Comps and calls for March 2017

It’s March and it’s finally stopped snowing where I live. Oh wait — no it hasn’t. Regardless of the weather, this month I’d like to thank my husband Keir and my best friend Neil for all their help with my websites. They do all the technical stuff and when my eyes and hands or other parts aren’t working, my heroes do all the typing and admin too. (Keir also takes care of site sponsorship – get in touch if you’re interested.)

I’d also like to thank all of you for all your support and for letting me know when you’ve won prizes or been published. It’s very cheering, whatever the weather!

Cathy x

Here are March 2017’s writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry.

As usual I’m passing these on in good faith but mistakes may be made, so do check all the submission guidelines carefully. Any info in quotes comes from the website itself and any dates at the start are deadlines. Also, I don’t know the sources personally, so do check them out for yourselves.

There are three headings (click 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.


2nd Mar Story 1000-5000 words on the theme of Space. PAYING

2nd Mar Full-length play by someone who has not had a full-length play produced. PAYING

3rd Mar Story up to 2500 words. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

5th Mar Play with a running time of at least 70 minutes. PAYING

5th Mar Nonfiction essay on the theme of short stories. PAYING

6th Mar ‘The award, for short stories up to 8,000 words, is open to any writer with a history of publication in creative writing.’ PAYING

8th Mar ‘Spectator Competition No 2989: gettysburg revisited: You are invited to submit a version of the Gettysburg Address as it might have been given by a prominent figure on the world stage (alive or dead but please specify). Please email entries of up to 200 words to by midday on 8 March.’

10th Mar ‘Never Such Innocence is inviting all 9-16 year olds to send us poems or artwork inspired by the events of the First World War. We want to be as inclusive as possible and so we have introduced a Gaelic and Welsh language category for the poetry competition. If you or your student/s have any SEND that you would like the judges to be aware of please make a note on your entry form.’ PAYING

10th Mar Up to three poems about Nantucket Island or Life on Nantucket. PAYING

13th Mar Writing by UK residents aged 13-25. NON-CASH PRIZE

14th Mar Writers in the north of England only: a proposal for a project. PAYING

15th Mar Story up to 3000 words. NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Mar Single mothers only: ‘Please submit poetry, short stories, non-fiction essays, memoirs, and blog posts. We only accept 2 entries every six months. Writing must be by Solo Moms and an original work.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Mar ‘We are looking for prose works of 150 words or fewer as well as poetry of sixteen lines or fewer and 150 words or fewer. All works should have a narrative element to them.’ PAYING

15th Mar Poetry MS by a poet with a substantial connection to India or the Indian diaspora. ‘We publish first and second books only. Unpublished writers, poets who have published one full-length book, or chapbooks (30 pages or less), are eligible.’ PAYING

15th Mar Undergraduates only: ‘The adult mayfly has a lifespan of less than 24 hours, while bristlecone pines can live thousands of years. Geological time works at even grander scales. How do vastly different species and systems experience time? And how do we, as human practitioners of environmental work? For our next volume, Whole Terrain seeks creative works that explore the multitude of meanings and perspectives on the theme About Time.’ (Cathy’s note: the publication also has a call open to everyone on the same theme – however only undergraduates are eligible for this award.) PAYING

17th Mar UK aged 18-30 only: poetry.

24th Mar ‘To enter, all you need to do is post a short story, a photo with a caption and/or a short video clip about your brilliant friend.’

31st Mar ‘We’re looking for uplifting short stories which involve someone getting finance/a loan for a very specific purpose. Stories should be works of fiction, not personal accounts or experiences.’ 1500-2500 words. PAYING

31st Mar Poem up to 30 lines. PAYING

31st Mar ‘We are looking for stories that cross genres. Slipstream. Steampunk. Action Romance Comedy. We are looking for lost places.’ Stories 500-2500 words.

31st Mar ‘The Visual Prompt Quarterly Contest is meant to inspire people to create work based on a prompt containing three images. The contest submission can either be poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or experimental literary in nature. It can contain all three images or just one.’ PAYING

31st Mar Speculative fiction up to 3500 words on the theme of A Hidden, Underlying Truth. PAYING

31st Mar Poem on the theme of Up Jumped Spring. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Mar ‘We’ve run poetry and flash fiction competitions before, but today we’re thrilled to announce our first ever children’s short story competition! We’ve got two age brackets for this competition: ages 5 – 9, and ages 10 – 13. The short story can be on absolutely anything they’d like. Stories can only be entered by a parent, teacher or guardian on behalf of a child.’ VOUCHER/OTHER

