Comps and calls for July 2020

Hello everyone,

First and most importantly: Black Lives Matter.

Secondly: There’s an extra section this month at the top of the listing. Several litmag editors I know are groaning under the weight of so many COVID-19/lockdown poems and stories they’re receiving. Perhaps it’d be a good idea to send your work on that theme to litmags and other projects that are specifically asking for it? (Use your own judgment, not mine!) Anyway, I’ve included a little section of opportunities for those pieces. Good luck!

I’ve had one big rejection this month, but also some lovely acceptances. Such is the writing life!

I’ve been asked why I have a Patreon thingy set up, when there is absolutely no content in it! This is deliberate. There are so many websites with a two-tier system – expedited responses if you pay, free submissions only in a particular month, that sort of thing. And I’m pleased when a litmag has any free submissions, these days. But I was determined from the start that Comps and Calls would be completely free for everyone who could access it (and I’d buy computers for those writers without them, if only I could!). It’s exactly the same C&C whether you’re on your uppers or you’re loaded with loot. You get exactly the same info – so you have exactly the same chance, or as near to it as possible.

So why give me, say, a pound or a dollar a month or something like that, when you don’t get anything extra at all for it? Well, you keep the site going. You get to help your fellow writers. If a writer has ever helped you, this is one way to pay it forward, so to speak.

But please, never feel pressured to donate. I would HATE that.

Enjoy writing!

Remember: Black Lives Matter.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Cathy x


Here are some writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry.

As usual I’m passing these on in good faith but mistakes may be made, so do check all the submission guidelines carefully. Any info in quotes comes from the website itself and any dates at the start are deadlines. Also, I don’t know the sources personally, so do check them out for yourselves.

There are four headings (click/tap to jump straight to them):

If you aren’t a submitter (why not? Nothing to lose! Rejection is something we all share!) then the themes can make great writing prompts/exercises.

Although I mention only fiction or poetry, many publications accept non-fiction, art or other forms, so do check if interested. Good luck and do let me know of successes! The links are in the comments, and any dates at the start are deadlines.

Where possible, I have marked the relevant entries with ‘paying’, ‘contributor copy’ etc. However, you are best off checking the info for yourselves as I am not infallible and the info isn’t always available or clear. Please be aware that a contributor copy may be in print or digital format. Also, some publications offer several things, eg payment as well as a contributor copy. Where this is the case, I have assumed that payment is enough of an incentive, so I haven’t listed everything. It’s a rough guide and should be treated as such.

WRITING ABOUT LOCKDOWN/THE VIRUS

Pandemic diary entries from writers over 50. https://www.passagerbooks.com/pandemic-diaries/

10th Jul ‘Viruses are not new to life or literature. But the ways we experience them are always evolving. Join us as we explore love and loss, passion and betrayal, fear and panic, togetherness and separation, community and isolation within viruses of all varieties—real and imagined.’ Stories up to 7500 words. PAYING https://owlhollowpress.com/the-year-of-the-virus-anthology/

16th Aug ‘We are looking for essays of around 300 words on the particular work of art—be it a work of visual art, performing art, or literature—that you are turning to right now. It could be an appreciation of the art you have access to from your home. It can also be a remembrance of the art you wish you could see or hear right now, or a trip to a museum or arts organization that you wish you could relive.’ PAYING https://criticalread.submittable.com/submit

‘Tell us about your experience of pandemic self-growth in 100 words or less. We will be featuring your stories in an upcoming project on the site. All formats accepted, this is an unpaid opportunity.’ https://motherwellmag.submittable.com/submit/167250/quarantine-little-lessons

‘The Museum invites women and gender non-binary individuals of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer or shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women’s History Museum.’ https://womenshistory.submittable.com/submit

Make a video of yourself reading all or part of the provided poem, and answering the provided questions about the pandemic. https://www.letitripple.org/submissions/

‘Indolent Books is seeking poems responding to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) for our online poem-a-day feature, What Rough Beast.’  https://indolentbooks.submittable.com/submit

‘Life in the Time is seeking original content in the form of stories, thoughts, ideas, on how people are dealing with the Coronovirus, and its impact such as self-isolation and quarantine.’ https://www.lifeinthetime.com/submission-guidelines

‘Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University have brought together poets from around the world to write new poems about the recent days past and the weeks ahead.’ https://www.mmu.ac.uk/write/ (Cathy’s note: scroll down for submissions.)

31st Jul Poems on the theme of What does mental health (good or otherwise) look like through the prism of COVID19? https://oldwaterratpublishing.com/contact/

1st Dec ‘The North Meridian Review is seeking poetry submissions for our next issue to be published September 2021. The uncertain times we are living through call for the scrutiny (and respite) that poetry can provide in the face of collective fear and unease.’ There’s a list of themes to do with the pandemic, and epidemics in general. https://thenorthmeridianreview.org/call-for-submissions

A variety of free writing projects and resources during the pandemic. https://writershq.co.uk/coronavirus-lockdown-writing-resources/

Practical resources for writers during COVID-19:

Round and about the UK: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/articles/resources-for-writers-during-coronavirus

In the USA: https://www.erikadreifus.com/resources/grants-fellowships-and-awards/emergency-grants-for-writers/

Apologies to those elsewhere, but I’ve been unable to find a good list of resources for you so far.

COMPETITIONS

2nd Jul Full length novel. ‘All submissions must be in English and conform to the green stories criteria of showing a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like or in some way smuggling in green solutions/policies/characters in the context of an otherwise mainstream story.’ PAYING http://www.greenstories.org.uk/about-the-competition/

3rd Jul Story 1000-3000 words on the theme of Superpower. PAYING https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/48/

5th Jul Poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/international/submissions/poetrycontest.html

5th Jul Wales only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/wales/submissions/poetsofwales.html

6th Jul Free to under 21s only: story 1000-5000 words on the theme of Vision. PAYING https://hgwellscompetition.com/?v=79cba1185463 (thanks to www.prizemagic.co.uk for this one)

8th Jul Spectator  Competition No. 3157: glasto and glynders ‘Glastonbury and Glyndebourne have both fallen victim to Covid-19 this summer. To fill the gap you are invited to describe a visit to either in the style of an author of your choice. Please email up to 150 words/16 lines to lucyATspectator.co.uk by midday on 8 July.’ https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/-merrie-sing-rishi-variations-on-sumer-is-icumen-in-

15th Jul Speculative flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submission-guidelines

15th Jul New Roscommon Writing Award 2020. All entrants must have a connection with the county of Roscommon, Ireland (born in, living in, currently working in, went to school in). Short story up to 2000 words. PAYING http://www.roscommoncoco.ie/en/services/community/arts-office/news.html (Cathy’s note: you have to scroll down a fair way to find this!; thanks to www.winningwriters.com for this one)

15th Jul ‘Singapore Unbound’s SP Blog is holding its sixth annual poetry contest. We are looking for poems that include the word “Singapore” (or its variants) in some creative manner. The poems do not have to be about Singapore; in fact, we prefer it if the poems are not about Singapore. And here’s another wrinkle: the contest is only open to poets who are NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore.’ PAYING https://singaporeunbound.org/opportunities

31st Jul Age 11-17 only: ‘The competition welcomes poems on any theme and any length. It is completely free to enter for anyone aged 11-17 in the world.’ NON-CASH PRIZES https://foyleyoungpoets.org/

31st Jul Poetry book 35-50 pages. PAYING https://platypuspress.co.uk/brokenriverprize (thanks to www.winningwriters.com for this one)

31st Jul Life writing up to 1000 words. PAYING https://beechmorebooks.com/blogs/opportunities/beechmore-life-writing-competition (thanks to www.prizemagic.co.uk for this one)

31st Jul ‘The brief is broad: send us a piece of writing, up to 1000 words, which may include images, that explores any arts-related subject, written from a journalistic or critical perspective.’ PAYING https://beechmorebooks.com/blogs/opportunities/beechmore-arts-journalism-competition (thanks to www.prizemagic.co.uk for this one)

31st Jul Comment giving your wedding date and saying why you’d like to win. YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY IN ITALY https://tietheknotwedding.co.uk/win-a-wedding-ceremony-in-italy

31st Jul New Zealand only: essay up to 4000 words. PAYING https://www.otago.ac.nz/press/landfall/awards/otago065482.html

1st Aug UK and Ireland residents only: short story up to 4000 words. PAYING (LOTS) https://www.costa.co.uk/behind-the-beans/costa-book-awards/short-story-award

SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES

3rd Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Metanoia. http://monologging.org/submit/

5th Jul Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Women & Girls. If your work is chosen, it will be read by a professional actor on the night of the performance. https://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html

5th Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Race, Identity and Gender. https://thebombayreview.com/2014/06/27/guidelines-and-style-guide/

5th Jul Spec flash fiction on the theme of Hearing. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS https://gohavok.com/submission-guidelines/upcoming-themes/ (Cathy’s note: they pay if they include your piece in one of their anthologies.)

