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.

15 Black-Owned Bookstores to Support Right Now

You may have seen many anti-racist reading lists being shared in the past few weeks. We’ve compiled a list of Black-owned bookstores from across the country, most of which offer online orders, so that you can support Black-owned businesses while educating yourself. This list is by no means exhaustive—please comment and tell us which bookstores we should add!

Ashay by the Bay

One of the best Black children’s bookstores.

Location: Vallejo, CA

Owner: Deborah Day

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: African History Collection (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Beyond Barcodes Bookstore

Books, coffee, community.

Location: Kokomo, IN

Owner: DeAndra Beard

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Revolutionary Gardening (list)

Connect: Twitter | Facebook


The Black Reserve Bookstore

Location: Lansdale, PA

Owner: Shaykh Anwar Muhammad

Online orders: No

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Brain Lair Books

Difficult conversations in a fun place.

Location: South Bend, IN

Owner: Kathy Burnette

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Pride (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Cafe con Libros

An intersectional feminist community bookstore and coffee shop.

Location: Brooklyn, New York, NY

Owner: Kalima DeSuze

Online orders: Yes

Book clubs: Womxn of Color | Feminists

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Enda’s Booktique

Books written by, for, and about women.

Location: Duncanville, TX

Owner: Enda Jean Pemberton Jones

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: SHElf Empowerment (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Eyeseeme African American Children’s Bookstore

Committed to increasing childhood literacy and promoting multicultural literature.

Location: University City, MO

Owners: Jeffrey & Pamela Blair

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: AntiRacist Collection (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Frugal Bookstore

Changing minds one book at a time.

Location: Roxbury, MA

Owners: Leonard & Clarissa Egerton

Online orders: Yes

Connect: Facebook


Harriett’s Bookshop

Celebrating women authors, artists, and activists.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Owner: Jeannine A. Cook

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


The Lit. Bar

The only bookstore currently serving the Bronx.

Location: The Bronx, New York, NY

Owner: Noëlle Santos

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Dear White People (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Loyalty Bookstore

Centering Black, PoC, and Queer voices.

Locations: Washington, D.C. & Silver Spring, MD

Owner: Hannah Oliver Depp

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Social Distance Reading (list)

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


MahoganyBooks

An award-winning bookstore that sells books for, by, and about people of the African Diaspora.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Owners: Derrick & Ramunda Young

Online orders: Yes

Recommended reading: Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington

Book club: MahoganyBooks & Very Smart Brothas

Connect: Facebook | Twitter


Marcus Books

The oldest independent Black bookstore in the country.

Location: Oakland, CA

Online orders: In progress—stay tuned

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Mocha Books

Creating a path to visibility for BIPOC indie writers.

Location: Tulsa, OK

Owner: Shionka McGlory

Online orders: Yes

Book club: Youth Book Club

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Turning Page Bookshop

Spreading love for good books and giving back to the community.

Location: Goose Creek, SC

Owners: Valinda Miller & Arrylee Satterfield

Online orders: Yes

Connect: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Writing Seminar with R.O. Kwon

R.O. Kwon, author of the bestselling novel The Incendiaries, is offering an online seminar on revision. She states:

“This seminar will delve into revision strategies, possibilities, options, and leaps of faith. What does it mean to revise, and how can you figure out what works best for you? Pretty much every writer revises, and often heavily: Kerouac famously bragged that he’d written On the Road in one three-week dash, but, in time, they found the drafts.”

WHEN: June 20, 2020, 4–7PM ET

COST: $100

SIGN UP: here

WHAT TO BRING: the first five pages of a work in progress

Ploughshares: Emerging Writer’s Contest 2020

DEADLINE: May 15, 2020

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 (beginning with the Spring 2020 issue and ending with the Winter 2020-2021 issue) and free submissions to the 2020 regular reading period.

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: Kirstin Valdez Quade (fiction), Ilya Kaminsky (poetry) and Esmé Weijun Wang (nonfiction). 

