Comps and calls for November 2015

Here are November 2015’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 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!


Poetry by teens (Cathy’s note: as they will stop taking entries when they have enough of sufficient quality, get your entries in ASAP!). NON-CASH PRIZE

Ghost stories up to 250 words by those up to 18 years old (Cathy’s note: as they will stop taking entries when they have enough of sufficient quality, get your entries in ASAP!). NON-CASH PRIZE

4th Nov ‘You are invited to describe an everyday object, in verse, from the point of view of a Martian. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 4 November.’ PAYING

5th Nov ‘The written submission must relate to the architecture of health. The topic should explore a fresh and provocative perspective that addresses the context of the architecture of health. It should demonstrate how good design for health can and should happen without the essay being a survey, a descriptive process or a building study. Participants will be asked to register and submit a written piece which has not been previously published. It can be fantastical, critical, and in the form of a blog, story, critique, polemic etc Illustrations that help to explain the text will be accepted. There is an upper word limit of 2000 words.’ PAYING

6th Nov ‘Your challenge: In no more than 75 words, write the beginning of a story in which someone has any kind of amnesia. Any character(s) in the story can be the one(s) with amnesia–the narrator, someone other than the narrator–we don’t have a preference. The goal is to write a beginning of an amnesia story that’s so interesting, we want to read more, even though the story’s built around a cliché.’ PAYING

11th Nov Comp 2924: You are invited to submit a ‘love scene’ from a novel that dampens rather than boosts the reader’s libido. Please email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 11 November. PAYING

13th Nov (Cathy’s note: airfare to Iceland is not included in the prize!) ‘The winner will receive the full retreat package, including a free hotel stay, tours, most meals, and all workshops for the duration of the event, from 13 to 17 April.* We know you’re all great writers, so show us what you’ve got. Write a short story, essay or poem, no more than 500 words, on the theme “Iceland — A Land of Storytelling.”’ NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Nov Poetry, fiction or nonfiction on the theme of Women and Water. PAYING

15th Nov ‘The Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, a cash award of $500, will be awarded to the best Brooklyn-focused non-fiction essay which is set in Brooklyn and is about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters. We are seeking compelling Brooklyn stories from writers with a broad range of backgrounds and ages who can render Brooklyn’s rich soul and intangible qualities through the writer’s actual experiences in Brooklyn.’ (Cathy’s note: they don’t specify Brooklyn-only or even USA-only, but they do say that it should be rendered through the writer’s actual experience in Brooklyn, so you’ll have to decide whether or not your experiences render you eligible. I don’t usually include non-UK regional stuff unless anyone can enter it – this is available internationally, technically!) PAYING

15th Nov Letter, or ode to letters. PAYING

15th Nov ‘We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for our 2016 Emerging Writer Fellowships. Under this project, three emerging writers will be selected for six-month fellowships. Our focus when reviewing applications will be on finding writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work and who would benefit from the time, space, and editorial attention the fellowships offer.’ PAYING

16th Nov Speculative story up to 250 words on the theme of Christmas Invasion (Cathy’s note: all entrants receive a free digital issue of Apex magazine. Useful for those who might want to submit to it in the future). PAYING

16th Nov Memoir up to 750 words. PAYING

23rd Nov ‘Prompt: Write a short story, of 700 words or fewer, that begins with the following sentence: The difference is, I lie for a reason. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.’

27th Nov ‘We’re looking for carefully crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.’ Up to 8000 words. PAYING

29th Nov Poem, short story or blog post, preferably by a new writer. ‘We hope the applicants will be people with little to no published works, or those who have a blog lacking visitors.’ PAYING

30th Nov Short story up to 2500 words. PAYING

30th Nov ‘Throughout human history, different periods have been captured by a defining theme: the Dark Ages… the Industrial Age… the Nuclear Age… the Information Age… the Space Age, etc. What do you think the theme of the 21st century will be?’ Essay 1500-2500 words. PAYING

30th Nov ‘Each month three topics from recent news will be selected.  Choosing one from the list, writers will have the opportunity to imagine the implications of that event on our future and can decide for themselves whether the outcome will be positive or negative.  Two winners will be selected, one Utopian and one Dystopian story, and will be announced at the beginning of the following month.’ PAYING