5th Jul ‘Short story or poem no longer than 3,500 words’ – on the themes provided. PAYING https://burialday.com/submit/horror-anthology-submission/ (Cathy’s note: I’d basically describe them as ‘wintry gothic’ but please check before writing your piece!)

5th Jul Poetry and fiction on the theme of Mission and Motive. https://inparentheses.art/about/

6th Jul Poetry and fiction on the theme of Echo. PAYING https://thesuburbanreview.com/submit/

6th Jul Writing on the theme of Road Trip. https://www.perhappened.com/submit.html

6th Jul Speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING http://spaceandtime.net/submissions-fiction/

10th Jul ‘Viruses are not new to life or literature. But the ways we experience them are always evolving. Join us as we explore love and loss, passion and betrayal, fear and panic, togetherness and separation, community and isolation within viruses of all varieties—real and imagined.’ Stories up to 7500 words. PAYING https://owlhollowpress.com/the-year-of-the-virus-anthology/

10th Jul BIPOC writers only: ‘Show us our futures in evocative, speculative flash fiction (up to 1,000 words) that responds to what humanity is facing this year. Experiments with story form welcome. We are featuring BIPOC writers for this call and will select one story for each month through the end of 2020. Society needs new blueprints to build from. Show us your Alternate Endings.’ PAYING https://medium.com/interstellar-flight-press/2020-alternate-endings-call-for-submissions-5cc3d092540e

10th Jul ‘Abridged is looking for poetry and/or art, video, sound exploring the failure of words, of voice, of communication, our love of our echoed opinion, the comfort of our ‘bubbled’ desire and the loss of nuance.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.abridged.zone/abridged-0-60-echo-submission-call/

11th Jul Flash and short body horror/biological horror fiction. PAYING,  CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGYhttps://www.scifiandscary.com/twisted-anatomy-submission-guidelines/

12th Jul ‘We’re a new online journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry of less than a page, spoken word videos, artwork and photography. We’ll showcase both known and excellent emerging authors in our featured sections.’ Theme: Thrills! Mystery! Suspense! https://masonstreetreview.org/submissions/

12th Jul ‘For our print magazine, we only accept short fiction, flash/micro fiction, nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives, etc), and original artwork (photographs, illustrations, paintings, etc) based on the designated monthly theme. Works translated into English are also welcome.’ Theme: the Macabre. https://www.litro.co.uk/submit/

12th Jul ‘Our Autumn 2020 Edition theme is Burning Up (although we might tweak the name!). Send us stories, poems, and essays that feel crisp and distinctly autumn-y. Send writing that warms us. Writing that shows the world burning around us. Writing that plays with fire. Writing that explores the slow burn, the fast-growing flame, the steady heat from embers deep inside you.’ https://capsulestories.com/submissions/

14th Jul 2000 word story on the theme of Immortality. ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING http://www.hawkandcleaver.com/submissions

15th Jul ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories from the point of view of the Zombie. Write your tales as if they are diary entries and tell our young middle-grade readers what daily life is like as a zombie.’ 4500-17,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.chipperpress.com/anthology-submissions/

‘About’ 15th Jul Speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING https://liquidimagination.silverpen.org/submissions/

15th Jul 50 word fiction on the theme of Guidelines for Home Cooking. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://www.blink-ink.org/submissions/

15th Jul ‘Augur is open from June 15-July 15 2020 for Issue 3.2, which is gently themed as “A Multiplicity of Futures”. We are especially looking for the following genres and themes:Afrofuturism, soft scifi, scifi-fabulism, scifi-fantasy, Indigenous futurity, hopepunk, dystopia, utopia, post-apoc, solarpunk, scifi-realism, Canadian scifi, ecofiction, & “hopeful futures”. We are hoping to position stories and poetry that centre on trauma, systemic oppression and harm alongside pieces that examine hope, better futures, and quiet bildungsromans. We are also interested in pieces that tackle both sides of this coin.’ PAYING http://www.augurmag.com/submissions/

15th Jul Black writers only: Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Revolution. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS https://causewaylit.submittable.com/submit

15th Jul Women over 60 only: theme: Justice. ‘The Editors choose a different Short Takes topic for every issue. Short Takes are usually short pieces, fiction or non-fiction (250-500 words), but can also be topical poetry, sometimes even drawings or photography. We’re especially interested in hearing about your experiences, but you can include your thoughts, dreams, ideas and opinions. Humor and irony are always appreciated!’ https://persimmontree.org/submissions/

15th Jul Flash and short fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Healing. http://activemuse.org/submit.php

15th Jul ‘The theme for the anthology is regret / u-turn / turning back / making changes, and the book will be calledWrong Way Go Back.’ Poetry, flash, and more. https://pureslush.com/submissions/current-submissions/wrong-way-go-back/

15th Jul Theme: Where We Live. We seek analytical articles, news reports, essays, poetry and fiction relating to housing, currently and historically, such as communes and squats, urban and rural, and activism around housing, rent strikes, evictions and blocking evictions, and living on the planet.’ https://www.fifthestate.org/contact-fifth-estate/call-for-submissions/

15th Jul Poem on the theme of Fire. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://wacoartsfest.org/wcaf/wordfest

15th Jul Poetry or CNF on the theme of Empty/Enough. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.snapdragonjournal.com/submit.html (Cathy’s note: only the first 100 submissions are free, so get yours in ASAP!)

17th Jul Poetry, essays and more on the theme of Growing systems of care for a more just and resilient future? PAYING https://www.humansandnature.org/minding-nature-submissions

18th Jul  ‘All writers who identify as BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), mixed-race or POC (people of colour) who call Scotland their home, irrespective of place of birth. All levels welcome (unpublished, published, solo or agented). What to submit: Collections of short stories and stand-alone novels of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy (and their sub-genres).’ https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/submissions

19th Jul Micropoems on the themes of Rapture/Freedom. https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/events

20th Jul Poetry on the theme of Body. ‘ Feel free to interpret this theme broadly. Beyond the human body, there are 8 million living species (give or take a million) on Earth today. There are also bodies of land, bodies of water, celestial bodies, body politic.’ https://feraljournal.wordpress.com/submissions/

20th Jul Philosophically-informed creative writing on the theme of The Body/Embodiment. PAYING https://www.bookxi.org/submit

23rd Jul Tick Tock – 500-word fiction on the theme of Time Travel.  CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.blackharepress.com/submissions/

24th Jul ‘Penumbra’s newly formed online presence Penumbraonline.org calls for work by Black authors and artists across genres and media. We accept art, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid literary genres for publication on www.Penumbraonline.org.’ https://www.csustan.edu/penumbra

25th Jul Writing 1000-7500 words on the theme of Omens. PAYING https://aelpress.com/index.php/2020/06/15/omens-anthology/

25th Jul Poetry, short fiction and more on the theme of Nature. https://constellatemagazine.com/submissions/

28th Jul Art, poetry and fiction on the theme of Time. https://talesfromtheforest.net/submissions/

31st Jul ‘Typehouse Literary Magazine is currently accepting submissions of poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art for our 20th issue, a jumbo print and PDF combined May/September issue, through July 31st, 2020. We are especially interested in underrepresented voices of all kinds.’ PAYING http://typehousemagazine.com/submissions/

31st Jul Urban nature writing on the theme of Fauna. PAYING https://www.stonecropreview.com/submissions/

31st Jul ‘The theme for the anthology is life / memoir / biography, and the book will be called 100 Lives. We plan to include 100 stories, essays and poems.’ https://pureslush.com/submissions/current-submissions/100-lives/

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Choices. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.amsterdamquarterly.org/submissions/

31st July ‘We publish new, previously unpublished work that engages with the natural world. We have a particular interest in work which encourages reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. Each issue includes a mix of poetry and fiction, alongside a selection of essays which may include creative non-fiction, criticism, and the occasional review of new creative work or of community-based environmental projects. We also welcome submissions in translation.’ PAYING https://channelmag.org/submissions-channel/

31st Jul ‘In a world where so many dark things go bump in the night, terror awaits around every corner as these authors take horror stories to the next level.’ Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

31st Jul ‘A new twist on fairytales with a fresh element: dragons. Each fairytale has been reimagined with these beasts based on the author’s preference. Wise dragons, evil dragons, elemental dragons, oh my! These classic characters will never see this coming.’ Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

31st Jul Artistic, erotic writing. https://theerozine.com/submissions/

31st Jul ‘We are seeking high-quality, stand alone novels and a potential novella series in the dark fantasy genre. At this time we are not interested in short story collections, erotica, strictly religious fiction, YA Fiction, or poetry.’ ROYALTIES https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/publishing

31st Poetry, fiction and CNF on the theme of Football. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS https://mcneesereview.mcneese.edu/submissions/ (Cathy’s note: only US contributors are paid. The rest of us get extra contributor copies.)

31st Jul Poems on the theme of Dwelling. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://magmapoetry.com/category/submissions/current-submissions/

31st Jul Theme: Deep Time. ‘In addition to submissions explicitly envisioning the prehuman past, we encourage speculative explorations of the overlap of geological and archaeological deep time, Dreamtime, post-Capitalocene future deep time, the flora and fauna of your childhood doodles, the interval between falling asleep and waking, the suspended time of fossilization, and the interior archives and libraries of the hollow Earth. Let’s curl ourselves into the mane of a mummified dinosaur before the long-awaited glaciation of fatbergs consumes us all…’ All types of media considered. https://peculiarmormyrid.com/submissions/

31st Jul Young writers only (Cathy’s note: it’s not clear what the criterion is): Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, up to 6000 words. PAYING https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/schedule/

31st Jul Poetry, flash and short fiction. ‘For this call we’re looking for things that have been buried, should be buried, could be buried or need to be buried. Undead or barely living? Sure! Buried treasure or buried secret? We want to see it. Whatever it is, dig it up or tamp it down. An element of your story must include the ‘buried’ theme.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY https://thingsinthewell.wordpress.com/Open-submissions/

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Choices. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.amsterdamquarterly.org/submissions/

31st Jul Short story 1000-5000 words, set in Budapest. http://panel-magazine.com/budapest-prose-anthology-to-be-out-in-2020/

July 31st ‘This anthology is ONLY open to authors who themselves are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary who have not been published or scheduled to be published in the first six Best Women’s Erotica of the Year volumes edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Stories MUST be from the point of view of a character who is a woman, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary.’ Erotic fiction 2000-5000 words on the theme of Surprise. PAYING https://www.bweoftheyear.com/call-for-submissions

31st Jul Poems on the theme of Stranger. https://finishedcreatures.co.uk/

31st Jul ‘ The mission of the Awakenings is to MAKE VISIBLE the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. Awakenings is home to a multi-media art gallery featuring the artistic expressions of rape and sexual abuse survivors. By showcasing stories of survival, we are helping survivors find peace and healing while simultaneously challenging the cultural taboos that prevent an honest discussion of sexual violence.’ This issue’s theme: Legacy. https://theawakeningsfoundation.submittable.com/submit

31st Jul ‘We feature writers who identify as female or non-binary and who also have a strong connection to Canada.’ Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Gender & Technology. PAYING https://understoreymagazine.ca/submissions/

1st Aug ‘Super-powered pulp heroes. Supers with a single power who fight crime or villains. Good folks versus bad folks, no gray areas, no amorality, no Byronic heroes. And no non-powered heroes. So think of characters like Doc Savage, the Rocketeer, Zorro, The Phantom, and Flash Gordon, but with powers and ideals like Superman and Wonder Woman (in their earlier renditions).’ 2000-9000 words. PAYING https://www.rogue-blades.com/RBE-Submissions

1st Aug ‘The left side of the brain is associated with logical and analytical characteristics, while the right brain with creativity. We’d welcome stories from both sides of the brain. Stories could feature puzzle solving and ingenuity, inverted tv tropes, inventions (clockwork, practical, or Rube Goldberg), masterful creations (like JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations), and social commentary.’ PAYING https://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/pages/thirdflatiron

1st Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING http://mikrokosmosjournal.com/submit-2/

1st Aug 2000 word story on the theme of Underwater. ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING http://www.hawkandcleaver.com/submissions

1st Aug ‘We’re looking for supernatural fantasy stories, supernatural mystery stories, supernatural pulp stories, supernatural adventure stories, supernatural horror stories and any other kind of supernatural story so long as it makes use of the 1980s milieu.’ 4000-20,000 words. ROYALTIES https://18thwall.com/open-submissions-pizza-parties-poltergeists

1st Aug ‘Verse, poesy, and gestures various: collected seasonally.’ https://theselines.org/submissions.html

1st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Together. https://halfwaydownthestairs.net/submissions/

1st Aug Art and visual poems. https://theindianapolisreview.com/submit/

1st Aug Horror stories 3000-6000 words. ‘The theme is: local lore or location-based oddities. Write something dark into a setting you’ve experienced — it could be a place you’ve lived, or even just somewhere you’ve visited on a vacation.’ PAYING https://cemeterygatesmedia.com/2020/01/10/2020-anthology-submission-guidelines/

1st Aug Story 300-5000 words beginning with the line: ‘The Simmons public library was a melting pot of the haves and have-nots, a mixture of homeless people and the wealthy older residents of the nearby neighborhood.’ PAYING http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

1st Aug Dark fantasy 5000-15,000 words on the theme of Elemental Magic. PAYING https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

SUBMISSIONS WITH NO KNOWN DEADLINES

(Publishers might not give out their pay rates on their submission pages, so make sure to find them out before signing a contract!)

SF/F novels. ROYALTIES https://www.penguin.com/publishers/daw/

Catholic poetry. https://www.catholicpoetry.org/submissions

Poetry, fiction and more. https://medium.com/mehfil/submission-guidelines-5d8b479b3a19

Flash narratives up to 1000 words. PAYING http://www.smokelong.com/submissions/guidelines/

‘Black Ocean considers full-length poetry manuscript queries year-round. To be considered, please submit an artist statement, biography with list of previous publications, and a 15-20 page sample from the manuscript.’ https://www.blackocean.org/submit

Writing for the International Times, the magazine of resistance. Please send work to internationaltimesmag@gmail.com

Speculative fiction, poetry and more. PAYING https://hexagonmagazine.wordpress.com/submit/

‘We endorse diversity in our content and enjoy journalism, photography, philosophy, illustrations, commentary, criticism, fiction, satire, food recipes and comics.’ https://www.thelotusisland.com/collaboration

‘Send us the wild and divine, the eccentric and experimental.’ https://www.wordsandwhispers.org/submit

Open until filled: dark prose 3000-5000 words. PAYING https://www.esskayebooks.com/rules.html

‘Flash fiction up to 1000 words. Any topic or genre with a weird slant. Short stories up to 3k words. Any topic or genre with a weird slant. Weird Mask is being released quarterly.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://www.weirdmask.com/submissions/

Horror fiction or writing about horror. https://morbidlybeautiful.com/now-accepting-submissions/

‘We are open to original stories in all subgenres of fantasy, ranging from fairy tales to science fantasy, weird westerns to romantic fantasy, epic fantasy to urban fantasy, swords & sorcery to quiet character studies, and everything in between. Regardless of setting, stories should be centered on character and emotion (though the occasional thrilling adventure is welcome).’ PAYING https://farthertrees.wordpress.com/submissions/