31st Mar SF/F stories by new/amateur writers. PAYING

31st Mar The words for a children’s picture book. PAYING

31st Mar Fiction up to 10,000 words. PAYING

1st Apr ‘We want you to write a piece of comedy that’s no longer than 500 words. It could be experimental, satire, spoof, wit or wordplay. The choice our friends is up to you! We’re looking for all formats of written comedy. It could be the opening to a sitcom, a scene of a play or just a silly story. All that we ask is that it deals with one or more of the themes from Anita and Me, including family, coming-of-age, migration, racism, love and friendship, cultural and social change.’ PAYING

1st Apr Humor poem. Published or unpublished. PAYING

1st Apr ‘Now in its fourth year, the Prize annually honors literary nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy – with the desert as both subject and setting.’ PAYING

1st Apr Fiction and essays by current undergraduate or graduate college students. PAYING

1st Apr The first chapter of your completed (or soon to be completed) novel. NON-CASH PRIZE


2nd Mar ‘Subprimal Poetry Art looks for poetry and flash fiction that is crafted, urgent, lyrical, compelling, mythical, concerned with spiritual revelation, uses rhythmic sensual, vivid imagery and deals with fundamental truths. We’re looking for work that enables the reader / listener to experience something that they might not otherwise in their regular life and causes them to think.’ PAYING

3rd Mar ‘For this anthology, we are looking for erotic stories that explore the concept of sacrilege. No other parameters apply other than that every story needs to be literary, erotic, and push the boundaries between the sacred and the profane. We have a preference for Catholicism—the eroticism and hypocrisy are built right in—but sacrilege involving other major world religions is fair game.’ PAYING

3rd Mar Fantastical poetry. PAYING

4th Mar Previously-published work.

5th Mar ‘We want adult science fiction stories in diverse settings, featuring diverse people. The “in the future all people are a uniform color of café au lait” trope does not interest us. While it is not necessary for you to describe the physical features of all your characters, we do want to know that one of your main characters is of indigenous African descent.’ PAYING

5th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Publishing. PAYING

5th Mar ‘Truancy 4 is a special #ownvoices issue, designed to highlight the revised, retold and remixed folklore and myths from authors of the African Continent & Diaspora, no matter where they may be in the world.’ PAYING

6th Mar Poetry and fiction on the theme of The Rules of the Game.

10th Mar ‘We propose to produce an anthology to allow us all to stand up and be counted: to express our outrage, to honour and nurture the values we believe in, to join the upswing of positive resistance to the assaults and threats to the creative and compassionate global community.’ Poetry.

10th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Anticipation and Preparation.

10th Mar ‘We remember our first heartbreak, our first job, and our first days living on our own. For the spring, we are looking for pieces that reflect on the theme of growing up and beginning to change with the world around us.’ Fiction.

12th Mar Flash fiction up to 500 words.

14th Mar ‘Tipping over the edges. Way back when. Growing older getting younger. Stories of queerness through centuries, inside bodies, histories, ancestry. Tell us about seeping, sticky business. Tell us about pouring, tell us about flooding. Overflow of memory, overflow of queer lineage. Open to all who identify with and those who support the LGBTIQ+ community.’

15th Mar Up to three poems for the Voices Israel anthology.

15th Mar Speculative poetry and flash. PAYING

15th Mar Poetry and fiction. PAYING

15th Mar Poetry and flash on the theme of Beltane. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Beauty.

15th Mar Speculative poetry on the theme of Alternate. PAYING

15th Mar Treasure-themed writing for this publication concerned with maps.

15th Mar ‘The adult mayfly has a lifespan of less than 24 hours, while bristlecone pines can live thousands of years. Geological time works at even grander scales. How do vastly different species and systems experience time? And how do we, as human practitioners of environmental work? For our next volume, Whole Terrain seeks creative works that explore the multitude of meanings and perspectives on the theme About Time.’

15th Mar ‘For our Spring 2017 issue our theme will be “The Family Strain.” “Strain” is one of our favorite words. It means to pull and push to the excess of strength, to overwhelm. A-course, the cowboy in us knows that strain may refer to the breed or stock or variety of animal or plant. Ain’t it the perfect word then to describe family: it’s our breed, our stock, our variety. At the same time, family has the power to push and pull and overwhelm.’–submit.html

15th Mar 50-word fiction on the theme of One Eyed Jacks & Deuces Wild (Cathy’s note: check the website, as the theme isn’t quite the way it sounds). CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

17th Mar ‘ We call our chapbook series “The Breadbox” because we want the stories we publish to serve as a source of fresh ideas, preserved in our chapbook vending machine for optimal quality and taste. Submissions of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction should range from 3,000 to 5,000 words in length. We are also accepting collections of up to ten poems.’ PAYING

24th Mar ‘Abridged 0-49 is Babel, concerning the fall-out from the reactionary combination of two elements that have become fundamental in contemporary life: post-truth and social media. Abridged is looking for poetry and art for its 0 – 49: Babel issue.’