The Best Books of 2019

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, the end of the year (and the decade) is fast approaching, and it seems like everywhere you turn, another publisher or media outlet is releasing their list of the best books of last year. Overwhelmed by choices? We’ve compiled the best lists of the best books, highlighting some titles that are especially popular below. Enjoy!

Fiction

Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Each chapter in this Booker Prize–winning novel follows the life of a different character living in the UK.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

by Ocean Vuong

Vuong’s debut novel chronicles the struggles of a refugee family in epistolary form.

Lot: Stories

by Bryan Washington

Washington’s debut short fiction collection tracks a young, gay, black narrator across Houston, intertwining his stories with those of the city.

Trust Exercise

by Susan Choi

The winner of the National Book Award, this coming-of-age novel examines trust between characters as well as between author and reader.


Nonfiction

Midnight in Chernobyl

by Adam Higginbotham

A detailed and chilling history of the infamous nuclear accident and the circumstances that made it nearly inevitable.

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

by Jia Tolentino

Tolentino, a staff writer for the New Yorker, examines internet culture, modern feminism, millenial lifestyles and more with a critical and curious eye.

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States

by Daniel Immerwahr

A thoughtful and thorough examination of American expansionism and exploitation.

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

by Gretchen McCulloch

A guide to online English by a self-described internet linguist.


Memoir

In the Dream House

by Carmen Maria Machado

Machado combines memoir and criticism in this genre-bending account of domestic abuse.

How We Fight for Our Lives

by Saeed Jones

In his first book of prose, Jones tells his story of growing up black and gay with powerful and poetic language.

Solitary

by Albert Woodfox

Know My Name

by Chanel Miller


The New York Times

By Cari Vander Yacht

100 Notable Books of 2019

Times Critics’ Top Books of 2019

The Best Crime Novels of the Year

The 25 Best Children’s Books of 2019

Times Critics’ Top Art Books of 2019

The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books


The Washington Post

Embroidery by Sarah K. Benning

The 10 Best Books of 2019

The Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2019

The Best Romance Novels of 2019

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2019

The Best Children’s Books of 2019

The Best Poetry Collections of 2019

50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2019

50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2019

The Best Audiobooks of 2019

The Best Graphic Novels, Memoirs and Story Collections of 2019


The New Yorker


NPR

NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019

Maureen Corrigan’s Best Books of 2019

The Best Science Books of 2019


Vox

The 15 Best Books We Read This Year


Smithsonian

The 10 Best History Books of 2019

The 10 Best Books About Travel of 2019

The 10 Best Books About Food of 2019

The 10 Best Children’s Books of 2019

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2019

NPR Seeks Sports Inspired Poetry

NPR wants to read how sports has touched your life — in poetry form.

NPR Muse-Feed

Maybe a home run is like getting your dream job – or asking your sweetheart for a first date felt like a Hail Mary pass. Maybe you find inspiration in E. Ethelbert Miller’s poem, If God Invented Baseball — or NPR’s poet-in-residence Kwame Alexander’s basketball poem, The Show.

You can use sport as a metaphor for our lives — or simply write about the game or team you love. And don’t feel constrained by poetry type. It can be a haiku, a sonnet, a rhyming couplet — even free verse.

Find details here and share your sports-inspired poem by following this link and it could be featured in an upcoming Morning Edition segment with Alexander. Deadline: 11/15.

Young Romantics Prize 2020

Young Romantics Prize 2020

The Young Romantics Writing Prize, sponsored by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, is aimed at poets and essayists aged between 16 and 18. Entrants are encouraged to respond to the work of the Romantics by writing their own original poem or essay. Essayists are asked to respond to a particular question inspired by the life or work of the Romantic writers. The poets respond to a theme which changes from one year to the next.

This year, poems must address the theme “Songbird”; essays must respond to the question, “How can the poetry of PB Shelley and/or John Keats help us in our current climate crisis?”