‘We want to represent all thats thrilling about the new wave of LGBT+ poets. If you’re a poet, even if you’ve never been published before, we want to read your work.’ PAYING https://www.fourteenpoems.com/submit

‘We are seeking work that explores the theme of obsession in all its variances and contexts.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://www.salopress.com/crush-an-anthology-of-obsession/

‘Plenitude Magazine is Canada’s only queer literary magazine. We promote the growth and development of LGBTQ2S+ literature through online publication of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews by both emerging and established LGBTQ2S+ writers. We especially encourage BIPOC and trans writers to submit their work.’ PAYING http://plenitudemagazine.ca/submit/submissionguidelines/

‘We publish stories, art and poetry that examine the connection between animals and humans, and the ways we and our lives are more similar than people assume.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS https://www.honeyguidemag.com/submit

‘Yasou! A Celebration of Life is a creative talent magazine accepting poetry, micro poetry, haiku and senryu, lyrics, original photography and artwork submissions all year long.  Think A Celebration of Life! What does it mean to you??? That is what we want to see. Whether it be poetry art, music, food etc… Send it our way. We will read all styles but prefer the traditional and classic styles including meter and rhyme.’ https://yasouezine.blogspot.com/p/submission-guidelin.html

Sonnets, for publication ‘sometime in 2020’. https://rhizomepress.com/

Until filled: ‘For our Minibooks line, we are seeking original, previously unpublished stories of the highest quality between 5,000 and 20,000 words (hard limits, no exceptions; word count of the body only).’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://mannisonpress.com/submission-call-mannison-minibooks/

The submission details of this aren’t out until July 1st, so I don’t know what they are yet. I just like Scottish litmags… apologies if there are problems with this listing! https://www.pushingouttheboat.co.uk/submissions/

Comps and calls for June 2020

Hello everyone,

I said to my webbie, “I must do a glossary. Some of the terms I use can be confusing.”

He gave me a withering look.

“You’ve already got one! It’s in the FAQs!”

To my surprise, he was right. I’d completely forgotten doing this! So if you’ve ever wondered what spec fic is, or SF/F/H, or flash, just click on the FAQs to find out. The one I haven’t mentioned there is MS, which means Manuscript. The plural is MSS.

Three cheers for webbies with memories!

I sometimes talk about my successes here, so I should talk about my less than successful attempts too. I have had a LOT of rejections recently. I don’t know whether or not there’s a particular reason – I usually find that both acceptances and rejections come in clumps anyway. After many years I still get that deflated feeling, but now I know not to draw any depressing conclusions from it (“I can’t write” “This piece is terrible” etc). After feeling sad for a little while, and occasionally boiling with righteous rage if the editor/publisher has said something unfair or unkind, I shrug my shoulders and get on with another piece, or send the same piece somewhere else after a re-read to see if there’s a problem with it.

This is a bumper edition, with extra opportunities without deadlines, so have a go!

Best wishes and stay safe,

Cathy x


Here are some writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry.

As usual I’m passing these on in good faith but mistakes may be made, so do check all the submission guidelines carefully. Any info in quotes comes from the website itself and any dates at the start are deadlines. Also, I don’t know the sources personally, so do check them out for yourselves.

There are three headings (click/tap to jump straight to them):

If you aren’t a submitter (why not? Nothing to lose! Rejection is something we all share!) then the themes can make great writing prompts/exercises.

Although I mention only fiction or poetry, many publications accept non-fiction, art or other forms, so do check if interested. Good luck and do let me know of successes! The links are in the comments, and any dates at the start are deadlines.

Where possible, I have marked the relevant entries with ‘paying’, ‘contributor copy’ etc. However, you are best off checking the info for yourselves as I am not infallible and the info isn’t always available or clear. Please be aware that a contributor copy may be in print or digital format. Also, some publications offer several things, eg payment as well as a contributor copy. Where this is the case, I have assumed that payment is enough of an incentive, so I haven’t listed everything. It’s a rough guide and should be treated as such.

COMPETITIONS

4th Jun 3 – 15 ten minute episodes of 8-10 minutes each (suitable for new platform Quibi – designed for mobile phones) showing what a sustainable society might look like. PAYING http://www.greenstories.org.uk/about-the-competition/

15th Jun ‘…currently accepting entries for the eighth annual Christopher Hewitt Award. Named in honour of A&U’s first literary editor, the award showcases outstanding responses to the AIDS pandemic and the realities of individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction.’ PAYING https://aumag.org/chrishewittawards/

15th Jun Speculative flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submission-guidelines

19th Jun One category (Chairman’s Prize) accepts entries from non-British citizens living overseas. British citizens and British Citizens living abroad: poems about lockdown. Three categories are over 70s only – one category is over 60s. Unlimited entries. PAYING https://www.kinglearprizes.org.uk/

19th Jun Poems about the lockdown and beyond. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE COMPETITION https://www.writeoutloud.net/competitions/beyondthestorm

28th Jun Poem by a poet living in Europe. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/europe/submissions/poetsofeurope.html(I recommend the waxpoetryart comps – I have experience of them, and they’re lovely)

28th Jun Nigeria only: poem up to 35 lines ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/nigeria/submissions/poetsofnigeria.html

28th Jun Lighthearted poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/angela/submissions/lighthearted02.html

30th Jun ‘The award is open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution. Digital-only publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement.’ For manuscripts of short stories, two or more novellas, or a combination of short stories and novellas, between 150 and 300 pages. PAYING (LOTS) https://upittpress.org/drue-heinz-literature-prize-submission-guidelines/

1st Jul Novel MS. PAYING https://thenovelprize.com/ (Cathy’s note: there are different publishers to submit to, depending whereabouts in the world you live.)

SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES

2nd Jun Poetry, fiction and nonfiction by immigrants and refugees. ‘Please note than, in addition to to our usual eligibility criteria, we are also accepting, for this volume only, submissions from non-immigrant artists who have experienced displacement as a result of climate disaster.’ Theme: Climate. PAYING https://barelifereview.submittable.com/submit

5th Jun Poetry, prose and especially prose poems, on the theme of Carnival. https://www.perhappened.com/submit.html

5th Jun Poetry and more. https://thebluenib.com/submit-to-the-blue-nib-2/

7th Jun Poetry and fiction on the theme of Secrets. https://thewriterscafemagazine.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/the-writers-cafe-magazine-issue-20-secretscallout/

7th Jun Spec flash fiction on the theme of Taste. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS  https://gohavok.com/submission-guidelines/upcoming-themes/ (Cathy’s note: they pay if they include your piece in one of their anthologies.)

8th Jun Women only: poetry and fiction on the theme of Wildlife. PAYING https://mslexia.co.uk/themed-writing/

8th Jun Poetry and more for this Quaker magazine. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.friendsjournal.org/submissions/

11th Jun Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Science. http://rabbitpoetry.com/?page_id=35

12th Jun Spec fic 1000-5000 words on the theme of It Calls from the Sky. ROYALTIES https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

12th Jun Poetry, short fiction and more on the theme of Challenges. https://sonderlit.wordpress.com/

14th Jun 2000-word story on the theme of Something Left on the Doorstep. ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING http://www.hawkandcleaver.com/submissions

15th Jun ‘Send your flash memoir and fiction of up to 300 words, your poetry of up to 12 lines, and your visual art.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://littlesomethingspress.com/

15th Jun ‘The writing can be about cancer, loss/grief or surviving cancer, but doesn’t have to be. I’m only accepting UK submissions for this one. I’m looking for: Creative non-fiction or Short stories up to 2000 words Poetry up to 50 lines. Send them to anthology@amandasteelwriter.com with a bio of up to 100 words.’ CANCER CHARITY ANTHOLOGY

15th Jun Drabbles: ‘ Unlike ‘Japanese Fantasy Drabbles’ which was all one culture, this anthology is looking for stories set in different Southeast Asian countries; such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. Main characters should be Asian, from the same country as your setting.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://insigniastories.com/subs/

15th Jun ‘Fire and Ice is seeking full length novels that take place during the holiday season (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years.) Novels should preferably be light hearted and humorous, and do not have to be romantic in nature, but can be.’ YA/NA. ROYALTIES  http://www.fireandiceya.com/subs.html

