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 The Diverse Writers & Artists of Speculative Fiction

My Path to Publication

By Jane Lo

I’ve always loved to write stories. Prior to 2020, I had written a few short stories and personal essays – and when I was in high school, had even written a long, meandering tale I liked to think of as a ‘novella’ – but it wasn’t until January 2020 that I really began to take my writing seriously. This was when I took my first novel writing course, and when I began writing every day.

In some ways, it was an unlikely time for this to happen. 2020 was the start of a global pandemic. Our children were very young – 2 and 4 – and attending an exceedingly enthusiastic and responsible nursery, who felt they needed to provide them with an unending stream of online lessons and activities. Learning materials had to be picked up every two weeks so that our children would be able to continue doing science experiments, art projects, and of course, the usual Chinese, English, and mathematics worksheets.

I was also teaching full-time, so during the day when I wasn’t with the kids, I was in our bedroom teaching Zoom lessons. There was no real work/home division anymore, at least not during the day. It was busy – but strangely, with no daily commute, no going out on the weekends and in the evenings, and no social obligations of any kind – both my husband and I eventually realized that there was some time to spare in the evenings. He watched movies. I did at first, too. But eventually, I started writing in earnest.

I began writing for an hour every night. I poured myself into the story; through my characters, I explored love, cultural differences, familial obligations, motherhood, and this city I call home, Hong Kong. My usual time was 11PM to midnight, and this worked for me because I no longer had to wake up early to catch a bus to work; I could go directly from the breakfast table to my first Zoom lesson in our bedroom. I remember going into the office one day, finally, when we were allowed to again, and proudly announcing to my coworker, I’ve got 20,000 words! It was more than I had ever written.

That year, I kept sending chapters to a trusted writing mentor and she kept giving me encouragement and feedback. She helped me tremendously on my writing journey. I learned two important things about my writing self that year: 1) regular feedback is essential to my writing process and 2) I need small, achievable goals (5,000 words at a time is much more manageable than 70,000 all at once!).

I was so excited about having finished such a big project that I began querying agents and publishers almost immediately. Waiting to hear back was hard, especially as I received more and more rejections, but I kept taking writing courses on different topics, from romance writing to crime and thriller writing. I started a new novel and wrote short stories and flash fiction to keep my writing sharp. In hindsight, I recognise that my manuscript wasn’t quite ready for querying — I got just one full request from an American publisher, which became a rejection.

Disheartened but not ready to give up, I worked with a developmental editor who helped me improve the story and expand it from 60,000 words — too short for a novel, and perhaps one of the reasons why I got so few requests in my first round of queries — to just under 70,000 words.

During this process I kept learning more about the publishing industry. I learned that while an agent is very helpful — and absolutely vital if the goal is to be published by a big publisher — even with an agent, the process of being on submission can take a very long time for some authors, sometimes several years, and that some manuscripts never get sold at all. This seemed unthinkable to me — to finally find an agent, only to never see the book in print.

Happily, I also learned that there are many small and mid-sized presses willing to consider unagented submissions. It’s true that small presses might not be able to provide authors with a large advance (or any at all), and might not have a lot of money to promote the book — but at the same time, they might be more willing to take a chance on an unpublished writer, or a story with a more niche focus, and might be more open to the author’s views on aspects of the book like the cover, or which blurb goes on the back of the book. A local publisher might also be able to get my book into bookstores right here in my city, which was a big author dream of mine. With this in mind, during this second round of querying, apart from agents based in the UK and the US, I intentionally approached more small publishers, some of which are based in my part of the world — Hong Kong, China, Asia.

This time, my manuscript caught the eye of a publisher, Earnshaw Books, which specializes in books with a connection to China. Now, just eight months later, I have published my first novel, All I Ever Wanted. It has been a rather unusual and unlikely path to publication, but I am thankful I made it in the end.


