Finding an agent to represent a short story collection is not easy. The reason most agents prefer to avoid short story collections is that they are difficult to sell to publishers - unless the author is already famous.
Before you submit your collection, I strongly recommend that you get as many stories as possible published in literary magazines. Having a track record will help, and prior publication will not harm your chances of getting a collection published. (However, you should avoid publishing in magazines that are online. If people can read your stories for free, why should they buy them?)For where to publish short stories see
:297 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, NonfictionSpeculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions18 Paying Markets for Humor And if you prefer to submit directly to a publisher read
:17 Publishers Accepting Unagented Short Story Collections
IMPORTANT: These twelve agents have listed Short Stories on their MSWL (manuscript wish list) profiles, however you should NEVER query an agent without checking the agency website first. Submission requirements change, and agents may close their lists, or switch agencies.
(Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
A graduate from the University of California Irvine, Jennifer holds a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Literature, and spent a year studying Spanish literature and culture at the University of Barcelona. She also works as a bookseller, having done so since 2012.
______________________Renée Zuckerbrot Literary Agency
Renée Zuckerbrot founded the agency after working as an editor at Doubleday and Franklin Square Press/Harper’s Magazine. She is a member of the AAR and Authors Guild. She serves on PEN’s Membership Committee, and is a Board member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and Slice Magazine. You can read an interview with Renée and her colleagues at Poets & Writers. See her top ten list of short stories at Storyville.
______________________Waverly Place Literary Agency
Seeking short story and poetry collections with popular appeal.
Helen Boyle has over fifteen years experience in the children’s publishing industry. She began her career at Hodder Children’s Books in the marketing and publicity department but quickly felt the draw of editorial and design. She has worked as a consultant, editor and reviewer for UK book and magazine publishers and has an extensive knowledge of the global children’s book market. She is seeking YA connected short stories. (A novel told as a series of short stories.)
(Janklow and Nesbit
I tend to lean more toward darker tales and gritty settings, culture-crossing perspectives, structures that are a bit experimental (see David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas), and always narratives with a strong emotional core. Having lived in Poland and Hungary, I have a niche-interest in books that feel Eastern European in voice/perspective (or explore post-Soviet and Cold War themes), and I find anything that deals with exile and expatriation immediately arresting.
(Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
I’m officially open to all genres. Whatever the age group, I tend to love contrast–highbrow sentences and lowbrow content, beautiful settings and ugly motives–the books that are beautiful and scary, heartbreaking and hilarious. I love secrets, scheming, revenge, plotting–and stories that have to be written forward and backward to make sense (I LOVE discovering a very cleverly planted clue that makes sense in retrospect).
(Don Congdon Associates
Most generally, I focus on adult literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, middle grade, and young adult fiction. Across all genres and ages, I’ll always be interested in the darker and weirder side of the human condition as well as previously under- or misrepresented experiences and voices.
(Kimberley Cameron & Associates
I’ve enjoyed being an agent for 26 years, and love to find new voices. I love to lose myself in a story and to be transported to another reality, whether it be in the future, contemporary, or in the past. I am a complete francophile and have spent lots of time living in Paris and the South of France, and yes, I have sold lots of books from abroad, as I’m always working! I love to read.
(Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc.
Some things I’m especially interested in at the moment: Magical realism in the vein of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a literary fiction journey story where the characters change as much as the landscape around them, absurdism a la George Saunders, anything reminiscent of Karen Russell, strong female edgy voices like Miranda July, a story with a gothic or magical realist twist set in Kentucky or the South, literary YA with Romani characters, and contemporary YA with characters following their passions and trying to figure out life as in Rainbow Rowell’s novels.
Monica is most actively seeking adult projects, but is open to some YA and MG (especially if it is NF or illustrated). She holds the same criteria no matter the age group: original storytelling, incredible voice, compelling characters, and vivid, detailed setting. She also likes to see a strong sense of narrative tension. Monica is serious about the fact that We Need Diverse Books and is looking for authentic representation of all characters, diverse or otherwise
I’m on the look out for literary and commercial fiction and YA. I’m drawn to stories that defy genre conventions and play with reader expectations, and I particularly enjoy dystopian fiction, eco-fiction, and apocalyptic narratives, as well as anything with a scientist protagonist. I love books that explore big ideas through compelling narrative.
(Frances Collin Literary Agency
A quirky, interesting voice is my number one consideration. I love a touch of humor, whether overt or sly. My reading tastes are wide-ranging and my goal is to keep building a similarly diverse, multi-genre list.
Authors and agents have what I would call an ambiguous relationship. It's not precisely love/hate, but it does involve a clash of expectations.
This clash is the inevitable result of a business mentality coming in close contact with artistic sensibilities. (That is, writers who are devoted to the craft or, more specifically, devoted to their own writing).
(I've previously written about that conflict at some length. See my astonishingly perceptive post: Literary Agents: The Writer's Ultimate Ambiguous Relationship
Launching into the publishing world can be a painfully enlightening experience for a writer. Not surprisingly, it can be equally as vexing for agents who may not realize that their clients are not only unprepared, but are quite confused as to what is expected of them. But in some cases, it is not merely confusion that causes problems. With increasing numbers of writers submitting their work, exacerbated by fierce competition for publishing slots, frustrations can arise, leading to complaints on both sides.
Here are some of them.Ten things writers hate about agents
1) Agents who charge a fee, or who are really book doctors, but don't let you know until you have submitted your work
. This is the most egregious of sins in the agent community. Fortunately, it is becoming relatively rare - but it still exists. If an agent charges a fee, especially after they have requested pages (and given you glowing compliments), do not pay them a cent, and run for the hills. NO LEGITIMATE AGENT CHARGES A READING FEE.
2) "No reply means no
." The majority of agents no longer send rejections. They simply do not respond at all. In this age of automatic email replies there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. We all understand that agents are busy people, but we also expect them to be professionals. It is highly unprofessional to leave writers hanging.
3) Agents who ask for partials or fulls, and then either don't reply or send a canned response
. This is something I personally really
dislike. If an agent asks to see a manuscript, the writer will assume, rightly, that the agent has taken an interest. At this point, a lack of reply is somewhat like inviting a girl (or boy) to the prom and not showing up. It's not only rude, it's unconscionable.
