Comps and calls for September 2021

Hello everyone,

Yes, I’m back! Covid was awful, but I’m very lucky, and I’m over it now. Many, many thanks to all those who contacted me, and sent good wishes, prayers, good vibes and healing thoughts. You have been FABULOUS. I was far too ill to reply to some of you, for which I apologise.

So — back to competitions and calls for submission! I hope you’ve been writing loads and enjoying it, and now you’re thinking of sending some work off. You deserve success and I hope with all my heart that you get it.

Much love,

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

14th Sep (BUT fee-free submissions are capped at 300, so get your entry in ASAP!!!!! – Cathy’s note). Flash fiction up to 1000 words. https://forgelitmag.com/competition/

3rd Sep Fiction 1000-5000 words on the theme of Monsters. PAYING https://onthepremises.com/current-contest/

8th Sep Spectator Competition No. 3216: rock god. ‘You are invited to retell a well-known biblical story in a secular style that might enhance its appeal to a contemporary audience. Email entries of up to 150 words to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 8 September.’ PAYING https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/spectator-competition-winners-villanelles-after-elizabeth-bishop (Cathy’s note: scroll down for the comp.)

10th Sep Mystery story in exactly 50 words. VOUCHER/OTHER https://www.lincolnbookfestival.org/2021/06/whodunnit-mystery-revealed-as-theme-for-latest-lincoln-book-festival-flash-fiction-competition/

15th Sep ‘Articles must be unpublished, original work that relates medicine to the humanities. We welcome submissions from health professionals, students, and scholars of the humanities and social sciences. We also encourage patients to contribute pieces that reflect their experiences or perspectives on healing and health.’ PAYING https://hekint.org/2021/04/20/2021-grand-prix/

15th Sep Speculative flash fiction on the theme of Artemesia I of Caria. PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submissions/

19th Sep ‘We’re so excited to announce the launch of Love to Write in partnership with Love Island winner, Amber Rose Gill, to find new voices from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds for Mills & Boon! Our aim is to increase racial diversity and representation within the romance genre, so we’re particularly interested in submissions from writers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Mixed-Race.’ PAYING https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/pages/mills-boon-love-to-write-competition (With thanks to http://www.prizemagic.co.uk/html/writing_comps.htm )

25th Sep Horror fiction 1500-4000 words on the theme of Mummies. PAYING https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

25th Sep ‘Everyone’s perspectives have all been altered this year. Priorities have been re-orientated, the importance of connection and community has been highlighted like never before and many people’s world views have shifted, choosing to slow down, and re-evaluate what’s important in life.’ Fiction, Nonfiction or Poetry on the theme of perspective. PAYING  https://uk.beechmorebooks.com/pages/free-writing-competition-2021

30th Sep Art of Unity Creative Award:  ‘The call for submissions for 2021 is now open. We accept literary (poetry; essays and short stories under 2500 words); video; music; dance; performance or visual work around the theme: “Never again: Remembering to heal and overcome.” All pieces must be previously unpublished.’ https://www.ihraf.org/art-of-unity-creative-award

30th Sep ‘The International Human Rights Art Festival announces the creation of this new literary award, celebrating poetry, short stories (up to 2500 words) and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice.  Applicants may offer one submission in each category.’ PAYING https://www.ihraf.org/creators-of-justice-literary-awards

30th Sep Drabble on the theme of Time Travel Gone Wrong. PAYING https://www.hiraethsffh.com/drabble-contest

1st Oct  ‘The Perito Prize will be awarded to outstanding new short fiction of between 1000 and up to 2000 words… You just have to make sure the story is centred around the theme of accessibility, inclusion, diversity & inclusive environments. Also make sure it is able to be printed on the website so please don’t swear or write anything with potentially offensive content. This means no Fifty Shades of Access Auditing.’ PAYING https://weareperito.com/perito-prize

SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES

2nd Sep ‘We will accept short-form fiction any way you want to write it. This can include poetry, flash fiction or short stories.’ ‘For this issue, we’re looking for stories about agents of evil and their minions whose employment situation is something other than we might expect.’ PAYING https://www.periodicalforlorn.com/submission-guidelines

5th Sep Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Magic & Mayhem. https://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html

5th Sep ‘We’d love to see your prose, flash and micro fiction, poetry, essay, creative non-fiction, photography, ekphrastics, and more!’ Theme: Masks & Manes. https://www.parliamentlit.com/contests-submissions

