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Poets & Writers Magazine

    In conjunction with the new May/June 2014 Writing Contests issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, we are excited to introduce Winners on Winning, a new regular feature in which we will talk to recent winners of writing prizes, grants, and fellowships who will share their experiences on how winning—and losing—has affected their careers.

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Your trusted source for information on writing contests, grants for writers, and more.


Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose One Hundred Years of Solitude established him as a colussus of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday in Mexico City at the age of eighty-seven.

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    "I’m not so much interested in things like plot and character and pacing and all that other literary nonsense, but rather the discrete quanta with which those things are built: Words. I like that the little music in a single word can, by its placement, or its very presence, beautify or corrupt the sentence that bears it; that the resulting sentence can test the truth of its paragraph, the paragraph of its page, the page of its chapter, and so on, until the success of an entire work seems to hinge on the single word by which the writer was originally seduced...."


    "I’ve actually found Twitter to be a strange and exciting writing device. I love the way it makes me think about text without context, content in spite of intent, form without formality. As a writer who likes to experiment with words (because otherwise what would be the point?), the sentences Twitter helps me to generate feel weirdly impactful...."

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    by Jen Michalski

    Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

    by Edie Rhoads

    Join indie author Edie Rhoads as she showcases the local literary treasures of one of America’s most picturesque cities.

    by Adam Ross

    Adam Ross, author of the New York Times Notable Book Mr. Peanut, takes us on a tour of his beloved Nashville, "a great secret, cool as all get-out but never self-consciously hip or competitive," with a literary life as vibrant as its musical one.

    by Michelle Wildgen

    Author and Tin House Magazine editor Michelle Wildgen serves as our guide to the literary locales of Madison, Wisconsin, a city whose lofty earnestness in everything from food to literature inspired her two novels.

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Our annual Writing Contests Issue offers a complete guide to nearly 100 literary competitions that charge no entry fees, a close reading of a poem by 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets winner Ansel Elkins, profiles of novelist and essayist Roxane Gay and poet Willie Perdomo, a first look at David Tomas Martinez's debut poetry collection, an in-depth interview with agent Susan Golomb, and more.

May/Jun 2014

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Listen to Sally Wen Mao read five poems from her new poetry collection, Mad Honey Symposium, one of the books featured in Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin.

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Agents & Editors: Susan Golomb

Susan Golomb, whose clients include Jonathan Franzen, Rachel Kushner, and William T. Vollmann, talks about the ebb and flow of submission season, the art of the preemptive offer, and the gems she finds in her slush pile.

The Human Library's Many Books

A Danish organization challenges library patrons worldwide to confront prejudices and change perspectives through conversations with “human books.”

Byliner Brings Binge Culture to Books

A digital publisher reinvents itself as a library of short-form works.

Q&A: Benka Banks on Academy's Brand

The executive director of the Academy of American Poets discusses the forthcoming rebranding of its website, poets.org, in celebration of the organization’s eightieth anniversary.

Scratching Out a Living as a Writer

Two editors launch a new digital magazine that explores the business of getting paid to write.

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Notable Moments in Self-Publishing History: A Timeline


Writers have been self-publishing since the beginning of written words. Celebrating those creative individuals determined to be heard, we present a timeline of notable moments in self-publishing history.

2014 MFA Index: Further Reading


A comprehensive article about how we compiled the 2014 MFA Index of full- and low-residency programs, featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

2013 First Fiction Sampler


Read exclusive excerpts from the novels and story collections of debut fiction writers NoViolet Bulawayo, Bushra Rehman, Bill Cheng, Anton DiSclafani, and Chinelo Okparanta. 

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Susan Golomb Gallery
Credit: Christy Whitney

Agent Susan Golomb, whose clients include Jonathan Franzen, Rachel Kushner, and William T. Vollmann, talks with Michael Szczerban in the latest installment of Agents & Editors. 

Willie Perdomo Gallery
Credit: Jon Crispin

With his new collection of poems, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, Willie Perdomo offers a soulful melody as deep as the poet’s roots in the Nuyorican poetry scene.

Maria Mutch Gallery
Credit: Maria Mutch

In "Ghost in the Machine," contributor Maria Mutch writes about how her search for a typewriter helped her understand ideas of friendship, memory, connection, and loss.

Roxane Gay Gallery
Credit: Kevin Nance

In her new novel, An Untamed State, and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, forthcoming in August, Roxane Gay offers a joyous, complicated, even radically nuanced view of women.