YA is an ever expanding category of literature that constantly pushes boundaries. While the intended audience of YA is teenagers, almost half of YA readers are adults and Voyage is happy to be at the intersection of both groups. We are not interested in publishing a specific genre of YA, but we are interested in quality work by writers from a variety of backgrounds, especially #ownvoices. We are excited about creating a space that supports both emerging and established voices.

Voyage features short-form fiction and nonfiction weekly and we’re typically looking for unpublished work, though we do consider reprints. All submissions should be 6,000 words or less.

Please send any inquiries to contact (at) thevoyagejournal.com.

By submitting to The Voyage Journal, submitters agree to receive correspondence about future work and submission opportunities from The Voyage Journal. You can unsubscribe at any time.

2022 Voyage First Chapters Contest | $3,500 Total Awarded


Guest Judge: Ayana Gray, NYT Bestselling Author of Beasts of Prey and Beasts of Ruin

Our first chapters contest is back! The Voyage team is looking forward to summer reading, and we want to see the first chapters of your young adult novels! It's no secret that one of the most difficult challenges in writing a book is getting that first chapter right—and we're asking: Are you up for the challenge? Can you write a first chapter that captivates your audience enough to make them want to keep reading? If the answer is yes, then we want to read your first chapter! Submissions are open from July 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022.

Our guest judge will choose three stories from a shortlist.  

The 1st Place winner will receive $3,000 and an hour-long consultation with a literary agent; 2nd Place will receive $300 and publication; 3rd place will receive $200 and publication. Finalists will receive written feedback from a literary agent on the first five pages.


Bonus: Every entrant will receive access to a pre-recorded mini workshop!

Guidelines:

  • Voyage submissions are open to all writers working in English
  • International submissions are allowed
  • Submissions must be the first chapter of a young adult novel (full novel does not need to be completed), and from the point-of-view of a young adult, meaning through the lens of a teen protagonist
  • The chapter doesn't have to be standalone 
  • 5,000-word count maximum
  • We’re open to any genre or style—just send us the best you've got
  • Previously unpublished work only, please
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine—just notify and withdraw your entry if it's picked up by someone else
  • $20 reading fee per entry 
  • Multiple submissions are okay—please submit each as a separate submission
  • Every entry will be considered for our regular publications as well
  • Please: 1) double space; 2) use Times New Roman 12 pt font; 3) have 1-inch margins, and 4) put the page number in the top right-hand corner
  • Tell us in a brief cover letter your publication history (if applicable, no worries if not)



Note: To ensure the protection of our volunteer readers, and to keep Voyage a safe space, please let us know in your cover letter if your work can be triggering in any way. This will have no bearing on your submission or a decision—we just want to ensure the best possible environment for our readers. Thank you for your understanding.


Voyage Values
Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms.

As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality have been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.
We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.


About our guest judge:

Ayana Gray is a New York Times bestselling young adult fantasy author and a lover of all things monsters, mythos, and magic. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she reads avidly, follows Formula One racing, and worries over the varying moods of her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo, and her mini goldendoodle, Dolly.

Her debut novel, BEASTS OF PREY, is being translated in 10 languages across five continents, and is in feature film development with Netflix.

$497.00
$497.00

Hey writers!

We have been so proud of the work we’ve done to elevate and shine a light on great YA writers with our contests and monthly publications. YA writers-we often do not get the respect and support we deserve from the literary community, and Racquel and I began Voyage to meet that issue head on. That’s why we’re also so excited about a new project that has been in the works for a while: the Book Lab.

We set out to design this from the ground up with accessibility in mind: make it fit into the regular writer’s busy life and cramped budget. Researching opportunities for this sort of workshopping online, we found so much of what is offered is either thousands of dollars or requiring an extensive and specific schedule disruption. We’re proud that our project offers great value that is under $500 and completely virtual and asynchronous. You don’t even have to get on Zoom if you don’t want to!

We’ve also gone a totally new route that you won’t find anywhere else: our editorial partners are all working agents. These key decision makers will be the ones giving direct and actionable feedback on your manuscript that can take it to the next level, give it a fighting chance in the agency submission slush we’re all wrestling through. To keep this affordable and to get as much as we can from the time these agents are offering, the feedback will be for the first 50 pages or ~15,000 words of your novel. This can be a completed book, or a work in progress. The feedback will be useful for writers at any stage.

Do you want to understand exactly how Agents are responding to your query and writing? This is the opportunity for you.

