July 2021 Markets Newsletter (51,000+ subscribers!)
Can't view this email or pics? Check it out online: https://conta.cc/2U5CozI
In this issue:

  • Markets Column: "Happy Fourth of July – Liberate Yourself from Writer’s Block!" by Ashley Memory
  • Interview with Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author
  • July Deadlines: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Multigenre
  • Success Stories from the WOW Community!
  • Psych 101: Rejection by Sue Bradford Edwards
All writers suffer from the occasional bout of writer’s block. It’s our common demon, our scourge, and sometimes it even feels like a curse.

But we’re here to help! In honor of our nation’s birthday, we challenge you to push through that impasse into the blue sky of freedom. Ahh!

In this month’s issue, we’re providing tips to help beat writer’s block, and we’re also interviewing New York Times bestselling author Susan Shapiro about her new memoir, The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology. Susan epitomizes talent and persistence, and you’ll be inspired by her humor and words of wisdom.
Liberate yourself from writer’s block by trying one (or more) of these 5 tips:

1. Stop! An empty page is where all good stories start. But if you find yourself paralyzed by writer’s block, just stop. Don’t force yourself to write. You won’t like the result, and you may even, ahem, start to hate the work and beat yourself up. Before this happens, walk away. In fact, forbid yourself from writing for the next 12 hours. When I take a forced break, I end up missing it so badly that I often sneak back before my self-imposed suspension is over! The late Toni Morrison offered these wise words: “I tell my students there is such a thing as ‘writer’s block,’ and they should respect it. It’s blocked because it ought to be blocked, because you haven’t got it right now.”

2. Regress. Try to recover that same state of mind that sparked your imagination at the outset. When I struggled with a recent essay, I found myself flipping through a 1859 beekeeping treatise that inspired me in the beginning. The author and his charming prose reminded me of why I wanted to write this essay. If you reach an impasse, think back to the original inspiration for your idea—whether it was something else someone else wrote or words from your journal. Stepping back into the past may actually help you go forward.
Feature Interview
By Ashley Memory

We’re so excited to interview New York Times bestselling author Susan Shapiro about her new memoir The Forgiveness Tour: How to Find the Perfect Apology, a poignant, heartfelt journey into emotional healing. From the Los Angeles Review of Books and CNN to Forbes, The Detroit News, The Jerusalem Post, The Brooklyn Rail, everyone is talking about this book.

A native of West Bloomfield, Michigan, Susan now lives in Greenwich Village with her scriptwriter husband. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Oprah, Elle, Wired and The New Yorker online. She’s written thirteen other books her family hates, she says, including Lighting Up, Only As Good As Your Word, and Five Men Who Broke My Heart.

Her inspiring writing guide, The Byline Bible was culled from her 25 years as an award-winning, popular professor teaching at NYU, The New School and Columbia University's MFA programs. She pioneered “the instant gratification takes too long” method and since the pandemic has led numerous online classes and panels, which have helped countless students around the world find their way to publication.
WOW: Susan, thank you so much for spending time with us today. The January 2021 release of The Forgiveness Tour couldn’t have been more perfect, as we all emerge from our pandemic cocoons to rebuild our social lives. Did you and your publisher, Skyhorse, think about that as you scheduled the release?

Susan: I have luck launching books on off months, like January and August. But given the book’s ten-year history and the havoc the pandemic caused, it was a miracle it came out at all.

WOW: And we’re so glad it did! You write in the book about how the mentor who betrayed you predicted you would write about your rift later on. At the time you certainly didn’t feel like it, but when did you know you had a book?

Susan: Well, it was rejected and revised so many times over a decade. Two moments stand out. After Salon published a short excerpt that went viral in 2016, the piece won an ASJA (American Society of Journalist and Authors) award. In my thank you speech to a crowd of fellow writers, I said, “I’ve written 1,000 pages so it’s nice to know 1,000 words work.” Then, four years later, the smartest literary editor I know read it, got it, and wanted it. That’s when I felt like maybe I finally nailed it. Ultimately, she wasn’t able to buy it. (I’d sold four other books to her publisher that hadn’t earned out their advances, so I knew it was a ridiculous longshot.) But her response—and her edits—were empowering. Right before the pandemic, it found a home with Skyhorse. They’d published my earlier book, Unhooked and made it a New York Times bestseller. So, I felt like I was in excellent hands all around.

“It was rejected and revised so many times over a decade. After Salon published a short excerpt that went viral in 2016, the piece won an ASJA award. In my thank you speech to a crowd of fellow writers, I said, ‘I’ve written 1,000 pages so it’s nice to know 1,000 words work.’”

WOW: Of all the theories on forgiving that you discovered, which one surprised you the most?

Susan: I’d say the wisdom from Manny Mandel, an old family friend who was a Holocaust survivor and DC psychotherapist. He never forgave the Germans and thrived, in his life and work, out of spite.

WOW: The words of Dermott J. Walsh, the Buddhist professor you consulted, really resonated with me: “The chain of one person hurting another, refusing to apologize and then causing hurt must be changed by radical forgiveness or repentance.’

