There are loads of free literary contests in April, some with substantial prizes. All genres and forms are included, from humorous poetry, to short fiction, to full length-works, both published and unpublished.

Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to read the full guidelines before submitting.

Good luck!


Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. Now in its 15th year, this contest seeks today's best humor poems, published and unpublished. Please enter one poem only, 250 lines max. Prize: $2,250 in prizes, including a top prize of $1,000, and publication on Winning Writers. Deadline: April 1, 2016. Submission form HERE.

Harold U. Ribalow PrizeGenre: Fiction on a Jewish theme, published books only. Prize: $3,000.  Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Bop Dead CityGenres: Prose, poetry. Prize: $20. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-FictionRestrictions: The writer must be Canadian, and an entry must be the writer's first or second published book of any type or genre and must have a Canadian locale and/or significance. Genre: Print books and ebooks of creative non-fiction published in the previous calendar year. Prize: C$10,000.00. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers. Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians awards fellowships for writers to spend time in McCullers' childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. The fellowships are intended to afford the writers in residence uninterrupted time to dedicate to their work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities. Award: Stipend of $5000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients will be required to introduce or advance their work through reading or workshop/forum presentations. The Fellow will work with the McCullers Center Director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Carbon Culture Review's Poetry Film PrizeGenre: Film: make a film of your poem. Prize: $1000.  Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Great American Think-OffGenre: Essay on the theme: “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy.” Entrants should take a strong stand agreeing or disagreeing with this topic, basing their arguments on personal experience and observations rather than philosophical abstraction. Essay should be no more than 750 words. Prize: One of four $500 cash prizes. Deadline: April 1, 2016. Submission details are HERE.

Paterson Fiction PrizeGenre: Published novel or collection of short fiction.  Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Allen Ginsberg Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry, up to five poems per person. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book, all genres. Prize: $500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Waterston Desert Writing PrizeGenre: Literary nonfiction, desert theme. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Fall Lines: Saluda River Prize for Poetry / Broad River Prize for ProseGenres: Poetry, flash fiction, essays, short fiction. Prizes: Two $250 cash prizes, and publication. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia PoetsRestrictions: Open to Virginia poets. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: April 1, 2016. More details are HERE.

The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation PrizeGenre: Book-length translation of Asian poetry into English. Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: April 8, 2016. See details HERE.

American Literary Translators Association Italian Prose in Translation AwardGenre: Translation of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). Both translators and publishers are invited to submit titles. Book must have been published in previous year. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: April 8, 2016. See details HERE.

William Saroyan Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to students in 1st grade through college. Genre: Short story, 2 pages. Prize: $50 - $100. Deadline: April 11, 2016. More details are HERE.

Stony Brook Short Fiction PrizeRestrictions: Only undergraduates enrolled full time in United States and Canadian universities and colleges for the academic year 2015-16 are eligible. Genre: Fiction of no more than 7,500 words. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Common Good Books Poetry Contest is sponsored by Common Good Books, proprietor Garrison Keillor. Genre: Poetry. The poem must be a declaration of gratitude. Prize: Grand prizes of $1000 each, and four poets will receive $500 for poems of particular merit. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Books must be published in Canada in English between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 to be eligible for the 2016 Prize. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See details HERE.

Rhyme On! Genre: Poetry, one poem only. Prize: 1st prize -  $200, 2nd prize - $100, 3rd prize - $50. Deadline: April 15, 2016. See submission details HERE.

Chautauqua Editors Prize. Awards will recognize the writing that best captures both the issue’s theme and the spirit of Chautauqua Institution. Prizes: $500, $250, and $100 for each issue. Deadline: April 15, 2016. Submission form is HERE.

The Waterman Fund Essay ContestGenre: Essay. "The dual mission of the NPS is to conserve the resources and provide visitor enjoyment of uniquely wild and beautiful places around the country. However, with these high and growing levels of use, how can the NPS achieve these ideals? Is the spirit of wilderness alive and well in our National Parks? What do we gain or lose by protecting these areas over others? What relationships between stewardship and National Parks stand out as significant in preserving both our landscapes and our ideals of wilderness? Emerging writers are encouraged to address these questions and their own in well-crafted essays, drawing on personal wilderness experiences—in or out of Parks—as concrete examples for their arguments." Prizes: The winning essayist will be awarded $1500 and publication in Appalachia Journal. The Honorable Mention essay will receive $500. Deadline: April 15, 2016.  Submission details are HERE.

Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing. "Now in its fifth year, the Prize is a significant literary award for new and emerging writers. The prize is open to both Australian and New Zealand university students, enrolled in either an undergraduate or honours degree. All types of creative writing will be accepted, including short stories, non-fiction narrative and narrative verse." Prize: $4000.  Deadline: April 18, 2016.  Submission details are HERE.

Sapiens PlurumGenre: Stories that personalize the consequences of climate change so readers feel as well as know them. But stories must offer hope, at least a possibility, for without hope people rarely act. Your job, as author, is to inspire scientists and states-persons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Prize: 1ST PRIZE: $1000; 2ND PRIZE: $500; 3RD PRIZE: $300. Deadline: April 22, 2016. Submission details are HERE.

Toronto Book AwardsGenres: All genres accepted. Restrictions: Submission "must evoke the city itself, that is, contain some clear Toronto content (this may be reflected in the themes, settings, subjects, etc.). Authors do not necessarily have to reside in Toronto. Ebooks, textbooks and self-published works are not eligible. Prize: A total of $15,000 CD will be awarded. Each shortlisted author (usually 4-6) receives C$1,000 and the winning author is awarded the remainder. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry FellowshipsRestrictions: Applicants must reside in the U.S. or be U.S. citizens. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and no older than 31 years of age as of April 30, 2016. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $25,800.  Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Lake Superior State University High School Short Story PrizeRestrictions: Open to high school students students residing in the Midwestern United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) or Ontario, Canada. Genre: Alternate history short stories. Prize: $500 and publication. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Anna Boswell Memorial Prize for Young WritersRestrictions: Open to writers 13-19 years of age. Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Prize: $100. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Artemis vs ApolloGenre: Mythology, 5000 words max. Prize: $100 Visa e-card. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

The Jan Garton Prairie Heritage Book Award will be given to the best book of the year that illuminates the heritage of America’s mid-continental prairies, whether of the tall-grass, mid-grass, or short-grass regions. Authors’ first books receive extra consideration. Books published in 2014 may be nominated by publishers, authors, or readers. Genre: Books may be in any genre, and topics may include but are not limited to social or natural history; prairie culture of the past or in-the-making; and interactions between society and ecology. Prize: $1000 and a sponsored book-signing. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

The Scythe PrizeRestrictions: Open to college students. Genre: Short stories, creative nonfiction. Prize: $250. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Wax Poetry and Art Poetry ContestPrize: $120. Deadline: April 30, 2016. Submission guidelines are HERE.

Here are 18 calls for submissions during the month of April. All genres and styles are represented, including poetry, creative non-fiction, essays, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, translation, speculative fiction, screenplays, and graphic art.

Happy submitting!


Stories of Music

Genres: Creative nonfiction (personal essays, memoir excerpts, and literary journalism), poetry, photography and art, videos, and audio recordings, and additional genres and styles, as long as music is the centerpiece and the story is true.

Payment: $200 (US dollars), a copy of the print edition

Deadline: April 1, 2016


Impact: Colonialism in Canada Anthology

The anthology will feature works from emerging and established Indigenous-Canadian writers, and will focus on the effects of colonialism in Canada from a historical or contemporary perspective.

