Comps and calls for August 2017

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re enjoying the summer, wherever you are.

Every month I check each link carefully. I NEVER copy and paste a link from another website without checking it myself. And yet every month there is at least one link that is dead, or comes up with something bizarre. My apologies to those who tried to submit their learned papers last month, only to be offered ways to increase blood flow to a certain part of the male anatomy. No doubt this month will throw up something equally embarrassing!

Many thanks to those who’ve donated to keep the site going, via my tip jar (link for UK readers). It all helps.

The summer slump continues… Keep submitting and entering. People are on holiday, or busy with children. Even if you are too, find just a few minutes to send something off!

There’s a very good piece here on submitting poetry, by the wonderful Erika Dreifus. I agree wholeheartedly with what she says.

So submit! Enter! You have a very good chance! I’ve built my whole career on ‘have a go’.

Cathy x

Here are August 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/tap 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 Aug ‘Spectator Competition No. 3010: monster mash-up. In memory of the late great George Romero, and taking as your inspiration Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you are invited to provide an extract from a mash-up of a literary classic of your choice and horror fiction. Please email, wherever possible, entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 2 August, providing a word count at the end of your entry.’ PAYING

6th Aug Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

9th Aug ‘Spectator Competition No 3011: bowing and scraping

You are invited to submit a disgustingly flattering poem in heroic couplets in praise of a contemporary person of power. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 9 August.’ PAYING

11th Aug Limerick. ‘Only those who can attend the competition in Limerick will be eligible to compete in the final (Sat 26th August). Therefore, the final prize and runner up prizes will only be available to those who attend the Festival.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

13th Aug Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

14th Aug Essay by a student on one of the provided topics. PAYING

15th Aug ‘The contest contains six categories which span San Antonio’s dynamic 300-year history. Poems submitted need not be overtly “historical,” but must reference the culture/feeling/life of San Antonio during these different time periods.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Aug Full length play. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Aug ‘The PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History recognizes a literary work of nonfiction that uses oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement. The winner will receive a $10,000 grant to help maintain or complete his or her ongoing project and will be honored at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Aug Full length play. PAYING

19th Aug Short story on the theme of Freedom in Hull. ‘Entries from already commercially published writers will not be accepted.’  PAYING

20th Aug Essay 750-1000 words on one of the provided themes. PAYING

21st Aug ‘There are stories that uplift the human spirit, that inspire good, and that push us to become our personal bests. We want to bring these stories forward and share them with the world via social media. On social media, a winning article has two equally important ingredients: (1) a captivating story, and (2) an enticing Facebook post. As such, all entries will be judged based on a combination of writing quality and potential for Facebook fan reaction.’ (Cathy’s note: I don’t usually list comps that require social media interaction (eg getting loads of likes), but this could be entered without doing so, I think. Unless I’ve got it wrong) PAYING

27th Aug Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

28th Aug 10 word story. NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Aug ‘Start with a moment in American History. Now, write the scene taking place in a society in which the color of one’s eyes determines one’s social class. Your story should be historical in nature. Make us feel as though this moment in time could have actually happened this way.’ Up to 2000 words. VOUCHER/OTHER

31st Aug Monologue up to 15 mins. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug Poems. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Bitch Media is pleased to offer the Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers, a series of three-month intensive writing fellowships whose goal is to develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

31st Aug Poem. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘Submissions are open between January and August and require applicants to share their writing bio and an example of their writing entitled “A Extraordinary Room”.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug Fiction up to 3000 words. PAYING

31st Aug Poem inspired by the provided image. PAYING

1st Sep Open to writers who were born, live or have lived, study or have studied, work or have worked, in Cheshire, UK: ‘Children’s Literature either prose (1,500 lines max) or verse (100 lines max) aimed at seven-14 year old children.’ PAYING

1st Sep ‘They say it takes a village to raise a child, but that’s just one example of a kind of community and just one way a community can affect your life. There are plenty of others–good, bad, and otherwise. So for this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the idea of community (or some kind of community) plays an important role.’ PAYING

1st Sep Oxfordshire writers aged 18-30: writing up to 500 words on the theme of ‘Inspired by Oxford’. PAYING (thanks to for this one)


5th Aug ‘We are in search of erotic stories centered around the theme of haunted.’ 1000-5000 words. PAYING

6th Aug Flash fiction on the theme of Retrospective.

6th Aug Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of WOMEN & GIRLS. ‘This month we’re only looking for female authors writing female protagonists. Any genre and subject is welcome. Spread the word to women writers you know!’

