Comps and calls for September 2017

Hello all! It’s September, and I’ve spent most of the last month in boring waiting rooms and hospitals. Still, I have a diagnosis now, and treatment should help a lot, so I’ve cheered up considerably. Many thanks for your good wishes. You are a kind group of people!

There are some really strange and imaginative calls this month, to stretch your writing muscles. I hope that you have many successes – thanks to those of you who have let me know about your acceptances and wins.

I’ve had some good news – Comps and Calls has made the top blogger list at (you have to scroll down a bit to find me, but I’m definitely there)! Naturally I’m delighted about this.

Have a wonderful start to the autumn,

Cathy x

Here are September 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.


4th Sep ‘Every child has a Messy Little Monster, and we want to see them. So, this summer, we’re inviting children aged 12 and under to introduce us to their messy little monsters with two exciting creative competitions. And it’s the perfect activity to keep your kids occupied as well! We love to read all about your messy little monsters, so tell us about them! Write a short story, pen a poem or even create a little limerick, all about what your messy little monster gets up to.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

5th Sep ‘CTD’s annual Pen 2 Paper (P2P) creative writing competition seeks pieces of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and comics that treat the topic of disability. Whether or not you have experience as a creative writer; whether or not you have a disability, we want to hear your voice!’ PAYING

7th Sep ‘Are you a writer, photographer, sketcher, videomaker, blogger, or a combination of all these? Do you have a travel story to tell? Then we want to hear from you.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

8th Sep Age 7-12: write a letter to someone who lives far away. VOUCHER/OTHER

8th Sep ‘All you need to do is submit a column of 600 words max (plus your ‘do’s and don’ts’) by September 8 2017, to What’s the lesson you live life by? How has it shaped you? Take us on your journey.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

10th Sep Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

15th Sep ‘Each poem must be a translation (loosely defined) of a text (loosely defined) from/about Hong Kong or China, written originally in English or Chinese, into a poem that is about contemporary Hong Kong.’ PAYING

15th Sep ‘How did Jacob Rees-Mogg come to be? Send us something that explains why and our favourite ones will get published here.The most bestworst one will win a prize, namely a packet of hobnobs and a hand drawn picture of Jacob-Rees-Mogg. If you live outside the UK, we wont send a packet of hobnobs and instead you’ll receive a one-off unique picture of a packet of hobnobs.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

17th Sep ‘Nearly everyone has memories of a former sweetheart. Write your true story of an earlier love, in no more than 700 words. Tell us about someone whose memory brings a smile or a tear, or both.’ PAYING

17th Sep Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

18th Sep US and the district of Columbia only: essay on the most dramatic change you ever had to make. PAYING

20th Sep ‘The winner of the 2018 Kathy Fish Fellowship will be considered a “writer in residence” at SmokeLong (note: position is virtual) for four quarterly issues (March, June, September, and December 2018). Each issue will include one flash by the Fellowship winner. Writers who have not been published in SmokeLong Quarterly and who do not have a published chapbook or book-length work in any genre (or are not under contract for such) are eligible to apply.’ (Cathy’s note: Although you can apply after 20th September, there will be a fee after that date.) PAYING

24th Sep Poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING

25th Sep ‘To enter all we want you to do is upload your (or your child’s) interpretation of what a big holiday means to you and fill in your details below. It could be a photograph, a video, a poem, a drawing – these are just some ideas!’ VOUCHER/OTHER

28th Sep Story up to 6000 words by a writers with a record of prior publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom or Ireland. PAYING

29th Sep Graphic short story. PAYING

30th Sep Story up to 3000 words. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

30th Sep Story 1000-2000 words on the theme of Coins. PAYING

30th Sep Short story up to 2500 words. ‘The plotline can be anything; the only requirement is that it must fall within the women’s fiction genre!

The term ‘women’s fiction’ is generally used to mean fiction that appeals primarily to women, though is not necessarily written by a women, and tends to be full of modern relationships featuring friends, family and lovers.’ ROYALTIES, NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Sep Thriller, suspense and mystery book proposals. PAYING

30th Sep Post a poem in Poet’s Corner. NON-CASH PRIZE

1st Oct Socially-engaged poems (Cathy’s note: the first entry is free, but you have to pay to enter more than one poem). PAYING


3rd Sep ‘Issues #6, #7 and #8 will be a triptych. We welcome and encourage individual submissions to each, but if you feel like making art that tells a continuous story or writing a story that massively exceeds our usual wordcount, now is the time. Issue #6: “How It Begins” – The sixth issue will be focused on beginnings.’

4th Sep Women writers only: poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Yesteryear. PAYING

5th Sep Poetry and prose on the theme of My Crazy Family. PAYING

5th Sep ‘Creatures of myth and fantasy have long been a fascination in cultures throughout the the world. Did they ever exist? Do they still exist now? Imagine a time where these creatures were plentiful. Or perhaps, when they once were but now there is only one or two left. We are looking for stories centered on such creatures, be they unicorns, dragons, griffins, chimeras, or something unknown.’ 500-10,500 words. PAYING

5th Sep ‘We are in search of erotic stories centered around the theme of apocalypse. How you execute this theme is up to you—a multitude of interpretations are possible, from both the figurative to the literal end of civilization.’ PAYING

8th Sep Romantic fiction, 300-5000 words. PAYING

9th Sep Writing on the theme of Solitude’s Spectrum.