Genres: Historical or contemporary fiction, creative, non-fiction, essay, or poetry. Your work must address the anthology’s theme from an Indigenous perspective in compelling ways and will be assessed based on artistic and educational merit.

Length: 3,000 words and under per piece for fiction, non-fiction, or essay. Two to three pieces for poetry with a submission maximum of five.

Payment: 5¢/word for fiction, non-fiction, or essay and $50 per published poem.

Deadline: April 1, 2016


West Branch

Genres: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation.

Payment: $50 per submission of poetry, and $.05/word for prose with a maximum payment of $100, and two copies of the issue in which his/her work appears and a one-year subscription to West Branch.

Deadline: April 1, 2016


NonBinary Review #10: A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

"NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue's theme. We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature and be featured on our cover. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). Submissions only related by a vague, general, thematic similarity are unlikely to be accepted."

Payment: 1 cent per word for fiction and nonfiction, and a flat fee of $10 per poem and $25 per piece of visual art

Deadline: April 1, 2016


Apex Publications: Undead: A Poetry Anthology of Ghouls, Ghosts, and More 

Genre: 1-3 poems, email to undeadpoetryanthology@gmail.com

Payment: $5

Deadline: April 1st, 2016. Previously published work is eligible, as long as you own the rights


Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires

Anthology of short stories, released as an ebook and as a paperback simultaneously

Genre: Horror-themed Steampunk

Payment: $10

Deadline: April 1st, 2016


Nous: The Work Issue

"For many of us being at work or working for a living takes up more than half of our time. Probably also more than half of the time of our whole lives. In this issue we want to explore how our work can cause distress, make us unhappy but also show off alternatives that show how fulfilling a profession can be. Is there such a thing as good work and bad work? How do other cultures “work”, how did our grandparents “work”. What work has been done to make the world “better”. What is work, or labour, or profession, and what does it mean to us? Is working in our blood, is it good for our soul to do stuff? Many questions to explore, send us your proposals for essays, short stories, and poetry to submit@nous-magazine.de"

Payment: £20 and a copy of NOUS 7

Deadline: April 1st, 2016


Splickety: Outdoor Misadventure

Genre: Flash fiction

Payment: 2 cents/word

Deadline: April 8, 2016


Seizure: 'Translated Edition'

Genre: Translated poetry and fiction

Payment: $200

Deadline: April 13, 2016


Narrative Magazine

Narrative is a highly prestigious magazine, geared to a discerning audience. Their no-fee submission period is during the first two weeks of April.

Genres: All genres, short stories, poems, novellas, one-act plays

Payment: Pay scale ranges from $50 - $1000, depending on the length of the piece

Deadline: April 14, 2016


Brain, Child

Seeking submissions for two upcoming blog series:

Milestones: - Yours, your child’s, your family’s. Tell us about a personal or family milestone and the journey to get there (or not get there). Topics might include a mother’s spiritual awakening after her empty nest; missing a son's first time learning how to ride a bike; teaching a child with a learning disability how to read.

Multiples: Share your stories about raising multiples, being a multiple, or what it’s like growing up in a family with multiples. Topics might include: having twins as the first vs. the last children in the family; commemorating the date twins come home after months in the NICU; comparing identical twin siblings' separate identities.

Length: 750-1200 words per submission

Payment: Competitive rates

Deadline: April 15, 2016


|tap| magazine

"|tap| magazine especially aims to publish poetry and prose on trauma, mental health, social justice, and by marginalized voices. We are looking for work that is vulnerable, work that is evocative, and work with risk and emotion."

Payment: $25

Deadline: April 15, 2016



"EPOCH is an open forum for literary fiction, poetry, essays, screenplays, cartoons, graphic art, and graphic fiction. We consider only work that is previously unpublished. We do not accept electronic submissions or simultaneous submissions."

Payment: $50 per poem, and a maximum of $150 per story, more for fiction submitted by literary agencies and for long stories and novellas.

Deadline: April 15, 2016


Catskill Made: 'Flow' Issue

"Catskill Made is a digital journal of artists and makers in the Catskills. Our primary aim is to explore the creative environment in all its forms, examining how the rural mountain lifestyle affects artists, artwork, and the art-making process. Our secondary goal is to document that lifestyle and those artists in a publication as beautiful as the region itself."

Payment: 10 cents/word

Deadline: April 15, 2016 (for pitches)


Sandwiched: Voices from the Middle

"We are looking for a wide range of first-person stories and reflective essays that connect us and rekindle our spirit on various aspects of the middle years of life."

Genre: Creative nonfiction, 1st person essays

Payment: $25

Deadline: April 15, 2016



First horror anthology released by TIME ALONE PRESS.

Genre: Horror

Length: Approx 4000 words

Payment: $.06 per word. PLUS half of royalties distributed among the writers after the recovery of initial costs (paid twice per year).

Deadline: April 30, 2016



"Did you know that humans emit clouds of microbes? Over a million particles an hour. With that sort of chaos something is likely to go very, very wrong."

Genre: Science fiction, although genre mashups with horror, romance, mystery, etc. will be accepted. 

Length: 3,000 to 10,000 words

Payment: 3 cents/word

Deadline: April 30, 2016


Antioch Review

Genres: Short stories, reviews, articles, poetry

Payment: $20.00 per printed page (about 425 words) plus 2 copies of the issue

Deadline: April 30, 2016

No electronic submissions

Spring has sprung, and writers are thawing out!

There are conferences springing up all over the country in April. 

Topics range from the nuts and bolts of how to get published, to how to write fight scenes, to writing science for children. 

There are workshops with authors and industry professionals, as well as critique groups, pitch sessions, and informal schmoozing.

For writers, who spend so much time in solitary pursuits, writers' conferences are exciting and rewarding experiences. I encourage you to attend one. Even if it's a one-day workshop, you will be invigorated.

University of North Dakota Writers Conference. April 6 - 8, 2016. Grand Forks, North Dakota. This year’s theme is “The Art of Science.” The conference features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as panel discussions and readings. Participating authors include poet Katharine Coles; fiction writers Frank Huyler, Tania James, and Kim Stanley Robinson; and nonfiction writer Brian Greene.

Tennessee Mountain Writers Annual Conference, Apr 7 - 9, 2016, Oak Ridge, TN. Speakers and session leaders include Sonja Livingston, Michael Knight, Jesse Graves, Courtney Stevens, Denton Loving, Beverly Connor, Judy DiGregorio, Robert Gipe, Saundra Kelly, Cathy Kodra, and Bob Mayer.

Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Apr 7 - 9, 2016, Bethlehem PA. Keynote Speaker: Robert Liparulo. Pre-conference workshops: Robert Liparulo, Suzy Kuhn, Bonnie Calhoun, Catherine McLean. Additionally on Saturday will be the above plus Shawn Smucker, Ramona D. Long, Hana H. Caye, Jon Gibbs, and Kelly Simmons.

Authors Combat Academy. April 8 – 10, 2016, Nashville TN. Writers, Authors, pre-published or published who want to learn how to write better fight scenes. Special guests, lectures, group participation, banquet. Presenters: Liliana Hart, CJ Lyons, Jack Dagger, and more! Fighting experts from all different styles (martial arts, military, boxing, MMA, space battles, lovers quarrels, fantasy, and more) as well as writing experts and industry experts.

