PEN America 

INFO: PEN America’s Writing for Justice Fellowship will commission six writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate.

The PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing and sharing the stories of incarcerated individuals, their families, communities, and the wider impact of the criminal justice system. Our goal is to ignite a broad, sustained conversation about the dangers of over-incarceration and the imperative to mobilize behind rational and humane policies. As an organization of writers dedicated to promoting free expression and informed discourse, PEN America is honored to have been entrusted by the Art for Justice Fund to engage the literary community in addressing this pressing societal issue.  

GUIDELINES: The Writing for Justice Fellowship is open-genre, and proposed writing projects, which must be authored by the applicant, may include—but are not limited to—fictional stories; works of literary or long-form journalism; theatrical scripts; memoirs; poetry collections; or multimedia projects. The most competitive applications will demonstrate how the proposed project will engage issues of reform, fuel public debate, crystallize concepts of reform, and facilitate the possibility of societal change. As part of our mission to stimulate discussion, emphasis will be placed on proposed projects that show strong promise for publication. Fellows must commit to contribute actively to bringing attention to their work and that of other Fellows. The Fellowship is open to writers at any stage of their career. Currently and formerly incarcerated writers are highly encouraged to apply, and special provisions will be made for incarcerated writers to participate through alternative methods.

Fellows will receive an honorarium of between $5,000-$10,000, based on scope of project. Modest expense budget requests up to $2,500 will be additionally considered. Fellows will be paired with a mentor to serve as a source of guidance for the project, and the cohort will convene in person twice during the course of the Fellowship. PEN America will draw on the Writing for Justice Advisory Committee, as well as its network of agents, editors, publishers, partner organizations and outlets in order to assist efforts for publication and dissemination of the work of the Fellows. Opportunities for sharing the created work through public forums will be organized in New York City at the PEN World Voices Festival, in the Fellow’s home community, and possibly additional locations.

FELLOWSHIP TIMELINE: The first eight months of the Fellowship are designed for Fellows to research, create, and connect with mentors and the cohort, working toward submission of a polished final product that is ready for publication. The final four months of the Fellowship will focus on placing the works for public dissemination and opportunities for Fellows to present their work publicly.

May 15, 2019




INFO: The Emerging Writer’s Contest is now open! Submit your fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.The Emerging Writer’s Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We consider you “emerging” if you haven’t published a book. Current subscribers submit for free; other subscribers receive a one-year subscription to Ploughshares with their submission.

This year’s judges are Ottessa Moshfegh in fiction, Leslie Jamison in nonfiction, and Fatimah Asghar in poetry. One winner in each genre will receive $2,000, publication in Ploughshares, and a conversation with literary agency Aevitas Creative Management. 

Over the years, Ploughshares has helped launch the careers of great writers like Edward P. Jones, Rebecca Makkai, R.O. Kwon, Tim O’Brien, and others. We were thrilled to publish last year’s winners in our Winter 2018-19 issue:

DEADLINE: May 15, 2019



Gay Mag

INFO: Gay is a new publication partnership between Roxane Gay and Medium. Laura June Topolsky is the Deputy Editor and Kaitlyn Adams serves as Managing Editor. We will be publishing work weekly, covering a wide variety of topics. We will also assemble ambitious, compelling quarterly themed issues. We are now accepting submissions, on a rolling basis, and look forward to hearing from new and established writers who possess original voices. 

Gay will offer some of the most interesting and thoughtful cultural criticism to be found on the Web. We are interested in deep explorations, timelessness, and challenging conventional thinking without being cheap and lazy. 

What we love and want: cultural criticism; thoughtful, clever and beautiful personal essays; short fiction; original artwork and photography. We do *not* want even the best hot take you can imagine, and we will not publish news. We do not want you to cannibalize yourself. We are interested in provocative work but we are not interested in senseless provocation.  

We pay $1 a word for work up to 3,500 words in length. We seek your best work and we cannot wait to read it. ** Please note that we will publish many more short essays (in the 1,200 word range) than we will longer (3,500 words) ones. ** 

We accept submissions and pitches via Submittable here:

We are also accepting submissions for our first two themed issues. Consider the theme as a prompt; interpret it as widely and creatively as you wish. We prefer short but detailed pitches over complete, on spec submissions for themed issues, but we will consider full pieces. 

Chapter 1: Pleasure. What pleases you or brings you pleasure? Is it good for you, or not? Does it matter and how much does it matter? Is pleasure more or less valuable to you in the face of broad, generalized political unrest? How do we allow ourselves to enjoy and revel in pleasure? 

We seek pieces ranging from around 1,200 to about 3,500 words. But what pleases *us* most is quality, so we’re not going to focus unduly on length.

DEADLINE: May 17, 2019


Twelve Literary Arts

INFO: The Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence program provides a safe creative space for established poets and writers of prominence and emerging writers of promise to bring a current project to completion. 

Twelve Literary Arts offers FOUR residency opportunities from 2019-2020 to poets, fiction writers, journalists, essayists, and playwrights of color. Two residents will be selected from Northeast Ohio and two will be selected from outside Northeast Ohio. Residents not from the United States are also encouraged to apply. 

