PEDESTAL MAGAZINE will open for submissions of poetry from May 11-31 to its June 2020 issue. The themes are: “a lament for the earth” and/or “a song of residence.” Payment. $50 for accepted poem. Details HERE.
LITERARY TAXIDERMY (REGULUS PRESS) is open for submissions to its 2020 Short Story Competition. Cash awards and publication in the next Literary Taxidermy Anthology. Opening and closing lines provided. Stories to 2,500 words. $10 entry fee. Details HERE.
MASTERS REVIEW is open for entries to its Anthology Prize showcasing the best emerging writers. $5,000 will be awarded between ten finalist. Entry fee: $30. Deadline: March 28. Details HERE.
NARRATIVE WINTER 2020 STORY CONTEST is open for entries of previously unpublished short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entry fee: $27 (covers entry and subscription). Deadline: March 31. Details HERE.
WRITER’S DIGEST SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS is open for entries through April 1, 2020. Cash award, publication, and trip to New York for the annual conference. Categories include poetry. entry feels run from $85 – $125. Details HERE.
On another note (sort of): United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. They will help with bills, rent, and food. You can call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code. You will be given a list of local agencies that might offer assistance.
Womawords is a complex of efforts initiated by Zimbabwean poet activist in exile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet). I was curious – and thought others might be as well – about the inspiration for this ambitious and worthy effort that is devoted to giving women and girls a platform to speak out about their concerns and experiences and to share their wisdom. I think you’ll enjoy the interview. Perhaps some women reading here will want to consider submitting to the Daughters of the Earth Project International Contest. There is no submission fee.
MBIZO: The heart of a women is like an ocean, thus she must be proffered a free platform to express concerns, to speak rights, to voice against wrongs, to sing experiences and more. The world over we are blessed with an influx of women and the girl child gifted not only physical stature but mental beauty, endowed with wisdom to sub create and shape humanity. Womawords was birthed in April 2019 as a complimentary initiative during my eye-opening and life changing tenure with the International Human Right Art Festival.
JAMIE: Please tell us about the origin of the name.
MBIZO: The name pays tribute to the power and influence literary arts culture, words and poetry. The Womawords Project is a positive transformation from my initial project Girl Child Creativity Project, which was Zimbabwean based, and transitioned it into an international literary arts culture digital space exhibiting women’s voices and literature. Women are powerful trench soldiers; they experience a bundle of traumas from child birthing, forced intercourse, menstrual health issues, domestic violence, stigma and discrimination. A whole lot of hardships but also women are molders of humanity. I have always known of mother tongue not father tongue, hence Womawords – a metaphor that gives women from around the globe a space to express themselves through poetry , resistance literature, and resilience arts.
JAMIE: What are the current activities Womawords is sponsoring?
MBIZO: The 2020 main project is the Daughters of the Earth Project, an international writer’s contest. The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women to raise their voice, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction, and essays. And they are a myriad of issues, unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced by women globally. WOMEN must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions and to tell their experiences through this # Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project. For more details follow on the submissions portal on Womawords.
Other projects include:
Women of Residence Profile Features: The Press is anchored by FEATURES of Prolific Poets, Writers, Socialites and Artistic Luminaries.
Liberating Voices: this is a quarterly collection of voices and is guided by a specific theme of every publication.
JAMIE: What are the long-term goals?
MBIZO: Womawords Literary Press is a formula of positive change and transformation in the area of exhibiting women’s artistic voices and resistance literature by the girl child. In the next five years we are growing into a reputable book and literary arts publishing republic. Going forward within 2020 we continue to restructure by placing and appointing representatives in more than twenty countries around the globe. These are women writers, poets, activist, and artists using their words to bring forth transformative change, using their poetry to expose societal tumors, wielding their artistic weapons to slash perpetuators of barbarism, using their resistance literatures to shine a light on the madness. In March 2021, we are hosting a Womawords International Symposium with editorial associates, contributing writers, women artists, and women arts cultural activists who will convene to share and exchange experiences through symposium presentations, poetry performances, and story readings .
ALUTA CONTINUA!!![“The struggle continues.” It’s a rallying cry for freedom.]
BACKGROUND AND SCOPE: The Daughters of the Project is an international writer’s contest . The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women to raise their voices, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction and essays. There are a myriad of issues , unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced by women globally. Women must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions, and to tell their experiences through this Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project.
TIMELINE: The Daughters of the Earth Writing Contest Project will resume in April 2020 and end in October 2020
April 2020- JUNE 2020( Writers Submissions and Contest Entries)
July 2020- August 2020- ( Judging, Jury to be announced)
August 2020- September 2020 (Publicity and Awards Gathering)
October 2020( Results and Winners Announcement)
MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is a poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor. In part I am doing this today to remind everyone that while we’ve made progress with funding, we still need to find a host for Mbizo, preferably Germany, but England or U.S. would work too. Open to suggestion. Connect with me if you are able to help, have leads, or have questions. You can read more about Mbizo and his story: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Poet Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview.
William Carlos Williams (1883 –1963) was an American poet and physician closely associated with modernism and imagism. In addition to his writing, Williams had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death.
RATTLE MONTHLY EKPHRASTIC CHALLENGE
Each month Rattle presents a new piece of visual art to inspire poets and we have one month to write and submit via Submittable. Two poems will be chosen and awarded with digital publication and $100. The deadline for this month is March 31. Details HERE. No submission fee.
PLEASE NOTE: The photograph of Kenneth Borg is the Challenge for March 2020, as you will note if you carefully read the publisher’s directions. I put up William Carlos Williams’ work here as an example of ekphrastic poetry because this may be new to some readers. I didn’t mean to confuse. Always – ALWAYS – follow the publisher’s direction,after reading carefully.
“More than the divides of race, class, or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, our culture has been carved up into radically distinct, unbridgeable, and antagonistic entities that no longer speak the same language and cannot communicate. This is the divide between a literate, marginalized minority and those who have been consumed by an illiterate mass culture.” Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Applications are being accepted for the 2020 Library of Congress Literacy Awards through March 6th. The awards are made possible through the generosity of philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.
The Literacy Awards, which were created by the Library of Congress and Rubenstein, were first conferred in 2013 to honor and support organizations working to promote literacy both in the United States and abroad. The awards encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for promoting literacy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices.
The awards are intended to draw public attention to the importance of literacy and the need to promote literacy and encourage reading.
Three prizes will be awarded in 2020:
The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is awarded for an outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels. The prize is awarded to an organization based either inside or outside the United States that has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy.
The American Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based in the United States.
The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the United States. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based either inside or outside the United States.
Other organizations will be honored for their best practices in various areas of literacy promotion.
The Librarian of Congress will make the final selection of the prize winners with recommendations from an advisory board of literacy experts.
The application rules and a downloadable application form may be accessed at read.gov/literacyawards. Applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on March 6, 2020.
The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is administered by the Learning and Innovation Office, a unit of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement at the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.