9th Sep or when they’ve received 250 submissions: writing and art by females of any age on the theme of Strength. PAYING

9th Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of I Feel this Way Because…

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

10th Sep Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Sep ‘Poems wanted in any language or style of English in response to the destruction of Grenfell Tower, for the anthology Dark Bones to be published by Eyewear in late 2017. Please send one poem, max 50 lines, to: by 15th September 2017. Please tell us your name, address and what language your poem is in.’

15th Sep F, SF and H: flash and short fiction. PAYING

15th Sep Poetry.

15th Sep ‘The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts is looking for, as you might guess, “compressed creative arts.” We accept fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Sep Poetry and fiction on the theme of Upheaval.

15th Sep Feminist writing on the theme of Protest.

15th Sep Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Sep Speculative poetry on the theme of Evolving Gender. PAYING

15th Sep ‘The honeymoon period never lasts for long. ‘Brides, Grooms, and Honeymoons’ wants stories that shatter relationships. How do marriages dissolve into some of the most bitter, hate-fueled conflicts? What lies underneath the end of peace within all types of bonds one promised never to break?’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Sep Speculative poetry. PAYING

16th Sep ‘In 1862 two men set an impressive (and still unbroken) record. Using gas from Wolverhampton’s Stafford Road works, Cowell and Glashier’s balloon, the Mammoth, achieved an altitude of 37,000 feet, without oxygen. As they began to black out, at altitude, they nearly died, but then, incredibly, they landed safely in a snowdrift in Shropshire. A mile from a pub.Wolverhampton Archives has evidence of this real adventure in photographs, maps and newspapers. They invite you to propose a creative response to this material: a short theatre piece, poetry or visual art. The 1862 event was a serious attempt at pioneering research but it has its farcical side. Your proposal can, therefore, be serious or comic (or both!) in tone. Please send a short (150 words max.) outline of what you would like to propose to me at by 5pm on 16th September at the latest.’

16th Sep ‘They are looking for short scripts based of the themes: home, culture, and boarders. They are accepting scripts, skits, comedy, poetry, and more. Each piece should be within the time frame of 2-9 minutes, and have 1-6 characters.’ PAYING

‘We are focusing on the stories of people who have moved to a new country. The focus of the project centers around individual’s stories about immigration, being displaced from ones home and living in an unfamiliar place. We would love to hear your true story that this prompt brings out in you. The story can be told in any written form or language- music, poetry, etc.’

20th Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Medieval (sic) Winter.

20th Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of the Divine Androgyne.

22nd Sep Writing for children on the theme of People for Peace. Query first. PAYING

25th Sep Work by immigrant and refugee authors.

29th Sep ‘Abridged is looking for poetry and art for its 0-51: Wormwood issue. Submissions can be up to 4 poems and art should be up to A4 landscape size and at least 300 dpi.’

30th Sept ‘We are proud to announce our new Ink Stains Anthology – a quarterly literary journal filled with tales of dark fiction and horror from Dark Alley Press.

Submissions are open for pieces 3,000-20,0000 words that fall under DARK FICTION, including horror, gothic, paranormal, fantasy, steampunk, and black comedy.’ PAYING

30th Sep ‘Consequence is now accepting submissions for a special anniversary issue devoted to women who write about war.’ PAYING

30th Sep Performance monologue, 15-45 mins.

30th Sep ‘Never, Sometimes, Usually, Always is an anthology of stories that aims to promote healthcare literacy through caregiver and patient narrative responses to HCAHPS survey questions. WE ASK THAT WRITERS have experience with the American healthcare system, most preferable hospital healthcare. We accept stories from all clinicians whose care applies to the questions in the HCAHPS survey, as well as from patients or families of patients who have received care.’

30th Sep ‘Men in spandex stretched taught (sic) by bulging muscles. Perfect examples of sexuality and virility. Since their advent, superheroes have sparked the imaginations and fantasies of those who enjoy following their adventures. In this anthology we’re looking for stories of hero worship that go to the ultimate level.’ PAYING

30th Sep ‘Outskirts: Suburban and Rural Legends—Drabbles (100 words), Micro-Fiction (101-750 words), Flash (751-1000 words), and Poetry (up to 50 lines). I’m not accepting anything longer than flash (1000 words) or 50 lines of poetry for this one. May consider up to 2000 words, but query me first. Give me your best backyard or basement creepers, neighborhood terrors in the night, and the country roads to nowhere.’

30th Sep Single women aged 55+: ‘‘Tribe’ will be a print anthology exploring the lives and experiences of older, single women and will include poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction, personal narrative, prose poems… about all and any topics that affect women.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

30th Sep ‘What we’re looking for: Original stories that are both entertaining and fall firmly in the horror genre. Think Jeff Strand, Joe Lansdale, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland. Make us die laughing.’ 4000-8000 words. PAYING

30th Sep Theme: Pictures. ‘This time we’re looking for the connection between the text and the visual: Comics, graphic stories, photo essays, illustrated and visual poetry, and ekphrastic pieces are very welcome.’