15th Jun Fiction 1500-4500 words on the theme of Race, Identity and Gender. https://thebombayreview.com/submit/

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Lost. http://pidgeonholes.com/

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Delicious. http://www.youngravensliteraryreview.org/submission-guidelines.html

15th Jun Speculative poetry on the theme of Sex. PAYING http://www.eyetothetelescope.com/submit.html

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Resistance. https://writingforpeace.org/dovetales-submissions/

15th Jun ‘Through Other Eyes is an anthology of tales featuring non-human protagonists. Become someone—and something—else. Submissions are now open! We’re eager for monsters, androids, vampires, elves, and aliens, but we’re especially excited to meet species of your own design.’ 1500-5000 words. PAYING http://www.allworldswayfarer.com/submissions/

16th Jun ‘We want flash fiction that surprises and engages us; that’s powerful and dynamic; that’s unexpected and humorous; and that dazzles us with language and emotional resonance. Pieces should be more than a punchline or joke, and submissions that trade on body part humour are unlikely to be accepted.’ 750 words or fewer. http://necessaryfiction.com/info

16th Jun ‘The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is looking for, as you might guess, “compressed creative arts.” We accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way.’ PAYING https://matter.submittable.com/submit

20th Jun Poems and stories on the theme of New Build. https://wordsforthewild.co.uk/?p=9331

21st Jun ‘ Write us a story or poem or song that responds or reacts or is inspired  by the poem Tymes goe by Turns, (by Robert Southwell) or some concept in it. We are also open to  musical settings of the actual poem – I think there is at least one  already.’ https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit

26th Jun Poetry and fiction. PAYING https://www.thirdpointpress.com/submission-guidelines/

26th Jun ‘I’m seeking tales of cosmic dread featuring protagonists who are hiding an otherness. White male mechanics who are the epitome of traditional masculinity in public but submissive on the weekends. Respected academics who collect life-sized dolls. Inner city teenagers who secretly want to live in a library not graffiti it. Protagonists who aren’t what those around them would consider normal, but aren’t publicly defined by it.’ 1000-10,000 words. PAYING https://davidjhiggins.wordpress.com/submission-calls/call-for-submissions-outsiders-within/

30th Jun ‘We’re looking for previously unpublished prose by writers of colour—non-fiction especially, but we will consider fiction and poetry—on nature, place, and environment.’ PAYING https://www.thewillowherbreview.com/submissions

30th Jun Speculative fiction novellas 17,500-40,000 words. ROYALTIES https://www.dancingstarpress.com/submissions/

30th Jun Poetry. https://www.bathmagg.com/submissions/

30th Jun Australia and New Zealand only: ‘We are looking for short stories 5000 – 15000 words in which the presence and the methods of the great detective can be felt and referenced, but where he himself can be mentioned but not actually appear.’ PAYING http://www.cobblestonescribe.com/specul8/subs.html

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Landscape. https://www.dustpoetry.co.uk/submissions-1

30th Jun Western horror. ‘Stories should take place in the western United States between 1850 and 1900. This can include western Canada and northern Mexico. Preferred length is 1k to 5k words, although we will accept stories to 8k words. We tend to see too many sheriff stories.’ PAYING https://steampunktrails.blogspot.com/

30th Jun ‘Women of the Woods is an upcoming collection about the lore, myths, and legends of women who dwell in the forest.’ Stories 2000-8000 words. PAYING https://www.fabledcollective.com/anthology-submissions.html

30th Jun Writing on the theme of Solitude. ‘Here at Tiny Spoon, we are especially interested in experimental work, although not exclusively. If you’ve had trouble finding a home for your work because it doesn’t fit into generally recognized categories, chances are your home is right here with us.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://tinyspoon.org/submissions/

30th Jun Canada only:  ‘We accept unsolicited submissions for publication in our digital magazine from Canadian writers in the following categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature (up to and including YA).’ PAYING https://www.cloudlakeliterary.ca/submit

30th Jun Tales of deadly women who will stop at nothing until vengeance is theirs. 5k-10k words. PAYING https://www.sinistersmilepress.com/submissions-v3

30th Jun ‘We are open to submissions of full-length poetry collections. Submissions should be at least 40 pages, We have no definitive preference for what are looking for, we enjoy a variety of genres and styles and consider anything. If it’s good enough for us we’ll take it. Please consider buying a book so you know what we produce and how we publish, though this will not affect your chances at all.’ ROYALTIES https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/submissions (thanks to the poet John McCullough https://www.johnmccullough.co.uk/ for this one)

30th Jun Fiction 2000-8000 words on climate change and the future. PAYING https://latelythesun.com/

30th Jun ‘Submitted works should be inspired by one or more of the themes: isolation, disruption, abandon, and what is essential. It is up to the author to define and make the argument for what is essential in times like these.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.undergroundwritersassociation.com/submit

30th Jun ‘Our theme for 2020 is Lifelines: books that help us get through periods of isolation. “Books” can be any one-way form of communication: a box of letters, a podcast, skywriting — anything the recipient can’t easily reply to. “Isolation” can be either physical or social: an astronaut alone in a spaceship; a person in a place where no one speaks their language; someone in prison.’ https://www.castofwonders.org/2020/05/announcing-banned-books-week-2020-and-guest-editor-laura-pearlman/#more-6605

30th Jun Gothic flash fiction up to 1500 words. PAYING https://loveletterstopoe.com/submit-a-story/

30th Jun Love poems. https://fragmentedvoices.com/submissions/

30th Jun ‘In this post-apocalyptic anthology, nothing matters except survival. In a world full of humans pitted against each other, how can there be anyone left to trust?’  Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

30th Jun Writing and art on the https://feelszine.com/pages/submissions

30th Jun ‘At the for cartoons, short stories and funny takes on life.’ Writing by women on the theme of Conspiracy Theory. https://funnypearls.com/submit-a-smile/

30th Jun ‘We don’t strictly adhere to a theme, but works that deal with ISOLATION, SURVIVAL, REVIVAL, MAKING CONNECTIONS, and MAKING THINGS HAPPEN are welcome in the current submission period.’ Poetry, fiction and more. https://strandspublishers.weebly.com/call-for-submissions.html

30th Jun New Zealand only: Flash up to 250 words on the theme of Matariki. http://www.flash-frontier.com/submissions/

30th Jun ‘In celebration of Anne Sexton, The Gold Issue will feature poetry, prose, and essays about and inspired by Anne Sexton and Transformations.’ https://fairytalereview.com/submit/

30th Jun ‘We want complete stories that explain the last war of the elven race.’ 4500 – 19,500 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://zimbellhousepublishing.com/anthology_submission/

30th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Ritual. https://www.duendeliterary.org/submissions

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Promise. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES  https://www.borderlands.org/submit

1st Jul Poetry and prose on various themes. https://ojalartsjournal.submittable.com/submit (Cathy’s note: the first 100 submissions are fee-free each month, but after that they charge, so get in quickly!)

1st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Love and Sacrifice. PAYING https://writershedpress.com/submissions/

1st Jul Fiction 7000-15,000 on the theme of Elemental Magic. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

1st Jul 2000-word story on the theme of Ghost Ships.  ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING http://www.hawkandcleaver.com/submissions

1st Jul Poetry, flash, art and short fiction on the theme of The Tiny Red Suitcase. PAYING http://themaliterarysociety.com/submissions.html (Cathy’s note: those of us outside the USA may submit electronically.)

1st Jul ‘Still Point Arts Quarterly is now accepting writing submissions (fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, poetry; 5000 words maximum) on the theme The Secret Life of Objects.’ https://www.shantiarts.co/SPAQ/SPAQ_calls.html

1st Jul Science Fiction stories of various lengths. PAYING http://bingewatchingcure.com/science-fiction-edition/

1st Jul Story up to 3000 words. Must include an election or voting process. http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/submissions/

SUBMISSIONS WITH NO KNOWN DEADLINES

(Publishers might not give out their pay rates on their submission pages, so make sure to find them out before signing a contract!)

