AWP's mentorship program, Writer to Writer, matches emerging writers and published authors for a three-month series of modules on topics such as craft, revision, publishing, and the writing life. Mentors volunteer their time and receive a free one-year AWP membership. Writer to Writer is free of charge to mentees.
Our program is open to all AWP members. We receive between 300 and 400 mentee applications a season and 50–60 mentor applications. We are usually able to match 25 pairs. We choose mentors after considering the specific needs present in the mentee applications that session. When reviewing mentor applications, we are also looking for responses that demonstrate an understanding of the special nature of a good mentor-mentee relationship, and that the applicant shows a willingness to be supportive, responsive, and receptive to learning from the experience. Most mentors say that they want to serve in this program because they had a mentor who helped them, and now they long to give back. Others say that they long to be the mentor they wish they'd had.
Should you be chosen to participate, you will be given several applications to review and select your own mentee. Mentors tend to choose mentees based on shared goals and interests, and whether they feel they can help that person at the stage they are in now. Our mentees come from all backgrounds and levels of experience, and we particularly encourage applications from those who have never been affiliated with an MFA program, and those writing from backgrounds, regions, and perspectives often underrepresented in the literary world. You will have opportunities to interact with the other mentors taking part in that session, and AWP's membership team will be there with you, every step of the way.
Our Spring 2020 session begins mid-February and will consist of six lightly structured modules over a three-month period, concluding mid-May. You and your partner will make a commitment to the process—and to each other. Together, you will decide whether phone, Skype, email, or a mix of communication styles would be the best way to complete the modules. Mentors agree to be available for a minimum of two hours per month by phone; you will be asked to respond to emails from your partner within two days. You need not strictly follow the program modules, but we ask that you and your mentor mutually agree before departing from them.
Please carefully consider what other commitments already exist on your schedule before applying as a mentor so you can give your mentee and the program meaningful attention.
There is no charge to apply. Mentor applications can be submitted year-round.
The more detailed you are in your responses to the questionnaire that follows, the easier it will be for us to find great potential matches for you.
Thank you for wishing to serve as a Writer to Writer mentor!
Each year, AWP offers three annual scholarships to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, festival, retreat, or residency. The scholarships are applied to the event or workshop fees of the winners’ chosen program. Winners and six finalists also receive a one-year individual membership in AWP. Visit our website more information and a list of past winners.
Previous recipients of Kurt Brown Prizes (formerly known as WC&C scholarships), and former or current students of the judge are not eligible to submit.
Our judges this year are Angie Kim for fiction, Suzanne Farrell Smith for creative nonfiction, and Shikha Malaviya for poetry.
- Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript, otherwise it will be disqualified.
- For fiction, one short story (or novel excerpt) up to 25 pages will be considered. Fiction must be double-spaced and presented in manuscript form with 12-pt font.
- For poetry, up to 10 pages will be considered. Each new poem must start on a new page.
- For creative nonfiction, up to 25 pages will be considered.
- You may enter in more than one genre, and you may also enter multiple manuscripts in one genre, provided that each submission is accompanied by its own entry fee.
- Please send us your best unpublished work.
- A $10 reading fee must accompany each submission.
Submissions are accepted between December 3 and March 30. Submissions are only accepted online via Submittable. Mailed-in submissions will not be accepted nor returned.
All winners will be notified by email by May 15 and announced on AWP’s website and in the AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair program. Three winners will each receive a $500 scholarship to attend a WC&C member program. Winners have one year to use their prize, and funds are paid directly to the selected program. Member conferences reserve the right to determine participants in their programs; winning does not guarantee admittance to any program.
The Editors read submissions for the Writer’s Chronicle from February 1 through September 30 of each year. Submissions for the Writer’s Notebook and the Career Advice section are read throughout the year. Please review our guidelines below.
About the Writer’s Chronicle
Published six times during the academic year, the Writer’s Chronicle strives to
- present the best essays on the craft and art of writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction;
- help overcome academic overspecialization and balkanization of the literary arts by presenting a public forum for the appreciation, debate, and analysis of contemporary literature;
- present the diversity of accomplishments and points of view within contemporary literature;
- provide serious and committed writers and students of writing the best advice on how to manage their professional lives;
- provide writers who teach with new pedagogical approaches for their classrooms;
- provide members and subscribers with a literary community as a respite from devotion to a difficult and lonely art;
- provide members and subscribers with information on publishing opportunities, grants, and awards; and
- promote the good works of AWP, its programs, and its individual members.
In general, the editors look for articles that demonstrate an excellent working knowledge of literary issues and a generosity of spirit that esteems the arguments of other writers on similar topics. In writing essays on craft, writers are often tempted to use their own work as an example. The editors do not welcome such articles. For our readers, we provide the model of a writer reading another writer carefully and productively. Please keep in mind that 18,000 of our 35,000 readers are students or just-emerging writers. They must become expert readers before they can become accomplished writers, and we therefore expect essays on craft to show exemplary close readings of a variety of contemporary and older works. Essays must embody erudition, generosity, curiosity, and discernment rather than self-involvement. Writers may refer to their own travails and successes if they do so modestly, in small proportion to the other examples. Again, we look for a generosity of spirit—a general love and command of literature as well as an expert, writerly viewpoint—in the essays we publish.
What We Pay
We buy first serial rights and electronic rights for all manuscripts accepted for publication. We pay $18 per 100 words for accepted manuscripts. Regretfully, we do not pay kill fees. Authors are paid upon publication. We reserve the right to publish articles from the Writer’s Chronicle electronically on AWP’s website and the Chronicle App.
