Wr Lunch 11/16I’ve always loved eating meetings. I have had the pleasure and privilege of hosting Writers Lunch for a little more than two years. Writers met at different restaurants in the Tucson area, combining food for thought about writing with food to eat. People and food – yum.

Each month at least a dozen writers left their solitary writing desk, office, nook, or chair and brought ideas for topics like publishing, marketing, getting started, getting an agent, getting to endings, tips for genres covering poetry, memoir, how-to, novels, creative nonfiction, biography, and fiction. Accepting the shifting boundary lines of balancing our personal life with a writing life was my hope for each meeting.

After every lunch I went home filled with not only ideas for tackling an issue, but inspired by what my colleagues were accomplishing. Best of all I was motivated. Inspiration stirred admiration and the idea that I too could accomplish what my colleagues were doing. But motivation was the energy to actually go to my home office and do a major BIC (Butt in Chair). Take action and start, resume, or finish a writing piece.

One topic at our final meeting was where to send your work. Writing for self-comfort, education, or amusement has its place. For me the endorphins really get going when my writing is shared. We are social beings. We want to join, to share, to be acknowledged. Besides reading to friends, going to open mics, and organizing book events, submitting our work is a forum most writers look for. Our November Writers Lunch “mission” was to share one or more contacts for places to submit writing. A pretty wide-open and loose bid but it yielded more than twenty ideas.

Our $TIP$ package went to the writer who has not yet dipped into the world of “sending it out there.” Christina Ruebush, also wearing a hat of photographer, got the $TIP$. I’ll be interested to hear how she uses that money.

I include the more than twenty sites here. Some are for online zines, some for contests, some for journals. There must be one you can use. Why not promise yourself to get one or more submissions in before 2016 is over?

I’ve summarized the sites in alphabetical order. Follow the links for more info at the sites. This is not a formal endorsement, simply an easing of the often time-consuming search for submission sites for our writing.

Please feel free to comment, add your own, or share your experience with submitting your writing.

Here goes:

Carve Magazine: Online zine host of Raymond Carver contest. https://www.carvezine.com

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Various themes. Ongoing books in the making. $ Prize upon acceptance for print; also receive copies of books. https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/submit-your-story

Creative Nonfiction: Ongoing submission themes. Various categories for submissions. https://www.creativenonfiction.org/submissions They rely on unsolicited submissions. True Story- part of Creative Nonfiction. A new journal this year. Publishes one essay each month. https://www.creativenonfiction.org/about-true-story-magazine

CRWOPPS Creative Writers Opportunity List: Group Description-This Yahoo group posts calls for submissions and contest information for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Only the moderator can post to the list. Send posts for approval to crwropps@aol.com CRWROPPS-B-owner@yahoogroups.com   https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CRWROPPS-B/conversations/topics/12681

Duotrope: Subscription-based service. Monthly compilation of submission sites for journals, some paid, some not paid, Deadlines (DL), themes, gives responses quickly, plus tracking tool. $ Fee to join. https://duotrope.com

Four Chambers Press: Pub. 2x year- print. Also have events, and open mics. Mostly in Phoenix area. https://fourchamberspress.com/submit/

Freedom with Writing: Magazine for freelance writers- free newsletter subscription. Sends lists of companies hiring freelance writers https://www.freedomwithwriting.com

Indiana Voice Journal: Monthly online literary journal https://www.indianavoicejournal.com

IPPY –Independent Publisher Book Awards: $ entry fee. Indie published books and eBooks. An annual award. https://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/ipawards.php

Iron Horse Review: Online zine. Pub. Chapbook and e edition. $ Submission fee also includes one-year subscription. $ Prize. https://www.ironhorsereview.com/submit

New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: 2016 closed, but this is an annual. Many many categories. Submit book. $ Fee. https://www.nmbookcoop.com/BookAwards/entry-info/entry-info.html

OASIS Journal: Submissions are accepted every year from May 1 through July 31 (postmark). Anyone at least 50 years old is eligible. https://oasisjournal.org

Odyssey Storytelling: Oral storytelling. Tucson community event, the first Thursday of every month. You pitch a story that goes with the monthly theme. https://odysseystorytelling.com

Panoply: Issue 5 DL Nov. 20. Poetry and short prose; a literary zine https://panoplyzine.submittable.com/submit

Society of Southwestern Authors: Writing Contest This is an annual contest. If you missed the DL this year, there’s always next year. $15 entry fee. $ Prizes and honorable mentions. Various Categories- fiction, NF, poetry. https://www.ssa-az.org/contest.html

Story Circle Network: https://www.storycircle.org/Contests/index.php Need to be a member to enter. https://www.storycircle.org/frmjoinscn.php Several types of memberships from $55-$125 https://www.storycircle.org/membershipbenefits.php

Moon City Short Fiction Award: ’17 DL passed-they have more. https://moon-city-press.com/fiction-contest/

Tucson Festival of Books: Annual Festival and Writing Contest. March 11-12, 2017. Literary Awards and Master Workshop. Meg Files has been the coordinator since its inception. 2017 Contest DL passed. https://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/?id=197

Writers Digest: Short Short Story Contest 1500 words or less. $3000 prize. DL 11/15/16 https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions WD has many different kinds of contests. $ Submission Fee.

Be creative: Contact the editor of your college or university alumni association, website, or magazine with a blurb about your book or a story that relates to a college event or date. Better yet, send a copy of your book.

I may not be the official host of Writers Lunch anymore, but I still like to meet and eat. Give me a call or contact me. We can do lunch.


Ethel Lee-Miller is a Tucson area author who can’t stop gathering folks together to talk about writing.