Our CURRENT Writing Fellow:
IMPORTANT UPDATE for 2021: Please note that due to Covid-related travel issues, we will be announcing the 2021 FELLOW in mid-September rather than mid-August this year.
If your piece is published, please let us know ASAP. We wish you all the best and appreciate your patience and understanding.
The new Fellow will still be presenting their winning story at the November Salon.
OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS FROM MARCH 1 – APRIL 17, 2021!
One talented writer who is the parent of at least one child under 10 years old will receive $1000 to further their writing career, a year of mentorship, and will be offered the opportunity to read their winning story at the Pen Parentis Literary Salon on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 (online, or in-person if bookstore events have resumed) Their winning story will also be published in Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine (both online and in print) as well as included in the annual Dreamers Writing Anthology. See FAQ for even more on the prize!
Submissions call for a new, never-published fiction story—any genre, on any subject—of up to 550 words, double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 point or similar font, with one inch margins.
Please note: we change word count each year because one of the goals of this project is to keep parents working — motivating all writers to continue to create new high-quality creative writing at the very busiest time of the parenting journey. We keep word count intentionally low. Write something new! You can do it!
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Put only the title of the story and its word count on the manuscript. Nothing to identify the writer. Please number your pages!
On that note: Judging is blind and based only on the following criteria:
All genres and styles of unpublished fiction are welcome. No plays or poetry (we love them, but sorry, no.) Novel excerpts are acceptable only if they can stand alone as a story – do not tell us it is a novel excerpt until you win, including in the file name and cover letter.
Simultaneous submissions ok, but notify if published elsewhere. Multiple submissions welcome, but separate entry fee for each submission (see above). Entry fees will not be refunded. Finalists, honorable mentions, and second and third place winners are absolutely encouraged to try again.
Winner: please list our Fellowship in your writing bio for the 12 months following your reading in NYC!
Submission period ends April 17, 2021 (midnight EST).
Entry fees fund the operation of Pen Parentis, Ltd, with priority given to the maintenance of this Fellowship. There is an extra $5 fee to cover costs of accepting credit cards.
Multiple entries are allowed, but not discounted.
Accepted Document Types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf
(Submissions for this year’s Fellowship are open March 1 – April 17. Thanks!)
If you are a current, paid-to-date Title Member, LOOK FOR THE SPECIAL EMAIL FROM US IN YOUR INBOX. If you do not see the email by March 1, 2021, please check your spam folder for email from email@example.com (your entry fee can not be refunded if you accidentally submit the usual way, sorry)
First Entry FREE FOR ALL TITLE MEMBERS (all supporting levels from $10/month and up) click here. You must be logged in to see the page.
Second Entry FREE for FOUNTAIN PEN & SHARPENED PENCIL LEVEL
Third entry – FREE for FOUNTAIN PEN LEVEL only
Note that these rates are currently available to Title Members by using the special secret link you will receive in your email around March 1, 2021. Didn’t get it? Check spam! Still can’t find it? Contact us!
In the meantime, write your stories! Submit your stories!
(find out about becoming a supporting Title Member of Pen Parentis)
Winner will be announced on the Pen Parentis website and by email or phone to the winning author on or before September 1, 2021.
Please make sure that author contact information includes email and phone! Shortlisted entries will be announced on the website and our Facebook Page only – please check back in September to see how you did! You can also sign up for Basic membership (at no cost) to have contest results delivered to your inbox.
2010 Fellow Abby Sher read with Jennifer Egan and Darin Strauss
3. Rewards! The new Fellow will ALSO receive $1000, by check, presented at a Pen Parentis Literary Salon on November 9, 2021, in conjunction with their reading of the winning work. If we are still presenting Salons exclusively online in November, we will mail the check to an address you provide.
4. Publicity! Pen Parentis will ALSO publicize the reading on behalf of the Fellow and will provide any press clips that mention author’s name. Pen Parentis encourages, but does not require, attendance to subsequent Salons and participation in a weekly Accountability Group in order to 1) be introduced to other authors and 2) network with prospective editors, agents, and readers.
5. Accolades! Finally, Pen Parentis will feature the winner on our website for one year, updating his/her accomplishments to the community as notified, and will link to their author website and/or blog, if any, and will promote the author when they attend regular Pen Parentis author salon events.
6. AND mentorship? YES! In addition to complimentary participation at a weekly Accountability Group, for one year after their win, the Fellow will also have access to Pen Parentis expertise via phone or email for any writing questions. Pen Parentis will continue to mentor this author throughout the year and connect them to prior Fellows.
YES: Please fill out ALL of the requested information on the Submittable Form including the number of children you have and their prospective ages on November 9, 2021.
OF COURSE: If you move during the year or change contact info, remember to let us know! We can’t tell you you’ve won if we can’t contact you!
STILL PREGNANT? If you are currently pregnant with your first child or hoping to adopt your first child before November 9, 2021, please wait and enter in 2022. This contest is for people who are currently taking care of young kids and trying to write. (You’ll see…)
HOW MANY KIDS? One dependent child MUST still be under ten on November 9, 2021 for a writer to be eligible to win this Fellowship. It’s fine to have more, but you can’t have fewer and remain eligible.
OPTIONAL: You may, if you like, answer the question: “how did you feel when first hearing about Pen Parentis?” on the cover page. Please do NOT add any additional information beyond what we have requested in your cover note, even if you have published a thousand novels and won the Pulitzer. We judge blind and prefer to be surprised by your extensive credentials and background when we call you to tell you you’ve won.
IMPATIENT? Winner will be announced on the Pen Parentis website and by email or phone to the winning author on or before September 1, 2021. Winners list will be sent out shortly thereafter to all who submitted and posted on our homepage.
Important note: Entrants must be the parent of at least one child under 10 yrs old at the time of the public reading. While we accept submissions from anywhere, applicants are advised that there is no provided travel budget. Winners are responsible for their own transportation costs to the reading location in New York City should the reading be in person.
The Pen Parentis Fellowship is generously supported by a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation in California, Amazon Smile Foundation, and individual donors.
Huge thanks to Michael C Allen, CPAs for their continued support!
In association and with great thanks to: