Conjunctions Ghost Issue Submission Call

CONJUNCTIONS submission window for the fall 2024 print issue, “Conjunctions: 83, Revenants, The Ghost Issue,” coedited by Joyce Carol Oates and Bradford Morrow, will close on June 1, 2024.

Conjunctions accepts submissions by postal mail year-round. Please visit their submissions page for our editorial address and further instructions.

SUBMISSION CALL

Ghosts, wraiths, specters. Poltergeists, phantoms, shades. They manifest in many shapes and dispositions in our lives and the literatures of all cultures. From the Egyptian to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, from the Homeric epics to Shakespeare’s King Hamlet, from the Victorian ghosts of Sheridan Le Fanu, Violet Hunt, and M. R. James to Amos Tutuola’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, from the ethereal creatures of Poe to the startlingly “realistic” ghosts of Henry James and Edith Wharton, phantasmagoric beings mingle with the living. Nature itself may be “haunted”—an unknowable presence hostile to human intrusion, as in Algernon Blackwood’s classic “The Willows.” Sometimes a ghostly haunting is metaphoric; often it is literal. The Japanese jorōgumo ghost appears as a beautiful maiden but is a lethal spider monster. Buddhism’s hungry ghosts have enormous stomachs and tiny mouths that represent how worldly desires blocked their path to nirvana.

Being a ghost is being stuck in a limbo between vitality and finality. Ghosts are the unliving-living, the not-quite-dead deceased. Stubborn survivors, they are sometimes caught by surprise, traumatized by violence in the midstream of their lives with much left undone, unsaid, or vengeance to wreak upon the living. Other times they cling to their lives with such intensity that their spirits don’t believe they’ve been torn from a familiar earthly place: a childhood house, a forest glade, a hospital. But however the living are unable to “rest in peace,” revenants are left to wander in search of what was lost when they passed away—usually their very selves.

In Revenants, Joyce Carol Oates and Bradford Morrow will bring together a wide array of writers to explore this venerable theme, including Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Carmen Maria Machado, Paul Tremblay, Brandon Hobson, Stephen Graham Jones, and the editors themselves.

ABOUT CONJUNCTIONS

  • Conjunctions publishes short- and long-form fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and hybrid texts. They do not publish academic essays or book reviews.
  • All submissions must be in English and previously unpublished. They will consider works in translation for which the translator has secured the rights.
  • Although they have no official restrictions regarding word count, most of the manuscripts selected for publication are under 8,000 words long. For poetry submissions, they suggest sending half a dozen poems, depending on length.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Along with your manuscript, please include a brief cover letter. Be sure to list your name, the title of your submission, and your email address.
  • Former contributor to Conjunctions, in print or online? Please note this in your cover letter.
  • All submissions are also considered for publication in the weekly online magazine, which is not subject to thematic restrictions.
  • They cannot accept revisions after a manuscript has been submitted. If a manuscript is accepted, there will be an opportunity to make edits then.
  • While they strongly prefer to receive exclusive submissions, simultaneous submissions are permitted. If a simultaneous submission is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw it from Submittable.
  • Their small editorial staff reads every manuscript carefully and tries to respond to submissions in a timely manner.
  • If a manuscript is accepted for publication online or in print, editors will contact the author via email and Submittable.
  • Writers published in print issues of Conjunctions receive a small honorarium from our publisher, Bard College.

MORE INFO

Are you familiar with our work? Sign up for our newsletter to read new writing in our online magazine every week, subscribe to our print biannual, or order a back issue.

Conjunctions charges a $3 submission fee to help us cover administration expenses. If this fee is a hardship, please email conjunctions@bard.edu and we will waive the cost. If a disability prevents you from using Submittable, please call 845-758-7054 or email conjunctions@bard.edu.

Love our publications? Support Conjunctions by making a tax-deductible donation.

The Nerd Daily Call for Submissions

Established in 2017, The Nerd Daily is a platform for nerds to share their love of nerdy things with the world.

SEEKING: Writing about particular passions, books, movies, TV, gaming, etc. For those interested in writing book reviews, The Nerd Daily offers over 500 digital ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) to choose from at any given time.

