. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestRestrictions: open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Genres: Science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy up to 17,000 words. Prizes: Three cash prizes in each quarter: a First Prize of $1,000, a Second Prize of $750, and a Third Prize of $500, in US dollars. In addition, at the end of the year the winners will have their entries rejudged, and a Grand Prize winner shall be determined and receive an additional $5,000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers' ContestsRestrictions: Open to writers between14 and 18 years of age as of May 29 in the contest year who reside in, or attend school in Maryland. Genre: Science fiction or fantasy, 2,500 words max. Prizes: $150, $100 and $75. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Gary Fincke Creative Writing PrizeRestrictions: Open to undergraduates. Genre: Poetry and prose. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 31, 2017. 

Spank the Carp - 'Up Jumped Spring' Genre: Poetry. What does Spring mean to you? Why would it Jump Up? Can't it just sit still? You tell us! Prize: A coffee mug! (And publication) Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary TranslationGenre: Poetry or literary prose. Translation of modern Arabic literature into English. Books must have been published between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 and be available for purchase in the UK via a distributor or online. The source text must have been published in the original Arabic in or after 1967. Must be submitted by publisher. Prize: £3,000. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Sarah Mook Poetry Prize for StudentsRestrictions: Students in grades K-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $100. Deadline: March 31, 2017.

Loft Literary Center: Minnesota Emerging Writers' GrantsRestrictions: Open to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers who have lived in the state of Minnesota for at least one year. Writers who have published no more than two books in any genre are eligible to apply. Grant: $8,000 Deadline: March 31, 2017.

If you have never been to a writers' conference, I encourage you to attend one. Conferences are the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry. In addition to providing valuable professional contacts, nothing will make you feel more like a writer.

Many conferences are offered annually, so if you miss a conference in your area this year, you can always catch it next year. For a full month-by-month list of conferences, as well as resources to find financial assistance deadlines, go here: Writing Conferences.

All of these conferences and workshops charge tuition, but some offer financial assistance. There are deadlines for applying for aid, so make sure you plan ahead.

Redrock Creative Writing Seminar, St. George, Utah, March 4, 2017. Classes and readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poets Joel Long, Tanya Parker Mills and Colorado Western Slope Poet Laureate Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

Tucson Self-Publishing Expo. March 4, 2017, Tucson, AZ. Five workshops and a display area for vendors to present products and services as well as answer questions related to self-publishing and book marketing. KEYNOTES: Mark Coker of Smashwords and Robin Cutler of Ingram Spark.

Writing By Degrees. March 10-11, 2017, Binghamton, NY. Event is organized by Binghamton University graduate students, and designed to create a community of creative writing graduate students. The conference will feature panels, readings, and presentations by accomplished keynote speakers as well as other events and informal gatherings. There will be representatives from journals to discuss their periodicals. They will also be holding a writing contest this year

Springmingle. Decatur, Georgia, March 10-12, 2017. Conference for children's book writers and illustrators. Faculty includes writers, illustrators, agents, editors, and publishers.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. Greenfield, MA, March 10-13, 2017. The conference features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length poetry manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes poets and editors Joan Houlihan and Martha Rhodes. The cost of the conference is $1,675, which includes tuition, a private room, meals, and a pre-conference manuscript reading by Joan Houlihan.

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. Wye Mills, Maryland, March 11, 2017. Sponsored by the Eastern Shore Writers Association. "The BTO conference features workshops, presentations, and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics pertaining to the craft of writing, publishing, marketing, the Internet, and the intricacies of particular genres. It is an opportunity to meet with many writing peers in the region. Speakers include accomplished authors, poets, film writers, writing instructors, editors, and publishers. BTO also offers one-on-one manuscript reviews with experienced writing instructors and editors for registered attendees for a fee."

Algonkian Writers New York Pitch Conference, March 16 - 19, 2017, NY, NY. "The event focuses on the art of the novel pitch as the best method not only for communicating your work, but for having you and your work taken seriously by industry professionals. More importantly though, it is also a diagnostic method for workshopping the plot, premise, and other elements of the story to determine quality and marketability. Simply put, you cannot successfully pitch a viable commercial novel if you don't have a viable commercial novel. Our goal, therefore, is to set you on a realistic path to publication."

Writer’s High Retreat. March 17 - 19, 2017, Dawsonville, Georgia. The retreat features workshops for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, as well as readings, talks, and open mics. Participating writers include poet Megan Sexton; fiction writers Susan Crawford and George Weinstein; and nonfiction writers Jeanne Hewell-Chambers and Jedwin Smith. The cost of the retreat, which includes lodging and all meals, is $733 for a single room and $579 for a double room. Space is limited; Registration is first come, first served. The registration deadline is March 1.

Create Something Magical Conference. March 18 - 19, 2017, Woodbridge, New Jersey and Edison, New Jersey. Workshops and panels. Keynote Speakers are Jennifer L. Armentrout and Virginia Kantra.

Pele's Fire: Write to the Core. March 21 - 27, 2017, Big Island, HI. Writers' retreat in a breathtaking, in Hawaii. Three teachers, small groups, 1-on-1 consultations, readings. Faculty: Bhanu Kapil, Elena Georgiou, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto.

University of North Dakota Writers Conference. March 22 - 24, 2017, Grand Forks, North Dakota. This year's authors/artists include Viet Thanh Nguyen, NoViolet Bulawayo, Layli Long Soldier, Jeff Shotts, Mai Der Vang, and Mario Ybarra, Jr. FREE and open to the public.

