Newsletter #1: A Zoom Of One’s Own

Dear writers, 

You’re reading the first of what will hopefully be a long and word-filled relationship. Before we go any further, though, the answer is yes, I will be strong-arming bookish puns into every subject line from here on out. I’m confident they will all be equally terrible, but no promises. I do, however, solemnly swear to never use the word “unprecedented” in an opening paragraph (this one doesn’t count) (oh my god am I part of the problem?) 

This newsletter is born out of spending the last few years after my MA in Creative Writing scooping up these sorts of opportunities by coincidence on social media, or by word of mouth, and wishing they were all in the same place. That, and the fact that when I’m not doing Zoom quizzes and 5KM running nominations, I’ve been submitting my work far and wide, and when something doesn’t apply to me but I like the look of it, I get too attached to just exit. So it’ll be a relief to be able to close some of those tabs.

It’s also for the smaller publications, journals, anthologies and zines who are doing wonderful work which can only get more wonderful the more submissions they get (even if it’s sometimes tempting to keep submission information a secret to squash out the competition). 

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I’ll aim to keep it as simple as possible, with the following principles at the core: 

  1. I will only share paid opportunities, however small that payment (and trust me, they are sometimes very small). There is so much value in submitting work for publication without reimbursement, but I firmly believe that writers should always be compensated for their craft and I want to spotlight those opportunities.  
  1. I will share opportunities with as few restrictions as possible, particularly geographically. There shall be strictly no teasing you with incredible opportunities, only to tail it with “only 4ft7 writers from Missouri who hate pickles may apply”. (I jest, but I once only read the “Missouri residents only” prerequisite after writing a piece specifically for a call-out). 
  1. Each newsletter will come with a tip from either me or someone relevant in the world of literature, relating to writing submissions. So, without further ado:
Tip #1: Do not force your pre-existing writing into a submission theme 
I know why people do it because I’ve done it too. But I’ve never been accepted this way. If you find yourself thinking, “well, it’s technically about the theme of man versus nature if you look at it this way”, it probably isn’t. It’s the writing equivalent of peeling the stickers off a rubix cube. A number of submission portals are monitored by volunteers, and it’s not fair to them (or to your piece) to have to read through work that doesn’t fit the brief. This is not to say it isn’t good work, but rather that if you know deep down that it isn’t quite right, save it for where it is.
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I: Split Lip Magazine

I’m loath to use the word “hip”, because I fear only un-hip people feel the compulsion to do so. But Split Lip Magazine is hip (and I am, probably, un-hip). They accept memoir, flash, poetry, fiction, interview/review, photography and art. 

Submission fee: In January, March, May, September and November, it’s free to submit. In February, April, June, October and December, there are “tip jar” submissions. 

Submission deadline: They don’t accept work in July or August.

Payment: For web issues, $50 for poems, memoirs, flash, fiction, and art; $25 for interviews/reviews 

For print, $5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2 contributor copies and a 1-year subscription.

Submit here


II: Dirty Girls Magazine

“We want your boldest, baddest, and most brilliant” – from the source, on what is considered suitable for submission. Dirty Girls Magazine are all about raw emotion and jumping between the trials and the beauty of life. Crack open ye ‘ole heart-box and send them what you’ve got. They’re all about inclusivity – they’ll turn nobody away for who they are, only for their writing. 

Submission fee: None

Submission deadline: 1 June 2020

Payment: $10

Submit here


III: Human/Kind

Human/Kind is a literary journal who usually publish general poetry, creative non-fiction, and flash fiction. Currently, they are accepting submissions for craft essays, so if you’ve got some creative non-fiction in the works, head over to the submission portal. 

Submission fee: None

Submission deadline: 15 June 2020

Payment: $20

Submit here


IV: Paranoid Tree

Paranoid Tree are a new literary zine who are launching this year in “Fall” (you can imagine me putting on a bad American accent now). All profits go toward funding the production of the next issue, so think of it not just as an outlet for your work but also a happy circle of artist-support. Consider subscribing to their zine. They accept microfiction, creative non-fiction, and prose poetry up to 400 words.

Submission fee: None

Submission deadline: Ongoing (for now)

Payment: $50

Submit here


V: Juxtaprose

It would be dishonest to pretend that this literary journal’s punny name doesn’t thrill me to the very core. But it’s got a lot more going for it than just that. Juxtaprose publish international fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art, and photography. I can’t tell if the following fun fact will be encouraging or disheartening (please feel the former), but a recent contributor includes Man Booker International Prize winner Lydia Davis. There are three categories open right now: the Chapbook Prize, the Poetry Prize and the Fiction Prize. 

Submission fee: $14-$28 (depending on the type of submission)

Submission deadline: 2 September 2020 (Fiction), 2 December 2020 (Chapbook), 6 December 2020 (Poetry)

Payment: $50 (short stories/essays), $25 (flash fiction/essays)

Submit here

That’s all for now, and it’s not just because I’m reaching the limit of my understanding of roman numerals. 

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Of course, I want as many writers to read this as possible. We’re all on the same team, and don’t let the competitive nature of the industry make you feel otherwise. So please: share this with all your writer-friends out there. If you are reading this email because it has been forwarded on to you, please subscribe here to receive future Have You Read This newsletters.

Please don’t reach out to me about further details – everything you could possibly need will be available on the links provided. They’re better equipped to answer your questions, anyway! 

Want to unsubscribe? Please do so by responding to this email, and if you have the time, let me know why. I hope it wasn’t something I said. 

Love and best wishes, 

Meg

If I was able to help you get published, or inspire your writing, please consider “buying me a coffee“. I don’t drink coffee, but you need a fancy membership on Ko-Fi to change the wording to “a bag of Percy Pigs”. Keep writing, everyone. You got dis.

Read Newsletter #2: 100 Beers Of Solitude