Comps and calls for June 2019

Hello all! First of all I want to thank all those who replied to my question about the timing of each C&C, and whether we should change the date. As of yesterday, the majority by quite a margin wanted to keep it the way it is, while only two of you wanted to change it (though both gave excellent reasons!). My apologies to the latter, and all I can say is that I do put the odd update on the Facebook page for Comps and Calls, which you can find here: These updates might be useful later in the month.

There are some really odd and interesting calls this June. As always, my mantra is ‘have a go’! Even if (or perhaps especially if) it’s outside your comfort zone, give it a try. If the results aren’t great, at least you’ll have given your writing muscles a good workout. And don’t forget to submit it, even if you don’t think it’s all that good, because as long as you’ve proofread it and dealt with any clichés, it has a chance.

Have fun!

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.


2nd Jun Writing by marginalised writers on the theme of Home. PAYING

5th Jun Spectator Competition No. 3102: fan mail ‘You are invited to submit a fan letter from one well-known person from the field of fact or fiction to another (please specify). Email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 5 June.’ PAYING

7th Jun ‘We would like to invite a writer to undertake a residency on Durham’s ‘radical’ coast during July and August 2019.’ To be eligible to apply, writers must live and work in the North of England and have been previously published in the UK. PAYING (lots by writer standards)

7th Jun USA ONLY: children’s picture book. NON-CASH PRIZE (thanks to for this one)

9th Jun Short fiction on the theme of Better Futures. PAYING

12th Jun Spectator Competition No. 3103: talking heads ‘You are invited to submit a Shakespearean soliloquy delivered by one of the contenders for the Tory leadership in which they consider their pitch for the top job. Email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 12 June.’ PAYING

14th Jun ‘We are looking for emerging writers who have yet to publish a collection of poetry (not including self-published chapbooks)… Submit a manuscript featuring 15 to 30 poems.’ PAYING

15th Jun ‘Stories must include an incident of defenestrationism– the art or -ism of throwing people out windows. This need not be literal. Our team defines such an incident as follows, “a sudden, immediate, even violent shift, change, or seismical event between the beginning and the end.”’ PAYING

15th Jun Flash fiction that passes the Vito Russo Test. PAYING

21st Jun Story 1000-5000 words. VOUCHER/OTHER

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Anesthesiology (sic).PAYING

30th Jun Poetry PAYING

1st Jul ‘Entries will be accepted of unpublished poetry and prose from writers who have not yet published a collection of poems, a collection of short stories or a novel.’ PAYING


2nd Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Dance. (Cathy’s note: some sources list the deadline as 1st June, but the Submittable page has 2nd June, so fingers crossed!)

2nd Jun ‘Some art arrives finished, while some needs to be built. Please submit examples of the effortless, the found, the whittled, the chiselled. Will we know the difference? Any topic is welcome, but prefer poems/stories about writing to focus on a mentor instead of you.’ Poetry and prose.

3rd Jun ‘We’re looking for personal stories of the moment when people see the fascism in front of them for what it is, accept it as real, and make the choice to fight it. Who are the canaries in the coal mine? When can the long-hidden voice no longer be ignored?’ 250-5000 words. PAYING (Cathy’s note: I emailed them to ask if they were looking for personal stories rather than speculative fiction as usual – the reply states: ‘Actually all of our submissions calls are for stories with speculative elements. I apologize if the submissions call was unclear; I’ve updated it to fix that.’)

3rd Jun Stories and poetry suitable for children, on the theme of Scent Sense. PAYING

3rd Jun ‘Amy is interested in all formats of poetry/prose, and would like to hear from anyone with work inspired by activism and protest. They say “I know for a lot of people just existing in public as themselves is a political statement” – so take this theme as broadly as you like!’

6th Jun Poetry and prose with elements of the natural world, on the theme of Gnaw. PAYING

7th Jun Poetry, fiction and more.

7th Jun or until filled Poetry.

9-14th Jun Poetry on the theme of the 12 Dancing Princesses. PAYING

10th Jun ‘As a general rule, we welcome fiction of up to 3,000 words that in some way uses elements of the fantastic in the telling, and we tend to be less concerned with genre specifics.’

10th Jun Poetry and fiction by women on the theme of Journey. PAYING

10th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of “Invisible people | Addressing homelessness”.

