Comps and calls for April 2017

Well, it’s been a bumper month for emails from those of you who’ve been successful – very successful! I’ve been very impressed by all your publications and prizes, and I can’t thank you enough for letting me know about them. I’ve had an article published on the subject of writing competitions, so if you’re flagging a bit then take a look. Also, April is National Poetry Writing Month (or NaPoWriMo). If you’re stuck for inspiration one day, why not use some of the themes here as prompts?

Can you spot the April fool in this month’s listings? (Don’t worry – you’ll know it when you see it!)

Many thanks to this month’s sponsor, NOUNPLUS, one of the web’s best grammar checkers. Give it a visit – it really will improve your work!

Cathy x

Here are April 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.


Weekly: poem. PAYING

5th Apr Spectator Competition No 2993: dumping grounds. ‘Break-ups are very much on the agenda at the moment. You are invited to submit a Dear John letter, in prose or verse, in the style of a well-known author (please specify). Please email (wherever possible) entries of up to 16 lines or 150 words to by midday on 5 April.’ PAYING

6th Apr UK and Ireland only: Text or art suitable for children by unpublished BAME writers. PAYING

7th Apr Under 25s only: complete various writing tasks. PAYING

10th Apr Under 18s only: ‘This year we are adding a new “Climate Change” category to the competition. Participants between the ages of 14 and 18 are invited to write an essay or create a video (see submission requirements for details) that discusses how one animal species has been affected by climate change and presents ideas to raise awareness of this species and what can be done to protect it.’ PAYING

12th Apr Spectator Competition no. 2994: cross lines. ‘You are invited to submit a letter of complaint from a fictional character to his or her or its creator about his, her or its portrayal. Please email entries of up to 150 words (16 lines) to by midday on 12th April.’ PAYING

15th Apr Emerging writers from US or Canada only: ‘For the 2017 Waterman Fund essay contest, emerging writers are asked to offer and explore stories of what humans build in wild places, considering the ecological and emotional integrity of wilderness and wildness.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

16th Apr ‘Lent is here and Structo is holding its fourth Lenten psalms translation contest. We’re looking for free translations from the biblical psalms…. Free translation means what you want it to mean. None of the past winners have had an ancient languages background. Instead, they riffed off the original, turned it on its head, reversed it, used key phrases, sussed out a single idea, or wrote in a psalm mode and mood.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

20th Apr ‘The brief is to write a story between 500-600 words based on either a pet or wild animal as long it’s an integral part of the tale. The view-point is not to be from that animal.’ NON-CASH PRIZE (thanks to for this one)

23rd Apr Story up to 4000 words. NON-CASH PRIZE

30th April Poems concerning the Falun Gong, according to the provided themes. PAYING

30th Apr Play up to 45 minutes on any theme. NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Apr Unpublished South African writers only: story up to 2000 words. PAYING

30th Apr Essay on one of the provided themes by writers in high school or higher education. PAYING

30th Apr Poem (Cathy’s note: you can enter more than one, but only the first entry is free). PAYING

30th Apr Story on the theme of The Anniversary.

30th Apr Under 18s only: ‘All you’ll need to do is whip up your best 250, 500 or 750 words (depending on your age) on ‘The Perfect Food Partnership’.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Apr Poem In English or Welsh on the theme of Sharing Tastes Divine. NON-CASH PRIZE (thanks to for this one)

1st May Up to five poems, or fiction up to 8000 words. PAYING

1st May ‘Awarded for the best piece of writing in response to the theme of the Alpine Fellowship Annual Symposium. The winner and two runners up are invited to attend the Venice symposium. Winner receives £3000 cash prize and is presented with the award by the poet John Burnside. Open to all nationalities and ages. All genres permitted. A maximum of 2500 words per entry. Limited to one entry per person.’ PAYING (thanks for this one to )

1st May Age 18-30 only: Monologues on one of the deadly sins or heavenly virtues.


2nd Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Bad Girls. ‘As always, the theme is open to interpretation, but think antiheroines, villainesses, and convention-defying women. Intelligent treatment of the theme is required: we want refined writing and complex, not cartoon, characters.’ PAYING

2nd Apr Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Cut and Thrust.

2nd Apr 10 minute play.

3rd Apr Poetry of Nature.

4th Apr ‘The Deaf Poets Society will publish an upcoming issue (Issue 4) on crip futurism, a growing body of interdisciplinary studies. We are looking for D/deaf and disabled perspectives and re-imaginings of bodies, science, technology, bioethics, and the future ways of existing.’ PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

4th Apr Previously published work.

5th Apr ‘We want adult stories. No erotica, though some erotic or romance elements are acceptable. Magic, gods, mysticism, mythical creatures. Bring us old fairy tales with an Afrocentric twist. We are interested in new gods or ancient ones, old religions, houngans, potions, and spells. Your story can be adapted from African folklore or modern mythology.’ PAYING

5th Apr Humorous poems and short stories.

5th Apr Speculative/esoteric poetry, fiction and more on the theme of A Beckoning. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

5th Apr ‘We are seeking stories of unusual spaces, places and landscapes. Be they within your mind, outside of this universe, or a perspective on life in our own home other may not share.’ ROYALTIES

7th Apr Flash fiction on the theme of Medieval (sic) Mayhem. PAYING

10th Apr Fiction on the theme of Beginnings. PAYING

12th Apr Survivor poems.

15th Apr ‘ “Cat’s Breakfast” – Science fiction/satire. Now at the 10th anniversary of his death, Wikipedia says Kurt Vonnegut was famous for his “gallows humor.” E.E. King put it another way, citing his “sideways, humorous, skeptical view.” We want this anthology to pay tribute to the imagination and inspiration of the ineffable Mr. Vonnegut.’ PAYING

15th Apr Poems by Rust Belt poets. PAYING

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Messy Grace. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Apr ‘Their Coats All Red is seeking strange stories which are steeped in the history of the British Empire from about 1880 to 1905. These must be tales which capture the feel of the high Victorian era. We don’t want stories of the Empire itself—we want stories of the weirdness underneath. Ghosts, spirits, madness and monstrosities are all welcome. Make it psychological or physical, but make it good.’ PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Archetypes.

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Apr Writing on the theme of Resistance.

15th Apr Writing on the theme of Resistance.

15th Apr Speculative poetry and flash fiction on the theme of Resistance, Rebellion, or Revolution. PAYING

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Apr SF/F poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Redux and Progression. PAYING

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Mental Illness.

15th Apr ‘Our visions of future often are imbued with the cultural weight of our past, so we’re looking for poems, stories, essays & ethnographies, and other pieces which crackle into vivid image, which paint a star-map whose demands seem so real that we readers feel for a moment as though we are living it.’

20th Apr Poems on the theme of Howl at the Moon.

21st Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Perils of Populism. PAYING

24th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of ‘Others’ I Have Known.

27th Apr YA poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Aliens. PAYING

27th Apr ‘CRICKET (for ages 9-14) and SPIDER (ages 6-9) are looking for retellings of folktales, myths, and legends from around the world. We seek tales of humorous tricksters, of adventurous heroes on epic quests, of Clever and strong women, lovable fools, and formidable demons, as well as traditional wisdom tales and creation myths.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

30th Apr ‘We are looking for poetry that promotes understanding of how people with varying hearing abilities interpret sound and how D/deafness could be channelled into poetry. As well as voices from people experiencing D/deafness and those from D/deaf communities, we want to hear poetry that approaches this topic in ways that make us rethink our relationship with sound and language, poetry that promotes new understandings.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Apr ‘Afrocentric Books is taking submissions for a mythical fantasy anthology. We want adult stories. No erotica, though some erotic or romance elements are acceptable. Magic, gods, mysticism, mythical creatures. Bring us old fairy tales with an Afrocentric twist.’ 1000-7500 words. PAYING

30th Apr ‘We invite submissions of literature, art, and graphic narratives that consider the impact of the Obama family on the past decade of American culture.’

30th Apr ‘We are seeking short creative work by queer-identified writers and artists &/or on queer themes. We are seeking fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scripts, and visual art.’ PAYING

30th Apr ‘We want poetry that hurts the way bodies do. The vulnerability of self and the nature of being. A Portrait in Blues is about you. The way your heart & mind & limbs ache in the dark.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Apr Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Apr ‘We publish work that is aware of its literary form, writing that defamiliarizes in craft or content for an enhanced rendering of reality. We electronically accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, flash, and hybrid submissions.’

30th Apr ‘What we want: Invading space aliens, demonic invasion as in Doom, DNA-grafted dinosaurs taking over the planet, manmade viral infections that nearly wipe out humanity, or artificial intelligence like in Terminator… anything you can think of that would bring about the end of the world. And SOLDIERS! Tell us about what happens during the worst of the fall of humanity or afterwards. No zombies. That’s already taken care of.’ 2000-10,000 words. PAYING

30th Apr ‘We are looking for poems that explore the concepts of “Space” and “Home.” We also welcome submissions of art and photography on the same theme.’

30th Apr Flash fiction up to 800 words.

30th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Eclectically Heroic. PAYING

30th Apr Writing on the theme of Belonging.

30th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Animals. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Apr Fiction 2000-6000 words on the theme of Last Shot Fired. PAYING

30th Apr Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Letters.

30th Apr Canadians only: poetry and fiction on the theme of Optimism. PAYING

30th Apr Poetry on the theme of Space.

30th Apr Writing in response to the image or on the theme of Separation. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Apr ‘We are in looking for writing that focuses upon war, communism, the left, the far right, flesh, meat, blood, anger, warning signs, sexuality, gender, lust, mind and body, poisonous animals, foxes, bulls, the devil and wine. But we are always open to other suggestions. What we don’t want is a simple summary of what red means to you.’

30th Apr Weird fiction and poetry on the theme of Witches. PAYING

30th Apr ‘We’re accepting stories for our third issue, which is themed Sundown Towns. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a Sundown Town is a neighborhood or community, typically all-white, that enforces segregation though exclusion of other races via discriminatory laws, intimidation, and threats of violence. We are looking for brave works of speculative short fiction and poetry by authors from the African diaspora that reject regressive ideas of blackness, respectability politics, and stereotype.’ PAYING

30th Apr poetry, fiction and more incorporating the elements Temple, Yard Sale, and Visitation.

30th Apr Poetry, fiction, drama and more. PAYING

30th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Summer Lovin’.

1st May ‘We are open to submissions which relate to the urban legends, rumors, and suspicious stories reported on We’re looking for stories in which the urban legends might be made more plausible, explorations of the nature of urban legends and their origins, etc. EACH SUBMISSION MUST CONTAIN A LINK TO A SPECIFIC SNOPES ARTICLE.’ PAYING

1st May ‘So what do the nooks and crannies of England mean to you? We are compiling an anthology of new poetry specifically about all the various towns, cities and villages of our beleaguered country, and we are inviting poetry which inhabits the landscape of the general ‘left’.’ Send up to 3 poems (attachments or body of email are fine) to ‘

1st May Fiction, poetry and more. PAYING

1st May Poems and stories on the theme of Windows.

1st May Poetry, flash fiction and more on the theme of Truth or Consequences.

1st May SF/F/H poetry or fiction. PAYING

1st May Poetry on the theme of the Road. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Recovery.

1st May ‘Hitchhiking is the art of traveling through getting free rides from folks. You stick out your thumb and gamble on if you’ll make it to the next stop or if you’re walking further than you had planned. Passing Through is seeking short stories with anthropomorphic characters on the road. Cash, Grass, or Ass, give us your best hitchhiking tales! Stories must contain anthropomorphic animals (humanized animals). This is a furry anthology, keep this in mind when submitting.’ PAYING

1st May Flash and short fiction on the theme of Alternative Facts.

1st May ‘We are interested in work that explores the intersection of human experience and the environment, broadly interpreted: work that focuses on ecology, science and the environmental imagination, certainly, but also work that focuses on place, on natural and built environments, and on the ways that people interact with their environments. We are looking for work that surprises, moves, or affects the reader.’ Poetry, fiction 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.

Fiction 2000-6000 words.

Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more.

For a small, one-off fee of £1,000,000.00, I will stand in my back garden naked and read your flash fiction story (up to 1000 words if the weather’s good, up to 500 words if it’s cold and/or raining) or poem up to 50 lines (or 40 if it’s cold and/or raining) out loud. Your £1,000,000.00 should be paid to I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a reasonable fee. This offer is only valid on April 1st.

Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘Peacock Journal, a daily online literary & arts magazine highlighting beauty in all its forms, seeks original submissions of Fiction, Flash, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Translations, Music, Art and Photography from emerging and established writers and artists. We want to see your most beautiful work.’

Fridays: poems written in response to an event of the last week. PAYING

Fiction and nonfiction MSS.

Canada only: suspense and mystery novels, or nonfiction MSS.

Until filled: reprints of dragon stories. PAYING

Horror fiction 2000-10,000 words. PAYING

SF/F/H MSS 8000-125,000 words.

‘Rat’s Ass Review will spend the first 100 days of the Trump presidency accumulating beauty and speaking artistic truth to ugliness. Not that beauty means smiling myopic ignorance; our poets will meet dark times with dark works as well as light ones. But they will hold out the hope that the arts have always offered – that the best of human effort can always go on, and in fact must go on, even in such an ugly time.’ Poetry.

‘Tumblehome Learning, Inc. publishes STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) books for children in grades K-12. The majority of our books are geared toward upper elementary and middle school grades (approximately ages 8-12). While we occasionally publish non-fiction books, these are exceptions. The large majority of our books are fiction, and generally have adventure/mystery plots, containing scientific facts, engineering design processes and/or genuine historical STEM figures.’ ROYALTIES


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