The residency period for poets and writers not from NE Ohio is 3 months. 

The residency period for poets and writers visiting NE Ohio is 1 - 3 months. 

Each resident will receive: 

·         A $5,000 stipend

·         Office space at Twelve Literary Arts

·         An apartment for poets and writers visiting NE Ohio.  

(Office space and apartment are both located in Cleveland's historic Glenville neighborhood). 

This writer-in-residence opportunity is for individuals who will have graduated from undergraduate or graduate school by the time the residency period begins.  

Residents from abroad will need to pay for travel.


·         DEADLINE:  MAY 17, 2019


·         RESIDENCY PERIOD ONE: OCTOBER 18, 2019 - JANUARY 10, 2019

·         RESIDENCY PERIOD TWO: MARCH 13, 2020 - JUNE 5, 2020


Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Arts  

INFO: The Arts Writers grant supports both emerging and established writers who are writing about contemporary visual art. Ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from scholarly studies to self-published blogs. We also support art writing that engages criticism through interdisciplinary methods or experiments with literary styles. 

Writers who meet the program’s eligibility requirements are invited to apply in one of the following categories:

  • Articles

  • Blogs

  • Books

  • Short-Form Writing 

DEADLINE: May 20, 2019


Hurston/Wright Writers Week 2019

The Hurston / Wright Foundation 

INFO: For nearly 30 years, the Hurston/Wright Foundation has been a home for emerging Black writers. Offering diligent instruction, careful critique, and intensive writing, the writing workshops allow writers to sharpen their skills while in a community with Black writers. Each workshop is led by an award-winning author who is also a talented teacher. If you're looking for a nurturing environment where you can find your voice, develop your craft, and learn about the publishing industry, look no further. 

Fiction instructors: Nicole Dennis-Benn and Elizabeth Nunez

Poetry instructor: Hanif Abdurraqib

Nonfiction instructor: W. Ralph Eubanks 


·       Deadline: May 20, 2019

·       Writers Week: August 3rd - 9th , 2019 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.


INFO: The Rhode Island Writer’s Colony is the brainchild of creative writer Brook Stephenson. The Colony’s purpose is to provide momentum; to be an impetus, for men and women fitting the criteria to focus, complete, and polish work; to develop work strong enough to stand on its own. These passionate emerging writers come from a multitude of combination of walks; single, African-American, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Hispanic, Latino, East Asian, Native American, African, married, gay, lesbian, or straight. We've hosted the 2015 Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe Award winner. The next Pulitzer Prize winner, Booker Prize winner, and definitely another New York Times Best Seller may be here. These writers are the next wave.  

DEADLINE: May 31, 2019




INFO: ENOUGH is a Rumpus series devoted to creating a dedicated space for work by women and non-binary people that engages with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We believe that while this subject matter is especially timely now, it also timeless. We want to make sure that this conversation doesn’t stop—not until our laws and societal norms reflect real change.

ENOUGH is open to women and non-binary people. Women of color and non-binary people of color are especially welcome to submit.  

We will consider personal essays, critical essays, poetry, comics, and hybrid work. We are especially interested in work that considers who has access to healthcare and to therapy, who has been taught to speak up and who has been taught to be silent, and the ways in which these inequalities make vulnerable populations even more vulnerable. While we support the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, ENOUGH is its own series and we ask that you avoid using these hashtags in your titles and essays unless you are writing a piece that centers around or investigates the campaigns themselves.

Essays should be between 1000–2500 words. You can share three poems or five pages of poetry in a submission. We can only consider work that has not been previously published (this includes personal blogs and social media). All work should have a title.

If you haven't received a response within three months, you may query to check on the status of your submission, 

DEADLINE: May 31, 2019


2020 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship

PEN America 

INF0: The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship is a $5,000 award offered annually to an author of children's or young-adult fiction. It has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber and is designed to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

Who Is Eligible:

  • Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author.

  • The writer's previous book(s) must be published by a U.S. trade publisher (not self-published).

  • The submitted work must be fiction and a work-in-progress (not published). Graphic novels and picture books are not accepted.

  • Judges will be looking for candidates whose work has not yet attracted a broad readership, and who has not had financial success.

 How to Apply or Nominate:
Please note that the application process is now entirely online. Hard copy applications will no longer be accepted. Writers may nominate themselves or a fellow writer. To submit, please complete the electronic application below which will require the following materials:

1) Cover letter: A 1-2 page letter describing in some detail how the candidate meets the criteria for the Fellowship, including a list of their previously published novel(s) for children or young adults.
2) Three professional reviews: Copies of or links to at least three reviews of their novel(s) from professional publications.
3) Letter of recommendation: A 1-2 page letter of support written by an editor or fellow writer.
4) Project outline: A brief (2-4 page) outline of the current novel in progress. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the outline in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
5) Manuscript sample: 50–75 pages of the work-in-progress. Graphic novels and picture books are not eligible. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
6) Letter of Utility: A brief description (roughly 1 page in length) of candidate's book sales and earnings, and how the fellowship will aid in completing the work in progress. 

DEADLINE: June 1, 2019