Three-line poems. PAYING https://threelinepoetry.com/submit/terms.php

‘We welcome writers/artists/creators of all ages, backgrounds, sexual identities, and experience, but we’re mainly a publication for women by women. In particular, we want dissections of the ways in which female sexuality is a form of unpaid labour, and the various ways we are rebalancing the scale.’ PAYING https://www.thewhorticulturalist.com/submit

‘We’re on the hunt for: novels, novellas and poetry collections. Our focus is: literary fiction. Here is a list of adjectives that define the writing we want to publish: intelligent, experimental, real, deep, alternative, fresh, brave, thought-provoking.’ https://www.cephalopress.com/submissions/

Record yourself, saying what word you’d like to bin and why. https://fairacrepress.co.uk/the-word-bin/

Poetry and flash fiction. https://birdsongjournal.blogspot.com/p/guidelines.html

Poetry, interviews, reviews, flash fiction, or short stories. PAYING https://www.westreview.org/submit.html

‘This project aims to bring as many art forms as possible into conversation with each other through the expression of a unifying theme. On Sunday evening I’ll post the prompt which gives you till the following Saturday, Midnight to submit your pieces.’ https://artisticdifferencesproject.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Various MSS. https://www.thurstonhowlpublications.com/submissions

‘Derelict Lit exists to republish writing that is hard to find because the original publisher is defunct. No restrictions on form, genre, or word limit.’ http://malarkeybooks.com/derelict-lit-1

‘We accept art in the following categories : poetry, essay, visual art, & photography.’ https://thebookshelfmag.weebly.com/submissions.html

Articles, short stories and poems. https://liveencounters.net/how-to-contribute-to-live-encounters/

‘SPORAZINE is a journal of experimental literature written by trans people.’ https://nothnx.com/sporazine#/about-sporazine

‘Saccharine Poetry is a “Christian journal” – what we mean by that – is that Saccharine Poetry is interested in creatively engaging with Christianity and culture.’ https://saccharinepoetry.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

‘One Art aims to publish poetry that adds value to the life of our readers. A poem must not only be good, it must be lasting. Ask yourself what poems you return to again and again. Those are the poems we want to share with the world.’ https://oneartpoetry.wordpress.com/submissions/

‘Highland Park Poetry has been posting daily poems on our Facebook page. These are brief poems about the coronavirus, sheltering at home, as well as poems that inspire calm and perseverance. Featured poems are then published on our website under “Schedule of Events.” Please visit www.HighlandParkPoetry.org and/or like/follow us on Facebook. TO SUBMIT – email jennifer@highlandparkpoetry.org poems as .doc attachment or as text in body of the email. Shorter poems preferred.’

‘Established in 2016 AURELIA LEO is an independent publisher and bookseller. Located in Louisville, Kentucky we specialize in diverse speculative fiction, namely: horror, fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, and paranormal romance.’ PAYING https://aurelialeo.com/submissions/

Horror. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://www.neonmagazine.co.uk/guidelines/

‘We at Three Crows want your stories of dark and weird fantasy, horror, and sci-fi, with complex characters making morally ambiguous decisions.’ 1000-10,000 words. PAYING http://threecrowsmagazine.com/submissions/

‘We publish fiction, poetry, personal and critical essays, reviews, interviews, novel excerpts, and the unclassifiable. First and foremost, fiction/poetry/personal essays should be true to the author’s intentions and censor nothing in response to the vague concept of an audience.’ https://thecollidescope.com/submit/

Pandemic diaries by the over 50s. https://www.passagerbooks.com/pandemic-diaries/ (Cathy’s note: they limit monthly submissions, so send your diary off ASAP!)

MSS of poetry, fiction and more. https://giramondopublishing.com/contribute/

‘Dead Head Reviews accepts submissions of book and movie reviews, essays, articles, short stories/poems, interviews.’ https://deadheadreviews.com/submission-policies/

‘We face an unprecedented era of extremity under Covid-19. We share that as humans. Our stories differ across nation and other structures that web the human world. We can witness from where we are and share what we witness. Let’s write as one world of poets.’ https://globalpoemic.wordpress.com/blog/

‘Submit your poetry, prose, art and photography for publication in our first ever issue- we’re looking for work that is honest, personal, and riveting.’ https://www.flarejournal.com/submit

‘Share with us your lockdown experience. We want to hear your lockdown story. We are looking for stories of hope, resilience and strength in this situation that has blanketed the whole world.’ https://nalubaalereview.wordpress.com/

‘We publish expressive writing, free writing, non-fiction, personal essay, memoir, reflective essay, poetry, prose, contemplative discourse, and creative non-fiction—all that originate from a writing prompt—by both established and emerging writers.’ https://www.journalofexpressivewriting.com/submit

Fiction, poetry and more. https://idleink.org/submit/

‘The “Poetry is Like Bread” Ghazal is a collaborative poem created by a world of poets to nourish us all through the Pandemic and to envision the world After.’ https://www.bowerypoetry.com/bread

Poetry with both Asian and speculative elements. https://insigniastories.com/submissions-poetry/

‘Poetry X Hunger is urging poets in this Now More than Ever moment to use their gift of words to raise voices against hunger as it accompanies the pandemic. Please consider writing a poem focused on this new hunger threat.’ https://www.poetryxhunger.com/uploads/1/2/5/7/125799040/call_to_action__april_1_2020.pdf

UNTIL FULL: ‘We are looking for stories and poetry about Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring and the folklore surrounding them along with all other associated correspondence.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://ironfaeriepublishing.com/open-anthology-calls/

UNTIL FULL: ‘Drabbles about the four horseman of the apocalypse.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://ironfaeriepublishing.com/open-anthology-calls/

‘We are open to submissions of full-length manuscripts of poetry, prose, and translated texts year-round at threadsunspress@gmail.com.’ https://threadsunspress.com/about-us/

Poem. PAYING https://www.momentpoetry.com/how-it-works/

‘We’re interested in previously unpublished writing on mental illness, neurodivergence, and suicide prevention. Send up to three poems or one prose piece in the body of the email.’ PAYING https://serotoninpoetry.org/contact/

Comps and calls for May 2020

Hello everyone,

Here we are again, and I’m thinking about those of you I know even a little – are you OK? Are your friends and loved ones OK? I hope so with all my heart. Whether I’ve chatted to you or not, best wishes and I hope you’re safe and well.

I had a strange and rather cheering experience this month: a poem of mine was rejected several years ago, but then a new judge looked through the old entries and liked mine, and so it is going to be written on a sign next to a sculpture in a beautiful park, in another country thousands of miles away! Isn’t that lovely? You never know what will happen with writing – give it a go.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Cathy x

Ps. Support Comps and Calls via Paypal or Patreon.


Here are some writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry.

As usual I’m passing these on in good faith but mistakes may be made, so do check all the submission guidelines carefully. Any info in quotes comes from the website itself and any dates at the start are deadlines. Also, I don’t know the sources personally, so do check them out for yourselves.

There are three headings (click/tap to jump straight to them):

If you aren’t a submitter (why not? Nothing to lose! Rejection is something we all share!) then the themes can make great writing prompts/exercises.

Although I mention only fiction or poetry, many publications accept non-fiction, art or other forms, so do check if interested. Good luck and do let me know of successes! The links are in the comments, and any dates at the start are deadlines.

Where possible, I have marked the relevant entries with ‘paying’, ‘contributor copy’ etc. However, you are best off checking the info for yourselves as I am not infallible and the info isn’t always available or clear. Please be aware that a contributor copy may be in print or digital format. Also, some publications offer several things, eg payment as well as a contributor copy. Where this is the case, I have assumed that payment is enough of an incentive, so I haven’t listed everything. It’s a rough guide and should be treated as such.

COMPETITIONS

3rd May Trans and/or nonbinary writers only: essay on the theme of Trans Everyday. PAYING http://www.jkp.com/jkpblog/writingprize/ (thanks to http://www.prizemagic.co.uk/html/writing_comps.htm for this one.)

