Thursday, April 17, 2014

Writing for Free, Contests, and Other Opportunities

I've always liked Midwest Book Review, for several reasons. As a reader, I find its reviews are clean and clear. As a writer, I find it policies simple and straightforward.

Midwest Book Review doesn't pay reviewers, and it makes that clear in a nice way: reviewers are called "volunteers." Submission is simple (text in the body of an email) and MBR doesn't get all fluffy describing the "benefits" of volunteering. It is clear about bylines - you can get one, but won't always. The criteria, again, is clear. 

Also as a reader, you might want to know why most MBR reviews are positive. That's because it only accepts to review books it thinks will make the cut, so to speak. 

So, if you're a writer looking for a place to get exposure and have some decent, recent online writing samples, look into writing for MBR. Trust me, you could do a lot worse. If you're a reader looking for reviews on books you'll probably like, same goes. 

Writing Contests - May 2014 & More

Looking for essay, poetry, fiction or non-fiction writing contests? I love "how-tos" so I'm partial to this one:

Baltimore Review Summer Contest

Online submission deadline: May 31, 2014
The theme for the Baltimore Review’s summer contest is “How To.” Why? Because writers are unabashedly inquisitive and can instruct readers in such eloquent ways. Instruct our readers in how to do anything—anything at all—in the course of your poem, fiction, or creative nonfiction, and you’re eligible. 3,000-word limit for prose, 1-3 poems per entry. $10 entry fee. Prizes: $500, $200, and $100. All entries considered for publication. Deadline is May 31, 2014. Final judge: Michael Downs. Hit blue Submit button on Submit page, then the Contest link to enter. Also considering non-theme (non-contest) submissions. Visit

If you're a longer-form fiction writer, you might like Glimmer Train's Standard contests, for stories not to exceed 12,000 words. Three contests per year, prize money, and no reading fee! A nice combination, don't you think?

I found these contests on, where most of the contests are for unpublished work. However, it also lists a few for previously published work

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