Bio: Jane Lo is a Chinese-Canadian writer and teacher who has lived and worked in Vancouver and Hong Kong. She now lives in Hong Kong with her husband, two children, and a leopard gecko. Her debut novel,  All I Ever Wanted, was published with Earnshaw Books in April 2023.

Strap in and enter worlds of wonder in Chosen Realities: Summer 2020. The Journal contains a dazzling array of short stories, scripts, interviews, and more! Stroll through fantastical universes, rocket through science fiction landscapes, and muse on poetry in this jam-packed introductory volume of the Journal of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction. Entertainment and enlightenment await!

You may be looking for some Afrofuturistic art for your project. Click the links to the artist and contact them on Deviant Art to collaborate!

SF/F Markets

Opportunities for Historically Underrepresented Authors this April

This list of publishers meet our guiding principles, but are only open to free submissions from historically underrepresented writers or focus on publishing content produced by historically underrepresented writers. Some of these publications are open to a wide range of writers including writers of color, gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+ writers, and those living with disabilities. Some have limited definitions and are only interested in work by Black authors. We try to make it as clear as possible who the publisher is seeking work from. Sometimes the focus of the press is limited, even though there are no limitations on who can submit. A few of the opportunities are also limited by geography, again, we try to make this clear.



They are reading creative nonfiction submissions by marginalized writers only. Their guest editor says, “For this open call, I am looking for Creative Nonfiction Flash/micros, from writers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and/or from other marginalized identities. As a queer, latinx writer, I want to give a platform to other marginalized voices and our lives, which are often foregrounded—as our currency often lives in our imagination, in the fictive realities we create for others. …. While I don’t have any preferences for a particular topic or concept, I do gravitate to stories that, as Maggie Nelson writes in The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, “bring us spectacular pain.” One that either lingers silently or makes you feel like you’ve reached into a flame. I love work that is risky, innovative, and, perhaps above all else, full of heart.” Send pieces of up to 1,000 words. Shenandoah pays $100 per 1,000 words of prose, up to $500. The deadline is 31st May 2023, or until filled, for flash CNF submissions. Please note, Shenandoah has a monthly submission cap during their reading periods. Details here and here.

(They’re also open for comics submissions, from all writers.)


Lightspeed publishes science fiction and fantasy. They are open to submissions from BIPOC writers only, during 23rd to 30th April 2023, for fantasy short fiction/novelettes, and submissions from all writers are open from 1st to 7th May, for this genre. They also accept translations. They will open later in the year for science fiction, as well as fantasy, flash fiction (see guidelines). Length guidelines are  1,500-10,000 words for short fiction/novelettes (up to 5,000 words preferred). They pay $0.08/word.


They only publish works by immigrant and diaspora authors. They are open for speculative flash fiction in April, for stories up to 1,500 words. Pay is $0.10/word. The deadline is 30 April 2023. Details here and here.


They publish work by African origin writers only. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, interviews/reviews, and art/photography. They are reading submissions on the Transition theme for the next issue, and have detailed guidelines; you can read more about that here. Pay is $25-50 for poetry, $50 for one-act plays, $60 for fiction and nonfiction, and $35 for art. Please see their note about compensation/payment methods. Please send only one submission per reading period. The deadline is 30 April 2023.

Foglifter Journal

Their website says, “Foglifter’s literary journal is a biannual compendium of the most dynamic, urgent LGBTQ+ writing today. It’s a space where queer and trans writers celebrate, mourn, rage, and embrace.” They are especially interested in cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work. They have a Writers In Need fund, which supports sliding scale payments for their contributors. The deadline is 1 May 2023.

Luna Station Quarterly

Luna Station Quarterly publishes speculative fiction (500-7,000 words) written by women-identified authors. See guidelines for the kind of submissions they want (including Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera, New Fairy Tales — not retellings), and what they do not want. Pay is $5. They have ongoing submissions, with quarterly cut-off dates for issues (scroll down to Deadlines); the deadline is 15 May 2023 for the September issue.

