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WHAT TO ENTER: Previously unpublished flash fiction up to 1,000 words in length.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).

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

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.