Comps and calls for April 2019

Hello everybody! Comps and Calls is BACK!

After a very difficult year (multiple bereavements, for a start) I’ve decided to start up again. I was waiting for life to settle down, but it never does, does it? So here we are, back with a selection of free opportunities for writers. It’s a bit shorter than usual this month, but should build up in time.

Many thanks for your kind messages, support and appreciation. It’s meant a lot to me. Now go and get published and win prizes!

Best wishes,

Cathy x

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.


1 April: Humorous poem. PAYING

3 April:  Spectator Competition No. 3093: write of passage. ‘You are invited to submit an extract from a novel that chronicles the adult life of a well-known fictional hero from children’s stories (please specify). Please email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 3 April.’ PAYING

7 April:  Flash fiction 400-800 words, on the theme of Lead. VOUCHER/OTHER

10 April:  Up to 2500 words on the theme of Identity. PAYING

10 April:  Flash up to 300 words on the theme of Migration, featuring queer characters. PAYING

15 April:  Creative writing by unpublished Canadian writers aged 18-29. PAYING

15 April:  Poetry by women over 60 who don’t live in the USA.

15 April:  Spec fiction up to 3500 words on the theme of Noir. PAYING

15 April:  ‘This is a call for POC, Black and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The DuVernay Test where African-Americans and other minorities have fully realized lives rather than serve as scenery in white stories.’ Flash fiction. PAYING

30 April:  500-word essay. ‘The competition is open to women commencing or continuing to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in the United States or Canada in 2019-20.’ PAYING (thanks to www.erikadreifus.comfor this)

Weekly poetry contest. PAYING


1 April:  Poetry and prose. ‘Canthiusis a Canadian literary magazine publishing poetry and prose by women, transgender men, nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and genderqueer/gender non-conforming writers.’ PAYING

1 April:  ‘Pixie Forest Publishing is seeking short stories in any genre for our upcoming anthology At Death’s Door. All stories need to be centered on the theme of death or dying. Whether a character is dying, a ghost, or is something in between, we want to hear your story. Any genre except erotica.’ 500-5000 words.

1 April:  Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

5 April:  Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

6 April:  Poetry on the theme of Video Games. Scroll down here:

7 April:  Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Becoming.

7 April:  Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Passing.

7 April:  ‘We are looking for work discussing the family bed, cribs and cradles, sleeping with children, sharing beds, bunking, Grandpa’s favorite sleeping chair, favorite napping places in the household, memories of quilts or pillows, pregnant mothers and sleep, etc.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

8 April:  Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Origins. PAYING

8 April:  ‘Show the impact on individuals—and/or the world—when a country turns away immigrants, or changes the rules so that people who immigrated to a country become forced to return to where they came from—even if they were small children at the time.’ 4000-12,000 words. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY

9 April:  Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Pride.

11 April:  ‘We publish adult literary fiction and narrative non-fiction.’ Women only.

12 April:  Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Politics.

15 April:  Poetry, fiction and essays on the theme of Alternative Apocalypse. PAYING

15 April:  Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of ‘Stages in the Life of the Artist’. Get creative with it. The weirder it is the more likely we are to publish it.

15 April:  Alternative bedtime reading for progressive parents: stories, poems, nursery rhymes. PAYING

15 April:  Succinct spec fic.

15 April:  ‘We are looking for stories and poems that fit the themes of Weird Fiction and Cosmic Horror from ONLY FEMALE AUTHORS. Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy are all welcomed, as long as they fit in the realms of Weird and Cosmic. All stories and poems must also be speculative in some way. What we mean by this is that we don’t want stories or poems based in realism.’ PAYING

15 April:  Poetry in Japanese form. PAYING

15 April:  Poetry on the theme of inside/out. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

18 April:  Poetry and prose on the theme of Landscape and Maps.

21 April:  Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Identity. PAYING

30 April:  Horror stories 1000-8000 words. PAYING

30 April:  Fiction 1000-5000 words on the theme of the Moon. PAYING

30 April:  Genre fiction, experimental poetry and more by LGBTQ+ writers and artists. PAYING

30 April:  Writing on the theme of Think Positive, Live Happy. ‘How did you “think positive” and how did it change your life? Tell us your success story about using the power of positive thinking!’ PAYING

30 April:  A variety of projects, free to submit to during April. During some other months, fees are charged. PAYING

30 April:  ‘Rock & Sling, a journal of witness, seeks work that engages the mysteries, trials, complications, and joys of Creation. We often favor work that engages spiritual ideas and experiences, but it is not a requirement. While those spiritual ideas are often from a Christian point of view, they need not be explicitly so, and we value work that honestly and authentically engages other faith traditions (or their absence).’

30 April:  Stories under 1000 words.

30 April:  Story written from the point of view of a cat. 3000-7000 words. PAYING

30 April:  ‘This Never Happenedis an anthology devoted to the humorous side of alternative history fiction. This collection will hold stories that are funny and outrageous, set in worlds where history differs from what happened in our own reality, with ridiculous consequences; tales that could not possibly have happened, or maybe they could have but they’d have just been absolutely hilarious!’ 1500-10,000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

1/5 ‘In this issue, I invite poems that consider intersections of climate change with gender and location, both physical place and the way location refers to experiences of race, class, ability and sexuality. What might be anti-colonial, queer, feminist, counter-classist, embodied poetries of climate change?’ PAYS ONLY AUSTRALIANS

1/5 Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Beauty.

1/5 Poetry and short fiction on a variety of themes.

1/5 ‘We are looking for work (poems, fiction/flash fiction, nonfiction/ flash non-fiction, b/w art) that gives voice to and is a part of that resistance. Our goal? To build and publish an anthology as a vehicle for positive change in response to the growing climate of hate. We need work that references and identifies specific legacies, personal histories, and stories of conditions that we (and others) face daily.’


Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

Poetry and flash.

MSS of various kinds, including childrens, middle grade and YA.

MSS by Canadian writers only.

Nonfiction and humour book MSS.


Children’s picture books.

Mystery and thriller fiction.

Children’s, YA, and Adult fiction.


Poetry and nonfiction by women, trans and non-binary writers. ‘We cap our submissions at 100 per month. If, upon visiting our submissions page, you come across a note that says “there are presently no open calls for submissions,” know that we have simply reached our monthly cap. We invite you to come back and submit your work the following month.’

Clean F and SF. PAYING

‘We publish highly romantic romance stories, novellas, and novels.

Think of smooth satin bedding, soft candlelit rooms, hearts, teddy bears, chocolates, flowers, soft, romantic music, diamonds and lace, sweet acts of love, and the list goes on and on! We are not an erotic/erotica publishing house.’

‘We’re drawn to well-crafted poems that are attentive to language and music, whether formal, free verse, prose poem, or experimental.’

Speculative fiction. PAYING

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.



  1. Hurray! So glad you’re back. Was only thinking of Cathy’s comps and calls the other day and how much I’ve missed you. Fantastic and many thanks for sharing, Cathy.

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