Comps and calls for June 2016

Hello all! I hope that everything’s going well for you. Many thanks to those who’ve let me know of successes — it’s great that so many Comps-and-Calls-ers are getting published, some for the first time! I’m having a moderate sort of year professionally, but there should be big developments in a few months… In the meantime, it’s time to submit and enter as much as possible!

Cathy x

Here are June 2016’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! The links are in the comments, and any dates at the start are deadlines. December is the best time by far to submit and enter. There are loads of opportunities, and many people are too busy to take advantage of them. Please try to find the time if you can!

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.


(Cathy’s note: submit ‘by June’ to get in this year’s prize, or, if accepted, your essay might be eligible for next year’s.) ‘In keeping with Maritain’s own broad interests, we are not limiting submissions to a particular theme, other than what would fit within the context of a Catholic cultural and literary journal. In other words, please follow our nonfiction submission guidelines.’ PAYING

3rd Jun ‘Your challenge: Think of a great twist ending for a story. Then, in no more than 50 words, write the beginning of a short story that starts with that twist, instead of saving it for the end. Unlike most mini-contests, we’re not asking you to tell a complete story–just begin one.’ PAYING

3rd Jun ‘Kevin Elyot was a Bristol alumnus (Drama Department) who went on to achieve great success through his ground-breaking plays, adaptations and other work. The Kevin Elyot Award creates a writer in residency post that allows the recipient access to the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, where Kevin Elyot’s own archive is contained.’ PAYING

5th Jun Story on the theme of Genius and Madness.

6th Jun ‘Project 2036 is a three year programme that will offer a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) playwright, director and producer a £10,000 bursary each year, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.’ (Cathy’s note: you will need to attend meetings and events in London if you get this.) PAYING (thanks to for this one)

8th Jun Spectator Competition No. 2952: nonsensical. ‘You are invited to submit nonsense verse of up to 16 lines on the subject of the EU referendum. Please email entries to by midday on 8 June.’ PAYING

9th June The first 690 words of a work-in-progress (unfinished or unpublished novel) or a book self-published by the author within the past year (publication date no earlier than 2/14/2015). All entries must be from novel-length works. VOUCHER/OTHER

12th Jun UK only: finish the Barbie story. NON-CASH PRIZE

13th Jun Poem or fiction on the theme of Sea-Change, by disabled and/or marginalised writers in the UK only. PAYING

13th Jun ‘We run an annual Ocean Awareness Student Contest that challenges middle and high school students to communicate the science of pressing ocean issues through art, poetry, prose, or film. It’s a great opportunity for creatively-minded students who want to make work that makes a difference.’ PAYING

15th Jun Story 2000-5000 words inspired by the artwork of your choice. PAYING

15th Jun Fiction, nonfiction and art on the theme of The Land of Oz. PAYING (Thanks to for this one.)

15th Jun Essay by those up to 25 years old on the theme of Education to Build a Better Future for All. PAYING

21st Jun United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions only: Submit your manuscript for a book about diversity for ages 8-14 and you could receive a publishing contract from Penguin Random House LLC! Open to people of color (or those who self-identify as other than white) aged 18 and older.’ PAYING

24th Jun 200-word stories on the theme of Canda Day/US Independence Day. PAYING

30th Jun ‘Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.’ PAYING

30th Jun Fiction up to 2000 words on the theme of The Mysterious Call.

30th Jun Story or novel opening up to 1500 words. ‘Every submission receives three structured pieces of feedback in return for reviewing three others as part of the entry process. An algorithm (affectionately known as Ophelia) has the amazing ability to identify the best submissions and the Top 25% receive a Pen Factor award and are showcased on our Reader Page on the website and across our various social media outlets. The judging panel carefully reads the Top 25% of entries and select an overall winner who is referred to our partners, Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, for a full manuscript review valued at around US$500, thus providing access to the industry.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Jun Story up to 2000 words on the theme of Christmas. PAYING

30th Jun ‘The poem needs to be unambiguously about thanks – no subtle, back-handed compliments in this one, please! The poem needs to fit on a postcard with some room for illustration –maybe 10 long lines for a landscape postcard, or 15 shorter ones for a portrait postcard, or a prose poem. Please send your poem in the body of an email to Julia Bird ( by 30 June. The copyright of the selected poem will remain with the poet, but the Poetry School will be free to use the poem in print and online.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Jun ‘Our drabble contests will have themes. For each contest, we will simply throw the theme out there. Whatever the theme inspires you to write, that’s what you write. The theme of this contest is: What if the Monitor stares back at you? Basically, we’re looking for stories that are a bit off-beat, quirky, unusual. I mean, face it, what happens when, as a writer, you sit and stare at the monitor as if waiting for inspiration? What must the monitor be thinking? So tell us!’ PAYING

30th Jun ‘Short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. The contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium.’ PAYING

30th Jun Fiction up to 1000 words on the theme of Short & Sweet. NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Jun Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Science and Technology.