Algonkian Novel Retreat, Sterling, Virginia, March 22 - 26, 2017. "In keeping with the spirit of this place and the goals of this retreat, you can be as goal-oriented or as hesitant in approach as you wish. You can show us your manuscript, improve your skills, clear your head, have your work read by our writer mentors, whatever works for you, whatever helps you grow and discover your vision as a writer. You discuss with us ahead of time via the Algonkian Writer Retreat Application the goals you wish to accomplish, and we'll work with you to make it happen. Do you desire a review of your short stories or flash fiction? A line edit? Do you wish to discuss the reality of the current fiction market, your novel project, plot and characters, or perhaps get feedback on the opening hook or a few sample chapters? Or would you simply like a relaxed and productive dialogue about your goals as a writer?" Registration is first come, first served.

Virginia Festival of the Book, March 22 - 26, 2017. "The Festival is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region and has attracted audiences of more than 20,000 for each of the past thirteen years. We have presented a captivating list of authors, ranging from international bestsellers to topical specialists to debut authors." Book exhibits, talks by authors, readings, workshops on book promotion, finding an agent, poetry, publishing, agents roundtable - you name it, this conference has it.

Mountain Valley Writers Conference. March 23 - 25, 2017, Guntersville, Alabama. Author signings, giveaways, workshops, learning sessions, and networking opportunities. Faculty: Mitzi Jane Media, Bridgette Hester, Jonathan Tripp, Katharine Grubb, Cheryl Wray Sloan, Constance Smith, Natalie Cone, Cindy Jones, William Thorton, Lawayne Orlando Childrey, Julie Ryan, Gary Gabelhouse, Tommy Blaze, Gene Hendrix, Denise Oakley.

Write Stuff Writers Conference. March 23 - 25, 2017, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Workshops, sessions on craft and business of writing. Meetings with agents, editors, and book coaches, book fair, and more. Keynote Speaker: Michael Hauge. Pre-conference workshops: Michael Hauge, Kathryn Craft, Jamie Saloff, Deborah Riley-Magnus, Victoria Selvaggio Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Jennifer Lader, Jordy Alberts, and Gregory Frost.

Writing on the Door: A Poetry Conference. March 24 - 25, 2017, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Workshop topics include writing poetry for children; travel poetry; writing the poetic sequence and more. Instructors include: Sharon Auberle, Kimberly Blaeser, Katie Dahl, Alice D'Alessio, Albert DeGenova, Max Garland, Margaret Hasse, Dion Kempthorne, Estella Lauter, Laurie MacDiarmid, June Nirschl, Miranda Paul, Judy Roy.

California Dreamin' Conference for Writers. March 24 - 26, 2017, Brea, CA. Workshops, pitch sessions, critiques for romance writers.

Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Book Publishing A Crash Course. Honesdale, PA. March 24 -26, 2017. Sponsored by Highlights for children, this is an intensive workshop covering every aspect of publishing children's books.

Unicorn Writers' Conference, March 25, 2017, Purchase, NY. Make connections and get feedback with dozens of opportunities for one-on-one face time with industry insiders, including: One-on-one manuscript reading and feed-back sessions with agents and editors, Networking breakfast, lunch and dinner, After-conference networking party. Perfect Your Craft with a choice of seven workshops to attend from over thirty different sessions offered in: Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Mystery, Poetry, Screenwriting, Children’s Literature, Romance, Horror/Sci-Fi. Get the insider’s edge with a vast selection of rare, how-to tutorials from every department within a publishing company, including: Marketing/Publicity, Art/Production, Contracts, Special sales, Media training, Pitching Your Work, How to appeal to agents and editors, Various writing workshops, Literary agents and editors - discussion panels.

Michigan Writers Conference, March 25, 2017, Detroit, MI. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. Attending Agents: Elana Roth Parker (Laura Dail Literary Agency), Paul Stevens (Donald Maass Literary). Sara Megibow (KT Literary), Jennifer Wills (The Seymour Agency), Janna Bonikowski (The Knight Agency), Kirsten Carleton (Prospect Agency), Elizabeth May (Kensington Publishing), Alice Speilburg (Speilburg Literary), Michael Caligaris (Holloway Literary Agency), Lesley Sabga (The Seymour Agency).

2017 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration.” Brooklyn, NY, March 25, 2017. The “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration” program will include reflections on Brooks’ life, a discussion of the impact and significance of her literary works, and dramatic presentations from and inspired by her passionate and vigorous works. Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, author, poet, and publisher, will be the keynote speaker. Poets and educators Cheryl Clarke, Marilyn Nelson, and Nicole Sealey are among the participants featured on the program.

Kansas Writing Workshop, March 25, 2017, Kansas City, KS. A full-day “How to Get Published” writing event. Attending Agents: Rebecca Bugger (Serendipity Literary Agency), Justin Wells (Corvisiero Literary Agency), Reiko Davis (DeFiore & Company), Stephanie Hansen (Metamorphosis Literary), Whitley Abell (Inklings Literary), Tricia Skinner (Fuse Literary).

32nd Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference, March 30 - April 1, 2017, Weber State University, Ogden, UT. "Each year, nearly 200 undergraduate writers and poets throughout North America, and sometimes beyond, come to Weber State University to present their work and learn from some of the most important writers in contemporary literature."

WonderCon, March 31 - April 2, 2017, Anaheim, CA. HUGE comic book convention.

Writing By Writers Boulder Generative Workshop. March 31 - April 2, 2017, Boulder, Colorado. Lectures, craft talks, writing exercises and class discussions. Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small group setting with all three faculty members.