What lessons can we draw from the fact that so many faith leaders and gurus agree on the importance of forgiving?
Susan: I’m a Manhattan journalist and raging feminist, so I look at the world through a skeptical lens. There’s a billion-dollar Forgiveness Industry that makes money promoting radical forgiving of everyone everything. What I learned researching the book is that hurt, atonement, and forgiveness are very personal and nuanced. Gary Weinstein forgave the drunk driver who killed his wife and two children to honor his late spouse and sons and to be able to move on. Kenan kept a grudge against the Christian Orthodox Serbs who slaughtered his fellow Bosnian Muslims and by being a spokesperson enraged at their denial of genocide led him to his wife and new family. There isn’t one size that fits all.

WOW: The personal sagas of the thirteen other people in search of their own closures are fascinating. I loved what you told Sharisse, a former student: “Writing is like talking without being interrupted.”

Susan: Sharisse’s story showed how it’s sometimes healthier not to forgive. After being pushed by clergy to forgive her late father for raping her when she was a teenager, he tried to assault her again. A watershed moment of the book is when she unforgives him. And she forces her mother, a good editor, to read, revise and correct the spelling and punctuation of her memoir detailing what her father did to her and her mom didn’t protect her from. As Joan Didion said, writing is “an aggressive, hostile act.”

The idea of interruption came out of therapy, when I was recounting how, in my conservative male-dominated Midwest family, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. No wonder I became a teacher in charge of the class and an author, which in Latin means founder, master, leader, and contains the word “authority.” I often quote Tom Robbins’ line, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Though of course, my therapist argued it is.

“Writing is like talking without being interrupted.”
WOW: From a craft point of view, I admired how the chapters covering other people’s struggles have a satisfying story arc but also contributed to your own chronicle. How did you accomplish this?
Susan: At first I wanted the book to be a funny sequel to my comic memoir, Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking and Everything Else I Loved In Life Except Sex. But critics I trust said the betrayal by my mentor and eventual reconciliation wasn’t enough to hang a book on. Since he was a therapist, it came off too Manhattan-centric and shrinkadelic for a large audience. It kept getting heavier and darker. Interviewing other people who’d suffered wrongs never righted, and doctors and religious leaders added the wisdom and gravitas I was searching for on a personal and literary plane.

WOW: You quoted more than a dozen experts across the spectrum and read at least eighteen books in the ten years you invested in this project. When did you know that your research was complete?

Susan: Writing and revisiting it, I wasn’t sure. One editor said, “It’s too Jewish and New York shrinky,” a second one asked, “What’s with the Swami and Buddhists? Not enough Jews.” A third one suggested, “Take out the first-person angst and make it a self-help book.” When I saw the galley and reread the memoir, I was happy with it. I did a whole candle lighting ceremony when I put the stack of eighteen forgiveness books that had been living on my desk for so many years back on my shelves.

WOW: I bet that felt good! Even though we’re writers, ironically, words often fail us when we try to write about the people who’ve hurt us. What advice can you offer writers?

Susan: For my first memoir, Five Men Who Broke My Heart, a smart critic said if each male character is just a jerk, then you’re a jerk for going out with him and I don’t like either of you. So I tried to capture the moment where I fell in love, showing why, with each love story. And that way when my heart was broken, the readers was too. My rule for all first-person writing is you have to question, challenge, out, and trash yourself more than anyone else.

“My rule for all first-person writing is you have to question, challenge, out, and trash yourself more than anyone else.”
WOW: Great advice! In your book, you give 10 terrific tips for extracting the perfect apology. I’ve meditated on #9: “Try to view the estrangement as a mystery, not malice.” This is such a beautiful thought. Do you try to live life this way?

Susan: On a good day.

WOW: Well said! What I love most about the book (and your writing in general) is your dark humor. Your father, Jack Shapiro, said: “If you want to moon the world, use pseudonyms so you don’t embarrass the family,” and then you follow with “This was his way of acknowledging my latest personal essay in Marie Claire.” Can you talk about the relationship between humor and pain?

Susan: I tell my students, “The first piece you write that your family hates means you’ve found your voice,” and “Writing is a way to turn your worst experiences into the most beautiful.” Since I like to be self-deprecating, I could add: “hilarious.”

WOW: You actually dedicated The Forgiveness Tour to your father, who died while you were writing it. What would he say about this book?

Susan: I was thrilled and flattered when he kept buying copies and praising my coauthored memoir, The Bosnia List. Then I realized it was because the book was about someone else’s family instead of ours. But towards the end of his life, he told me, “You stuck to your guns and became a big success. I’m proud of you.” And he told his doctor Olaf—an aspiring writer—that I could help him get published. A student who was now an editor bought a great piece of Olaf’s and we later did a reading together, which was very cool and cathartic. I felt like my father was there watching.

“The first piece you write that your family hates means you’ve found your voice.”
WOW: That’s amazing. In addition to being a prolific and talented author, you’re a dedicated teacher who balances multiple classes and daily communications with your students. How do you do it all? Do you ever sleep?

Susan: I don’t have kids or pets and my husband is also a workaholic writer/teacher, so we can prioritize our careers and each other. Freud said the two life forces are work and love, so I feel blessed. And my students keep me young and inspired.

WOW: What else do you have coming up that you’d like to share?

Susan: World In Between, my first middle grade novel, coauthored with my Bosnia List coauthor Kenan Trebeincevic, comes out in July. And my new writing guide, The Book Bible: How to Sell Your Manuscript—No Matter What Genre—Without Going Broke Or Insane comes out in January 2022. It’s a sequel to The Byline Bible. Hopefully by then I can do in-person book events. I’m in withdrawal!

