Last Call for Nonfiction at Profane

July 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

TestCover3Profane is accepting creative nonfiction submissions through the end of July.

We’re a print and audio journal featuring the best and bravest writing we can find. We record every poem and piece of prose we publish in the author’s own voice, along with a short interview.

Only in our second year, our contributors already include Maggie Nelson, Alex Lemon, David Clewell, Devin Murphy, and Deborah Thompson, among many other incredibly talented writers.

We tend to like nonfiction that mixes research and narrative, that teaches us about the world we live in while telling an essential story.

For a sample of what we like, Read and Listen to Elizabeth Horneber’s personal essay, “Contagion,” at All the work from our inaugural issue is currently being archived on our website.

We look forward to reading your work!

For more info, you can check us out at

Redux, Recycle

July 2, 2015 § 1 Comment

From our friends at Redux, the online journal of previously published work:

Redux is accepting submissions of fiction/poetry/essays during an open reading period: July 5 to July 31.  We’re looking for literary work of high quality that has been previously published in a print journal but that is not available elsewhere on the internet.  Our mission is to bring deserving work to a new, online audience.  Preference will be given to older pieces (i.e. published before 2012).

No novel excerpts, poems that appear in chapbooks, or pieces published in anthologies…even if these books are presently out-of-print.

Please read our guidelines for important submission information.  If your work is accepted, you will also be asked to write a short “story behind the piece” essay a la the Best American series. Pieces must be available in a Microsoft Word file.

Authors we’ve published include Margot Livesey, Sandra Beasley, Robin Black, R.T. Smith, Michelle Boisseau, Kelle Groom, Erica Dawson, Catherine Chung, Walter Cummins, Lee Martin, Dave Housley, and Terese Svoboda.

We look forward to seeing your work!


Submission guidelines:

Questions: reduxlj AT gmail DOT com

The 2015 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

June 24, 2015 § 2 Comments

Steve Almond

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. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions receive $250 and will also appear in issue 28.2, due out in April 2016. All entries will be considered for paid publication on the Gulf Coast website as online exclusives.

Steve Almond will judge this year’s contest. Almond is the author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His short stories have appeared in the Best American and Pushcart anthologies. His most recent collection, God Bless America, won the Paterson Prize for Fiction and was short-listed for The Story Prize. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.

Entries are due August 31, 2015. The $17 entry fee includes a year-long subscription to Gulf Coast.

The folks at Gulf Coast will accept submissions via an online submissions manager and via postal mail.

Visit for more information.

River Teeth Book Prize Opens Submissions

June 23, 2015 § 2 Comments

River Teeth

Though the final judge has not yet been announced, the River Teeth book prize has opened for submissions.  They have published some fine books these past years, and likely will once again:

River Teeth‘s editors and editorial board conduct a yearly national contest to identify the best book-length manuscript of literary nonfiction. All manuscripts are screened by the head editors of River Teeth. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by The University of New Mexico Press.

All entrants receive a one-year subscription to River Teeth with their submission fees.

Deadline for Submissions: October 15, 2015

More details here.

An Introduction to Thread: Essay and Image

June 4, 2015 § 1 Comment

threadA guest post from Ellen Blum Barish, editor of Thread: A Literary Publication

Among the countless decisions I needed to make when I launched Thread, my independent literary publication, was whether or not the issues would be themed.

Topping the do it side was that themes provide prompts for writers, natural organizing principles for editors and stimuli for art.

On the don’t do it side, there’s the risk that a theme might not appeal to writers and readers, that it raises the challenge of blurry definition boundaries and the pressure to find and fill each issue with thematic work.

I seesawed for months before making the final choice not to go with themes for Thread. In the end, my decision had less to do with being for or against themed content and more about what I believe about how we read, write and process personal narrative.