4) Agents who say they want "great writing" but don't request sample pages along with your query
. C'mon agents! Put your money where your mouth is! If you want great writing, then take a look at the first chapter! Every agent worth his or her salt knows that writers are piss poor at writing queries, so skip the query and spend a few minutes on the first ten pages.
5) Agents who expect writers to compose copy
. There is a huge difference between writing a novel and writing copy. A book is self-expression. Copy is what your boss hires you to churn out in order to sell his (or her) products. Agents cannot reasonably expect writers, especially fiction writers, to suddenly know the rules of advertising. That is a skill unto itself, and one in which writers are not trained.
6) Agents who promise the moon
. Most agents won't take on your project unless they are "in love" with it. (To translate, "in love" means "I can sell this to a publisher and make money.") It is perfectly reasonable to expect enthusiasm from agents. What isn't reasonable is when agents tell you that your book is going to be a bestseller, that it will be a "breakout" novel, or that they are sure you will get a movie deal.
7) Agents who promise nothing
. At the bare minimum an agent should be able to tell you what he or she can do for you. Agents should let you know what their contacts in the publishing industry are, what kind of track record they have, whether they have sold books like yours. They should have a game plan for selling your book. It goes without saying that they should be well acquainted with the terms of a contract, and should be willing to explain those terms to you.
8) Long, convoluted contracts that are filled with legalese
. Back in the day, when there were no contracts between agents and authors, a simple handshake (verbal or physical) was enough. Now, there are lawyers. Contracts that are written by lawyers will always
favor the agent for the simple reason that lawyers represent the people who pay them. Contracts written by lawyers can contain anything, including a promise on the part of the author to produce additional books (that happens), a promise to maintain a certain physical appearance (that also happens), and no termination clause. A fair contract should be no longer than a page or two, should state which book the agent is representing, and include a termination clause applying to both parties. It should specify how much the agent will take in commission, and how funds will be disbursed to the writer, as well as which services the agent will provide in clear language
. (I highly recommend that writers join the Authors Guild. The Guild provides legal reviews of contracts to its members.)
9) Agents who, once they have decided to represent your work, do not maintain contact
. It is the agent's job to market your book to publishers. Any decent agent will keep you apprised of how that quest is going. They will tell you which publishers they have approached and give you feedback. If they don't touch base with you on a regular basis, they are not doing their job.
10) Agents who drop their clients after a few attempts at selling a manuscript to a publisher
. When the going gets tough, some agents are all too willing to simply drop their "difficult" client in favor of a manuscript that is easier to market, or which they perceive
is easier to market. Shame on them.Ten things agents hate about authors
1) Writers who do not research who they are querying
. Nothing will turn an agent off faster than a query addressed to "Dear Agent." (Seriously, don't do that.) Make sure you are addressing your query to an individual agent, and that you have spelled the agent's name correctly. Also, make absolutely sure that you have gone to the agency's site and have read the bio of the agent you are querying.
2) Writers who do not follow instructions
. This is such an easy thing to do; there is no excuse for not submitting your query exactly
the way the agent has specified.
3) Bad spelling and grammar
. Agents are not forgiving about error-ridden query letters. If you can't spell, or don't know the difference between "lay" and "lie" (my pet peeve), they will become irritated. It is not a good idea to irritate someone you are wooing.
4) Writers who do not know how to write a query letter
. Writing a basic query is not rocket science. You need a short opening with your book's title, genre, and word count, a paragraph that summarizes your book, and a brief paragraph about your qualifications as a writer. Make it short and to the point. Don't waste the agent's time.
5) Authors who pester agents
. Nothing ticks agents off more than clients who make repeated phone calls, text constantly, or email incessantly. An agent's job is to sell your book, not hold your hand.
6) Authors who do not disclose that they have submitted to publishers, or who have already self-published their work
. Very few agents are willing to take on manuscripts that have been "shopped around." How can they be expected to pitch your work to editors who have already rejected your manuscript? And while some agents are willing accept work that has been self-published, read their submission requirements carefully to make sure that's allowed.
7) Writers who submit to more than one agent at the same agency
. Do writers really expect agents who work together to compete with one another? Only submit to one
agent at an agency. And if you get a rejection, make sure that agency allows subsequent submissions to other agents. (Some agencies share; a submission to one agent is a submission to them all.)
8) Writers who submit queries for fiction that is not completed
. Novels have to be finished and fully edited before a query can be sent. It's disappointing for an agent to request a partial or a full, only to be told that the book is not finished. It is equally distressing for them to receive a rough draft. (Make sure your manuscript is as error-free as possible before you send it!)
9) Lack of professionalism
. Writers who don't seem to be aware that the agent-client relationship is a business arrangement can be very annoying. What does being professional mean? First, a manuscript that follows standard manuscript guidelines (double spaced, Times New Roman or another standard font, etc.) is professional. Submitting your work promptly is also professional. Keeping appointments is professional. Remembering that the agent has a job, and is not available at all hours, is professional.
10) Writers who get angry when they receive a rejection, or get upset at an agent's suggestions for improvement
. Not many agents offer a critique of work they've received. They simply don't have the time. But those who are willing to go the extra mile by offering feedback are performing a service. The proper response should be "Thank you," not a snarky reply, or a pissed-off blog post. The same holds true for rejections. If writers are upset by a rejection, they should keep it to themselves.
: For God's sake, learn to write a proper query letter! Query Shark
is your best resource. There are also successful queries on Writer's Digest
. And read my Best Method for Handling Rejections (and getting published)
. It will keep you sane.To agents
: For God's sake, learn to write a proper rejection letter! Please, oh please
send us rejections. Don't leave us in limbo. We are human, and your silence makes us suffer. Also, if we are expected to know your name, do us the courtesy of not
addressing rejections to "Dear Author."
These three agents are actively expanding their client lists. Damian McNicholl (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
) is seeking fiction and nonfiction, including memoirs. Kortney Price (Holloway Literary
) is looking for middle grade, young adult, and new adult fiction. Kaitlyn Johnson (Corvisiero Literary Agency
) is interested in young adult, new adult, and adult fiction, especially fantasy.