Deadline: January 14, 2020

Eligibility: writers aged 16–18, writing in English, from anywhere in the world

Entry: free; online (open in December 2019)

Prizes: over £5000 total; distributed among winners

Judges: Deryn Rees-Jones & Will Kemp (poetry); Sharon Ruston & Simon Bainbridge (essay)

Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington Young Writers Awards logo

Bennington College has a unique literary legacy, including ten Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, four MacArthur Geniuses, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, countless New York Times bestsellers, and two of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

Deadline: November 1, 2019

Eligibility: 10th-12th graders

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

What to Submit: Submit to only one of the following categories: poetry (three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play under 1,500 words), or nonfiction (a personal or academic essay under 1,500 words). All entries must be original and sponsored by a high school teacher.

How to Submit: Online or by mail.

Get more information and read past winners’ work here.

Brevity: Experiences of Disability

Brevity – Experiences of Disability

Submissions are now being accepted for Brevity’s upcoming special issue, “Experiences of Disability,” to be published in September 2020.

For this issue, we invite brief nonfiction submissions (750 words or fewer) that consider all aspects of illness and disability: what it is, what it means, how our understanding of disability is changing. We want essays that explore how disability is learned during childhood, lived over the entire course of a life, and how our changing understanding of disability shapes the way we experience ourselves and others. We are looking for flash essays that explore the lived experience of illness and disability, as well as encounters with ableism, and that show readers a new way to understand the familiar or give voice to underrepresented experiences.

Deadline: March 1, 2020

Entry: via Submittable*; $3 entry fee

Guest Editors: Sonya Huber, Keah Brown, and Sarah Fawn Montgomery

*Those for whom Submittable is not accessible or for whom the reading fee of $3 would be prohibitive can email their submissions to brevitydislit@gmail.com with the subject formatted as SUBMISSION: (Title) by (Name).

Philadelphia Stories – Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction

Deadline: June 15, 2019

Entry: via Submittable; $15 fee

Prize: $2500 and publication

Judge: Susan Muaddi Darraj

Guidelines:

  • Previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words. Please note, “published” includes any work published in print or online, including online magazines, blogs, public social media sites, etc.
  • Multiple submissions will be accepted for the contest only. Simultaneous submissions are also accepted; however, you must notify immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Only authors currently residing in the United States are eligible.
  • Submissions will only be accepted via Submittable. Please email contest@philadelphiastories.org if you are having any trouble with your submission.

Ploughshares – Reading Period Opening Soon

Reading Period: June 1 – January 15, 2019

Entry: via online submission manager or by mail; $3 fee

Guidelines:

Simultaneous vs. Multiple Submissions

  • Ploughshares does not consider multiple submissions. Do not send a second submission until you have heard about the first. Simultaneous submissions to other journals are fine as long as they are identified as such and they are withdrawn immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.
  • If you are working on submissions with an agent, or are an agent submitting work on behalf of an author, please read the note on simultaneous submissions with an agent.

Cover Letters

  • You are encouraged to include a short cover letter with your submission. It should reference:
    • Major publications and awards
    • Any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor
    • Past publication in Ploughshares
  • Please note that cover letters are to be included as the first page of your submission document. There are no additional comment boxes for adding a cover letter.

Manuscripts

  • Typed, double-spaced (poetry may be single-spaced) pages.
  • Numbered pages.
  • If in hard copy, submit with text on one side of the page.
  • Fiction and nonfiction: Less than 6,000 words. Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained. Significantly longer work (7,500–20,000 words) can be submitted to the Ploughshares Solos series.
  • Poetry: Submit 1-5 pages at a time with each poem beginning on a new page.
  • Translations are welcome if permission has been granted.
  • Unsolicited book reviews and criticism are not considered.
  • Queries to the Look2 Critical Essay series are welcome (see guidelines here).

Southern Poetry Review – Guy Owen Prize

Deadline: May 31, 2019

Entry: online or mail; $20 fee (includes one-year subscription)

Prize: $1000 and publication

Guidelines:

  • Submit 3-5 poems, 10 pages maximum.
  • For online submissions, include contact information only with entry form, not on any poem submitted.
  • For hard-copy submissions, include contact information on separate cover sheet, not on any poem submitted.

