Saturday, April 3, 2021

Tips for Successful Publishing - Newsletter April 2021


Content of this April Newsletter:





Happy April everyone! It is also called the “National Month of Hope”. April is a good time to complete a project. Earth sign transits bring appreciation for simple pleasures. And as it was weeks ago since the last holiday, look forward and enjoy the Easter Holidays - at least in Europe where the celebrations go from Good Friday to - and including - Easter Monday.

Spring is here, and lots of new books, just in time for the second-best reading time of the year. And what’s better than to start a new book with early reviews. 


Flash Fiction Online

Genre: Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. Deadline: April 21


The Fiddlehead

Canadians only. Genre: Fiction, including excerpts from novels, creative nonfiction, art, and poetry. Payment: $60 CAD per published page. Deadline: April 30


Coral & Amazonas Magazine 

The world’s leading English marine aquarium magazine, read in in more than 100 countries. AMAZONAS is the world’s leading freshwater-only aquarium magazine. Available in high-quality print and digital editions, published six times per year, bimonthly. A typical blog post runs from about 250 to 1,000 words and will include at least one image. First-time contributors generally receive $300 to $350 for an article, including images. Top rates are $500-$600 for full features with images from known, recurring contributors.



If you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send it to Boulevard. We accept prose works up to 8,000 words. We do not accept science fiction, erotica, westerns, horror, romance, or children's stories. Submit no more than five poems at a time. We accept poems of up to 200 lines. We do not accept light verse. Prose minimum is $100, maximum is $300.


Recreation News 

The Media Group offers travel coverage of the Mid-Atlantic, Caribbean destinations, and cruises with a print edition, online edition, weekly radio program, and weekly opt-in email blast. Our lively editorial mix of active outdoor recreation, family vacation destinations, romantic getaways, historic sites, and cultural activities together with our wine, food, video, and music columns offers a rich picture of vacation.


New Orleans Reviews

A journal of contemporary literature and culture, New Orleans Review is a publication of the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans. Submit fiction and non-fiction pieces up to 5,000 words.


The Writer

Our editors are interested in query letters on concrete topics written by emerging and experienced writers in all genres. We are looking for a clear takeaway for our readers: What can they learn to improve their writing or advance their careers? What specific how-to tips and strategies will accomplish this? Article lengths vary widely from 300 to 3,000 words. On occasion, longer articles and excerpts also appear in the magazine. We also have special issues throughout the year that focus on a particular theme.


Message Magazine

Our target reader is an 18- to 35-year-old urbanite who may not be religious but is seeking spiritual fulfillment and answers to life’s dilemmas. We love compelling comeback stories, inspirational and captivating profiles, well-crafted, timely features, and insightful Biblical analysis. Health, financial, professional, and relationship stories with a strong Biblical foundation will always be considered. Various features and columns available. Pays around 25 cents per word.



The magazine is published by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Subscription is largely through VFW membership, which is restricted to honorably discharged veterans who received an officially recognized campaign medal. Recognition of veterans and military service is paramount at the VFW. Articles related to current foreign policy and defense, along with all veterans' issues, are of prime interest. Topics pertaining to American armed forces abroad and international events affecting US national security are, particularly in demand.



Rural lifestyle farmers and country or small-town dwellers, and we require our writers to be informed about that way of life. GRIT publishes feature-length articles on topics of interest to those living in rural areas, on farms or ranches, or those interested in the rural lifestyle. Features generally range from 1,000 to 2,000 words. Departments and columns are usually 500 to 1,500 words. Good quality photos accompanying manuscripts are welcomed.


Bloom Magazine 

It’s a culture and lifestyle magazine based in Bloomington, IN. Readers are both visitors to Bloomington and its adult, professional, working population: Fashion/Shopping, Business/Finance (including personal finance), Health/Fitness & Home/Family. Articles in these departments are service pieces (350-400 words) that inform or help our readers in some practical way.


Inside Fitness

Inside Fitness accepts outside contributions from qualified industry professionals. Inside Fitness magazine is Canada’s number one fitness magazine and is published by IFM Media Inc. With a distinct Canadian flair, the magazine caters to readers all over the world, covering the latest trends in health, sports, strength & conditioning, fitness, nutrition, and more.


Harper's Magazine

It has a circulation of more than 220,000. They publish fiction, art and nonfiction. Payment: According to Who Pays Writers Harper's pays between 25 cents and a dollar a word. Snail mail submissions only.


One Story 

is seeking literary short stories. Single stories are sent to email subscribers every month. Length: Between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies.


The Paris Review 

In its long history as a literary magazine The Paris Review has published such luminaries as Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Adrienne Rich. The Paris Review accepts fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Payment: 10 cents/word to $100 flat fee.


