Call for Submissions

2 FREE writing contests w/ cash prizes, submission call, + interview! – Lunch Ticket, DEADLINES: Aug. 31 / Oct. 31, 2018

I really can’t say enough great things about the staff at Lunch Ticket. They are kind, responsive, and organized. I wanted to know a little bit more about what they have going on and they are up to a lot of amazing things! Including two free writing contests and a no fee submission call. Check out the details below and my interview with lovely person and previous Editor-in-Chief Arielle Silver. Make sure to check out the new masthead for this Summer/Fall 2018, including Editor-in-Chief Korilyn Kessler.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Lunch Ticket.

SILVER: Lunch Ticket is the online literary and art journal published by the students of Antioch University Los Angeles’s low residency MFA program. We publish full issues twice yearly, along with weekly content in our Amuse-Bouche and Blog sections. Our Amuse-Bouche: Spotlight series features a single literary or visual artist every other week. For both the main issues and the Spotlight series, we publish new, emerging, and established writers and artists from around the world.

Additionally, we publish work by current Antioch MFA students in the Friday Blog, which features personal essays on the life and craft of writers, and in the Amuse-Bouche: Writers Read series, which features craft-based annotated book reviews.

Like our low-residency MFA program, the staff of Lunch Ticket is spread out all around the country and world. Just this morning, I’ve emailed with LTers in Florida, Oregon, the Philippines, Arizona, California, and France. Demographically, we’re all over the place, too, which makes for a wonderfully diverse editorial team. We’re unified by our excitement about being here together on Lunch Ticket, and, of course, our love of the literary and visual arts.

HOPKINSON: How/why was Lunch Ticket originally started?

SILVER: The story of how Lunch Ticket came to be makes me giggle, but I think it’s a you-had-to-be-there sort of thing. I wasn’t actually there, so maybe it’s more of a you-have-to-know-Steve Heller (our MFA Program Director) thing. In any case, the vision was to create an ambitious literary and art journal, with a special emphasis on community engagement and the pursuit of social justice. The first issue was published in 2012. I’ve been on the staff since the sixth issue. Our upcoming tenth issue, Winter/Spring 2017, will be my third as editor.

HOPKINSON: You have two separate free contests open until August 31 correct? 

SILVER: We are honored to host two contests: The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction and The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation and Multilingual Texts. Both of the awards come with a cash prize and publication for the winner, along with publication for the two finalists. As with everything else at Lunch Ticket, there’s no fee to submit.

HOPKINSON: How is Lunch Ticket able to run these contests without fees and with awards prizes?

SILVER: We understand that not every journal can manage to offer free submission to contests, so we feel pretty lucky. Though we operate on a shoestring budget, we’re committed to our no-fee submission process, even for our prizes, and rely on the generosity of donors to fund the prizes. Hopefully we’ll add more prizes in the future – I’d love to see a Lunch Ticket prize in each of the other genres we publish (poetry, young adult, and fiction).

In the case of the DWM prize, this was founded early in Lunch Ticket’s history, in memory of Diana Woods, who was a graduate of Antioch’s MFA program. Her daughter founded and continues to fund the prize for the twice-yearly contest in her mother’s name.

The Gabo Prize was founded more recently by Allie Marini, who previously served on Lunch Ticket as Managing Editor, and Jennifer McCharen, who served as Translation Editor. A cornerstone of Lunch Ticket‘s mission is to publish diverse work from writers of all walks of life and corners of the globe. We celebrate the art and challenges of bringing poetry and prose from other source languages and cultures into English, so that we all might celebrate the global body of literature. Allie and Jenny are both passionate about supporting the often unsung efforts of literary translators, and also passionate about those writers who write across language barriers. In many ways, our Gabo Prize and Translation sections are the most exciting sections of each issue.

HOPKINSON: Who will be judging the contests?

SILVER: Our editorial teams read everything and then have the grueling task of narrowing the submissions down to a short list for our guest judges.

The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction Judge
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly,, Bustle, Book Riot, The Times of London, and The Guardian. A finalist for a New England Book Award, a Goodreads Choice Award, and a Lambda Literary Award, it will be translated into eight languages. Marzano-Lesnevich’s essays and reviews appear in The New York Times, The Mail on Sunday (UK), Oxford American, and many other publications. They have received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, and Yaddo, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award. They have taught at Harvard and in the fall will become an assistant professor at Bowdoin College, teaching creative nonfiction.

The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation and Multilingual Texts Judge
Piotr Florczyk is a poet, essayist, and translator of Polish poetry. His most recent books are East & West, a volume of poems from Lost Horse Press, and two volumes of translations published by Tavern Books, My People & Other Poems by Wojciech Bonowicz, and Building the Barricade by Anna Świrszczyńska, which won the 2017 Found in Translation Award and the 2017 Harold Morton Landon Award. Florczcyk, a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California, lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

HOPKINSON: Where can writers send submissions?

SILVER: As with every journal, I encourage submitters to read Lunch Ticket to get a feel for what we like to publish. The submission button is on the top right of every page.

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

SILVER: Lunch Ticket hosts #litdish, a weekly Twitter chat about different writing topics, during our submission period. I’m almost always on the chat, so it’s a great way for writers to ask me direct questions in micro-flash-style 140 characters or less. Our Twitter handle is @LunchTicket1.

Of course, we’re on Facebook, too. And email never goes out of style:

PRIZE:Winners will receive $250 and their work will be featured in the next issue of Lunch Ticket.


FORMS:  creative nonfiction up to 5,000 words





DEADLINE: August 31, 2018

PRIZE: Winners receive $200, and their work, along with the Gabo Prize finalists, is featured in the next issue of Lunch Ticket.


FORMS:  Prose word count max: 5000. Poetry: 10 pages.




Lunch Ticket submission guidelines

DEADLINE: October 31, 2018

NOTES: Creative nonfiction, Translation and Multilingual Texts open for submissions on September 1, 2018. All other forms are currently open for submissions.



FORMS:  poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, flash prose (any genre), young adult (13+), literary translation & multi-lingual texts, and visual art (painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, performance, and video)

DUOTROPE: (includes interview with the editors)


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