6th Aug Two calls: writing on the theme of either Twists or Masque.

6th Aug ‘Submissions must be 101 words long, consisting of a one word title and one hundred word story.’ Theme: angels.

6th Aug ‘Novelty’s 9th issue is dedicated to the theme “Back to the basics”. To understand where we’re going, we need to rediscover our roots: the soil and society that shaped us and sent us out into the world. This issue is about examining our origins, sensing our interconnectedness and creating harmony in order to thrive.’

7th Aug Poetry and more on the theme of Quaker Libraries.

8th Aug Writing, art and crafts on the theme of Relationships.

10th Aug Fiction 3500-5000 words on the theme of Random Aliens. ‘Set it in space, in the far future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens helping to solve a pseudo-scientific problem.’ PAYING

10th Aug ‘Wendy’s Subway is seeking submissions for an upcoming publication which will address the potential of ritual under capital. What habits and practices do we form to subvert, subsist, survive? Is there refuge in ritual? How might ritual practices endow objects and artifacts with qualities that resist their assimilation within the market?’ Fiction, poetry and more. (Cathy’s note: WARNING: for reasons best known to itself, this website contains flashing images.)

10th Aug ‘Get us into the heart of the villains. Make us question if they are really that bad. Help us understand why they do what they do. Show us that underneath their actions, there is something there that could make us empathize with their plight. Go beyond the darkness and evil and help us wonder what’s under the surface of those we love to hate.’ 500-10,500 words. PAYING

11th Aug Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Masturbation.

15th Aug ‘AD LUMEN PRESS is accepting manuscripts of full-length literary novels and memoirs from emerging authors who may or may not have previously published a book-length work.’

15th Aug ‘The inevitable breakdown of a long-term relationship; losing your home due to gentrification; struggling with the deportation of a loved one; navigating the crumbling healthcare situation in Trump’s America. How do you define loss and grief? Radix Media presents AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss & Grief, an anthology that will examine what it means to face the consequences after tragedy strikes. The theme is left intentionally open, giving contributors the freedom to tell their story as it is most relevant to their experiences.’ Poetry, fiction, personal essays and more. PAYING

15th Aug or until filled:  SF 1000-6000 words on the theme of Transhumanism. PAYING

15th Aug Writing on the theme of Inner Truth. ‘Keep in mind: I hold preference for pieces that reflect the spirit of The Phoenix Soul: vulnerable; personal; tender; never shying away from struggle, but generally including hints of hope and healing among the hurt.’

15th Aug Poetry and prose on the theme of Political Landscapes.

15th Aug Spec fiction 1000-5000 words on the theme of Rebellion. PAYING

15th Aug Poetry on the theme of Forest, Grove and Wood.

15th Aug Writers who have a relationship with Tuscany: poetry, flash and more on the theme of Fiction v Reality.

15th Aug ‘We are now accepting submissions for our special issue, “for my lover, she is fair: a Sappho tribute.” We want to read your lovely poems, your ethereal, your lyrical. All work should be related to Sappho’s poetry in some way. We will only accept work from women, femme individuals, and/or nonbinary folks.’

15th Aug ‘Anomaly’s GLITTERBRAIN folio seeks work by queer and trans indigenous people and people of color who identify as mentally-ill, neurodivergent, or as having mental illness. Send up to 5 pieces, and a brief bio to by August 15th.’ (thanks to for this one)

16th Aug Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Fallout.

20th Aug Poetry and art on the theme of Bullying.

20th Aug Fiction up to 5500 words. PAYING

22nd Aug ‘AGAINST SURVIVAL is an outlet. A place to voice otherwise unspeakable things. A violent reassurance that you could, in fact, be worse. This anthology welcomes essays and stories exploring these concepts and themes. Fact, fiction, and everything between. 1,500 to 5,000 words.’ PAYING

23rd Aug Flash and short fiction on the theme of Latin America.

23rd Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of the Hazards of Mercy.

25th Aug ‘We are primarily wanting fantasy and dark fantasy settings focusing on an Autumn theme. While we will consider modern/futuristic stories, we want the focus to be on the nature of Autumn and magic/fantasy elements inspired by it.’ PAYING

25th Aug  ‘As the Boeing 777 descends through the clouds for its approach into SFO, only a few of the passengers (mostly in window seats) suspect they have arrived at the wrong destination. Which is incorrect, sort of. They have arrived at San Francisco International Airport…on June 28, 2037. The wrinkle has transported them 20 years into the future. Your story should be presented from the perspective of one of the passengers on this flight, the passenger seated in Seat 14C, beginning when they step off the flight at SFO, 20 years in the future.’ PAYING

25th Aug Ten-minute plays. ‘Please ensure that plays are submitted in stage-play format and are for no more than four characters. We do not accept monologues, extracts from full-length plays, adaptations or film scripts.   Writers must be UK based.’