WOW: You are one busy lady. I hope you can carve out some time to rest soon. Thank you again for spending time with us today and sharing your wisdom. No wonder your Jungian astrologer believes your superpower is helping others soar. You are such an inspiration.
For more about Susan, visit susanshapiro.net or follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet or Instagram at @Profsue123.

Also, if you're looking for a guidebook to walk you through crafting and selling short nonfiction pieces, WOW recommends Susan's The Byline Bible. Learn about her wildly popular "Instant Gratification Takes Too Long" technique and how to land impressive clips. Discover how to write and sell your story in five weeks or less, including:

  • How to craft a cover letter and subject heading to get read and reviewed quickly
  • Who pay for essays, op-eds, regional, humor, or service pieces from unknown writers
  • Ways to follow up, build on your success, land a TV or radio spot, become a regular contributor, staff writer, and find a literary agent for your book with one amazing clip

Whether you're just starting out or ready to enhance your professional portfolio, this essential guide will prove that three pages can change your life!

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.org.
Concrete Wolf Poetry Series: Octopus & Other Cephalopod Anthology
Deadline: June 30
“Calling all Octopus and other Cephalopod-inspired poems. Poet and cephalopod expert Sierra Nelson is editing an anthology to be released by World Enough Writers (an imprint of Concrete Wolf). Cephalopods include the octopus, squid, chambered nautilus, and cuttlefish, as well as extinct cephalopod species such as the ammonite. Work may be directly or tangentially cephalopod related, but the cephalopod invoked should feel like an integral part of the work. (Please note: A jellyfish is not a cephalopod.) Submit up to 3 poems. Also open to short lyrical prose submissions under 750 words.” No fee.

The Burnside Review Poetry Chapbook Contest
Deadline: July 15
“Submit 18-24 pages of poetry, including a list of acknowledgments. Your name and contact information should not appear anywhere in the manuscript.” Judge: Ari Banias. Fee: $15.

Asheville Poetry Review
Deadline: July 15
Asheville Poetry Review is an annual literary journal that publishes 180–220 pages of poems, interviews, translations, essays, historical perspectives, and book reviews. Since its inception in 1994, Asheville Poetry Review has published over 1800 new and established writers from 22 different countries. Send 3–6 poems of any length or style. No fee.

The Comstock Review: 2021 Poetry Contest
Deadline: July 16
First Prize: $1,000 (The Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award); Second Prize: $250; Third Prize: $100. Honorable Mentions receive a one-year subscription. Entry fee includes up to 5 poems. There is no limit to the number of submissions. No poem may exceed 40 LINES, beginning with the first line of text below the title. DO NOT count blank lines. Please also consider our 64-character line width when submitting. Poems should be submitted in .doc or .docx form. Fee: $27.50.
Lascaux Prize in Flash Fiction
Deadline: June 30
Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review. Individual story length should not exceed 1,000 words. All genres and styles are welcome. Judges are the journal’s editors. Fee: $15. [Note: Check out our interview with The Lascaux Review's senior editor, Marissa Glover in the Feb '21 Markets Newsletter.]

Running Wild Press & RIZE: Annual Short Story Anthology
Deadline: July 5
“We are specifically looking for submissions from new and experienced nonfiction and fiction writers of color—in the adult and young adult markets. We want works whose themes echo a call to action within and beyond the cultural community where each story is framed.” Short stories under 15,000 words. Standard format. No fee. https://runningwildpress.submittable.com/submit/190788/rize-annual-short-story-anthology

Page One Prize 2021
Deadline: July 7
“Submit only the first page of your novel-in-progress (one, single page, not 2-sided). This should be the first page of the first chapter, not the first page of a prologue or introduction. It's fine if your page ends mid-paragraph or mid-sentence. Double-space one 8.5” x 11” or A-4 page, using your favorite 12-point font, 1-inch (2.54 cm) margins all around. Your name should not appear anywhere on the page or in the name of your document. NOTE: Winners of the first, second and third prize cash prizes, as well as any honorable mentions, must agree to allow their first pages to be posted on the Page One Prize website.” First Prize: $1,000; Second Prize: $500; Third Prize: $250. Fee: $20

Midnight & Indigo: Speculative Fiction/Horror
Deadline: July 11
“The readers loved it so much, we're doing it again! We are looking for previously unpublished, character-driven, speculative short stories written by Black women writers for our second annual special issue (October 2021). Need context? Check out our 1st issue "midnight & indigo: Twenty-two Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers.” Speculative fiction is a broad genre encompassing fiction with certain elements that do not exist in the real world, often in the context of supernatural, futuristic, or other imaginative themes. This includes, but is not limited to, science fiction, fantasy, superhero fiction, horror, utopian and dystopian fiction, fairytale fantasy, and supernatural fiction. Stories must meet our minimum 1,500 word count requirement.” No fee for a standard submission; paid options exist for an expedited response and editor feedback.