AREAS OF INTEREST:

  • Entertainment: News, trailers, casting, and updates.
  • Books: News, updates, reviews, listicles, and recommendations.
  • Movies: Reviews, recommendations, and listicles on past, present, and future movies.
  • TV: Rundowns on the latest seasons, series, or episodes. Recaps and reviews.
  • Interviews: Interviews with authors, fellow nerds, and more.

ELIGIBILITY: Age 16 and over. All submissions in English.

HOW TO QUERY:  Send an email introducing yourself—who you are, how old you are, and where you are from, including your passions, favourite books, TV, movies, gaming, or other nerdy interests to: https://thenerddaily.com/contribute/

 

How to Practice Deep Reading

When was the last time you got lost in a book? Andrew Limbong of NPR’s Book of the Day podcast fills in for Marielle Segarra on NPR’s LifeKit to interview Maryanne Wolf, an expert in the science of reading, about the art of deep reading.  Modern distractions make reading with intention hard to attain. Wolf explains what we lose when we skim, and how to create an environment conducive to immersive reading. You can listen to the episode and/or read the transcript here.

Marielle Segarra: Host of LifeKit.

Andrew Limbong: Host of Book of the Day.

Maryanne Wolf: Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners and Social Justice at UCLA. Author of “Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain In A Digital World” and “Proust And The Squid: The Story And Science Of The Reading Brain.”

Publishers Weekly Summer Reading Picks in Fiction 2024

PW Staff Best Summer Fiction Recommendations

PW Summer Reading Picks

Publishers Weekly is an international news magazine of book publishing and bookselling designed for publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents. PW has published continuously since 1872. Below are a few of their 2024 staff picks for summer reading in fiction. For full reviews of these books, go to Publishers Weekly Summer Reads.

All Fours by Miranda July (Riverhead)

July turns artistic desire and sexual fantasy into riveting fiction in her latest novel. It begins with a middle-aged artist’s cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to New York City but quickly turns into something delightfully weird, as the narrator remodels a roadside motel room and uses it to sort out the next phase of her life.

Bear by Julia Phillips (Hogarth)

San Juan Island feels like a nice place to visit but a difficult place to live, as evidenced by its portrayal in bestseller Phillips’s evocative and nimble novel. Here on this Pacific Northwest hideaway, two sisters respond in very different ways to the arrival of a grizzly bear, and their unsettled question of whether the bear is friend or foe elicits nail-biting suspense.

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday)

The Crazy Rich Asians author takes a dishy tour through a contemporary milieu of royals and the über-rich in Europe, Hawaii, and Hong Kong as the wedding plans of a matriarch’s daughter and son are disrupted by an Austen-worthy series of reversals. Kwan’s pitch-perfect observations on art, fashion, and social etiquette make for a delectable feast.

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)

Sometimes summer reading means frothy escapism, and sometimes it means a scorching state-of-the-nation novel with lurid scenes of sex clubs, vengeful murder plots, and heartbroken young lovers. Emezi’s latest, set in the elite underground of New Lagos, Nigeria, where a jilted man gets in way over his head after a bad night out, serves up incisive class commentary along with loads of titillating fun.

Long Island by Colm Tóibín (Scribner)

Sequel season is raging, and Eilis Lacey is back in this welcome follow-up to Tóibín’s bestseller Brooklyn. The action takes place two decades later, with Irish immigrant Eilis unhappily settled down with her Italian American husband on Long Island in the mid-1970s. A revelation prompts her to return to Ireland, where Tóibín unfurls more than enough juicy drama for another great movie.

The Lost Boy of Santa Chionia by Juliet Grames (Knopf)

The past comes back to haunt a small Italian village in the 1960s, where an American aid worker is pulled into a plot involving an unearthed human skeleton and the unknown fates of two people who disappeared from Santa Chionia years earlier. As a mystery, Grames’s novel is as gripping as they come; it’s also a deeply satisfying character study of an outsider learning more about a place than she’d bargained for.

Not a River by Selva Almada, trans. from the Spanish by Annie McDermott (Graywolf)

Shades of Deliverance darken this haunting and surprising adventure. Somewhere in South America, two men are on a fishing trip, with another friend’s preteen son in tow. The trio attract negative attention from the locals after the men kill and string up a giant stingray on the island where they’re staying. Almada’s dreamlike prose and taut suspense are the ideal match for a sweltering afternoon.

