Comps and calls for August 2015

Here are August 2015’s writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry. 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 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!

cathy_holding_book_SMALLNEW! I’ve won eighteen writing competitions and literary awards. I’ve written all about how to do it – and how NOT to do it – in my new book How To Win Writing Competitions! It’s available from Amazon (US or UK), as a Kindle eBook (US or UK), direct from the publisher, and from all good book shops (ISBN 978-0-9565819-5-2). Take a look! Meanwhile, have a great month entering and winning writing contests!


5th Aug Fiction up to 4000 words. UK or Ireland only. PAYING

5th Aug Competition 2910: ‘You are invited to submit a poem by a pet who’s cheesed off with its owner (up to 16 lines). Please email entries to ‘ PAYING

5th Aug Award for writers who live and work in Scotland. PAYING

12th Aug ‘Competition No. 2911: triple thrill @JonnyGeller shared this ‘Thriller Pitch in Three Texts’ on his Twitter feed: ‘Hi Babe, what are you doing?’/ ‘Nothing much, ’em really tired. Just going to sleep now babe. And you?’/ ‘In the club standing behind you’. You are invited to submit a thriller in three text messages. Email entries (50 words max.) to by midday on 12 August. PAYING

14th Aug Female residents of the USA only: Essay on Courage. NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Aug Poetry, fiction or critical essay. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Describe a moment on the job, real or imagined, when you realised you made a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.’ (Cathy’s note: I don’t think that they are using the colloquial British definition of ‘on the job’.) PAYING

15th Aug Essay or video about animal rights by 14-18 year old writer. PAYING

15th Aug Story 1000-2000 words containing the exact sentence: I got more than I bargained for!  NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Aug Submit the MS of your book – and your marketing plan for the book. PAYING

16th Aug Short fiction up to 5000 words.  PAYING

17th Aug London poets 21-30 can apply to become the next Young Poet Laureate of London. PAYING

24th Aug Flash fiction up to 450 words, based on the theme “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.” NON-CASH PRIZE (VOUCHER)

27th Aug Fiction up to 1200 words on the theme of Summer Loving. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug UK only: short story with one of the tea-themed titles provided. There are adult and children’s categories. There’s also a flash fiction comp on their FB page. PAYING

31st Aug ‘For this new competition we’re taking inspiration from Arthur Rimbaud’s famous declaration ‘Je est un autre’ – ‘I is another’. We would like you to write a story in the first person about someone who is not you but which is about a subject close to year heart. Therefore the storyline will really matter to you but the story should not be autobiographical. It should have a strong theme such as betrayal, sorrow, lust, jealousy or revenge and be under 2000 words.’ PAYING

31st Aug Fiction 1000-4000 words. PAYING

1st Sept Creative writing up to 400 words about a historical place that has inspired you. NON-CASH PRIZE

1st Sept Story up to 1500 words by a resident of Cheshire, Warrington, Wirral and Halton (UK) including those who have ever lived or worked in the area. PAYING

1st Sept ‘The rules are quite simple.  The poems submitted must be horror related and can be of any form but they must not be more than 12 lines and three stanzas.’ PAYING

1st Sep US only: essay up to 3500 words on the theme of THE STUPID LITTLE THING THAT SAVED ME.

31st Aug Dark horror, supernatural or thriller fiction up to 5000 words. PAYING


2nd Aug Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Lock and Key.

2nd Aug ‘Please submit your fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that explore and contemplate crime. Be broad in your conception and definition of crime – we are too. Crimes of passion, premeditated offenses, emotional transgressions, ecological and psychological brutality, colonial misdeeds, sexual destruction, and sins against the self are all fair game.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

3rd Aug Poetry and more on the theme of Quakers in Pop Culture.

3rd Aug ‘Our third Slim Volume – This Body I Live In – will be published in November 2015 and will feature poetry and flash fiction about the physical. Send us your poems and tiny stories about being alive in your body. Or even, if you like, the death of the body.’

3rd Aug Erotic short fiction set on Hallowe’en 2015.

3rd Aug US residents only: ‘The NHMC Television Writers Program was created in 2003 and is an intensive scriptwriters workshop to prepare and place Latinos in writing jobs for the major television networks. Modeled after the previously successful Hispanic Film Project, the program is a direct response to the lack of diverse writers in primetime network TV. ‘

7th Aug Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Geography.

8th Aug ‘ Snowpocalypse: Tales of the End of the World – The calendar says the first day of spring, but a jealous snow still wraps the world tightly in a white straitjacket.  Winter will not relinquish its throne and the polar vortex is plunging even further south as icebergs gleam in the Bermuda Triangle and snow falls on the Amazon… Send us your chilliest tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction from between 3,000-7,000 words.’ PAYING

8th Aug ‘This is an anthology of tales about, found in, inspired by, or stolen from the Miskatonic University Library.’ PAYING

12th Aug Writing on the theme of Power, for this journal devoted to women’s sexuality.

