5 Writing Contests for Specific Groups in 2019

Sometimes, writing contests are geared towards specific groups. These groups vary and could be anything from government employees to people of color. Although there are a lot of these contests out there, it can be difficult to find one that you are eligible for. However, here are a few writing contests for specific groups that are happening in 2019.

The Sarton Women’s Book Awards

This contest is obviously geared towards women and it encourages the pieces that are submitted for the contest to be about women. These can be anything from young adult, to historical fiction, to many more, to nonfiction and much more. What’s great about this contest is that it is open to work that has been independently published before. You’ll have to take a look at their website to find out what their prizes are and if there is a fee to enter.

African American Voices in Children’s Literature Writing Contest

This writing contest is specifically for African-American author the right children’s literature. They also want the fiction to feature contemporary African-American characters as well as a focus on the culture and at least one of the following topics: character development, self-esteem, diversity, family and getting along with others. This award is sponsored by the Minnesota children’s authors and it is open for board books and picture books. The prize is a thousand dollars and the deadline is June 30.

Young Lions Fiction Award

This one is really terrific because it offers a $10,000 prize and is open to what they call young authors. However, that doesn’t mean children and teenagers. That just means anyone under the age of 35. This is open to both novels and short stories, and your submission has to have been published sometime in the calendar year before the contest the contest runs a year after the submission deadline so the deadline for the 2019 contest was in 2018 and the deadline for the 2020 contest will be sometime in the fall of 2019.

The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans

If you are a vet, then you might be interested in this contest that is specifically for veterans. The Iowa review sponsors this contest and it is open to active duty and retired United States military veterans. The fiction can be about any subject and in any genre. The manuscript can be up to 20 pages and the cash price for first place is $1000. Second place where get $750 and then there are three runner-up prizes of $500 each.

New Voices Award Presented by Lee & Low Books

Another great contest is this one targeted towards people of color. It is sponsored by a well-known children’s book publisher and allows authors of copper to submit a 1500 word picture book manuscript that is not been published before. The winner of the contest gets $2000 cash as well as having their book published. The runner-up, called the honor award winner receives $1000. The deadline for the contest is August 31, 2019.


Facts you should know about Fanfiction

Facts you should know about Fanfiction

Fanfiction is real and it’s all over the internet. There are many types of fanfiction and n fact, some fanfiction works are really great and almost as well-written as the originals. We all sometimes feel the need to tell our own version of stories and voila, fanfiction is the result. To take characters we love and give them a special ending, unique scenes, or bring any fantasy we have to live is particularly exciting.

The literary world is wide and rich and fanfiction is an important creative form of today’s world. However, there are still some misconceptions about what it means and who writes it. If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the world of fanfiction, here are some things that fanfiction writers want you to know.

It’s not all men who write it…

In fact, an exhaustive search of the best-known fan sites shows that they are mostly women. For some reason fanfiction makes many assume they are nerds behind a computer, probably men, but that’s not true.

It’s not just for teenagers.

It is often thought that it is the work of teenagers or that the readers are very young. However, there are people of all ages. It’s true that there are many underage people reading fanfiction, but most faithful readers are college age or even older.

Not Bad Literature

As with regular books, there is good material and not so good material. Among the fanfiction there are examples of works that became bestsellers (Fifty Shades of Grey, for example, although perhaps not the best). In fact, many have said that the One Piece Fanfiction category on Commaful, Danger Man area of Fanfiction and the Omarion section of Wattpad are among some of the better-written sections of all fandoms. The important thing is to recognize that there are some things that are very well written and others that are not so well written, but that it is good to pay attention to them.

In fact, if we remove the known names of people and places in some of these works, they could be published as more books. Given all the self-publishing tools out there from resources on book sizing to tools for templating, it’s never been easier to put a book out there and many of these stories could become books. It’s because the stories are so different and take so many turns that they end up moving away from their source. If these authors don’t do it, it’s because their objective is different. What they want to do is create something based on their favorite characters and stay a while longer with the feeling they get from what they like so much. As for originality, nowadays it’s difficult to say what’s based on something else.

Ideas aren’t as extreme as they seem

It’s true, there are stories of characters in a romantic relationship, even if they are totally opposite in the original version or they don’t even cross each other, etc. There are erotic fanfictions, with outcomes completely out of this world. But the same thing could and does happen in the literature we see in bookstores. Simply put, one is the continuation of something we don’t get to read in the books we like the most.

It’s not pornography

It’s true there are a lot of sex scenes. There are also sex scenes in Game of Thrones and that doesn’t prevent it from being a successful product. Not everything is pornography, although it is true that there are some examples of erotic fanfiction or sexual content going around the net. Some works are about romance, others about friendship, others about family. There’s a lot of sexual content, but it’s totally normal in any medium.


