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 what they’re listed under. Check out their full submissions guidelines to see all of the options. Be sure, when submitting, that you carefully read through the submissions guidelines, as well. Many literary magazines are strict about submission format.

aaduna: Seeks to uncover new and emerging writers, especially people of color. There is no specified length for fiction submissions. Accepts rolling submissions, though deadlines vary for each issue. No reading fee.
Bridge Eight: Exists to publish writing that says something about the human experience. Submissions should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Pieces that exceed that must have well-developed characters and plot. Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2017. No reading fee.
Gingerbread House: Seeks to publish fiction that has a magical element. Submissions should be no more than 3,500 words. Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2017. No reading fee.


805 Lit + Art: Seeks to promote the creativity of emerging writers. Submissions should be no more than 2,500 words. You may submit up to two pieces. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.
Dead Housekeeping: Seeks to give voice to passed loved ones while simultaneously bettering the home. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should tell a story of the way a deceased loved one performed a household chore. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.
Keyhole: They publish what they like—there are no guidelines (although shorter works are preferred). Impress them with your craft. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.


Cowboy Poetry Press: Created to house the wild west legends the staff were raised with. Submissions must be no longer than a page. May submit up to five poems. Rolling submissions. No reading fee.
Fugue: Managed by graduate students at the University of Idaho and seeks to publish established and emerging writers. You may submit up to six poems. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017. Reading fee is $3.
Lullwater Review: A student-run literary review out of Emory University. Submissions may be any style, length, topic, or form you choose. 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


  • 16 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills: This post is geared towards content marketing, but provides general (and helpful) tips to hone your writing skills, including brushing up on your grammar and accepting that first drafts often aren’t the best. (Bonus: They list off the tips then go into further detail about each one.)

  • How to write better essays: ‘nobody does introductions properly’: Can’t seem to nail that essay? We’ve all been there. PhD student Tim Squirrell offers his observations about what has helped him boost his essays. Tip: Don’t be afraid to critique your argument.

  • 10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal: Stressed out? Can’t seem to find time to start the journal you want to write? Aside from being a good place to jot down story ideas, journaling can improve your memory and boost your self confidence.


Writing: As Told by Published Authors


“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

–Ernest Hemingway

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”

–Peter Handke


“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

–Virginia Woolf

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”

–Catherine Drinker Bowen


“I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”

–Richard Ben Cramer


Current Writing Contests

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

  • Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry: Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm are looking for metrical poetry submissions. Poems can be in any metrical form and there is no length requirement. Winner receives $1,000, publication, and an invitation to read at The Hyla Brook Reading Series. Entry fee is $6 per poem. Deadline for submissions is March 30, 2017.

  • Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest: Creative Nonfiction is looking for essays of up to 4,000 matching their theme, “Dangerous Creations: Real-life Frankenstein Stories.” Grand-prize winner receives $10,000 and publication. Two runner-ups receive $2,500 and publication. Entry fee is $20. Deadline for submissions is April 17, 2017.

  • Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry: Open to all genres, themes, and writers. Fiction submissions should be no more than 10,000 words, flash fiction should be 500 words or more, and poetry can be any length. Grand prize winner receives $250, publication, and an author interview. Deadline for submissions is June 2017. Entry fee is $10 per story/poem.


This Month’s Fiction Prompt

This prompt will test your skills with clichés.
Clichés are often forbidden in the writing world. We’re told to steer clear of them (rightfully so) because they’re overused. It’s the same old, same old, and our readers want something different. Take an old cliché and make it something different, then write a scene around it. This can go as short as incorporating the same cliché in an unanticipated situation or so far as creating an obscure version of the cliché that gets the same point across.

Upcoming Events


Willard & Maple Meeting: Every Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the editorial staff of Willard & Maple will be meeting in Wick 100 to do a poetry/prose selection for the next edition. Come for the full meeting, come late, leave early. Stay for what works with your schedule and have a voice about what goes into the next issue.
Harold and the Purple Crayon Storytime with City Market: Join Phoenix Books in Downtown Burlington on Saturday, March 25 at 11:00 a.m. for a storytelling of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Snacks and a healthy purple food activity will be provided by City Market. Event is free and open to all ages.
Poetry Society of Vermont: Join the Poetry Society of Vermont at Phoenix Books on Saturday, April 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for the fifth annual PSOV poetry reading! Event is free and open to all ages.


Interested in more events at Phoenix Books? Check out their complete schedule of upcoming events!

Header image designed by Emma Reed.