IMPORTANT: You should NEVER query an agent without checking the agency website first. Submission requirements change, and agents may close their lists, or switch agencies.Note
: You can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients
of the Jennifer De Chiara Literary AgencyAbout Damian
: Damian McNicholl grew up in Northern Ireland and moved to the US in the early nineties. A former attorney, he is also an author whose latest novel, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, will be published by Pegasus Books in June 2017. His critically acclaimed novel A SON CALLED GABRIEL will be republished by Pegasus in Fall 2017. Damian regards himself as an agent who likes to edit and help polish a client’s work before submission.He is Seeking
: Great nonfiction and fiction that appeals to a wide audience and makes people think, laugh and sob. In fiction, his interests are compelling novels that hit the sweet spot between literary and commercial, historical and select offbeat/quirky. Nonfiction interests include memoir, biography, investigative journalism and current events, especially cultural, legal and LGBT issues that can help lead to meaningful change in society. To see the types of books he likes, please visit Damian’s agent page
.How to Submit
: For fiction and memoir, please email a succinct query to email@example.com
with a subject line of QUERY. Include a short synopsis of the plot (think dust jacket copy), concise bio setting forth any publishing credits and the first 15 pages in the body of the email. For all other nonfiction, please attach a proposal as a Word document that includes the first chapter and your author platform.
of Holloway LiteraryAbout Kortney
: Prior to joining Holloway Literary as a Literary Assistant, Kortney completed internships with Andrea Hurst & Associates, Amphorae Publishing Group, and Inklings Literary Agency. In 2014 she graduated with a B.A. in English from Greenville College. Kortney manages the agency website and is the editor of the Holloway Literary blog.She is Seeking
: Middle-grade fiction written in the vein of Gordon Korman, young adult thrillers similar to Lois Duncan, and contemporary new adult fiction.How to Submit
: Send a query and the first 15 pages pasted in the body of the e-mail to submissions [at] hollowayliterary.com
. Your subject line should read “Kortney/[Title]/[Genre].”
of Corvisiero Literary AgencyAbout Kaitlyn
: After receiving a BA in Writing, Publishing, and Literature from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. Centering her life around everything literary, she started her own freelance editing company, K. Johnson Editorial, as soon as her diploma came in the mail. Holding two years of literary magazine editing experience, Kaitlyn is proud to be on staff for the increasingly popular Muse and the Marketplace Conference held in Boston every April/May through GrubStreet. She currently works as both the Muse Conference Assistant and the Donor Communications Assistant at GrubStreet.She is Seeking
: Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. Lots of fantasy (yes, that very much includes urban!), time travel, select dystopian, romance (erotic elements OK), and historical fiction if it is anything other than Henry VIII.
How to Submit
- Contemporary with unique concept and good execution. No overplayed tropes/characters. Same goes for upper MG.
- LGBT (as well as characters questioning their sexuality) welcome in all genres accepted above.
- Fairytale retellings but ONLY if it’s from an unexpected POV
: Please follow the submission guidelines on the “Submissions” page of Corvisiero Literary Agency and send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title: “Query: Kaitlyn Johnson, [name of manuscript]”
- Strong query
- Five page sample
- 1-2 page synopsis
Please do not e-mail unsolicited queries to her personal work e-mail. They will not be accepted.
Here are two new agents seeking clients. Laura Crockett (TriadaUS) is interested in YA and adult fiction. Claire Roberts (Trident Media Group) is looking for all types of fiction as well as narrative nonfiction.
IMPORTANT: You should NEVER query an agent without checking the agency website first. Submission requirements change, and agents may close their lists, or switch agencies.Note
: You can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients
of Triada USWhat she is seeking
: In YA, she is interested in contemporary realistic fiction (such as study abroad experiences, strong female friendships, falling in love, mental health, diversity, LGBTQ) and fantasy (particularly with excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include Fangirl, The Lie Tree, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, All the Bright Places, Shadowfell, When We Collided, Anna and the French Kiss, A Shadow Bright and Burning,The Star-Touched Queen, and The Winner's Curse.
In adult fiction, she is interested in contemporary women's fiction (heartfelt, juicy moral dilemmas, historical bends with parallel narratives), humorous chick-lit (especially if it's millennial-driven), and fantasy (excellent world-building, authentic characterization, fantasy inspired by fairytales and other cultures' mythology, and historical fantasy). Some favorite titles include The Night Circus, Outlander, The Queen of Blood, Daughter of the Forest, The Winter Witch, The Hating Game, and authors like Jodi Picoult, Kate Morton, Gayle Forman, and Sophie Kinsella.How to submit
: When querying Laura, please include the first ten pages in the body of your email. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
of Trident Media GroupAbout Claire
: Claire Roberts had a very successful career in publishing already, focusing on selling rights internationally for authors both at publishing houses and most recently at Trident Media Group, where she was the head of the Foreign Rights department and had worked on the global careers of such authors as Marilynne Robinson, Marlon James, Justin Cronin and Paul Harding. She is now developing her own clients whose work she will handle in the US as well as internationally. Claire has an MFA from the University of Michigan. She is looking for writing that’s fresh, immediate, and character-driven, and above all, writing that stays with you.She is seeking
: She loves many types of fiction, and of course, in view of her MFA in literary fiction, she finds that genre very appealing. “In fiction I am most interested in upmarket/mainstream to literary fiction and upmarket to literary crime fiction.” She also seeks narrative nonfiction. Claire says that “the books that do best in the international markets are those that tell great stories, with the kind of writing that stays with you after the book has been put down. And the authors of those kind of books, are exactly who I am looking to work with and represent in the United States.”How to submit
: Use Trident’s online submissions form here
One of the appeals of self-publishing is that there is no waiting time. In traditional publishing, there is a lag, sometimes of a year or more, between the publisher's receipt of a manuscript and its publication.
Historically, authors have railed against this lag for two reasons: 1) They are impatient to see their books on the shelf, and 2) They are worried that in some cases, the book may never be published at all.
The second of these reasons for objecting to a delay in publication is legitimate. If the publication date is not specified in the contract (e.g. manuscript will be published within one year of acceptance), there is always the chance that due to various unforeseen events affecting the publishing house, your book may never make it into print.
The first reason, impatience, is not a good reason to object to a delay, but it is the main reason many writers opt to self-publish. Once they finish a novel, they want to see it in print as soon as possible.Why immediate publication is a bad idea
One of the reasons traditional publishers delay publication is that in addition to the months required to edit a book, it takes between four and six months to market a book. ARCs must be sent to reviewers, pre-orders must be set up, outlets must be notified. If these steps are not taken in advance, there will be no pre-release buzz. And without pre-release buzz, the proverbial tree will fall in the forest, and it will not make a sound.