The New Yorker 

It publishes one short story per issue and several poems. Payment: Professional rates. Submission guidelines are here.


The Vice Life 

It covers the themes of health, wellness, self-care, sex, relationships, drugs, alcohol, and money, scientific research, current events, trends, and perspectives in short-form blogs, first-person journalism, and original reported pieces, as well as key franchise series. 700-1,500 word original reports and reported essays, as well as shorter pieces.  Pays $250.


New Jersey Monthly 

A statewide magazine, covering the people, places, and issues of New Jersey—and only New Jersey. We are interested in timely stories about current issues; local personalities; healthcare; education; politics; business; the environment; science and technology; real estate and development; arts and culture; Jersey history and attractions; restaurants and food; shopping; beauty and fashion; home and garden; music and nightlife; local sports and athletes; and recreation. We are looking for writers who can deliver brightly written, well-researched service articles, but we are also interested in investigative stories from qualified reporters. 1,000-1,200 words; full-length feature stories run 2,000-3,000 words. Pays up to a dollar/word.



Vermont Creation Grants  

Creation Grants can fund time, materials, some equipment costs, and space rental for artists and artist groups. Special consideration will be given to emerging artists in this grant round. Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist. The grant amount for this program is $4,000 per award. Deadline April 14


Bogliasco Foundation

One-month fellowships to individuals of all ages and nationalities who have made significant contributions in the arts and humanities. Fellows live and work in bucolic surroundings on the coast near Genoa, including a $3,000 stipend for an African-American woman working in any discipline of the arts.  Deadline April 15


Arkansas Artist Grants

The fellowships recognize individual artistic ability and creative excellence in literary, performing, and visual arts. Fellowships of $4,000 each are awarded annually in three categories. Literary Arts: Poetry, Cinematic Arts: Director of Documentary or Narrative Films, Visual Arts: Contemporary Crafts. Deadline April 16


Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant 

Open to US citizens and residents only. Genre: Creative nonfiction: history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, the sciences, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, and personal essays. Writers must be completing a book of creative nonfiction that is currently under contract with a publisher. Prize: $40,000. Deadline: April 26


Irene Adler Scholarship

The Irene Adler Prize offers a $1,000 US scholarship to a woman pursuing a degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the U.S. or Canada. Deadline April 30


Artist Relief 

$5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Must be a practicing artist able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to work, career, and a public audience. Must have been living and working in the US for the last two years. While all dates are subject to change, the application will be open in cycles. Cycle XI: April 1 - April 30 (closes 11:59pm ET), Cycle XII: May 1 - May 31 (closes 11:59pm ET)


Writer's Colony Moondancer Fellowship 

The Moondancer fellowship is awarded to an author who expresses their love of nature and concern for the environment through their writing. This fellowship is open to poets, fiction writers, playwrights, essayists, columnists, memoirists, and screenwriters. Prior publication is not a requirement but should demonstrate literary merit or production. Location: Eureka Springs, AR.  Deadline May 31


GrubStreet’s Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers provides financial and professional development support to two self-identified Black writers interested in teaching classes, participating in events, and working with our instructors and staff to deepen our curriculum. The fellowship includes compensation of $20,000. Preference will be given to those working on their first book or a larger project.  Location Arlington, MA.  Deadline May 25



You have a lot to gain from entering writing competitions:  Winning a contest really boosts your chances of getting published - Having a deadline forces you to finish editing - Many contests require you to write a synopsis and a pitch, which are essential for approaching publishing houses, editors, and agents.  

Mostly, contests are held every year, so if you missed one you'd like to enter, you can prepare for next year.

Scotiabank Giller Prize $100,000 to the Winner

Open to books published in Canada in English between March 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, to be eligible. Must be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: April 16, 2021


The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. Genre: Novel published in 2020 (50,000 words minimum). Book has to be set in one of the original eleven states in the Confederacy. Prize: $2,500.00, and an expense-paid trip to New York City. Deadline: April 30


Toronto Book Awards

Genres need to contain some clear Toronto content (this may be reflected in the themes, settings, subjects, etc.). Ebooks, textbooks, and self-published works are not eligible. The winning author is awarded the remainder of ca. $10.000.00 Deadline: April 30


Grindstone Short Story Prize

Writers are asked to submit a piece of short fiction between 1000 and 3000 words, of any genre, aimed at adult readers. Grand Prize - £500. Runner Up - £200. Four short-listers - £50. The top 20 entries will be curated into our yearly anthology and published in print. £8 Entry Fee. Deadline April 30.