Racquel and I share over a decade of creative writing teaching experience, at all levels, and we put that experience to use in creating rigorous and unique learning materials just for this lab: workbooks, glossaries, query guides, submission suggestions, and more. Over a hundred pages of learning material to work through and digest as you read our suggested foundational texts: Naming The World edited by Bret Anthony Johnston, The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway, and Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. These materials are entirely self-guided to meet your own unique pace and needs and can last months to a year to complete.

Are you looking for a way to truly put in the work and progress professionally as a writer? This is the opportunity for you.

That’s not all though. We’ve asked writers, in a dozen different ways, what is most important to them as they make progress, and the answer predominantly remains the same: community. Finding a good, sustainable writing group is so very tough. We know it, we’ve been through them ourselves. Experience levels differ. Tastes differ. Personalities clash and life happens. Getting to a great writing group is hard work, and we want to help. We will use this opportunity to curate for every writer who wants one, a group of their peers that match their interests and their experience, and help guide the groups along to a sustainable longevity.

Are you eager to connect with fellow writers and to live life with them as a professional author? This is the opportunity for you. We’ve packed into this as much as we can. We’re so proud of the accessibility it offers, and our incredible agent partners who are joining us on this journey. We hope you will too!

Please feel welcome to reach out to me at josh@thevoyagejournal.com with any and all questions!

Sincerely,

Josh & Racquel | Founders of The Voyage Journal


Book Lab Details

Expert advice from the comforts of home. This remote, asynchronous writing lab is open to all writers and is an excellent way to improve your novel. Please submit only the first 50 pages and include a cover letter describing your project.

Your cover letter should include a brief introduction to your story, where you have submitted or hope to submit in the future, and any specific feedback you’re looking for, as well as challenges you’re having. If you’d like to join a writers group, please also include a short biography and any information that you think may help us match you to the right group of peers.

When your submission is uploaded you will receive registration confirmation. Manuscripts will be processed in the order they are received. Please give our agent and editor partners 8-12 weeks after registration ends to return their feedback.

Early submissions may yield earlier feedback.

We accept works of young adult fiction of any and all genres, the first 50 pages or fewer of your novel. Please submit one single manuscript per submission.


Participants Receive

  • an editorial letter from your agent or editor with specific suggestions and developmental analysis that will help elevate your novel to the next level.
  • a PDF collection of self-guided learning curriculum (100+ pages) on fiction and novel writing, featuring workbooks uniquely built by our team around the foundational texts Naming The World edited by Bret Anthony Johnston, The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway, and Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.
  • free submission in a forthcoming Voyage YA contest
  • the opportunity to join a workshop group with your peers in the program


Participating Agents:

Ameerah Holliday (Serendipity Literary Agency) is a dancer and self-proclaimed poetess from San Diego, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from San Diego State University. Holliday is a former editorial assistant intern for Poetry International and currently serves as editorial director for the San Diego Poetry Annual and editor for Kids! San Diego Poetry Annual.

A Texas native, Leah Pierre (Ladderbird Literary Agency) briefly moved to the East Coast to attend Rosemont College and to pursue her dream of working in publishing. Now having graduated from Rosemont with her B.A. in English and History and having accomplished that dream, she has moved back to the South to begin her next adventure. In addition to searching for the next commercial YA or Adult project that will hook her (or make her cry), Leah is currently pursuing her M.A. in Publishing. Leah spends her time enjoying the company of fictional characters more than people. When not in the company of fictional characters, Leah hangs out with friends and family, cooks, and catches up on the movies and tv shows she is always behind on.

Hannah VanVels Ausbury’s (Belcastro Agency) life is consumed by all things bookish, and when she’s not working on books, she can usually be found curled up with a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine. She earned her BA at the University of Michigan and holds MA degrees from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago. In addition to agenting, Hannah owns a freelance editing business. Hannah has worked various bookish jobs including a stint as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, a freelance editor for scholarly and academic essays and journals, and most recently as the acquiring editor at a young adult imprint with HarperCollins Publishing. Hannah loves working closely with authors and coming alongside them to make their vision come to life on page. She lives in West Michigan with her partner, two German Shepherds, and two cats.

FAQ

Does I need to have a completed novel to participate?

Not at all! This opportunity can work well with books at any stage. As long as you have a beginning that inspires and excites you, we can get an agent to give you feedback that will help guide it in the right direction to meet its readers.

How much interaction will I have with the agents?

Each participant will be assigned one agent who receives their work. For accessibility and convenience, we’ve designed this program with the aim to be completely asynchronous and digital—you will submit your manuscript, and the agent will write their feedback and send it back. After that, any continued conversation is at the agent’s personal discretion.

