BYLINES does not post opportunities that require a submission fee. Learn more.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Queer Life, Queer Love An anthology of writing from the margins

web site

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Editors: Golnoosh Nour, Matthew Bates, Sarah and Kate Beal

A timely celebration of the best writing from the margins now brought centre stage, Queer Life, Queer Love to be published in November 2021 will feature voices which offer a unique perspective of our world, from both established and debut writers.

The book will be dedicated to the memory of Lucy-Jack Reynolds, the trans daughter of Sarah Beal, publisher at Muswell Press, and niece of co-publisher Kate Beal. A student, musician and strong advocate of LGBTQI rights, she died in March 2020 at the age of 20.

'I’m incredibly moved to be co-editing this important anthology dedicated to honour the memory of a beautiful queer life and am excited to read submissions that reflect the full complexities of living a queer life, in whatever form they take.' Golnoosh Nour, author and presenter of Queer Lit

‘Championing new and emerging writing is one of my passions as demonstrated by my tenure at WHSmith Travel where I curated the Celebration of 100 Years of Gay Writing in 2017 and the successful Fresh Talent promotion for over five years.’ Matt Bates, editor of Muswell Press LGBTQI+ list

The anthology will be published in November 2021, celebrating two years since the launch of the Muswell Press LGBTQI+ list. It will comprise 25 stories, non-fiction pieces, flash fiction and poetry, the winning entries from an international competition to capture the best of Queer writing today. Entry will be open to anyone, without restriction. Submissions will open on 20 November 2020, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance and the selection will be announced in March 2021, marking the first anniversary of Lucy’s death.
The editors will be looking for writing that explores characters, stories and experiences beyond the mainstream. Celebrating the fascinating, the forbidden, the subversive, and even the mundane, but in essence, the view from outside.

Sarah and Kate Beal said:

‘We are delighted to inaugurate this anthology of queer writing and can’t wait to read the submissions. It will be a wonderful tribute to Lucy and we know she would be so proud and happy to see it come to fruition. We are thrilled that Golnoosh Nour and Matt Bates are joining us to edit the collection. Their passion, insight, wisdom and knowledge will be invaluable.’

Golnoosh Nour has a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her short story collection The Ministry of Guidance was recently published by Muswell. Golnoosh teaches creative writing and has a monthly radio show, Queer Lit, on Soho Radio Culture.

Matt Bates worked as the lead fiction buyer for WHS Travel prior to embarking on a creative writing degree at London University. He has been a judge on both the Costa Book Prize and the Booksellers’ Association debut fiction prize. He was the curator of the influential campaign, A Celebration of 100 Years of Gay Writing in 2017 and is Editor at Large for Muswell Press, advising them on the LGBTQI+ list which launched last year.


The anthology will comprise of 25 stories, non-fiction pieces, short stories, flash fiction and poetry, the winning entries from an international competition to capture the best of Queer writing today. What do we mean by Queer? We are looking for writing that explores characters and experiences beyond mainstream society. Celebrating the fascinating, the forbidden, the alien, the subversive, the view of the outsider.

The wining 25 entries will all be published in Queer Life, Queer Love, in November 2021. The winning authors will receive a share of the royalties received from sales of the book, once the production costs are covered.

The competition is open to writers of any nationality across the Globe writing in English aged 16 and over at the time of the closing date.

• Entry opens: November 20th 2020
• Competition closes: January 31st 2021
• Winning authors will be notified in March 2021

Entries may only be submitted via

Entries must be entirely your own work. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification. The author is entirely responsible for any potential copyright or other legal issues in their story.

Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, have won or been placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up etc) in any other competition. If your entry has been long-listed or shortlisted in other competitions, and provided it has not won a prize or been published, it is eligible.

Poetry: 42 lines max. No minimum
Short story: 3000 words max. No minimum.
Non fiction: 1,500 words max. No minimum.

Flash fiction: 250 words max. No minimum.
Please accompany your submission with your name and email address and headline your submission with QLQL and the genre you are entering for.

Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but Muswell Press has unrestricted rights to publish the winning poems, short stories, flash fiction stories and non-fiction entries in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.
The authors give Muswell Press the right to sell individual extracts, or to use them in relevant promotional material.

The judges’ decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries. Judging is fair and unbiased. Muswell Press reserves the right to change the panel of judges without notice.

Blog Archive