Verum Literary Press

They publish fiction, poetry, and art. The magazine is run by a high school student and prioritizes marginalized voices; you can read more about them here. They are reading submissions from Black writers only, for their next issue. There is no theme. Works do not have to center around Blackness. The deadline is 30 April 2023. Details here and here.

The Other Side of Hope: Journeys in Refugee and Immigrant Literature

They publish poetry (up to 4 poems), fiction, and art from refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only; these are unthemed. Nonfiction and book reviews are open to all, and the theme for those is migration. Pay is £100 for print, £50 for online contributions, and £300 for art; asylum seekers get gift cards. The deadline is 31 May 2023.


According to their website, “Afritondo is a media and publishing platform that aims to connect with and tell the stories of Africans and black minority populations across the globe.” They accept a wide range of work, including manuscript-length work.

Apple A Day

A zine published by Bitter Pill Press, Apple A Day is “is a food zine, for people who have a complicated relationship with it. Apple a Day is about how one’s food experiences are affected by life with disability, neurodivergence, eating disorders, chronic illness, mental illness, etc.” They are currently reading for their second issue.

Brittle Paper

Brittle Paper is an online literary magazine for readers of African Literature.  They accept the following “fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, book reviews, essays, literary commentaries, fun listicles, and any writing with a literary bent”.

The Awakenings Review

The Awakenings Review is a project of The Awakenings Project. Established in cooperation with the University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in 2000, this print journal accepts poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from writers that have a personal connection to mental illness.


Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature is a digital, Open Access, biannual journal, published in summer and winter of each year. Their deadline for submissions to their summer issue is 1st May 2023.

Magnets and Ladders

A journal that publishes the work of authors with disabilities, their next deadline is 31st August 2023.

African American Review

John Hopkins University Press publishes this “aggregation of insightful essays on African American literature, theatre, film, the visual arts, and culture; interviews; poetry; fiction; and book reviews,” on a quarterly basis. They close to submissions on 1st May 2023.


This is a horror fiction podcast featuring Black writers all over the world (at least one of your birth parents must be Black). They also accept reprints (see guidelines). Their reading periods this year are: April, June, August, and October for short fiction (3,000-6,000 words pays $200). Please send your work in the appropriate genres only during the specific reading periods.

Kweli Journal

They seek “to publish work of writers and artists of color that is relevant, engaging, and uncompromising”. Submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are fee-free. Payment is after publication. The deadline is 30th May 2023. Details here and here.


They publish a variety of genres, and are open for online and print issues occasionally. They also have a Comfort Food section – “The COMFORT FOODS series publishes creative responses to the relationship between food and culture, identity and cuisine, from people in diaspora or those from various marginalised identities. From eating away exile to 2,000 word philosophical treatises on biryani, we’re here for it. … We’ll accept creative non-fiction, food writing, poetry, and artwork on this theme.” The deadline for online magazine submissions is 30 April 2023.

Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization. They publish and promote creative writing by Black women only; you can read more about them here. They publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers. “We are interested in work that challenges and disrupts preconceived notions of what Black women’s contemporary writing should be.” General submissions are accepted for Friday Features only, in which they publish fiction, hybrid works, poetry, and drama (including that accompanied by video or dramatic audio). Send up to 2,500 for fiction/hybrid works, up to 10 pages for drama, or up to 5 poems. Pay is $100. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis; you can submit here.

Tagg Magazine

Tagg is a US-based queer women’s publication. Their website has several themes they accept articles on, including personal essays, listicles, dating advice and fashion-related content. Articles are 350-1,000 words long and pay $75-175. They welcome pitches for article ideas. See the pitch guide for contributors here.

Bi Woman Quarterly

BWQ features the voices of women “with bi+ sexualities (i.e., bi, pan, fluid, and other non-binary sexualities)” and they see “woman” as a broad category and welcome contributions those who identify as trans, non-binary, cis, etc. They publish articles, creative writing, musings, and more.