Easter Prize for Fiction

One winner and multiple finalists may be declared at the conclusion of the contest. The winner of this contest will be awarded $2,500 and be published by EastOver Press. All prizes will be awarded upon successful completion of a contract for publication. Open to manuscripts written in the English language from writers 18 and older who live in the United States or one of its territories. $20 Entry Fee. April 30


The Adventure Writers Competition

Any novels between 50,000 and 200,000 words that are in the realm of action/adventure/thriller/mystery - and chocked-full of adventure - are welcome. Prize $1,000. No sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or young children's books. Fiction, Novel, Thriller, Mystery. Entry Fee: $35. Deadline April 30 


WOW! Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

The $500 contest is open globally. Your story must be true, but the way you tell it is your chance to get creative. Open to all styles of essay—from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid essay, and beyond! Entry Fee: $12.  Deadline April 30


Willie Morris Fiction Award

A prize of $10,000 will be awarded for a novel of at least 50,000 words published during 2020. No Self-published books. The winner will be invited to attend the Willie Morris Award ceremony in Oxford, Mississippi, with travel expenses paid for the occasion.  No entry fee.  Deadline April 30


Force Majeure Flash Contest

Top prize for a single flash $300; two runners-up $100 each. Limit 1,000 words. May contain fiction, nonfiction, hybrids, marks, or images, in any combination. May bend genre.  $5 Entry Fee.  Deadline April 30


Curt Johnson Prose Awards

Prizes are $1,500 - All finalists will be listed in the awards issue. Maximum of 8,000 words for fiction and nonfiction. $20 Entry Fee. Deadline May 1.


Grindstone Short Story Prize

Writers are asked to submit a piece of short fiction between 1000 and 3000 words, of any genre, aimed at adult readers. Grand Prize - £500. Runner Up - £200.   £8 Entry Fee.  Early bird deadline May 1.


EastOver Prize for Essays 

Open to a wide variety of book-length non-fiction manuscripts by established and emerging writers. The publication includes $2,500 at the time of contract signing. Finalists may also be considered for publication by the Press. All fees collected for submissions go towards payments for writers. $20 Entry Fee. Deadline May 1


Smokelong Grand Micro Competition

Fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid narratives are considered. Limit 400 words.  Grand Prize: $1,500. Second Place: $500. Third Place: $300.  The story will be judged on the English text.  $6 Entry Fee.  Deadline May 16


The Bath Novel Awards

A £3,000 international prize for emerging writers of adult fiction. Submit the first 5,000 words plus a one-page synopsis of your novel for adults or young adults. Shortlisted entries will receive manuscript feedback and literary agent introductions.  Entry Fee: $38.  Deadline May 31


Short Story Competition

This Short Story Competition has the theme: ‘Stories with a Sense of Place’. Max. 5,000 words. Prize £1500. Entry Fee: $17. Deadline June 15.


Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry 

$2000 plus publication for a full-length poetry collection will be awarded for an unpublished, full-length volume of poems by a US author.  Entry Fee $28.  Deadline June 16 


To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Contest

A biennial short story contest with a humorous twist that celebrates the most imaginative and amazing short stories from writers all over the world. The top prize is £1,200. Entry Fee: $18. Deadline July 31


Juniper Prizes

The University of Massachusetts Press publishes the winning manuscripts and the authors receive a $1,000 award upon publication. Submissions are accepted between August 1 and September 30. Entry Fee: $30.  Deadline September 30


Prime Number Magazine Awards

The winning poem and short story will appear in Issue 199 of Prime Number Magazine on First Prize is $1,000 in each category plus Pushcart Prize nomination. Submit one (and only one) unpublished poem of no more than three pages. Submit one (and only one) unpublished short story of up to 5,300 words. The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world who write in English. Deadline October 1



As with any other product on the market, people rely on the recommendations of others when they choose a book to read. Getting people to review your book can be an uphill battle - check if these book reviewers are taking new books on:

We listed over one thousand reviewers and how to catch their attention. It might happen that some are closed for a couple of weeks due to overwhelming requests. Just try it later. 

These tips from our book 111 Tips on How to Get Free Reviews might help you to find more reviewers:


Happy Passover and great Easter Holidays! Take care of yourself and each other during these Spring days and as we head toward early Summer, new growth, brighter days, and – hopefully – happier and healthier times.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

How to Find a Literary Grant, Free Residency, or a Fellowship

Grants, free Writer's Residencies, and Fellowships can be a great way to bolster your CV, expand your professional network, and - most important - receive a cash award.   There are two important steps:   
1. Research and find grants and 2. Apply properly.


