Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes/
from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more/
strongly. (Macbeth, Act 5, Scene I, spoken by the Doctor, who prepares to observe Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking behaviors)
Lion- or lamb-like, March 2014 has come and very nearly gone. Here in the States, many are swept up in a maelstrom of March machismo. Sadly, across the globe, others are ensnared in different kinds of life-and-limb madness altogether.
But, to look at it more positively, if you are a writer or artist, perhaps this month has afforded you the time to self-reflect or make progress on a novel, short story, poem, or other work. In that vein, I would like to offer you a few potential markets to consider in your progression as a creative individual. I’ve decided that most of the markets I search out and share will be free, and I will endeavor to find international markets as well as North American ones—so that you may learn to navigate yourself through the submission processes at work at different magazines, publishers, or other forums, both fee-based and no-fee. I myself occasionally chose to submit to a contest or magazine that charges a reading fee, because I know that many literary magazines operate on a micro-shoestring budget and I want to support their work. Some markets these days also offer critiques or subscriptions when you pay a submission fee. So, it’s then up to you to read the instructions fully with regard to what copyrights you retain or give up with your submission, as well as the submission parameters—and hew to them or face the rejection pile.
- ENTRY FEE & NO ENTRY FEE: The moonShine Review: This North Carolina–based literary magazine accepts previously unpublished prose and photography, noting that “Our goal is to bring about understanding through art and writing by providing a venue for unique voices.” During a regular submission cycle, you can submit up to 4 shorter pieces, with nothing more than 3,000 words in length. Their preference is for 2,200 or fewer words. Payment is in one comp, or complimentary, copy of the magazine. They say they accept work from anywhere, but prefer southeastern (U.S.) writers. The upcoming reading deadline is Sept. 1, 2014 (postmark). See more general submission criteria on their site. Note that they are also holding a 10th anniversary writing contest with entirely different criteria, a $5 submission fee, and a July 1, 2014 deadline. As ever, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the market, agent, or magazine prior to submitting.
- ENTRY FEE & NO ENTRY FEE: Situated along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, River Styx magazine has been navigating literary waters since 1975. They have (or have had) microfiction, poetry, and prose contests afoot, as well as regular submissions (including visual art, which has different criteria & submission period) during a reading period from May 1 through November 30 (postmark) every year, so sharpen those pencils, brains, or calloused computer fingers, friends! Right now, they have several contests in swing, including an international poetry competition ($1500 top prize; $10 or $20 entry fee) and a poetry competition for high school students, called the River Styx 2014 Founder’s Award. Check the previous link for submission deadlines and details.
- ENTRY FEE REQUIRED: A special thanks goes out to writer-friend Ali Abbas, who has some outstanding prose of his own, in that I have received another suggestion: NYC Midnight. NYCM has a series of challenges throughout the year; right now, their screenwriting competition is about to kick off. For a $39 entry fee, you will be given an assignment then have 8 days to craft “an original short screenplay no longer than 12 pages” FOR ROUND ONE. If selected, your manuscript will advance through rounds, where the criteria will differ. The final deadline (along with entry fee) is May 1.
- NO ENTRY FEE: Finally, the editorial staff of The Louisville (Kentucky) Review read manuscripts year-’round. I really like TLR‘s mission statement: “The goal of the magazine continues to be to import the best writing to local readers, to juxtapose the work of established writers with new writers, and to export the best local writers to a national readership.” They review previously unpublished manuscripts of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama only. TLR prefers electronic submissions. Poetry from students in grades K-12 is also considered for The Children’s Corner. Their reply time is 4 to 6 months, and they consider simsubs (or simultaneous submissions), but be sure to touch base with them if you have any questions about their process.
If you know of others you would recommend, please consider leaving a comment. As always, best wishes on your writing and artifying. Keep at it!