Our annual Writing Contests Issue features a survey of the pros and cons of submitting to contests versus during open reading periods; professional application tips for grants, awards, and fellowships; an in-depth interview with poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong; an essay by Miciah Bay Gault that questions the timeline of women writers’ success; an inside look at book marketing; a Q&A with David Canfield of Entertainment Weekly; writing prompts; self-publishing advice; and much more.
Double Doors Open: A Q&A With Cathy Park Hong
Cathy Park Hong breaks new ground with her first essay collection, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, published in February by One World, in which she fearlessly probes the intersections of race, art, and literature.
Finding a Home for Your Work: Should You Submit to Contests or During Open Reading Periods?
The author interviews writers, literary agents, and editors at magazines and presses to identify the pros and cons of submitting your work to writing contests versus during open reading periods.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Application Tips for Fellowships, Grants, and Awards
Administrators of grants, fellowships, and awards offer candid advice and insight into the application process, including tips on putting together a compelling writing sample.
News and Trends
Inspired by a 1971 novel by Richard Brautigan, the Brautigan Library collects unpublished books, creating a fantastic archive of stories unaffected by publishing trends—and a window into the minds and dreams of its contributing writers.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Synthesizing Gravity: Selected Prose by Kay Ryan and Conjure Women by Afia Atakora.
The Anderson Center in Minnesota offers the nation’s only residency designed to give Deaf artists time to work alongside one another.
Restless Books creates space for immigrant stories through its annual prize, which awards $10,000 and publication to a first-generation immigrant writer.
The New York City press annually publishes six to eight books of fiction and nonfiction “by feminists, for everyone.”
The author on the journals that published stories from her collection How to Pronounce Knife.
Siglio Press has released a book on poet Bernadette Mayer’s project Memory, in which she wrote and took photos every day during July 1971, creating a lyrical testament to a moment in a life, intimately conjured yet still inevitably out of reach.
Jafreen Uddin, the new executive director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, discusses her vision for the organization, which has been the de facto home for Asian American writers for nearly thirty years.
The Practical Writer
In the latest installment of a yearlong series on publishing professionals, four book marketers explain how they use advertising, social media, and other platforms to boost awareness about their titles.
Marlen Suyapa Bodden describes self-publishing her historical novel Arrows of Fire and hiring editorial and publishing professionals during the process. A publisher and a marketer weigh in with additional advice for engaging with readers.
The books editor of Entertainment Weekly discusses how he picks which titles to review and what he thinks books coverage will look like in ten years.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem that celebrates the everyday people in your life, a short story about a character coming face-to-face with an old friend, and an essay about a time you experienced a stroke of luck.
The author of the novel Goodnight Stranger reflects on her writing career and the cultural myths about success, youth, and appearance that women writers must navigate.