2nd Nov Canadians only: ‘The stories surrounding monsters, creatures, and myths play an integral role in the formation of a cultural and individual identity. For our forthcoming anthology, Those Who Make Us, we will gather together a unique body of speculative fiction with a focus on creatures, myths, and monsters set in a real or imagined Canada that highlight these diverse identities. We welcome stories about classic Canadian monsters, but Those Who Make Us will also explore how monsters from other cultures affect and are affected by Canadian landscapes.’ PAYING

5th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Dickensian Holidays (Cathy’s note: you don’t have to pay a submission fee unless you want to enter the contests, or are submitting microfiction).

6th Nov ‘Solstice, Krampus, The Snow Queen, wolves, forests, the Christmas story, Jack Frost… these are just a few bits of winter wonder that might find their way into a poem or flash for our three drops from a cauldron Midwinter Special e-issue.’

9th Nov Women writers only: ‘Six Hens features true stories about the moments that define and redefine. Our writers take us to the places and events that changed what they believe in, changed how they see their place in the world, and changed them. Through their storytelling, they change us. We are looking for powerful, first-person nonfiction about the moments that segment life into before and after.Your submission should be previously unpublished. Please limit your piece to 2000 words.’ PAYING

10th Nov Poetry and prose on the theme of Monogamy for this ‘zine about women’s sexuality.

10th Nov Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Dream.

11th Nov Flash, short fiction and graphic art on the theme of Torsion. PAYING

14th Nov or when filled: Poetry on the theme of The Long Road. ROYALTIES

15th Nov ‘Anthology to celebrate the power of Anna Akhmatova’ s voice seeks poems and essays about her works, life, and times. Though the editor is interpreting the topic broadly, she is interested in poems sparked by lines from A. A.’s poems or biographical material and personal essays about how she may have influenced your work, as well as scholarly essays.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Nov ‘We ask you to summon up Sherlock Holmes once more. We ask you to take the canonical Holmes, just as Doyle left him, and work him into your style and into your fictional universe. We ask you to create the finest mysteries and adventures.’ 15,000-30,000 words approx. PROFIT/REVENUE-SHARING MODEL

15th Nov Lyric essays.

15th Nov ‘We will consider a broad variety of material, but we place special emphasis on that which discusses healthcare or illuminates the experience of health or disease in some way. This can include short fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art, music, or book/article reviews, or any other form of creative expression that strikes your fancy.’!submissions/c108h

15th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Christmas or Christmas Horror.

15th Nov Poetry on the theme of Harvest.

15th Nov Speculative fiction up to 7500 words on the theme of Sirens.

15th Nov Creative writing and more on the theme of Legacy. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Nov Writing for the Holiday issue (Cathy’s note: holiday as in the American sense, i.e. Christmas, Kwanza etc, rather than trips to places, I think).

15th Nov Fiction 100 words long, with a one-word title, on the theme of Fire.

21st Nov Fiction up to 4000 words on the theme of Oddism. ROYALTIES

27th Nov Flash and short fiction inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

30th Nov Stories and poetry inspired by the goddess Hestia. ‘Send us your household stories–your domestic noir, haunted houses, tales of forgotten homes, distant homes, missing homes. Tell us your hearth-side fairy tales and old legends. Contemporary stories of the sacrifices we make in our homes every day.’ PAYING

30th Nov Crime fiction 1-5000 words.

30th Nov SF or F fiction 1000-6000 words on the theme of Sword and Sorcery. PAYING

30th Nov Personal stories and poems on the theme of Angels and Miracles. PAYING

30th Nov ‘This issue’s theme asks you to control yourself! We are looking for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and anything in between that binds itself to a pattern or a limit. Whether it’s a Larry Smith-style Six Word Memoir, a 100-word story, a 250 word essay, a haiku, sestina, or syllabic poem, we want to see it. Although we are interested in form-related constraint in this issue, we are also happy to receive conventionally structured work in which the notion of constraint (or lack thereof) is explored on a thematic level.’ (thanks to Erika Dreifus for this link)

30th Nov Poetry on the theme of Carpe Diem.

30th Nov Fiction on the theme of Carpe Diem.

