Opportunity Knocks for Poets and Writers: Calls for Submissions, Competitions; Update on Zimbabwean Poet, Mbizo Chirasha

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Opportunity knocks is published periodically in place of Sunday Announcements, which included calls for submissions, competitions, events and other information. these days as news comes in I included on The Poet by Day Facebook Page. Remember that information is not necessarily recommendation.  Follow the leads that interest you, but do your own homework. / J.D.


ARTEMISpoetry, a publication of Second Light Network of Women Poets, is open for submissions of poetry to Issue 34 by 28th February 2020 and artwork by 15th March 2020. Demographic restrictions: Women Only.  Membership not required. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE is open for submissions through November 15 for the December 15 issue, themed “Life of the Spirit.”  We publish fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, art, photography, and music videos … anything that will lend itself to online publication. Submissions to the ZINE BLOG are always welcome and there are no special themes for November, December and January at this time. In February we plan to address disability issues, but at this time haven’t decided if it will be month-long series of blog posts or a special issue of the Zine. We are an entirely volunteer effort, a mission of love. We are unable to make payments but neither do we charge submission or subscription fees. Submission guidelines are HERE.  Mission statement is HERE.

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL is open for submissions. It is “a growing platform for writers to submit poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, essays or any other format that comes from the heart, and focuses on social and activist themes. We base our work on the values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement, and hope that these will be reflected in the submissions.” Details HERE.

MULTIVERSE, the sci-fi poetry section of Shoreline of Infinity seeks submissions. “Send us your time traveling tanka, scientific sonnet, robotic rondel, high-tech haiku, alien acrostics and futuristic free verse.”  No fee and as far as I can tell, no pay. Details HERE.

PANTHEON LITERARY JOURNAL is open to short story, flash, poetry, and creative nonfiction submissions for its second issue, Winter 2020. $3 submission fee. Deadline: December 31. Details HERE.

REWILDING: Poems for the Environment, an anthology that explores the current state of the natural environment is open for submissions through December 31, 2019 for this anthology developed by Flexible Press in concert with Split Rock Review. No submission fee. Proceeds to be donated to Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, a nonprofit environmental organization in Minnesota. Poet payment is a copy of the anthology. Details HERE.

SPLIT ROCK REVIEW is open for submissions of poetry, short creative nonfiction, comics, graphic stories, hybrids/visual poetry, photography, and art that explore place, environment, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. Reading period closes on November 30. $2 submission fee. No payment. Details HERE.

SPLIT ROCK PRESS, an extension of Split Rock Review, seeks poetry chapbook manuscripts that explore place, environment, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. 1 to 4 poetry chapbooks to be published in 2020. $7 submission fee. Deadline: November 30.  Details HERE.


According to The Poetry Society of America’s site: “The PSA’s Annual Awards are among the most prestigious honors available to poets. They offer emerging and established poets recognition at all stages of their careers, including our student poetry award and book awards for publishers.”There are four categories Individual Awards, Anna Rabinowitz Prize, Student Poetry Award, and Book Awards for Publishers. Details HERE.




We’ve published a three-part series on this esteemed and accomplished poet-at-risk to help draw attention to his plight and to the plight of all poets, artists and activists working in the trenches in countries where they are in danger from violent despots and greedy kleptocrats. This week’s Wednesday Writing Prompt is also to further these efforts and is sponsored by Mbizo in the sense that he donated his poetry.

I’m not sure yet how many letters of support for safe harbor we have, but the go-fund-me (for some immediate needs) amount is up from $150 to $420. The goal is $575. We’ve also managed to get Mbizo an interview with a radio show in Canada, with Paul Brookes on Wombwell Rainbow, and a lot of exposure on social networking sites.  To all who have supported this effort, thank you from my heart and from Mbizo’s.  I’ll post the link to the radio interview when it’s done and will keep folks updated.

LOOK ALIVE LINE: Remember, we need letters sent to International Cities of Refugee Network by November 15 (see Part 3 in the series listed below) for Mbizo’s safe harbor and email letters of support for Mbizo’s PEN America application to him at girlchildcreativity@gmail.com.  You can also connect with Mbizo on Facebook.

“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

“#MeToo: rallying against sexual assault and harassment, a women’s poetry anthology” edited by Deborah Alma; “Persephone’s Daughters,” empowering readers and writers who’ve experienced gendered abuse

Will be out on March 8. Pre-order HERE.

