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Welcome to Our July Newsletter

We found almost three dozen quality free poetry and prose contests with deadlines between July 15-August 31. View their profiles now! See below for contests we especially recommend for writers at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages of their careers, and a large selection of calls for submissions.

Adam Cohen

Open Now: Our Annual Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest
We will award $4,000 in prizes this year. The entry fee has been simplified to a flat $10 per poem. Ellaraine Lockie returns to judge. Submit poems in modern and traditional styles, up to 250 lines each. Previously published work accepted. See last year's winners and enter here.

In this issue:
Julian Peters illustrates "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, part two.

Want to view past newsletters? Go to Need assistance? Let us help. Follow us on Twitter at @WinningWriters.

Recent Honors and Publication Credits for Our Subscribers

Congratulations to Paul Fericano (featured poem: "Curly Howard Misreads Edgar Allen Poe"), Berwyn Moore, Ruth Thompson (featured poem: "Young Girl With Wolf"), Alberta Nassi, Robert Savino, The Poet Spiel, Peter Stavros, Deb Elkink, Annie Whitehead, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Diana Anhalt, Annie Dawid, and Lesléa Newman.

Learn more about their achievements and see more links to samples of their work.

Have news? Please email it to

BookBaby - Calls for Submissions

We are a free online resource to help you find paying markets for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report on editors and publishers who are actively seeking submissions, pay standard or competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees. Founded in 2001, is edited by freelance writer Brian Scott (@busyguru).

A few of our special features include:

  1. Sci-fi/fantasy markets that are soliciting stories
  2. Anthologists who are seeking submissions for special themed anthologies
  3. Magazine editors who are accepting fiction and nonfiction articles for upcoming issues
  4. Literary agents who are seeking new authors to represent
  5. New book imprints that are seeking new authors for debut titles
  6. Literary journals with time-sensitive reading periods that are accepting limited submissions of poetry and prose
  7. Announcements of new editors at high-paying magazines and what they are currently seeking from freelance writers
Visit now

On Sale: Where the Meadowlark Sings by Ellaraine Lockie

Winner of the 2014 Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest. On sale now!

"Ellaraine Lockie's poems emerge from her Montana homeland...Lockie captures the elegance of the landscape in its 'ripened wheat, cheatgrass and wildflowers', but steers clear of romanticism as she addresses the racism, sexism, and loss of young life in the rural West. In these poems, the history of one-room schoolhouses, vigilantes, cattle rustlers, and depression-era thrift run close to the surface, only a few generations removed from the headlines and newscasts of a disconnected world."
—Tami Haaland, Montana State Poet Laureate; winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize for Breath in Every Room; author of When We Wake in the Night.

Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author, essayist, and judge of the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest. Her recent work has been awarded the Women's National Book Association's Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David's Leg, and the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest winner for Red for the Funeral. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. Where the Meadowlark Sings is her eleventh collection of poems.


Please enjoy "Inheritance" from Where the Meadowlark Sings. This poem won the Alabama State Poetry Contest.

Where the Meadowlark Sings by Ellaraine Lockie

FundsforWriters - Subscribe Free


Under the hand of C. Hope Clark, FundsforWriters is a motivational and informational Friday newsletter devoured by over 30,000 readers. From markets to grants, crowdfunding to publishing, FFW leads writers to success.

"You have been my virtual cheerleader, writing mentor and advisor. Thanks to you I submitted to The Briar Cliff Review Nonfiction Competition and was named a finalist and published in Volume 26."

Hunger Games meets reality TV show Survivor in a novel hailed by Midwest Book Review as "a gripping page-turner"

In a not-so-different future, seven misfits are deposited on an island in Lake Superior. Three women and four men risk death for a big cash payoff. As far as the producers are concerned, the fewer survivors, the better the ratings. When the contestants turn the tables on the show’s directors, a bizarre event leaves one person dead and others in fear that a murderer stalks the island.

Show Time, the first novel from Pushcart-nominated author Phil Harvey, has been called "a psychological thriller that takes reality shows, and in fact much of our popular culture, into a realm of true horror…a thinking reader's thriller and a thoroughly entertaining read" by the Washington Independent Review.

Starting July 16, save $9 off the Kindle ebook on Amazon for $0.99. Hurry! Sale ends July 21.

Show Time by Phil Harvey

Last Call: Rattle Poetry Prize

Deadline: TODAY, July 15! In honor of its 10th anniversary, we're doubling down: The annual Rattle Poetry Prize has doubled, now offering $10,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $200 each and publication, and be eligible for the $2,000 Readers' Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote.

With the winners judged in a blind review by the editors to ensure a fair and consistent selection, an entry fee that is simply a one-year subscription to the magazine—and a runner-up Readers' Choice Award to be chosen by the writers themselves—the Rattle Poetry Prize aims to be one of the most writer-friendly and popular poetry contests around.