5th Sep ‘2k-5k word short stories written by women and femme-identifying individuals that explore the ways in which women are shaped by the men around them. There is no restriction on sub-genre or subject matter, but the story must incorporate how a feminine figure is shaped by male hands through a horror lens.’ PAYING https://cemeterygatesmedia.com/submissions/

7th Sep BIPOC-only submissions of speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submissions/

7th Sep Poetry and Art on the theme of Art. https://feraljournal.wordpress.com/submissions/

8th Sep Fiction 5000-10,000 words on the theme of Screaming in the Night. PAYING https://www.sinistersmilepress.com/sitn-submission-guidelines

11th Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of War and Peace. https://masonstreetreview.org/submissions/

14th Sep Poetry, fiction and more. http://palaverjournal.com/submit-to-palaver/

14th Sep Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Road Trip. http://montanamouthful.com/submission-guidelines/

15th Sep Fiction on the theme of Border Crossing Narratives. PAYING https://shenandoahliterary.org/submissions/

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

15th Sep Fiction 2500-5000 words on the theme of Silence in the City. PAYING https://www.foundershousepublishing.com/2021/07/silence-in-city-open-call-for.html

15th Sep Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Nostalgia. PAYING https://www.superfroot.com/submit

19th Sep From the Yonder: ‘A horror, short-story collection of regional legends and tall-tales from around the World.’ 1000-7000 words.  PAYING https://warmonkeypublications.com/submissions

19th Sep ‘We at Zombie Works Publications are currently accepting thirteen short story submissions. They will go into our “Natural Instincts Tales of Witches and Warlocks.” We are looking for short-stories that involve as the title says, Witches and Warlocks.’ 2000-3000 words. PAYING http://zombieworks.us/

20th Sep Poetry and articles on the theme of Language of Faith for this Quaker-themed journal. https://www.friendsjournal.org/submissions/

24th Sep Full length poetry MSS for debut (first book) collections. https://www.blackocean.org/submit

30th Sep Poetry and prose. https://milkbeans.wordpress.com/contact/

30th Sep Food poetry. PAYING https://www.friendlycitybooks.com/savor

30th Sep Writing on the theme of Decay by those who don’t identify as cisgender males. https://hecate-magazine.com/submissions

30th Sep ‘Historical Fiction. Any person, location, or time period accepted as long as dragons are included.’ 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

30th Sep ‘Any stories involving a female Main Character and dragons.’ 7000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

30th Sep Indigenous writers only: ‘Guest editor Shauna Osborn (DJ Tenacious Oz) requests you dig up your best mixed tapes, 8 track singles, Blue Note vinyls, bootleg drum circle recordings, Bey cover band concepts, Solid Gold video tapes, old iPod playlists, and write. Oh, and before you ask, she will even listen to your collection of dubstep remixes.’ http://www.yellowmedicinereview.com/id12.html

30th Sep ‘We are interested in reading poems and short stories on the Pandemic theme that speak of the tragedies our planet and humankind have suffered and lessons derived from the Coronavirus outbreak but not limited to Covid-19. A story or poem can be about any epidemic known to the world in the 21st century. We are open to reading all kinds of work submitted to us; however, we are more inclined to publishing literature which uplifts, assures, and establishes faith in humanity.’ http://riverpawpress.com/index.php/submissions/

30th Sep ‘We are looking for “playfully dark”, intelligent, humorous, descriptive literature written for children ages 8 – 13. We invite poetry and fiction submissions by email.’ Theme: Lost. PAYING https://www.crowtoesquarterly.org/submit

30th Sep ‘Pure in Heart Stories is a new online and print children’s magazine of Christian-themed stories, poetry, and artwork created by adults (and now kids, too!), for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years old.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)  https://pureinheartstories.com/submissions/

30th Sep Romantic fiction 2000-10,000 on the theme of Billionaires of New York. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://www.paramourink.com/submissions

30th Sep Poetry, prose, and art. PAYING https://qwertymagazine.submittable.com/submit

30th Sep Poetry on the theme of Adversity. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.thepoetmagazine.org/contribute

30th Sep Poetry, flash, fiction and more on the theme of Open Space. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) http://www.fromsac.com/submissions.html

30th Sep ‘The theme of this fantasy anthology is light in the darkness. Your story should contain the element of hope shining through the dark, whether this is subtle or a leading theme throughout the story’s fabric. The editors are seeking bold stories with a lot of heart and stories that do not shy away from gritty themes or dark topics. If you enjoy weaving stories with hope throughout insanity, you’ve found the right submission opportunity.’ 2000-8000 words.  ROYALTIES https://angelarwatts.com/submissions/