#MeToo Anthology, The Back Story

by Deborah Alma, Editor

The #MeToo (Fair Acre Press, March 8, 2018) anthology came straight out of a long thread on my Facebook page in October 2017, just as we were talking about the Harvey Weinstein allegations on the news and before I had even heard of the #MeToo campaign. I asked women friends of mine to add their name on the thread if they hadn’t experienced any form of sexual harassment in their lives and I was surprised to find that of the 200 women that started to share some of their stories , 2 or 3 told us that it had never happened to them. My surprise was not that there were so few, but that there were any women at all.

Of course over the years we have shared these stories with our friends, sisters, mothers, partners and sometimes with the police, or in court. It has been the water we swim in as women. But saying something publicly has always been difficult and brave. The words would stick in our throats, for so many reasons.

But something was released and given a space within social media. It was easy to add our voice to the rising shout of #MeToo. We felt the sisterhood. Many women were emboldened by this to share more difficult stories, more details.

I’m a poet, and an editor and someone suggested we collect these stories somehow and it was obvious to collect them as poems. It was what I could do.

I am very proud of this book, proud of the poets for sharing and for the courage in putting their names to their words. I have been amazed by the wonderful collaboration in its making; all of us women.  Jessamy Hawke is the daughter of an online friend and she came forward and offered to make new line drawings for the book, the striking cover was made for the book by my friend Sandra Salter and all the work of editing and publishing was donated. Jess Phillips MP gave us her introduction and it’s been endorsed by Amanda Palmer and Rachel Kelly amongst others.

I do recognise that it is a painful and difficult to read a great deal of the time. But when taken slowly, and with reading only what you can bear, I trust the reader will hear its rallying cry of anger and impatience. We have had enough.

© 2018, Deborah Alma

DEBORAH ALMA (Emergency Poet) is a UK poet, with an MA in Creative Writing, taught Writing Poetry at Worcester University and works with people with dementia and in hospice care. She is also Emergency Poet prescribing poetry from her vintage ambulance. She is editor of Emergency Poet-an anti-stress poetry anthology, The Everyday Poet- Poems to live by (both Michael O’Mara), and her True Tales of the Countryside is published by The Emma Press. She is the editor of #Me Too – rallying against sexual harrassment- a women’s poetry anthology (Fair Acre Press, March 2018). Her first full collection Dirty Laundry is published by Nine Arches Press (May 2018). She lives with her partner the poet James Sheard on a hillside in Powys, Wales.


#MeToo: rallying against sexual assault and harassment


Freeing the sources of light

Make friends with the light.

It’s been years

since you watched summer turn bad,


felt warm grass chafe your bare legs

and his old man’s fingers

trespass beneath the dress


you never wore again.

That hot summer

you dashed to your childhood garden


but the sun glared,

music buzzed from the wireless,

stung a secret place, the Everlies


and Elvis called heart:

always tender, baby,

always untrue.


And summers afterward

echoed bus rides to city parks

where he kissed your mouth,


fondled your arms.

The sun blurred, twinned

into headlamps,


pinned shadows on the wall-

but it was decades ago.

Welcome the light,


you don’t need a sky’s worth,

just a lodestar for the journey.

White roses in a glass vase,


candle-flame at dusk and the moon

in winter, carrying

its bowl of borrowed sun.

© 2018, Sheila Jacob      


Always just within reach, it is the desk-drawer revolver

or the switch that is flicked when a woman says No

and means No and knows her own mind

and makes herself inconveniently clear;


it is the cocksure roar of boy used to his own way,

one more of the ones we warn each other about,

whose reputations we pass around like classroom

secrets, names itching from girl-hand to woman-hand,


the ones who just adore women, who say their wives

really don’t mind, the ones who wonder, aloud,

and publicly, what hitch qualifies you to claim

this space for your small fierce self,


the ones who will scrape back their chair, stand up

in the kitsch restaurant, tongue catching on the latch

of that single syllable,the alarmed door he will shoulder

open becoming the exit she will depart through. 