Why You Should Write Short Stories

There is a lot of truth to the statement that practice makes perfect. When writing and thinking through story ideas, it’s tempting to focus on longer works and novels; however, short stories actually allow for a lot more repetition to challenge your creativity, writing style, and plot formation skills. You’ll be able to work with a wide variety of storylines, dialogue, and more for practice. You’ll encounter far more situations that you can learn from.

Furthermore, you can get a lot of feedback for your work as it is easier to get people to read and give feedback on short stories than it is for entire novels. As a result, you’ll improve at a much more rapid pace.

Short stories are also a lot less intimidating to both read and write. It can take months and even years to finish a novel, let alone a full series of novels. Short stories are much easier to start and finish and can even be finished in a single sitting. Short stories can satisfy your creative thirst without the huge starting hurdle to get things done, as can a nice roll of bud.

Short stories have seen a big uptick in usage with the popularity of many short story websites and short story genres such as fanfiction, flash fiction, short horror stories, classic stories, romance stories, and more. Some “very short stories” are actually as short as 1 sentence long.

Here are a few reasons for you to consider writing short stories on a more regular cadence.

1. Engage with your audience

Short stories are a really powerful way to interact with potential fans even before your book is out (or while you’re waiting for your next book to be released). Fans are always hungry for more materials to read and short stories are a great way to satiate excited readers and potentially build your audience or mailing list. Imagine having a set up on your website where potential readers trade an email to get access to some of your short stories. When you are ready to launch your novel you could potentially have thousands of excited readers to jump all of your work. There’s no better way to get people excited about reading your work.

2. Try a lot of new ideas

If you’re like most writers, you have too many ideas swimming in your head to get out. In fact, just reading this article may be inspiring you with new stories you want to write. In most cases, you can’t write all of those stories out because, well, who has the time? There’s just no way to write all of those stories as novels. As short stories, however, you can put all of those stories out into the wild. Writing a few stories a day, you can have almost 100 stories published. If you’re a person who has a ton of ideas this is a great way to bring many of them to life.

3. Get a lot of feedback

It’s very easy to find beta readers for short stories. You can get a lot of feedback and since the stories are short, you can even post them directly to short story sites or even poetry sites if you’re writing an epic poem to get feedback on your works. This will help you improve for writing more stories and even publishing your novel later on.

4. Experiment with different genres and characters

If your typical genre in fantasy, try writing some romance or horror. This is a great way to get your mind to expand and will help your future writing. Most stories have elements of many genres and this will help you execute on them. For example, most stories these days have some hint of romance or romantic interest involved. Many may involve some sort of thrilling build up. These are all story elements that can be practiced.


Using the Kindle Book Previewer

The Kindle Book previewer is an extremely useful tool that will tell you what your book will look like once it has been purchased and loaded into a Kindle. The Kindle previewer is the last stop when it comes to self-publishing your book on the Kindle Direct Publishing platform and it will tell you lots of things about your book that will determine whether it is ready to publish. We’ll be looking at just how the Kindle Book Previewer can help you with the publishing process in this article.

The Previewer Can Tell You How Chapters End & Begin

The first thing that the Kindle previewer can tell you is how your chapters and how they begin. What this means is that if you put a page break between the word document chapters, the Kindle should count what came before the page break as the end of the chapter, and then start your new one on a separate page. This prevents you from having an chapter heading in the middle of the page or at the very bottom and looks much more professional. It also tells you how chapters begin, so you can see where your chapter headings are appearing on the page, and make adjustments if necessary.

The Previewer Can Tell You Whether Front & Back Matter is Formatted Correctly

The previewer can also tell you whether front and back matter is formatted properly. For example, the copyright pages on digital books can be difficult because they may take up more than one page on a Kindle. The previewer can tell you how you can set up your copyright page so that it is more digital friendly if you find your copyright page’s being splayed across several different pages. In addition, any book covers or promotional images that you added in the back can be a formatting nightmare, and the previewer can tell you how they turned out.

This post was sponsored by Onsite 60, an IT Support NYC company.

The Previewer Can Point out Formatting Mistakes

Another thing that the previewer can do is point out formatting mistakes that you have made. For example, if you have changed the font size on all of your chapter headings except for one, you will probably have a much easier time seeing it actually displayed on the Kindle previewer than looking through your manuscript. You can also see where you have forgotten to put a page break, because page breaks are invisible most of the time in Microsoft Word.

The Previewer Can Give You an Idea of Book Length & Readability

The previewer can also tell you how your book is going to read and how long it is going to be within a Kindle. Your book may seem rather short to you, but once you get it into the previewer and realize that you’re getting two or three pages for every printed page, then you may feel more confident about the length of your book. The bottom line is that the previewer shows you what your book looks like and whether you’re ready for publication.


All You Need to Know About Upmarket Fiction

More About Upmarket Fiction

Upmarket Fiction is a relatively new genre, and some authors might still find themselves in the dark. Just what is upmarket fiction and what are you supposed to do with it? Don’t stress – we’re here to help you out. Here’s some of the best blog posts and links on the internet that’ll tell you everything you need to know about upmarket fiction – and where to submit it.