30th Sep Horror story 4000-8000 words on the theme of L is for Lycanthropes. PAYING https://redcapepublishing.com/submissions/

30th Sep LGBTQ Romance stories 12,000 words and up on the theme of Jolly Holidays. ‘Stories set during winter holidays. Christmas, of course, but we’re also open to Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s. You could also do Chinese New Year, Diwali, Valentine’s Day … any holiday set during the winter months.’ ROYALTIES https://www.jms-books.com/2021-submissions-calls-lgbtq-romance-stories-ezp-36.html

30th Sep Poetry on the theme of Roots. https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/submissions/collection-8-roots

30th Sep LGBTQ Romance stories 12,000 words and up on the theme of Opposites Attract. ROYALTIEShttps://www.jms-books.com/2021-submissions-calls-lgbtq-romance-stories-ezp-36.html

1st Oct Fiction of exactly 100 words on the theme of Winter Shocks. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.blackinkfiction.com/holiday-horrors

1st Oct ‘Everyone loves the zoo, some maybe love it *too* much. Escaped animals, encounters gone horribly wrong, deranged zookeepers, and more. Give us fresh takes on zoo trips to make us squirm!’ 100 words exactly. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.blackinkfiction.com/under-the-big-top-series

1st Oct ‘Highland Park Poetry is accepting submissions of poetry and art/photography for our Fall/Winter Muses’ Gallery. It’s Poet’s & Artist’s Choice. No theme or form required.’ http://www.highlandparkpoetry.org/eventsdailypoems.html

1st Oct ‘ Slash-Her is a Women of Horror slasher anthology which is a mixture of invite and submissions… We would like to see varied interpretations of this genre. Of course, we (Janine!) are hoping to see some splatterpunk submissions but this anthology will be filled to the brim with nuance. Wow us with your quiet horror, surprise us with your humour. You want an axe wielding soccer mom who has had enough of the other yummy mummies with their lattes, do your worst! Show us what you believe women can bring to the slasher sub-genre.’ 3000-5000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES https://kandishapress.com/submissions/

1st Oct or when filled: ‘I will be accepting up to 200 poems that fit the theme of places: landscapes that are either rural and remote or set in a city.’ https://www.sweetycatpress.com/blog

1st Oct Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Liminal. https://erferrara.wixsite.com/quarantinemuseum/submissions

1st Oct Fiction 300-5000 words, ending with the line: “Welcome to the family.” PAYING http://www.thelastlinejournal.com/index.htm

1st Oct Poetry and fiction on the theme of Flight. http://www.camasmagazine.org/submit

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!)

Poetry, fiction and more. https://www.endogamymagazine.com/

‘We publish fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, as well as a select catalogue of visual art. We also accept work in foreign languages. We are looking for writing that is personal, philosophical, experimental, ripe, queer, feminist—we are a journal of eclectic tastes.’ https://www.thespotlongreview.org/submissions

‘Valiant Scribe calls for submissions that focus on faith and social issues, including sanitation and hygiene, sexual violence, poverty, criminal justice, human trafficking, mental health, unknown inventors, people of color, climate change, etcetera.’ https://www.valiantscribe.com/submit

Poetry, fiction and art. PAYING https://thirdwednesdaymagazine.org/submissions/

‘As its name implies, The Washington Boast tends to focus on current events in the political realm that could benefit from a unique satirical perspective. But since daily life involves a mishmash of other things, submissions on those subjects are also welcome, however unimportant they may seem in comparison. Make the mundane interesting.’ https://medium.com/the-washington-boast/submit-to-the-washington-boast-ee6a05ae54d9

Transgressive/dirty realist poetry, stories and novels. https://www.outcast-press.com/copy-of-about

‘We are a Toronto-based publisher of military-focused fiction and non-fiction works. We’re interested in material that sheds new light on familiar topics, or that changes what we think we know about a topic. Although we are primarily interested in Canadian or Canada-based authors, we will consider works by writers who are farther afield.’ https://doubledagger.ca/submissions/

July 2021 update

Hello all,
I’ve still got Long Covid and I’m not going to be able to do Comps and Calls until I’m better. I WILL BE BACK! But not until I have the energy and health to do this. Don’t forget to cancel your Patreons and donations, my dear friends. I don’t want you spending money for nothing. Thank you for all your kind messages, your prayers, vibes and good wishes. I’m going to be OK so don’t worry about me. Please look after yourselves and take care—I’m pretty sure that I’d have died if I hadn’t had my vaccinations before I got it. Please keep writing and submitting and entering! Keep sharing your wonderful words! See you in a month or so, I hope.
Much love,
Cathy xxx