© 2018, Jane CommaneAssembly Lines (Bloodaxe, 2018)

Irish Twins

attic rain

the backyard swing

off kilter

We share an attic room. In the corner is an old double bed that smells and sags on one side. My side. Late at night I hear my heart beat. Loud. So loud he will hear it. He will think my heart is calling him up the attic stairs. His footsteps are heavy. He smells of old spice and cherry tobacco. My eyes shut tight. I know he is there. I feel his weight. Never on my side. Always on the side she sleeps. When the bed-springs sing their sad song I fly away. Up to the ceiling. My sister is already there. Together we hold hands. Looking down we see our bodies. We are not moving. We are as still as the dead.

© 2018, Roberta BearyContemporary Haibun Vol.14 (Red Moon Press)


The Return of Persephone, c.1891 (oil on canvas) by Leighton, Frederic (1830-96); 203×152 cm; Leeds Museums and Galleries (City Art Gallery) U.K.; English, public domain

PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS is published online, in print and in film. This magazine’s content is based on a mission to empower women / femme individuals who have experienced various forms of gendered abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, racial, verbal, etc), or other forms of degradation (harassment, catcalling, threats, etc).  Persephone’s Daughters welcomes all identities.

Online Sunday Stories feature personal accounts of those surviving abuse. There is also a film submission category that aligns with the mission. Accepted works are featured online on Film Fridays.  Of note is a post-election mini-issue, a writing and art collection by people who are negatively effected by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Proceeds from the sales of that collection go to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which provides services, legal help, and advocacy to unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking, conflict, poverty and more.

The editor’s say that submissions for Issue 5 will likely open in April. The theme is “Sexual Assault Awareness.” Sunday Stories and Film Fridays are currently open for submissions. Link HERE.


THE SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other Information and News



Opportunity Knocks

BLUE MARBLE REVIEW “is a quarterly online journal for young writers ages 13-20. Its name is inspired by the view of earth as seen from the Apollo 17 spacecraft. This colorful and iconic image known as the Blue Marble provides continued inspiration for dreamers, discoverers and explorers everywhere.” This magazine publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art. $20 per published piece.  Details HERE.

PRETTY OWL POETRY asks that we send “something shameful. something surreal. a deluge of desire. confessions of crimes & hearts teeming with rattlesnakes. a merry-go-round that makes you dizzy.
send us your yellowed sweet tooth in a plastic bag. or lockets filled with tiny twig hairs. tell us everything we don’t want to hear. say it in a way that’s sweet to the ear. send us a flash, a jolt, a tickle in your belly. something simple but ahh. give us something that slaps & stings. keep the quiet for the mornings & make us dance, twist, shout, & fold around our bodies. send us something to slink into. show us a basket full of molded fruit & take a picture of your mother’s grey, stained socks. tell us about the time you dreamt & flailed. keep us up in words. tell us every little thing. Submissions HERE.

BLACK WARRIOR PRESS is reading submissions of general fiction, nonfiction and poetry through September 1.  There is a submission fee of $3 and payment is a one-year subscription and “a nominal lump-sum fee for all works published.” Details HERE.

STILL: THE JOURNAL has one annual reading period each calendar year: December 1-31. The magazine’s emphasis: “is on the literature of the Southern Appalachian region, and we are committed to publishing excellent writing that does not rely on clichés and stereotypes. We want to feature writing that exemplifies the many layers and complexities of the region or that is written by an author with a connection to the region. We accept submissions of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Details HERE.

HIPPOCAMPUS MAGAZINE accepts submissions of memoir, personal essay, and flash creative nonfiction. Details HERE.

WEST BRANCH, a publication of Bucknell University, welcomes “submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. We read unsolicited manuscripts between August 1st and April 1st. We print only original, unpublished work. For accepted work, we purchase First North American serial rights.Payment is awarded for accepted works in the amount of $50 per submission of poetry, and $.05/word for prose with a maximum payment of $100. Additionally, we provide each contributor with two copies of the issue in which his/her work appears and a one-year subscription to West Branch.” The magazine is HERE. The submission guidelines are HERE.

FJORDS REVIEW, a literary magazine, publishes book and art reviews and essays.  Details HERE.