New Flash Fiction Prize 2021
Deadline: July 15
Entries for the New Flash Fiction Prize should be 750 words or less. Judged by Tara Isabel Zambrano. Submissions should be previously unpublished and in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format. The entries will be read blind. All stories must be submitted with no identifying information in the story itself. Fee: $10; 1 story per entry. Maximum of 3 entries per writer. https://newflashfiction.submittable.com/submit/187632/the-2021-new-flash-fiction-prize

The 2021 Petrichor Prize for Finely Crafted Fiction
Deadline: July 15
“The Petrichor Prize will be issued to a work of finely crafted fiction. Winner Receives: Book publication by Regal House Publishing in 2023 and $1,000.
Minimum of 100 pages, maximum of 350 pages. At least 11pt. font. The entries will have a blind reading, so please do NOT include name, address and telephone number anywhere in the body of the manuscript. Paginate consecutively and include a table of contents.” Fee: $25

Catapult: Fiction
Deadline: July 16
“We welcome short stories and translated fiction. We pay for all pieces that we publish, a minimum of $200. We publish pieces that are anywhere from 500 to 4,000 words long. We are particularly interested in flash fiction (about 1,000 words or less). Please submit only one story at a time.” No fee.

Fractured Lit Flash Fiction Prize
Deadline: July 18
“Guest judge K-Ming Chang will choose three winning stories from a shortlist. We're excited to offer the winner of this prize $3,000 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively along with publication. Your $20 reading fee allows up to two stories of 1,000 words or fewer each per entry—if submitting two stories, please put them both in a SINGLE document.” [Note: Check out our interview with Fractured Lit's associate editor K.B. Carle in the Mar '21 Markets Newsletter.]

Every Day Fiction - Flash
Deadline: July 27
“We are looking for some suitable stories for August 2021, including: Honey Bee Day; Klondike Gold Discovery Day (aka Yukon's Discovery Day, Canada); and any stories specifically featuring the month of August, summer, summer holidays or the end of the holidays, beaches, and/or vacations.” Word limit not published; website states 1,000 words. No fee.

Short Fiction
Deadline: July 31
Accepts fiction between 500 and 5,000 words. “We have wide-ranging tastes and have happily published traditional character-driven stories next to non-conformist work of extraordinary innovation. We admire and love poets and memoirists, but can’t accept poetry or life writing. The boundaries can be blurred in hybrid forms and that’s great; if you feel your hybrid piece qualifies as fiction, send it in. We might disagree in the end, but we’ll admire your bravado.” If you have never had a short story published before, please submit to their "Introducing" section: a showcase for excellent new writers. No fee. https://shortfiction.submittable.com/submit/
Deadlines: Vary by Theme
Sasee welcomes editorial submissions from freelance writers. We are looking for new, unpublished, first-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are our primary editorial focus. Diversity of subjects that reflect all age groups and variety of writing styles are invited.
Word Limit: No more than 500 to 1,000 words in length. Sasee reserves the right to edit articles for length and content. Payment for articles varies. Please submit only previously unpublished, non-fiction articles.” Upcoming themes: “Enjoying Life” – July 15; “Feels Like Home” – August 15; “Give Thanks” – September 2021. No fee.

The Rumpus
Deadline: July 31
“We welcome essay submissions between 1,500-4,000 words in length. In addition to personal narrative-driven essays we are interested in non-traditional forms of nonfiction. Essays should explore issues and ideas with depth and breadth, illuminating a larger cultural context or human struggle. Regardless of topic, we are looking for well-crafted sentences, a clear voice, vivid scenes, dramatic arc, reflection, thematic build, and attention to the musicality of prose.” No fee.

Under the Sun Summer Writing Contest: Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: July 31
“Beginning July 1, accepting submissions of works of creative nonfiction, through Submittable only, for Summer Writing Contest, 5,000 word limit. First prize $500 and publication in our 2022 issue. All submissions will be considered for publication. The contest winner will be announced September 1, 2021. Final judge will be Theo Pauline Nestor, winner of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. Please consult our journal for a sampling of types of creative nonfiction we publish. Please submit all work without identifying information.” Submission fee $15.

Longridge Review: Anne C. Barnhill Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Deadline: July 31
“The Barnhill Prize honors Anne’s generous spirit of support for all who love to read and write; her lifelong empathy with those who mine their childhood experience to understand themselves now; the natural vulnerability in her compelling prose and poetry; and her boundless generosity in sharing her writing passions with the world. The author of the winning essay receives a cash award of $250.” Limit: 3,500 words. Fee: $10.

Taproot Magazine: Issue 48: Nest
Deadline: August 1
“This is a magazine of food, farm, family and craft. Articles are 800-4,000 words. The magazine is divided into three sections: Head – essays about living a more connected life; Hands – recipes, crafts and projects to make yourself; and Heart – the personal experience of more connected living.” The deadline for their next theme of “Nest” is August 1 (publishing December). Payment varies.
No deadline.
“We want your heart, your soul, the pieces that are a part of you. We want stories that are worlds in words, pieces that tell a (mac)ro story in a (mic)ro word count. We want works that focus on expressing, not impressing. Above all else, we want stories that connect. Our only restrictions? It has to be either flash fiction or creative nonfiction, 1,000 words or less. Other than that, surprise us. We pay $15 per accepted piece.” No fee.

Black Lawrence Press: Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels – Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You’ve Been Told about Black Women
Deadline: June 30
This is an essay anthology that “revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women’s perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women’s humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women’s experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community.” Essays can be on a few broad themes, including Black Women and Justice, and Black Women at Work and at Home. They will accept both creative and academic essays. Writers will be paid a contributor copy. Length: 700-5,000 words; pay: Contributor copy
No fee.