3rd May ‘You must live in the Midwestern United States to submit. This includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.’ Poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/chicago/submissions/poetsofthemidwest.html

3rd May Under 25s only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/axil/submissions/poetsnowandforever.html

4th May ‘Please submit a full stage play script (minimum of 45 minutes in length, no maximum) and a one-page synopsis about the play in PDF format.’ PAYING https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/nick-darke-award

5th May Adventure writing by those age 11-21 (there are various age categories). PAYING https://www.wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org/index.php/awards/author-of-tomorrow-2019

6th May Spectator Competition No. 3148: selfie. Some famous painters are thought to have slipped small self-portraits into their other work. What if a well-known novelist had done the same with an added minor character? You are invited to submit the resulting extract (up to 150 words and please specify author). Email entries to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 6 May. NB. We are un-able to accept postal entries for the time being. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/competition-winners-clerihews-on-spectator-contributors

6th May ‘This one-year Award is an opportunity for a student who has graduated from any university in the UK, Ireland, the Commonwealth or the USA. During the year the Award Holder is expected to engage in a course of study or research, and produce a piece of original fiction, drama or poetry. Funding up to a maximum of £15,000 is provided to cover accommodation and living expenses during the course of the year.’ PAYING (LOTS) https://www.joh.cam.ac.uk/harper-wood-creative-writing-travel-award-2020

10th May: Ireland only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/dublin/submissions/poetsofireland.html

10th May Scotland only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/edinburgh/submissions/poetsofscotland.html

11th May New Zealand only: flash fiction up to 300 words. PAYING https://www.noted.co.nz/win/win-win/the-north-south-short-short-story-competition

13th May Spectator Competition No. 3149: lockdown lit. ‘You are invited to tweak an existing book or poem title for lockdown (e.g. Wigan Pier is Closed, ‘Not Upon Westminster Bridge’) and submit an extract of up to 150 words or a poem of up to 16 lines. Please email entries to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 13 May. NB. We are unable to accept postal entries for the time being.’  https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/spectator-competition-winners-poems-about-the-goats-of-llandudno

15th May Ekphrastic speculative flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING https://www.apparitionlit.com/submission-guidelines/#1571957803421-d0a22597-6822

15th May Poem for ‘Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus’ anthology. TRIP, CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY https://www.pittoc.com/thecontest

17th May Poem up to 35 lines. ‘Submissions are open to First Nations, Métis,and Inuit Canadians, Native Americans, and indigenous people livingaround the world.’ ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/firstnations/submissions/poetsofthefirstnations.html

17th May ‘You must live in the prairie provinces of Canadaor the plains states of the USA to submit.’ Poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/edmonton/submissions/prairiesandplains.html

24th May England only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/london/submissions/poetsofengland.html

24th May India only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES http://waxpoetryart.com/india/submissions/poetsofindia.html

31st May Under-represented writers in the UK only: poetry and/or fiction on the theme of Tomorrow. PAYING https://www.creativefuture.org.uk/for-writers/creative-future-writers-award/how-to-enter/

31st May Essay by ‘graduate and undergraduate high school students’ on one of the provided topics. PAYING https://admission-writer.com/blog/scholarship

1st Jun ‘The International Human Rights Art Festival announces the creation of this new literary award, celebrating poetry, short stories and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice. This ideal may be imagined in any manner in which the writer sees fit, however, it must be based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement. We do not publish work or engage with artists whose work is based in anger, or stems from an “us v. them” mentality.’ PAYING https://ihraf.org/

SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES

3rd May Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Mystery & Suspense. If your work is chosen, it will be read by a professional actor on the night of the performance. https://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html

3rd May Australians under 25: Comics and art. PAYING https://expressmedia.submittable.com/submit

4th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Stories from the Lockdown. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://londonreader.uk/

6th May Short and sweet flash fiction. https://www.liarsleaguenyc.com/submissions

7th May ‘We are looking for submissions of speculative autobiography from women and those who self-identify as women of all ages in the UK. Following the success of Disturbing the Beast, a collection of weird fiction stories by some of the best women writers in the UK, we are now on the lookout for submissions to an anthology of women’s memoir centred about experiences of mis-behaving bodies.’ PAYING https://boudiccapress.com/2017/11/11/submissions/

10th May ‘We are looking for pieces related to all things love, sex, and eroticism. But, we want to see your sensual expressions living within intersections.’ Poetry, prose and art. PAYING https://www.unsungliterarymagazine.com/submissions

10th May Poetry on the theme of Propaganda. Only Australian contributors will be paid. http://cordite.org.au/submissions/

10th May Poetry, essays and stories on the theme of Bacon. https://pureslush.com/submissions/current-submissions/the-tyranny-of-bacon/

11th May ‘Friends Journal comes out of the unprogrammed tradition of waiting worship, but many Friends throughout the country and the world have incorporated mainstream elements of Christian worship—pastors, planned sermons, liturgies, and even some sacraments. What are the different forms of pastoral worship and what are the unique challenges, benefits, and cautions for this style of Quakerism?’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.friendsjournal.org/submissions/

15th May ‘Adanna Literary Journal is a women focused print publication.  We are seeking essay, poetry, and creative non-fiction that speaks towards the experience of mothering in a time of crisis—caring for children, especially those with children in college returning from affected areas, those with younger children exposed to media and the anxiety of school shut-downs, as well as women who are caring for elderly relatives or those in the medical profession.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://adannajournal.blogspot.com/p/submission-guidelines.html

15th May ‘ We go for stories that are dark, literary; we are looking for the creepy, the weird and the unsettling.’ PAYING https://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/

15th May ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories that feature fully developed royal worlds of old. We want these stories to be middle-grader appropriate. Please watch the language. The stories we are looking for should feature a royal princess.’ 4500-17,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.chipperpress.com/anthology-submissions/

15th May Poetry and prose. https://counterclock.org/submission-guidelines

15th May ‘FULL METAL HORROR 3: The Unknown is seeking short stories 2,000-7,000 words long. We’re after sci horror, cosmic horror, and bizzaro horror.’ PAYING http://www.zombiepiratepublishing.com/Calls-For-Submissions/

15th May Women over 60 only: scroll down to find Short Takes. Theme: Election Stories. https://persimmontree.org/submissions/ (Cathy’s note; although this is billed as a contest, I only list contests that have prizes, so I’m treating this as a call.)

15th May Speculative poetry and fiction on the theme of Redemption. PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submission-guidelines/

15th May Theme: In the Labyrinth | Healing Pathways and Practices ‘We invite you to submit an essay up to 1000 words, a poem, or other artwork, in response to any of these prompts or what ‘In the Labyrinth’ means to you. We will choose several works to publish in our Quarterly and on our website.’ https://www.kosmosjournal.org/contribute-to-kosmos-quarterly/

15th May Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING http://www.benningtonreview.org/submit/

15th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Edges and Borders. http://www.pilgrimagepress.org/

15th May YA spec fic on the theme of Banned Books Week. PAYING https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/

15th May Poetry, fiction and lots more on the theme of SUSTAINability. https://thebezine.com/submission-guidelines/

15th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Plastic Identities. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS http://www.thefieldstonereview.ca/submissions.html

15th May Poetry. https://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/about/the-magazine/submissions/

16th May ‘Not every hero survives. All heroes pay a cost, some the ultimate sacrifice. We’re examining that theme of ultimate sacrifice as key to heroism. Not only the willingness to sacrifice all, but the act of sacrifice for the greater ’cause,’ whatever that may be. These are tales of loss. Death can be a cost of heroism–but it might not be the greater loss come story’s end. Heroes die.’ 2000-9000 words. PAYING https://www.rogue-blades.com/RBE-Submissions

25th May Poetry on the theme of Green. https://truthserumpress.net/submissions/verdant/

31st May Poetry, prose and more. Marginalized writers highly encouraged to submit. https://anatoliosmagazine.wordpress.com/guidelines/

31st May ‘DUETDUET is an experiment in blind dates and/or happy accidents publishing equal amounts of work from two separate authors (perhaps strangers), oriented in opposite directions. the results are curiously perfect hot air balloons.’ https://pitymilkpress.wordpress.com/submissions/

31st May Poetry, fiction and more including the elements: Lobe, Parrot, and Half-life. http://3elementsreview.com/submit

31st May ‘We are looking for stories about the humorous or serious sides of life after 60.’ Poetry or prose. PAYING https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

31st May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Toxic. http://www.ilanotreview.com/submissions-page/

