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Not Writing Right Now
NOT long ago I wrote a piece published in this magazine identifying different species of so-called writer’s block and offering curative suggestions for each one. This “not long ago” time, however, was pre-pandemic time and, as such, feels eons away.
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Poets & Writers Magazine
Volume 49 • Issue 3 Editor in Chief KEVIN LARIMER Senior Editor DANA ISOKAWA Managing Editor ARIEL DAVIS Associate Editor EMMA KOMLOS-HROBSKY Assistant Editor SPENCER QUONG Art Director MURRAY GREENFIELD Copy Editor ANTOINE DOZOIS Contributing Editor
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Free Contests At A Glance: A Monthly Calendar Of Typical Deadlines
May: Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin Award • High Desert Museum’s Waterston Desert Writing Prize June: Bard College’s Bard Fiction Prize • Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards • Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s Grif
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Words Matter
I WAS more than five years into my writing career before I worked with a copy editor, first at a print literary magazine and then for my first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar (HarperCollins India, 2019). Until then I had a
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Ehrlich Speaks to Mother-Writers
Lara Ehrlich, author of the short story collection Animal Wife (Red Hen Press, 2020), has a deep narrative investment in the ways the world denies women power and agency. In October 2020 that commitment took a new shape with the first episode of her
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Pw.org
Use our Writing Contests database to find detailed information about more than 375 grants and awards for poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and translators. Filter by genre, deadline, and entry fee to find the best opportunities for
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A Door Opens/Se Abre una Puerta
Writing workshop facilitator. That has been my job for twenty years. Over the course of the nine years I’ve been living in this country, whenever I’ve introduced myself I’ve added “Spanish-language writing.” When you’re an immigrant, something that p
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Literary MagNet
In Alex McElroy’s satirical novel, The Atmospherians, published in May by Atria Books, two childhood friends—Sasha, a disgraced influencer for a lifestyle brand, and Dyson, a flailing actor struggling with an eating disorder—come together to create a
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Agent Advice
Areas of interest: Adult upmarket and literary fiction, literary memoir, narrative nonfiction On her bookshelf: Luster (FSG, 2020) by Raven Leilani, Sabrina & Corina (One World, 2019) by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury, 2011) by J
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The Thousand Pages
ABOUT a decade ago I had the notion that I’d like to tackle the novel again. I had written a couple of bad ones just after college and then applied to MFA programs with the goal of figuring out how to write a good one. Once there, however, I discover
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The Time Is Now
In an afterword to The Essential June Jordan, edited by Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller and published in May by Copper Canyon Press, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Jericho Brown writes about how the legacy of June Jordan, who died in 2002, “allows
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It’s Your Turn In The Spotlight
Most writers who aspire to get published dream of landing a byline, signing with an agent, or earning that first contract with a Big 5 publisher. There are other paths to success, though, including writing competitions, and Writer’s Digest’s annual c
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A Decade of Women Who Submit
For the past decade an international community of women and nonbinary writers have been working to claim space for themselves in an industry historically dominated by men. Known as Women Who Submit (WWS), the group supports and empowers its members t
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THE FRIENDS OF POETS & WRITERS, INC.
Leslie Absher C.W. Accetta Suzanne Adams Mark Aghakhan Francine and David Alexander Linda Ankrah-Dove Anne Annab Ipatia Apostolides Barbara Ascher Michele Baker Marlena Baraf Roy Bartels Richard Brunson Ronald Burke Bryan Calmese Susan Carney Jonatha
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Reactions
Feedback from readers In response to “Pandemic Pen Pals” by Emma Hine (March/April 2021), I’m glad that more folks are getting interested in “old-fashioned” snail mail, pen-and-paper letter writing. For many, though, this is a practice that predates
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Free Writing Contests
FOR those looking to dip a toe into the deep waters of writing contests, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Every year we list hundreds of opportunities in the Grants & Awards section of this magazine, ranging from small local contests offer
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EDITOR’S Note
SUBSCRIBERS MAY RECALL THAT THE COVER OF LAST YEAR’S May/June issue—the first to be published in the earliest and, for many of us, darkest days of the pandemic—featured the words writing contests planted in a bed of green grass. It was a design devel
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Recent Winners
STANLEY KUNITZ MEMORIAL PRIZE Joy Priest of Houston won the 2020 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize for “A Personal History of Breathing.” She received $1,000 and publication in American Poetry Review. The editors judged. The annual award is given for a
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Page One
“I once told you, Jeffers, about the time I met the devil on a train leaving Paris, and about how after that meeting, the evil that usually lies undisturbed beneath the surface of things rose up and disgorged itself over every part of life.” Second P
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Deadlines
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES state, national, and international prizes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We list only prizes of $1,000 or more, prizes of $500 or more that charge no entry fee, and prestigious nonmonetary awards. Appl
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Small Press Points
I wanted to create a press that would bring the attention of a major publishing house to quality and design and treat poetry as a genre with frontlist potential,” says Janaka Stucky of Black Ocean (blackocean.org), an independent press based in Bosto
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Restless Herd
She had horses who danced in their mothers’ arms.She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned like stars.She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls o
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In Memoriam
Carl Apollonio Philip Appleman David Cully Peter Dorey Dick Duane Nawal El Saadawi Denby Fawcett Lawrence Ferlinghetti Dick Gallup Lawrence Otis Graham James Gunn Jim Haynes Robert Hershon Laban Carrick Hill James Hoggard Norton Juster Christopher Li
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The Power of the PERIPLUS Collective
When Ferguson Williams, a fiction writer from Socastee, South Carolina, received an e-mail informing her she had been accepted to PERIPLUS, a new mentorship collective serving BIPOC writers across the United States, she could hardly believe it. “I ke
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The Anthologist
As U.S. poet laureate, Joy Harjo envisioned a project of “mapping the United States based on the poetry of Native Nations poets.” That vision has been realized both as an interactive map hosted on the Library of Congress website and as Living Nations
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Contributors
ARRIEL VINSON is a Tin House YA Scholar and Hoosier who writes about being young, Black, and in search of freedom. Her writing has appeared in Kweli, Catapult, Waxwing, the Rumpus, and other publications. THEA PRIETO is the author of From the Caves,
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Conferences & Residencies
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES application information for writers conferences, literary festivals, and residencies of interest to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and translators. Applications for the following events are due
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Saddle Up and Read
Caitlin Gooch has always loved horses; she started riding when she was just three years old. When Gooch combined this passion with her deep love of reading, she found an unexpected way to affect the lives of the children in her hometown of Wendell, N
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Submission Calendar
NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION National Book Awards AMERICAN POETRY REVIEW Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize CENTER FOR DOCUMENTARY STUDIES Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize GAUDY BOY PRESS Poetry Book Prize  LOST HORSE PRESS  Idaho Prize for Poetry  PITTSBURG
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Reviewers & Critics
CAREFUL readers of contemporary nonfiction anticipate the reviews of New York Times book critic Jennifer Szalai with a particular zeal. For the past three years her penetrating insight and nimble, original voice have informed readers of the newspaper
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