30th Jun Fiction up to 10,000 words. PAYING

1st Jul Comedy plays in Shakespearean language. PERCENTAGE OF BOX OFFICE

1st Jul ‘We aim to honor new and emerging poets and prose writers who are creating electric work. Submissions will only be accepted from writers who have not yet published a novel or collection of any type.’ PAYING (Thanks to for that one)

1st Jul Short poems and flash fiction. PAYING

1st Jul ‘We are looking for picture books, middle grade, teen and YA stories with outstanding plots and great hooks. Get us smiling with delight and/or splitting our sides with laughter. Send us your funniest fiction in all genres.’ NON-CASH PRIZE


3rd Jun Romantic flash fiction on the theme of Love on Location.

4th Jun ‘Solarpunk follows in the tradition of steampunk and cyberpunk as the embodiment of a counterculture ideology: innovating a way of life that is better for the present and ultimately better for the future. Concepts like clean energy and sustainability are integral to solarpunk as they are outlets for societal reform. The fight for positive change is where -punk comes into play.’ Stories 500-7500 words, and poems. PAYING

4th Jun Rocket Ride – M/M SF erotica. PAYING

5th Jun ‘White Stag wants work from Self-identified women. We want to highlight work by women; poetry, prose, & creative non-fiction that provides a lens into the various dimensions of women in the current world, from the micro to the macro level (whatever that may be for you, as a woman).’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

7th Jun ‘Between Worlds is seeking short stories and flash fiction of an otherworldly nature.’ PAYING

9th Jun Flash fiction inspired by Bristol’s harbourside area.

10th Jun ‘If there’s any subject to rival witches in the theme stakes here at Three Drops Press, it’s water lore. The sea, rivers, streams, ponds. Mermaids, sirens, selkies, kelpies, the Lady of the Lake, ghost ships, Scylla and Charybdis, and dozens of lesser-known tales – our writers and readers love a bit of myth and magic on the waves, currents, or reflected in the stillness of a pool.’

10th Jun ‘Spiltmilk Dance and artsdepot are offering two professional performing artists/companies an opportunity to create a brand new short piece of performance (8 minutes maximum), to be performed as part of The Love Cabaret at artsdepot.’ PAYING (Thanks to for this one)

11th Jun Flash and short fiction.

11th Jun Send your e-chapbooks for possible review.

12th Jun Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Freedom.

13th June ‘Bewilder us, scare us, entertain us. Take us on a journey… into the woods.’ Fiction 3000-7000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Jun Poem on the theme of Vaginas. PAYING

15th Jun Female-identifying writers only: ‘In women’s literature, myth and magic easily co-exists with domestic concerns; indeed it often amplifies the drama of the ordinary. Many contemporary poets take that familiar domestic scene—a kitchen, a laundry room, a vegetable patch—and distort the details to reveal the actual nature of the situation through fabulism.’

15th Jun Stories up to 8000 words on the theme of Enter the Apocalypse. PAYING

15th Jun ‘Inside The Bell Jar is a quarterly journal accepting poetry, short stories and flash fiction of absolutely any genre. The only real requirement we have is that your piece is related to mental illness in some way; through a character, the general theme, something about the setting – you decide.’ PAYING


15th Jun Erotica: ‘We are looking for stories with three chapters to be published serially. The first chapter only has one person, the second chapter has two people, the third chapter has three.’ PAYING

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Jun Speculative fiction on the theme of Keystone Chronicles.1500-3000 words. PAYING

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Film.

15th Jun Writing on the theme of Appetite.

15th Jun ‘For our next issue, our ongoing exploration of gender and sexuality through the lens of SF poetry addresses the male perspective. This issue—guest-edited by Marge Simon, a woman—will explore the male perspective through SF poems written by men and male-identifying persons, and male-persona poems written by anyone.’ PAYING

15th Jun Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of After Dark.

