Champlain Writer’s Newsletter

Welcome to the Champlain Writer’s newsletter! Each edition features a new selection of places to submit, tools for writers, and prompts (for those suffering from the dreaded writer’s block). Check out the upcoming events to see what’s happening on or around campus.

Where Can I Submit My Work?

Some of the featured magazines accept genres other than the ones they have listed. Check out their full submissions guidelines to see all of the options. Be sure, when submitting, that you carefully read through their submissions guidelines, as well. Many literary magazines are strict about submission format.

No Extra Words: Ever wanted your flash fiction stories read aloud in a podcast? Here’s your chance! This podcast takes flash fiction submissions of no more than 2,000 words. Each podcast typically features 2-3 stories. No reading fee. Rolling submissions. Response time is around 3 weeks.

Verdad: An online magazine seeking interesting, well-written, previously unpublished works. Submissions may be up to 4,000 words. Rolling submissions, however submissions for Volume 22 close March 1, 2017. Anything submitted after March 1 will be considered for Volume 23. No reading fee.

Whale Road Review: Closed to poetry and prose submissions, Whale Road is currently looking for reviews of poetry and prose in whatever form they come in (chapbooks, anthologies, etc.). Reviews must be 500 words or less. No reading fee.

Underwater New York: An online literary magazine, Underwater New York has writers choose from a list of found objects to inspire in any way, shape, or form they choose. Peruse the list. You can write nonfiction pieces as well as pieces from any other genre. No word limit. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.

The Destroyer: A publication of text, art, and public opinion. Looking for works with no specific genre. 3-5 poems per submission. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.

Keyhole: A one-man operated online magazine. Accepts work of any lengths (shorter preferred, but not required). Allows multiple and simultaneous submissions. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.

Not what you’re looking for? No sweat! Check out Poets & Writers list of literary magazines to find one that’s a good fit for you.

Tools For Writers


  • Top 10 Tips for Better Writing: A simple list, but one you may need to return to every now and then. Touches on everything from organizing your thoughts to learning from other good writers.

  • How Can Poetry Heal Us?: This piece touches on the idea that poetry, while often seen as a form of expression, can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Even if you aren’t a poet, open your mind to how even the shortest piece of work can hone in on core issues.

  • What Makes Good Creative Non-Fiction?: A brief discussion about the concept of combining creativity with the idea we have in our heads of what nonfiction should be. The author compares CNF to literary journalism and talks about what you can do to make it “good.”


Writing: As Told by Published Authors


A wounded deer leaps the highest.

–Emily Dickinson

Writers are always selling somebody out.

–Joan Didion


Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.

–Alice Munro

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.

–E. B. White


Current Writing Contests

Because we can’t feature every single contest, here’s a more complete list for you. This site lists deadlines and provides links to submission guidelines.

  • Minute Poetry Contest: Sponsored by FanStory, the Minute Poetry Contest focuses on poems following the 8, 4, 4, 4 syllable count structure. Entry fee is $10. Winners gets a $100 cash prize and all writers receive feedback for their submissions. Deadline for submissions is February 2, 2017.

  • Claire Keyes Poetry Award: Awards an annual prize of $1,000 and publication in Soundings East to a submission of 8-10 pages of poetry (no more than one poem per page). Entry fee is $10. Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2017.

  • Your Turn: The Writer is celebrating their 130th year in print. In honor of the anniversary, they’re hosting an essay contest for a grand prize of 1,000. Essays must be about any aspect of the writing life. Must be 2,000 words or less. Entry fee is $25. Deadline for submissions is February 25, 2017.


This Week’s Prompt



Instead of a solid idea to start your story, how about a piece of dialogue? Use the bit, “Those bees are employed by the state to uphold the law” somewhere in your story. It can be anywhere—the first line, the last line, somewhere in the middle. You can even scratch it if you start writing and it doesn’t fit in anymore. But try looking at your piece from the character’s angle first, instead of your own.

Upcoming Events


Publishing: Digitized and Personalized Book Launch: Join Champlain Publishing to celebrate the launch of our newest book! Edited by Champlain Alumna Colleen Rooney and published by Champlain Publishing, Publishing: Digitized & Personalized is a collection of essays exploring the world of publishing in our rapidly changing digital landscape. The launch will be on Friday, February 3 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Champlain Art Gallery.

Katherine Arden: The Bear and the Nightingale: Join Katherine Arden for a discussion about her debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale, on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Phoenix Books in downtown Burlington. Her book, inspired by Russian fairytales, follows a young woman’s family as they’re threatened by both real and fantastical forces.

Header image designed by Emma Reed.