Los Angeles Review Awards
Deadline: June 30
Poetry:The Los Angeles Review Poetry Award is a prize of $1,000 and publication in LAR given annually for an exceptional work of poetry. This season's judge is Francesca Bell. Please submit poems of no more than 50 lines each (not including line spaces or numbering). Authors may submit up to three poems with each entry.” Fiction:The Los Angeles Review Short Fiction Award is a prize of $1,000 and publication in LAR given annually for an exceptional work of fiction. This season's judge is Reema Rajbanshi. Please submit a story no longer than 2,500 words.” Flash Fiction:The Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction Award is a prize of $1,000 and publication in LAR given annually for an exceptional work of fiction. This season's judge is Lara Ehrlich. Please submit a piece of 1,000 words or less.” Creative Nonfiction:The Los Angeles Review Creative Nonfiction Award is a prize of $1,000 and publication in LAR given annually for an exceptional work of nonfiction. This season's judge is Beth Gilstrap. Please submit a piece no longer than 2,500 words.” Fee: $20 per entry in all categories.

Ruminate Magazine: The Waking Flash Prose Prize
Deadline: July 2
The Waking is an online literary magazine and part of the Ruminate creative community that houses high-quality literary writing about what it’s like to be human. This art can be beautiful, it can be strange, we just ask that it feels true. Fiction and Nonfiction: Word limit: 1,000 words (per piece) You may send up to two flash pieces in the same genre per entry. You may only upload one document, so please make sure to include both poems in the same document. The $500 cash prize and publication on The Waking will be awarded to the winner of each genre.” Fee: $6.30. https://ruminatemagazine.submittable.com/submit/

Sweet Tree Review
Deadline: July 4
Sweet Tree Review is now accepting submissions for our Summer 2021 issue. Please do not include your name or identifying information on your submission document or in the title. Submissions that disregard this guideline will be automatically rejected.” Poetry – up to 5 poems, all in one document, no more than 10 pages. Fiction and nonfiction – up to 7,500 words, double-spaced. No fee.

In Parentheses – Summer 2021 -The Color Green
Deadline: July 5
Poetry: IP is looking for interesting, creative, and unique poetry of all forms and styles. Please format all poetry to in a .doc file, single-spaced, in 10pt or 12pt font. There is no limit to the number of poems submitted but please note the following: No documents longer than five (5) pages will be accepted. Fiction: Short Fiction: IP is newly interested in starkly, fancifully, and imaginatively written works of fiction. The word limit is strictly 5,000 words. Creative Prose: IP is looking for pieces that extend the contours of the human imagination Please format these manuscripts into a .doc file, single spaced, in 10pt or 12pt font. The word limit is strictly 1,000 words. No fee. Submissions will close after 80 poems are received and 40 prose submissions are received. https://inparentheses.submittable.com/submit/

Exposition Review – Theme: Alchemy (Flash 405)
Deadline: July 5
Editor’s Note: “Alchemy: part philosophy, part experimentation. Air and Earth fueled by Fire, tempered by Water. What I want to hear from you on the topic of Alchemy: tales, histories, prose, poems, scenes, songs, images, short films, all creative viscera, of turning base metals into gold.” Poetry: One poem, up to 5 lines (including prose poems). Fiction: A complete story, up to 405 words (Get it?). Nonfiction: A complete story, up to 405 words. Stage & Screen: A complete scene, up to 4 pages. Please format according to the standard unpublished playwriting or screenwriting format. Experimental: A complete short form narrative utilizing innovative techniques and/or hybrid forms. Consider the spirit of flash as well as the limits of other categories for length guidelines. Prizes: The winners will all receive publication on the website. Our first and second place winners will also receive a cash prize–but here’s the fun part, there’s no limit to how much you could win. The more entries we receive, the larger the prize! Fee: $5. https://expositionreview.submittable.com/submit/48926/flash-405-submission

Fairy Tale Review: The Lilac Issue—Sleep and Dreams
Deadline: July 6
The Lilac Issue is themed around sleep and dreams: the forgotten language of fairy tales. For the first time, we will offer a fixed payment of $50 to each contributor upon publication. Contributors also receive two (2) issues of The Lilac Issue. We welcome submissions directly from authors or agents.” For poetry: We are accepting poems written in received forms for The Lilac Issue. Writers may submit no more than 4 pages. For prose: Writers may submit a single piece up to 1,000 words. We welcome short fiction, essays, lyric nonfiction, and scholarship. Scholarship will go through a standard peer review process. Prose submissions should be formatted with standard margins, double-spaced, 12-point serif font, and include page numbers. They are also seeking graphic novels, comics, and drama, as well as original artwork and translations. For the first time, we will offer a fixed payment of $50 to each contributor upon publication. Contributors also receive two (2) issues of The Lilac Issue. We welcome submissions directly from authors or agents. No fee.

Thirty West: Elevator Stories: Level 3: Pride
Deadline: July 11
“Submit one unpublished, original story of fiction, CNF, memoir, or personal essay that is 3,000 words or less and follows the current theme. PDF, Doc, or Docx format only. Basic formatting, 12pt default font. Submission guidelines also request an audio recording of you reading the piece, including your name and the title(s). MP3 or WAV only. Clear voice +ambient sound or silence preferred. Try your best! If you don't submit audio, one of the Elevator Stories editors will narrate it for you. Please make sure we know how to say your name properly.” No fee.