This is not to say you can't promote a book after it has been released. You can, and you should. But if you don't create a demand for your book ahead of its release, chances are very few people will buy it. Demand is the fundamental basis of selling anything - be it a new car, a new shoe style, a new book, or a new president. Create a demand, and there will be a market for your product.
If you publish immediately after you finish editing, you will have no demand and no market, which means you are virtually guaranteed a lack of sales.What to do before publication
First, make a list of book reviewers for your genre. Also make a list of bloggers who do interviews, and make a list of those who do cover reveals. (Many book bloggers do all three.) You should have several hundred reviewers when you are finished. This will take some time, so start now.
While you are making those lists, research popular publications - online magazines and general interest sites - relating to your genre or to the subject of your book. Make a list of those that accept advertising, or which will post your book as a new release. Start making the list now. (You can use Alexa to measure the traffic to a publication's website.)
Build your twitter following. Do not use a service. You need real followers, not a bunch of people who don't care about what you are tweeting. Do this at least a year before the launch of your book.
Make sure you have a Facebook page, a blog, and a website up and running at least a year before you launch your book.
As soon as you have a cover, make a banner. Write your back page blurb, and ask for endorsements.
Six months before your launch send review requests to every reviewer on your list. At the same time, send review requests to your list of popular publications and websites, especially those which charge a fee, (Those tend to get booked up quickly.)
Three months before your release upload your book for pre-ordering on Amazon. (If you are using Smashwords, they also provide a pre-order service.) Sign up for blog tours.
As soon as you have an ARC, submit your book to every self-publishing book contest.
Schedule talks, book signings, and author events to coincide with your release date.
Plan a book release party, and advertise it. Have fun! (And make sure everyone at the party gets on your mailing list.)
Do all of the above - patiently, methodically - and your book will be a success.Useful articles
:List of Online Reviewers Who Accept Self-Published BooksEverything I did wrong: Self-PublishingArranging Your Own Book Tour10 Tips for How to Throw a Successful Book Launch Party10 Ways to Find Your Ideal Audience on Twitter (For Writers)The Skinny on Virtual Book ToursYou can find many more useful articles on self-publishing and book marketing here
I enjoy reading bad reviews of great novels — almost as much as I enjoy getting them. (See what I did there?) It comforts me to know that if a book of mine is called “lugubrious,” I will be keeping company with Aldous Huxley. (Unlike Brave New World, not one of my books has been called “lugubrious,” or even “nauseating,” but this is probably due to an avoidance of polysyllabic adjectives on the part of contemporary reviewers.)
These books were panned primarily because they broke new ground. Innovative writing and unconventional concepts are rarely well received in the short run. (Also honest portrayals of sex, war, racism and other social ills are generally shunned, at least initially.) However, in the long run, these books have stood the test of time, and are now considered classics.
All of these books are on the 100 Best Novels Written in English list.
The Great Gatsby
Although The Great Gatsby earned F. Scott Fitzgerald a mere $13.13 in royalties, The Great Gatsby has been widely hailed as “The Great American Novel.” It was panned by H. L. Mencken in the Chicago Tribune
as “no more than a glorified anecdote, and not too probable at that.” Mencken went on to say that the story was “unimportant” and that aside from Gatsby, the characters were “marionettes.”
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley’s biting vision of the future (now officially the present) has become an iconic dystopian novel. Huxley brought us Fordism, The World State, and Soma. When it was published in 1932, the book was not well received. H.G. Wells, regarded as the father of science fiction, wrote that “A writer of the standing of Aldous Huxley has no right to betray the future as he did in that book.” Wyndham Lewis called it “an unforgivable offence to Progress.” Equally disgusted by Huxley’s portrayal of a world controlled by a global capitalist economy, Gerald Bullett concluded that “As prophecy it is merely fantastic.” And not to be bested by other critics,New York Herald Tribune called Brave New World “A lugubrious and heavy-handed piece of propaganda.”
Ralph Ellison’s powerful novel about the experience of black Americans won the National Book Award in 1953, and has since been eulogized as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Nevertheless,Atlantic Monthly thought it suffered from “occasional overwriting, stretches of fuzzy thinking, and a tendency to waver, confusingly, between realism and surrealism.”
War is pointless, and nobody portrayed that better than Joseph Heller, whose satire, Catch-22,has become so much a part of our national culture that it appears as a lexical item in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The book was rejected by publishers as “really not funny on any intellectual level.” When it was finally released, The New Yorker had nothing good to say about it. It “doesn’t even seem to be written; instead, it gives the impression of having been shouted onto paper … what remains is a debris of sour jokes”. The New York Times called it “repetitive and monotonous…none of its many interesting characters and actions is given enough play to become a controlling interest.”
No list of chilly receptions would be complete without Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.
Publishers, who found Lolita“overwhelmingly nauseating,” recommended that it be “buried under a stone for a thousand years.” Its reception upon publication was not much better.
The New York Times pronounced it “not worth any adult reader’s attention … dull, dull, dull … repulsive” and nothing more than “highbrow pornography.”
Lord of the Flies
We’ve all read Lord of the Flies because it has been included in High School English curricula for more than 40 years. (I read it in High School, and I taught it when I became a High School teacher.)
William Golding’s indictment of war (that’s what this book is about) has certainly stood the test of time.
Lord of the Flies, rejected by publishers as “an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull,” received a less-than-glowing reception from The New Yorker, which found it “completely unpleasant.”
Tropic of Cancer
Arthur Miller’s candid look at sexuality had to be published in France, because it was too risque for the American market. The United States Customs Service even banned the book from being imported into the U.S.
When Grove Press finally published the book nearly 30 years later, over 60 obscenity lawsuits in over 21 states were brought against booksellers that sold it. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Michael Musmanno wrote that it was “not a book. It is a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity.” In kinder and gentler terms, Time magazine described Miller as “a gadfly with delusions of grandeur.”
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway’s novel about the Lost Generation was initially rejected by publishers as “tedious and offensive.” But the harshest criticism came from his mother, who wrote: “What is the matter? Have you ceased to be interested in loyalty, nobility, honor and fineness in life … surely you have other words in your vocabulary besides ‘damn’ and ‘bitch’ — Every page fills me with a sick loathing — if I should pick up a book by any other writer with such words in it, I should read no more — but pitch it in the fire.”