16th Jun Poetry, fiction and satire. PAYING

19th Jun Poetry, fiction and more by neurodivergent writers on the theme of Synchronicity.

19th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Ghosts.

21st Jun Poetry and flash up to 1000 words.

22nd Jun Unpublished writers only: Writing on the theme of Secrets and Confessions (Cathy’s note: anyone can submit, but only Scottish writers will be published in the print volume).

30th Jun ‘Tell us your stories about the great teachers who changed your life. And if you’re a teacher, tell us about the kids who changed yours, who motivated you to keep on teaching, who showed you that it was all worth it. We’d love to share your best advice with other teachers as well—what works, what doesn’t, how you stay enthusiastic about your jobs. What advice do you have for your colleagues? Tell us the funny stories too—we know you have lots of those.’ PAYING

30th Jun Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

30th Jun True stories and poems about blended families. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry, fiction and more.!guidelines/urcm6

30th Jun Poetry and fiction. PAYING

30th Jun ‘Women come in all shapes and sizes. We’re all beautiful and the key is to be fit and healthy within the body type that we were issued at birth. Our new book is all about body image, self-esteem, and feeling comfortable within our own skins.’ PAYING

30th Jun Poetry and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Music.

30th Jun ‘Too many characters spend their time brooding about the past, whether it’s missed opportunities or mistakes that led to misfortune down the line. For our first anthology, we want your stories with at least one character who has no regrets – either for a specific moment, or in general. Your story must feature a predominantly POC cast to be considered. Sci-fi, Fantasy, or Horror (no poetry, please). For this anthology, we’re looking for original, short fiction up to 10,000 words. ‘ PAYING

30th Jun ‘Picaroon Poetry is a web journal for unthemed, eclectic poetry. I’m looking for rogue poets, if you will (and absolutely anyone can be a rogue poet, if they feel the urge, so yes poet – that means you).’

30th Jun Fiction up to 3000 words. Also flash fiction 400 words or less, and somewhere in the work should be the line, “I woke up and found myself …” PAYING

30th Jun Poetry. PAYING (Cathy’s note: other categories require a submission fee, but poetry is free)

30th Jun Horror fiction 2000-8000 words on the theme of potter’s field/unmarked graves. PAYING

1st Jul Shade Mountain Press is seeking novel manuscripts by African American women.

1st Jul Fiction up to 500 words, poetry and more suitable for Christian children on the theme of All About Monkeys. PAYING

1st Jul ‘For general submissions we seek work that engages with or repurposes the complex cultural history of America. For our special transportation-themed issue, we are looking work that meets the criteria above but also reflects the special relationship Americans have to their modes of transportation—their trains and their riverboats and their classic cars and their vintage bicycles and their boots made for walking, to name only a few.’

1st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Second Thoughts. PAYING

1st Jul ‘The retold tale can be from any culture and any time period (though special attention will likely be given to non-western tales, since those will be more rare), the setting can be any interpretation of Science Fiction or Alternate History (not looking for classic (high) fantasy settings), and the retelling can be done as loosely or tightly as desired. We’re not looking for “cracked” fairytales or humor pieces, but we might make an exception if an exceptional one is sent in (certainly there would be room for no more than one of these in the collection).’ Fiction, poetry and art. PAYING

1st Jul Writers with disabilities only: ‘We’re looking for narratives about the experience of disability that complicate or altogether undo the dominant and typically marginalizing rhetoric about disability. We especially want to highlight work that investigates the complexity of the experience across identities. Whether you’re drawing from experiences related to gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, or any other marginalized identity, we want your voice in our journal.’ (Cathy’s note: after this first edition, submission fees will be charged, so submit now if you’re eligible!) PAYING

1st Jul ‘In the anticipation of publishing an anthology of poems responding to Moby-Dick, we would like to invite poetry submissions of one-to-five pages (this may include several poems or one long poem), totaling no more than 1400 words. So many media offer viable modes of response to Moby-Dick, but perhaps it is in poetry that we might weave most intricately, dive most deeply in response to his novel.’ (Cathy’s note: scroll down the page to find the call for submissions.)

1st Jul or when filled: Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or Anne of Green Gables. PAYING

1st Jul Poetry on the theme of 90s pop culture.


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.



Writing by women.

‘Cloud Rodeo is an irregularly published journal of the irregular.

Let’s get weird.’

‘Kube is an independent publishing house that publishes general interest, academic and children’s books on Islam and the Muslim experience.’