Oye by Melissa Mogollon (Hogarth)

Mogollon builds this irresistible comedy around the serious subject of cancer. Surprisingly, there’s great fun to be had as the teen protagonist is pressed by her mother into helping with her grandmother, who might be terminally ill, while conspiring to keep her in the dark about her prognosis. Lively characters and witty banter make this just the thing to dive into when spending time away from one’s own family.

Same as It Ever Was by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday)

A married woman’s memories of her affair decades earlier return with a vengeance in Lombardo’s sparkling novel. The story begins in a grocery store, where the narrator runs into a friend she hasn’t seen for ages, and from there it leaps vertiginously into the past as the protagonist considers the cost of the life she’s built for herself. Readers will be torn between their instinct to race to the finish and their desire to savor every page.

State of Paradise by Laura van den Berg (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Van den Berg is a master at nudging the familiar world slightly off its axis, and few places are riper for that treatment than Florida. Her latest is about a ghostwriter who returns to the Sunshine State after an unspecified pandemic and discovers that the neighbors are obsessively using a new VR device and that many people have gone missing.

This Strange Eventful History by Claire Messud (Norton)

In the end, summer reading means whatever one is reading in the summer, and sometimes that means carving out time for a hefty literary event. Messud’s saga, which spans from 1940 to 2010, follows a pied-noir family exiled from Algeria during the country’s war for independence. The magnificent sentences and staggeringly deep characterizations are cause enough to save this for a week free of interruptions.

The Witches of Bellinas by J. Nicole Jones (Catapult)

A foggy seaside grove in Northern California provides the stage for Jones’s intriguing novel. Yes, there are witches; they’re members of a cult run by a tech guru and a wellness influencer. There’s also a dead body: the husband of the narrator, who gradually unfolds the mystery of what happened to each of them after they arrived in the witches’ idyll turned nightmare. Jones puts her snappy prose, incisive commentary, and natural storytelling chops on full display.

 

Exploring Social Justice Through YA Books: Free Webinar

DATE: May 8, 2024, Wednesday, 02:00 PM ET
DESCRIPTION: Join Random House Children’s Book authors Jumata Emill (WANDER IN THE DARK), Kim Johnson (THE COLOR OF A LIE), and LaDarrion Williams (BLOOD AT THE ROOT) in a one-hour discussion about their books that focus on social justice.
TOPICS: The authors will delve into social issues such as inequity, inequality, and injustice – including gender inequality, poverty, racism, and LGBTQ+ issues – and explore how they can be portrayed through different genres.
Jumata Emill is a journalist who has covered crime and local politics in Mississippi and parts of Louisiana. He earned his B.A. in mass communications from Southern University and A&M College. He’s a Pitch Wars alum and member of the Crime Writers of Color. When he’s not writing about murderous teens, he’s watching and obsessively tweeting about every franchise of the Real Housewives. Jumata lives in Baton Rouge, La.

Kim Johnson held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen and in college, and is now an author and vice provost. This Is My America is her bestselling novel that explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced and the families left behind to pick up the pieces. She is an award-winning novelist, with 2021 accolades that include the Pacific Northwest Book Award and Malka Penn Human Rights Award for Children’s Literature. Her second novel, Invisible Son, is another thriller ripped from the headlines about a wrongly accused teen desperate to reclaim both his innocence and his first love in a bold story set in 2020. The Color of a Lie releases in June 2024 which will be her first historical thriller.

LaDarrion Williams is a Los Angeles based-playwright, filmmaker, author, and screenwriter whose goal is to cultivate a new era of Black fantasy, providing space and agency for Black characters and stories in a new, fresh and fantastical way. He is currently a resident playwright/co-creator of The Black Creators Collective, where his play UMOJA made its West Coast premiere in January 2022 and produced North Hollywood’s first Black playwrights festival at the Waco Theater Center. Blood at the Root is his first novel. His viral and award-winning short film based on the same concept, is currently on YouTube and Amazon Prime.

MODERATORRonny Khuri, Senior Editor for Books for Youth at Booklist.
ACCESSIBILITY: For transcription or other accessibility requests, please contact us at webinars@booklistonline.com.
REGISTRATION: Free registration here or search Booklist Webinars.

Prairie Schooner Creative Nonfiction Prize

DEADLINE: August 1, 2023.

