May Deadlines: 13 Contests and Lit Mags With Deadlines This Month

April 25, 2016

We love the motivation of a deadline, so here are twelve excellent opportunities to submit to in May. This month’s list reflects some great lit mags with general submissions closures as well as free contests. Check it!

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Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest

Feeling brusque? Glimmer Train is looking for unpublished works of 300–3,000 words. Your short fiction could land you a very large prize: first place receives $2,000 and second and third place clean up pretty well too. Read the full guidelines here.
Submission fee: $16 Deadline: April 30

Prairie Schooner

Prairie Schooner closes its open submissions on the very first day of May. They publish fiction, poetry, essays, and book reviews! There are no immediate guidelines regarding length for fiction and essays, but poets are invited to submit 5-7 poems. One important note: they do not accept simultaneous submissions. Submit to Prairie Schooner, here.
Submission fee: No Fee. Deadline: May 1

Fairy Tale Review: Translucent Issue Closes

Their Submittable page reads: “The Ochre Issue is unthemed, although we are interested in work that addresses translucency and its siblings: opacity and transparency. Submissions will remain open until at least May 1, 2016, at which point we will close for submissions when we feel the The Translucent Issue is complete.” Submit to the Fairy Tale Review, here.
Submission fee: No Fee. Deadline: May 1

TriQuarterly General Submissions Close

TriQuarterly welcomes fiction, creative nonfiction, and a number of other creative forms like video essays, flash fiction, poetry, and hybrid work from established and emerging authors, but only from October to May. For longer works, writers can submit up to 5000 words. Learn more about submitting to TriQuarterly, here.
Submission fee: No Fee. Deadline: May 1

Los Angeles Review Literary Prizes

Fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry represent four opportunities to submit to the Los Angeles Review before their May 1 deadline. Submission details vary for each category, so click here to learn more. Follow the prompt under each headline for complete submission info.
Submission fee: $20 for each category Deadline: May 1

Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest

Ploughshares considers writers “emerging” if a writers has not published or self-published a book, so if you fall into that category, submit up to 6000 words in fiction or nonfiction for a chance at $1000 and publication. Poets can submit up to 5 pages. Current subscribers can submit for free. Follow the link for full details and guidelines on the Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest.
Submission fee: $24 Deadline: May 15

Carve Magazine’s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

From the website: “Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world.” The Carve Magazine guidelines page lists all the details on submitting, but winners will earn $1500, publication, and review from three literary agencies.
Submission fee: $17 Deadline: May 15

The Masters Review Short Story Award For New Writers – OPENS

Our own Short Story Award for New Writers opens this month! Fiction writers, submit up to 6000 words for a chance at $2000, publication, and agency review from Amy Williams of The Williams Agency, Victoria Marini from GELFMAN SCHNEIDER / ICM PARTNERS and Laura Biagi from Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc. in New York. This annual award recognizes the best fiction from emerging writers. Short Story Award details can be found, here.
Submission fee: $20 Deadline: May 15

Creative Nonfiction Magazine – Joy Issue Closes

For the upcoming issue of Creative Nonfiction Magazine, the publication is seeking essays on the topic of Joy. “Too often the moments that move us to write are bleak ones—stories of loss, hardship, or learning through painful interactions. For this issue we’re looking for well-crafted narratives that explore the brighter moments in life, those that teach and enlighten us through their beauty or humor.” All essays are considered, but the winner and first runner up will earn $1000 and $500 respectively. Full Creative Nonfiction Magazine guidelines can be found here, but writers take note, you can only submit up to 4000 words.
Submission fee: $20 Deadline: May 16

May 31 Submission Closures: ONE STORY, ZYZZYVA, HARVARD REVIEW

Three storied publications close to general submissions on May 31. One Story, which reopens Sept. 1, charges no fees and publishes one story between 3000 – 8000 words every three weeks.Submission details to One Story can be found here.No Fee. You won’t have to wait as long for Zyzzyva to reopen to submissions, but they won’t accept stories until August 1. To submit to Zyzzyva, postmark your previously unpublished fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction by May 31.Zyzzyva submission details can be found here. No Fee. The Harvard Review is closed to submissions until Nov 1, so submit your essays, fiction and poetry before the end of May to be considered. The publication is open to plays and book reviews in addition to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Details here.No Fee.

The Flannery O’Conner Short Fiction Award

Hosted by The University of Georgia Press, The Flannery O’Conner Short Fiction Award recognizes unpublished manuscripts of short stories between 40,000 – 75,000 words. Collections may include long stories or novellas. This blind contest honors the best short story collection with $1000 and publication by the press. Submit to the Flannery O’Conner Short Fiction Award, here.
Submission fee: $30 Deadline: May 31

Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading

Electric Literature is now open for submissions to its Recommended Reading series. Recommended Reading publishes one story a week, each chosen by today’s best authors and editors. Though Recommended Reading features original fiction as well as reprints, we will only consider previously unpublished stories during our open submission periods. You can submit to Recommended Reading, here.
Submission fee: No Fee. Deadline: May 31

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At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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