30th Nov ‘Send us your stories about what it means to be an American, whether you’re talking about apple pie and baseball, country music and our national anthem, barbecues, national holidays, our military heroes, first responders, American ingenuity, buying “made in America” (like our books!), our huge and varied country, our diversity and our tolerance, our energy and spirit, and all the other things that make us proud Americans.’ PAYING

30th Nov Speculative fiction. PAYING

30th Nov Poetry on the theme of The Silk Road. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Karma. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Eureka! CONTRIBUTOR COPY

30th Nov Nonfiction.

30th Nov Found poetry on the theme of Holiday (Cathy’s note: this is in the sense of Christmas and Thanksgiving, not as in trips to the seaside).

30th Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of dot com.

30th Nov Writing and more on the theme of Psychedelics and Psychotropics.

1st Dec Complex fairy tales for children.

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and art.

1st Dec Pagan fairy tales.

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more.

1st Dec Poetry and more on the theme of The Divine Feminine. PAYING

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of The Lies We Tell Ourselves. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Dec ‘We ask that when you submit to Pelorus Press you send us your process rather than just your product. Please send us several drafts (at least three drafts) of each poem as well as the final draft. We appreciate drafts with hand written notes and revisions as well as drafts that explain your thought process. We are also open to accepting essays about creativity, books or authors that inspired you, great teaching moments, and any other essay that may celebrate the craft of writing.’


1st Dec Poetry, flash and short fiction. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Dec Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Pleasure or Pain.


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, flash and more.

Poetry, flash and short fiction. PAYING

Militant Thistles is the new sister site to The Recusant, and is specifically here to publish politically topical poems of a left-wing/socialist persuasion in oppositional response to the policies of “permanent austerity”. We ‘Thistles’ aim to be permanent thorns in the sides of Tories and establishment torch-carriers alike…

Short fiction and art. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

Poetry, fiction and much more that engages with contemporary feminist culture and activism. PAYING

Poetry and fiction.

Short fiction and poetry from debut and emerging writers. PAYING

The Weekend Read publishes outstanding fiction written by women every Friday. We feature prize-winning stories, stories from published collections and brand new work by established authors as well as showcasing new, emerging voices from across the globe. For a chance to have your writing featured as a Weekend Read, please send us your short stories. We welcome all genres and subjects from self-identifying women over sixteen years old. Minimum word count is 2,000. Maximum word count is 6,000.

Children’s, YA and adult fiction MSS.

Flash, short fiction and more. PAYING

‘We publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, graphic narratives, comix, artwork, photography, photographic essays, video essays, slam poetry performances, and hybrid/experimental works from new and established writers and artists.’

‘Priestess & Hierophant Press publishes short fiction, non-fiction, novels, novellas, poetry, artwork, and mixed mediums in the following areas:

1) Speculative – any genre.  We consider magical realism to be borderline speculative.  Please submit.

2) Esoteric Works – any path or practice.

3) Fine Artwork – any medium.

4) Cross-Genre – any combination of the above.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES!services/c13aa

‘We’re looking for stories of how the lives of animals and humans intersect, particularly in regards to the conservation and protection of animals. We are not seeking stories about hunting, fishing, or eating animals—unless they are analogous to a good anti-war novel being all about war. Under these basic guidelines, however, we’re open to reading a wide range of short fiction with animal themes.’

‘Writers, illustrators and writer-illustrators are invited to submit, by email, ideas for children’s picture books, in idea form or as fully written or illustrated texts. Our books will work for both children and for the adults reading to them.’ ROYALTIES

Up to 4 poems.

‘The Drabblecast is a paying fiction market, an award-winning one, and befittingly choosy. There’s something specific we are looking for – that weird idea you have, that hilarious or disturbing scenario you’ve been brooding over.  We like stories that are humorous, bizarre, gross, disturbing, badass, interesting and original.’ PAYING

‘White Ash accepts all forms of poetry, short fiction and quotes. However, submissions containing explicit language, horror and the names of living or recently deceased persons will not be accepted or published. Submit only 1-3 submissions per issue–deadlines are rolling and accepted submissions will be included in the next available publication. Poetry and prose may be submitted along with flash fiction, which is confined to under 350 words.’

