I’m a bit tearful as I write this, because you’ve all been so lovely and I feel very close to some of you – but Comps and Calls is going to be on hiatus for a while (one hopes a few months only). If you sign up to the mailing list, Facebook group or Twitter then you’ll get an announcement when we’re back.
Life has taken over, in that ghastly way it does.
Thanks to all of you who’ve visited, used the listings, contacted me to tell me of your successes, or for any other reason.
Below are listings for the whole year! There aren’t that many.
Much love, and be lovely to other writers. Take care,
Here are some 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.
3rd Jan ‘Are you tired of only reading about the “good guys”? Well, here is your chance to turn the spotlight on the villains of fairy tales and folk tales. Fairytalez wants to hear the other side of the story, the villains behind a so-called “happily ever after”! After all, as they say, even the villain is the hero in their own story. Let’s hear it for the “bad” guys! You may either write a new fairy tale or folk tale with a new original villain character or take one of the classics and write the untold story from the villain’s point of view.’ VOUCHER/OTHER https://fairytalez.com/competitions/best-villain-fairy-tale-competition-nov-2017/
12th Jan Crime novel by someone who hasn’t had a full-length book published. PAYING https://mysterywriters.org/about-mwa/st-martins/
12th Jan Flash fiction on the theme of Grave Visitation. PAYING https://www.apparitionlit.com/submission-guidelines/#1506552206297-99a74293-e807
15th Jan Poem on one of the provided themes. NON-CASH PRIZE https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/challenges-currently-open/
29th Jan A Golden Shovel poem, or a poem on the theme of either Electricity or Monsters (Cathy’s note: it’s free to submit one poem, but you have to pay to submit more). NON-CASH PRIZE http://www.highlandparkpoetry.org/images/2018_Poetry_Challenge.pdf
29th Jan SF story up to 1500 words. There’s also a special prize for a feminist entry. PAYING https://tinyurl.com/y7wvdnpc
31st Jan ‘The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theatre, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America. Our newsletter subscribers include publishers, artists, musicians, and fellow writers. While your writing should appeal to a reader with these interests and in these creative professions, all story themes are considered.’ PAYING http://jerryjazzmusician.com/2013/02/short-fiction-contest-details/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email
1st Feb Golf story up to 700 words, plus photos (optional). VOUCHER/OTHER https://www.teamgolfwell.com/golfwell-s-golf-story-contest.html?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email
14th Feb Story up to 690 words on the theme of Cursed Love. VOUCHER/OTHER https://shondabrock.wordpress.com/contest/
28th Feb ‘ We are looking for stories that illustrate, explore, or illuminate the impact of climate change on humanity and/or the Earth. We enthusiastically invite submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more.’ Up to 5000 words. https://climateimagination.asu.edu/clificontest/
28th Feb Age 13-18: short story. PAYING https://www.booksie.com/contest/Booksie+2017-2018+Young+Writer+Short+Story+Contest-12?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email
28th Feb First chapter up to 7500 words of your book. NON-CASH PRIZE http://www.cnwritersandpublishers.info/current-competitions
28th Feb ‘Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of Meditation or Mindfulness. Poems may reflect any discipline, any faith, or none.’ PAYING http://www.spiritfirst.org/poetry_contest2018Entry.html
SUBMISSIONS WITH DEADLINES
Horror stories. https://www.jakobshorrorbox.com/submissions/
7th Jan ‘Stories for this anthology may be set in any Asian country (real or imagined), and main characters should be natives also. The ‘birds and beasts’ concept is open to include any type of animal (real or mythical), and that animal must be important to the story.’ PAYING https://insigniastories.com/subs/
7th Jan Poetry and more on the theme of Innovation. https://iltreview.com/submit/
10th Jan Poetry and fiction on the theme of Space and Time. https://thewriterscafemagazine.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/the-writers-cafe-magazine-issue-4-time-and-spacecallout/
15th Jan Asian writers only: speculative fiction. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS https://kitaab.org/2017/10/15/submissions-open-for-the-best-asian-speculative-fiction-anthology/