To propose an essay or interview for consideration for the Writer’s Chronicle, please email editor Supriya Bhatnagar at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.What We Publish
Submissions to the Writer’s Chronicle may fall into one of the following categories:
Interviews: 4,000 to 7,000 words
The Writer’s Chronicle features interviews with well-known and up-and-coming authors of note in the genres of fiction, short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and other forms of creative writing. In the past, we have published interviews with such authors as Nikki Finney, Ernest Gaines, WS Merwin, Sonia Sanchez, George Saunders, Jane Smiley, Arthur Sze, and many others. We especially appreciate interviews that include discussions of writing craft, the evolution of the author’s own work, and literary influences and inspirations. Please query before submitting an interview. We publish interviews between 4,000 and 7,000 words. Interviews should include a two-paragraph introduction to the author, including all pertinent biographical information. This introduction should be mainly factual. We are not interested in an interview that is faithful to an actual spoken event. We are not interested in how friendly you are with the subject, or what the subject was wearing that day, or when and where the interview was conducted, etc. We prefer interviews that have been revised heavily in the interest of accuracy, concision, and style. We are interested in an interview that represents a writer as well as possible in a somewhat personable and discursive manner. We do not publish interviews unless the subject has had an opportunity to revise his or her comments, and we encourage the interviewers and their subjects to revise their transcripts of the interviews extensively. We only publish interviews that have been approved in proofs by their subjects.
Sorry, No Lectures, Talks, & Panel Discussions
Transcripts of lectures, talks, and panel discussions do not appear in our pages, but we do often publish essays that are adapted from such events. Many panel discussions, though engaging in person, are disappointing in the cool medium of print. As with interviews, we are not interested in transcripts of actual spoken events; we prefer articles that acknowledge sources and the other writers who have pondered the same topic (which one may sometimes overlook when one speaks informally); we prefer articles that are more elegantly organized and concisely written than the somewhat improvisatory ruminations of a panel discussion. We seldom publish all the presentations of any given panel discussion, so you should adapt your discussion to read well as a freestanding essay.
Essays on Pedagogy: 2,500 to 7,000 words
Often, AWP will publish essays concerning creative writing pedagogy in the Online-Only Exclusives section of the website. The most successful pedagogy pieces combine research, interviews, and teaching experience. Pedagogy pieces are not diatribes about the quality of a writer’s own education or an argument against a specific teacher’s methodology. The pedagogy essay is an opportunity to inform and educate your peers about different methodologies of teaching, and should always be directed towards the writing community-at-large. Pedagogy pieces are generally between 2,500 and 7,000 words.
Appreciations: 2,000 to 5,000 words
The Writer’s Chronicle publishes appreciations of contemporary writers whose work came into prominence after 1965. Appreciations are not profiles or memoirs; instead, we seek close readings of an important author’s work and an analysis of the author’s contributions to our culture and to the mastery of craft. You may include some personal anecdotes to portray the author more vividly, but mostly self-referential or sentimental appreciations, of course, are not acceptable. The appreciation should answer the questions: What can I as a writer learn from this writer? What has this writer contributed to our culture? Appreciations are generally between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
Essays on the Craft of Writing: 2,000 to 6,000 words
All craft essays must analyze an element of creative writing. Articles should not overlap with topics covered in recent issues of the Chronicle. Craft essays should contain concrete examples to illustrate the writerly advice they offer. Many of our published essays combine appreciations (as described above) with a study of elements of craft. Using more than one author to illustrate your analysis is recommended. A query on a specific topic is always welcome. Craft essays run between 2,000 and 6,000 words, depending on the topic.
We currently accept submissions via Submittable as well as through postal mail. Essays longer than 7,000 words are generally not accepted. Simultaneous submissions are not encouraged and must be noted as such on your cover letter. If we do not respond to your submission within three months, you are free to send your work elsewhere. Electronic queries are acceptable, but email submissions will not be considered.
Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Acknowledge your sources by using endnotes. Do not follow MLA style, which is well-designed for professional readers but annoying to general readers, in whom we still have great faith. Previously published works are unacceptable. We will, however, publish an accepted work before or the same month it also appears in a book.
If you quote a poem, song, or short-short story in its entirety, it is your responsibility to secure and pay for that permission. We recommend that you limit quotes to fair use and avoid quoting whole works, as many trade publishers charge high fees for permissions.
How to Submit Online
Visit awp.submittable.com. Choose the appropriate category and enter your contact information. Please upload your submission as a single file in .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf formats. Include cover letter and bio information in the space provided on the submission form.
The Editors read submissions to The Writer’s Notebook throughout the year. Please review these guidelines.
The Writer’s Notebook posts articles and essays on publishing, teaching, pedagogy, career advice, choosing an agent, or the best creative writing program or conference, as well as commentary on current literary affairs. Please note that The Writer’s Notebook section of our site now includes posts that were formally published separately as Career Advice pieces or as Online-Only Exclusives.
Posts should be 1,000 to 2,000 words with the exception of articles on pedagogy, our Online-Only Exclusives, which can run between 3,000 and 4,000 words.
We occasionally commission an author to write a sequence of three to six blog posts. To propose a series of posts, please submit the complete first post via our Submittable portal. Your cover letter must include your proposal for extending the series, which should indicate how many posts the series will consist of, what topics they will cover, and an outline of the series.
In the Classroom’s teaching guides are devoted to a single essay or interview from a past issue of the Chronicle, and are intended to be a resource for teachers of any and all genres, backgrounds, and experience levels, at colleges and community centers, looking to make their classroom a more enriching, rewarding, and inclusive environment for all. Guides should be 500 – 700 words in length and should follow the template. The template can be downloaded from the submission guidelines page on the AWP website. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please send us an email at email@example.com.