Our annual Writing Contests Issue features an in-depth look at how submissions are evaluated and winners are chosen, plus insight from six recent winners; a profile of Utah state poet laureate Paisley Rekdal on the release of her new book, Nightingale; Camille T. Dungy’s guide to living and writing; William Giraldi on author envy; articles on freelance editing and negotiating a contract; tips for successful self-publishing; writing prompts; agent advice; and more.
Shadow Narratives: A Profile of Paisley Rekdal
Paisley Rekdal’s sixth poetry collection, Nightingale, out in May from Copper Canyon Press, is a stunning book about transformation that will change the way we read violence, silence, and the stories handed down to us.
A Look Inside the System of Competition
Writers, editors, and contest judges offer a comprehensive take on what really happens after you hit Submit.
Winners on Winning
Six writers who have won recent awards offer advice for successful contest submissions, and how to deal with rejection.
News and Trends
Q&A: O’Rourke to Edit the Yale Review
Poet and memoirist Meghan O’Rourke, the incoming editor of the Yale Review, discusses her approach to editing, her plans for the journal, and the trends she’s most excited about.
The Bookshop Band
A pair of English singer-songwriters perform literature-inspired music in bookstores across the United States.
Hub City’s New Southern Fiction Series
Funded by novelist Charles Frazier, the Cold Mountain series will highlight new literary fiction from the South.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including The Tradition by Jericho Brown and Orange World by Karen Russell.
The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections
A roundup of four new anthologies, including the third volume of the BreakBeat Poets series, Halal If You Hear Me, edited by Fatimah Asghar and Safia Elhillo.
Literary MagNet: Kali Fajardo-Anstine
A fiction writer discusses five journals that published work from her debut story collection, Sabrina & Corina.
Small Press Points: BkMk Press
The Kansas City, Missouri–based independent press approaches its fiftieth anniversary with plans to launch a chapbook competition in 2020.
The Written Image: Cara Barer
A Houston artist turns outdated manuals, phone books, and encyclopedias into visually striking sculptures.
Sharing Poetry Chapbooks Online
Poets House in New York City launches an interactive digital exhibition of their chapbook collection.
Wattpad Surges Into Print
The online storytelling community expands to print with the launch of Wattpad Books.
The Practical Writer
The Savvy Self-Publisher: Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard
A historical novelist discusses her experiences in self-publishing; an editor and publicist weigh in.
Agent Advice: Jody Kahn of Brandt & Hochman
A literary agent answers questions from writers about genre, age, costs, and client lists.
How to Get Paid: Freelance Editing
The third installment in a continuing series looks at how writers make ends meet as freelance book editors.
Negotiating Your Contract: The Power of the Informed Author
A novelist offers insight on how to successfully negotiate a publishing contract without help from an agent.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Use paradoxical imagery in a poem about unseasonable weather, connect characters to a shared past in a story, or write a personal essay for each month of the year—three prompts to get you started.
Say Yes to Yourself: A Poet’s Guide to Living and Writing
A poet and essayist meditates on the importance of making time to write—whether it’s hours or days or just a few minutes at a time.
Author Envy: The Art of Surviving One’s Own Personality
Writers have a long tradition of literary envy. Here, an author explores the green eyes of literature through the lens of the past, and how to navigate it in the present.