Comps and calls for December 2017

Hello all! It’s December – the very best month to submit or enter, because many people are too busy to make use of the many opportunities that pop up. I’m sure that you’ll be busy too, but do try to find just a little time to send your work out, if you’d like to.

Whatever you believe and celebrate, my warmest wishes to you over the winter festivals, and thank you for visiting my site as part of your writing journey.

As always, good luck!

Cathy x

Here are December 2017’s 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.


Monthly: lighthearted poem. ROYALTIES

3rd Dec ‘This month, we’re on the lookout for the funniest fails. Whether you’ve programmed your phone’s auto-correct with awkward results, or eaten your breakfast on-the-go to end up wearing it instead, we want to know about it.’ VOUCHER/OTHER

4th Dec ‘We want to find a new talent to write a novel that celebrates single parent families. Writers must submit the first 5,000 words of a novel, a 500-word synopsis plus a few lines about themselves and their experience of single parent family life.’ PAYING

4th Dec ‘We are open for submissions of proposals for writing, literary events or projects. An RSL Literature Matters Award must result in new, original writing or other literary activity of an excellent artistic standard, which will reach a substantial readership or audience.’ PAYING

13th Dec ‘Submissions should take the form of 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract.’ PAYING (LOTS!)

Weekly until 21st Dec: Share your perfect gift story. VOUCHER/OTHER

30th Dec ‘Your main character fixes up their grandfather’s old typewriter. Eager to try writing on it, they load the typewriter with a new sheet of paper; however, a phone call distracts them and they forget all about it. The following day, your character goes back to the typewriter. All is as they had left it – with the exception of the sheet of paper – which is now filled from top to bottom with neatly-typed words. The final line is a warning…’ VOUCHER/OTHER

31st Dec Book length MS by writer aged 10-18. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Dec 3-5 poems, at least one of which must be on one of the provided themes. PAYING

31st Dec Short story (Cathy’s note: I don’t usually list competitions where the prize is only publication, but they have got impressive actors to record the winning stories in the past, so perhaps it’s worth it). NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Dec Fiction 3000-10,000 words on the theme of Taste. PAYING

31st Dec Travel adventure story up to 2500 characters. VOUCHER/OTHER (thanks to for this one)

31st Dec SF or F up to 17,000 words by a writer who hasn’t yet had work published professionally. PAYING

31st Dec Short stories or poems. PAYING

31st Dec Short story on the theme of Murder. PAYING

31st Dec Undergraduate students only: ‘Whole Terrain seeks creative works that explore the multitude of meanings and perspectives on the theme About Time.’ PAYING

31st Dec Drabble on the theme of Shapeshifter Brothel. PAYING


3rd Dec Asian SF. ‘What does the future look like in Asia? Entertain us with your wild stories set in an Asian country (realistic or re-imagined). or even in an away-from-earth civilization. Your main characters must however, be recognizable as Asian and retain some cultural traits, or native language, etc.’ PAYING

3rd Dec Poetry. PAYING

3rd Dec ‘Issues #6, #7 and #8 will be a triptych. We welcome and encourage individual submissions to each, but if you feel like making art that tells a continuous story or writing a story that massively exceeds our usual wordcount, now is the time. Issue #7: “Continuity” – The midpoint. Send us art and stories that started elsewhere (in issue 6, or not), send us re-occurrences, send us the realisation of things changing or staying exactly the same.’

3rd Dec Fiction, poetry and more.

4th Dec Women writers: poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Bewitched. PAYING

4th Dec Poetry and more on the theme of Quakers and the Holy Land.

7th Dec Stories up to 6000 words on the theme of Broken Metropolis Anthology: Queer Tales of a City that Never Was. PAYING

9th Dec Writing and more on the theme of Queer Spaces.

10th Dec Poetry and fiction on the theme of Ice and Snow.

10th Dec ‘This anthology will focus on tales about the sidekicks who help the heroes and princesses find their happily ever afters, and what happens to them after their quests are done. Does the lowly squire who helped the brave knight on his quest to save the princess ever get a shot at greatness? Or at the very least, a little recognition? Does the lady-in-waiting who was always there for the fair princess finally get her own happily ever after?’ 500-10,500 words. PAYING

10th Dec Poetry on the theme of Suburbia. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

10th Dec For this issue we are looking for meta- poems, stories, essays, visual art and non-classifiable written objects that deal with Food and Families.

13th Dec ‘Tell us about the album that saved your life. Tell us about the album that was the official soundtrack to your first (or your worst) experience with love. Tell us about an album that helped you navigate a major trauma or loss. Tell us about an album that inspired you to embrace your true self or to lead your best life. You don’t have to think about it too hard; whatever album you’re thinking about right now should light your path forward. Follow its lead.’

15th Dec Poetry, fiction and essays on the theme of the Grotesque. PAYING

15th Dec ‘We are looking for near- or farther-future stories, society as it is AFTER 2032 – at least two presidential election cycles after Donald Trump’s last eligibility. Show us America or the world in a new era, or look at world politics changed by the actions of US policies and people. Or go beyond.’ 500-5000 words PAYING

15th Dec Poetry, fictionand more on the theme of Can Mushrooms Save the World?

15th Dec Poetry on the theme of A Love Song Walks Up to Me. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (Cathy’s note: you can find the email at which to submit here: )

15th Dec ‘Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes is a Bedside Press anthology of new fantastical short fiction by trans women and trans feminine writers curated by celebrated poet and author Gwen Benaway.’ PAYING

15th Dec Poetry on the theme of Run Away with Me.