New York Writers Workshop Fiction Pitch Conference, April 8 – 10, 2016, Ripley-Grier Studios (NY Spaces) 520 Eighth Ave (36th/37th), 16th Fl. Participants polish their pitches with the help of conference leaders who are members of the New York Writers Workshop faculty, then they present them to three different editors from major New York publishing houses. Editors provide feedback and may request proposals and manuscripts after the conference. Cost: $450 for 3-day Fiction Pitch Conference, including Agents Panel.

Writing By Writers Workshop. April 8 – 10, 2016, Boulder, Colorado. Faculty: Craig Childs, Pam Houston and Luis Alberto Urrea. "Each day will start with a craft talk by one of our faculty members and then participants will split into small groups where they will dissect the art and craft of writing through lectures, writing exercises and class discussions. We won’t be reading and critiquing manuscripts, but rather closely examining elements of craft with the intention of allowing participants to see their work with deeper insight while also generating new material.  Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small group setting with all three faculty members."

Rally of Writers Conference. April 9, 2016. Lansing, Michigan. Features workshops, craft talks, and author readings in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Participants include poet Michael Lauchlan and Rosalie Petrouske; fiction writers Bonnie Jo Campbell, Susan Froetschel, Jim Hines, and Lev Raphael; and nonfiction writers Rosa Morales, Robin Silbergleid and Bob Tarte. Cost: $85 ($60 for students) in advance, and $100 ($70 for students) on-site.

Antioch Writers' Workshop "The Writing Life," April 9, 2016, Yellow Springs, Ohio. "From finding the inspiration and time to write, to crafting outstanding query letters, to managing finances... how can you make everything happen that you need to as a writer and balance it all with the rest of your life?" Cost: $150.00.

Nuts and Bolts of Science Writing 2016 is sponsored by Highlights. April 10-14, 2016. Honesdale, PA. Workshop Faculty: Jennifer Swanson, Miranda Paul, Emily Feinberg, Paige Hazzan. "You love science and our world—and want to share your knowledge and passion with kids. How do you accomplish it? Learn the dynamics of engaging science-based writing for children and teens—whether you’re published already or just beginning. Faculty will demonstrate how to energize readers through active fiction and nonfiction writing that shines the light on exciting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Through presentations, hands-on workshops, one-to-one manuscript critiques, ample writing time, and sessions with acquiring editors, this workshop will give you the tools and insights you need to advance on your path to success."

Arkansas Literary Festival. Apr 14 - 17, 2016, Little Rock, Arkansas. "Prestigious award-winners, screenwriters, comedians, an expert witness, artists, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions." Free.

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference, April 15 - 17, 2016. Colorado Springs, Colorado. "The three-day conference is full of topical, in-depth workshops, dynamic keynote speakers, opportunities for one-on-one time with agents and editors, the chance to read your work aloud for constructive critique, plus time to socialize with fellow writers."

Poetry at Round Top Festival. April 15 - 17, 2016. Round Top, Texas. Features readings, lectures, craft talks, panel discussions, and workshops with poets Rosemary Catacalos, Robert Hass, Terrance Hayes, Dorianne Laux, Maurice Manning, Dunya Mikhail, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Carmen Tafolla, and Sasha West. Cost: $100 ($50 for students) or $75 for Saturday only. Workshops are an additional $35. Private manuscript consultations are available for an additional $60.

Stories From the Heart Women Writers’ Conference. April 15 - 17, 2016. Austin, Texas.Features workshops in fiction and creative nonfiction for women writers, as well as panel discussions, publishing seminars, and readings. The faculty includes poet Jan Seale; fiction writers Susan Wittig Albert and Noelle Sickels; and creative nonfiction writers Ruth W. Crocker, Cindy Eastman, and Linda Joy Myers. Cost: $405 for Story Circle members, and $460 for non-members.

Duck River Writers’ Conference. April 16, 2016. Columbia, Tennessee. Features workshops, craft talks, manuscript consultations, and a featured reading. The faculty includes poets Joseph Cook, Jeff Hardin, and Carrie Jerrell; fiction writers Adria Bernardi and Dana Carpenter; and nonfiction writer and translator Beverly Mitchell. Poet Mark Jarman will give a featured reading. Cost: $10 (free for Columbia State students with a valid I.D.) before February 29, and $15 on-site. To enroll in a workshop, e-mail three to five poems, or 10 pages of fiction, by March 18. An additional reading fee of $15 is required to attend a workshop.

Honolulu Writers' Conference 2016 – NLAPW. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Honolulu HI. Features a dozen presenters and workshop sessions on every aspect of writing.

Northeast Texas Writers Organization. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Mt. Pleasant, TX. Workshop sessions, breakouts, Q&A sessions, personal interaction with authors. Cost: $125.00.

Northern Colorado Writers Conference. Apr 22 - 23, 2016, Fort Collins CO. Faculty: Todd Mitchell, Laura Resau, and Kerrie Flanagan, Melanie Crowder, Judith Briles, and Shane Kuhn, Grant Blackwood, #1 NYT Bestselling author of the Briggs Tanner series, and co-writer with Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. Agents: Paula Munier, Jody Rein, Stacey Graham, Jennifer March Soloway.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference. April 23, 2016. Newport, Rhode Island. Greensboro, North Carolina. Features intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as publisher exhibits, on-site "lunch with an author" readings, and an open mic. The faculty includes poets Vievee Francis, Matthew Olzmann, and Jennifer Whitaker; fiction writers Quinn Dalton and Travis Mulhauser; and creative nonfiction writers Jim Minick and Mylene Dressler. The keynote speaker is fiction writer Michael Parker. Cost: $150 ($99 for members) until April 17 and $165 ($135 for members) thereafter and on-site.

Rochester Writers' Spring Conference. Apr 23 2016, Rochester Hills, Michigan. Lectures, Workshops and Panel Discussions in fiction, non-fiction and business of writing presentations. Open to new, working and published writers of all genres. Attendees select four presentations from a dozen to tailor fit their needs.

DFW Writers Conference. Apr 23 - 24, 2016, Fort Worth TX. Featuring pitch sessions with literary agents, advanced classes, engaging panels, interactive workshops.

Writers' Day, April 23, 2016. Hooksett, NH. Workshops and seminars led by professional writers, editors, agents, and publishers. The conference includes the option of face-to-face manuscript critiques and agent/publisher one-on-one pitch sessions.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Edgar Week Symposium. Apr 27, 2015, New York City, NY. Panels, discussions. Cost: $95 members, $125 non-members – with a $10 retroactive discount for those who join Mystery Writers of America within 30 days after Symposium.

Las Vegas Writer’s Conference sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. April 28 – 30, 2016. Join writing professionals, agents publishers and marketing experts for a weekend of workshops and enlightening discussions about the publishing industry. A chance to pitch your manuscript and ideas to agents.

Grub Street Muse and the Marketplace Conference. April 29 - May 1, 2016. Boston, Massachusetts. Features craft classes, interactive discussions, and meetings with agents and editors. Participants include fiction and nonfiction writers Charles Baxter, Robin Black, Alexander Chee, Angela Flournoy, Garth Greenwell, Jennifer Haigh, Ann Hood, and Pagan Kennedy; agents Regina Brooks (Serendipity), Robert Guinsler (Sterling Lord Literistic), Gail Hochman (Brandt & Hochman), and Kathleen Nishimoto (William Morris Endeavor); and editors Emi Ikkanda (Holt), Jenna Johnson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Fiona McCrae (Graywolf Press), and Tracy Sherrod (Amistad). Cost: $295 for a single day, $500 for the full conference. For a one-on-one manuscript consultation with an agent or editor, submit up to 20 pages of prose with a $195 registration fee by April 6. Registration deadline is April 25.