How much interaction will I have with the other participants?

Entirely up to you! The Lab is designed to be open to complete independence or group participation. After getting your learning materials, you’ll be asked if you’d like to join a group to either workshop writing, or work through the materials together, or both. The Voyage team will help create the groups according to level of experience, and then it’ll be entirely up to the participants after that to figure out a working schedule and style that makes sense to the group.

Will this help me with my other writing?

Absolutely! While the feedback will be specific to the project you share, the rigorous learning material will help your current writing and all future projects become the best they can be.

Will I have to zoom or get on the phone?

Nope! This will be handled entirely through submittable. We will send you your packet of lab material soon after you submit. The timing of the feedback depends on the editor availability, but it should not be longer than 8-10 weeks.

Can I purchase a spot for a friend?

Yes, please feel welcome. Just make sure to make clear in your cover letter what you’re doing and put us in contact with that author.

Submission Guidelines:

Please read our submission guidelines carefully. 

Voyage has no restrictions on the kind of fiction we’re looking for. We simply aim to publish good work and provide a space for new and established voices. To get an idea of what we publish, please read our archives. General submissions are open year-round and there is no fee to submit to our general categories. New work is published weekly. 

We only accept submissions via our online submission managing system, Submittable. We DO NOT accept submissions via email. Submissions sent via email will automatically be discarded without a response. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your work via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere.

Though we consider reprints, please be advised that Voyage doesn't offer payment for work that has been published before. If you are submitting a piece that has been published, please note it in your submission. 

Voyage pays $200 per accepted, previously unpublished story.

Fiction: Please send stories of up to 6,000 words or less. We are simply looking for stories that surprise, inspire, entertain, or enlighten. 

Manuscript Preparation: Please make sure your manuscript is double-spaced with 12 point font (Times New Roman). Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words. Please include the author's name and page number in the top right-hand corner of every page.  

Note: To ensure the protection of our volunteer readers, and to keep Voyage a safe space, please let us know in your cover letter if your work can be triggering in any way. This will have no bearing on your submission or a decision—we just want to ensure the best possible environment for our readers. Thank you for your understanding.  


 Voyage Values

Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms.   

As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality has been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.

We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.

Please read our submission guidelines carefully. 

Voyage simply aims to publish good work and provide a space for new and established voices. To get an idea of what we publish, please read our archives. General submissions are open year-round and there is no fee to submit to our general categories. New work is published weekly. 

We only accept submissions via our online submission managing system, Submittable. We DO NOT accept submissions via email. Submissions sent via email will automatically be discarded without a response. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your work via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere.

Though we consider reprints, please be advised that Voyage doesn't offer payment for work that has been published before. If you are submitting a piece that has been published, please note it in your submission.

 Voyage pays $200 per accepted CNF piece. 

CNF: We’re on the hunt for personal essays and other creative nonfiction that specifically relates to the teen experience. Submit your creative nonfiction via our submission manager here. 

Manuscript Preparation: Please make sure your manuscript is double-spaced with 12 point font (Times New Roman). Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words. Please include the author name and page number in the top right-hand corner of every page.  

Note: To ensure the protection of our volunteer readers, and to keep Voyage a safe space, please let us know in your cover letter if your work can be triggering in any way. This will have no bearing on your submission or a decision—we just want to ensure the best possible environment for our readers. Thank you for your understanding.  


 Voyage Values

Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms.   

As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality has been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.

We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.

Please read our submission guidelines carefully. 

Voyage simply aims to publish good work and provide a space for new and established voices. To get an idea of what we publish, please read our archives. General submissions are open year-round and there is no fee to submit to our general categories. New work is published weekly. 

We only accept submissions via our online submission managing system, Submittable. We DO NOT accept submissions via email. Submissions sent via email will automatically be discarded without a response. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw your work via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. Voyage pays $50 per accepted craft essay. 

Craft Essays: We’re interested in publishing craft essays to the Voyage site, specifically those that relate to the art of writing YA. We're also interested in pieces that merge personal essay and craft essay--ones that also speak to the experience of being a YA writer. 

Manuscript Preparation: Please make sure your manuscript is double-spaced with 12 point font (Times New Roman). Submissions should be no more than 6,000 words. Please include the author name and page number in the top right-hand corner of every page.  


 Voyage Values

Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms.   

As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality has been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.

We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.

