Updated 14 April 2013

Here are this month'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:

  1. Competitions

  2. Submissions with Deadlines

  3. Submissions With No Known Deadline.

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.

Finally, 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!


2nd April (midnight, so submit on 1st) Fable (poetry or prose) featuring a moral and an animal. http://sparkanthology.org/contests/five/

3rd Apr Short plays by the under 16s. (Cathy's note: there is a category for adults, but it isn't free to enter.) http://www.tacchi-morris.com/whats-on/shows/theatre-somerset/from-page-to-stage1

6th Apr Adult residents of USA and Canada (excluding Quebec) only: Essay 500-2000 words on the theme: ‘Should Leakers of Classified Government Wrong-Doings Be Punished?’ http://www.wieldingpowerpublishing.com/submit/

15th Apr Flash up to 500 words featuring the words Andromeda, Democracy and Dentist. http://mashstories.com/

15th Apr Dystopic fiction up to 3000 words. http://theladyintheloft.webs.com/competition

15th April (or June, but earlier is better): the first sentence of a bad story. http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

15th Apr Poetry by women over 60 who come from the Southern States of the USA. http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/submissions/

18th Apr Fiction by those under 19 that completes the story begun by the provided paragraph. http://www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk/HBWC/HBWC_current/henriettabranfo1.html

19th April Steampunk short story. http://www.wittybardpublishing.com/#!rules--submission/c21se

20th Apr Poem written using 10 words from one of the poems they've chosen. http://yareview.net/2014/03/random-word-contest/

25th Apr 'The plan is simple; each budding writer must create their own case worthy of Arthur Conan Doyle himself, along with a solution by Friday the 25th April 2014 that is no longer than 1000 words. These crimes will not go unrewarded. The top ten entries will receive their own copy of 221b Baker Street board game and the winning writer will receive a luxury night for two in the famous Sherlock Park Plaza hotel that is situated on Baker Street, the address that was made famous by the celebrated detective.' http://gibsonsgames.co.uk/blog/elementary-my-dear-watson-create-your-perfect-crime/

26th Apr Fantasy short story. http://www.wittybardpublishing.com/#!rules--submission/c21se

27th April 2014 poetry or prose responding to Dylan Thomas' work The Hunchback in the Park http://www.dylandowntheups.org.uk/#/guidelines/4569268234. (Cathy's note: I think this is a comp, but it isn't clear. Email them for an entrance form.)

UPDATE! 30th April For mini-contest #23, please write two very short pieces of prose, each one between 10 and 25 words. The first 10-25 word piece should use TERRIBLE prose that ruins the power of the story the content is trying to convey. The second one should be a dramatically improved version of the first piece that is also 10-25 words long but uses much better prose that enhances the power of the content. Use the second link here: https://onthepremises.submittable.com/submit

UPDATE! 30th April Poem using the word 'flower'. http://www.poempigeon.com/competition.php?uid=16&aa=700970&au=686&at=04042014&ah=d9bae891

30th Apr Genre fiction up to 3500 words on the theme of Parch. (Cathy's note: scroll down for the contest entry, as the Triangulation submission link has very similar guidelines.)  https://parsecink.submittable.com/submit/4505

1st May Article, story or poem relating to travel. Cash prize. http://travelexpert.org.uk/travel-expert-writing-competition/

1st May Dystopic short fiction up to 5000 words. http://www.almondpress.co.uk/#/dystopian-short-story-contest/4581919339

1st May Poems by children 5-15. https://www.facebook.com/148737608530103/photos/a.151108548293009.35572.148737608530103/633765433360649/?type=1&theater


3rd Apr 'We're looking for stories that combine crime and urban fantasy while pushing the boundaries of both genres. Stories that make you think, that comment on crime and urban fantasy. Stories that are rich in their language use. Stories that entertain and thrill.' 2000-4000 words. http://streetsofshadows.alliterationink.com/

4th April Poetry and short prose on the theme of Alien. http://thesuburbanreview.com/submit/

4th Apr 'The Round Up Writer’s Zine is a fresh space devoted to trangressive pieces, dark humor and works laced in sarcasm. In fact we are partisan to works that are edgy and/or possibly offensive. If this sounds like the type of literature that you secretly (or not so secretly) love to write/read, this is the place for you!' Poetry and fiction on the theme of Pride. http://www.roundupzine.com/submit/

6th Apr Short fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Beginning and End. http://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html