A bi monthly zine that pays their contributors $40 for creative work, and priortizes BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creatives. They are currently not accepting writing-only submissions. Their submission guidelines, and form, are here.


They publish art, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction submissions  primarily by Asians, but they are open to submissions from non-Asians. Their uniting theme is Asian Folklore. Submitters must be over 18.

Tangled Laces

A magazine focused on publishing writing by queer teen authors between the ages of 14-18.

Fantasy Magazine

This is a digital magazine of fantasy and dark fantasy; send flash or short fiction (up to 7,500 words), or poetry. Pay is $0.08/word for fiction and $40/poem. They are open for submissions by BIPOC authors only for the whole of 2023, with occasional submission windows for all writers. The dates are subject to change.

Arc Poetry Magazine: Crip Lives — Restoring Subjectivity

Arc Poetry Magazine is accepting fee-free submissions for their Disability Desirability / Crip Lives: Restoring Subjectivity issue, from “artists who live with disability/chronic illness/mental illness and other forms of existence that are impacted by ableism to send us poems, prose, essays, and reviews exploring what it means to be in the world, or your topic of choice”. They pay. The deadline for their Crip Lives issue is 15 May 2023. They list other opportunities too. Details here (general guidelines) and here (Submittable, with theme guidelines).


We only usually include journals currently open to submissions, but this list is always published on the third Thursday of a given month, and this journal is only open to submissions through the 1st to the 10th of each month, so we are listing it and encouraging you to set a calendar alert for when it reopens on the 1st of the next month. “We are interested in poems with a keen connection to a sense of place, nature, or otherworldly geographies.” They only publish African poets, and pay N2,500 per poem.

Afternoon Visitor

This is an online quarterly publication of poetry, hybrid text, visual poetry, and visual art, and they’re particularly interested in giving space to trans + queer writers in each issue.

Dream Pop Journal

They welcome submissions from marginalized voices, and are especially interested in publishing work from emerging writers working in experimental, non-narrative forms. “Please send us your strange utterings, hybrid works, collaborative pieces, visual poetry, collages, and linguistic inventions. We hope that you will challenge the limits of what literature can be and that you will share your results with us.” They publish poetry, a speculative diary, visual art, as well as visual poetry & erasure. They are open year-round.

Class Collective

Their website says, this is “An annual literary magazine that illuminates the class struggle(s) hidden in the shadows of our culture.” They accept submissions from all writers. They publish poetry, including visual poetry (up to 5 poems), fiction (up to 5,000 words), essays (pitches and submissions), and commentary — writing that has a class-based perspective on politics and culture. Pay is CAD10 for poetry and CAD20 for prose. Submissions are open on a rolling basis.

Reappropriate: Filipinx American identity

Reappropriate is an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) race advocacy and feminism blog, focusing on race, gender, identity, Asian American history, and current events. Pay is $75-150 for work of 800-2,500 words.

The Acentos Review

The Acentos Review publishes writing, art, music and multigenre work by Latinx writers. They are open to submissions all year long. Details here.


A journal of queer plant-based writing, open on a rolling basis.

Wishbone Words

A new literary journal that publishes work, including poetry, creative nonfiction, personal essays, and illustrations, by chronically ill and disabled writers and artists. Regarding submission window and publication dates, “In 2023, we are launching on a quarterly schedule (every three months). This means issues will be published in

January, April, July, and October. Submission windows run for two months before the publication launches but are subject to closing early if the issue fills.”

the archipelago

They publish creative work that rewrites the map. Rewriting the map may involve oceans; islands; travel; movement; the decolonial/transcolonial; multilingualism; geography; cartography; displacement; relationships between unlikely places. They primarily publish short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction essays, fine art, photography, film. They publish work in  فارسی ,  اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ , Somali, မြန်မာဘာသာ, bahasa Indonesia, español, français and English. While they prioritize writers of color they are open to submissions from all. They pay for accepted work and also have an ongoing mentorship program which you can learn about at the bottom of this page. To submit, visit the link and email pitches@thearchipelago.org.