Chanticleer Authors Conference. April 29 -May 1, 2016. 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: Robert Dugoni, Kathy L. Murphy, Diane Isaacs, Toby Neal, Kiffer Brown, Pamela Beason, Sara Stamey, Chris Humphries, James R Wells,and Shari Stauch.

Monadnock Pastoral Poetry Retreat. Apr 29 - May 1, 2016. Greenfield, NH.  Includes workshops, individual conferences, participant & mentor readings; hiking & kayaking (weather permitting). Each workshop uses dual mentors.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference. April 29 to May 2, 2016. Naples, Maine. Features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes editor Jeff Shotts (Graywolf Press) and poets and editors Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Hilda Raz, Martha Rhodes, and Ellen Doré Watson. Cost: $1,375, which includes lodging and meals. 

Write Now! Apr 30, 2016, Raleigh NC. One day writing conference hosted by Triangle Association of Freelancers.Sessions include screenwriting, financial tips for writers, pillars of freelance success, copyediting, trade pubs, column writing, publishing tips and more. Faculty: Brian Klems, Linda Formichelli, Mark Cantrell, Donald Vaughan, Laura Poole, Connie Gentry, Frank Hyman, Tom Welch, Scott Myers. Cost: $69; $59 for students with ID and seniors 65+; $80 at the door.

Ontario Writers’ Conference. April 30 to May 1, 2016. Ajax, Canada. Features workshops, craft talks, master classes, readings, and meetings with agents and editors. The theme of this year’s conference is Diversity in Publishing. Participants include fiction writers Wayson Choy, Donna Morrissey, Alison Pick, and Amanda Sun; agents Sam Hiyate and Alison MacDonald, both of the Rights Factory; and editors Allyson Latta and Ruth E. Walker. Cost: $260 Canadian (approximately $215). The fee for a master class is $99 Canadian (approximately $82), and a one-on-one meeting with an agent or editor is $35 Canadian (approximately $29). Registration deadline is March 31.

What are twitter pitch fests?

Twitter pitch fests  are limited periods of time (usually one day) in which you can post a 140-character pitch for your book. Pitch contests can be a little more complicated. Some pitch contests span months, and have stages in which you hone your work, preparing it for an agent. Others simply allow you to tweet your pitch, cold. Agents are on the alert at these times, and they have the option of "liking" your pitch, and then asking for a full or partial.

Should you take part in a twitter fest?

If you have a completed, agent-ready manuscript, by all means, tweet your pitch! It can't do you any harm, and it doesn't preclude querying agents by any means!

Believe it or not, pitch fests actually do work. Busy, overwhelmed agents are often more likely to read and respond to an interesting twitter pitch than they are to a query. It takes less time and a lot less effort.

However, it will not take less effort on your part. Boiling your novel down to a short sentence is loaded with pitfalls. It's surprisingly easy to turn your exciting novel into a one-sentence summary that would bore an elephant to tears. So, I would suggest that you read What's Your Book About? How to Make a Pitch before attempting one of these contests. 

It is also immensely helpful to read some twitter pitches first. You can get onto twitter right now and type #PitchCB into a search to read some excellent pitches. (Go ahead, do it now. I'll wait.) Some of those pitches will make you want to BUY those books, which is precisely what the pitch is intended for. Contrary to what you may think, a pitch is not really about the meaning, theme, or inherent quality of your book. It is a sales tool. So, think about what would make you want to read a book, and convey that in your pitch. (A hint: Pitches, like queries, follow the story arc of your main character.)

Here is a list of 2016 pitch fests. Like twitter itself, pitch fests are constantly changing and evolving. There are probably a few that I've missed. And, some of these may vanish by next year, but that is the nature of publishing. It's a volatile industry.



Hosted by Curtis Brown and Conville &Walsh

Curtis Brown, an international literary agency, holds a pitch contest on the last Friday of every month.



Online writing conference for authors of Adult and New Adult works.


#KidPit is for COMPLETE AND POLISHED MANUSCRIPTS ONLY. Children's literature.

Both are held on April 1, 2016





3 events hosted by Brenda Drake, author of Thief of Lies

See schedule HERE.

Brenda Drake has done more to popularize twitter pitch contests than anyone else. Her contests are well organized, and attract many industry professionals as well as published authors eager to help aspiring writers. Agents keep an eye on her contests, and have signed on writers through their initial pitches.



Hosted by author and editor Tiffany Hoffman

April 24, 2016 (see site for schedule)

FicFest is a brand new contest launching in 2016 that will help put manuscripts in front of agents. FicFest is unique in that this contest covers the five major categories of writing: Children’s Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. The chances for each category to get agent requests is equal. Unlike most writing contests, an equal number of finalists will be chosen for each category so that one does not overpower the other. FicFest creators also ensure that there will be a plethora of agents wanting each of these categories. Our goal is to help writers of all books get out there, get great feedback, and have the opportunity to get partial/full requests from agents. 

Read more HERE.



Hosted by literary agent, Beth Phelan

April 19, 2016 - 8:00AM EST – 8:00PM EST

#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons; people with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying as LGBTQIA+; and more.



Hosted by Dan Koboldt

June (Date TBA)

This contest is for completed, unpublished novels of fantasy or science fiction. Complete means that it’s proofed, polished, and ready for submission. Unpublished means you haven’t self-published it online, on Amazon, or in print. Fantasy or science fiction means speculative fiction: epic fantasy, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic, space opera.

The contest will happen on Twitter under a common hashtag (#SFFpit). During a 10-hour window on the chosen day, authors with completed manuscripts who are seeking representation or publication can tweet a pitch for their books (at most, once per hour).


Hosted by Lara Willard

July 1-7, 2016

This is a very interesting contest and pitching opportunity for writers with complete, polished novels (Middle Grade, YA, or NA/Adult) in any genre except erotica. Instead of pitching your book via 140 characters, or a synopsis, or even a first page, you submit your 70th page via a form. The idea is that by page 70 your book should be in full swing. Take a look at the submission form HERE


August 5, 2016

This Twitter pitch party is open to all genres and readerships. That includes picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult readerships.

It seems personal essays are all the rage, lately. Even otherwise stodgy publications are turning to them as a means of drumming up clientele. (I blame blogs.)

In case you are wondering what a personal essay is, it's any nonfiction story written in first person. Personal essays always involve an experience, especially one that evokes emotions that speak to a broader audience. Like the short story, they are structured, have a theme, and usually involve a moral or message of some kind. Some literary journals and niche magazines are willing to pay substantially for these essays, so devoting a few hours to writing one is worth your consideration.

For additional markets see:

Writing to Heal

20 Places to Publish Personal Essays

The 3288 Review

"Tell a good story. Tell a true story. Examples include A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius or the stories from The Moth. A case could also be made for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Length: From 1,000 to 15,000 words 

Payment: Prose 1,000 to 2,500 words – $25.00; Prose between 2,500 and 7,500 words – $50.00; Prose 7,500  to 15,000 words – $75.00

Bugle Magazine: "Women in the Outdoors" Column

"We are looking for personal essays and stories concerning elk, hunting, wildlife encounters, conservation and land-use issues. We are especially interested in thought-provoking stories and essays – personal narratives that evoke emotion and suggest connections to larger themes or ask (or attempt to answer) questions that touch the heart."