25th Mar Poetry and fiction. PAYING

25th Mar ‘How did the evil queen in Snow White become evil? What troubles plague the step mother in Cinderella? Who broke the sea hag’s heart in The Little Mermaid? What betrayal drove the witch to imprison Rapunzel? Stories about the villains in fairy tales — the princesses who were never saved.’ 100-20,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

28th Mar SF & F stories. PAYING

31st Mar Poetry and fiction on the theme of Diamonds and Toads. PAYING

31st Mar ‘I’m calling for submissions with first person viewpoints of inanimate objects* or animals. The theme is open; you can submit anything.’

31st Mar ‘Problem Daughters is an anthology of engaging tales that reflect the true complicated, colorful, intersectional nature of feminism, and of feminists.’ Poetry and short fiction. PAYING

31st Mar ‘This is not a book about politics. This is a book about people — one at a time — doing what we do best. Tell us your positive and uplifting experiences about living in a kind America — the kind of America we know to be the true America.’ PAYING

31st Mar Poems and stories on the theme of Stepping Outside your Comfort Zone. PAYING

31st Mar Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Mar Poetry and prose. PAYING

1st Apr Poetry and fiction.

1st Apr Poetry and prose on the theme of Food. PAYING

1st Apr ‘Girls Right the World is a literary journal inviting young female-identified writers and artists, ages 14 and up, to submit their work for consideration for the first issue. We believe that girls’ voices can and do transform the world for the better. We want to help expand girls’ creative platforms so that female-identified people from all races, religions, and sexual orientations can express themselves freely. We currently seek poetry, prose, short-stories, and lyric essays of any style and theme.’

1st Apr ‘For its inaugural issue, Monstering will be focusing on the heart of its namesake—that is, the concept of “monstering.” Do you see yourself in the hulking creatures of legend? The warped beings of myth? If you’re disabled and identify as either female or nonbinary, we encourage you to submit.’ PAYING (many thanks to for this one)

1st Apr Poetry, micro-prose and more.


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.

“Like every editor, I look for great writing. More specifically, I seek a wide range of political, cultural, geographic, and religious (and non-religious!) perspectives. The blog is Jewish-broadly-defined and inclusive. All ages, all life stages.” PAYING

Writing on social justice, queer, trans and mental health themes.

Poetry and fiction (Cathy’s note: 90% of what they publish is by Canadians. According to another site, this market is listed as PAYING, but I can’t find any payment details on the website itself).

Books for middle grade children and young adults.

Previously published poetry, fiction, and MSS of various kinds. ROYALTIES

‘We are currently accepting submissions of short fiction and poetry in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and other forms of speculative fiction for Strange Fictions ‘Zine. We are also accepting submissions of artwork, essays, and reviews.’ (Cathy’s note: they also want speculative MSS, but I don’t know what the pay structure is for that.) PAYING

Poetry, prose and more. PAYING

‘We are looking for poetry, prose and photography that responds creatively to the theme of being islanded.’ PAYING

Books on a variety of themes, many concerning mental health. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

Poetry by women.


MSS in various genres.

US only: ‘Here at Winterwolf Press, we love books that inspire as well as entertain and are dedicated to publishing fiction and nonfiction works that promote peace, joy, magic and positivity in society’s creative consciousness to contrast the dystopian narratives commonly found in our current culture.’

‘Send us your poems, essays, photos, paintings, projects, collages, comics, opinions, videos, illustrations, music, talents, designs (etc.) that need homes.’

‘We invite all poets to write one line, of no more than 25 words that will be considered for inclusion in the Epic Presidential Poem: The Trump Years. (The concept is to receive lines of poetry, we will read and select the best lines to then place the lines into what will become an epic poem that we add one line to for every day that Trump is in office.)’

‘Cold Creek Review currently accepts poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art (traditional and digital, including photography). While we are partial to submissions that demonstrate examples of troubled emotion, we accept work in almost all styles.’

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

‘Open Thought Vortex is actively seeking previously unpublished guest posts (writing, art and videos) on beauty, body, sex, lifestyle, parenting, mental health, art, recipes, letters, current events, book reviews, interviews and anything else you can think of. Do you have an idea you think we’ll like? Nose that meatball our way. It’s amore!’



  1. Thank you for letting people know about our New Terrain Award for undergraduates. I would also like to point people to our call for submissions for any author for our About Time volume. Whole Terrain is a journal of reflective environmental practice, so submissions should relate to environmental topics as well as the particular theme for this volume, “About Time,” which can be interpreted as, “It’s about time to do something about the environmental situation,” or topics related to time and the environment. The call for submissions can be found here:

  2. Thanks for letting your readers know about our submissions. I found this late and we’re in between submission periods right now, but open again on May 1, 2017. A nice resource you have here, keep up the good work.

    Victor D. Sandiego

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