25th Aug Writing on the theme of Transition for this Christian litmag.

25th Aug Romantic flash fiction on the theme of Picture Perfect. PAYING

25th Writing for children on the theme of Basketball – query first. PAYING

27th Aug Poetry on the theme of Unprintable (Cathy’s note: only Australian contributors are paid). PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

28th Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Crucial Conversations: How to get what you want when it matters.

31st Aug Up to three pieces, poetry or flash fiction, on the theme of child refugees. All profits to the Alf Dubs Children’s Fund. Due to the nature of the charity, only PG submissions will be accepted. Send your submissions to CHARITY ANTHOLOGY

31st Aug ‘We invite you to submit one previously unpublished poem of three pages maximum (all forms are welcome: fragments, narrative poems, free verse, prose poems, traditional forms).’

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Shame.

31st Aug ‘The upcoming ninth issue of NOUS will be all about “Home” touching issues like homelessness, cultural diversity and belonging.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Alternative art and literature magazine The Matador Review is now accepting submissions for the Fall 2017 publication. We publish poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction, inviting all unpublished literature written in the English language (and translations that are accompanied by the original text) as well as many forms of visual art.’

31st Aug Poems and stories on the theme of Redemption. PAYING

31st Aug ‘The mission for submission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of three possible stories inspired by this image (provided on website – Cathy), discard the first two and write the third (in this way, we can subtract normal and get deviation).’

31st Aug ’80s-themed horror stories.

31st Aug ‘Angels, divine timing, miraculous coincidences, answered prayers, premonitions that come true. Good things do happen to good people. Please share your unbelievable and amazing stories about the unexplainable events that have occurred to you. Share the awe, the faith, and the wonder with our readers.’ Poetry and prose. PAYING

31st Aug Stories 2000-8000 words on the theme of The Last Wish. PAYING

31st Aug ‘We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. The only hard-and-fast rule is that the creator of the AI or robot must not be a cis man.’ PAYING

31st Aug Poetry and flash on the theme of Down the Rabbit Hole. (thanks to for this one)

31st Aug Poetry on the theme of Europe. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Aug Comedy Script.

31st Aug There are stairs in the woods – as if you cut and pasted stairs from a house… 3000-20,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Aug Horror stories 1000-3000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Aug Short poetry, prose and art on the theme of Fever. PAYING

31st Aug ‘The theme for the Fall 2017 edition of Blood & Bourbon is a simple one: “Death.” We are looking for interesting and original takes on the subject, hopefully from a lot of different angles. As always, we like stories that are a little gritty, a little raw, and offer an unpasteurized view of life.’

31st Aug ‘Transformed will be an exploration of our dark side through characters that challenge the human experience by simply being different. We would love to follow the tale of a misunderstood lycan just trying to find his true place beside the woman he loves. We want to experience the angst of a pair of shapeshifting lovers who must fight against their curse to shift into predator and prey every lunar cycle.’ 1000-15,000 words. PAYING

31st Aug Poems on the theme of Sweet Sorrow.

1st Sep Poetry and more on the theme of Families. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

1st Sep ‘We welcome submissions of art and writing that approaches retrofuturism through a progressive lens. Essays and flash fiction of approximately 250-500 words is especially welcome; longer works may be serialized.’ Theme: Resistance. PAYING

1st Sep ‘What happens to a woman’s career after kids? We are looking for fresh perspectives, up to 1,400 words, that tackle the emotional and practical issues involved in combining being a mom with pursuing a career. Interpretations might include: the decision to stay home (or not) when the kids are young; the realities of the part-time or work-from-home experience; re-entry (or not) into the workforce once the children are older. We are open to a range of styles and this is a paid opportunity.’ PAYING

1st Sep Short fiction, flash/micro fiction, and nonfiction on the theme of After Dark. After Hours

1st Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Home.

1st Sep ‘We’re looking for stories that fit the theme: Death by Water. All types of horror are welcome.’ 4000-5000 words. PAYING

1st Sep ‘Current Call for Grit Lit: Rural and Revisionist Western Stories, Fiction or Non-:  We need your best Harry Crews homage for our Fall 2017 issue “All We Need of Hell.”  Crews is one of our favorite authors, and we’ll take any interpretation you have of grit lit that is “Crewsesque.” ‘–submit.html


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.