Where to Find Grants
Your first choice is to read our free monthly newsletter which we publish at LinkedIn, SavvyBookWriters, and Content-on-Demand. We compile these Grants, Fellowships, and free Writer's Residencies from a dozen resources, doing all the legwork for you!  The newsletter is published in the first week of every month.  Sign up at SavvyBookWriters or on Content-on-Demand and you will receive it automatically via email.

Google is helpful too: Type in your location AND literary grants.  The location might be a country, state, province, region, or city. You will be surprised that each one will come up with different results.  To find a free writer's residency, type in the area in which you would like to be during your "workation".

For literary grants, the UK and Australia 
have their own national and local committees, while Canada has province and city arts commissions. The USA has State and Jurisdictional Arts Agencies, Regional Arts Organizations, all under the umbrella of the National Endowment for the Arts. 

To find the art commissions in your country, go to:


The Application Process

Learn everything about the grant provider.  Read about former grant recipients.  Follow the guidelines.  See if you are a good fit for what the grant provides.  They have a mission.  You, as a writer, have to match the mission of the grant provider.
Watch the deadline.  Allow ample time to do your paperwork, collect documentation or references, and speak with people you may need for advice.
Reach out to the program manager.  These grant commissions are the ones who know grants and understand the process.  Meet or call them.  Get to know them.  They will help you present the best grant application you can.

An amazing number of applications fall short because of details rather than qualifications.  On the positive: Almost a third of applications for writer's residencies, fellowships, and grants make it!  What do you wait for?  Start applying!


Sunday, March 21, 2021

The First Question That Strangers Most Likely Ask

"What Do You Do?"  This is often the first question strangers ask me ever since I am a twenty-something - and still often do as I am at retirement age.  It seems like an innocuous query - but in my eyes, it is pretty rude. 
Depending on my mood, I sometimes asked back: "Do you want to know my socioeconomic status?" Or I tell them what I am doing right now: "I enjoy this party", or "I enjoy this dinner". Or "I enjoy the weather."  Let’s think about this question: it’s such a broad, salient inquiry any answer would suffice.
What This Question Really Means:
How do you earn a paycheck?  How much money do you make?  What is your socioeconomic status?  And based on that status, where do I fall on the socioeconomic ladder compared to you?  Am I a rung above you?  Below you? How should I judge you? Are you worth my time?
Over time, I learned a better way to answer this dangerous query, though: by changing the question altogether.  The next time someone asks what I do, I am trying this:  I don’t give them "what I am doing".  Instead, I tell them what I am passionate about, and then change course by asking them what they are passionate about:
“I’m passionate about writing (or sailing, hiking, or traveling),” I will say, followed by, “What are you passionate about?”
Now, you’ll likely get one of three responses: 1) a blank stare, 2) the person will tell you they’re also passionate about X, Y, or Z, and the conversation will veer off in a more heartfelt direction, or 3) the stranger will attempt to recite their job title, to which you can respond, “That’s great. So you’re passionate about your job?” Eventually, you will both discuss the things you enjoy, instead of the jobs you don’t.

Instead of giving people a title (i.e., a box to put you in), let them know what you enjoy doing—what you’re passionate about—and then discover what they enjoy.  The conversation will hopefully morph into something far more interesting, and you’ll learn a lot more about each other than any silly job titles or just the professions.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Good News for Travelers in America


Made possible by government COVID-19 relief funding, Amtrak said that not only can it resume the 12 long-distance routes with daily service, but it will also recall more than 1,200 furloughed employees throughout the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. 

Amtrak will resume the following routes with daily service as of May 24:

California Zephyr (Chicago – Omaha – Denver — Salt Lake City – San Francisco)

Coast Starlight (Seattle – Portland — Sacramento – Oakland – Los Angeles)

Empire Builder (Chicago – St. Paul-Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle)

Texas Eagle (Chicago – St. Louis – Dallas – San Antonio – Los Angeles)

The following routes will resume with daily service as of May 31:

Capitol Limited (Washington, D.C. – Pittsburgh – Cleveland – Chicago)

City of New Orleans (Chicago – Memphis – Jackson – New Orleans)

Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston – Albany – Buffalo – Chicago)

Southwest Chief (Chicago – Kansas City – Albuquerque – Los Angeles)

Finally, the following four routes will regain daily service as of June 7:

Crescent (New York – Washington, D.C. – Atlanta – New Orleans)

Palmetto (New York – Washington, D.C. – Charleston – Savannah)

Silver Meteor (New York – Savannah – Jacksonville – Orlando – Miami)

Silver Star (New York – Raleigh – Jacksonville – Orlando – Tampa – Miami)

“Offering daily long-distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we  would like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.”

Read all the details and more routes here: