Comps and calls for June 2017

I’ve been very busy, despite battling my disabilities. I’ve been lucky enough to win three writing competitions this year so far – the latest being the Spank the Carp poetry contest! The thing is, I know literally hundreds of writers who are more talented than I am – but thankfully, they are suspicious of free contests and don’t enter them.

It never seems to occur to them that scammers would much rather get money from you than not! Although there are a few to be wary of – for instance, if you’re a runner-up, but there’s no prize, and you’re invited to buy the expensive anthology your poem will be in… but most are legitimate, fun, and there is nothing to lose – not even a penny!

There’s no sponsor for this month’s posting (boo!) but while Comps and Calls will always be free for everybody, don’t forget that I have a tip jar if you want to help keep this site going.

Good luck this month!

Cathy x

Here are June 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 Jun ‘For this mini-contest, show, tell, or evoke a complete story in no more than 50 words in which the number ten (or the idea of “tenth”) is important to the story.’ PAYING

3rd Jun Horror flash fiction inspired by the photo prompt and including the word ‘infernal’. NON-CASH PRIZE

5th Jun ‘In 250 words or less, using the starting phrase “When I think of my dad,” we want to know what your father means to you and how he has made your life better. What has he done to lift you up and keep you on the right track? How has he influenced you? How has he helped you stay on the path towards healing? Father doesn’t have to be biological father, it can be anyone who has acted as a father figure as long as essay stays on topic.’ PAYING

5th Jun Full-length play. PAYING

7th Jun Spectator Competition No. 3002: a song for europe. ‘You are invited to provide lyrics to the European anthem ‘Ode to Joy’. Please email (wherever possible) up to 16 lines to by midday on 7 June.’ PAYING

15th Jun ‘The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is an annual grant of $1,500 for an emerging writer of color.’ The applicant sends, among other things: ‘An unpublished work of crime fiction, written with an adult (rather than YA or children) audience in mind, which may be a short story or first chapter(s) of a manuscript in-progress, 2,500 to 5,000 words.’ PAYING

16th Jun Play set in a local pub. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL (thanks to for this one)

25th Jun High school college or university students at least 16 years old: Essay of at least 700 words on one of the provided topics. PAYING

26th Jun ‘This competition is for under-represented writers in the UK only. We identify these as: those who find it difficult to access the literary world either because of mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance.’ Poetry and fiction on the theme of Important Nothings. PAYING

30th Jun ‘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

30th Jun ‘Writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to submit poems somehow related to the perioperative setting. Are you a medical professional or related to one? Perhaps you have been anesthetized recently, or you are overly acquainted with the waiting room. If you are connected to the world of anaesthesia, we encourage you to share your experience with us.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

30th Jun College students or recent graduates only: essay on one of the provided subjects. PAYING!%60-with-a-prize-fund-of-over-%242000!

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

30th Jun Poetry and short fiction. PAYING

30th Jun ‘Write a scene that includes a Dragon and a Princess who happen to be in a book club with other creatures (mystical or ordinary). Choose a single title (real or imaginary) and have the group discuss it… pros, cons, author voice, etc. Which of them would recommend the book? Why or why not?’ VOUCHER/OTHER

30th Jun ‘The contest is open to everyone who is Irish or part of the Irish Diaspora, no matter your age or level of education, who is resident in the UK. The theme for the 2017 festival is ‘Against The Odds’ with all the plays examining the lives of Irish people who have, in some way, contributed to British life.’ (thanks to for this one)

30th Jun ‘The BCSA’s 2017 writing competition is now open. Fiction or fact – both are welcome. A first prize of £300 and a second prize of £100 are awarded to the best 1,500 to 2,000-word pieces of original writing in English on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics (at any stage in their history), or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature. This year’s suggested (but not compulsory) theme is Brexit.’ PAYING

30th Jun Story 2000-5000 words inspired by one of the provided artworks. PAYING

30th Jun A novel in 25 words! PAYING


2nd Jun Flash fiction on the theme of out of My League. PAYING

2nd Jun Poetry and art on the theme of Domestic Violence.

4th Jun ‘Send us your fiction and creative non-fiction (maximum 3000 words), flash fiction (70-500 words), poetry and visual projects (maximum three per submission) that engage with the theme of TEEN WITCHES.’

4th Jun Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Heads & Tails.