‘Poets of conscience and courage, writing in English, living everywhere on Earth, are invited to submit to 45 Poems: Reflection & Response,presented by Eleventh Transmission & Wax Poetry and Art. This special project seeks poems that engage with, reflect upon, critique, and otherwise respond to current social and political climate that has seen increasing challenges for democracy in liberal societies and weakening of decades-long political unions.’

‘DARK ALLEY PRESS: Currently accepting novel-length work in horror and dark fiction as well as horror and dark fiction short stories for the INK STAINS anthology. Strange Fictions is also currently accepting short stories or serials in science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and magical realism. We are also accepting essays, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and artwork suitable for a SF&F publication.’ PAYING

Poetry up to 50 lines, microfiction up to 1500 lines.

‘We are looking for fiction that adapts well to audio formats and lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes when read (with a soft cap of 45 minutes).  Works should be roughly within roughly PG-13 guidelines.’ PAYING

Poems. Preferred themes: ‘Kiss From A Rose’ – Seal, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jam, Evil Balloons, 1759 in Russian Siberia.


‘We’d love to see books on voice actors, Muppet/Sesame Street performers, Allen Jenkins, Harry Morgan, Victor Buono, Frank Nelson, Russ Tamblyn, Joe Flynn, Don Knotts, any of the Charlie Chan actors or sons, Don Adams, Frank Morgan, Pinto Colvig, David Tomlinson, British comedy actors (Ted Ray, Arthur Askey, Jimmy Edwards, etc.), and any of the unheralded supporting players. We are also seeking more modern television titles.’

‘We publish nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues.’ PAYING

Crime MSS.

‘We are looking for stories and poems that speak to the realities of homelessness. We want pieces about sleeping on the winter streets of Chicago, flying a sign in Biloxi, and sniping cigarette butts from between the cracks before it rains.’

‘We’re interested in writing and visual art that spans the worlds of queer culture, the feminine narrative, marginalized communities, and politics and culture.’ PAYING

‘Poets Reading The News is a new digital publication bridging poetry and journalism. We welcome innovative and insightful poetry and prose submissions that regard contemporary events and themes.’

‘Although we like a slow burn, we want stories to intrigue us from the start. Set the tone early, even if the story’s unusual nature takes time to unfold. Magic realism, gothic, and surrealist are compass points.’ 2500-7000 words. PAYING

‘The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal publishes well-written poetry and fiction. HALJ’s voices are often of people who have been marginalized, oppressed, or abused.’ (Cathy’s note: you can submit by email if you live in a country other than USA)

Fiction, personal essays and more. PAYING

‘Submissions for Half Mystic Journal’s fourth issue are now open. Issue IV centres around the theme of grazioso: the dream-bright waltz – the soft-stained song – the place where sunlight settles & nothing really hurts.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

Full-length manuscripts of poetry, short stories or novels.

‘Currently, we publish romance and speculative fiction. What we love: we accept polyamorous romances, kinky disabled protagonists, intersex warriors, neurodiverse ghosts, queer folks with chronic pain in an alternate timeline, anything that counts as Afrofuturism, epic anxiety-riddled space lords, intimate platonic time travelling duos, depressed sentient stars, and much more.’ ROYALTIES

Children’s nonfiction MSS.

Writing and art by Saudi women on the theme of Movement.

‘Our mission is to get children excited about science and math through fun-to-read picture book stories. We are primarily looking for fiction manuscripts with non-fiction facts woven into the story, although we will also consider some non-fiction stories. In every manuscript we look for a “cuddle factor” that will make parents and children want to read it together.’

‘Vanity Projection is an online humor magazine publishing essays, satirical news pieces, and whatever other unholy genre-melting abominations our writers’ fevered minds can conjure up.’ PAYING

Pulp fiction 2000-5000 words. PAYING

‘breadlesscrust is looking for innovative writing hybrids, conceptual pieces,  really anything that might fall under the wind-inverted umbrella of ‘experimental’ ‘

Horror stories.

SF and F stories. PAYING

‘Our digital collections are available in PDF format at this site, published under the Red Wolf imprint. We invite you to submit poem manuscripts to us (20-30 poems). You may email your manuscript for our consideration at redwolfjournal AT gmail DOT com.’


Leave a Reply

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