This respected literary journal is open to creative work from authors of all backgrounds, but they offer free submissions + fast response times to BIPOC and other mis- and underrepresented writers, here. Craft pays $100 for flash and $200 for short fiction and creative nonfiction.


They want work by non-native English speakers only – poetry, translations, fiction, and hybrid work. Send up to 5 poems, or up to 2 prose pieces, up to 2,500 words each.

The Lighthouse / Black Girl Projects

The tagline of The Lighthouse is, “Cultivating spaces of solidarity and safety for southern Black girls to shine through focused programming and research.” They have an extensive guide for pitching articles, including “We … are always looking for thought-provoking stories and other content from marginalized communities, Black girls, (in particular, but not exclusively) and gender non-conforming people. In addition to story and long-form story pitches and op-eds, they accept photography and original artwork for their online blogging platform, The Black Girl Times, and their monthly newsletter, The Black Girl Times Redux. Also, “Each month, we have an editorial theme board (kind of like the mood boards interior designers use) we post on our social media accounts (@luvblkgrls). The theme board is intended to be an inspiration and provocation of thoughts, ideas and feelings. Your response(s) can be literal or abstract and loose. And again, it might not have anything to do with anything we’ve seen.” Pay is $0.25-$1/word. Pay for art (graphic design, cartoons and photo essays) is $150-1,000.

Singapore Unbound: SUSPECT

Their website says, “SUSPECT grew out of SP Blog, the blog of the NYC-based literary non-profit Singapore Unbound.” They want poetry, literary fiction, essays, and any kind of writings that do not fall into these categories, written or translated into English by authors who identify as Asian. They also publish reviews of books by Asian authors and interviews with Asian writers and artists. Pay is $100, and there is no deadline listed.

(The submission page also has details of a themed poetry contest for all writers, the deadline for which is 15th May; the prizes are $300, $200, and $100.)

Hyphen Magazine

Their tagline is “Asian America Unabridged”, and their primary audience is Asian Americans in their 20s and mid 30s. They publish a wide range of work including but not limited to creative nonfiction, original fiction, original poetry, as well as articles pertaining to news, politics, and social justice. They pay $25 per published piece. They are only open to submissions by Asian Americans. They have detailed submission guidelines, please read them carefully.

Breath & Shadow

Breath & Shadow only publishes work from people with disabilities. This is how they define disability: “We use the term “disability” broadly to encompass anyone with a physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, or sensory impairment that significantly affects one or more major life functions.” They accept writing on any topic in terms of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama. Pieces do not have to be about disability. The academic or article type nonfiction, including profiles, interviews, and opinion pieces, do have to relate to disability in some way. They pay $20 for poetry and $30 for prose.

Screen Door Review

They only publish work by individuals who are Southern and queer. You can learn more about how they define Southern here. They publish flash fiction and poetry.

Emergent Literary

An exciting new literary journal that accepts a wide range of submissions from Black and Brown authors.

LatinX Lit Audio Mag

LatinX Lit Mag is a safe space for literary work written by authors who identify as Latinx or Hispanic.


Reformatting the Pain Scale: A print anthology

They are seeking poetry, prose, visual art and other work from people with chronic illness and/or chronic pain. They deadline to submit is May 1st. The anthology will be edited by Alyssa Goldberg. There was no information released in terms of payment.

Through the Portal: Stories from a Hopeful Dystopia, and other calls

They welcome international submission, but 90% of the work for the ‘Through the Portal’ anthology will be from people who live in/have ties to Canada. They have extensive guidelines, including, “Send us your eco-fiction stories or prose poems––literary, magical, speculative, solarpunk, supernatural, slipstream, reimagined folk/fairy tales. We want eco-fiction that envisions imaginaries and relationships in a new or changing world. How do we walk through the portal to the other side? How will we address or overcome the legacy of the past: the negative actors and social constructs, environmental devastation, racism, exploitation, pathologies? … We want submissions from everyone, emerging through established, and from all communities––including but not limited to LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indigenous, marginalized, culturally diverse, the deaf and disabled. Stories can be literary or speculative, with the environment playing an essential role in the narrative. We welcome visual content in the form of illustrations accompanying a story or prose poem, or as graphic stories.” They want works up to 3,500 words, and pay CAD0.05/word. The deadline is 31 May 2023.

The Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series

This opportunity, from Black Lawrence Press, is for immigrants living in the US – for manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid writing. “Poets and authors, at any stage of their careers, who identify as immigrants are welcome to submit a book manuscript of poetry or prose or a hybrid text for consideration. Submissions are accepted year-round. However, selections are made in June and November for a total of two books per year. In addition to publication, marketing, and a standard royalties contract from Black Lawrence Press, authors chosen for the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series will receive a travel stipend of $500, which can be used for book tours or in any manner chosen by the authors.”

North Dakota State University Press: Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series

The goal of this series to feature the authentic stories, poetry, and scholarly works of Native Americans, First Nations, Maori, Aborigines, Indians, and more to give voice to contemporary Indigenous peoples. NDSU Press considers book-length manuscripts of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for publication in this series.

Random House Canada

The Canadian arm of Random House changed their submission policy have opened their policy exclusively to LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC writers, as well as those from other traditionally underrepresented communities. They are particularly looking for “High quality commercial fiction in the following genres: literary, romance, speculative fiction, historical fiction, and mystery. Please note that we do not currently accept screenplays, stage plays, young adult fiction, children’s fiction, or picture book queries. All non-fiction submissions must be submitted via a literary agent.” They are open to submissions internationally, this is not limited to Canadians.

Tundra Books, Puffin Canada, Penguin Teen Canada

These children and teen focused Canadian imprints are open to direct submissions by underrepresented authors and illustrators only. Authors need not be Canadian.

Arsenal Pulp Press

A Canadian independent press that publishes a wide variety of work,  prioritizes work by LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors. We have reviewed them here.

Blind Eye Books

Blind Eye Books publishes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance novels featuring LGBTQ protagonists. They are a print publisher and their book covers are beautifully designed and really stand out. The books they have published have won and been nominated for a number of awards, including the Lambda. We have reviewed them here.

Peepal Tree Press

The world’s leading publisher of Caribbean and Black British writing publishes around 15 titles a year. They try to respond to all submissions within 20 weeks.


A small poetry press that publishes work of varying length. Submitting shorter work is free for everyone, but submitting poetry manuscripts is free only for poets who identify as Black. They are always open to these submissions.


We’ve reviewed Sourcebooks here, and their adult nonfiction imprint and their romance and horror imprints are always open to all submissions, but they also deserve to be on this list because their fiction imprint, their mystery imprint, their young adult imprint, and three of their children’s book imprints, all say “Our submissions are currently CLOSED to unagented projects, with the exception of works that directly promote diversity, equality and inclusion. For more information please email InclusiveFiction@Sourcebooks.com.” So if you have work that matches that description in those genres, please reach out to them.


The romance imprint of Hachette Book Group and Grand Central Publishing is open to direct submissions from BIPOC-identifying authors.

Angry Robot

A great science fiction publisher that only accepts direct submissions from Black authors.

Scholastic Canada

They are open to direct submissions from Canadian authors or focusing on Canadian content, who are from underrepresented communities, including Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, LGBTQIA2S+ writers and writers who identify with other marginalized groups.


Heartdrum is an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, which is edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and is in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. Native and First Nations writers and writer-illustrators are welcome to query her directly via a form on her website. Native and First Nations illustrators are also invited to reach out.


An imprint of Running Wild Press, RIZE only focuses on publishing work by historically underrepresented authors. Their main focus is manuscript length genre work but they are also have an annual short story and novella anthology.


Casa Africa micro-story contest

For this contest (open to all writers), they want micro-stories that are related to Africa in some way. Stories can be in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese, with a maximum length of 1500 characters (not words), including spaces and excluding the title. The prizes are €750, €375, and €225. The deadline is 21 April 2023.