15th Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Xenophobia.

15th Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Scarification.

15th Dec ‘Temptation Press is holding open submissions for short stories to be featured in this upcoming collection involving a private lessons. Tell us why the lessons are taking place and what are they for? To become a seductress? To learn the art of domination/submission? For becoming an escort/madam? Or just for personal enjoyment of a deeper exploration?’ 3000-15,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Dec Speculative poetry on the theme of Arthuriana. PAYING

17th Dec ‘Spring Into SciFi” will contain stories of Space Exploration, Advanced Technology, AI, Cloning, Robotics and of course, Aliens. We are seeking fresh faces as well as seasoned Science Fiction pros for this yearly anthology.’ PAYING

20th Dec ‘We’re looking for love stories centered around: underwater biodomes, submarines, scuba diving, alien planets entirely covered by water, sea monsters, selkies, mermaids, water witches, Neptune/Poseidon, lost underwater civilizations, ghost ships, and more!’ PAYING

21st Dec ‘Our 2018 spring issue will explore injustice and its effects. This can mean work that explores exploitation/violation/manipulation of rights, autonomy, personhood, identity, the biosphere and animal kingdom, and more, as well as unjust spaces and their remains, and/or activities of those living in such environments.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

28th Dec SF and F fiction. PAYING

30th Dec ‘Hunter’s Moon: Werewolves, Vampires, and other Denizens of the Dark—Drabbles (100 words), Micro-Fiction (101-750 words), Flash (751-1000 words), and Poetry (up to 50 lines). Just like it says on the tin. Cool, creepy creatures or children of the dark.’

30th Dec Poetry and fiction on the theme of Fear.

31st Dec Fiction 1500-10,000 words on the theme of Forbidden. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

31st Dec Flash and short fiction. ROYALTIES

31st Dec Flash fiction 250-750 words.

31st Dec ‘We are seeking short creative work by queer-identified writers and artists &/or on queer themes. We are seeking fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and scripts.’

31st Dec SF suitable for a middle grade reader (age 8-12). PAYING

31st Dec ‘Please submit to Angry Old Man. AOM accepts visual and concrete poetry, art, photography, collage, asemic writing, blackout poetry, conceptual writing, flarf, found poetry, spam lit, flash fiction, mail art, typewriter art, etc.’

31st Dec ‘AWAKENINGS will be Book Smugglers Publishing’s FIFTH season of short stories, following Fairytale Retellings, First Contact, Superheroes, and Gods & Monsters. When it comes to Awakenings, anything goes.’ PAYING

31st Dec Work by immigrants and refugees. PAYING

31st Dec ‘Submissions are now being accepted for “Celestial Musings: Poems Inspired by the Night Sky”. Submit up to three poems with a line limit of 32 lines each. The poems do not have to be entirely about the night sky, but the more the poems relate to the stars, constellations or the moon, the better the chance for publication.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY

31st Dec Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Unfolding.

31st Dec (or until filled): ‘Issue fourteen of Workers Write! will be Tales from the Café and will contain stories and poems from the food industry, including kitchen, server, and front and back-of-house jobs.’ PAYING

31st Dec ‘Issue 17 of Eyedrum Periodically seeks visual, audio, and written work that unfolds “now” into a future to desire – or to avoid.’

31st Dec Stories on the theme of Forbidden. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Magic.

31st Dec Women only: SF poetry and short fiction. PAYING

31st Dec Poetry and fiction on the theme of Instinct.

1st Jan ‘Zombie Pirate Publishing is seeking stories for FULL METAL HORROR: A Monstrous Anthology. All submissions 500-6000 words long will be considered for publication. Up to 5 submissions per author. Up to 3 may be selected.’

1st Jan ‘The tentative title of this new anthology is A Wink and a Smile, and the theme is Romance. The stories can be contemporary, regency, futuristic, paranormal, historical, fantasy, humor.. Just about any type of romance will do (but please, no erotica).’ 1000-7000 words. PAYING

1st Jan ‘For the third volume of SPECIES, we want to see the many faces of anthro tigers.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Jan Poetry, prose and dance on the theme of Landscape.


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.

Poetry chapbook. ROYALTIES

‘Curiosity Quills Press is a publisher of hard-hitting dark sci-fi, speculative fiction, and paranormal works aimed at adults, young adults, and new adults. We provide our authors with a full-service publishing experience, marketing support, and technical know-how, while ensuring that these literary marauders are truly the cream of the crop through a highly selective acquisition process.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

Story 3000-10,000 words from a cat’s point of view. PAYING


Children’s books.

Books of many kinds.

Three-line poems. PAYING


‘We are looking for middle grade and young adult novels (10,000-60,000 words) about kids of color that will grab readers’ attentions–mysteries, adventures, humor, suspense, set in the present, near past or near future that reflect the realities and the hopes of life in diverse communities including African American, Latino, Native American, Asian, urban, rural and international.’ ROYALTIES

SF and F stories 3000-20,000 words. PAYING

Speculative and slipstream poetry.

Poetry. PAYING

‘Hidden Compass is an online, quarterly travel magazine that encourages the deep exploration of a destination through powerful storytelling. We believe that some of the most fascinating stories are the ones that bridge the gap between travel and other disciplines (e.g., science, history, and art). If you have an original, compelling and true story — told in words, photos or both — that pushes the travel genre and delves into the spirit, culture, history, ecology, perils or residents of a place, Hidden Compass might be the perfect home for it.’ PAYING



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