13th Aug ‘For this military/sci-fi/horror anthology, we want warriors competing on a futuristic battlefield, fighting against forces threatening humankind, the balance of the galaxies, or life itself.’ 2000-10,000 words. PAYING

15th Aug ‘I am seeking stories and art about people with UnCommon Bodies. Sideshow freaks, mutant growths, amputations, genetic engineering, futanari, anything you can think of. Stories need not be based in reality, fantasy and magical realism elements are welcome.’

15th Aug Poetry and art.

15th Aug Ghost stories up to 15,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Aug Erotic stories of wizards, sorcerers, witches etc, 3000-7000 words. PAYING

15th Aug Writing  and more on the theme of Catharsis. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Aug ‘Twelve Winters Press is seeking submissions for a print anthology of bleeding edge creative work that combines, defies, perverts, and/or subverts existing notions of genre and idiom. Submissions must work on or with the two-dimensional printed page and should be narrative in the broad sense – any account of fictional or nonfictional connected events – but otherwise we are hoping to see work so innovative that we couldn’t know how to request it prior to seeing it.’

15th Aug Flora-inspired ghazals.

15th Aug Poetry, fiction, drama and more on the theme of Family.

15th Aug Pitch feminist work on the theme of Food/Land.

15th Aug Nature/eco-poetry on the theme of Rivers.

15th Aug Stories about people with Uncommon Bodies.

15th Aug 101 word genre story on the theme of Underground.

15th Aug Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Reprogramming the Wilderness.

15th Aug Poetry on the theme of Working Class.

15th Aug ‘Beginning in June 2009, a writing prompt has been posted on Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge at the beginning of each month. You are invited to write a poem responding to the prompt, and to submit it by the 15th of the month for possible publication on the blog.’

15th Aug Poetry and more on the theme of The Future Imagined Differently.

15th Aug ‘We are exclusively accepting submissions from women and non-binary people. Sorry dudes, we need balance around here – we’ll consider your work again this fall.

Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry are always welcome, but we’re craving visual art and multimedia!’

17th Aug Erotic stories set on Hallowe’en.

21st Aug Speculative poetry, flash and short fiction.

25th Aug flash and short fiction on the theme of Whodunnit.

28th Aug Flash and short fiction on the theme of The Substitute Teacher. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

30th Aug ‘Mizna continuously seeks original writing for upcoming publications. Contributors do not have to be of Arab descent provided their work is of relevance to the Arab-American community.’ Prose and poetry on the theme of Intersectionality.

30th Aug ‘We can be haunted by many things: a memory, a place, a wrong decision, someone or something we’ve lost. ‘Haunted’ can refer to a state of mind, or it can be meant literally. This anthology of short fiction will explore the notion of being haunted in any of its possible interpretations. We want writers to bring their own unique slant to the theme. We are looking for interesting voices and exciting, original ideas. All genres are welcome from literary fiction to comedy, horror and of course the ghost story.’ PAYING

31st Aug The first chapter of the novel you didn’t finish. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more.

31st Aug Poetry, novel excerpts and more.

31st Aug Poetry and fiction on the theme of Black.  CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug Horror story on the theme of Corner of the Eye. 3000-20,000 words. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

31st Aug MSS over 20,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Aug ‘What is futuristica? Stories that are women positive, sex positive, and science positive. Fiction that explores potential future scenarios, scientific fantasy, or emerging technology. Suitable for an audience with a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Prominent multicultural thematics. Plot lines that emphasize character development. Earth and Near Earth settings. Yes, it is a word we made up to describe a sub-genre of science fiction that we believe should exist and does not yet.’ PAYING

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

31st Aug Original superhero fiction stories that get into more depth about being a superhero than basic secret origin tales or superhero-versus-supervillain. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry and true stories on the theme of My Very Good, Very Bad Cat (or Dog). PAYING

31st Aug Poetry and prose. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry and prose on the theme of Horror. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug ‘Ever seen that episode of Buffy called ‘Beer Bad’, where the local beers have been enchanted to turn students into Neanderthals? Ever had a really bad night on the booze where you wake up with vague memories and feel like death warmed up? Ever wondered what they did to the beer? Well, wonder no more, because here is your chance to write it. Weird Ales, due for release 2016, featuring a fantastic cover by Luke Spooner, will be an anthology about ales, beer, wines or taverns of ill repute. Use your imagination but so long as there is a supernatural or horror theme to the story it will fit the guidelines.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry, flash fiction and translations of poetry (Cathy’s note – don’t worry about that reading fee – that’s just for the Founders Prize).