If you’ve made the decision to go the traditional publishing route, then you’ll have to put together a submission packet, which most likely will include a query letter and the first pages of your novel (depending on the agent). There are many resources for writing queries and perfecting those opening pages available online. However, maybe you’ve been through them and now you need a second set of eyes before finally hitting that submit button. That’s where Voyage editors can help. All three of our editors not only bring their editorial experience to the table, but they’ve all have been there—just like you. They’ve been in the query trenches, and they know that sometimes, you just need a little extra help with this often challenging process. Let our experienced editors help you put your best foot forward!

Please note that submitting your query or pages will not guarantee representation or publication. Our editors will offer their editorial advice based on their knowledge, experience, and industry standard. It’s important to know that every agent/editor has their likes and dislikes. This is a critique service, and Voyage YA cannot connect you with agents or editors. A significant portion of the fee goes to our editors, who are paid at the EFA rate.

Please make sure your manuscripts are in a standard format:

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. Font
  • 1-inch margins
  • Double spaced for pages, single spaced for query letters


FAQ

Question: How will this help me as a writer?

Answer: The feedback is designed to be constructive and to help you put your best foot forward as a writer. Our editors' goal is to be as objective as possible, to consider each project on its own terms. 


Question: Will my writing be published in any way?

Answer: No. This feedback is completely confidential and the only person who will see your work is the editor, who is under a non-disclosure agreement.


Question: What is the timeframe for getting the feedback?

Answer: Our editors will send you their feedback in four to six weeks, via submittable.


Question: Who will be giving me feedback?

Answer: Our experienced editors:

Racquel Henry is a Trinidadian writer, editor, and writing coach with an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She spent six years as an English Professor and currently owns the writing studio, Writer’s Atelier, in Maitland, FL. In 2010, Racquel co-founded Black Fox Literary Magazine where she still serves as an editor, and is the Editor-in-Chief at Voyage YA Journal. Since 2013, Racquel has presented and moderated panels at writing conferences, residencies, and private writing groups across the US. She is the author of Holiday on Park, Letter to Santa, and The Writer’s Atelier Little Book of Writing Affirmations (Writer’s Atelier Books, 2018). Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction has appeared in Lotus-Eater MagazineReaching Beyond the Saguaros: A Collaborative Prosimetric Travelogue (Serving House Books, 2017), We Can’t Help it if We’re From Florida (Burrow Press, 2017), Moko Caribbean Arts & Letters, among others. When she’s not writing, editing, or coaching writers, you can find her watching Hallmark Christmas movies.

Voyage Associate Editor Kip Wilson holds a Ph.D. in German Literature and was the Poetry Editor at Young Adult Review Network (YARN) for five years before joining Voyage. She is the author of White Rose (2019, HMH/Versify), a critically-acclaimed YA novel-in-verse about anti-Nazi political activist Sophie Scholl. Her next YA novel-in-verse, The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin, is coming in 2022.

Marquita Hockaday is a life-long lover of reading and writing. She could always be found in the library in elementary school with a book and was the first one in line for the Scholastic Book Fair, waiting to pick up the next Babysitter’s Club or Fear Street novel. Her love for reading and writing led her to earn an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Marquita is currently on submission (thus, insert vague synopsis here) with two YA novels about strong Black females and how they balance pain and joy (AKA love). If Marquita’s not writing or teaching, you can find her in the kitchen trying to be the next great American baker, or watching amazing reality TV--which really should be a job.

This position begins as soon as selected and involves a commitment of at least 6 months. If at any point, you'd like to end your reader position with Voyage, we ask that you give us at least two weeks notice. PLEASE NOTE: readerships are unpaid and on a strictly volunteer basis. 

Please send a cover letter, resume, and at least one writing sample in one file.  We look forward to hearing from you!

We'll conduct this process in two rounds. You should hear back from us within a week or two of submitting whether you've been asked to move forward.

Thank you for supporting Voyage!

Best,

Racquel


 Voyage Values

Voyage YA is committed to diversity and inclusivity. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Voyage has a zero tolerance policy for any work that is discriminatory or harmful in any way, whether intentional or unintentional. Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated and any work that violates our values will be immediately declined. Voyage maintains the right to further ban authors if problematic behavior persists and/or de-platform authors should there be problematic behavior via other platforms.   

As the landscape of publishing changes, Voyage acknowledges that there is still much work to be done. Systemic racism and structural inequality has been a problem for a long time, and Voyage will actively work to dismantle them. We have joined the global movement to fight for equality and will consciously work to amplify marginalized voices of authors who have been historically underrepresented in publishing.

We urge authors and readers alike to visit some of the resources we have found helpful—and seek out others.

Voyage