Monthly Muse

In addition to our regular literary awards, NMW's Monthly Muse hosts monthly short story/essay/poem contests. The top three short stories/essays/poems in each category will be published on our website and in a special print anthology.

Winners will also receive the ever-changing Enigma Gift. (That's right, we're not telling! We promise it will always be thoughtful. It may also be fun, funky, profound...or maybe all three.)

Here are the new topics!

You have until December 10th to submit your 1000 words.

Home may indeed be where the heart is, but the heart is a complicated beast, and home can be elusive.

Over the holidays, many of us journey home, bringing gifts, news, and baggage...of all kinds. Share the joys and pitfalls of returning home.

Or tell us how one makes a house a home: On the fly? With a carefully thought-out vision? Or the paint-by-numbers, family tradition edition?

Maybe home transcends physical location. Maybe it's more about who we're with. Perhaps, home is simply a state of mind.

In 1000 words or less, give us a glimpse inside and show us the way home.


The universal language – one that, in just a few bars, can lift our mood, move us to tears, and transport us across time, space, and possibility.

How has music shaped you, guided your path, or even saved your life?

Is there a song, album, or artist that speaks to you?

What does the creative process of songwriting look like?

What is music? And how does it move us so? Ask your Muse and report back!

In 1000 words or less, tell us about the majestic power of music.


• • The reading fee is $8, and each contest will be open for 30 days.
• • Winners will be announced within 30 days of the closing date.
• • Short Stories/Essays should be 1000 words or less and previously unpublished.
• • Submissions and Additional Guidelines

If you have any questions, simply send us a message and we'll be happy to help.

Write on, write more,

Alexis and Team




As Halloween approaches, we invite you to send stories and essays about the creepiest things you can imagine, or the most hair-raising experience you've lived to tell about.

Tell us about the things that go bump in the night, be they imagined...or remembered.

The Bosom Buddy, The Frenemy, the friends that become family, the friend turned lover. Friendships add the sparkle and drama our lives need and, for better or worse, can change us in ways we never thought possible.

Send us your stories and essays about the friends you can't live without, the ones you'll never speak to again, and every shade in between.

If there were a New Millennium Charter School, "Death 101" would be mandatory. I'm envisioning field trips to veterinarians, nursing homes, hospitals, and cemeteries, as we all unburden and celebrate our experiences with death and the deceased. The NMW Charter School may have to wait, but the sharing starts now.

As new parents, we're humbled daily by the power this little creature holds over us, and the awesome responsibility of raising him.

Do you have an insight, a boondoggle, or a profound epiphany about raising a child...or being raised?

"NMW allows writers to explore themes in any way they choose."
—Rebecca Johnson

“Fiction, poetry and nonfiction that will feed your soul”

"You were my first publication ever. I will never forget that, it kept me going for a long time…”
—Susan Tepper, Pulitzer Prize Nominee

"I cannot overestimate the immense value of winning the NMW award. I credit your magazine with giving me a second career as a writer."
J. L. Schneider (Award-winning author and two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee, Schneider has now received 17 First Place awards from a variety of publications.)

“Highly recommended. NMW is one of our favorite journals.” 
—Winning Writers,

“By the way, I really love NMW. The content is some of the most rockin' awesome stuff that isn't shy and crosses boundaries, pushes the envelope, winks at the nun – you know what I mean.”
—Shela Morrison, Gabriola Island, British Columbia