Salamander – Fiction Contest

Salamander Magazine logo

Deadline: June 3, 2019

Entry: online; $15 fee (includes one-year subscription)

Prize: $1,000 and publication (1st), $500 and publication (2nd)

Judge: Wayétu Moore

Guidelines:

  • All entries will be considered for publication. All entries will be considered anonymously.
  • Send no more than one story per entry. Each story must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages in 12 point font. Multiple entries are acceptable, provided that a separate reading fee is included with each entry.
  • Please submit a two page cover sheet document with each entry, page one with the title of the story ONLY, and page 2 with the title of the story and your name, address, phone number, and email. Your name should NOT appear anywhere on the story itself.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but the contest fee is non-refundable if the submission is withdrawn. Please notify the editors as soon as possible if a submitted story is accepted elsewhere.
  • Previously published works and works accepted for publication elsewhere cannot be considered. Salamander’s definition of publishing includes electronic publication.
  • No handwritten, faxed, emailed, or poorly copied/printed manuscripts will be considered.
  • Salamander will not consider work from anyone currently or recently (within the past 4 years) affiliated with Suffolk University or the prize judge.

Atlanta Review – General Poetry Submissions

Atlanta Review logo

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Entry: via Submittable; $3 fee

Guidelines:

  • No more than five unpublished poems (7 pages max) per submission, each poem on its own page, contained in a single .doc or .docx file.
  • No identifying information on any poem or file name. The Atlanta Review reads work anonymously: we publish poems, not poets.  
  • Only one submission per submission period.
  • Please Note: We will try to accommodate poems with special formatting needs (specific margins, long lines, etc.), but we can’t guarantee that your poems will appear on our pages exactly as you submitted them. We encourage poets to follow standard formatting guidelines: Times New Roman 12, with 1″ margins. This will help minimize appearance shifts as we import your poems into our publishing software.
  • Also, please use the withdraw function only if you need to withdraw the ENTIRE submission. Otherwise, just send us a note on the “Activity and Messages” tab and let us know which one/s is/are no longer available. Thanks!


Black Lawrence Press – Black River Chapbook Competition

Black River Chapbook Competition

Twice each year Black Lawrence Press will run the Black River Chapbook Competition for an unpublished chapbook of poems or prose between 16-36 pages in length. The contest is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner will receive book publication, a $500 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Deadline: May 31, 2019

Entry: via Submittable; $15 fee

Prize: $500 and publication

Guidelines:

  • All entries are read blind by a panel of judges and editors. All manuscripts should include a title page (listing only the title of the work), table of contents, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 16-36 pages in length (double-spaced for fiction and creative non-fiction), not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). Identifying information for the author should not be included anywhere on the manuscript itself, including in the name of the file or in the “title” field in Submittable. The author is welcome to include a brief bio in the cover note on Submittable, which will only be made accessible to the editorial panel after the group of Semi-Finalist and Finalist manuscripts has been chosen.
  • Chapbooks containing individual stories or poems that have been previously published online or in print are eligible for the BRCC. Please simply note previously published work on an acknowledgments page. On the other hand, if a chapbook has been previously published as a collection (including publication with a press, self-publication, online/digital publication, and publication in a small, limited-edition print run), then the manuscript is not eligible for the BRCC.
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and encouraged, but please withdraw the manuscript on Submittable immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Multiple submissions (the submission of more than one manuscript to the contest) are permitted.
  • Collaborative collections are welcome.
  • Hybrid/multi-genre submissions are also welcome; please enter under the submission category that best fits your work.
  • Prose category: Beginning with the Spring 2019 contest, our category previously titled “fiction” has been re-categorized as “prose” to accommodate fiction, creative non-fiction, lyric essay, and prose hybrid manuscripts. (Chapbooks of prose poems and poetry/prose hybrid projects can be submitted under either poetry or prose, per your preference.)
  • Translations are not accepted for the BRCC.