WHAT TO ENTER: Any type of creative nonfiction essay up to 5,000 words.

HOW TO ENTER: Via Submittable.

FEE: $20; includes a copy of the Spring 2024 issue.

PRIZE: $1,000 and publication in the Spring issue.

JUDGE: Siddhartha Deb will be serving as Prairie Schooner‘s guest judge. Born in Shillong, north-eastern India, Deb lives in Harlem, New York. His fiction and nonfiction have been longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, and awarded the Pen Open prize. His journalism and essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe GuardianThe New RepublicDissentThe BafflerN+1, and Caravan

Read more details here.

Red Hen Novella Award

DEADLINE: July 31, 2022

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all writers except those who have had a full-length work published by Red Hen Press.

FEE: $25.

PRIZE: $1,000 and book publication.

WHAT TO ENTER: Fiction manuscript of 15,000–30,000 words.

HOW TO ENTER: Via Submittable.

JUDGE: Dariel Suarez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. In 1997, at age fourteen, he immigrated to the United States with his family during the island’s economic crisis known as The Special Period. Dariel is now the author of the novel The Playwright’s House (Red Hen Press), finalist for the Rudolfo Anaya Fiction Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, and the story collection A Kind of Solitude (Willow Springs Books), winner of the Spokane Prize and the International Latino Book Award for Best Collection of Short Stories. He has also published a poetry chapbook, In The Land of Tropical Martyrs (Backbone Press).

Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest

Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest

DEADLINE: May 15, 2021

ELIGIBILITY: Writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry who have yet to publish or self-publish a book may enter.

WHAT TO ENTER: Fiction and nonfiction: up to 6,000 words. Poetry: 3–5 pages.

FEE: $24. The fee includes a 1-year subscription to Ploughshares.

PRIZE: Publication, $2,000, review from Aevitas Creative Management, and a 1-year subscription for one winner in each of the three genres.

HOW TO ENTER: Submissions must be made via Ploughshares’ online submission manager. You must create an account before submitting.

JUDGES: The 2021 contest judges are Kiley Reid (Fiction), Paige Lewis (Poetry), and Paul Lisicky (Nonfiction).

Writer’s Digest – Short Short Story Competition

The 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition seeks entries of short fiction up to 1,500 words.

DEADLINE: November 16, 2020 (early bird); December 14, 2020 (final).

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all writers except for Writer’s Digest authors, editors, columnists, and instructors.

FEE: $25 (early bird); $30 (final).

PRIZE: 1st place: $3,000 cash, publication, paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference; 2nd–10th place: $100–1,500, publication.

WHAT TO ENTER: Short fiction up to 1,500 words.

HOW TO ENTER: Via Submittable.

Longleaf Review — Expand/Contract Workshop Intensive with Kate Finegan

Longleaf Review offers an intensive three-day workshop led by editor-in-chief Kate Finegan on November 13–15, 2020. The workshop will include craft notes, exercises, an interactive forum, and three 1.5 hour Zoom video conferences. The deadline to sign up is November 10, 2020. Workshops are free for current contributors to Longleaf, $40 for past contributors, and $80 for everyone else.

“In this workshop, we’ll be playing with scope and scale in prose and poetry. We’ll stretch time like taffy, drawing out a single second. We’ll look at life, the universe, and everything through the wrong end of the telescope, so a hundred years shrink to a speck. We’ll explore what happens when we compress and/or cut an experience to its smallest form on the page, versus what happens when we expand and elongate a moment, a metaphor, a sensation. We’ll make the big small and the small big. This play will primarily take place within the container of short/flash forms of both prose and poetry, but there will be space to experiment in longer works, as well. Please note this is a generative workshop; it is not feedback-focused, though there will be opportunities to share your work.”

Kate Finegan, editor-in-chief of Longleaf Review

Bennington College — Young Writers Awards

Bennington College’s Young Writers Awards promote excellence in writing at the high school level. All entries must be original work and sponsored by a high school teacher. A first, second, and third place winner is selected in each category.

DEADLINE: November 1, 2020

ELIGIBILITY: Students in grades 9–12.

PRIZES: 1st place: $500; 2nd place: $250; 3rd place: $125.