7th Apr Poetry and fiction. http://www.structomagazine.co.uk/submissions.html

7th Apr Poetry, fiction, articles and other stuff by feminists on the theme of Child. http://www.feministpress.org/wsq/current-call-papers

11th Apr 3 Flash fictions on the theme of Time and Space. http://dactyl.weebly.com/submissions.html

11th Apr 'The International Women’s Media Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2014/2015 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship. The fellowship is designed for a woman journalist from anywhere in the world whose work in print, broadcast, or digital media has focused on human rights and social justice reporting. This seven month-long program will take her to Boston and New York to study at MIT’s Center for International Studies and work for U.S. media outlets including The Boston Globe and The New York Times.' http://www.iwmf.org/our-impact/training/elizabeth-neuffer-fellowship/how-to-apply/

14th Apr Gay bear romantic short stories. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/pages.php?pID=7&CDpath=0

15th Apr Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Steampunk Victoriana (Cathy's note: the email address for submissions isn't clear, but I suggest trying the one at the top right of the page). http://tigersharkpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/p/future-issues.html

15th Apr SF/F fiction 1500-3000 words on the theme of Intelligence. http://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/pages/submissions

15th Apr 'Poetry: This issue will be dedicated to Poets of Faith. The poems may be any style or length, but must be written by someone for whom religious faith is a central aspect of their writing and their lives, with a special emphasis on members of the clergy. Please explain how this applies to you. The poems should also relate to faith in some way, even if only subtly. This is a self-selecting theme; we won’t be vetting anyone’s religious credentials, but each contributor will be labeled as a Poet of Faith and will have to explain that faith in the contributor notes.' http://www.rattle.com/poetry/submissions/calls/

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and other stuff on the theme of Personal Soundtrack (Cathy's note: you can submit by email as long as you live outside the USA). http://ravenchronicles.org/raven/rvsubm.html

15th April Poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays. http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v12n2/submissions.shtml

15th Apr Poetry and fiction on the theme of Native Pride. http://www.bohemia-journal.com/guidelines

15th Apr or when filled Motorcycle-themed short fiction. http://elektrikmilkbathpress.com/submissions

15th Apr 'Have you lived in a country not your own or written poetry of invented countries? We are looking for poems of the strange sensations awarded to those who leave their homes and set out on a voyage. Or poems of countries we have not heard enough from: poems of the Middle East, of Africa. Poems of Bosnia Herzegovina and Ireland and the poems of the Travellers. Poems that go outside and take a long walk, poems that move out of the known world.' Scroll down here: http://humanjournal.org/index.php/submission/guidelines

15th April Poetry and short fiction. http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v12n2/submissions.shtml

15th Apr Haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka etc. http://www.unitedhaikuandtankasociety.com/submituhts.html

15th Apr Poetry and fiction on the theme of Tribes. http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/submission-guidelines.html

15th Apr Positive poetry, fiction and art on the theme of Emerge. http://www.sproutonlinemagazine.com/p/guidelines.html

15th Apr Poetry by women over 60 from the southern states of the USA. http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/submissions/

16th Apr 'Theme: Romance. A lively heart-warming theme to spice up the mundane. True romances, fiction stories on true love, finding your own everlasting love are all appreciated. Please avoid stories of heartbreaks and love lost. We want this edition to be all about eternal love.' They also accept unthemed poetry. http://www.original-writer.com/submissionwritershaven.html

18th April Poems and stories on the theme of Ninjas. http://twitpublishing.wordpress.com/submissions/

18th April Poetry, short fiction and art. http://www.actualpaper.us/guidelines/

20th Apr Poetry and creative nonfiction on the theme of Alchemies. http://cshsq.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

20th Apr Fiction 5000-6000 words on the theme of Terror at the Beach. http://tmclean1.wix.com/noodledoodle#!terror-at-the-beach-anthology/cqce

24th Apr Poetry, flash and short fiction. https://foliateoakliterarymagazine.submittable.com/submit

25th April Poetry and fiction on the theme of LGBT Springtime Romances. http://hyacinthnoir.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/beltaine-submissions-now-open/

25th Apr Up to three poems. 'Brickplight exists to promote the exploration of unique identities through daring poetry.  We seek poets who revel in undermining conventional thinking by giving voice to what conformity would have us bury and forget—the fact that we are diverse, feeling, and thoughtful beings, completely singular in character, circumstance, and in our possible modes of expression, and so invaluable to each other as gateways to creative discovery.'  https://sites.google.com/site/brickplight/submit

