4/4 National Poetry Month

Introduction to Nikki Giovanni’s “Chasing Uropia”




It can be difficult to figure out where to begin with writing. It’s not really a group activity in its bones. I’ve been fortunate enough to have really good mentors and  found various writing communities, but it isn’t always that simple. Below I’ve curated a list of resources I or others have found helpful in promoting their writing. Suerte!

  1. Writers of Color This website and joint twitter account posts daily calls for poetry, prose, essays, and journalism inquiries. Despite its name it isn’t curated based on content, i.e everything you write won’t be a think-piece about one’s perspective as a person of color. It does quite the opposite, posting a variety of subject matter from politics, to beauty blogs. They post, jobs, pitches and contests frequently.
  2. Submittable Submittable triggers a painful remix of “Another Brick in the Wall” crossed with “I Will Always Love You” (r.i.p Whitney). It is an amazing resource that a lot of contests filter their submissions process through. You also get to sit and watch your work go from “received”, to “in-progress” to ultimately “accepted” or “declined”. So if you intend to watch your dreams be crushed this is for you. No, it’s extremely convenient to not have to worry about where your work is 25 hours a day. They also have a section where you can search based on your genre vs. scouring the internet for opportunities.
  3. P&W The Mecca of these resources so to speak, Poets and Writers has been around since the 70s. If you’re looking for a contest, a retreat, anything basically, it is catalogued here. There are message boards and synopses on MFA programs, lit magazines, blogs and the like. There isn’t much more to be said about them because everything is there. Browse will all the filters you need.
  4. This last one is a shameless plug, (isn’t most of author promotion shameless plugs?) newonfirst is a blog I started a few months ago and hope to launch in the coming weeks. The idea is 1.to not keep up another blog lol, and bring promotion to the first state in a way that other places like Philly, DC, and New York have been doing so well for years. Blogs like artistic manifesto were started to promote the under-promoted and niche while highlighting popular culture. “New on first” aspires to do the same, eventually even hiring a journalist etc.

All in all, the key with resources is USE  THEM. Browse listings on these sites daily. No one said quit your day job, but make specific time for searching, maybe an hour a day. And commit every other day to applying everywhere you can. You never know which submission will be your golden ticket.