Comps and calls for May 2019

Hello all!

Many thanks for your interesting and lovely messages – apologies if I haven’t replied yet!

There are two pieces of news this month. The first is that I now have a way for fans of the site to make voluntary donations to help pay for costs. I have a Patreon page for regular donations and a PayPal site for tips and one-off encouragements.

Secondly, I’ve had various suggestions over the years for alternative formats for C’s C&C. I run it from the 2nd of the month to the 1st of the next month because the most popular deadlines are the last of the month, the first of the month and the 15th of the month. This way gives you the maximum time to write, though you get very little time to write to deadlines early in the month. An erudite friend and site user has suggested starting on the 7th instead. Do you have any opinions on the matter? What day of the month would you prefer? Please email me at news(at) to tell me what you think!

Good luck this month – there are some fabulous themes, calls and prizes this May!

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.


UK only. Weekly. ‘To participate in this competition, entrants must write a feature article on their travel experiences in no more than 500 words.’ PAYING

3rd May ‘For this mini-contest, show, tell, or evoke a complete story in at least 30, but no more than 50 words. The first word in your story must start with “A” and the last must start with “Z”. Do *NOT* use proper nouns (names of people or places or things that would always be capitalized) for your “A” word or your “Z” word. Otherwise, it would be too easy to write an entry like, “Ann used to be my best friend, but now it’s Zoe.” You CAN use “a” or “an” as your “a” word, but you’ll lose points on the creativity score.’ PAYING

5th May Children aged 4-14: write a 500-word story on how you would change the world today! TRIP TO DISNEYLAND (thanks to this one)

8th May Spectator Competition No. 3098: verse and reverse. You are invited to submit a poem that can be read both forwards and backwards. Email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 8 May.

10th May POSTAL ENTRY ONLY Short stories by writers who are Irish and/or living in Ireland. PAYING (Cathy’s note: I’ve included this because the prize is good, and we don’t get many Irish calls.)

15th May Flash fiction. ‘This is a call for POC, Black and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Latif Test which sets out 1) Are there two named characters of color?, 2) Do they have dialogue? 3) Are they not romantically involved with one another? 4) Do they have any dialogue that isn’t comforting or supporting a white character? 5) Is one of them definitely not magic?’ PAYING

31st May Crime novel. PUBLISHING CONTRACT

31st May 50-word story on the given theme. NON-CASH PRIZE

1st Jun Up to 5000 words of writing on the theme of Fury. PAYING


2nd May Poetry on the theme of Loss. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (Cathy’s note: the deadline has been extended from 30th April to 2nd May)

3rd May Stories and poetry suitable for children, on the theme of I am Me. PAYING

4th May ‘Submissions are open for SFM Storytime Season Two – She is an Elf!. Tell us a story of a female elf as your main character. You can submit stories for any era or time. From Bright to Lord of the Rings. From a tale far flung into the future or set millions of light-years from Earth. We want to see them all. So tell us a story of your lady with pointed ears.’ ROYALTIES

5th May Fiction on the theme of Galactic Goddesses. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

5th May Fiction (no flash) and poetry on the theme of Tech Noir: Cyberpunk and Future Noir. PAYING

5th May ‘INFINITY & BEYOND:50 years ago (well, on July 16th, 1969 to be precise) man landed on the Moon. But what have we done lately – and what does the future hold? Speculative fiction of all stripes is sought for our galaxy-spanning, stargazing summer event.’ Story 800-2000 words

6th May Story 800-3000 words on the theme of Freedom and Restraint.

9th May ‘Writing submissions to Half Mystic Journal’s seventh issue are now open! Issue VII: Aubade celebrates the dawn-dizzy dance—the first chords of warmth—the sun forgiving everything it touches. An aubade is defined as a lovesong to the dawn. Issue VII submissions close on May 9, 2019. We consider all types of writing (including poetry, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and hybrid work) as long as it pertains in some way to music.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

10th May ‘Submissions should address the intersection of women’s sexuality with the issue’s theme. Please note that at Cliterature, we believe in sisterhood, not cis-terhood, and include trans women in our definition of women.’ Poetry, prose and more. Theme: Hair.

10th May ‘We welcome submissions inspired by gnomes, faerie gardens, flower faeries, faeries at the bottom of the garden etc, as well as other creative faerie themes. Can be as wild or whimsical as you wish! We are happy to accept and review photo-sets (no nudity), short poems and articles.’

12th May 100-word stories on the theme of Pictures.

15th May Poetry. PAYING

15th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Borders. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

15th May Short science fiction on the theme of Humanity. PAYING

15th May Poetry on the theme of Science and Science Fiction. PAYING

15th May Romance 7000-15,000 words. ‘The autumnal equinox marks the shift into darkness which completes on Samhain. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead. This is a time of Thanksgiving and kinship. However, in our stories, we also want to consider the theme of The Enchanted Forest. How can you place romance, sorcery, witchcraft, an enchanted wood, cottage, village, or castle into this theme?’ PAYING

17th May Poetry and short prose on the theme of Leonard Cohen.

19th May Australia only: Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Devotion.

20th May Writing 250-500 words by women over 60 on the theme of Life Changing Moments.