30th Sep Write Naked is looking for pitches from would-be guest bloggers. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

30th Sep ‘President Trump’s rich pals will be playing inside the luxurious confines of Mar-a-Lago. Guests from around the world stay there, and the kids in Trump’s “Our Golden Gang” get into plenty of mischief. Writers who submit can use old plots from the Our Gang films and update them to fit the present (technology, clothing, etc.). Stories are set in present day, although don’t give specific dates. Villains can be people from the present (Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Vladamir Putin, etc.), or you can invent others. The first anthology in the series is called “The He-Man Woman-Haters Club.” ‘ PAYING

30th Sep ‘The Spoon Knife anthology series is published under Autonomous Press’ NeuroQueer Books imprint. All submissions should in some way touch upon or be relevant to the themes of neurodivergence, queerness, and/or the intersections of neurodivergence and queerness. These themes can be engaged with either directly or through metaphor. For Spoon Knife 3: Incursions, we’re looking for pieces that focus on the theme of incursions by one reality into another. Authors are encouraged to interpret this theme broadly and creatively.’ Poetry, fiction and memoir. PAYING

30th Sep ‘What we are looking for are Fantasy stories that feature your main character telling a tale about how they or their weapon earned their name. Humor is a plus. All stories need to start with: “This is my tale…” ‘ PAYING

30th Sep Funny horror stories, 4000-8000 words. PAYING

1st Oct Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Oct ‘Toe Good, originally Toe Good Poetry, has published emerging, dynamic poets since 2011. We opened our doors to other forms of art in 2016. Our main goal is to publish artists who have shown dedication to their craft, while keeping the door open for diversity. Our secondary goal is to publish reviews, social commentary, and the occasional news article.’

1st Oct ‘The (Dis)ability short story anthology will feature short stories written by people with disabilities. All of the stories will have disabled main characters.’ PAYING

1st Oct ‘Humor has been a rarity in furry fiction. We aim to change that! Furry Frolics will friz your fur and tickle your tail. We want your funniest fiction. There have been stories with anthro animals mixing with humans in our civilization: what would it REALLY be like for a furry in our world?’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Oct ‘This issue, we’re looking for writing that explores the natural, organic, pure, as well as the antithesis of all of these. As one of our broadest concepts, do with it as you will—to whatever extreme. At the end of the day, we’re looking for poetry, fiction and non fiction pieces that are grounded, raw, and textured—pieces that go deep into humanity’s (and the earth’s) natural state (or challenge the notion of “organic” altogether).’

1st Oct Fiction 300-5000 words, ending with the line: “Benjamin was a man of his word.” 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.

Poems relating to a recent news item.

Poetry, fiction, articles, essays and letters for The Horse’s Mouth. Email

‘I am primarily looking for science fiction short stories that show us the way back to a livable future. While I expect that most will be science fiction, I am open to fantasy and literary fiction as well.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

‘We prefer that writers be currently homeschooled, but we also accept writing from former homeschoolers, homeschool graduates, homeschool parents, and pro-homeschool writers, provided that writers of this last category note this. Writing about homeschooling is not a requirement, but it is welcomed, appreciated, and encouraged. All writers who submit must be 13 years old or over.’

‘Where elegance meets eloquence.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more. ‘As The Woven Tale Press mission is to grow traffic to noteworthy artists and writers on the World Wide Web, we want to be able to link back to your work; you must submit an Url to your blog or website. Links to Social networking profiles, Facebook, Tumblr profiles etc. are not acceptable.’

‘Submit 1-7 poems (up to 15 pages), 1-10 photographs / visual artworks, or 1 essay of up to 10,000 wordsThemes that will always catch our eye include attention, affection, ecology and human-to-nonhuman relationships.’ PAYING

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

‘Nthanda Review publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, folktales, essays and reviews of any length. If you have literary events and opportunities you would like to share with the literary world, we will also be there for you.’

UK only: up to three poems. ROYALTIES

Ireland and NI only: up to three poems. ROYALTIES

Scotland only: up to three poems. ROYALTIES

‘Disorder Press publishes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. We’re looking for unapologetic writing that pushes the boundaries of conventional genres.’

Open until filled: Asian science fiction, or Asian ‘Birds and Beasts’ story. PAYING

Novels, short story collections, memoirs and more. ‘Please note, email queries will not be answered unless we are interested.’

‘Our goal is to share literature that raises awareness of and expresses psychological issues and feelings of displacement through the literary gothic, with creative elements of horror and fantasy.’ Poetry, flash and short fiction.

Prose, poetry and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘Curiosity Quills Press is a publisher of hard-hitting dark sci-fi, speculative fiction, and paranormal works aimed at adults, young adults, and new adults.’ (thanks to )

‘Disturbed Digest publishes original dark fantasy and horror short stories, poems, art, articles, reviews, and interviews. Preferred are fantasy adventure stories and spooky horror stories.’ PAYING


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