31st May Poetry chapbooks. https://pitymilkpress.wordpress.com/submissions/

31st May NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA ONLY: ‘We’re limiting this callout to current or former Australian or New Zealand residents and citizens. We want memorable, dark fiction/horror stories that could only happen (or be told) here in Australia or New Zealand. Be inspired by the people, country, history, geography, cultures, myths and legends, but please be culturally sensitive.’ 4000-8000 words (approximately) PAYING https://thingsinthewell.wordpress.com/open-submissions/

31st May Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual arts. Oyster River Pages looks for language, stories, and images that speak to what it means to be alive in this world. https://www.oysterriverpages.com/submit

31st May ‘Leaping Clear is accepting work for the Fall 2020 issue only from accomplished writers and artists with a dedicated meditation practice. Any and all traditions of meditation are acceptable: Buddhist, Sufi, Yoga, Christian, Jewish, TM, Mindfulness, and integrated mind-body practices such as yoga and qi gong. Please let us know in your cover letter if your dedicated practice is in a tradition we haven’t mentioned.’ https://www.leapingclear.org/submissions-spring-2020

31st May ‘For this anthology, Temptation Press is looking for short stories centered around what it means to be marked. Dig deep into your writing skillset to avoid a ‘typical’ erotic read. Pick one POV and show the reader what is happening. What does the mark stand for? How does one become marked? Is the mark a paranormal distinction? Is it a right of passage? Is it a clan distinction? Is it ownership? While this is an erotic collection, the plot is what our readers really want.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://www.temptationpress.com/anthology-calls-for-submissions/

31st May Poetry, flash fiction and more. https://florafiction.com/submit/

1st June ‘Send me your chilling horror, your stories that are set firmly in the genre, tagging the tropes and atmospherics of things that will cause you to have nightmares and not be able to escape the dark, even when you pull the covers over your head and sleep with the light on.’ PAYING https://cronegirlspress.com/submissions/

1st Jun ‘We are looking for afrofuturist fiction, poetry, and essays written by authors who are specifically of Black and/or African descent.’ PAYING  http://www.speculativecity.com/submissions/

1st June ‘Future//Tense: Sex is an anthology of transfuturistic science-fiction exploring the way sex, intimacy, and kink may change over time, from the near future to far, on Earth or other planets, in humans or those from the stars.’ PAYING https://hybrid.ink/submit/anthologies/future-tense/sex/

1st Jun Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING https://thebluenib.com/submit-to-the-blue-nib/

1st Jun ‘Send me your stories of lights in the sky, a storm that brings with it more than rain, comets that crash, aliens that secretly invade, or a wishing star that is hell-bent on revenge. The stories themselves do not have to take place in the sky, but the evil bad does need to come from it in some way or form. We are looking for horror.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

1st Jun ‘Every tradition has its holy days, sacred festivals, and important dates. Send us poems about Beltane, Dia de Muertos, Walpurgisnacht, and Diwali. Send us short fiction set during Anthesteria, Samhain, and Saturnalia. Send us essays about honoring Artemis and Pan for Arbor Day, how to avoid consumer madness during Yule, the recognition of (non-monotheist) holy days by school districts, and the portrayal of particular holy days in literature.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING https://eternalhauntedsummer.com/about/

1st Jun ‘The theme for our Summer 2020 issue is Heroes, however given this time of uncertainty we will also accept anyhealth-related story making this issue an open call. We encourage our community to use this creative outlet as a place of healing, exploration, and release of the anxiety that exists in the world right now.’ https://pleaseseeme.com/submissions/

1st Jun ‘Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for Mother of Mountains: A Devotional for Cybele and Attis…The editor is interested in a variety of material, including but not limited to: prayers, poems, rituals, hymns, essays, artwork, short stories, plays, recipes, and new translations of ancient and public domain works.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/calls-for-submissions/mother-of-mountains-a-devotional-for-cybele-and-attis/

1st Jun Dark, eerie speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of The Great Outdoors. PAYING http://talesmoonlitpath.com/submissions/

1st Jun ‘Soul. Resistance. The end. We’re surrounded by energy, shared with symbols, some sacred, some just circuits, some nearly forgotten or unknown. Will you resist, or discover your frequency and share the universe?’ Poetry, short prose and art. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://www.pcsj.org/caesuracall.html

1st Jun Poetry and essays on the theme of Split Tongues. https://www.natbrut.com/submit

1st Jun Poetry and fiction on the theme of Lazy, Hazy, Crazy. PAYING https://sites.google.com/site/bethlehemwritersroundtable/submissions

SUBMISSIONS WITH NO KNOWN DEADLINES

‘We have decided to launch a new magazine to complement our existing poetry journal that will feature a mixture of photography, poetry-graphy (like Instapoetry), short stories, six-word stories, and drawings. We plan on adding more genres to this mix after a few issues have been released.’

https://abpoetryjournal.com/creative-arts-journal-submissions/ (Cathy’s note: it’s free to submit one poem – you only have to pay if you submit more.)

‘We publish novels, novellas, and collections in a variety of genres, and though we focus on science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and horror, we’d love to branch out to speculative fiction, mysteries, non-fiction, and anything else you can come up with. Our goal is to publish fantastic books all year long.’ ROYALTIES https://www.branchingrealitiespublishing.com/submissions

‘Another New Calligraphy seeks work exploring the human experience, our internal worlds, and life among others; these complex systems are often clearest in our slightest moments.’ Poetry, flash and lots more. http://www.anothernewcalligraphy.com/submissions.html

‘Hard-as-nails crime fiction. About 1500-5000 words.’ PAYING http://all-due-respect.blogspot.com/p/review-policy.html

‘CRAFT explores the art of fiction, celebrating both emerging and established writers. We focus on the craft of writing and how the elements of craft make a good story shine. We feature new and republished fiction, critical pieces on craft, interviews, book annotations, and much more.’ PAYING https://www.craftliterary.com/submit/ (Cathy’s note: thanks to https://fundsforwriters.com/ for this one)

Poetry, fiction, art and more. ‘Themes: All things considered, Optimistic apocalypse, On doing nothing, When this is all over.’ PAYING https://www.pandemicpublications.com/submit

Fiction up to 2000 words. https://www.scribblelit.com/about

‘Annick Press is currently accepting submissions of picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and non-fiction for kids of all ages. Our stories feature contemporary themes (even if the setting is historical) and aim to instill kids with the joy of reading.’ https://www.annickpress.com/Submission-Guidelines

Canada only: ‘In these difficult times, Plenitude wants to hear your stories. Our call for submissions is asking for writers who identify as LGBTQ2S+ to share their experiences of isolation from a queer and/or intersectional and/or racialized viewpoint. How are you coping (or not coping) with self-isolation and social distancing?’ Poetry, fiction and CNF. PAYING http://plenitudemagazine.ca/call-for-canadian-submissions-queer-isolation-in-a-pandemic/

‘Plenitude Magazine is Canada’s only queer literary magazine. We aim to promote the growth and development of LGBTQ2S+ literature through online publication of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews by both emerging and established LGBTQ2S+ writers. We especially encourage BIPOC and trans writers to submit their work. Submissions are open all year round to Canadian, American, and international writers.’ PAYING http://plenitudemagazine.ca/submit/submissionguidelines/

‘As the publishing house of the Church of Scotland, Saint Andrew Press has an exciting and varied catalogue of around 200 titles… Our future publishing programme will continue to engage with a wide range of issues. Our titles will aim to help readers to discover, share and deepen their Christian faith and to explore spirituality, faith, culture and ethical and moral issues in today’s world.’ https://standrewpress.hymnsam.co.uk/contact-us/submission-guidelines

‘We publish picture books for readers aged up to 10 years.’ http://hogsbackbooks.com/HBB/pages/About-us.html

Flash fiction. PAYING https://www.reflex.press/flash-fiction-submissions/

‘The Storyteller Series is a podcast bringing back classic radio theatre featuring engaging storytelling delivered to you monthly. From narrated tales to character driven stories performed by multiple voice actors. All will bring you on an audible journey.’ 7000-10,000 words. PAYING https://nightshiftradio.com/submissions