Terrain.org Editor’s Prize

This magazine focuses on place, climate, and justice. They publish nonfiction, fiction, and poetry by all writers, and pay a minimum of $50. Also, “All accepted submissions by writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and/or other marginalized communities whose contributions explore place particularly in the context of social, environmental, or climate justice are considered for our annual Editor’s Prize of $500 per genre.” The deadline is 30 April 2023.

CINTAS Foundation: Fellowship in Creative Writing

This is a creative writing fellowship for writers having Cuban citizenship or direct lineage (having a Cuban parent or grandparent).  Applications can be in English or Spanish. Fellows who are not U.S. citizens and who are living abroad must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number when they accept the fellowship to receive payment. The foundation also offers fellowships for other disciplines – architecture & design, music composition, photography, and visual arts (click the ‘Fellowships’ tab on the page). The prize is $20,000. The deadline is 1 May 2023.

Queer Sci Fi: Rise

They want to see science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, or horror LGBTQIA stories of up to 300 words on the theme of Rise. They have detailed guidelines,  please read them carefully. The prizes are $100, $75, and $50. The deadline is 1 May 2023.

Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors

This is a climate fiction contest from Fix, Grit’s solutions lab. “We’re looking for stories of 3,000 to 5,000 words that envision the next 180 years of climate progress — roughly seven generations – imagining intersectional worlds of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope.” They have detailed guidelines, please read them carefully. While the contest is open for all writers, they also say, “A great Imagine story showcases creative climate solutions, particularly through narratives that center the communities most impacted by the climate crisis, and that envision what a truly green, equitable, and decolonized society could look like. We celebrate fiction rooted in hope, justice, and cultural authenticity, and aim to amplify voices that have been, and continue to be, affected by systems of oppression.” The prizes are $3,000, $2,000, $1,000; and $300 each for nine winners. The deadline is 13 June 2023. Details here and here.

Creative Future Writers’ Award Competition 2023

The Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA) is a writing development programme which celebrates talented, underrepresented writers in the UK who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity, health or social circumstance. The theme for their 10th Awards is ‘X.’ Your work should respond to the theme, implicitly or explicitly, but they’re looking for quality writing first and foremost. The theme is a creative prompt, not a requirement. You can submit ONE piece of writing: Poetry (50 lines max.); Fiction (2000 words max.); or Creative Non-Fiction (2000 words max.). The competition is only open to underrepresented writers in the UK who are 18 years or over. Please ensure you read the rules and eligibility criteria before submitting. Submission can be by email, post, or online. Prizes include cash, mentorship, manuscript assessment, and membership subscriptions. Deadline is May 14, 2023.

Poetry Bulletin Submission Fee Support

This is a confidential, poet-to-poet support. Over $5,000 has been committed to this circle since March 2021, and given to 70 poets so far. It covers submission fees for poetry chapbooks and full-length poetry manuscripts. A maximum of three submissions per poet. This support is designed for poets who cannot otherwise afford to submit their manuscripts to publishers; poets who face barriers of time, access, or energy; and poets who have historically been underrepresented. Support is confidential. If you’re matched with an anonymous supporter, you’ll be asked to keep their identity confidential. There’s no deadline.

CINTAS Foundation: Fellowship in Creative Writing

This is a creative writing fellowship for writers having Cuban citizenship or direct lineage (having a Cuban parent or grandparent).  Applications can be in English or Spanish. Fellows who are not U.S. citizens and who are living abroad must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number when they accept the fellowship to receive payment. The foundation also offers fellowships for other disciplines – architecture & design, music composition, photography, and visual arts (click the ‘Fellowships’ tab on the page). The award is $20,000, and the deadline is 1 May 2023.