Wild Roof Journal
Deadline: July 12
“Submissions are currently open for our upcoming issues. Send us your best writing (poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, essay), or hybrid forms. Here are our general submission guidelines: 1-6 poems (submit multiple poems in a single file); 1-3 pieces of short fiction (approx. 1,000-3,000 words); flash fiction (under 1,000 words), or 1-3 pieces of creative non-fiction/essay (total length approx. 3,000 words max.).” Fee: $3.50.

Bellevue Literary Magazine – BLR Prizes
Deadline: July 15
First prize is $1,000 in each genre and publication in the Spring 2022 issue of BLR. Honorable mentions will receive $250 and publication. Poetry: We encourage poems that are accessible to a wide audience. Characteristics we look for are vivid writing, strong narrative, and rendering the familiar new. We encourage you to peruse back issues in our archive to get a sense of our ethos. Please submit no more than three poems. Fiction: The BLR seeks character-driven fiction with original voices and strong settings. We do not publish genre fiction (romance, sci-fi, horror). Our word max is 5,000, though most of our published stories tend to be in the range of 2,000-4,000 words. We have only occasionally published flash fiction. Creative Nonfiction: We are looking for essays that reach beyond the standard ‘illness narrative’ to develop a topic in an engaging and original manner. Incorporate anecdotes that feel alive, and dazzle us with thoughtful and creative analysis that allows these anecdotes to serve a larger purpose. Please, no academic discourses or works with footnotes. Maximum 5,000 words. Fee: $20

Mom Egg Review: Theme: “Mother Figures”
Deadline: July 15
“For our 20th annual issue, Mom Egg Review seeks literary work related to mother archetypes; “Mother Figures”—from history, religion, pop culture, TV shows/movies, mythology, fairy tales, ecology (Mother Earth) and real life. This is a theme issue, so for this one we are not looking for regular motherhood stories and poems if they don't connect with the theme. We publish poetry (up to 4 poems, no more than 6 pages), and flash and short fiction, creative prose/nonfiction, and hybrid works (up to ,1000 words) on mothering or motherhood. You need not be a mother to submit.” Fee: $3 - $14.

Plants & Poetry House – Plant People, Anthology of Environmental Artists
Deadline: July 15
“We are thrilled to announce our first anthology that features poets, writers, and artists from around the world. This collection will be published online and in print paperback copies. It will be accompanied by an interactive Plant Diary. This plant diary is a tool you can use to document all your plant babies and their details. Each page provides a space for you to write down the sun and water requirements, and age of the plant. You will also be able to sketch what the plant looks like. Submission Guidelines: Poems and Prose only. Please do not submit more than 5 pieces. Do not submit any works that have been published before. Must be original work.” Fee: $10

Deadline: July 16
storySouth accepts unsolicited submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and book reviews during two submission periods annually: June 15-July 15 and December 15-January 15. Authors should limit submissions to 3-5 poems, one story, one essay, or one review. There are no word limits on submissions. Long pieces are encouraged. Please make only one submission in a single genre per reading period. Response time is approximately 2-6 months. No fee.

About Place Journal: When We are Lost/How We Are Found
Deadline: July 16
“For this issue of About Place, we seek works that reimagine our relationship to the earth. If the land is our body, how can we (in the face of devastation and exploitation) reconnect? Can we still find ways to restore as well as play? How does story allow us to heal? We invite you to consider self, community, urban spaces, complex microsystems found in nature, history and ancestral/mythic stories, present and ancient spiritual practices, ancient knowledge systems and healing practices – real and imagined. We are looking especially for poetry, artwork, flash fiction (1,000 words or less), and shorter essays with 2 discussion questions about Restoryation. Here is a link about Restoryation: https://artlitlab.org/workshops/restoryation-writing-your-origin-story. Guidelines: Please review About Place Journal’s general guidelines for all genres, and note that any combination of genre pieces must not exceed a total of 5 works. No fee. https://aboutplacejournal.submittable.com/submit/194473/when-we-are-lost-how-we-are-found

Gold Pine Press: 2021 Ricochet Editions Call for Submission
Deadline: July 20
“What are the maximum and minimum forms a memory can take?”– Bhanu Kapil, “Memory: A Partition.” In 2021, Ricochet Editions invites manuscript submissions that interrogate how memories are recorded and how the past is remembered. Which voices are preserved and which are silenced? Send us your texts that merge genres and languages, that draw on found forms, that are collaboratively or collectively authored, that collage, fragment, and blend mediums to expand beyond the limits of the book form. Your manuscript should be between 40 and 200 pages, although we’re open to exceptional work outside these limits. If your manuscript is selected for publication, you will receive $250 and 50 copies of the perfect-bound book with ISBN. Fee: $15 (waived for POC and Indigenous writers, and those facing financial hardship.) https://goldlinepress.submittable.com/submit/195049/2021-ricochet-editions-call-for-submission

The Good Life Review – Issue #5, Autumn 2021
Deadline: July 31
Poetry: We consider original, previously unpublished poems. There is no length limit on individual poems, but please send no more than six poems per submission and no more than 10 pages in total. Fiction and Nonfiction: We consider original, previously unpublished stories and essays up to 5000 words (if it’s a little more, we will keep reading, but the story has to earn it); flash fiction or flash nonfiction up to 1,00 words. We support both Spanish and French translations!

