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Newsletter #7: Infinite Pest

Dear readers, 

Your eyes are not deceiving you – the infinite pest is back, with some exciting submissions that will (fingers crossed) be the perfect home for all the writing you’ve been doing while I’ve been off galavanting in the ether! Horah! 

I’ve been flexing my writing muscles this week, having just posted a blog post packed with travel recommendations for book lovers in London, and it left me with enough enthusiasm that I decided to stop wallowing in guilt for not sending one of these newsletters in donkey’s years. I would like to clarify that until a few seconds ago when I Googled it, I had no idea if “in donkey’s years” was actually a saying, just that my parents used to say it and so I therefore believed it to be one).

Tip #7: Set word goals
Last year, I interviewed a crime/thriller/contemporary fiction author Claire McGowan on Babble, and her top piece of advice for writers was small, manageable word targets. We joked that perhaps a “Couch to 5K” for authors was exactly what we needed. Pick a number – 500 is mine, but it probably depends on the project – and write that daily. It can be a load of shite. That’s fine. You’ll sift through it later. There will be gems. But you can’t sift if there’s nothing to work with.

I: Shenandoah

This publication accepts a number of different genres, but only within particular time-frames. Writers of general creative non-fiction and those with novel excerpts need to get their submissions in by 31 August (ie. this coming Monday), while fiction submissions are starting on 1 September and closing 15 September 15. The theme for fiction is Border Crossing Narratives. Send Shenandoah your stories of migrations, large and small, of crossings across multiple kinds of borders, physical, psychological, social, spiritual, temporal or theoretical. There is a fair bit of logistical information on their website, so make sure you’ve read that before submitting.

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: Varied

Payment: $100 per poem, $100 per 1000 words of prose (up to $500), and $50 per page of comics up to $500. 

Submit here

II: The New Yorker

The New Yorker is open for submissions and while I realise this is a huge publication and may seem daunting, I think we all need to submit for the experience. I’m certain they pay, but they haven’t clarified how much. I once got $4 for a piece which I paid $2 to submit and then it was converted to pounds and I bought a coffee, but I’m very much on the side of “so long as they pay”. That said, it’s the New bloody Yorker, so I would expect more than that – let me know if you’re successful and find out! They’re on the ball with getting back to you, though, and if you haven’t heard from them within ninety days, you can assume that your submission was unsuccessful. 

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: Ongoing

Submit here

III: One Story

One Story is accepting submissions of literary fiction between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They can be any style and on any subject, but they want stand-alone stories which leave readers “feel satisfied”. Stories should be unpublished but if it has been published in print outside of North America, it will be considered. If you’re aged 13-19, check out One Teen Story too.

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: 4 October – 14 November

Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies for First Serial North American rights. All rights will revert to the author following publication.

Submit here

IV: The /tƐmz/ Review

This literary magazine publishes prose (fiction and creative non-fiction) up to 10,000 words long – they will consider pieces longer, but they “need to earn their length”. They accept submissions of 1-8 poems, depending on the length of the poems, with a preference of 10 pages or fewer.

Submission fee: Free

Submission deadline: Open in “The Fall”, which I assume means 22 September until Christmas

Payment: $20/piece or per batch of poems

Submit here

V: Willow Springs Magazine

Willow Springs accepts fiction and poetry between September and May, which means they’re almost ready for you! No theme often means that it’s a big pool you’re dropping your story into, but I bet they can swim. 

Submission fee: $3

Submission deadline: 1 September – 31 May yearly

Payment: $100/long-form prose, $40/short prose, $20/poem

Submit here

Pick a topic. Any topic, but an overused one – love, temptation, atonement, you know the drill. Then for a timed two minutes, jot down every word you can think of relating to that topic. After that, write a story on the topic but not using any of the words you picked. It’s a great way to keep away from cliché sentiments, but also offers you an opportunity to visit overused topics in a creative way.

Of course, I want as many writers to read this as possible. We’re all on the same team, and don’t let the competitive nature of the industry make you feel otherwise. So please: share this with all your writer-friends out there. If you are reading this email because it has been forwarded on to you, please subscribe here to receive future Have You Read This newsletters.

Please don’t reach out to me about further details – everything you could possibly need will be available on the links provided. They’re better equipped to answer your questions, anyway! 

Want to unsubscribe? Please do so by responding to this email, I’m still organising this manually. I hope it wasn’t something I said. 

Love and best wishes, 


If I was able to help you get published, or inspire your writing, please consider “buying me a coffee“. I don’t drink coffee, but you need a fancy membership on Ko-Fi to change the wording to “a bag of Percy Pigs”. Keep writing, everyone. You got dis.