Length: 1,000 to 3,000 words

Payment: $.20/word on acceptance

Chicken Soup for the Soul

"A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people."

Payment: $200

Books are themed

Christian Science Monitor

"The Home Forum is looking for upbeat, personal essays. We also welcome short poems. All material must be original and previously unpublished. For seasonal material, be aware that if you submit something that is about a particular month, holiday, event (back to school, graduation), or season, we need to receive it a minimum of six weeks ahead. These are first-person, nonfiction explorations of how you responded to a place, a person, a situation, an event, or happenings in everyday life. Tell a story; share a funny true tale. The humor should be gentle. We accept essays on a wide variety of subjects, and encourage timely, newsy topics. However, we don't deal with the topics of death, aging and disease."

Length: 400 to 800 words

Payment: $75-$150

Down East: The Magazine of Maine

"My Maine is our section most open to new contributors. My Maine stories are personal essays that focus on some aspect of the writer’s relationship to Maine and the Maine landscape. Pieces are often lyrical, sometimes humorous, and almost always have a strong first person component. We receive more submissions for My Maine than any other section of the magazine; please give us three months to respond to your submission before following up."

Length: 800–1000 words

Payment: Between $.40/word and $.70/word


"FATE magazine reports on a wide variety of strange and unknown phenomena. We are open to receiving any well-written, well-documented article. (FATE does not publish poetry or fiction.) Our readers especially like reports of current investigations, experiments, theories, and experiences/"

Payment: $50 per article, and $10 for short fillers, which are less than 500 words, payable six months after print publication. Payment for “True Mystic Experiences” and “My Proof of Survival” is $25, including the use of the photograph, which will be returned.

Good Old Days

"Good Old Days tells the real stories of the people who lived and grew up in “the Good Old Days” (about 1935–1960). We like stories to sound informal and conversational, as if you’re sitting around the kitchen table reminiscing with your friends and family. However, we are open to any way you choose to write your story, as long as it is true and falls within our targeted period of time. We prefer the author’s individual voice, warmth, humor and honesty over technical ability. We do not accept fictional manuscripts."

Length: 500 to 1,500 words

Payment: $15 to $75

Michigan Quarterly Review

"MQR is an eclectic interdisciplinary journal of arts and culture that seeks to combine the best of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with outstanding critical essays on literary, cultural, social, and political matters. The flagship journal of the University of Michigan, MQR draws on lively minds here and elsewhere, seeking to present accessible work of all varieties for sophisticated readers from within and without the academy."

Length: 1,500 words minimum, 5,000 average, 7,000 maximum

Payment: Semi-pro


"We're looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share—basically any work that really knocks our socks off.  At the core, Slice aims to bridge the gap between emerging and established authors by offering a space where both are published side-by-side. We simply look for works by writers who promise to become tomorrow’s literary legends."

Payment: $250 

Only accepts submissions during  reading periods

Story Quarterly

"We are interested in literary fiction, including short stories, short shorts, and novel excerpts up to 6,250 words in length, and creative nonfiction. We select work on the basis of style, craft, freshness, and vision."

Payment: $50

The Rusty Toque

"The Rusty Toque is a contemporary online literary and arts journal from Ontario. The Rusty Toque strives to publish innovative literary writing, film, reviews, and visual art nationally and internationally in the spring and fall of each year."

Payment: $50 (CAD)

The Smart Set

"We’re always looking for excellent, original, and previously unpublished personal essays, critical essays, reporting, memoir, travel writing, stories, photo essays, and even video projects."

Payment: Negotiable

The Toast

"We are especially interested in original reporting and longform journalism (particularly, though not exclusively, about women and women-adjacent issues), short fiction and poetry (preferably strange), personal narratives (ditto), videos, illustrations and essays."

Payment: Amount not specified. 

Scott Bergstrom made publishing news last November when his debut novel, The Cruelty, got a six-figure advance with attached movie rights. Scott originally self-published his book, but not in the ordinary fashion. As an advertising executive, Scott knew that marketing was everything. He formed a LLC, NuCodex Publishing, which allowed him to display his book at the Frankfurt Book Fair. It generated a huge amount of interest, grabbing the attention of an agent - and Hollywood.

What is interesting about Scott's self-publishing story is that he planned on making a bestseller from the start. He did not spend time querying agents (it may have taken years). Instead he built success with careful planning. 

First he chose to write a thriller (great for film adaptations), with a teenage main character (YA is very popular right now), using tried-and-true tropes from previously successful books/movies.

Then he drew on his own experience as a marketer to catapult his book into the limelight. And he began his plan when he had only written a few pages.

The moral to this story - think ahead.

YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal, Sold to 16 Territories and Jerry Bruckheimer

By Sue Corbett, Nov 24, 2015 Publishers Weekly

A six-figure deal for North American rights to The Cruelty is the latest in a string of good things that have happened to Scott Bergstrom’s debut novel in just the past month. The manuscript, self-published a year ago, caught fire in October at the Frankfurt Book Fair with sales, so far, into 16 territories. “Every morning I wake up to more exciting e-mails,” said his agent, Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

The buzz that those foreign sales generated ignited interest from Hollywood. In late October, Paramount secured the film rights, with Jerry Bruckheimer attached. (Yes, that Jerry Bruckheimer – Pirates of the CaribbeanTop GunBeverly Hills Cop.)

And, now, Bergstrom has a U.S. publisher for his thriller, which Adams describes as a “YA Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets The Bourne Identity, with a dash of Homeland.” (Adams said she got one offer for the book based on nothing more than that description.) Jean Feiwel of Macmillan’s Feiwel and Friends won the book, plus a sequel, in a six-house auction. Publication is scheduled for winter 2017.

Read the rest of this fascinating article on Publishers Weekly

Here are three new agents seeking writers. Paul Stevens (Donald Maass Literary Agency) is looking for science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor (both fiction and nonfiction). Danielle Barthel (New Leaf Literary & Media) is seeking upper middle grade, YA, adult, and nonfiction manuscripts. Tanusri Prasanna (Hannigan Salky Geltzer) is looking for kidlit, ranging from picture books and middle-grade to YA (including YA/Adult crossovers. 
Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency

About Paul: Paul Stevens joined the Donald Maass Literary Agency in 2016. He has worked as an editor for 15 years, primarily at Tor Books, where he edited science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Paul has worked with authors such as Alex Bledsoe (The Hum and the Shiver), Marie Brennan (A Natural History of Dragons), Robert Brockway (The Unnoticeables), Tobias S. Buckell (Crystal Rain), Adam Christopher (Made to Kill), Hilary Davidson (The Damage Done), David Edison (The Waking Engine), Michael Livingston (The Shards of Heaven), A. Lee Martinez (Gil’s All Fright Diner), and Patrick Taylor (An Irish Country Doctor).

What he is looking for: Paul is looking for science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor (both fiction and nonfiction). He’s looking for strong stories with interesting characters. Well-rounded LGBT characters and characters of color are a plus.

How to submit: Please query at query.pstevens@maassagency.com. Include a cover letter and a synopsis pasted in the body of the email. (If your book has a twist at the end, please don’t reveal the twist in the synopsis. Paul needs to judge how well a twist works in the actual manuscript, and it’s better to read the ending cold without spoilers.) Please also include the first 5 pages of your manuscript pasted into the email. No attachments.
Danielle Barthel of New Leaf Literary & Media

About Danielle: Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf Literary offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services and Associate Agent. In her downtime, she can be found with a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, or really good book…sometimes all together.

What she is seeking: Upper middle grade, YA, adult, and nonfiction manuscripts. She’d love to find an amazing MG epistolary, engrossing YA realistic contemporary stories like THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, well-crafted fantasies, and retellings that truly twist a story from its original version. Adult family dramas akin to THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU and upmarket women’s fiction are also high on her wish list. A strong romantic subplot, especially with expertly crafted tension, is never a bad thing, and she’s particularly fond of historical romance (especially set in England). For nonfiction, she’s excited about unique and poignant lifestyle and cookbooks.

How to submit: “Do not query more than one agent at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. Send query to query [at] newleafliterary [dot] com. The word ‘Query’ must be in the subject line, plus the agent’s name — for example ‘Query for Danielle: [title].’ You may include up to 5 double-spaced sample pages within the body of the email. No attachments, unless specifically requested. We respond if we are interested in seeing your work.”
Tanusri Prasanna of Hannigan Salky Geltzer

About Tanusri: Tanusri had a somewhat unorthodox transition into publishing. A lawyer by training, she has a PhD in legal philosophy & human rights from Oxford University, and a Master’s degree from Harvard Law School. Along the way she worked in the legal department of the World Bank in Washington and as a teaching fellow at Columbia Law School. An avid fan of children’s literature, Tanusri joined a book club devoted to kidlit in 2012, which sowed the seeds of her decision to become a literary agent specializing in children’s books. To this end, before joining HSG, she gained valuable experience interning at Knopf Young Readers and Foundry Literary+ Media.

Tanusri was born and raised in India and although she has lived in the UK and then in New York for the past fourteen years, she has strong roots in the Indian sub-continent. She lives with her husband and two children in a household of multiple languages and religions; together they cover all four houses of Hogwarts (even Slytherin). Given her varied professional and personal background, Tanusri is also eager to find writers who can authentically articulate diverse voices and communicate the beautiful complexity of the world around us in their stories. You can follow her on twitter at @TanusriPrasanna.

What she is seeking: She is interested in all sorts of kidlit, ranging from picture books and middle-grade to YA (including YA/Adult crossovers). Tanusri is drawn to storytellers who deftly inveigle readers into their intricately-crafted plots with great voice and a touch of humor, and to writers with a vivid sense of the absurd. And while her primary interest is kidlit, she is also open to selective domestic suspense (Tana French and Sophie Hannah are two of her favorite authors in the genre) and voice-driven narrative nonfiction on social justice issues.

How to Submit: Query only one agent within HSG. HSG only accepts electronic submissions. Please send a query letter and the first five pages of your manuscript (within the email–no attachments please!) to tprasanna [at] hsgagency.com. If it is a picture book, please include the entire manuscript. “If you were referred to us, please mention it in the first line of your query. We generally respond to queries within 4-6 weeks, although we do get behind occasionally.”
Here are six science fiction and fantasy publishers that don't require an agent. Several offer competitive advances and royalties.

In publishing, as with all businesses, it is "brand recognition" that counts, and some of the names on this list are very well known.

If you don't know where to start, I would recommend beginning with Pyr.

Related posts:

3 Major Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishers Accepting Unagented Manuscripts

Top 5 Sites for Science Fiction Writers


Angry Robot

Angry Robot normally accepts submissions via an agent, but every so often they have an open submission month. The last open submission period ended January 31, 2016. (Go ahead, kick yourself - or me.) The next one, they say, will be in 2017. So, check their website every so often.

What they are looking for:  SF/F "and a little pinch of WTF." Note that they are looking for full-length novels, not short stories, novellas, epic poems, comic book scripts, etc. Angry Robot books are aimed at adults, so no middle grade or young adult themes at this time.

Terms: Competitive advances and royalties. English print versions in the UK, US and Australia plus region-free ebooks globally.

Back Hall Press

Back Hall Press is aimed at niche markets.

What they are looking for: All subgenres including speculative, dystopian, apocalyptic, and dark fantasy stories. Unconventional concepts, world-building and diverse characters are always a plus.

Terms: Authors receive 30% of profits on their titles, paid quarterly. They do not pay advances. Specific details on rights, royalties and payments will be discussed before any agreements are signed.


Edge Publishing

This is a small Canadian press.You do not have to be Canadian to submit your work, they accept manuscripts from any nationality worldwide. They have a distribution throughout North America.

What they are looking for: Science Fiction and Fantasy between 75,000 and 100,000 words. Adult audience (20 and up).

Terms: Advance and royalties. "We rarely ever negotiate the royalty percentages and/or advances that we offer, and if we do so, then only with previously published writers."


Enigmatic Books

What they are looking for: Urban fantasy / paranormal fiction only, with a strong focus on series — no standalone titles. Books may fall within the categories of paranormal romance, mystery, thriller, fantasy, horror, and/or teen fiction

Terms: "We buy World rights… and we give them all back to you in 3 years if you ask us to. We publish your books in a reasonable time (no 18-month wait here). We offer a $200 advance, along with an extremely competitive royalty percentage (40-50%). We create e-book and paperback versions of all our full-length books, and are working on attaining paperback distribution. Our novellas and short stories are e-book only. We only take on books and authors we believe in."


"We are a micro-niche, nano publisher currently slated to offer about 10 titles a year. We are based upon a collective structure that enables editors to personally select projects and become Project Leads as the editor in charge. This means that starting with your acceptance, you'll have one person that is completely invested, from editing, through design and into publicity, in your project."

What they are looking for: "Books worth burning." Dark Fantasy, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy.

Terms: Montag Press retains a 70/30 share (net) with the author for worldwide primary and secondary rights including digital, options, film and video production, and print rights, which is exclusive for 10 years from the date of publication.



Pyr is the scifi and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books. They have international distribution.

What they are looking for: "We are not currently looking for short story collections, anthologies, novellas, or nonfiction. We prefer novels in the 100,000 to 130,000 word range. For science fiction, we do not consider material under 85,000 words in length. For fantasy, we do not consider material under 95,000 words in length. We are also looking for speculative Young Adult fiction in any subgenre. These manuscripts may be shorter."

Terms: Advance, plus royalties.

Here are eleven agents looking for women's fiction. All are with reputable agencies.

Before querying these agents, make sure you read the agency's website for more details. 

You should also look up the agent on Query Tracker to get information about response times, and do a search to see if the agent has done any interviews. Knowing an agent's preferences before submitting will help you hone your query letter.

Carly Watters (P.S. Literary)

About Carly: Carly is a Senior Agent and VP at P.S. Literary. She began her publishing career in London at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency. She has a BA in English Literature from Queen's University and a MA in Publishing Studies from City University London. Since joining PSLA in 2010 Carly has had great success launching new authors domestically and abroad.

How to submit: E-query query@psliterary.com with “Query for Carly” in the subject line. “Do not send attachments. Always let us know if your manuscript/proposal is currently under consideration by other agents/publishers. If you don’t receive a response to your query within 4-6 weeks it means a no from the agency. In my women’s fiction, I look for an external hook other than the love story (career, family, personal history etc.)”