25th Apr Poetry and fiction on the theme of Place. They are particularly keen to publish those with Caribbean connections. http://www.anansesem.com/p/submission-guidelines-for-adults_19.html

27th Apr Poetry and fiction on the theme of The Wonder of Boys. http://moonmagazine.org/submission-guideline/

28th Apr Short fiction on the theme of Trying to Change. http://infectiveink.com/guidelines.html

30th Apr Ghost-themed poem or a story that is related to the ghost story described. http://napowrimo2014.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-you-can-join-in.html

30th Apr Short poetry and flash. http://www.esczine.com/esc-5-submissions-call/

30th Apr Fiction 800-3000 words on the theme of Rich and Poor. http://www.liarsleaguenyc.com/blog/submitting-to-liars-league-nyc.html

30th Apr or when filled: triangulation anthology. Genre fiction up to 10,000 words on the theme of Parch. (Cathy's note: this seems to be related to but not identical to the Parsec contest - best to enter both if possible! I think that it's allowed with the same piece.) https://parsecink.submittable.com/submit

30th Apr Poetry and fiction. http://crr.trevecca.edu/submissions/

30th Apr or when filled - flash fiction on the theme of Zombies in Japan. http://dreamscapepress.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/now-open-zombies-in-japan/

30th April Poetry, fiction and loads of other stuff on the theme of Bast. http://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/calls-for-submissions/the-queen-of-the-sky-who-rules-over-all-the-gods-a-devotional-anthology-in-honor-of-bast/

30th April YA short fiction 2000-4500 words. Good money paid. http://www.oneteenstory.com/index.php?page=submit

30th Apr Poetry and short fiction (and other stuff) by women. http://www.roommagazine.com/submit

30th Apr 'Spider Road Press invites submissions of unpublished short stories of no more than 8,000 words with strong, intelligent, female characters to Eve’s Requiem: Five Tales of Women, Crime and Horror.  Men and women are welcome to submit. We are looking for literary, intense stories in which women actively face dangerous situations. We seek tales in which the plot strengthens the characterisation. Any use of violence or sex should be integral to the story (no gore and no erotica). Simultaneous submissions are fine. (Only outstanding flash fiction will be considered. We regret that we cannot consider reprints, Science Fiction, YA fiction, fan fiction or prose poems. Please do not submit stories involving vampires or werewolves.)' http://www.spiderroadpress.com/Submissions.html

30th Apr Fiction up to 3500 on the theme of Escape. http://overtheredline.com/submissions/

30th April 'Fairy tales retold to feature POC, LGBT and disabled characters, as well as non-Western European and non-North American settings.  We are looking for poetry and fiction, as well as artwork for both books.' http://eggplantproductions.com/general-guidelines/guidelines-for-spellbound-spindles/

30th Apr Graphic novels, poetry manuscripts, fiction, children's literature and loads of other stuff. http://www.guernicaeditions.com/contact

30th Apr Genre fiction 500-8,000 words in length set in the Miskatonic Valley, made popular by H.P. Lovecraft. It must be told from a first-person point of view. http://madscientistjournal.org/submissions/

30th Apr Lovecraftian-style horror stories. http://dreamscapepress.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/fear-of-the-unknown-a-tribute-to-h-p-lovecraft/

30th Apr Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Jazz. https://obsidian.submittable.com/submit/25598

30th Apr Genre fiction 1000-6000 words on the theme of Time Travel. http://crossedgenres.com/submissions/magazine/

30th Apr Poetry about longing on the theme of Online Lover. http://melancholyhyperbole.com/guidelines/

30th Apr Fictional retelling of the Pandora's Box story, under 2000 words. http://www.timelesstalesmagazine.com/#!submissions/c1vmu

30th Apr Poetry and fiction on the theme of ' “All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.” '. http://neatmag.wordpress.com/call-for-submissions/

30th April. Flash, poetry and short fiction for their 'amuse bouche' segment. https://lunchticket.submittable.com/submit

30th Apr Poetry on the theme of The Muse and the Music. http://www.spillway.org/submit.html

30th Apr Poetry about the Mississippi River. (Cathy's note: make sure to scroll down to the free submission option for this.) https://louisianaliterature.submittable.com/submit

1st May Poetry and fiction. http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/?q=submit

1st May 'An anthology of humorous paranormal/supernatural stories. All stories must contain paranormal or supernatural elements (ghosts, witchcraft, vampires, etc.) and be funny. Think Addams Family, Zombieland, or Love at First Bite. These stories should not contain gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex, or excessive foul language.' 2000-6000 words. http://www.mysteryandhorrorllc.com/submissions.html

1st May Speculative Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Hyperspeed. http://penumbraezine.blogspot.co.uk/p/submissions.html

1st May Poetry and prose on the theme of Creativity & Constraint. http://www.universaltable.org/wisingup.html

1st May Erotic poetics. (Cathy's note: this has high-quality content and contributors get a free copy. Recommended.) http://ninjournal.tumblr.com/submitting

1st May Poetry on the theme of Quaker Myth-busting for this Quaker journal. http://www.friendsjournal.org/submissions/

1st May Scroll down for Adrienne: 'Submit 7-10 poems (or the reasonable equivalent thereof if there are longer pieces) in one document for consideration along with a 125-ish word bio. Poems do not have to be queer-themed or include queer content. Contributors simply need to self-identify as queer women, however that term is individually defined.' https://siblingrivalrypress.submittable.com/submit

1st May Poetry and fiction for children on the theme of Sidewalk Art. http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/submissions.htm

1st May 'Please submit one to three poems, each no more than 2 pages in length. Include a cover page with full real name, age, email and city. Also include, at the top of each poem, the topic your poem addresses. i.e "OCEAN POLLUTION, or BULLYING, etc." Please include a link to a helpful website or organization that addresses the issue you have chosen. Place link under your title of each poem. Remember that the focus of this anthology is to be helpful to those in need. It does not mean shy away from hard issues, it just means that your help in identifying positive ways to see or address is these issues are needed, as well as gorgeous poetry to go alongside it. We do not need essays, just poems and links. Some topics include: Bullying, Rape Culture, Gender Awareness, Self Defense, Body Image, Race, Feminism, Queer Lit, Politic, Equal Rights, Social Justice, Environmental Justice etc.' https://writebloodypublishing.submittable.com/submit

1st May Flash, poetry and short fiction on the theme of Why Would Anyone Enchant That? http://www.unsettlingwonder.com/submissions/

1st May 'War is everywhere, it seems. In wars countries are invaded and occupied. Also, in life, people are invaded. There have been some fantastic alien stories in which people are literally occupied, Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters comes to mind. Or, for something a little more subtle, there is Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What’s your story or poem of invasion and occupation? Share it with us.' http://eabpublishing.com/midnight-circus/

1st May Poetry and fiction. http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/EDU/Alt.aspx?id=19015

1st May Poetry and fiction and other stuff on the theme of Irish-American. https://floridaenglish.submittable.com/submit

1st May Poetry and fiction on the theme of Possession. http://www.halfwaydownthestairs.net/index.php?action=submissions

1st May Up to three poems by women on the theme of how they feel about their bodies. http://www.ravingbeauties.co.uk/

1st May QUILTBAG short fiction 3500-12,000 words on the theme of A First Time for Everything. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/pages.php?pID=7&CDpath=0

1st May Novella, either prose or graphic. https://fictionfix.submittable.com/submit

1st May Poetry and flash fiction about Portland, Oregon by people with a connection to it. http://www.thepoetrybox.com/KeepingItWeird.html


One sentence poems. http://www.onesentencepoems.com/osp/how-to-submit/

'Ranty feminist poetry that doesn't take itself too seriously.' http://theragpoetry.tumblr.com/submit

Until filled: 'To Hell with Dante' - Fiction 1000-10,000 words about Hell. Also 'Yarr!' - space pirate fiction 1000-10,000 words. http://www.martinus.us/subs.html

Funny poems, flash, cartoons etc. http://backhairadvocate.wordpress.com/submissions/

'We accept poetry, prose, art, and music featuring weird and occult topics and themes. Artists, illustrators, and musicians are highly encouraged to submit reflections on their submissions and influences, approximately one paragraph in length. Musicians who would like their work featured in Beyond Borderlands are encouraged to send it in an electronic format or provide a link to it through some third-party host. For writers of fiction, please submit stories of between 1,000 and 8,000 words. We impose no formal word count limitation on poetry and lyrics.' http://www.beyondborderlands.com/index.php/submissions

