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!
Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest
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
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.