Chanticleer Authors Conference. March 31 - April 2, 2017. Bellingham, Washington. Sessions with a special focus on the business of being a working writer on topics such as marketing, publicity, platform, sales tools & strategies, publishing, production, distribution, organization, storycraft, editing, and more. Faculty: Margie Lawson, Robert Dugoni, Shari Stauch, Chris Humphries, Eileen Cook, Kathy L. Murphy, Diane Isaacs, Kiffer Brown, Pamela Beason, Sara Stamey, and more.

Amazon Announces New English Language Literary Prize - The Kindle UK Storyteller Award

Press Release

Winning author will receive £20,000 cash prize and be recognised at central London award ceremony this summer

Amazon UK has announced The Kindle Storyteller Award, a new literary prize recognising newly published work in the English language across any genre. The prize is open to all authors who publish their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk between 20th February and 19th May 2017.

Readers will play a significant role in the competition with the award shortlist compiled based on a number of factors that measure customer interest in the titles, followed by an esteemed panel of judges - made up of both Amazon experts and literary authorities - selecting the Kindle Storyteller 2017 winner. The prize will be announced at a central London ceremony in July, with the winning author being rewarded with a cash prize of £20,000 and a marketing campaign to support the book on Amazon.co.uk, as well as the opportunity to have their book translated for international sales.

“Great books deserve to be celebrated and that’s what we want to do with the Kindle Storyteller competition,” said Alessio Santarelli, EU Kindle Content Director, Amazon. “We hope to encourage aspiring authors and those who have already been published, to get writing and make their new stories available to readers across the world. Publishing a book has never been easier, and the Kindle Storyteller Award will reward the author whose story resonates most with both readers and literary experts."

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a fast, free and easy way for authors to keep control and publish their books in print and digital to a global audience, and receive up to 70 per cent royalties on their work. On any given day, up to 25 per cent of the Top 100 books on the UK Kindle store are published through KDP.

Best-selling author Rachel Abbott, who has sold more books in the UK through KDP than any author said: “I expect the calibre of work for the first ever Kindle Storyteller Award in the English language to be impressive, whether it’s from an established author or an aspiring writer who is encouraged by this prize to publish their first book. Kindle helped me achieve my dream writing career and I believe so many people have a bestselling novel in them just waiting to be written."

Claire Allfree, the Metro’s Literary Editor added; “What is genuinely exciting about this literary prize is the fact that the winning title could be anything from a biography, to a psychological thriller, to an historical fiction novel. What matters is the quality of the writing and its ability to connect with thousands of readers around the world. I look forward to reading the shortlist.”

The Kindle Storyteller prize is open to submissions of new English Language books from all authors and genres, and entries must be submitted using Kindle Direct Publishing. Titles must be previously unpublished and a minimum of 5,000 words with no upper word limit. All books entered into the Prize will be available on Kindle and Fire devices as well as the Kindle reading app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. Print copies will also available to buy on the Amazon.co.uk store.

Kindle Storyteller opens for entries on 20th of February and titles must be entered into the KDP Select programme for the entry period in order to be considered. For more information, authors can visit www.amazon.co.uk/storyteller

In some respects, the road to publishing nonfiction books is easier to travel than fiction. If you are an expert in a field or have sufficient experience in an area (which can be anything from stamp collecting to raising chickens), many publishers will be willing to take on your book without requiring an agent.

Nonfiction submissions bear little similarity to fiction submissions. Fiction editors focus on plot, writing, and mass market appeal, which means they will want to see sample chapters and a synopsis. Nonfiction editors require a full proposal, which means you will have to submit detailed chapter descriptions, explain how your book will fit into the market, and establish your expertise. Even if your book is finished, a proposal is a requirement. (The sole exception is memoir, which is similar to fiction.)

Make sure to read the submission requirements of these publishers very carefully, and adhere to them. Don't give the publisher an excuse to throw out your proposal!

Note: For a list of hundreds of publishers accepting unagented books (by genre) see: Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts


Adams Media publishes a broad range of nonfiction topics including, business and careers, parenting, pets, personal finance, self-help, travel, weddings, writing. In 2003 Adams Media was purchased by F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company one of the largest special interest publishers in the world. Read their submission guidelines here.

Allworth Press publishes business and self-help information for the general public and creative professionals. Read their submission guidelines hereSeekingGraphic Design, Business, Performing Arts, Interior Design, Art, Theater, Web Design, Book Arts, Photography, Crafts.

Andrews McMeel Publishing is the country's premier calendar publisher. Its core publication categories include: comics and humor, puzzles and games, inspiration and gift, and comics for middle grade children. Interestingly, they also publish poetry.

Barricade Books publishes quality non-fiction manuscripts--preferably that lean toward the controversial. Send an outline, one or two chapters, and a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to Carole Stuart, Barricade Books, 2037 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ 07024. No email submissions.

Ben Bella publishes niche market books, works by celebrities and experts in their fields, pop culture books, and anything that is associated with a brand. Prospective authors should send a pitch.

Career Press, Inc. publishes quality, nonfiction books for adult readers seeking practical information to improve themselves in careers, college, finance, parenting, retirement, spirituality, and other related topics. Read submission policySeekingBusiness, Career, Job Search, HR & Work Place Issues, College Preparation, Small Business/Entrepreneurship, Motivation/Self-Help, Management, Marketing/Sales, Negotiation, Study Aids, and more.

Free Spirit Publishing. "Our mission is to provide children and teens with the tools they need to overcome challenges and make a difference in the world. We publish high-quality nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people."

Gryphon House, Inc. publishes books that help teachers and parents enrich the lives of children from birth through age eight. They do not accept children's booksSeekingEducational resource books for parents and teachers aimed at young children. Read submission policy.