Richard Wright’s book about a young African-American man living in utter poverty on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s was an instant bestseller. In keeping with other books that realistically treat uncomfortable social themes, it has been banned numerous times from schools and libraries. Despite its popularity,Native Son was not universally well received. New Statesman found the book to be “unimpressive and silly, not even as much fun as a thriller.”
An American Tragedy
Theodore Dreiser’s fictionalized account of a notorious 1906 murder has been adapted for theater, screen, radio, opera, and has even been transformed into a musical. When the novel was first published in 1925, it met with the disapproval of the Boston Evening Telegraph, which called its main character, Clyde Griffiths, “one of the most despicable creations of humanity that ever emerged from a novelist’s brain.” Dreiser came under attack as an author whose style was “offensively colloquial, commonplace and vulgar.”
There are nearly three dozen calls for submissions in April. Every genre and every form is welcome! All are paying markets. (There are no fees to submit.)
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 and to get a jump on next month's open calls see: Paying Markets
: Poetry, fiction, CNF. Payment
: $50 per poem, 5 cents per word for prose. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.Monstering: Disabled Women And Nonbinary PeopleCelebrating Monsterhood
: Short stories. " Do you see yourself in the hulking creatures of legend? The warped beings of myth? If you’re disabled and identify as either female or nonbinary, we encourage you to submit." Payment
: $10. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.Bright Wall/Dark Room
: Nonfiction. Essays, humor, interviews about film. Theme is "Childhood." Payment
: $25. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.Shooter
: Poetry, fiction and CNF on the theme of Bad Girls. "As always, the theme is open to interpretation, but think antiheroines, villainesses, and convention-defying women. Intelligent treatment of the theme is required: we want refined writing and complex, not cartoon, characters." Payment
: £25 per story and £5 per poem. Deadline
: April 2, 2017.The Deaf Poets Society
: Poetry, prose, cross-genre work, reviews. Theme is "Crips In Space: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Futurism." Crip futurism is a growing body of interdisciplinary studies. "We are looking for D/deaf and disabled perspectives and re-imaginings of bodies, science, technology, bioethics, and the future ways of existing." Payment
: Revenue sharing. Deadline
: April 4, 2017.UnCommon Lands
: Short story. Publication tends toward magical realism. "We are seeking stories of unusual spaces, places and landscapes." Payment
: Revenue sharing. Deadline
: April 5, 2017.Splickety
: Stories on theme of Medieval Mayhem. No speculative fiction. 1000 words max. Payment
: 2 cents/word. Deadline
: April 7, 2017. Read guidelines HERE
: Short story on theme of Beginning. Payment
: £10 - £25 depending on length of story. Deadline
: April 10, 2017.Confrontation Magazine
: Fiction, poetry, non-fiction (worldwide). Payment
: $175-$250 for fiction, $75-$100 per work for poetry. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Rattle
: Poetry. Theme is "Rust Belt Poets." Payment
: $100 print edition, $50 online. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Spirit's Tincture
: Speculative flash fiction and poetry. Theme is "Resistance." Payment
: 6 cents/word. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.18th Wall
: Speculative fiction for Their Coats All Red anthology. "These must be tales which capture the feel of the high Victorian era. We don’t want stories of the Empire itself—we want stories of the weirdness underneath. Ghosts, spirits, madness and monstrosities are all welcome." Payment
: Revenue sharing. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Blackbird
: Poetry, fiction, CNF, drama. Payment
: Not specified. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Helios
: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art on theme of Redux and Progression. Payment
: Rates vary depending on length. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Copper Nickel
: poetry, fiction, essays, and translation. Payment
: $30 per printed page. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Third Flatiron
: Speculative satire. Theme is "Cat's Breakfast." Payment
: 6 cents/word. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Hippocampus
: Creative nonfiction for anthology about the golden age of radio. Payment
: $50/story. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism
: Poetry, prose, CNF. "We are seeking writers keen to explore with originality and insight the sources and perils of contemporary populism: economic, social, educational, media, political, religious and even language – the human and social dimensions up close and personal." Payment
: Rates vary depending on length. Deadline
: April 21, 2017.Cricket
: YA poetry, fiction, essays on the theme of Aliens. CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. Payment
: Fiction: up to 10¢ per word, Nonfiction: up to 25¢ per word, Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum. Deadline
: April 27, 2017.Spider Magazine
: Stories, poems article for children on theme of Folktales, Myths, and Legends, Payment
: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word, Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum, Activities and recipes: $75.00 flat rate. Deadline
: April 27, 2017.Southern Indiana Review
: Fiction, CNF, poetry. Payment
: $50-$100 per piece. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.FIYAH
: Speculative fiction and poetry about Africa Diaspora. Theme is "Sundown Towns." Payment
: $150 per story. $50 per poem. $300 per novelette. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Red Sun
: Speculative fiction. Payment
: $150 per story. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Pseudopod
: Horror. Audio format. Payment
: 6 cents per word. Deadline
: April 30, 2017. Reprints accepted
: Mythical fantasy. "Magic, gods, mysticism, mythical creatures. Bring us old fairy tales with an Afrocentric twist. We are interested in new gods or ancient ones, old religions, houngans, potions, and spells." Payment
:1 cent/word. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Hashtag Queer
s: Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scripts, and visual art. "We are seeking short creative work by queer-identified writers and artists &/or on queer themes." Payment
: $5/page. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Snafu: Judgement Day
: Speculative fiction. "What we want: Invading space aliens, demonic invasion as in Doom, DNA-grafted dinosaurs taking over the planet, manmade viral infections that nearly wipe out humanity, or artificial intelligence like in Terminator… anything you can think of that would bring about the end of the world. And SOLDIERS! Tell us about what happens during the worst of the fall of humanity or afterwards. No zombies. That’s already taken care of." 2000-10,000 words. Payment
: AUD4c/word and one contributor copy. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Midnight Writers
: Stories of every genre on theme "Last Shot Fired." Imagine a war going so long that every last resource has been used up in the fight for survival, or a world that has taken extreme measures to end warfare and violence. This could be about a spouse that has finally reached their breaking point and said that one thing that cascades the relationship into total chaos, or being against the wall against overwhelming odds with almost no resources or backup, what imagery is brought to your mind by this phrase?" Payment
: $10. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Tesseracts Twenty-one
: Canadians only. Genre
: Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of Optimism. Payment
: Short poetry is $20.00. Payment for short stories is prorated as follows: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Weirdbook Magazine
: Weird fiction and poetry on the theme of Witches. Payment: $5 per thousand words. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.The Quilliad
: Poetry, flash fiction (500 words or less), and short stories (generally 1000-2000 words). Payment
: $13. Deadline
: April 30, 2017. (?)FIELD
: Poetry. Send 2-6 poems at a time, combined into a single document, starting each poem on a new page. Payment
: $15 per page. Deadline
: April 30, 2017. (?)