20th May ‘The Lakota phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin means All My Relations. Animals, plants and minerals are members of the planetary family, in distress. What are the rights of Nature, and how do we cope with the grief, fear and anger about extinctions, ecosystem destruction, and climate change? We invite you to submit an essay up to 1000 words, a poem, or other artwork, in response to any of these prompts or what All My Relationsmeans to you.’

22nd May Writing on the theme of Pride.

30th May ‘Writing on the theme of Home. Root & Star magazine strives to bring quality art and literature to children in the ephemeral magazine form. It hopes to inspire and be inspired by the whole child – the wise, the wild, the strange, and the sweet. It is a place for creative people to play and to share the complexities of their work and spirit with children.’

31st May Poetry, fiction and more.

31st May Speculative poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Retribution. PAYING

31st May Australia and New Zealand only: speculative fiction 2500-5000 words on the theme of Journeys. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

31st May North of England and Midlands only: poetry, fiction and more by writers with invisible disabilities.

31st May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Kith and Kin.

31st May Short horror or horror/comedy story featuring an accursed item. PAYING’s note: the website currently states that the deadline is 30th June, but that they may have to close early – they will keep it open until 31st May, though. I thought it best to play safe and get the details out early.)

31st May ‘Clean’ fiction on the theme of Christmas in July.

31st May ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories that revolve around a camera. Entertain our readers with short stories about what the camera reveals, and what the photographer thought they were photographing. These tales should be mysteries that need to be resolved, think Nancy Drew type stories. Keep in mind the reader age rating on this anthology is 9 to 12.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st May ‘Transcendis currently accepting FREEsubmissions for our first prototype issue, Transcend.Prototypes. We accept poetry (of any kind), prose of fiction, non-fiction, and creative non-fiction varieties (though we only skim non-fiction), and artwork of all genres.’

31st May Fiction, poetry and more incorporating the words Dumbwaiter, Shore and Sigil.

31st May Poetry and art on the theme of Blue.

31st May Writing and more relating to maps, and on the theme of Twins.

31st May ‘We are currently reading short story submissions for our anthology, The Time Traveling Investor Vol. 1. As the title indicates, we are looking for stories about time travel. And we are especially interested in stories where either the protagonist or antagonist travels through time as a means of cheating (or playing) the stock market, especially if things don’t go as intended.’

31st May ‘The Summer 2019 issue will focus on storytelling, and how this concept relates to people’s lived experience of madness/mental health challenges and/or accessing mental health services.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of On the Threshold/Spilling Over. ‘For this issue, we are especially interested in receiving poems using, but not limited to, fox, clouds, lake, and ice as image or metaphor.’

31st May Poetry, fiction and more.

1st Jun Erotica 2000-5000 words on the theme of Adventure by authors who are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary. PAYING

1st Jun The ‘Summer Muses’ Gallery is all about cars– driving, riding, road trips, lessons, etc. Deadline is June 1st. Previously published okay with acknowledgement. 30 line limit. Email poetry (.doc attachments or text in body) and photos (.jpg attachments) to No form required.’

1st Jun Poetry. ‘TPQ envisions itself as a place for real writing, something that an actual human being might want to read.’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

1st Jun Poetry, prose and more on the teme of Climate Change.

1st Jun Haiku on the theme of Reconciliation.


Poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry. PAYING

‘Ethelseeks poetry, art, micro-fiction, micro-plays, micro-essays, personal essays, paragraphs from your thesis, prophesies, lists of facts, letters of protest, diagnoses, letters to the editor, lists of baked goods seen at the local Socialist bake sale, album reviews, book reviews, translations, difficult math equations that you have solved, drawings of miniature dresses and so on.’

Poetry, fiction, art and more on the theme of Beauty by women and non-binary folk.

Science fiction stories. PAYING

‘We are an online literary journal based in New York City looking to publish work that represents the lengths (or lack thereof) people will go to in order to make money and pay the bills (to keep the lights on, for instance). We are looking for inspired work that showcases this, whether it be the odd jobs that keep you up at night or the night that brings you odd jobs. If it’s funky and helped you not get evicted, tells a story about someone who made a living scraping gum off park benches, or discusses the day to day life of a desk job, we want to hear from you.’ – Fiction, poetry and more.

Chapbooks of poetry or short fiction by women and non-binary folk.

‘Sandpiper is a journal of literature and art devoted to uplifting the voices of those emerging and underrepresented in the American literary scene. All submissions are welcome, but special priority is given to writers and artists of color. Sandpiperaccepts poetry, prose, art, and photography.’

Fantasy and magical realism stories. PAYING

MSS that fit their ‘Machete’ or ‘Latinographix’ series of books.

‘The Dawntreader specialises in myth, legend; in the landscape, nature; spirituality and love; the mystic, the environment. It fulfils a niche in the market, welcoming poetry, prose, articles and local legends.’

MSS in the following categories: real ife, memoir, crime, human drama, passion.

‘Invisible Publishing is currently accepting literary manuscript submissions, including works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. All narrative works with contemporary themes will be considered, however, we are not interested in genre fiction or YA projects. That said, if you send it, we’ll read it. Show us your stuff.’


Submit an MP3 of you reading your poem.

Fiction, poetry and more.


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