Hohm Press is committed to publishing books that provide readers with alternatives to the materialistic values of the current culture and promote self-awareness, the recognition of interdependence and compassion. Their subject areas include religious studies, natural health, parenting, women’s issues, the arts and poetry. Read submission guidelines here.

Menasha Ridge Press and its sister company, Wilderness Press, publish primarily books on adventure, nature, and wilderness sports activities (excluding hunting and fishing). Read submission policy. 

OneWorld Publications was founded in 1986 by husband and wife team Juliet Mabey and Novin Doostdar as an independent publishing house focusing on stimulating non-fiction. Located in the UK. Read guidelines here.

Osprey is a UK publisher specializing in military history. Read submission guidelines here. (Scroll down to "Proposals.")

Skyhorse publishes a broad range of nonfiction titles. They only accept submissions that fall into their categories, so make sure you consult their list before submitting. See submission requirements here.

The New Press is a non-profit independent publisher focusing on contemporary social issues, with an emphasis on race relations, women's issues, immigration, human rights, labor and popular economics, and the media; education reform and alternative teaching materials; cultural criticisms; art and art education; international literature; and law and legal studies. The Press has also taken a leading role in publishing a wide range of new work in African American, Asian American, Latino, gay and lesbian, and Native American studies, as well as work by and about other minority groups. They are very selective.

Ulysses Press is a small house focusing on niche markets. Genres they publish include Cleanse, Arts and Crafts, Coloring, Gifty Grabs, Fashion and Beauty, Healthy Eating, Krav Maga, Mmm Bites, Pop Culture, Prepping (for the apocalypse), Fitness, Special Diets, Trivia, Working Out, Rehab and Injury Prevention.

In response to Trump's Muslim ban, as well as the climate of fear that he and his administration have created for Muslims (aka Islamophobia), many agents are calling specifically for Muslim writers. 
Writers occupy a hallowed place in history. For one thing, we write history. We can document our experiences and worldview eloquently, and with passion. These agents (and there are more by the day) want to represent writers who can shed light on the Muslim experience - whether in fiction or nonfiction.

Note: For a comprehensive list of agents looking for writers see: Agents Seeking Clients
From Celia Gore's website:
Like so many of you, we are gravely alarmed by the present administration’s recent broad ban on refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries. Our hearts ache for the innocent people affected. We also fear the message sent by these bans to people within our country and to those outside of our borders. But we are also heartened by the immediate and widespread opposition these bans have met. And we’d like to do our part!
Literary agents are in a unique position to help contribute to bringing more empathy, compassion, understanding and tolerance into this world through books. We seek out unheard voices so that others can hear them.
We are a group of literary agents having an open call for book submissions by Muslim writers. We all agree that the current political climate demands a need for a greater presence of authors of Muslim heritage in the book marketplace. We are taking action to help make that happen.
Here are instructions for submitting writers of Muslim heritage: (Please note that we cannot respond to queries under the Open Call that do not fit our Muslim heritage criteria)
    • For your manuscript to be considered, please include “Open Call” in the subject line of your email.
    • Please abide by the individual submission guidelines laid out on our agency websites. For example, many agents do not accept attachments.
    • Only submit to an agent if your work is one of the genres they represent. A children’s book agent can’t do anything with an adult memoir submission, etc.
Whitley Abell of Inklings Literary Agency is open to middle grade, young adult, and select adult fiction (namely women’s fiction and fantasy).
Lauren Abramo of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret is looking for adult fiction (romance, women’s fiction, thrillers, general, and literary), adult nonfiction (of all kinds, especially social justice oriented), YA fiction (contemporary, romance, thrillers), and middle grade fiction (contemporary, fantasy, adventure).
Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds Literary is looking for commercial fiction, particularly women’s fiction, romance, suspense and thrillers.
Jennifer Azantian of Azantian Literary Agency is seeking middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency is seeking middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Laura Biagi of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency is open to picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction.
Michele Brower at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth is open to adult literary fiction.
Penelope Burns of Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners is open to middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Linda Camacho of Prospect Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction and adult fiction.
Beth Campbell at BookEnds Literary is looking for young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and romantic suspense.
Kirsten Carleton of Prospect Agency is open to speculative, literary, thriller adult and young adult novels.
Andrea Cascardi of the Transatlantic Agency is open to picture books, middle grade and young adult, fiction and nonfiction across those genres.
Minju Chang of Book Stop Literary Agency is seeking picture books, chapter books and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as illustrators.
Steven Chudney of The Chudney Agency is open to middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Ann Collette of Rees Literary Agency is seeking adult mystery/thriller, historical and commercial women’s fiction, as well as memoir and narrative nonfiction.
Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency is looking for chapter books, middle grade and young adult fiction.
Ilse Craane of Book Stop Literary Agency is seeking picture books, chapter books and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as illustrators.
Jessica Craig of The Craig Agency is open to literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction and memoir, and middle grade and young adult fiction.
Laura Crockett of TriadaUS Literary Agency is seeking young adult (contemporary, fantasy) and adult (women’s fiction, contemporary, fantasy) fiction.
John Cusick of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management is looking for picture books, middle grade and young adult novels.
Stephanie Delman of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc. is open to adult literary, historical and speculative fiction, and select narrative non-fiction.
David Dunton of the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction.