WHAT TO ENTER: Students may submit in one of the following categories:

  • Poetry: A group of three poems.
  • Fiction: A short story (1,500 words or fewer) or one-act play (run no more than 30 minutes of playing time).
  • Nonfiction: A personal or academic essay (1,500 words or fewer).

HOW TO ENTER: Online.

Gemini Magazine: Flash Fiction Contest

DEADLINE: August 31, 2020

FEE: $6 per entry.

PRIZE: 1st place: $1,000; 2nd place: $100; honorable mention: $25. All finalists will be published in the October 2020 issue of Gemini.

WHAT TO ENTER: Previously unpublished flash fiction up to 1,000 words in length. All styles, subjects, and genres accepted. Multiple entries allowed.

HOW TO ENTER: Via email or by post. See website for complete guidelines.

ProPublica: Emerging Reporter’s Program

ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom, invites juniors and seniors in college to apply to the Emerging Reporter’s Program, which is designed for those who might otherwise find investigative journalism inaccessible. Five aspiring student journalists will receive a $9,000 stipend and mentorship from a ProPublica journalist who shares similar interests. Emerging Reporters will choose between contributing to a ProPublica story or working on their own investigation.

People of color are especially encouraged to apply. Only current juniors and seniors in college who are U.S. residents are eligible. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Read more about the program here.

Red Hen Press: Novella Award

DEADLINE: July 31, 2020

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all writers except those who have had a full-length work published by Red Hen Press.

FEE: $25.

PRIZE: $1,000 and book publication.

WHAT TO ENTER: Fiction manuscript of 15,000–30,000 words.

HOW TO ENTER: Via Submittable.

JUDGE: Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea and River Woman.

Rattle: Poetry Prize 2020

Rattle Poetry Prize: $15,000 for a single poem. Deadline: July 15th.

The 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize is open for submissions until July 15. Please see the website for full guidelines.

DEADLINE: July 15, 2020

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all writers worldwide. Poems must be written primarily in English. Simultaneous submissions allowed.

FEE: $25 (includes one-year subscription to Rattle).

PRIZE: One winner: $15,000 and publication; 10 finalists: $500 and publication; one Reader’s Choice Award: $5,000. Other submissions may be chosen for publication.

WHAT TO ENTER: Up to four poems per entry. No line or style limit. Multiple entries allowed.

HOW TO ENTER: Via Submittable or by post (US only).

CALLING BLACK WRITERS – Submit to Graydon House and HQN Books by September 8, 2020!

Attention black writers: Submissions are now open! HQN and Graydon House are accepting unagented submissions.

Graydon House and HQN Books, imprints of Harlequin Publishers, are accepting unagented submissions from Black authors now through until September 8, 2020.  

Graydon House seeks high-concept commercial and book club women’s fiction for its hardcover and trade paperback imprint. Accepted genres include (but are not limited to): historical fiction, family dramas, thrillers/suspense, etc. Send a query letter and the first 30 pages of your manuscript to GHSubmissions@harpercollins.com.

HQN Books seeks commercial romance and romantic women’s novels of all sub-genres. Send a query letter and the first 30 pages of your manuscript to HQNSubmissions@harpercollins.com.

More info here.

The Offing—Call for Submissions

White text reading "The Offing" on a green background.

The Offing, an online literary magazine, is open for submissions in several categories, including fiction, science writing, humor, culture essays, and more. Fiction closes July 16, 2020. There is currently no fee to submit. The magazine “actively seeks out and supports work by and about those often marginalized in literary spaces, including Black and Indigenous people, and people of color; trans people, cis women, agender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, two-spirit, and non-binary people; intersex people; LGBQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual/aromantic) people; people with disabilities; and especially people living at the intersections of these identities.”

“Rawness of Remembering”—Restorative Journaling with Esmé Weijun Wang

Bestselling author Esmé Weijun Wang (The Collected Schizophrenias, The Border of Paradise) is offering a self-paced online course on restorative journaling. The course includes 30 accessible lessons with text, audio, and visuals; a free copy of Light Gets In: Living Well With Mental Illness; and lifetime access to the course material.

The course is $99 (regular price $147) through the end of June with the code JUNEJOURNAL. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Okra Project, a collective that provides home-cooked meals to Black trans people, trains Black trans chefs, distributes emergency grocery funds to Black people in need, and pays for therapy sessions for Black trans people.