There are more than three dozen free contests in April, 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
_______________________Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest
. Now in its 16th 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, 2017. Submission form HERE
.Bill Hallberg Award in Creative Writing
. Restrictions: Open to undergraduate students at colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. Genre
: Single poem. Prize
: $150. Deadline
: April 1, 2017. Submit poem to Christy Hallberg as firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Scythe Prize
: Open to college students. Genre
: Short stories, creative nonfiction. Prize
: $200. Deadline
: April 1, 2017. Submission guidelines are HERE
.The Penny Fiction Flash Fiction Competition
: Flash fiction stories told in exactly 15 words. Prize
: $25 and publication. Deadline
: April 1, 2017. How to enter
: Read submission guidelines HERE
(scroll down).Bop Dead City
: Prose, poetry. Prize
: $20. Deadline
: April 1, 2017. More details are HERE
.Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
: 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, 2017.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, 2017.
The Great American Think-Off
: Essay on the theme: “Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?” 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, 2017.Washington State Book Awards
: Open to Washington State writers. Genre
: Published book, all genres. Prize
: $500. Deadline
: April 1, 2017. The Waterston Desert Writing Prize
: Literary nonfiction, desert theme. Prize
: $1,500. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.William Saroyan Writing Contest
: Open to students in 1st grade through college. Genre
: Short story, 2 pages. Prize
: $50 - $100. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.Graphix Publication Contest
: US residents only. Genre
: Graphic novel for children and teens. Prize
: Up to five (5) winners will receive an offer to publish their work with Scholastic and a $15,000 advance, with $5,000. Deadline
: April 1, 2017.B4ME Short Story Competition
: Open to UK & IRELAND residents of black, Asian minority ethnic background, and will need to provide this information in the sign up form. Genre
: Short story, unpublished. Prize
: £1,000, and the story will be published on the Guardian website. Deadline
: April 2, 2017.Harold U. Ribalow Prize
: Fiction on a Jewish theme, published books only. Prize
: $3,000. Deadline
: April 7, 2017. More details are HERE
: Letter. "Tune out the noise of the world for a few minutes and write the letter that could really inspire others, but more importantly, inspire yourself." Prize
: 1st place $100, 2nd place $75, 3rd place $50. Publication on blog and in a compilation book in 2018. Deadline
: April 7, 2017.The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize
: 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 7, 2017.American Literary Translators Association Italian Prose in Translation Award
: 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 7, 2017.A Voice for Animals Teen Essay Contest
: Open to students between the ages of 14-18. Genre
: Essays on an animal rights topic. In the 16-18 year olds category, essays must be 800-1,000 words long and be accompanied by a photograph; in the 14-15 year olds category, essays should be between 1,400-1,500 words. One climate change prize (both age categories compete) will be awarded for an essay on how climate change affects a particular animal species. Prize
: $500. Deadline
: April 10, 2017.Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing
. "Now in its sixth 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 12, 2017. Wikipedia: Leading Edge and Harold B. Lee Library Contest
: Wikipedia content creators and article writers. Genre
: Improve upon an article within the guidelines to enter. Prizes range from $25-50 for the first four placers, plus various copies of Leading Edge Magazine. Articles improved must involve Utah and the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre in some way (the website gives a few suggested articles). Pages must be improved to at least double their current character count. Prize
: $25 - $50. Deadline
: April 12, 2017. Scotiabank Giller Prize
: Open to books published in Canada in English. Books must be published in Canada in English between March 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017 to be eligible for the 2017 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, 2017.Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer Award
: Open to writers enrolled in a Native American tribe from the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Nebraska who have not published a book of creative writing. Genres: Short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama/screenplays. Prize
: $500. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.Wick Poetry Center High School Poetry Competition
: Open to Ohio high school seniors. Genre
: Poetry. Prize
: One-time $1,500 scholarship to Kent State University. Second and third prize winners receive $1,000 and $500 one-time scholarships. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.The Waterman Fund Essay Contest
: Essay. "Emerging writers are asked to offer and explore stories of what humans build in wild places, considering the ecological and emotional integrity of wilderness and wildness. From trails and bridges to communities and visitor service facilities, humans have an undeniable impact on the wild places we love, even as we seek to steward these most meaningful landscapes for their own sakes, ourselves and future generations. How do we strike a balance—personally and culturally—between discovering and sustaining the spirit and substance of wilderness and wildness?" Prizes
: The winning essayist will be awarded $1500 and publication in Appalachia Journal. The Honorable Mention essay will receive $500. Deadline
: April 15, 2017. Common Good Books Poetry Contest
is sponsored by Common Good Books, proprietor Garrison Keillor. Genre
: Poetry. The poem must be a Poem of Experience. Prize
: Grand prizes of $1000 each, and four poets will receive $500 for poems of particular merit. Deadline
: April 15, 2017. Galtelli Literary Prize
. Genre: Short fiction up to 5000 words that reflects the themes of Canne al Vento
, a book by Grazia Deledda (such as identity, class, and religion). Prize
: 1st – 5th place, travel and accommodations to Sardinia. grand prize winner, €1000. Deadline
: April 15, 2017.