Genre fiction over 50,000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

‘The editors of LONTAR are looking for quality literary writing with elements of the fantastic, which is in some way connected with the cultures, traditions, mythologies, folk religions, and/or daily life in Southeast Asia. While we are happy to look at works by writers outside of the region, we want to actively encourage Southeast Asian writers to submit your work.’ PAYING

‘The Marie Alexander Series doesn’t just publish prose poetry but is looking for innovative collections of flash fiction, short lyric essays, and other hybrid forms.’


(Thanks to for this one.)

Writing inspired by the historical photos on the site.

‘Merit Press Books was founded to publish intensely readable, highly suspenseful novels with protagonists who usually are young adults over the age of fourteen. These stories will happen in the real world, featuring young female (and sometimes male) heroes rising to meet the challenges of a complex contemporary time and place. We do accept direct submissions as well as submissions from literary agents.’

Short and flash stories of various lengths. PAYING


‘As of 2016, we are launching our new endeavor, Sylph Press, which will publish beautiful chapbooks. We are interested in surreal, bizarre, dark, compelling, unsettling poetry and short fiction. We especially welcome writers who identify as being queer, non-binary, women, and POC.’

Australians and New Zealanders only: children’s books.

Speculative prose on the theme of Animals.

Until filled: unpublished writers only: ‘High school is hell. The bullying, the practical jokes gone horribly wrong, the humiliation at being turned down by the hottest girl/guy in school when you asked them to the dance. At the time we thought there was nothing worse, that our lives would be ruined forever, but we survived. Put that all aside now and think of other horrors that could have been. Is your school haunted? Are the professors aliens (or demons?) preying on the student body? Are they serving up something other than “food” in the cafeteria? And what’s up with the new kid?’ (Cathy’s note: scroll down to ‘Horror High’). PAYING

‘CRANIAL LEAKAGE will be an annual publication from Grinning Skull Press. It is an unthemed horror anthology that will be published in both digital and print formats. Subject matter is open, but please NO sexual content involving children.’ PAYING

Canadians only: MSS of poetry, fiction and more.

‘Belle Lutte Press’ mission is to bring exceptionalism back to the masses. While today’s media maximizes profits by force-feeding the populace cheap and unoriginal thought, Belle Lutte Press is fighting the good fight—hell-bent on publishing original, high-quality novels.’

‘We accept original science fiction stories up to 4,000 words in length. While we delight in escapist fantasies they are not what we are interested in publishing here, what we want most at Big Echo are thought experiments which push the conceptual and aesthetic boundaries of the genre. ‘

‘ welcomes submissions of original romance stories in all subgenres (erotica, contemporary, paranormal/urban fantasy, women’s fiction/chick lit, historical, romantic suspense, etc).’ ADVANCE + ROYALTIES

‘The Poisoned Pencil publishes young adult mystery in trade paperback and ebook editions.’ ADVANCE

‘We publish quiet stories that use the unreal, the surreal, the fantastic, and the speculative as a secret passageway to the profound. In the imagined, the mythical, the magical, the folkloric, and the scientifically plausible is a window, a metaphor, to the truth. We look for the colors of the real world through a warped or blurred mirror, to learn something about the way things are by experiencing the way they are not, or the way they could be. We see the lyrical and the fabulist as siblings.’ Poetry, fiction and more.!submit/cee5

Crime fiction books.

‘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.’ PAYING

Flash and short fiction, poetry, drama and more.

Poetry, various lengths of fiction, and more. PAYING

‘Mamá Liberada celebrates creative and inspiring families with essay, poetry, drawing, art, interviews, recipes, herbalism, DIY tutorials, reviews, personal accounts, and more in a zine compilation.’

‘Lovecraftiana is a quarterly publication from Rogue Planet Press, with issues coming out April 30th, July 31st, October 31st, and January 31st, featuring stories, articles, poetry or artwork on Cthulhu Mythos / Lovecraftian themes.’

Horror and dark fantasy fiction. PAYING

‘The CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly seeks to explore ideas and issues of Judaism and Jewish life, primarily—but not exclusively—from a Reform Jewish perspective.’ Poetry and more.


‘Share your 10 minutes of writing with me! How? Set a timer. Write for ten minutes, by hand without stopping. Type it up. Does it need an edit? Edit for 10 minutes. This is about the process of writing, of remembering, of spilling our guts, of looking within ourselves and our lives.’


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