Woman’s National Book Week: Deconstruction Upmarket Fiction


During Woman’s National Book Week, the focus was put on deconstructing upmarket fiction – that is, telling authors more about just what the genre is, and making sure that they’re able to spot if their work might already fall into the genre. This is extremely useful for authors who are looking for ways to up their fiction to the next level – and maybe land a cool publication deal while you’re at it!

Rachel Neumeier: Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction


People are a visual breed. Rachel Neumeier understands this, and that’s why she’s put together this super-handy infographic that’ll tell you everything you need to know about literary, upmarket and commercial fiction – and it’s pretty easy to understand.

Literary vs. Commercial Fiction


Just what is it that makes fiction commercial? If you aren’t sure about that just yet, then Kathy Temean has put together this super-handy description for you that says everything you need to know. In her words, “Basically all genre fiction is commercial, but not all commercial fiction is genre.”

Manuscript Wish List


Manuscript Wish List is a super-handy website for writers that tells you exactly where to submit your work to literary agents that are looking out for work. Here’s their section for upmarket fiction manuscripts and short stories – and we’re sure you’ll find just what you’re looking for here.

Kara Jorgensen: Upmarket Fiction


Still struggling with just what the definition of upmarket fiction should be? Take a look at this page from Kara Jorgensen: She put together all the details that you have to know for her Genre Fixation spot. You can also browse through the website to read many other genre-breakdowns for authors.

Deborah Howen: Upmarket Fiction What Does It Mean?


Writer Deborah Howen has this super-handy breakdown of upmarket fiction and just what people are talking about: Take a closer look to find several genres in one blog post for easy explanation.

NY Times: Where Do You Draw the Line?


In an excellent piece for the New York Times’ BookEnds section in 2016, they took a closer look at just what commercial and literary fiction are officially defined as – and where the line should be drawn between the two in the publishing industry. Handy for writers and anyone working in the publishing industry, too.

Reedsy: What is Upmarket Fiction?


If you need to see opinions from several readers at once, take a look here at a decent breakdown of upmarket fiction at Reedsy






List of the Best Literary Magazines for Poetry

Poetry is an art unto itself; but it feels like there are less and less poetry markets to submit your work to. The good news is that it’s not true at all – there are many markets for poetry, and some excellent literary magazines out there that publish poems. Here’s a look at some of the best literary magazines for poetry out there.

Need more markets? Take a look at Reedsy to find some of the best literary magazines listings online.

The Drum Literary Magazine

The Drum is a magazine open to all styles of fiction, and they also publish keen poetry from new or established poets. Full guidelines are available on their website, and keep in mind for your submission that they are an audio magazine – ideal for poetry.


Prufrock is a new literary magazine that looks for good stories in any form – both fiction and nonfiction. They are fluid with their guidelines, and enjoy publishing poetry on a regular basis.

Diode Poetry Journal

There are a few excellent literary journals out there that are just aimed at poetry; Diode Poetry Journal is one of the best. They accept poetry across a wide variety of genres, and poetry in almost every form: Submit if you love poetry.

Black Fox Literary Magazine

Black Fox Literary Magazine is a literary magazine aimed at fiction and nonfiction, but they accept and publish a considerable amount of poetry throughout the year. They are published twice per year.

Shooter Literary Magazine

Shooter Literary Magazine accepts fiction, nonfiction and poetry submissions all year round, and they favour good stories with some necessary edge – but nothing too over the top.


HOOT is a literary magazine with a difference: They are published as a miniature literary magazine, and they are also a registered nonprofit organization. They publish fiction, nonfiction, book reviews and poetry.

The Halcyone

The Halcyone is published quarterly and publishes poetry and writing, be it fiction or nonfiction: They are looking for serious literary work from their writers.

POETRY Magazine

Into serious classics? Then you’ll love POETRY Magazine, reported to be one of the oldest poetry magazines out there – and, of course, they will consider all forms of exceptional poetry for publication – published monthly.

African Sun Press

African Sun Press is another exceptional literary magazine that focuses only on publishing works of great poetry. They accept work from new and established authors, and writers who find themselves who are somewhere in the middle.

Better Than Starbucks

Kick back and make a nice brew with the best coffee maker in 2019! Better Than Starbucks is a new literary magazine devoted to publishing poetry in any and all forms; this includes free verse and haiku, and even poetry translations and interviews with poets.

Solstice Literary Magazine

Solstice Literary Magazine publishes “diverse voices” and wants stories and poetry from authors who have something to say.

Light Poetry Magazine

Light Poetry Magazine is another market that’s focused especially on publishing good poetry, and they take almost all forms of poetry with an inspiring message.

Arc Poetry Magazine

Arc Poetry Magazine is a magazine exclusively for poetry. They’re based in Canada, but will consider submissions from authors all over the world. Overall, they’re looking for excellent stories. Tell yours!