Stephany Evans (FinePrint Literary Management)

About Stephany: Stephany is the president of Fine Print Literary Management. For more than twenty years, Stephany has represented nonfiction writers in the areas of health and wellness, spirituality, lifestyle (including home renovating, decorating, food and drink, and sustainability), running and fitness, memoir and narrative nonfiction. In fiction, she represents a range of women’s fiction, from literary to romance, including mystery, historical, and romantic suspense, and the occasional novel not aimed at women. Stephany is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and the Agents Round Table. She has served as ghostwriter on seven published books in the categories of memoir and spirituality.

How to submit: Send queries to Stephany [at] fineprintlit [dot] com. Send a query letter and include the first two chapters or so (no more than 30 pages) of your book pasted in the body of your email. No attachments.

Sarah Joy Freese (Wordserve Literary)

About Sarah: She loves reading through queries, working with her authors on various proposals, and attending writing conferences to meet new excellent writers. Sarah especially enjoys working with authors to make their manuscripts even stronger. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also has an MA (emphasis in creative writing) and an MLIS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

How to submit: Please address queries to: admin [at] wordserveliterary.com. In the subject line, include “Query for Sarah: [title].” Sarah will contact you within 60 days if interested. Paste the first 5 pages of the book into the email below the query.

Stacy Testa (Writers House)

About Stacy: Stacy joined Writers House in 2011 as an assistant to senior agent Susan Ginsburg and has been actively building her own client list since 2013. Previously, she interned at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Whimsy Literary. Stacy graduated cum laude with a BA in English from Princeton University.

How to submit: Please submit your query, including the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the body of the email (no attachments), to stesta [at] writershouse.com. Please do not query multiple Writers House agents simultaneously.

Sharon Pelletier (Dystel & Goderich)

About Sharon: Sharon Pelletier joined DGLM after working for Europa Editions, Vantage Press, and Barnes & Noble. She graduated with English and History majors from Hillsdale College in Michigan in 2006, and moved to New York in 2009 to work with books in the city of skyscrapers and brunch. Born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, she now lives in Astoria.

How to submit: E-query spelletier [at] dystel.com. Paste up to 25 pages in your email below the query.

Carrie Pestritto (Prospect Agency)

About Carrie: Carrie Pestritto joined Prospect Agency in 2011 after working as an assistant at Writers House. With a B.A. in English from Amherst College, she has experienced all sides of the publishing industry, having worked as a ghostwriter, freelance writer, and in the editorial acquisitions department of the Greenwood Publishing Group. As an agent, she loves the thrill of finding new authors with strong, unique voices and working closely with her clients to develop their ideas and manuscripts.

How to submit: “We request a query letter, three chapters and a brief synopsis. If you are submitting a picture book text, please submit the entire manuscript. Illustrators should provide a link to their URL. We only accept submissions through our website. Please go to our SUBMISSIONS page to upload your materials. Please do not send submissions via email or mail. Responds in 3 months if interested. Illustrators and author-illustrators should refer to the guidelines in PROSPECT PORTFOLIO regarding submissions.” (Please do not submit to Linda Camacho [also on this list] if submitting to Carrie.)

Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary)

About Laura: Laura Bradford established the Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. She considers herself an editorial-focused agent and takes a hands-on approach to developing proposals and manuscripts with her authors for the most appropriate markets. During her own misadventures as a writer, Laura came to understand the importance of having a friendly but critical eye on your side, a career strategist in your corner and a guide who can lead you through the travails of publication. Her recent sales include books placed with Penguin Random House, Grand Central, Harlequin, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Sourcebooks, Hyperion, and many others.

How to submit: queries [at] bradfordlit.com. Put “Query: [title]” in your subject line. Please email a query letter along with the first chapter of your manuscript and a synopsis. Please be sure to include the genre and word count in your cover letter. (If you submit to Laura, please do not submit to any of the other Bradford Lit agents on this list — Monica Odom or Sarah LaPolla.)

Linda Camacho (Prospect Agency)

About Linda: Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency in 2015 after nearly a decade in publishing. After graduating from Cornell University, Linda interned at Simon & Schuster and Writers House literary agency, and worked at Penguin. She has an MFA in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

How to submit: “We request a query letter, three chapters and a brief synopsis. Please go to our SUBMISSIONS page to upload your materials. Please do not send submissions via email or mail. Responds in 3 months if interested. Illustrators and author-illustrators should refer to the guidelines in PROSPECT PORTFOLIO regarding submissions.” (Please do not submit to Carrie Pestritto [also on this list] if submitting to Linda.)


Allison Devereux (Wolf Literary)

About Allison:  Allison Devereux is an agent and the foreign & subsidiary rights manager at Wolf Literary Services. She moved to New York from Austin, where she was a graduate of the University of Texas and an intern at the Harry Ransom Center. She previously worked at Tor Books. Allison reads books across all genres, but she particularly loves literary and up-market commercial fiction featuring everyman characters who find themselves in unlikely, surprising, and unexpected situations; unconventional narrative voices; and stories set firmly in reality but that explore something fantastical.

How to submit: Send a query letter addressed to Allison along with a 50-page writing sample (for fiction) or a detailed proposal (for nonfiction) to queries [at] wolflit.com. Samples may be submitted as an attachment or embedded in the body of the email. More information can be found on the agency submission page.

Laura Biagi (Jean V. Naggar Literary)

About Laura: Laura Biagi joined JVNLA in 2009. She is actively building her own client list, seeking adult literary fiction and young readers books. She also handles the sale of UK and Australian/New Zealand rights, as well as audio rights. She has worked closely with Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz on their titles, as well as Jennifer Weltz on the submission of JVNLA's titles internationally. Laura's writing background has honed her editorial eye and has driven her enthusiasm for discovering and developing literary talent. She studied creative writing and anthropology at Northwestern University. She is the recipient of a Kentucky Emerging Artist Award for fiction writing. Laura grew up in a small town in Kentucky and maintains a fondness for Southern biscuits and unobstructed views of the stars.

How to submit: Follow the instructions on the agency’s submissions page.

Carlie Webber (CK Webber Associates)

About Carlie: Carlie Webber is the founder of CK Webber Associates. She obtained a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and for ten years she worked as a public librarian serving teens and adults, served on book awards committees, and reviewed books professionally for journals including Kirkus Reviews and VOYA. Wishing to pursue her interest in the business side of books, she then enrolled in the Columbia Publishing Course. Her professional publishing experience includes an internship at Writers House and work with the Publish or Perish Agency/New England Publishing Associates and the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

How to submit: To submit your work for consideration, please send a query letter, synopsis, and the first 30 pages or three chapters of your work, whichever is more, to carlie [at] ckwebber.com and put the word “Query” in the subject line of your email. You may include your materials either in the body of your email or as a Word or PDF attachment. Blank emails that include an attachment will be deleted unread. E-mail queries only.

Note: For a complete list of new and established agents actively seeking clients go to: 

Agents Seeking Clients

While literary journals generally offer modest compensation (if any), there are some magazines that pay handsome professional rates. 

Many of these specialize in niche markets, which means they have a loyal readership. 

If you happen to have expertise or a background that would appeal to their audiences, these magazines will be happy to read your pitch. Quite a few accept poetry.

All information is taken from the journals’ websites.

Also see:

225 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction: These magazines represent everything from speculative fiction, to poetry, to gardening. Payments range from $1.25 to $1,000. You will find a home for your work in this list.

Speculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions:  If you write science fiction, fantasy, or horror you will want to pore over this list. I have included pay ranges as well as whether they accept simultaneous submissions and/or reprints.

163 Literary Magazines Accepting Reprints: Most magazines do not accept reprints, but some welcome them. I have indicated which markets are currently paying writers. 