Melissa Edwards of Stonesong is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, commercial women’s fiction, mysteries and thrillers.
Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media is open to middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Linda Epstein of Emerald City Literary Agency is looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult, both fiction and nonfiction.
Jessica Faust at BookEnds Literary is looking for adult fiction and nonfiction.
Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary is looking for middle grade, young adult, and adult genre fiction.
Caitie Flum of Liza Dawson Associates is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, women’s fiction, romance and historical fiction.
Lilly Ghahremani of Full Circle Literary is open to adult nonfiction.
Adria Goetz of Martin Literary Management is open to picture books and adult lifestyle books.
Jenny Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary is open to adult science fiction, fantasy and historical nonfiction.
Tara Gonzalez of Erin Murphy Literary Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction.
Clelia Gore of Martin Literary Management is open to picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult, fiction and nonfiction across those genres.
Wendi Gu of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc is seeking picture books, middle-grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as select adult literary fiction about the first-generation American experience.
Erin Harris of Folio is seeking literary adult fiction and young adult fiction.
Alyssa Jennette of Stonesong is seeking picture books, middle grade, young adult and upmarket adult.
Jennifer Johnson-Blalock of Liza Dawson Associates is seeking commercial and upmarket fiction, especially thrillers/mystery/suspense, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, young adult and middle grade fiction, as well as all nonfiction.
Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis is open to picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency is looking for young adult and middle grade fiction.
Pete Knapp of Park Literary & Media is looking for middle grade and young adult across all genres.
Abigail Koons at Park Literary & Media is looking for narrative non-fiction (current events, history, women’s issues and popular science) and commercial fiction (suspense, thrillers, contemporary and anything with an international focus).
Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and adult contemporary and speculative fiction.
Daniel Lazar of Writers House is seeking middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, especially books with a great sense of history and maybe even a touch of magic.
Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary agency is open to adult and young adult horror, mystery/thriller, historical fiction, sci fi, fantasy and gen fic.
Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency is open to picture books, middle grade and young adult, fiction and nonfiction across those genres.
Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary is looking for adult and young adult fiction.
Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency is open to young adult and middle grade fiction and nonfiction as well as adult narrative nonfiction.
Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary is looking for picture book, middle grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction. She is also open to picture book illustrators.
Kendra Marcus of Book Stop Literary Agency is seeking picture books, chapter books and middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as illustrators.
Taylor Martindale Kean of Full Circle Literary is open to middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Jim McCarthy of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret is open to middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Lydia Moëd of The Rights Factory is seeking middle grade and young adult fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction.
Penny Moore of Empire Literary is seeking picture book, middle grade and young adult fiction.
Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency is open to middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Sharon Pelletier of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret is seeking adult and young adult submissions, with a special interest in narrative nonfiction, book club fiction, and young adult suspense.
Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction.
Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content is open to nonfiction and memoir geared for children, from picture books to YA.
Maggie Riggs of The Riggs Agency is open to adult literary fiction.

Lisa Rodgers
 of Jabberwocky Literary Agency is looking for adult romance, science fiction, and fantasy, and for YA/middle grade science fiction, fantasy, and contemporaries.
Rena Rossner of The Deborah Harris Agency is seeking picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult fantasy, sci fi, thrillers, historical fiction and literary fiction.
Eddie Schneider of Jabberwocky Literary Agency is open to middle grade and YA fiction and middle grade and YA graphic novels.
Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency is open to picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and adult contemporary and speculative fiction.
Jessica Sinsheimer at Sarah Jane Freymann is looking for picture book, middle grade, young adult fiction, women’s/romance, thriller/mysteries and literary fiction.

Eric Smith of P.S. Literary Agency is looking for young adult fiction as well as adult sci-fi and fantasy.
Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency is looking for children’s fiction and nonfiction for all age groups (this includes picture books, readers, middle grade, young adult, graphic novels, poetry).
Lauren Spieller of Triada Literary Agency is look for picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction.
Becca Stumpf of Prospect Agency is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction.
Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary Services is seeking middle grade and young adult fiction, adult literary fiction, women’s fiction, romance, suspense/thriller, memoir and humor nonfiction.
Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary is open to all adult fiction.
Meg Thompson of Thompson literary is open to adult nonfiction.
Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency is seeking reality-based, girl-centric young adult and women’s issues/feminist nonfiction.
Cindy Uh of Thompson Literary is open to picture books, young adult and adult, fiction and nonfiction across those genres.
Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency is seeking picture book, middle grade, young adult and adult fiction.
Emily van Beek of Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management is open to picture books, chapter books, middle-grade, and young adult novels.
Roseanne Wells of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is open to picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as adult sci-fi, fantasy, upmarket mysteries, and literary fiction.
See more agents herehttps://cleliagore.com/open-call/

Here are six established agents actively seeking new clients. Each is from an established agency with a solid track record. Be sure to check out the agency's website before submitting!

For a full list of agents actively looking for writers go to: Agents Seeking Clients


Melissa L. Edwards of Stonesong

Melissa Edwards joined Stonesong as a literary agent in August 2016. Previously, she was a literary agent at the Aaron Priest Literary Agency, where she managed the foreign rights for a 40-year backlist. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School, Melissa began her career as a litigation attorney before transitioning into publishing. She is a tireless advocate for her clients and a constant partner during the publication process and beyond.

What she is looking for: Melissa represents authors of children’s fiction, adult commercial fiction, and select pop-culture nonfiction. She is looking for warm and timeless middle grade fiction and accessible young adult fiction. For adults, she is looking for fast-paced thrillers and smart women’s fiction. She can be found on Twitter @MelissaLaurenE, where she often tweets her active Manuscript Wishlist requests under #MSWL.

How to submit: Submit your query addressed to Melissa at submissions@stonesong.com. Include the first chapter or first 10 pages of your work, pasted into the body of your email. Please do not send attachments.


Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties

Sara is a senior agent at Pippin Properties. She began her career at The Wylie Agency, and worked in foreign rights for 8 years. For the last decade she has been at Harvey Klinger, Inc. building a list of children’s and adult fiction including many New York Times Bestselling and award winning authors and titles. She loves finding new talent to champion, and nurturing and developing careers.

What she is looking for:  Children's and select adult fiction.

How to submit: Send your query and the first chapter of your book in the body of an email to scrowe@pippinproperties.com.


Margaret Bail of Fuse Literary

Margaret Bail has a BA in English and an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. With years of experience editing manuscripts, as well as teaching university-level English and writing, she looks forward to working closely with new and established authors to help develop their voice and craft. Formerly agent at Inklings Literary Agency, she recently joined Fuse Literary as agent.

What she is looking for: Margaret is interested in adult fiction in the genres of romance (no Christian or inspirational, please), science fiction (soft sci-fi rather than hard), mystery, thrillers, action adventure, historical fiction (not a fan of WWII era), and fantasy. In nonfiction, Margaret is interested in memoirs with a unique hook, and cookbooks with a strong platform.

Fiction genres Margaret is NOT interested in: YA, MG, children’s books; steampunk, Christian/religious literature, chick lit, women’s fiction, literary, poetry, screenplays.

How to submit: To query Margaret, send a query letter, a brief synopsis, and the first 10 pages of your manuscript to: querymargaret@fuseliterary.com.


Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown

Cathryn re-joined Curtis Brown in September 2016 having started her literary agency career there as an intern in 2004. She established an eclectic list of clients at WME, where she worked for ten years. Prior to that she work at DGA, DHA and Colman Getty PR – where she worked on a number of high profile book events including the Man Booker Prize and Samuel Johnson Prize.

What she is looking for: Literary and commercial fiction.

How to submit: Use the form on the website. In order to submit your work, you will need the following: COVER LETTER, SYNOPSIS OF UP TO 3,000 WORDS, SAMPLE MATERIAL OF UP TO 10,000 WORDS. "Once you have submitted your novel you should then hear from us within ten to twelve weeks. If you don’’t hear from us after this time, please get back in touch and let us know something is amiss."

Peter Knapp of Park Literary & Media

Fueled by the thrill of reading a new story for the first time, Peter works creatively with clients and the PLM team on marketing, branding initiatives and promotions to get great books into the hands of readers. Before joining PLM, he was a story editor at a book-scouting agency working with film clients, and he continues to look for new ways to partner with Hollywood on adaptations and multimedia properties. Find him re-watching Studio Ghibli movies, playing board games with friends, or at PLM and on Publishers Marketplace to learn how to submit a new fiction query—he’s ready to add more authors to his growing client list!

What he is looking for: Middle grade, YA (realistic and fantasy), YA horror and adult fiction.

How to submit: To submit a manuscript for consideration, send a query letter and the first three chapters of your manuscript pasted within the body of the email to queries [at] parkliterary [dot] com. Please include "Query - Pete Knapp" or "Query - Peter Knapp" in the subject (this is important so that our mail system files it into my submissions folder) AS WELL AS THE CATEGORY AND GENRE OF YOUR WORK (i.e.: "YA FANTASY"). All material must be in the body of the email. NO ATTACHMENTS. Include all necessary contact information.You will receive an auto-response confirming receipt of your query.

"Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions I receive, I am unable to give specific feedback on projects I am passing on, but you will receive a form reply to your query if I am passing. Please give 10 weeks before following up on your query. If I have requested your manuscript, please do not contact me for updates any time before 12 weeks from when you sent the full manuscript unless you have received an offer of representation and need a more immediate reply."

JL Stermer of  New Leaf Literary & Media

Before joining New Leaf, JL Stermer was an agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is always looking for fresh and exciting projects, J.L. brings her enthusiasm to clients while helping them navigate the world of book publishing–she takes pride in being involved with her clients every step of the way. J.L. also teaches a class at the Gotham Writers Workshop: How to Get Published. Born and raised in New York City, and a graduate of Columbia University, she currently resides in Manhattan.

What she is looking for: YA and women’s fiction. She seeks voices that reflect the world as it changes, stories that share the human experience of life, love, growth and achievement. And they don’t have to be serious–having fun is very important to me!

How to submit: Send query to query@newleafliterary.com. Please do not query via phone. The word “Query” must be in the subject line, plus the agent’s name, ie – Query, JL Stermer. Please also include the category (ie, PB, chapter book, MG, YA, adult fiction, adult nonfiction, etc.) You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email.

PEN America is a non-profit organization devoted to protecting the right to free speech. Based in New York City, it was founded in 1922 and has over 3,000 members. (I am one.) The organization defends journalists and writers worldwide against harassment, legal actions (such as imprisonment and lawsuits), and attempts at censorship. PEN also awards prizes totaling over $150,000 to writers of fiction, poetry, translation, and nonfiction.
In light of Trump's many threats to journalists, as well as his administration's clear intent to silence them, PEN has issued the following statement. I suggest you take it seriously.

“Prepare yourself.”