15th Jan Lesbians only: ‘For this issue of Sinister Wisdom we invite positive representation of lesbians of all abilities teaching, learning, and developing new skills. What do lesbians learn in church settings? What do lesbians learn from each other? What do lesbians teach others? As a theme, Lesbians Learning, can be interpreted literally or can simply be a starting point to develop your own concept of learning, and what that looks like. Thank you in advance for allowing us to learn with you!’ https://sinisterwisdom.submittable.com/submit
15th Jan ‘I am looking for original short speculative fiction, up to 5000 words, that in some way address the intricacies of the mind.’ PAYING http://hig4s09.wixsite.com/myriadparadigm/home
15th Jan Poetry and photography on the theme of Muse. http://www.light-journal.com/submit
15th Jan Poetry by athletes. PAYING http://www.rattle.com/submissions/calls/
31st Jan Lesbians only: ‘We are looking for serious, satirical, and humorous writing in various forms, e.g., essay, excerpts from correspondence, journal entries, poetry, short fiction, novel excerpts, and critical articles that reflect lesbian ideas and notions of what it will take to unseat the Trump regime.’ http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/callfordumptrump
31st Jan Poetry on the theme of Film. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://magmapoetry.com/call-for-submission-magma-71-the-film-issue/
31st Jan ‘Strange Economics is an anthology of original, high-quality stories that explore economic ideas through speculative fiction: money in worlds of magic, trade in worlds of advanced technology.’ PAYING https://davidfshultz.com/strangeeconomicsantho/
31st Jan ‘Room magazine invites women and genderqueer folks who identify as part of the LGBTTQIA+ spectrum to submit their best poetry, fiction, CNF, and art to our first queer-themed issue. We especially encourage submissions from writers affected by multiple intersections of oppression, such as racism, classism, ableism, fatphobia, ageism, and transphobia.’ PAYING http://roommagazine.com/submit
31st Jan ‘We are currently seeking submissions from the BAME community about their mental health experiences. The anthology serves to address the disparity between the mental health services provided to the BAME community and those offered to less marginalized groups. We hope to ignite dialogue and spotlight powerful voices that deserve to be heard.’ Poetry, fiction and more. https://www.stirlingpublishing.co.uk/the-colour-of-madness
1st Feb Weird Western fiction of various lengths. PAYING http://radiantcrownpublishing.com/category/anthologies/subterranean-series/
1st Feb ‘Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for Lord of the Horizon: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Horus. Suggestions for possible contributions include, but are not limited to: prayers, heka, poetry, hymns, rituals, essays, short fiction, recipes, music, and artwork.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/calls-for-submissions/lord-of-the-horizon-a-devotional-anthology-in-honor-of-horus/
1st Feb Poetry and prose on the theme of Surprised by Joy. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://www.universaltable.org/wisingup.html
1st Feb ‘Use one of these six windows as inspiration: I Magician, II High Priestess, III Empress, X Wheel of Fortune, XVI Tower, and XIX Sun. Create your own image for these cards. Tell a story about the characters you see. Provide an in-depth interpretation from one of your favorite decks. These are basic suggestions to get you going, but take this theme and create what you will.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES https://themageslantern.submittable.com/submit
14th Feb Women: your experiences of sexual violations. https://www.wilderwriters.com/side-project-the-daily-abuse
14th Feb ‘The tentative title of this new anthology is A Kiss and a Promise, and the theme is Romance. The stories can be contemporary, regency, futuristic, paranormal, historical, fantasy, humour… Just about any type of romance will do (but please, no erotica).’ 7000-12,000 words. PAYING http://smokingpenpress.com/submissions-2
28th Feb ‘We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a little thing that improve your everyday life, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely, we want to hear about them and how they made a difference.’ PAYING http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics
28th Feb ‘Anima is a magazine for contemporary poems which dare to question the dominant materialist paradigm of western culture. We aim to offer the reader thoughtful and intelligent writing from perspectives beyond the everyday world of senses and reason. Poems of metaphysics, mythology and symbolism, of depth psychology or transcendence.’ http://www.animapoetry.uk/submissions/
28th Feb ‘Shhhh… Murder! Scheduled for release in late spring of next year and timed for summer reading, this anthology will feature cozy to cozy-noir stories featuring libraries and librarians. Extra points will be shamelessly awarded to writers with personal ties to libraries.’ 2500-5000 words. ROYALTIES http://darkhousebooks.com/submissions/
28th Feb ‘Darkhouse Books seeks poetry, flash, short fiction, and creative nonfiction reflecting the theme of sanctuary, refuge, shelter, or asylum, from the perspective of those offering, seeking, denying, or destroying it. From Bangladesh to the city animal shelter, all are welcome, as are all genres.’ ROYALTIES http://darkhousebooks.com/submissions/
1st Mar Stories 7500-20,000 words on the theme of Baba Yaga. PAYING https://www.worldweaverpress.com/submit-anthologies.html
1st Mar ‘ “The Graveyard Girls” is seeking horror fiction from women writers. Original, previously unpublished fiction is preferred. From monsters to maniacs, send us a nightmare from the darkest realms of your imagination! 4000-10,000 words.’ http://hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs_anthologies.html
4th Mar ‘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 #8: “Ever After” – The finale. We want to see how things fall apart or come back together.’ https://talesfromtheforest.net/submissions/
15th Mar Fiction, poetry and more. PAYING https://bluemesareview.submittable.com/submit (thanks to www.erikadreifus.com for this)
30th Mar ‘Not previously published short stories of 4,500-8,500 words that have a central theme associated with Halloween and can be characterized within the broad realm of “horror” fiction.’ PAYING https://www.evans-light.com/call-for-submissions/
31st Mar ‘Call out for stories and poems for an anthology celebrating the centenary of the end of WWI. Publication planned for Nov 2018. How you respond to this theme is up to you, and it doesn’t need to be specific to WWI, but we find nothing to celebrate in war, and want a good balance for the book between appropriate commemoration of the dead, relief that it’s over and hope for the future.’ https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit
30th Apr Lesbians only: ‘CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for anthology, Her Believing Heart: Poems by Survivors of Abuse in Lesbian Relationships. Submit 1-3 poems related in some way to domestic violence in lesbian relationships.’ http://sinisterwisdom.org/node/419
30th Apr ‘Mithila Review is seeking submissions for India 2049: Utopias and Dystopias, an anthology of short stories and comics devoted to the exploration of Indian futures, utopias and dystopias, set in India, South Asia or beyond.’ PAYING http://mithilareview.com/india2049/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email
31st Dec Your ‘magnum opus’ (‘great work’) poem. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES http://vivekanandjha.com/magnumopus.php?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email
dear Cathy, Wanted to say all along, each month I get your Comps/Calls, how much I appreciate your helping so many of us to find a publication, all the varieties of pubs and writers, it’s amazing and you’ve done a great service. Thank you. Hope you come back, that life allows you to return to this, a devoted reader, Barbara
I hope everything is (or will be) okay. You have to put yourself and/or your family first. Everything will be here when you return.
I took off of my blogs to deal with cancer treatment and, though I still feel a bit guilty, it was the right choice.
Good luck to you.
I am one of many who have never taken that moment to say: You are a blessing. Thank you for your hard work. I have found many gems here.
Very many thanks for all the hard work you have done and good luck for the future. Hope to see you back soon.
Thank you for all your hard work, Cathy! I hope you can be back soon. There’s nowhere else on the ‘net quite like here! (Are there any other comps/calls lists I should be looking at?)
Your lists inspired me to submit and ultimately get my first publication in a national magazine, so thank you.
Your hard work is always appreciated. Glad you are taking necessary time for yourself and I hope things slow down soon.