5th Jun ‘The sea is a dark and mysterious place. What lurks within the deepest caverns, unseen by those above? A haunting melody drifts across the waves, a beautiful figure floats in the shallows. Do you follow? Do you answer the sea’s hypnotic call? An anthology for mermaids, sea goddesses, sirens, and other mysterious creatures of the deep.’ 500-15,000 words. PAYING

5th Jun Poetry, fiction and more by those aged 13-19.

9th Jun Female writers only: flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Body. PAYING

10th Jun ‘For our upcoming issue, we will consider all meta- and writing-related-writing in keeping with our editorial focus. However, we are especially interested in work with a seasonal bent; give us heatstroke words, flavour words, words that stick to the skin like sand and salt.’ PAYING

13th Jun Fiction up to 10,000 words on the theme of The Misbehaving Dead. PAYING

15th Jun Poems by young people. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

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

15th Jun ‘Submit up to 3 poems in video or audio formats. We are especially seeking poetry from persons with disabilities, writers of colour, the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized voices. For this issue we are looking for protest/resist poems, poems on immigration, race, gender, and responses to current events.’

15th Jun ‘Ben Bulben Books has opened a call for submissions for a new creative non-fiction anthology inspired by the life or works of Jane Austen.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jun ‘I am interested in poetry that addresses all aspects of garbage in the speculative realm. I’ve been a garbage man, a dumpster diver, and a treasure walker. Although I am not likely to sing Oscar the Grouch’s “I Love Trash,” I have an affinity for the overlooked, the discarded, the junk of modern life—and I want to know what the future holds.’ PAYING

15th Jun ‘Crab Fat Magazine is accepting submissions from convinced atheist writers for our annual Atheist Writers’ issue to be released in July 2017. We seek to curate a collection of thoughtful prose and poetry by people who DO NOT believe in any god(s) and show that atheism goes beyond political, social, and racial barriers. We’re open to a wide variety of work, from “coming out” as an atheist, to the impact atheism has on both personal and professional sides of life, and everything in-between. However, to be clear, we’re not seeking tirades attacking religion with sweeping generalizations.’

15th Jun ‘“Celebrations”–this can be stories about holiday traditions, a milestone achieved, memories of a special event and more; how and what and why do you celebrate? We want your funny birthday and wedding stories for sure, but also let us know how you celebrate life.’

15th Jun Poetry and prose on the theme of R-E-S-P-E-C-T – What does it really mean to me? CONTRIBUTORCOPY/COPIES

15th Jun Poetry and fiction on the theme of Evolution.

15th Jun Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Wolves of Light and Darkness. CHARITY ANTHOLOGY

15th Jun ‘Temptation Press is holding open submissions for short stories to be featured in this upcoming collection that tells tales of becoming the favorite of a Madam. Whether the main character is the Madam herself, one of her clients, or one in her employ, the story arc should contain how the character came to be in the position of favorite and what being the favorite really means.’ CONTRIBUTORCOPY/COPIES

15th Jun ‘Fiction on the theme of The Chromatic Court: Tales of the Lovecraftian Arts.’ ROYALTIES

15th Jun Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Future.

15th Jun ‘A return to the feminisms of the 1970s is one of the most salient dimensions of feminist studies to emerge over the last decade. This proposed volume seeks essays that reflect on this return — evident not only in academia, but in emergent activist feminisms of the 21st century — and speculate on what it could mean for the futures of feminist scholarship, politics, and cultural production.’ (thanks to for this one)

19th Jun ‘Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is an award-winning museum in a picturesque Sussex village. It is currently showing a major exhibition entitled, Eric Gill: The Body, a thought provoking exhibition in which visitors are asked to consider whether their knowledge of Gill’s life impacts on their enjoyment of his depiction of the human figure. We would like a writer in residence to help us capture our visitor’s thoughts on this exhibition and the challenging questions it poses.’ PAYING

20th Jun Poetry on the theme of Fairy tales and Flights of Fancy.

20th June Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Sphere of Luna. CONTRIBUTORCOPY/COPIES

25th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Modern Relationships.

26th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Sharing the Wealth: Designing an economy that works for everyone.

27th Jun ‘As we all know, the streets of Notting Hill take on the rhythms of the Caribbean as Europe’s largest party; Notting Hill Carnival unapologetically livens up the capital. In celebration of this year’s carnival taking place on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August, Theatrefullstop will create an hour-long podcast featuring works focusing on Caribbean and African culture. They are currently on the look out for spoken word pieces, songs, short plays, monologues, musical compositions and anything else that you can think of that can be recorded.’