The Africa Institute: Global Africa Translation Fellowship

The fellowship welcomes applications from across the Global South for a grant to complete translations of works from the African continent and its diaspora, into English or Arabic. This is a non-residential fellowship. Projects may be retranslations of old, classic texts, previously untranslated works, poetry, prose, or critical theory collections. The project may be a work-in-progress, or a new project feasible for completion within the timeframe of the grant. Application includes a translation sample. The award is $1,000-5,000, and the deadline is 1 June 2023.

Society of Authors: Dursilla Harvey Access Fund

These are small grants for UK-based/British writers, giving authors support for travel, subsistence, childcare or access needs for events, residencies, and retreats. Usual grants will be under £100 and no more than £350. They are accepted on a rolling basis starting 1 January 2023, and they are accepting applications on an ongoing basis.

(Society of Authors also has awards for works in progress as well as contingency funds – all their grants are here.)

PEN America: US Writers Aid Initiative

This is intended to assist fiction and nonfiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists, who are facing acute financial need following an emergency situation. To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States, be professional writers, and be able to demonstrate that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them to address a short-term emergency situation; there are other eligibility requirements, too. This grant is not for subsidizing writing-related expenses. Writers do not have to be PEN members to apply. The next deadlines listed for 2023 (subject to change) are: 1 July, and 1 October.

The Writing Barn Scholarship

The Writing Barn has a small but budding scholarship program available for our programming. Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria: seriousness of purpose, talent and financial need. They also offer specific Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity scholarships for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Neurodiverse writers, and writers with disabilities.

Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives and Educators

WNDB provides emergency grants to diverse authors, illustrators, publishing professionals, and K-12 educators who are experiencing dire financial need. They aim to bolster these marginalized groups by giving grants between $500 and $1,000 each.

Forward Funds: Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Creator Fund

The crowdsourcing platform for creatives, Kickstarter, now has Forward Funds. Their website says, “Forward Funders are foundations, nonprofits, and organizations that back Kickstarter campaigns related to their visions and missions around a more creative and equitable world. Each Forward Funder makes a public commitment and then backs projects just like anyone else—through single pledges that bring the works one step closer to reality.” One such fund is the $500,000 Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Fund. This backs projects by Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx creators in the US on the crowdfunding platform – “Effective immediately, funds will be awarded on an ongoing basis to creators with active projects across all of Kickstarter’s categories: Arts, Comics & Illustration, Design & Tech, Film, Food & Craft, Games, Music, and Publishing.” Projects launched on Kickstarter following their rules are eligible, and creators can nominate themselves for specific Forward Funds via a form. This is for both, creators and organizations.

BIPOC scholarship for Emily Harstone’s classes at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish

Each time Emily Harstone offers a class through the Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish, there is now an opportunity for one to two writers who identify as BIPOC to take it for free. If you registered last year, please note that the form re-set in January, and you are encouraged to fill it out again. Last year about 50 people who filled out the form, and out of that 14 received a scholarship.

Call for Panelists - Maryland State Arts Council

Creativity Grant Panelists

Creativity Grant panelists not only have the opportunity to review and score applications from both independent artists and small arts organizations from throughout the state of Maryland, but also can be a part of making an impact across many communities! Applications include proposals for project-based work and general operating support for organizations. 

What to Expect as a Panelist

What We’re Looking For

Presenting and Touring Panelists

Presenting and Touring Panelists have the unique opportunity to review applications for both the Maryland Touring Roster and for the Maryland Touring Grant. Evaluation of Touring Roster applications includes the review of performers that wish to join the Roster; Touring Grant reviews evaluate applications from presenters who wish to bring Touring Roster members to their venues. This is an exciting experience to ensure collaboration continues through this program!

What to Expect as a Panelist

What We’re Looking For

How do I apply to be a panelist? 

Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple. 

(You must be registered as an Independent Artist to apply.)

ly Now!

Applications for both programs due on Monday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Questions? Contact Program Directors Emily Sollenberger (emily.sollenberger@maryland.gov) or Laura Weiss (laura.weiss@maryland.gov) for assistance.