Female Playwrights who have written at least one full-length play are eligible for this fellowship. I can't find a closing date anywhere, nor a description of the amount of the award. https://aroomofherownfoundation.submittable.com/submit

'Struggle is a quarterly magazine devoted to progressive and revolutionary literature and art expressing the the anti-establishment struggles of the working class and oppressed people in the U.S. and worldwide. Poems, songs, stories, short plays, drawings, cartoons, occasional photos plus editorials by Tim Hall, an anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist since the 1960's.' http://www.strugglemagazine.net/

A rare opportunity to send unagented work to a Penguin imprint. Full-length SF and F. http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/specialinterests/scifi/submission.html

'Submissions are now open for the Summer 2014 issue of Sunlit. We are inspired to bring you poetry, prose and other creations that enlighten all corners of the globe with their eclectic perspectives.' http://sunliterature.com/about/

'We enjoy literary journalism, artistic explication, as well as fine, creative works of poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, play-writing, and visual art. Send us anything you think we might fancy or our readers might enjoy. Oh, and drink recipes, yes!

Buried Letter Press is looking to publish thoughtful essays and articles that address ideas concerning art and the world alongside carefully crafted artistic expressions or experiments.' http://buriedletter.com/submissions/

Speculative short fiction. http://buzzymag.com/submissions/#shortstory

'The Release encourages its audience to use writing as a vehicle to find liberation from life's troubles.The message is simple: A story that's therapeutic for the writer can also be inspirational to the reader.' Poetry, flash and short fiction. http://thereleasemagazine.com/write-for-the-release/

Manuscripts pof fiction, especially SF,F and H, and nonfiction, over 50,000 words. http://whiskeycreekpress.com/submissions.shtml

Poetry and fiction. http://composejournal.com/submissions/

Short fiction on the theme of Demonic Possession. http://jwkfiction.com/index.php/opsub/demposs

Short fiction on the theme of Weird Science. http://dreamquarry.net/submissions/

Children's picture books and YA fiction. http://www.anneclarkliteraryagency.co.uk/

Rhymed poetry, nonsense poetry and haiku. http://germ-magazine.com/submissions.html

Flash, 100-word stories and one sentence stories. http://www.thisverybreath.com/submissions/

Themed poetry chapbooks. http://www.neonmagazine.co.uk/?page_id=4180

Long erotic romance. http://www.amirapress.com/index.php?main_page=conditions

Women's memoirs, 3000-5000 words. https://eljpublications.submittable.com/submit

'We are taking submissions of original short stories, poems, and creative essays. Submissions can by written by authors of any age, as long as the subject matter is of interest to readers 14-18 years old.' http://yareview.net/how-to-submit/

Family-friendly poetry, flash and short fiction. http://emberjournal.wordpress.com/

Urban Graffiti: 'Submit no more than 3 short stories or essays. A maximum of 10 pages altogether. We are considering poetry, though we reject far more than we accept.' http://urbgraffiti.com/submissions/

'Pinball works to bridge the divide between speculative and literary fiction, while also giving a literary venue for comics and comic artists. While we accept non-fiction prose, comics (or graphic fiction, if that is your preferred term), and short fiction, please note that we are not seeking poetry.' https://pinball.submittable.com/submit

Two anthologies: Christian short fiction and Mystery short fiction. Also MSS of YA fantasy, Christian Romance, Inspirational Biographies and others. http://www.lanicoenterprise.com/submissions.html

Fiction serials by female writers. http://www.angelsofanarchy.com/guidelines.htm

Poetry and prose about the Mediterranean. http://www.odyssey.pm/?page_id=2262

Children's poetry books and books about pregnancy, childcare etc. http://www.meadowbrookpress.com/t/General-Submission-Guidelines

Poetry, flash/lyric/hybrid, conversations/essays. https://tinderboxpoetryjournal.submittable.com/submit

Turn: turn: turn: flash up to 750 words. https://eljpublications.submittable.com/submit

Poetry. http://www.nightblockmag.com/submissions

'Scientific papers' written by mad scientists. Flash and short fiction. http://madscientistjournal.org/submissions/

Radical publishers. http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php/submit

Poetry and fiction. http://twentyfourhoursonline.org/tfh-philosophy-and-submission-guidelines/

Challenging flash and short fiction. http://www.ridinglightreview.com/guidelines.html

Writing and art by women. http://www.twoseriousladies.org/about-this-magazine/


  Comps and Calls for April 2014

Monday, 31 March 2014