GEOMETRY is a new magazine getting ready to publish its first issue. It is an “international literary endeavour. We seek to publish outstanding literature from our home country, New Zealand, and from around the world. We are a digital and print publication dedicated to featuring work by both established and emerging writers. We place no limitations on style or content. Our criterion is distinctive and intelligent writing. We seek fresh voices. We seek diversity. We seek work that captivates and challenges.” It plans to publish stories, creative nonfiction and poetry. Payment promised is $10-$50 for poetry, artists $10-$50 per page, and 1-3 cents per word for fiction and nonfiction. (USD) Contributors will also receive one free copy of the printed journal. Deadline for Issue 1 is September 1st. Details HERE.

COLLABRATIVE WRITING CHALLENGE’s fiction stories are built by participants who have no contact with each other. Each week, four or five writers will submit a chapter of roughly 2000 words, and one will be selected as part of the story. Each chapter writer will receive the full chapter 1, the full chapter prior to the one they will write, and a synopsis of every chapter in between. The writers will also receive thorough notes containing a list of characters, locations, and highlights. By using this method, the writer does not get bogged down by the entire story. They receive relevant information, and any errors arising from that can be tidied up later by the story coordinator. More HEREThere is also a short story contest attached to this. Details HERE

COMPOSE: A JOURNAL OF SIMPLY GOOD WRITING “is a biannual, online publication that features work by both established and emerging writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.” Reading period is year-round. Details HERE.

THRUSH POETRY JOURNAL is accepting submissions in September. Poetry only. Non-paying market. Details HERE.

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY – a religious magazine – has an “ongoing need” for features on: faith conversations for couples, parents of teens (13-18), teens excited about faith, teens and doubts, and family stages. Details HERE and writer’s guidelines HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

THE PROFANE NONFICTION PRIZE has a $10 entry fee and a prize of $1,000. 7,500 word limit and the deadline is August 14th.  “Profane is an annual print and audio journal featuring an eclectic mix of poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction. We record every poem and piece of prose we publish in the author’s own voice. We publish in the winter.” Details HERE.

2016 TINDERBOX POETRY JOURNAL CONTEST does not impose  limitations in form or content; “we are interested in everything from traditional forms to free verse to lyric essay to flash fiction. The winner will receive $500 and the runner-up will receive $250.” The contest closes on August 21.  Details HERE.

SECOND LIGHT POETRY COMPETION FOR LONG AND SHORT POEMS BY WOMEN/2016 Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2016. Deadline Wednesday 31st August 2016. JUDGE ALISON BRACKENBURY will read all submitted entries.  £300 First Prize for each of Long (no upper limit) and Short (max 50 lines) poems; £150 Second Prize (1 poem from either category); £75 Third Prize (1 poem from either category)’ Winning & Commended Poets published (in full or extract) in ARTEMISpoetry. A London reading for winners. Entry: £6 each per long poem. Short poems: £4 each or £9 for 3, £14 for 8. Enter by post (2 copies) or online. **Members are entitled to one free entry into the competition. Join now to be eligible.**

BLACK WARRIOR REVIEW annual contest for poetry and fiction is accepting submissions until September 1.  $1000 & publication in each genre. Details HERE.

STILL: THE JOURNAL 2016 annual writing contests in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction  Deadline is 11:59 p/m. September 6, 2016. Contest entries should be in keeping with their stated publishing mission: “Our emphasis is on the literature of the Southern Appalachian region, and we are committed to publishing excellent writing that does not rely on clichés and stereotypes. We want to feature writing that exemplifies the many layers and complexities of the region or that is written by an author with a connection to the region.” Contest Prizes:  $200 each for first-place winners of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and publication in Still: The Journal, 22: Fall 2016. All other contest entries will be considered for possible publication.” Details HERE.

HIPPOCAMPUS MAGAZINE “is giving away more than $1,200 in cash and prizes this November in our sixth annual creative writing contest, the Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction.” Deadline is September 23. $12 entry fee. Details HERE.

THE BATH FLASH FICTION AWARD hosts two international flash fiction writing competitions; the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award. Entrants have the opportunity to appear in our print and digital books. Deadline 16 October 2016. Details HERE.


The Role of the Poet: An Interview with Solmaz Sharif, A Paris Review interview

Daily I sit
with the language
they’ve made

of our language

like you.

You are what is referred to as

excerpt from Personal Effects in Look:Poems by Solmaz Sharif

If you are viewing this post from an email, it is likely you will have to link through to view this video of Fran Lock and Solmaz Sharif on Transatlantic Poetry on Air. This is Robert Peake’s poetry show. Recommended.  Details HERE.


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