Call for Submissions: This Was 2020

Minnesotans Write About the COVID-19 Pandemic, Justice for Mr. George Floyd, Electoral Politics and Other Flashpoints

The call for submission is now closed.

Ramsey County Library wants to publish your writing about 2020! From the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and reorganization of life as we know it to the uprisings surrounding justice for Mr. George Floyd and the presidential election, 2020 was a historic year in many ways. We invite you to reflect on your experiences in essays, creative nonfiction, short stories or poetry.

We are interested in hearing about how you weathered the year. Tell us what you learned about our communities, how you connected with loved ones during isolation and what creative rearrangements of your daily lives looked like. Tell us stories that reimagine the year and its events. Capture the essence of living through a pandemic in poetry.

We hope to publish a broad range of voices from across Minnesota. Black, Indigenous and writers of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, writers with disabilities and those living outside of urban centers are encouraged to submit writing for consideration. 

Eligibility: Any Minnesota resident*. Writers under the age of 18 will need a parental/guardian approval for publication. Only unpublished work will be accepted. No simultaneous submissions to other publications. 

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2021.


  • One submission per applicant.
  • Prose submissions: 5,000 word maximum.
  • Poetry submissions: up to three separate poems (no more than 10 pages total).
  • Submissions not primarily in English are welcome, but must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • Email your submission as a Microsoft Word or PDF attachment to           
    • Document should include titles for the essays, stories or poems.
    • Document should not include your name.
    • Include full name and titles of the essays, stories or poems in the body of the email message.

Publication Timeline: Submissions will be evaluated by a submission panel in April/May 2021. Submitters will be notified via email if their work is accepted or not for publication. Writers of accepted works will receive a $50 payment and two print copies of the book. The book will be published online, as an e-book, and as a print book.

Questions? Email

This program is funded with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

*Ramsey County employees may submit work for consideration, but will not be eligible for payment.

Updated 4/16/2021.