31st Aug Poetry and fiction on the theme of Clockwise (The Darkest Hour). PAYING

31st Aug Writing and more on the theme of Selene. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug ‘Essays, Prose Poem Collections, Hybrids + Lyric Essays’ (Cathy’s note: there’s a free submission option under the paid one. they offer a ‘standard contract’ on acceptance).

31st Aug SF and F fiction 1000-6000 words on the theme of Pronouns and Genders. PAYING

31st Aug Speculative poetry. PAYING

31st Aug ‘This is an open call for “Unconventional Love”; an anthology of short romantic fiction that revolves around attending a convention. The convention does not need to be limited to fan-based franchises, it can be anything from a work convention, to an alien abductee support convention.’ PAYING

1st Sept Writing and art by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure or landscape. All royalties will be shared between the John Muir Trust and Rape Crisis.!submissions/c1t44

1st Sept Epistolary robot stories up to 3000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

1st Sept 3-5 poems and translations. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Sept ‘We like dark, muscular poetry and prose.’ Poetry, flash and short fiction.

1st Sept ‘We decided we want more. In addition to great fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, please send along your political commentary, lit crit, and fiercely feminist pieces…if you have them, that is.’

1st Sep Irrealist fiction. PAYING

1st Sep Weird poetry, flash and short fiction.

1st Sept ‘For our next anthology, we are offering an open call for stories that involve Witches, Warlocks, Demons, and other Evil Doers. We are looking for stories that tell of wrong doings perpetrated by someone or something with supernatural abilities.’ PAYING

1st Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Alight.


NOTE: Publishers sometimes don’t discuss their royalty rate upfront. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t pay! I just haven’t put them as paying/giving royalties whenever I haven’t found details on the website.

‘Lumen is a project for (and by!) women-identified folks. We are interested in personal essays, photo essays, opinion pieces, memoir, poetry, fiction, interviews, and posts for our blog section that examine how we move through the world, both as complex individuals and as members of larger communities. The conversations we are interested in are those that shed light on our stories—on our struggles, our triumphs, and all the in-betweens.’

Speculative free verse. PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more.

Fiction and more. PAYING

Dark fiction 500-2000 words. PAYING

‘Handtype Press is a company that showcases the finest literature and art created by signers, Deaf and hearing alike, or about the Deaf or signing experience the world over. After a long hiatus, we are interested in new full-length books of interest to our global community. We would be happy to consider fiction, essays, memoirs, and translations into English of signed and written works in other languages. In other words, we want high quality work.’

Poetry, fiction and more.

SF or F fiction, 5000-25,000 words. PAYING

Poetry, flash and short fiction suitable for all ages to read. PAYING

‘Once a week, every week, we will publish one Fresh poem. The poems showcased will be by previously unpublished poets (with the exception of poetry posted on their own blogs), or emerging poets who have only had their work in (online or print) magazines / anthologies in the last 12 months.’

Flash fiction, poetry and more.

Mystery, suspense and crime flash and short fiction. PAYING

ANTHRO/POETICS is an anthology of poetry on culture and writing about culture.  I seek submissions of poetry about culture, which will be separated into three parts: poems about “culture” as a whole, about “the other”, and about identity and self. This covers everything from how and why we write, witness, perceive, and explore identity while understanding others. Email 1–5 poems to Visit for more information about the project.

Stories and narrative essays inspired by one of their photos.

‘As our name suggests, Agnes and True celebrates the achievement of women. In addition, we are particularly interested in discovering and publishing the work of emerging older writers (both female and male). While we accept submissions from outside Canada, we do place an emphasis on works of fiction that exhibit a Canadian sensibility.’ Fiction 500-10,000 words. PAYING

Romance fiction. PAYING

‘We believe in creative freedom, not in constricted rules. Feel like mixing the genres? Sending us a philosophic horror story, spiritual erotica, a love story set in space or an operatic rock article? That’s us.’

Poetry and flash.

SF and F fiction (Cathy’s note: they’ve just revised their guidelines, and their excellent pay rate just got even better). PAYING

Micro and flash fiction, and poetry.

‘Currently we are collecting stories for our Love of Life anthology. These true stories should celebrate life and leave an all-around feeling of triumph or self-fulfillment. They may be spiritual or religious, deal with family or friends. The basic theme is something that feels good. Stories should be between 2,000 and 6,000 words.’  PAYING

Books in various genres.  ROYALTIES

‘We can gum 31 flavors of repetitive predigested nostalgia anywhere. If there’s already a name, a magazine, or a pat cover image for it we probably don’t want it.  Give us something that requires a little teeth.’ SF, and must be submitted anonymously. PAYING

Genre poetry and flash. PAYING

Poetry, flash and short fiction.

Erotic poetry and more.

