On June 11, 2020, during the third week of protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and against police violence, we posted an open call at pw.org inviting writers of the Black literary community to submit letters written to any individual or group—a friend, a family member, the publishing community, other writers, themselves—that loosely pertained to their lives as writers. Our intention was to give Black writers a platform to directly address whatever they wanted, and on their own terms. The following selection of letters is further evidence that, as Melva Graham puts it, writing, too, is a form of resistance. “Every time you sit down to write your true voice becomes louder,” she writes, “and in the fight for racial justice we need all the voices we can get.”
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.