Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity Newsletter: November 2023

Erica Verrillo
5 min readOct 31, 2023
Quoth the pumpkin, nevermore!

Boo-tiful Literary Pumpkins

Happy Halloween! Here are my favorite literary pumpkins.

Read more here>>

75 Calls for Submissions in November 2023 — Paying markets

Bill Dickinson: Flickr

This November there are more than six dozen calls for submissions. All of these are paying markets, and none charge submission fees. As always, every genre, style, and form is wanted, from short stories to poetry to essays. Read more here>>

48 Writing Contests in November 2023 — No entry fees

This November there are four dozen free writing contests for short fiction, novels, poetry, CNF, nonfiction, and plays. Prizes range from $150,000 to publication. None charge entry fees. Read more here>>

16 Notable Writing Conferences and Workshops in November 2023

Lily Tang: Kauai

This November there are more than a dozen writing conferences and workshops. Some conferences and workshops will be held online, but many will be in-person or hybrid events as pandemic restrictions ease. Virtual events still offer everything a writer might want: intensive workshops, pitch sessions with agents, to how to market yourself and your books, discussions — there is something for everyone. Read more here>>


11 New Agents Seeking Kidlit, Women’s Fiction, Memoir, Genre Fiction, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels and more

Here are eleven new literary agents actively seeking clients. New agents are a boon to writers. They are actively building their lists, and will go the extra mile for their clients. All of these agents work for established agencies with good track records. They are looking for all genres. Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change. Read more here>>

4 New Literary Agencies Seeking Clients

New agencies are usually started by literary agents who want to leave their own unique mark on the industry. These agencies are eager to build their client lists, and they welcome queries.

As always, do not query these agencies without reading their websites first. Submission requirements may change. Read more here>>


17 Literary Markets for Disabled Writers

If you are a writer with a disability of any kind, whether congenital or acquired, here are seventeen magazines that would love to publish your writing — whether it focuses on your own experience, or is simply something you would like to say. Read more here>>

13 Young Adult Publishers Accepting Manuscripts — No agent required

Young adults (aka teenagers) have gained the power of the purse, and they want to read about themselves — their growing pains, their first forays into sexual (mis)adventure, love, friendship, and struggles with identity. These themes are the mainstays of young adult literature. Perhaps not surprisingly, adults enjoy reading young adult literature almost as much as teenagers. YA literature, especially contemporary YA lit, is often humorous, snappy, and less demanding than many books geared to the adult market. Read more here>>


Translating Your Self-Published Book

One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you don’t have to wait for your publisher to translate your book. You can do it yourself! Translation can help open your book up to more markets, but keep in mind that your translated book will need to be promoted — just like the original. It helps to do some research into magazines, news services, and/or organizations that might be interested in reviewing or advertising your book abroad. Read more here>>

How to Write An Op-Ed

According to an old Chinese curse, we are living in “interesting times,” which means many of us have the sudden urge to express ourselves about the path our country is taking. In this regard, writers have an advantage. We are trained to express our thoughts via the written word. Read more here>>

Becoming a Better Writer: Getting Critiqued

Like any other art form, writing is essentially a solitary pursuit. However, the end product can be greatly enhanced by feedback. For a writer, getting critiques is an essential part of the writing process. Critiquing can be considered an art form unto itself. In order to write a good critique, you have to understand the elements of fiction: characterization, character development, plot, story structure, pacing, conflict, descriptive writing, scene structure. Read more here>>

An Insider’s View of the Publishing Business

A while back, I ran across an article in New York Magazine by Daniel Menaker, a senior literary editor at Random House. The title caught my eye: What Does the Book Business Look Like on the Inside? This is a question every aspiring author wants answered, especially if they are trying to make a choice between traditional and self-publishing. But as I read the article, I realized that it clarified my own experience with Random House, and it bolstered my decision to abandon the traditional publishing route with my subsequent books. Read more here>>

Like this newsletter? Want to get a jump on next month’s calls for submissions, agents seeking clients, free writing contests, and publishing news? Sign up for the Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity newsletter on my blog. It’s free! (I also have a ton of free writing resources on my blog. Check it out.)