$4.00

Unleash Lit  champions authentic storytellers across diverse communities.

Please submit only one piece of prose or up to five (5) poems or photographs at a time. All poems may be submitted in a single document. Fiction and creative nonfiction may be up to 2,000 words. Multiple prose submissions will be accepted but must be submitted separately. 

Photos and art are accepted as jpeg and png., and up to five (5) images are allowed in a single submission.

Note: We recently moved to Substack, where we are able to better connect with readers. As such, we are also actively looking for personal essays about creative living: its power and perils.
​Include a third-person bio of up to 200 words.

Please no AI-generated work. We plan to host an AI-focused contest soon. In the meantime, if you'd like to submit AI-generated work and feel strongly about it, please consider writing an essay about why and submitting that.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere. Reprints are accepted if the author maintains rights to the work. 

Unleash Lit acquires the non-exclusive right to include your work online and in our archives. Upon publication, rights revert to the author. We are unable to pay for submissions currently, but we will actively support our writers and nominate select manuscripts for awards.


 

Please share your work widely and support other authors at www.unleashlit.com by reading and sharing their words. 

Ends on $35.00
$35.00

Unleash Work-in-Progress (WIP) Award 2024 

We aim to assist writers in the completion of an important literary project and vision. The Unleash WIP Award offers writers support in the amount of $500 to supplement costs to aid in the completion of a book-length work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Writers will also receive editorial feedback, coaching meetings, and an excerpt/interview feature in Unleash Lit

This contest is designed to support writers who are just starting or who have been toiling away but need a little boost to keep going.

The Unleash Board of Directors will select the winner and provide individual support and mentorship. 

“This contest is designed to support an artist with a clear vision who would benefit from mentorship and support to finish a writing project.”  –Jen Knox, Executive Director, Unleash

​Guidelines: 

Submit the first 25 pages of your WIP (.doc, .docx, PDF) and answers to the following questions in the same document:

  • Who are you as a creative person, and what is your creative vision? (No CV or resumes here)
  • Who is your intended audience for this project, and why?

​Entries will be judged on originality, emotional resonance, and the author’s vision of the work they'd like to create. Please keep your name off all attachments. Share who you are as a creative, without disclosing your name. 

  • Submissions will be accepted until July 15, 2024.
  • There are no refunds if you withdraw a submission.
  • Multiple submissions may be submitted as separate applications.
  • Please leave all identifying information off of the manuscript.
  • The maximum length of a sample from your manuscript is 25 pages double-spaced.
  • Genres accepted include fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and experimental/hybrid.
  • If guidelines are not followed, the manuscript will be automatically rejected (e.g., including identifying information on the manuscript).
  • Previously self-published works are accepted.
  • Previously traditionally published works are only accepted if the author received little to no support.

We abide by the CLMP Code of Ethics and pledge 

  • to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
  • to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—define conflict of interest for all parties involved, and
  • to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. Namely, submissions are read without identifying information (see guidelines). All manuscripts are evaluated by at least two raters/readers.
     
$30.00

$1,000 advance and an optional/standard contract from Unleash Press for one winning manuscript. 

Finalists will be considered for publication. Novels, poetry collections, short story collections, and creative nonfiction manuscripts are accepted. Full-length, completed manuscripts only. Reprints are welcome so long as the author maintains full rights.

  • Early submissions (before July 1) are $30.
  • Submissions after July 1 are $35.

 Guidelines (please read before submitting):

  • Submissions will be accepted until December 1, 2024. 
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if you wish to withdraw it from consideration.
  • Multiple submissions are accepted. Please submit each manuscript separately.
  • There are no refunds if you withdraw a submission.
  • Please include a cover letter with a summary. Your name and contact information may appear in the cover letter area. 
  • Please leave all identifying information off the manuscript as the first round of reading is blind.
  • The minimum length of a manuscript is 30,000 words for prose or 70 pages for poetry.
  • Genres accepted include fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and experimental/hybrid. 
  • If guidelines are not followed, the manuscript will be automatically rejected (e.g., including identifying information on the manuscript).
  • *Note: The publishing contract is optional and contingent on the author maintaining full rights to the work. Reprints are accepted for consideration.

Formatting:

  • Please include page numbers.
  • Please double-space and use a 12pt font.
  • Your name should not be anywhere on the manuscript. (See above.) 
  • Submit as a .doc, .docx, .rtf, or PDF file format.

While you wait for us to read, check out our new lit journal home at www.unleashlit.com!


*Note: This year, we will be reading and reviewing manuscripts on a rolling basis, which means if we choose not to move forward, you may hear from us before the end of the contest.


We abide by the CLMP Code of Ethics and pledge 

  • to conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
  • to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—define conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
  • to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. Namely, submissions are read without identifying information (see guidelines). All manuscripts are evaluated by at least two raters/readers.
     
Unleash Press