Enterprise Through Literature Contest for High School Students
: Open to high school students teams (up to four people). Genre
: Video and essay. "The theme of this year’s ETL contest is Individual Identity in Utopia and Dystopia. In a utopia/dystopian society, how does the restriction of an individual’s rights impact their role in society and therefore entrepreneurial spirit? Cite examples from both your chosen piece of literature and real world examples. The essay should be between 250 and 500 words and should concisely explain the link between the video and the work of literature." Prize
: $2,000. Deadline
: April 17, 2017. The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
is open to 12th grade, undergraduate and graduate students. To be eligible for this contest, you must write an essay of no fewer than 800 and no more than 1,600 words in length, double-spaced, on one of three topics related to Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged
. Essays are judged on both style and content. The winning essay must demonstrate an outstanding knowledge of the book Atlas Shrugged
: 1st - $10,000, 2nd - $2,000, 3rd - $1,000. Also prizes for finalists, and semi-finalists. Deadline
: April 28, 2017. Entry form and details here
.McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize
is awarded to the author of the best first novel published in the previous calendar year. Restrictions
: Only American authors publishing in English are eligible. Non-eligible books include short story collections, flash fiction, memoirs, biographies and books published solely in electronic format. Prize
: $500. Deadline
: April 28, 2017.Luminarts Creative Writing Program
. The Creative Writing Competition awards five $5,000 grant awards and Luminarts Fellowships across categories of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Open to writers between the ages of 18 and 30 years old at the time of application; be enrolled in, or have graduated from, a degree program; and live within 150 miles of the Union League Club of Chicago. Genre
: Poetry or prose, fiction and nonfiction. Prize
: $5,000 and publication in Luminarts Review
, a literary journal. Deadline
: April 28, 2017.Toronto Book Awards
: 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, 2017.Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships
: 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, 2017.Lake Superior State University High School Short Story Prize
: 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
: Short realistic fiction. Prize
: $500 and publication. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Wax Poetry and Art Poetry Contest
: Poem. (Enter 1 poem for free. There is a charge for additional poems.) Prize
: $120. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Writing Competition
: Play. Only full-length works (dramas, comedies, musicals, screenplays) will be considered. One entry per author. Scripts must be original. Must be in English. All must concern LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) life and be based on, or directly inspired by, a historical person, culture, work of art, or event. Prize
: First Prize, $3,000. Second Prize, $1,500. Honorable Mentions, $500. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.Friends of Falun Gong, Poetry Contest
: Poem Submit one or two poems of no more than 50 lines each. Poems must encompass at least one of the following themes: Advocate for Falun Gong practitioner’s fundamental human rights. Expose the crimes against Falun Gong perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party. Share in the beauty, peacefulness and good nature of Falun Gong. Prizes
: $500, $250, $100. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.SA Writer’s College Short Story Award
: Open to unpublished writers in South Africa. Genre
: Short stories. Prizes: 1st – R 10 000; 2nd – R 5 000; 3rd – R 2 000. Deadline
: April 30, 2017.
Conferences are not only the best way to meet agents, get tips from other writers, and learn about the publishing industry, they make you feel like a writer
. We all need community, and this is how we, as writers, get the necessary incentive to keep writing.
If you miss your perfect conference this year, you may be able to catch it next year. Many conferences are annual occurrences. Planning ahead may also lower the cost, as quite a few conferences offer scholarships and discounts for early bird registrations.
To see a full list of conferences organized by month, as well as links for finding conferences in your area see: Writing Conferences
________________________Rananim online classes
Courses run for eight weeks from April through May. "Participants receive personalized feedback on assignments from their instructor, as well as responses from classmates on discussion board forums. All instructors are university professors and/or working professional writers, who have experience teaching at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. Classes are limited to 15 students who will engage in conversation with you and your work. Firm deadlines and feedback help keep you writing and improving your work throughout the class." International students accepted. Cost
: $400 per class.Rochester Writers' Spring Conference
. Apr 1, 2017, Rochester Hills, Michigan. Writing for Children and Young Adults.Writers' Day
. April 1, 2017, Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, 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.Tennessee Mountain Writers Annual Conference
, Apr 6 - 8, 2016, Oak Ridge, TN. Speakers and session leaders include Carol Aebersold, Jessie van Eerden, Beverly Connor, Debbie Dadey, Marianne Worthington, Susan Gregg Gilmore, Victoria Hubbell, Kory Wells, and more!Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Retreat
. April 6 - 9, 2017, Colorado Springs, CO. An intensive 3-day writing retreat with Susan Spann, Anita Mumm and Susan Brooks.IBPA Publishing University
. April 7-8, 2017, Portland, OR. The Independent Book Publishers Association offers 30+ educational sessions including experiential learning labs, insightful keynotes, a gala book award ceremony, networking events, and so more!Cost: $195-$475.William Paterson University Spring Writer’s Conference
. Wayne, New Jersey, April 8, 2017. Readings and workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The faculty includes poet Rosa Alcalá.San Antonio Book Festival
. April 8, 2017, San Antonio, TX. The San Antonio Book Festival is a FREE, annual, daylong event that unites readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries, and literary culture. Featuring more than 80 nationally and regionally acclaimed authors, the Festival offers programming for all ages.Rally of Writers Conference
. April 8, 2017, Lansing, Michigan. Keynote speaker will be Lori Nelson Spielman, international bestselling author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness, and 10 Michigan authors and educators in 15 breakout sessions and workshops on all aspects of writing, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, the Nuts & Bolts of manuscript submissions, and more.Duck River Writers’ Conference
. April 8, 2017, Columbia, Tennessee. Features workshops, craft talks, manuscript consultations, and a featured reading. Workshops are offered for poetry, fiction, and creative works written by teens. Workshop participants must submit manuscripts by March 20 to be considered. Registration:
$15 (free for Columbia State students with a valid I.D.) An additional reading fee of $15 is required to attend a workshop.New York Writers Workshop Fiction Pitch Conference
, April 8 – 9, 2017, 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.New Worlds, New Voices Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy
. April 12 - 16, Morro Bay, CA. During the course of the conference, writers will hone and improve their writer voice and style by studying and applying an array of narrative, scene, and structure technique, thus enabling them to begin, enhance, and/or reconstruct their work in more powerful and innovative ways. Writing exercises are derived from analysis of a select group of works by both dramatists and authors. Writers are given assignments focusing on aspects of their writing, character and plot development. On days number two and three, the writers return to the workshop to review and discuss assignments as they pertain to their work-in-progress (novel or short fiction). Writers continue to workshop their novel, and all relevant elements, prior to pitching to agents and editors. Writers will focus on pitching their work and getting reactive feedback from agents and editors in attendance, and that includes their workshop leaders. Pitch sessions will take place in private, and in the group, as deemed appropriate by faculty. Cost
: $795.00 for five days.Norwescon
, April 13 - 16, 2017, Sea Tac, WA. Norwescon is one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States.Business Writers Conference
. April 19 - 21, 2017, Birmingham, Alabama. A conference for professionals who want to publish their idea, concept, or expertise. Speakers, boot camp. break-out sessions, workshops.Las Vegas Writer’s Conference
sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. April 20 – 22, 2017. 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.Poetry at Round Top Festival
. April 21 - 23, 2017. Round Top, Texas. Features readings, lectures, craft talks, panel discussions, and workshops with poets Featuring Vijay Seshadri, Cornelius Eady, Natalie Diaz, Octavio Quintanilla, Wendy Barker, J. Scott Brownlee, Barbara Crooker, Lisa Olstein, Sheila Fiona Black and more.North Carolina Writers’ Network Spring Conference
. April 22, 2017, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 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. Cost
: $150 ($99 for members) until April 17 and $165 ($135 for members) thereafter and on-site.Sign of the Times: An AfroSurreal EcoArts Festival and Conference
. April 22, 2017, Oakland, CA. This free event will focus on creating eco-lit (poetry and prose based on the environment) and eco-art using environmental friendly practices. This year's event will take place at ProArts Gallery in Oakland, CA, on April 22 from 1-4 pm.Spring Big Apple
. April 22, 2017, NYC, NY. Offers a session on queries and pitches, a Meet the Agents panel, an opportunity to pitch your project and a writing workshop with poet Myra Shapiro.The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in Portland Writing Retreat.
April 22 - 24, 2017, Portland, OR. The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write. The faculty includes award-winning writers Adam Reid Sexton, Kerry Cohen, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. Genres include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The cost of the retreat is $750, which includes tuition, lodging, and some meals. Register by March 15, 2017
.Travel & Words: Northwest Travel Writers Conference
. Apr 23 - 25, 2017, Salem, OR. Workshops, panels, networking and Writer Matchmaking: Writers attending Travel & Words are looking for story ideas and possibly press trips. These “speed dating” sessions connect destination marketers with freelance writers and bloggers on the “Experienced” track.Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Edgar Week Symposium
. Apr 26, 2017, 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.Arkansas Literary Festival
. Apr 27 - 30, 2017, 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 28 - 30, 2017. 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."Monadnock Pastoral Poetry Retreat
. Apr 28 - 30, 2017. Greenfield, NH. Includes workshops, individual conferences, participant & mentor readings; hiking & kayaking (weather permitting). Each workshop uses dual mentors.Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
. April 28 to May 1, 2017. Naples, Maine. Features evaluation and discussion of book-length and chapbook-length manuscripts with poets, editors, and publishers. The faculty includes poet-editor-educators Joan Houlihan, Fred Marchant, Stephen Motika and Martha Rhodes. Cost
: $1,375, which includes lodging and meals. 2017 Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp
. April 28 - May 1, 2017. Tahoe City, CA. The Writing By Writers Manuscript Boot Camp is for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir or short story collection) and would like to engage with a small group for a serious and productive response. The long weekend will include an intimate full manuscript workshop, craft talks, readings, an agent panel and individual agent meetings – the perfect pre-publication boot camp for any manuscript. Classes are limited to 5 participants.Tuition includes one three-day workshop, admittance to all craft talks, panels and readings, a one-on-one with an agent, all meals (dinner on Friday; three meals Saturday and Sunday; breakfast, and lunch on Sunday) and lodging in a single room for three nights. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. FULL
Apr 29, 2017, 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. Cost
: $69; $59 for students with ID and seniors 65+; $80 at the door.Northeast Texas Writers Organization
. Apr 29, 2017, Mt. Pleasant, TX. One-day bootcamp.
Here are two new agents seeking clients. Natascha Morris (Bookends) is seeking picture books, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction. Justin Wells (Corvisiero Literary) is looking to represent middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult novels. For middle grade, he is actively seeking fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, and historical fiction. In young adult, he is seeking fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, historical fiction, contemporary, and dystopian fiction. For new adult, he is seeking fantasy, contemporary romance, and science fiction. And, lastly, for adult, he is seeking fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction.Note
: You can find a comprehensive list of new and established agents seeking clients here: Agents Seeking Clients
of Corvisiero Literary
About Justin: Justin started his journey six years ago when he began his young adult literature blog. If you had asked him then, he would have never imagined just how much his journey over the course of those early years would impact his future. Starting as an intern with the Corvisiero Literary Agency in May of 2016 quickly turned into a position as a Literary Agent Apprentice, under the guidance of Marisa Corvisiero. Being a literary agent is something that Justin has fallen in love with, and is eager to continue for years to come.He is seeking
: Justin is looking to represent middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult novels. For middle grade, he is actively seeking fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, and historical fiction. In young adult, he is seeking fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, adventure, historical fiction, contemporary, and dystopian fiction. For new adult, he is seeking fantasy, contemporary romance, and science fiction. And, lastly, for adult, he is seeking fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction. He would really like to see submissions for all categories and genres that have diverse main characters.How to submit
: To submit a query to Justin, e-mail email@example.com
with the subject line “Query – ATTN: Justin Wells, [insert name of manuscript]”. When submitting your query, please make sure that you are making it as strong as it can be. Please include a one to two page synopsis, and also the first ten pages of your manuscript within the body of your query, at the bottom (no attachments will be accepted.
of BookendsAbout Natascha
: Before joining Bookends, Natascha Morris worked at Simon and Schuster’s Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books. Prior to that she was an intern with Sourcebooks.She is seeking
: Picture books, middle grade and young adult manuscripts across most genres, including contemporary, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction, and narrative non-fiction.
"As the child of an immigrant, I would love to see a middle grade that addresses that. There were times I didn’t feel a part of either culture: too German for America and too American for Germany. Many children from mixed cultural backgrounds experience this. Even if it is not about immigrants, it needs to speak to this internal feeling of exclusion outside of the normal experience. I’d love to get a young adult novel as brutal, intense, and morally complex as The 100 TV show. Not many people know I grew up very poor in Texas. My mother was going back to school and we lived in government housing. That experience shaped who I am today, but many of my friends never experienced that life. I’d love to find a middle grade novel that speaks to the struggle of the working poor (living paycheck to paycheck, having your clothes come second hand, etc.) but does so in a way that is not depressing."How to submit
: Use the agency's online submission portal HERE