The First Line
Deadline: August 1
Fiction: All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors. The story should be between 300 and 5,000 words (this is more like a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule; going over or under the word count won't get your story tossed from the slush pile). Note: We are open to all genres. Poetry: We do accept poetry, though rarely. We have no restrictions on form or line count, but all poems must begin with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way. For nonfiction, they want critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work. Fall First Line: “What should we do with the body?” Winter First Line: “Later that evening, they sat alone in their apartment, wondering if they had made the right decision.” Length: 300-5,000 words for fiction; also seeking 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work. Pay: $25-50 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction, $5-10 for poetry. No fee.

WOW! Women on Writing Quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Contests - Deadlines: August 31 (Fiction) and July 31 (Creative nonfiction). Our favorite writing community offers quarterly contests judged blindly with multiple cash prizes and more for 20 winners, up to $1,350 (fiction) and $1,175 plus a gift certificate to CreateWriteNow (nonfiction), an affordable critique option, and a 300-entry limit on each contest. What’s not to love? This season's guest judge is Literary Agent Amy Giuffrida with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. Fee: $10 (Flash Fiction) and $12 (Nonfiction).
Just for Fun
July offers many days to celebrate our favorite indulgences—from Strawberry Sundae Day (July 7) to National Lollipop Day (July 20). Satisfy your craving by submitting a poem or creative nonfiction to Sweet: A Literary Confection by July 31. “The editors at Sweet understand that there are good works that get overlooked, and that often our decisions are based not just on quality but also on taste. Sweet seeks only poetry and creative nonfiction and anything in between. Sorry, fiction writers! Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work has been taken by another literary journal (we'd like to be the first to congratulate you). Poetry: Our preferred submission size is 3-5 poems. Creative nonfiction: We prefer 2-3 short-short creative nonfiction pieces or one longer one. Essays should not exceed 1,500 words total. No fee.

Did you know that the third Saturday in July (July 17 in 2021) is “Toss Away the ‘Could Haves’ and ‘Should Haves’ Day”? This occasion presents the perfect opportunity to go wild with your writing. Have you had an inspiration for a genre-bending piece that doesn’t seem to fit neatly into any one category? If so, don’t miss the opportunity to enter Arts & Letters’ Unclassifiables Contest by July 31. "This contest is for unclassifiable works: works that blur, bend, blend, erase, or obliterate genre and other labels. Works of up to 5,000 words considered. It will be judged by Michael Martone." Fee: $10.
Success Stories from the WOW Community
It’s summer for a lot of us WOW! writers, and we know that comes with a lot of busy schedules—and this summer, it also comes with more of a desire to “get back to normal.” Does that mean with our writing life, too? Only you know that yourself, but I know for me, I’m still trying to get up every day and work at least a few minutes on my current work-in-progress. It’s the only way to eventually have a finished manuscript, for sure.

On social media, we recently asked both what your success stories are for June. See below for inspiration from your fellow WOW! writers, and take time to find the post online and wish everyone congratulations.

Remember, you can always send your success stories to Margo at margo@wow-womenonwriting.com (try margolynndill@gmail.com if you don’t get a response back). Make sure to put SUCCESS STORY in the subject line. Now here we go…

From Instagram:

@annkkelly writes, “I started writing poetry for the first time as a New Year’s resolution this past January. I’ve had a prose poem and a sonnet published this spring with acceptances for two more poems that will come out later this summer. My prose poem: https://www.fourthreethree.org/blog/tracks and my sonnet: https://www.eucalyptusandroselitmag.com/post/abode

@sampoetmfa writes, “My chapbook Birth of a Daughter (Kelsay Books, 2020) just won the Gold Award in Realistic Poetry from the Human Relations Indie Book Awards! Thanks for your support! Lovely to see all the women writers’ success stories.”

@deborah_l_burns writes, “The creative journey of my first book, Saturday’s Child, inspired my second, Authorize It! Think Like a Writer to Win at Work & Life. It’s a whole new genre and just published to help people live up to their career potential.”

@lc_ahl writes, “Yes!! The Purple Lily, a psychological crime thriller featuring strong, diverse women, will be released on July 22,2021! Can preorder now on Amazon!”

@mlynne_author writes, “I'm a finalist in the WV Fiction Competition sponsored by Shepherd University!”

From Facebook:

Roberta Codemo writes, “I recently took a children's picture book writing class through Writer's Digest magazine. Attendees were invited to submit their manuscript to an agent for critique. I received my critique back tonight, and the agent loved my query letter and only had nine comments on my manuscript, all of them positive. She loved my ending and commented, ‘Such a cute ending.’ I'm over the moon.”

Patricia White Gable writes, “I'm working with Margo to write my first novel. I have learned a lot. Also, one of my stories was accepted to a children's magazine. (Primary Treasure and Guideposts--All Creatures).”

Amy Carroll Bennett writes, “I finally published my children's book!”
Featured Post
By Sue Bradford Edwards

About two weeks ago, I got two rejections in a single day. One was from a dream agent and it was a FORM rejection. But I was simply too busy to let it bother me. Whatever. Deadline dead ahead.