We accept entries online and by mail. See for the complete guidelines and to read all of the past winners. Enjoy "Waiting in Vain" by Craig van Rooyen, winner of the 2014 Rattle Poetry Prize.

Rattle Poetry Prize

Tupelo Press July Open Reading Period

Tupelo Press July Open Submission Period

Postmark between July 1 and July 31. Throughout the month of July, Tupelo Press is holding open submissions for book-length poetry collections (48-90 pages) and chapbook-length poetry collections (28-47 pages), and for the first time in July, manuscripts of any length of English translations from any language. Submissions are accepted from anyone writing in the English language (whether in the United States or abroad). Include a cover page with the title of your manuscript, your name, address, phone number and email address.

New this year, we're celebrating our joint venture with 3: A Taos Press!

Andrea Watson, Publisher of 3: A Taos Press, and Veronica Golos, Director of Acquisitions for 3: A Taos Press, will read and select 10 to 20 finalists from the July Open submissions, from which they and the Tupelo Press editors will jointly select the manuscripts to publish.

There is a reading fee of $28 for each manuscript submitted. Multiple submissions are accepted, so long as each submission is accompanied by a separate $28 reading fee. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Submit online via Submittable or by mail. Read the complete guidelines before submitting your manuscript:

And read about the July 2014 open reading results as well as other past winners of Tupelo contests at:

Please enjoy "Sigourney Weaver", a poem by Tupelo author Gale Marie Thompson, who first came to Tupelo Press through the July Open Reading Period. It is featured in Soldier On (Tupelo, 2015). For more information about Soldier On and our canon of 100+ books, please visit our website at

Grayson Books Poetry Prize

Grayson Books

Deadline: August 15. The 2015 Grayson Books Poetry Prize is now open to submissions. This is open to all poets writing in English. Use Submittable to submit your 50-80 page manuscript electronically here.

You may also submit your work by mail with two cover pages (one with complete contact info, one with no contact info), a reading fee of $25, and SASE for results to Grayson Books, P.O. 270549, West Hartford, CT 06127.

The winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize, publication, and ten copies. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if we are notified immediately about an acceptance elsewhere. See the complete guidelines at

Mekeel McBride will judge this year's contest. Among her many poetry collections is Dog Star Delicatessen, New and Selected Poems 1970-2006.

Please enjoy "Blimps" by Robert Aquinas McNally, our 2014 winner.

Creative Nonfiction Seeks Essays on "Marriage"

Deadline: August 31. Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking new essays for an upcoming issue dedicated to MARRIAGE.

Send us your true stories of arranged marriages or shotgun weddings; walking down the aisle or running from the altar; mail-order brides or stay-at-home dads. We're looking for a variety of perspectives—from fiancés to florists; ministers to marriage counselors; divorce attorneys to wedding planners; DJs to DC lobbyists.

Submissions must be 4,000 words or fewer.

$1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up.

Guidelines at

Creative Nonfiction

Gulf Coast: The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

Deadline: August 31. Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the 2015 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose. The contest is open to pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Steve Almond will judge. Submit online or by mail. Click for the complete guidelines.

Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will also appear in issue 28.2, due out in April 2016, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast.

Please enjoy "Bats" by Lawrence Coates, the winning entry from our 2013 contest, selected by Robert Coover.

Donald Barthelme

New Millennium Writings partners with Lambda Literary and Free2Luv® in "Love Wins" Essay Competition

New Millennium Writings Presents "Love Wins" Essay Competition

"It doesn't matter how colorful you paint the closet, the brightest day is in the light. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision, we have opened a crack in the door of the rainbow-colored closet that still holds so many of us. Love ALWAYS wins."
—Dr. Valeria Tanco, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Deadline: August 31. To celebrate the recent SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality, New Millennium Writings (NMW), an award-winning literary journal founded in 1996, is hosting a special "Love Wins" essay competition. NMW calls for essays asking people what the recent SCOTUS decision means to them and their community. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the NMW anthology and on their website.

Over the past 20 years, New Millennium Writings has published more than 1,500 new and emerging writers and awarded over $200,000. In this competition, NMW will partner with two nonprofit organizations, Free2Luv® and Lambda Literary. NMW will donate $1,000 to each organization to further their missions of supporting and empowering the LGBTQ community.

Entries into the Love Wins essay competition must be 4,500 words or less. Entries may be submitted at or mailed to the address listed on the website. The entry fee is $20, and all entrants will receive a copy of NMW's high-quality anthology. More information about the Love Wins literary competition can be found at,, and

Snake Nation Press: Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry and Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award

Deadline: August 31. Submit electronically or by mail. Cathy Bobb won the 2014 Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry and Jacob Appel won the 2014 Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award. Each received $1,000 and publication by Snake Nation Press. Read selections from the winning entries.

Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry

  • $1,000 award and publication
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Submit a manuscript of up to 75-100 pages
  • Previously published works may be entered

Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award

  • $1,000 award and publication
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Submit a novella of up to 50,000 words or a manuscript of short stories of up to 200 pages
  • Any well-written manuscript on any topic will be considered
  • Previously published works may be entered
Snake Nation Press

On The Premises Short Story Contest (no fee)

Deadline: September 5. The premise of our 26th short story contest is "Straightforward". This contest's premise is about technique, not content. Your story can be about almost anything you like (see genre note below), but all of your story's events must be presented in chronological order.

In other words, time must move only forward in your story—NO FLASHBACKS ARE ALLOWED. (No "flash forwards" either—meaning no glimpses of the future that return the story to the present.) Start at some point in time, take us "straight forward" through the story's events, and end when it's over. Winners receive between US$60 and US$220, and publication. There is no fee to enter our contest.

GENRE NOTE: Any genre except children's fiction, exploitative sex, or over-the-top gross-out horror is fine. We will also never accept parodies of another author's specific fictional character(s) or world(s). No exceptions!

Click for details and instructions on submitting your story. To be informed when new contests are launched, subscribe to our free, short, monthly newsletter. On The Premises magazine is recognized in Duotrope, Writer's Market,, and other short story marketing resources.

On The Premises

2015 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Prize, and Rick DeMarinis Short Story Prize

2015 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Prize, and Rick DeMarinis Short Story Prize

Spotlight Contests

Some contests are best suited to writers at the early stages of their careers. Others are better for writers with numerous prizes and publications to their credit. Here is this month's selection of Spotlight Contests for your consideration:

Emerging Writers
Publish or Perish Contest. Submit an unpublished poetry manuscript and a marketing plan. Win a $2,000 advance and a publishing contract with Brigantine Media. Due August 15.

Intermediate Writers
Young Lions Fiction Award. The New York Public Library will award $10,000 for the best published book of fiction (novel or short story collection) by a US author age 35 or under. Due August 31.

Advanced Writers
Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Non-Fiction. C$60,000 for nonfiction published in Canada during the calendar year by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Must be submitted by publisher. Due July 29.

See more Spotlight Contests for emerging, intermediate, and advanced writers within The Best Free Literary Contests database.

Spotlight Contests

Calls for Submissions

To ensure consideration, assume that the editors must receive your submission by the date specified, unless a postmark date is indicated.

PSA: ProLiteracy Receives Support of Best-Selling Author Nora Roberts


ProLiteracy is pleased to announce that Nora Roberts, New York Times bestselling author and passionate advocate for literacy, has written a public letter to declare her support for the advancement of literacy, ProLiteracy, and local literacy organizations nationwide.

"We heartily support organizations which seek to empower people through literacy. Reading is a portal—into the past, the future. It's a parent reading to the child on his lap. It's someone filling out a job application to better her life or following a recipe from a cookbook to feed her family. It's elemental, and it's vital," Roberts said. "We can help open worlds by funding literacy, by giving our real and tangible support to organizations like ProLiteracy and their members that work to teach the power and pleasure of reading and devote their time and efforts to that most basic, necessary and human skill. By funding literacy you help give that pleasure and wonder to others."

ProLiteracy is a nonprofit organization that believes that every adult has a right to literacy. For more than 50 years, it has been working with passionate people and organizations across the globe to create a world where every person can read and write. It develops and promotes literacy learning, content, and programs to help adult learners, and advocates on their behalf. When individuals the world over learn how to read, the more likely they are to lift themselves out of poverty, reduce health care costs, and find and keep sustainable employment.

See more at ProLiteracy.

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Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part two)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part two)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part two)

Julian Peters: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot (part two)

To be continued in our August 15 newsletter. See the previous installment in our June 15 newsletter. See the text of the poem at Poetry magazine. See more comics by Julian Peters.

The Last Word

After Charleston: Seek White Repentance, Not Black Forgiveness
"The 'forgiveness' story, so beloved by our melodramatic and context-free media, is a silencing story. It seems that every time there is a massacre of innocents, reporters are up in the faces of the mourners, asking 'Do you forgive?' before the bodies are cold...The pressure to perform the role of the 'good victim' bears down with extra weight upon members of less-powerful groups who reasonably fear they will not be valued or believed: e.g. sexual assault survivors, children, or African-Americans in a racist society." [continue at Reiter's Block]

Jendi Reiter is the editor of Winning Writers. Follow her on Twitter at @JendiReiter.

Jendi Reiter