Books that chronicle the American-Jewish experience (Cathy’s note: thanks to for this one. I recommend her website and newsletter).

Poetry, flash and short fiction.

Flash fiction up to 500 words.

‘Power for Living is looking for short poetry or short poetry collections relating to Christianity and faith. We accept a wide variety of styles and subject matter, so long as they are related to matters of faith and are biblically based.’ PAYING,166,2,1

Short stories/novellas.

‘Now accepting essays, poems, short memoirs, anti-capitalist diatribes, ketchup stained love letters, blasphemous cartoons, tender manifestos, and anything else that can fit in a website. Make your grandmother blush and yourself proud.’

Strange Far Places is currently accepting YA and MG horror, dark fantasy, and dark fiction short stories under 7,500 words. We’re looking for stories across all horror subgenres.’

Genre micro, flash and short fiction.

Dark weird horror fiction. PAYING

Spec fic MSS.

Realist or surrealist poetry, flash, and fiction up to 15,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

Poetry, including reprints.!submissions/ctzx

MSS of various kinds of books.

Romance novels.

‘Beachwalk Press is accepting submissions of all subgenres of romance. We are only accepting works with a rating of “sensual” or higher. Submissions must be no less than 15,000 words and no more than 75,000 words. We are not accepting “sweet” romances or young adult romances.’ ROYALTIES

Writing of many kinds and more.

‘Bohemian Pupil Press’ Rag takes its name from the Rolling Stones’ song on the 1971 album Sticky Fingers. This song is emblematic of a quintessential irreverence: it portrays a most elegant “Fuck You.” Please, do not interpret this as meaning that Dead Flowers is a platform for sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Dead Flowers is an extension of  the Bohemian Pupil Press tagline and its motive: “Publishing for the Clear-Sighted Imbiber.” Dead Flowers accepts submissions of poetry and micro essays that spirit the “quintessential irreverence” described above. Dead Flowers is open to all who practice the craft, and will consider all styles (but please, no Slam, or “me, me, me” crap).’

Fiction MSS.

Poetry and short fiction. PROFIT-SHARING MODEL

Poetry, fiction and more reflecting the diversity and richness of the Arab world.

Open until filled: ‘A rocking horse begins to sway in the corner. Toy soldiers, their green metal chipped and rusted. How odd; they appear in battle stance, staring… Suddenly, the trap door closes. Darkness… the stirring… These toys… You know why they have been locked away. You stand among evil incarnate. The melody stops. No one hears your final cries…TOYS IN THE ATTIC, will be an anthology of horror like no other. I want you to SCARE ME! Use your imagination. Gore is acceptable, but if possible, try to scare me in other ways. I really like to be scared!’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS,  CONTRIBUTOR COPY

Penmore Press accepts manuscripts in most genres of adult fiction and nonfiction. We are not publishing self-help books, romance novels, or young adult fiction at the present time. In general, only manuscripts with word counts between 90,000 and 150,000 will be considered.’

‘Welcome to EXPOUND. We read submissions from around the world. We want to publish original, quality works in form of poetry, fiction, photography, artworks, videos, non-fiction: interviews, reviews, memoir pieces and essays. We want pieces that provoke, investigate, surprise, entertain and startle any reader. We are looking for new styles and mind-bending pieces. We love avant-garde and experimental pieces.’

Poetry, flash and short fiction.

Writing about your dog.

‘The Radvocate features the fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual art of people who acknowledge the state of the world and strive to reflect it in their work, individuals who read independently, think critically, and will help us shout to those who would control us: “We are not afraid”.’

‘MUSH/MUM is an online journal/magazine/purveyor of textual assets. There is no type of literary work MUSH/MUM is not willing to accept. MUSH/MUM welcomes and encourages the submission of experimental texts and literary transgression. If it involves an indifference to or anatomization of language, MUSH/MUM will accept it.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

‘Submit your 750-word (or less) stories, vignettes, poems to MEMOIRABILIA.’

Erotic poems or prose. PAYING

Poetry, short fiction and more.

‘THAT Literary Review is interested in poetry and fiction (and everything in between). THAT tickles the curiosity and baffles expectations. THAT looks into dark closets and gazes, slack-jawed, at the stars. THAT surprises and satisfies.’

Poetry and fiction. VOUCHER/OTHER

Joke, quote or funny true story. PAYING




  1. Hi Cathy,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this really nice service you provide to writers, and all the opportunities you share here for free. I know it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to put together all these listings, and to do it for free. I really appreciate it. It’s really nice of you to do this for writers.

    Also, I just want to say a sincere (albeit belated) thank you for including our call for submissions in your May 2015 Comps and Calls listings. I really appreciate it.


    Clara Ray Rusinek Klein
    Founder and Editor in Chief,
    A Quiet Courage Journal

Leave a Reply