– Writer and PEN America Trustee Masha Gessen

"Autocracy: Rules for Survival,” The New York Review of Books, November 10, 2016
With an incoming U.S. presidential administration that has threatened to silence voices it cannot control—from demonization of the press, to divisive rhetoric against minorities, to threats to arrest or imprison political opponents—many in the PEN America community are looking for ways to respond. We have launched this Defending Free Expression: A Toolkit for Writers and Readers to help authors, journalists, artists, and others who exercise creative expression mount a defense of their craft and core freedoms.
We start by identifying the warning signs of a developing autocracy that is taking steps to curtail the rights of citizens. Then, we suggest specific actions writers and readers can take to protect our First Amendment rights. And finally, we share the advice of others with experience in countering anti-democratic forces hostile to free expression.
This toolkit is part of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign to stand as a bulwark defending free expression, free assembly, the diversity of voices, and the force of reason. It is a work in progress and we will update it regularly; we welcome your contributions at LouderTogether@pen.org.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNSWhat are the telltale signs of an emerging autocracy? Be on the lookout for a leader who:
  • Condemns the press and limits its access
  • Controls information by replacing a free press with media outlets he controls in order to corrupt public debate with one-sided coverage and disinformation
  • Limits the freedom to gather peacefully
  • Limits the freedom to criticize government and other public figures and discourages a diversity of views through intimidation or legislation
  • Allows or promotes the use of government surveillance of citizens, including journalists
  • Keeps political power and money in the family
  • Fails to take responsibility for the consequences of his policies and decisions
  • Limits transparency of government deliberations, decisions, and spending, making it more difficult for citizens to assess government actions and participate in civic life
  • Builds fear of a common enemy and uses a state of emergency to justify exercising heightened power and tightening control over the citizenry
  • Instructs the public not to worry
  • Rebuffs the Constitution and/or the rule of law
  • Limits participation in the political process
  • Persecutes or ostracizes ethnic and religious minorities
  • Punishes, eliminates, or marginalizes his enemies
  • Surrounds himself with government appointees who share his views on limiting free expression rights and other core freedoms

TAKE ACTIONThe ability to speak truth to power is a primary underpinning of a healthy democracy. It is also a core obligation for writers, journalists, and others who are committed to protecting free expression. Here's what you can do:
1. Ask your Representatives to protect your First Amendment rights and protections in all government policies and appointees.
Former Congressional staff members have put together Indivisible: A practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda, a comprehensive handbook for making members of Congress listen. Another set of tips has been collected on how to effectively talk to your representative. 

2. Support hard-hitting, investigative, and long-form journalism (and read it, too!).
Trump surrogates such as Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee have argued that “journalism is dead” in the United States. While this is certainly not true, the demonization of the media in 2016 and the rise of a “post-truth politics” mean that probing journalists and day-to-day reporting are under increasing threat. Subscribe or donate to the news outlets that you believe are doing important reporting. Include your local newspaper—support its vital coverage of your community.
3. Educate yourself about your First Amendment rights and protections.
It is difficult to defend one’s rights without knowing what they are. There is no better way to understanding the First Amendment than to read it yourself. Education doesn’t stop there. Find an online course on free expression, such as Columbia University’s Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalization, or UCLA/Berkeley’s Freedom of Speech and the Press.

4. Launch a petition.
The Constitution guarantees your right to petition your government. Exercise it. Petition sites such as Change.orgWe the PeopleAVAAZ, and Care2 allow you to launch a petition for free. You can also add your name to the pledge to protect the First Amendment led by PEN America with other progressive organizations and signed by many thousands of supporters, including all the U.S. Poet Laureates.  

5. Mount or join a resistance event.
Writers Resist is a nationwide movement that seeks to tap creative energies to temper growing public cynicism and a cavalier attitude towards truth. On January 15, 2017, Writers Resist events will be held across the country, with the flagship event—sponsored by PEN America—occurring in New York City. Join us on the steps of the New York Public Library or click here to find a Writers Resist event in your city.

6. Protect yourself against government surveillance or hacking. 
Online privacy is an evolving challenge, and the debate about government monitoring vs. privacy rights remains unsettled – and vulnerable to calls for sacrificing a degree of privacy for greater national security. Know how to protect your data and your privacy rights:
Secure messaging:
Review Amnesty International’s rankings of the 11 most popular messaging apps and how secure each is from third-party hacking or surveillance.
E-mail encryption services:
A variety of free apps and add-ons provide encrypted e-mail services, including: ProtonMailTutanotaInfoEncryptVirtruMailvelopeEnigmailGpg4win, and Mymail-Crypt for Gmail.
Private internet browsing:
Tor Browser is an internet router for private browsing, keeping your location and the sites you visit private from anyone attempting to view your search history or collect your data.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed a Surveillance Self-Defense Kit, with further tips on how to guard your privacy.
7. Exercise your right to free speech by using the power of words to counter disinformation, hate speech, and moves against the First Amendment.
Letters to the editors and opinion pieces have long been a tool for citizen activists. Newspapers and online media outlets serving your community will have information on how to submit. There are many other creative ways to commit to sounding the alarm against hate speech and disinformation, from skits to leafleting to skywriting. Google “creative ways to protest’’ to get ideas. You can also learn more about how to speak out against bigotry and counter hate speech online, and particularly on Twitter.
8. Learn how to identify “fake news” and disinformation, and help others to do so, too.
Read up on best practices in news literacy, including ways to spot false stories and how help to stop spreading this disinformation further. Use and support fact checking initiatives.

9. Seek out and share works that consider the growth of authoritarian regimes and how to defend free expression and press freedoms.
Whether you set out on a personal exploration or form a book club to widen the discussion, there are many titles to choose among. PEN America staff point to books such as Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship (on our 2017 Literary Awards longlist) or the more classic There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech (winner of the 1994 PEN Literary Award for the Art of the Essay).

LEARN FROM OTHERSAlas, there is experience to be shared by those who have fought for freedom expression under autocratic regimes and observed how they function. Here are places to start reading:
Autocracy: Rules for Survival
By Masha Gessen

How Can Journalists Protect Themselves During a Trump Administration?
ByKaveh Waddell

Why the Press Is Right to Freak Out Over Trump Sneaking to a Steakhouse
By Jeremy Stahl

10 Ways to Tell if Your President Is a Dictator
By Stephen M. Walt

What You—Yes, You—Can Do to Save America from Tyranny
By Timothy Snyder

I Watched a Populist Leader Rise in My Country. That’s Why I’m Genuinely Worried for America
By Miklos Haraszti

There are 28 calls for submissions in February. Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets.