1. Tai Chi Magazine

Tai Chi Magazine focuses on self-defense, internal skills, health, meditation, fitness, self-improvement, ch'i cultivation, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, massage, etc.) and spiritual growth.

"Articles may be a feature or interview about a style, self-defense techniques, principles and philosophy, training methods, weapons, case histories of benefits, or new or unusual uses for T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Interviews with teachers or personalities should focus on their unique or individual insights into T'ai Chi Ch'uan, internal martial arts, qigong, or Traditional Chinese Medicine rather than on their personal achievement or ability, although their background can be woven into the article."

Length: Articles range from 500 to 3,500 words.

Payment: Tai Chi Magazine pay $75 to $500 per article depending on the length and quality of the article. It usually pays within 90 days of publication.


2. Catholic Digest

"We are a lifestyle magazine that encourages and supports Catholics in a variety of life stages and circumstances. Our writers speak with the authority of experience, but always with an encouraging and positive voice. We recognize the importance of beauty and use beauty and truth to inspire our readers, but we also recognize real-life limitations. None of us is perfect. We are real-life Catholics who care deeply about our faith and our family."

Length: Approximately 550-700 words for Last Word. Features are approximately 1500 words and cover marriage, parenting, spirituality, and relationships, along with parish and work life.

Payment: $500 for features and Last Word, upon publication.


3. Earth Island Journal

"We cover the entire spectrum of environmental issues, including: wildlife and lands conservation; innovations in science and technology; public policy and the politics of environmental protection; climate and energy; animal rights; public health; environmental justice and cultural survival; and environmentally related film, music, and books.

Whenever possible, we seek to tell the stories of individuals and communities who are successfully defending and restoring the Earth. On-the-ground reports from outside North America are especially welcomed. These pieces should be appropriate for an educated, environmentally savvy readership. We do not consider technical or academic reports."

Length and Payment: 25 cents/word for shorter dispatches (1,200-1,500 words) and for longer investigative features (2,500-3,000 words). You can expect to earn about $750-$1000 for an in-depth feature story. For online reports, the fee ranges from $50 to $100.

4. VQR

"VQR strives to publish the best writing we can find. While we have a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, we also seek and support emerging writers. We read unsolicited fiction, poetry, and nonfiction submissions June 15 to July 15, and October 1 to November 1 each year through our Submittable portal. We read nonfiction pitches from June 15 to December 1." Note: No genre fiction.

Payment: $200 per poem, up to 4 poems; for a suite of 5 or more poems, payment is $1,000. For short fiction, $1,000.  For other prose, such as personal essays and literary criticism, $1,000 and above, at approximately 25 cents per word, depending on length. Online content is generally paid at $100-$200, depending upon genre and length.

5. AMC Outdoors Magazine

"AMC Outdoors inspires readers to get outside and get involved by providing high-quality coverage of outdoor recreation, education, and conservation topics throughout the Northern Appalachian region, from Maine to Virginia. Our goal is to provide a balance of coverage that appeals to people new to the outdoors as well as experienced backcountry users. Our primary focus is recreation, but we also work to educate our more than 90,000 members on environmental issues that could affect the activities and natural areas they love. AMC Outdoors is published six times per year."

Payment and Length: $500 – $700 for features, which usually range from 2,000 to 2,500 words.

6. The Sun Magazine

"We publish essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues."

Payment: From $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for fiction, and $100 to $200 for poetry. Reprints considered at half the rate.

No electronic submissions.

7. The Nation

"We are a weekly journal of left/liberal opinion, covering national and international affairs as well as the arts publishing in both print and digitally. On the domestic front, we are particularly interested in civil liberties, civil rights, labor, economics, environmental, privacy and policing and feminist issues and politics. Because we have readers all over the country, it’s important that stories have national significance. In our foreign affairs coverage, we are interested in pieces on international political, economic and social developments. We are strongly committed to investigative reporting."

Payment: $250 for short comments of about 750 words and $500 for articles, 1,500-2,500 words.

Accepts poetry.


8. The American Gardener

"The American Gardener is the official publication of the American Horticultural Society. The 64-page, four-color magazine goes out bimonthly to nearly 20,000 members. We stress environmentally responsible gardening practices, including minimizing use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, preventing illegal collection of plants from the wild, and avoiding plants with the potential to escape and damage natural ecosystems."

Payment: Payment for feature articles ranges from $300 to $600 on publication, depending on the article’s length and complexity, and the author’s background and publishing experience. Reimbursement for travel and other expenses can sometimes be negotiated at the time an article is accepted.

9. One Story

One Story is seeking literary short stories. "They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone." Single stories are sent to email subscribers every month.

Length: Between 3,000 and 8,000 words.

Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies.

Simultaneous submissions okay.


10. The American Scholar 

The American Scholar is a quarterly magazine of essays, fiction, poetry, and articles covering public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture. Published since 1932 for the general reader by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Scholar considers nonfiction by known and unknown writers, but unsolicited fiction, poetry, and book reviews are not accepted.

Payment: Up to $500 for accepted pieces and up to $250 for pieces taken only for their website.


11. Herizons

"Herizons' audience is a feminist readership. Articles about applying feminist principles in work, in relationships and organizations, and in social justice are welcome. Our readers are interested in health issues, social and political issues, environmental issues, equality issues, justice issues, spiritual issues; parenting issues and all issues informed by diverse racial and cultural experiences. Articles in which the writer is engaged with the material work best; personal experiences, journalism style articles, interviews, articles which bring in current research and a clear feminist perspective are all things we look for."

Payment and length: Features - 1,000 to 3,000 words. In depth articles on feminist debates, current social/ political/legal/environmental/culture emerging issues or personal stories with a broader social relevance. Can be interview style, essay style or journalism style. Non academic. $250-$750 depending on length. Also publishes short new pieces for $175 and reviews for $65.


12. The New Haven Review

"We like to see submissions from writers who can claim some connection to Greater New Haven, no matter how spurious, though it's not mandatory. We also like to see book reviews that are better than the book reviews you usually see out there, for whatever reason. But that said, we mostly publish essays, fiction (of any genre), poetry, and occasionally photojournalism."

Payment: At least $500 for prose pieces, fiction or nonfiction. $25 per poem, will publish more than one of an author's poems.


13. One Teen Story

"One Teen Story is looking for great short stories written for the young adult audience ages 13 and up. These stories should deal with the teen experience (issues of identity, friendship, family, coming-of-age, etc.) and should be geared primarily toward an audience of teen readers. With that in mind, gratuitous profanity, sex and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of literary fiction between 2,000 and 4,500 words."

Payment: $500


14. Oregon Humanities

"As a publication of ideas and perspectives, Oregon Humanities magazine offers a forum through which Oregon writers, scholars, and readers can use the humanities to explore timeless and timely ideas and themes. We only accept submissions of nonfiction writing and artwork when we announce each issue’s theme. All personal essays and features focus on a particular issue’s theme."

Payment: $50 to $200 for shorter department pieces and $300 to $800 for personal essays and features; payment varies depending on the length and complexity of the piece.


15. Poets & Writers Magazine

"Poets & Writers Magazine reaches a national audience of 100,000 readers from emerging to established literary writers. The magazine has a strong following among both students and faculty in creative writing programs across the country. In addition, many of its readers pursue creative writing as an avocation, often pairing their literary lives with other careers."

Payment: Up to $500, query first