Then a friend spoke about a similar pair of rejection that really shook her. She’s an amazing CNF writer and has had work in places I would never dream of approaching. But the rejections flattened her.

Both of our responses made me wonder. Why do writers react to rejection the way we do? I turned to psychology for answers about how we react and what can be done about it.

Why It Hurts 

For answers as to why rejection hurts, we need to look to the past. Early humans, without ferocious teeth or claws or the ability to run really fast, survived because they were part of a group of other humans. Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb explains that rejection was BAD and humans developed a response, for their own good, that made them want to avoid it.

We are hardwired to react and to hate the way it feels. What about the variety of responses?

How we as individuals react is rooted in infancy and the attachments we formed. Psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps explained that people who had secure attachment styles grow up seeing ourselves as worthy. Those with an insecure attachment style are more . . . insecure.

Not that this means you will never be impacted or that you will always be impacted. Because there are things you can do to help you deal with rejection.

When Rejection Happens 

First things first, acknowledge what you are feeling. Go ahead and be angry, sad, bewildered, or shocked. Feel, observe and identify your feelings. This may take a day or two but that’s okay.

Once you’ve identified your feelings, move into self-care. Psychologists warned that this doesn’t mean self-medicating with alcohol, chocolate, or other sweets. Empty calories are never a good long-term plan.

Instead, do something that centers you. For some people this might involve running or meditation. Do things that make you feel calm and serene. I walk, do yoga, and knit.

Moving Forward 

Once you’ve had time to process the feelings and are in a better space, take another look at your query, pitch or manuscript. Is it the best it could possibly be? Don’t just come back with “of course it is!” There’s bound to be one section that is especially strong. Now find the weakest section. What can you do to make it as good as your best section?

Perhaps the work really is as strong as it can be. If so, make sure that the agents or publishers you targeted were the best possible fit. Look at other markets and see if you can find one that is similar but even better for your work.

The Big Picture 

As you prepare yourself for the next round of submissions, consider why you are pursuing publication. What does it mean to you? Look at the amount of effort you’ve already put into it. Writing, rewriting, and completing a manuscript is a big deal. Not everyone can pull it off. But you’ve done it.

In part, how we respond to rejection is hardwired. But we can work through it when it happens. And we can make sure our work is top notch and our markets are the best possible fit. Have your self-care routines in place and then hit send.

Acceptance or rejection, your fellow WOW writers will be gathered round when the responses come. And a caring community? A highly recommended way to stay centered.

[Want to chime in? Comment at The Muffin.]
Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 27 books for young readers. To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.

The next session of her new course, Pitching, Querying and Submitting Your Work will begin on July 5, 2021). Coping with rejection is one of the topics she will cover in this course.
Summer Workshops:
Pitching, Querying, and Submitting Your Work

4 weeks: July 5 - Aug 2

Whether you write essays, short stories or novels, sending your work to an agent, editor or publisher is a daunting task. This course will teach you to assemble submission basics including a pitch and a query letter. We will also discuss how to find markets and how to manage rejection. Led by author Sue Bradford Edwards.
Imagery Power: Photography for Writers

4 weeks: July 16 - Aug 13

“Fiction, like dreams, exists in images... Fiction must exist in images, not abstractions,” wrote John Dufresne. Indeed, the ability to develop imagery is important in all forms of writing, from poetry to essays and all sorts of descriptive writing. The art of photography, an evocative visual art, frequently helps authors hone our image-seeking and development skills. Led by Melanie Faith!
Chicken Soup Essays: Write and Receive Personal Feedback

3 weeks: Aug 2 - Aug 22

Have you ever wanted to see your essay in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book? (Who hasn’t!) It might be their book on dogs, angels, grandmas, kids or cats... Chicken Soup for the Soul always has a rotating list of themes for their next book – and your essay could be included! Work on an essay with editor Kandace Chapple for their upcoming themes!
Writing with Transitions: How to Keep Readers Close While Moving Them Through Time and Space

4 weeks: Aug 2 - Sept 13

Writers often have trouble leading readers from scene to scene smoothly when it requires a change in time or space, large and small. This class will concentrate on learning how to make those transitions in ways that do not jar readers but keep them engaged and well-grounded in essays, poems or stories. Led by Sheila Bender!
Curiosity and Creative Nonfiction

4 weeks: Aug 16 - Sept 12

This class will look at the different ways in which being curious about an experience, an event, an object, an anything that catches your attention can fuel your writing and bring a deeper level of meaning to what you write. By combining (fun!) research and personal experience, your writing can take on new meanings. Led by Chelsey Clammer!
Lyric Essay and Prose Poetry

6 weeks: Aug 30 - Oct 10

Lyric essays and prose poems are sister forms, and they are all about the art of the small. Their language creates iridescence on the page, focusing on the senses, imagery, and the rhythm and feel of the words, discovering meaning through revelation and leaving the reader breathless, awestruck, and gobsmacked. Learn this tiny form with peer workshopping and Naomi Anna Kimbell.
Wishing you a productive month!
We at WOW hope you power through your own obstacles and make your writing dreams come true. In the meantime, we wish you a productive month of inspiration and writing!
I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances. - Anne Tyler