Many of these journals have recurring calls for submissions, so if you miss this window, you can always submit during the next reading period.

For more literary journals seeking submissions see: Paying Markets.

The Southern ReviewGenre: Poetry. Payment: $25 per page. Deadline: February 1, 2017.

Gothic Tales of Haunted LoveGenre: Gothic romance comic stories. Payment: $50 per page plus percentage of Kickstarter. Writers work with cartoonists. Deadline: February 1, 2017.

Tales from The LakeGenre: Horror stories wanted for Volume 4. Payment: 3 cents per word. Deadline: February 1, 2017.

The First LineGenre: Story beginning with the line: "Eddie tended to drift into whatever jobs were available that would pay the rent." Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work. Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). Deadline: February 1, 2017.

Skirt! Genre: Essay on theme: Stories about traveling, wandering, the wonder of our great big world’ - women's interests. Payment: $200. Deadline: February 1, 2017.

Planet ScummGenre: Speculative fiction. Payment: Revenue sharing. Deadline: February 5, 2017.

Ricky's BackyardGenre: Short fiction or art on the theme of Floidoip. Payment: $10 (CAN). Deadline: February 8, 2017.

Typewriter EmergenciesGenre: Stories, book reviews, articles featuring furry characters. Payment: $0.01 per word. Deadline: February 10, 2017.

Splickety: HavokGenre: Speculative flash fiction. Payment: $0.02 per word. Deadline: February 10, 2017.

49th ParallelsGenre: Science fiction set in Canada or which involve Canada and Canadians as the principal subject operating in the larger world (or beyond). Payment: Five cents (Canadian) per word for original short stories and poems (minimum $10 per poem). Reprints will be paid a flat rate of $100. Deadline: February 14, 2017.

Hippocampus Magazine: 'Air' anthologyGenre: True stories. "We’re looking for behind-the-scene stories about small town radio stations. We’re seeking personal stories about die-hard radio fans. We want to hear from (current/former) jocks, from program directors, from engineers, from the sales team, from ancillary characters like record reps and concert promoters—tales from every corner of the radio station and from everyone radio ever reached." Payment: $50 per piece. Deadline: February 15, 2017.

Brain TeenGenre: Personal essay about parenting teens. Payment: $300 per piece. Deadline: February 15, 2017.

Transmundane PressGenre: Short stories exploring humanity's ancient friend and foe, fire. Payment: $15-20, depending on length. Deadline: February 18, 2017.

Morel MagazineGenre: Nonfiction about Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Payment: $25 per piece. Deadline: February 26, 2017.

For Books' SakeGenre: Short stories of up to 7,000 words by women writers, responding to the theme of 'ghosts.' Payment: Token. Deadline: February 26, 2017. Reprints accepted.

The Lane of Unusual TradersGenre: Speculative Fiction. "The Lane of Unusual Traders is a world building project. The aim is to bring The Lane, the City of Lind and the world of Midlfell into existence through stories, illustrations, music and whatever other creative means present themselves as the world grows."  Payment: $180 (AUD) per short story, $60 (AUD) for flash fiction. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

Literary e-clectic. Genre: Speculative Fiction. Theme: The Record Payment: $50 upon publication plus contributor copy. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

Strange ConstellationsGenre: Speculative Fiction. Payment: $30. Deadline: February 28, 2017. Reprints accepted.

Triangulation AnthologyGenre: Speculative Fiction. This year’s theme: “Appetites.” Payment: $120. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

The 3288 ReviewGenres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Payment: 1-5 poems published – $25.00, 6-10 poems published – $50.00, Prose 1,000 to 5,000 words – $25.00, Prose 5,001 to 10,000 words – $50.00. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

The Arkansas InternationalGenres: Prose, Poetry, Works in translation. Payment: $25/page. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

Ninth LetterGenres: Prose and Poetry. Payment: $25/page. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

Parsec InkGenre: Speculative fiction on theme of Appetites. Payment: 2 cents/word. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

Flame Tree PublishingGenre: Speculative fiction. Themes: Lost Worlds, Supernatural Horror, Time Travel & Heroic Fantasy. Payment: 6 cents per word. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

ImprimoGenre: Short Fiction and poetry of any genre. Theme: Time. Length 2,000-6,000 words. Poetry: up to 40 lines. Payment: Revenue sharing. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

MiznaGenre: Poetry and prose exploring Arab America. Theme: Surviving: Arabs & Muslims as Villains, Again. The presidential election in 2016 in the United States has reignited the narrative about Arabs and Muslims as expedient villains. This is nothing new, but perhaps there are a fervor and momentum this time around that are especially dangerous. How are we being affected, responding and not responding, surviving? Payment: Honorarium. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

L0W L1F3Genre: The Political Issue is looking for speculative cyberpunk fiction focusing on the political systems of the present and future, dystopian cyberpunk fiction satirical fiction, thoughtful nonfiction pertaining to the worlds changing political climate (for we live in interesting time), and most importantly, hope. Payment: $20. Deadline: February 28, 2017.

The New QuarterlyRestrictions: Canadian authors. Genres: Fiction, poetry, CNF. Payment: $250 for a short story or non-fiction entry, and $40 per poem or postscript story. Deadline: February 28, 2017. No online submissions (yet). Mail to: 
The New Quarterly c/o St. Jerome’s University
290 Westmount Road N
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3G3