Comps and calls for July 2021

Hello all,

I have COVID-19, and I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to do Comps and Calls for July 2021. Here are some listings I already had for that month. I’m hopeful that I’ll be back in August. Lots of love to all of you,

Cathy


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

30th Jul Black writers only: prose literature of 150 pages or more. PAYING https://redhen.org/ann-petry-award/

31st Jul Canada only: poetry and short story contests. PAYING http://polarexpressions.ca/SummerContests.html

SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES

4th Jul Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Women & Girls. https://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html

4th Jul US only: short story. PAYING https://buckmanpublishing.submittable.com/submit/192494/buckmxn-story-service

15th Jul ‘We all do it. Shop at The Dollar Store. But why? Is it the best value for money? Not really, but it is cheap. And convenient. Cheap and convenient is good but aren’t we really looking for treasure? Or are we avoiding the outside world?
Tell us your best unpublished stories of approximately 50 words about The Dollar Store, Pound Store, 100 Yen Store, etc. near you.’ http://www.blink-ink.org/current-submissions/

15th Jul Writing and more on the theme of War. https://www.opendoorpoetrymagazine.com/author-submissions

15th Jul Poetry and short prose on the theme of Second Thoughts. PAYING https://writershedpress.com/submissions/

15th Jul Poetry. PAYING https://thuyapoetryreview.com/submit/

15th Jul opens until filled: ‘HOUSE OF BOOKS –  I’ll be searching the submission stacks for dream libraries, book borrowing & book lending, book club meetings, bookmarks, and dog-eared pages! Poetry, flash or CNF. https://www.dwellingliterary.com/submit

30th Jul Villanelles by LGBTQ+/non-binary poets and allies. https://www.limpwristmagazine.com/villanelles

30th Jul Theme: Subcultures.  ‘For our print magazine, we 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.’ https://www.litromagazine.com/litro-magazine-is-one-of-the-best-places-places-to-submit-writing/#print (Cathy’s note: you can also submit to the online or podcast versions of Litro.)

30th Jul ‘Eerie River is, and forever will be, inclusive in every way. We are looking for LGBTQIA+ characters to be featured within the story itself. Who can submit? This anthology is open to everyone. Bring us your foolish humans, your dark flesh-eating fae. Entice us with your magic and let us feast on the carnage you create. We are looking for unique character-driven stories with a strong fantasy storyline. Happy endings not required. Rated R stories welcome.’ https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

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

31st Jul BIPOC women/nonbinary parents: ‘Raising Mothers is accepting submissions for our column, Radical Joy. We are not meant to endure motherhood. We are meant to savor it, to enjoy it. We want your essays about experiences and memories that brought laughter and healing. Tell us the moments of radical joy that rock your world and redefine perceptions of parenting and motherhood.’ https://www.raisingmothers.com/submissions/ (Cathy’s note: It’s free to submit poetry.)

31st Jul Spec flash and spec poetry on the theme of Summer Rain. https://www.planisphereq.com/p/guidelines.html

31st Jul Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ‘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.’ ROYALTIES https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

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

1st Aug Fiction (and occasionally poetry) 300-5000 words starting with the line: ‘What should we do with the body?’ PAYING http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

1st Aug ‘We invite marginalized unpublished writers to submit their poetry, prose, and hybrid works for this issue. We especially encourage unpublished writers living with disabilities, those who also identify as writers of color, and/or as part of the LGBTQ++ community.’ Theme: the body. POSSIBLE PAYMENT https://santafewritersproject.submittable.com/submit (Cathy’s note: From their website: ‘Once our Submittable fees are covered, we will divide any excess funds earned through the tip jar options equally amongst the published contributors.’)

1st Aug An edition focusing on black writers and artists. ‘Please note: we feature poems with some connection to Tokyo/Japan at the textual or authorial level. Not so in to poems about cherry blossoms, etc. Exceptions apply.’  https://www.topojo.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!)

Fiction. ‘Our platform is brand new; the first authors published on the site will be paid $0.02 for every unique story view, including views from free accounts. Once we are up and running, writers will receive a portion of the subscription of paying readers (similar to Medium).’ PAYING https://simily.co/how-it-works/