Opportunities: May 2019

A curated roundup for May 2019 of submission opportunities for short stories, poetry, and non-fiction writing.

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Well, we’ve made it to May and I can’t help but feel like the year is accelerating. But still, the winter is out and we are well into the spring/summer vibes. Interesting fact about May: it was named after the Greek goddess Maia, the goddess of fertility. So much like offspring, the things we write can grow and have many great successes if we nurture them and give them opportunities to thrive; it’s a tenuous link, but I’m going with it.

I’ve had a look at what’s out there and found some fantastic opportunities for writers. Whether you are aiming for platform, prizes, or simply joining communities, there is something for everyone in this article.

First of all, this site—run by Thanet Writers—is looking for submissions of short stories, poetry, essays, and book reviews. Thanet Writers pay a flat rate of £10 for UK print rights for each accepted submission. You can find out more and send in your writing by clicking here.

Short Stories

There’s a nice opportunity with Carve Magazine, if literary fiction is your cup of tea. Carve is an online and quarterly-printed magazine with a large audience with renowned contests for writers. They are hosting the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest but you’ll have to be quick as the submissions deadline is 15th May for previously unpublished works of up to 10,000 words. Work will be read by guest judges and there is a first prize of $1500 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third, there’s also two $125 prizes for the Editor’s choice.

The world renowned Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition started as an American platform that quickly became a world-wide competition where writing is at the heart. “We do not go by the rule book,” says Lorian, in a rare but welcome stance that shows typos and grammar are less important than good storytelling and authentic voices. They are looking for previously unpublished fiction up to 3,500 words. There is $2500 prize but the submissions deadline for 2019 is 15th May so once again you’ll have to move fast for this one, but it will be well worth the work. Entries up to the deadline will now cost $20.

London’s Brick Lane Bookshop has just announced a competition, seeking short fictional stories between 1000-5000 words, with a winning story being published in their anthology and a £1000 prize for first place, £200 for second and £50 for third. Entry fee is £8 for previously unpublished work; deadline for submissions is 25th June. This is a great way to get noticed in the capital and the prize money is a neat bonus.


Sentinel Literary Quarterly is an online and printed magazine for great poetry. They have quarterly competitions for previously unpublished poems of any subject and are offering £250 first prize with publication online and in print. There is an entry fee depending on how many submissions you make, starting at £5.

New Millennium Writings is a great platform for new and emerging writers with an internationally recognised literary award and journal. Based in Tennessee, with a worldwide collection of works and writers, this is the place to get noticed. They promote writing as being a stress-free endeavour and don’t penalise for minor grammatical errors and typos. There are no restrictions on style or subject as their focus is finding writers and giving them a platform. Their 48th New Millennium Writing Award is open for submissions for previously unpublished works and are offering $1000 for first place as well as a certificate and publication online and in print. A poetry entry may include three poems (or five pages) for $20 entrance fee.


If you’re a non-fiction writer, take a look at Slate. Slate is a magazine packed with articles on politics, business, technology and the arts. They suggest reading through their site to get a feel for what they offer before you consider submitting your work. They have a detailed guide on their pitching process which you can find here and advise all potential writers to contact the relevant section editor. Slate has a big readership so pitching is well worth considering.


It’s time to talk about The New Yorker.

If you didn’t already know, The New Yorker is the goldmine for writers. If your writing gets accepted in their weekly magazine then you might well find yourself with a large publication deal afterwards. The New Yorker has been dubbed as the most desirable literary magazine in the world and the level of prestige is beyond the reaches of the sky.

This isn’t just an “Oh, I got accepted for a publication in a magazine, that’s cool!” thing—this is a career-birthing game-changer that will not only see your work being put into the hands of over 1.2 million people, but your name etched into the history of successful writers forever. The interesting thing about this prestigious magazine is that it doesn’t reveal how much it pays, but a bit of research shows that they pay around $7500 for short stories alone. If every there was somewhere to send your writing, this is it.

Best of luck, and if you spot any noteworthy submission opportunities, let me know.

Sam is a full-time working father of three, a fitness bod, and a writer; often sighted drinking fine ales and riding motorbikes.

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