It appears that I believe three things:

Publications have built-in themes. At the café where my students read their work aloud for family and friends on the last night of our workshop, my smart-phone camera snapped an accidental photo of a rag rug on the floor. The image – and its serendipity –  got me thinking about the beauty in multi-colored, braided cords, how we talk about finding the invisible thread in our work, how we recall our life in short strands, and how a needle has to break through material before it can bring fabric together. The metaphor began to work for me. When I chose the word, Thread and its subtitle, An exploration of human experience through essay and image, I was committing the publication to a persona right off the bat, one that I hope conjured a collection of poignant and provocative personal narratives that expose and interconnect us.

Writers write thematically. A theme can act as a prompt to help a writer find a way into a personal narrative that she or he may have had trouble accessing. Themes can also be just the kick needed to get writing. But there’s just no getting around the fact that the best personal writing explores what a writer is curious about; what captivates and invites us in. I believe that we are drawn to one or two, possibly more themes in our lives. Theme is what we are talking about when we ask, “What is this piece about?” Some writers know their themes. Some discover them while writing. Some don’t have a clue about what their themes are, and some simply don’t care. But I like to think that identifying themes in our work can go a long way toward self-discovery.  Themes either express a burning question in our life, encourage us to articulate something we didn’t know we knew, illustrate our passion or uncover something true or simply entertaining. Like personal mission statements.

Themes present themselves in a curated body of work. I’ve been struck by the discovery of unconsciously selected themes that pop up once an issue is released. In the Spring 2015 premiere issue, self-discovery. In the summer issue, losses and finds. At this writing, I’m working on the Fall 2015 issue and the theme isn’t yet clear. But I’m waiting like an excited child in line for ice cream for the moment when it does, when it reveals itself.

I want to publish work that wants to be written; stories that pull a writer to the page out of that desire to dive in. Believing this makes sending rejections my least favorite part of this process, but so far, it’s the only part I don’t enjoy. Everything else about publishing Thread has turned out to be the deepest professional joy I’ve ever known.

Stitching Thread together is the result of a dream to publish essays and photographs that make us think, feel and connect. Like that braided rug: a chance to repurpose material from our lives to make art.


A NOTE TO WRITERS: Thread accepts submissions all year. For now, there’s no fee to submit. The writers and photographers, including its solo editor-preneur, offer their work for the love of the art and the joy of publication.

It’s my hope that the publications’ companion live reading series in Chicago (see Thread at Curt’s Cafe South) will help make Thread self-sustaining so that I can pay writers and photographers in the near future.

to read Thread, go to For my blog on craft, creativity and the writing life, go to EBB  & Flow:



Flash CNF Contest at Blue Earth Review

June 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

A flash opportunity, friends: For years, the Blue Earth Review has been publishing quality fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. This summer, we’re hosting our very first flash CNF contest. We like tightly crafted prose that surprises, delights, moves, or otherwise makes an impact in a small space.

Submit up to two pieces, each 750 words and under, for free.

Winner receives $500 and publication, and all entries are considered for publication in our fall issue.  Deadline:August 14, 2015.  Submit!

Thank you,

Michael Torres and the entire Blue Earth Review team


Paying Essay Market and Book Contest Too

May 27, 2015 § 4 Comments

Two, yes two, announcements in one blog post — a new paying market for essays, and a book contest. Two separate announcements! What will these amazing blog people think of next?


Qu: a literary magazine is now open for submissions! Payment upon publications: $100 per prose piece, $50 per poem. Qu is produced by the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte ( and publishes fiction, poetry, essays and script excerpts of outstanding quality. We will be accepting submissions through August 31st.

Stillhouse Press Nonfiction Book Contest

Prize: $1,000 + publication, 20 copies of book, and paid transport to a Fall for the Book event announcing publication.

We are requesting complete mss. of narrative non-fiction, either a collection of linked essays or memoir, between 60,000-90,000 words. Mss. should include a query letter and a synopsis with an overview of the work. For complete guidelines please visit:

Finalists will be guest judged by W. Ralph Eubanks. Reading Fee: $25/submission

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