Poetry, short fiction and more.

Novels with female sleuths for their Damned Dames imprint. ROYALTIES

‘We accept manuscripts of poetry, flash fiction, visual poetry, experimental poetry, or any combination thereof. Manuscripts must be at least 50 pages to be considered for publication. All proceeds from book sales get donated to a charity organization, meaning authors receive no royalties. Selected authors receive the privilege of helping choose what charity their book’s profits go toward supporting.’

Poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry, fiction and more (Cathy’s note: scroll down past the comp, which requires an entry fee to be paid). PAYING

Poetry, prose and more.

‘Crux Literary Journal is always looking for incredible poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction to publish on this site.  Creative work submitted to Crux should have Christian themes but should in no way shy away from rougher parts of life.’

Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

Flash fiction.

Poetry and fiction.

‘ “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we that we cannot straightly think of one without the others,” M.F.K. Fisher writes in the Art of Eating. The best food writing is not just about what’s on the plate, but is, like all literature, also interested in language, psychology, and the most pressing issues of the day. The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food aims to provide a forum for artists and academics alike to come together in discussion of what role food plays in our lives, through the environment, politics, economics, nationalism, poverty, inequality, and family.’

‘Red Light Lit is an art and literary journal that explores love, lust, desire, sex and sexuality in the form of prose, poetry, photography and song.’

Writing and more by queer/trans writers of colour. PAYING

Accessible poetry.

‘Wildness wants work that evokes the unknown. The lostness; the distance. We want stories that linger just out of reach. We want to follow you into the blue that’s nestled inside your dreams. We are currently looking for poetry, prose, essays, art, photography and videos for our inaugural issue.’

Poetry, short prose and more.

‘We focus on the “mid-list” rather than celebrity mass-market publishing on the one hand or highly academic on the other. We know we can’t compete with the big publishers, and we try and keep our prices competitive. We’re looking for good popular writing; the new, non-generic, ambitious and risky. We particularly enjoy the books that cross boundaries and push out the envelope, that are in their way unusual or definitive (or both).’ ROYALTIES

Sport-themed poetry, fiction and more.

Horror and dark fantasy fiction. PAYING

‘Zoo Cake Press is an independent publishing collective dedicated to the production of small run and limited edition books. Our mission is to promote underrepresented voices in literature and art.’

Open until filled: ‘Well-written, literary ‘weird’ tales.  Short stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end.  This will not be an anthology of horror stories.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

‘I want your weird stories, your bleeding-heart stories, your fantasy stories, your robot stories, your haunting stories, your dark alley stories. I want your confessional poetry, your imagist poetry, your formal poetry, your socio-political poetry, your prose poetry, your found poetry.’

‘Moonsick Magazine is currently accepting works of fiction and non-fiction from significantly female-identified people. Our definition of “women” is the all-embracing one and gender binary is for the birds.
Stuff We Want:
STORIES between 5 and 3000 words, preferably really good ones. We want them to resonate, but only maybe resolve. Above all, write honestly.
NON-FICTION including essays, interviews, reviews of continental breakfasts, whatever, ideally under 3000 words.
POETRY no haikus, up to three poems per submission.’

Poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry, flash, plays, short fiction and more.

3-5 short poems.

Rhyming poems and articles about writing.

‘A new publication that explores the probable, as well as the possible through speculative fiction, art, and the occasional poem as humankind colonizes the solar system. Suggested themes: colonizing planets in the solar system, evolution/devolution of humanity on other planets (physical/cultural/etymological/ideological), first contact with other species, etc.’ Poetry and fiction. PAYING

Up to seven poems.

Fiction up to 2000 words.

Contemporary fiction, chick lit, young adult, and romance MSS.

Writing by girls and those raising them.

‘whimperbang invites the submission of serious, directed artistic expressions that reflect
or comment upon today’s world. All literary and visual genres will be considered.’ Poetry, fiction, plays and more.


1 Comment

  1. Hey Cathy it is just wonderful what you do for us! Thank you so very much. Little note: the entry for the first line competition of Writer’s Digest makes it look like the first line required includes the ‘You can be funny etc.’ when it is just till I lie for a reason. Thank you.

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