Brevity Issue Focused on Experiences of Gender

February 18, 2015 § 3 Comments

goBrevity is excited to announce that it’s 49th issue will focus on experiences of gender. We are looking for work that considers gender: what it is, what it means, how our understanding of it is changing. We want essays that explore how gender is learned during childhood, lived over the entire course of a life, and how our changing understanding of gender shapes the way we experience ourselves and others.

This special issue will feature new work by Kate Bornstein, the original gender outlaw. Ms. Bornstein’s books include Gender Outlaw, My (New) Gender Workbook, and Queer and Present Danger. In her long career as an author and activist, she has been at the forefront of the revolutionary changes to our understanding of what gender is, what it isn’t, and why it matters.

This issue will be guest edited by Silas Hansen and Sarah Einstein. Silas is an assistant professor at Ball State University and has published personal essays that explore his experiences as a transgender man in Slate, Colorado Review, The Normal School, and elsewhere. Sarah is the past Managing Editor of Brevity, author of the upcoming book Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press, 2015), and a queer writer whose work explores the murky spaces between formal identity and lived experience.

We are looking for flash essays (which we define as 750 words or fewer) that explore the lived experience of gender, show the reader a new way to look at the familiar, or give voice to under-represented experiences. Submissions will be open from Feb. 20th-April 20th and the issue will be published in mid-May.

Stay tuned to this channel —  the Brevity blog or the Brevity Facebook Page — for notification when the Submittable queue is open for special issue submissions.

NAR’s Torch Prize in Creative Nonfiction

February 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

The North American Review, the oldest literary magazine in America (founded in 1815), and one of the best, is accepting submissions until April 1st for the Torch Prize in Creative Nonfiction.

First Prize: $500.  This year the prize will be judged by the wonderful Eula Biss.

Full Details Here.

Poking the Bear: Call for Submissions

January 25, 2015 § 7 Comments

img_0234_2From the bear-poking folks at Rawboned:

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the role of art, written or otherwise brought into being. To us, and to a great many others (I suspect), it is this: to poke the bear. We writers and artists do what we do because we have questions. Creating our art may not bring us the answers, but it can more fully, and in sometimes astonishing ways, articulate the questions. “Good” writing/art pushes readers and viewers to find their own questions.

Issue #6, to be published in April, will be dedicated to poking the bear. Whether you question your culture, your government, literary criticism, or why you always make eggs on Sunday morning, question something. Or send us something that makes us question something. And do it in 750 words or less. Surprise us. Stun us. Please.

Write Start Craft Essays and Contest: 75 Word Openings

January 20, 2015 § 8 Comments

wsThe fine folks at Biographile have been running an excellent series of craft essays under the title “Write Start: Practical Advice from Savvy Authors.” Here is a bit of description, with links to the series and the contest they are running in conjunction with Paste magazine:

…we’ve spent the past few months asking forty-plus authors to share their hard-earned writing advice to remind you you’re not alone. For the month of January, in the spirit of new beginnings, Biographile will be spending each day celebrating the craft of writing by giving you all the basics to get started.

Spanning genres, backgrounds, and styles, these authors have given us a goldmine of good habits and encouraging words. From writing rituals, to secrets in overcoming writer’s block, to tricks in engineering the perfect opening paragraph; if one piece doesn’t inspire you to start writing, another will. In the words of one author, echoing the famed advice of another: first things first, if you want to write, start with your ass in the chair.

Are you there yet? Good. Now, sometime this month, if the spirit moves you, start applying Biographile‘s Write Start tips. Pick a piece of writerly advice at random and give it a whirl. Paste Magazine is hosting a writing contest alongside Biographile‘s Write Start series, calling on writers (ahem, you) to pen the opening lines of a story, any story, in seventy-five words or less. All you need to do is cite which piece inspired you to write, submit your entry, and voila — you’re in the running for an iPad mini and a bundle of good books. (More importantly, you’ve got the seeds of a good story.)


Call for Essays: Special Nonfiction Issue of Literature and Belief

January 15, 2015 § 4 Comments

From Brevity author Joey Franklin:

litBlfHere at BYU we host an eclectic literary and scholarly journal titled Literature and Belief that examines a broad spectrum of moral-religious issues in literature.  The journal is in it’s 27th volume and publishes a wide range of genres—poetry, personal essay, literary criticism, interviews, and book reviews—and has published many well-respected authors including Ted Hughes, Wayne Booth, Peter Hawkins, and William Stafford, to name a few.

Recently the editors at Literature and Belief  asked me to edit a special nonfiction issue–and so I’m putting the word out to the CNF community in hopes of putting together a great issue.

The journal’s title is the only hard and fast editorial guideline—we’re looking for the best possible creative nonfiction (personal essays, lyric essays, literary journalism, travel narratives, nature essays, memoir, etc) that explores issues of belief in some way.

email your questions and submissions to:
For more information, visit the journal’s website:

CSU Poetry Center: Essay Collection Competition

January 6, 2015 § 2 Comments

eiffelThe Cleveland State University Poetry Center, although primarily known for its focus on contemporary poetry, also publishes in other genres, and this year CSU is inviting submissions to an Essay Collection Competition. The winner will have their book published as the first in a series that hopes to serve as a home for innovative, lyric, literary, or experimental nonfiction collections.

The press adds: “See Wayne Koestenbaum’s My 1980s and Other Essays, Eula Biss’ Notes From No Man’s Land, Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me, Hilton Als’ White Girls, or Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams as recent collections we’ve loved for their messy structures, exciting subject matter, serious research, and surprising, beautiful language.”

Judge: Wayne Koestenbaum

Submission Dates: January 1 – March 31

Winners will receive $1,000, publication, and a standard royalty contract.

More information here on eligibility and the submission process.

Prairie Schooner Call for Blog Posts

January 2, 2015 § 1 Comment

Alicia OstrikerOur venerable and well-regarded colleague Prairie Schooner‘s Winter 2014 issue features a poetry portfolio of world writers on Women and the Global Imagination, guest-edited by Alicia Ostriker. They’d love to give this idea an even bigger and more multifaceted conversation, and they’re seeking guest bloggers to write on that theme.

What are we looking for? Here’s a few ideas to get you started: What would a year of reading only women writers look like? Female characters in literature and cinema: which ones are likable and which ones aren’t, and why? Which journals are publishing female voices? How do gender binaries exclude certain voices? Is promoting “women writers” enough, or, how can greater inclusivity be achieved? Who are some great female editors working today? What is the “Global Imagination,” and how does femininity relate? How can we use advances in technology to hear voices from all over the world? In what ways can the Global Imagination be transformed?

Whether you call it an essay, an article, or something in between, we’d love to read your thoughts and ideas. Wrap them up in 500 to 2,000 words of well-considered wit, pith, and syntax, and submit by January 15.

Does one of these questions (or another idea entirely) spark your pen? Head on over to Submittable for the full details.

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