30th Jun Poems and stories on the theme of My Crazy Family! PAYING

30th Jun ‘We’re looking for works that cross, combine or redefine traditional genre boundaries. We enjoy stories that come with a heavy dose of the uncanny, the strange, and blend literary, science-fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror tropes.’ Fiction 1000-5000 words. PAYING

30th Jun ‘About 730 AD, an Arab named Abdul Al-Hazred wrote the Al-Azif, a grimoire and memorial to the Old Ones. For this crime, he was driven insane and eventually devoured by a vengeful god in full view of horrified onlookers. What drove him to write this loathsome tome? What terrible visions haunted him so badly he felt he had to risk his soul to put them down on paper?’ 3000-10,000 words. PAYING

30th Jun Writing on the theme of Elsewhere.

30th Jun ‘We want weird fiction set in a modern-day Miskatonic University. Stories should be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted views on race and gender.’ PAYING

30th Jun Up to three love poems.

30th Jun ‘Africanization and Americanization: Searching for Inter-racial, Interstitial, Inter-sectional, and Interstates meeting spaces, Africa Vs North America, Volume 1.
Send us your best essays, literary fictions, non-fictions, plays, poetry, mixed genres etc, in English language(s) (or English translations). Send work in only one genre of your choice! Poetry (3 poems per poet, preferably short poems but we are still open for long poems). Prose, plays and mixed genres (I piece per writer, of not more than 5000 words). Work must be sent in only one attached document, also include your contact details in this document, i.e., Postal address, Tel no, Email address and a bio note of not more than 100 words. Please sent your entries to Tendai R. Mwanaka at

30th Jun Poetry, flash and more. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Brutality.

30th Jun ‘Inklings Publishing is looking for submissions of short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for its second volume in the Perceptions Series of anthologies for children. This series is focused on compiling short stories, articles, and poems that will help educators and parents discuss tough topics with children. The theme for this volume is the difficult yet important topic of Bullies.’ PAYING

30th Jun Poetry and art. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Departure.

30th Jun Poetry and fiction on the theme of Summer’s End.

30th Jun Poems by female-identified writers on the theme of Pop Culture. PAYING

30th Jun Poems on the theme of Self-care.

30th Jun or when filled: ‘The purpose of the anthology is to lift the voices of women which may not otherwise be heard, to share our beauty, our joys, pains, authenticity, wisdom, capacity to love and our inherent sameness. Although your letters will be addressed to an unnamed ex-lover (of any gender), the intention behind sharing these stories is to connect women with other women, through our words and experiences.’

30th Jun Poetry MSS, 16-24 pages.

30th Jun ‘For issue 16, the editors invite you think beyond, around, above, and deeper into the recent political event consuming the world’s attention: the current American administration. We welcome your poems of empathy, of rage, of resistance, of deep caring for yourselves and your communities.’

1st Jul Flash, short fiction and poetry on the theme of The Face in the Photo (Cathy’s note: non-Americans can submit by email). PAYING

1st Jul ‘Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for At the Gates of Dawn and Dusk: A Devotional for Eos and Aurora. The editor is interested in a variety of material, including but not limited to: prayers, rituals, hymns, essays, visual artwork, short stories, plays, recipes, and new translations of ancient and public domain works.’

1st Jul ‘150 years post-Confederation, we cannot forget Canada’s place in the global and local reality of colonization. For our 2017 Annual themed issue, Arc Poetry Magazine wants to talk about Reconciliation, Decolonization, and Nation(s)—from a poet’s perspective. Arc especially encourages submissions from Indigenous poets, but this call—and conversation—is open to all Canadians, along with anyone, from any country, who feels they have something to say.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

1st Jul Fiction 2500-8000 words on the theme of Foxes. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Jul Clean, noblebright fantasy 2500 words to 10,000 words on the theme of Still Waters. ROYALTIES

1st Jul ‘Starward Tales focuses on reinterpretations and retellings of legends, myths, and fairytales in Science Fiction and/or xxxxPunk settings. This volume will contain stories, poetry, and visual art fitting this broad theme.’ PAYING

1st Jul Plays by women.

1st Jul Poems and stories, suitable for children, on the theme of Day Dreams (sic). PAYING


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.

‘We accept general fiction written thoughtfully and with insight, plot driven original works, and knowledgeably written financial thrillers.’

Speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING

‘We like: poetry, creative nonfiction, hybrid everything and anything, personal essay, interviews (especially with badass women), work that is intersectional, work on the occult (including spells and poem-spells), body-positive content, photo diaries, travelogues, diary entries, roundups, conversations with people (deceased, alive, although preferably deceased), book lists, playlists.’

Flash fiction and narrative poetry. PAYING

Novels. ‘But beware: you will need to be very convincing and the writing will have to be outstanding to rise through the mires of our slush pile. Please note we do not publish, Romance, Science Fiction, YA or children’s books. We regret that we are unable to consider translations of novels previously published in another language.’


‘Stories should be between 300 and 1000 words. If your story is longer, you can break it down to several shorter “chapters” and submitting them as a series (imagine a TV mini-series). Stories should be written using simple, direct prose suitable for language learners. This means that florid, long sentences should be avoided.’ ROYALTIES

‘Actively seeking Inspirational and/or Sweet themed manuscripts, contemporary to Historical to cover our romance genre at Blue Swan Publishing. Think Hallmark Hall of Fame, Janette Oke, Little House on the Prairie, etc. We are looking for sweet, traditional romance with strong, irresistible characters.’ ROYALTIES

Tanka poems. PAYING

‘Word-o-Mat accepts short work: short stories, creative non-fiction, essays, excerpts from larger works, image-texts, cartoons and poetry. Short pieces that don’t fit into these categories are also welcome.’

Poems on the theme of Sweet Sorrow, and collections of 20-30 poems.

Fiction MSS of various types.

Fiction and nonfiction MSS. ‘We do not publish children’s picture books whether fiction or nonfiction. We do not publish books in the following subject areas: mind/body/spirit, religion, diet/fitness/nutrition, family memoir, self-help, business, poetry, or photography.’ ROYALTIES—agents-pages-100.php

‘Gertrude accepts manuscripts from new and established writers and artists. Subject matter need not be LGBTQA-specific; we welcome writers and artists from all backgrounds. We accept simultaneous submissions because life is too short.’

Travel tales (Cathy’s note: scroll past the comp, as it’s expensive! Free submission is below all that). PAYING

Canada only: ‘Write a story about what your job is like. What do you do? What do you see? How do you feel about it? Give us lots of details. (If you’re not at a paid job now, write about what your job was like, before you quit, retired, got laid off or fired.)’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

Poetry, art and more: ‘An Our Stories of Strength story is a relatable account told in first or second person that connects with others to open hearts and inspire. All stories submitted must be non-fiction, or a true story, reflective of the mission to rise above the diagnosis and embrace living passionately and purposefully.’ PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Grieving.

Poetry, fiction and more, in English or Hindi.

‘Lethe is seeking weird and eerie stories of people consumed by wealth. Each tale must be suffused with the trappings of the well-to-do. Decadence should be paramount. However, we do not want these tales to be moralistic; we’re celebrating those who can buy the finest things in life…they just happen to be the leads in a horror story.’ PAYING

‘Lagos Literary and Arts Journal publishes all genres of creative writing and media related to creative endeavours – including but not limited to poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, drama; political essays, satire, profiles, book reviews, anything to stimulate public interest in Nigerian art and culture.’

‘Subterranean Blue Poetry is a New Age Internet Poetry and Art Publishing Café. We are currently accepting New Age Poetry and Art @ Submissions. Please send me your Books of Poetry and I will write a Book Review. We thrive on new original word synergies. All Poets and their poetry are welcome and we are especially looking for home-grown Poets from the Canadian/American Indian Community, Quebec, small town Canada, International Poets and anyone who was ever considered “the other”.’ PAYING

Innovative writing up to 2000 words.


Light verse.

‘Outcast is a new online journal that seeks to publish poems which can be described as accessible, profound, defiant, anti-establishment, progressive, working-class, and intersectional. Outcast is not another frail, meaningless, obscure journal run by MFA students. Outcast is certainly non-academic, but not anti-academic. Well, maybe a little bit.’ PAYING

Speculative flash fiction. PAYING

Short stories up to 3000 words. PAYING

The deadline is 30th Sep, but submit sooner rather than later, as slots will fill quickly: horror stories. PAYING


‘We are interested in art and criticism about urbanism, globalism, identity, and transnationalism, though by no means should submissions be limited to those topics.’ Fiction, poetry and more.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.