10th Jun ‘For our Summer 2019 issue, Dilettante Army welcomes essay submissions on clubs and the places they live. Possible topics include: alumni groups, Masonic lodges, coffeehouses (from Early Modern Europe to the present), Boy and Girl Scouts, secret societies, book clubs, country clubs, nightclubs, gay bars, literary and academic societies, community gardens, alternative schools, cults, and The Baby-Sitters Club.’ Essays, poetry and more. PAYING

14th Jun Romantic Fantasy 1000-8000 words. PAYING

15th Jun Flash fiction up to 750 words.

15th Jun Short stories of 2500-6000 words in a Lovecraftian / Steam Punk / Diesel Punk vein. ROYALTIES

15th Jun Canadian women/nonbinary only:‘Understorey Magazineseeks stories that illuminate the diverse experiences of women on stage and in performance in Canada. Send us plays/performance texts that bring the lives and voices of womyn to the forefront. We are also looking for prose and poetry by women directors, actors, and producers about their experience in Canadian theatre.’ PAYING

15th Jun Please send 3-5 poems that touch upon racism, discrimination of any sort, divisiveness in politics and life, positive actions to bridge divides, etc. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jun ‘Harrow: Believers and sceptics, welcome! We are seeking works of art and poetry with a paranormal theme. We are open to any takes on this subject–serious, quirky, and everything in between. We are looking for work containing ghosts/spirits, aliens, conspiracy theories, cryptozoology, near death experiences, glitches in the matrix, extrasensory perception, pseudoscience, and any experiences that can be considered supernatural.’

15th Jun ‘This market is open only to individuals who identify as anything other than cisgender. Send us excellent speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, or horror). We are interested in speculative fiction of any design. As long as it’s fiction, and there’s a speculative element, send it. Send us short stories, poetry, one-act plays, or comics. Send us your cool weird shit.’ PAYING

15th Jun Sonnets. PAYING

15th Jun Speculative poetry on the theme of Infection. PAYING

15th Jun ‘Bridging Divides: please send poems that touch upon racism, discrimination of any sort, divisiveness in politics and life, positive actions to bridge divides, etc.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

17th Jun ‘In partnership w/ Writing Our Lives, Longreads is looking for essays about the myths, ideologies & complexities of mother love for a series. (E.g. fraught mom-daughter relationships, “other” moms, relationships that change). Essays should be >1,200 words, rates start at $500.Pieces can be personal, reported, researched, or a mix. We encourage submissions from women, femmes, & non-binary writers. Email drafts + short summary to Danielle and Vanessa_LaLoba at:’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

19th Jun Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Pride.

20th Jun ‘Stories My Gay Uncle Told Me’. Stories and essays.

21st – 28th Jun SF, F and more (no horror). PAYING

23rd Jun Poetry and prose.

25th Jun Fiction on the theme of Djinn/Genies. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

29th Jun ‘The Grumpy Gods are back for another round, and this time, we’re celebrating all those spooky myths! That’s right! Ancient cultures might not have celebrated Halloween exactly, but every mythology has stories that can be mined for great scary tales.’ 3000-4000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

30th Jun Scroll down to find the guidelines for Illicit: ‘We want people, sex, and bodies not usually seen in mainstream ideas of sex and sexy, and we want tight, fun crime plots. Pro pay. 3,500 words or less.’PAYING

30th Jun Australia and New Zealand only: fiction up to 15,000 words on the theme of Aries, Taurus or Gemini. ROYALTIES

30th Jun ‘Space opera, urban fantasy, military sf, magical realms, hard science fiction, sword & sorcery, time travel, cyberpunk, steampunk, hopepunk, and whatever else comes before punk. Parables, poetry, zombies, and vampires are also welcome. No horror please.’ PAYING

30th Jun ‘For the Chew on This!anthology we are looking for food-related stories, but we need you to dig deeper and get creative when it comes to the substances that keep us alive. Food should be integral to the story in some way, but not the entire focus. The plots can revolve around a wide range of cultures and belief systems, science and superstition, settings in the future or past. Above all we want stories that are macabre, scary, unsettling, and even gross.’ 3000-7000 words. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Pain.

30th Jun Poetry and prose. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Jun ‘Submissions should loosely be based upon the concept of a pause, of silence as an action, as something empty that adds to what is there, of the emptiness someone leaves in a room, of the calm before a storm.’ Poetry, prose and more.

30th Jun ‘Military action-based last-stand horror, and lots of it… Just ensure the last stand aspect is both overt and unique, and don’t forget monsters!’ PAYING

30th Jun ‘We are looking for stories that will show our readers how forgiving someone or being forgiven by someone changed your life in a positive way.’ Stories or poems. PAYING

30th Jun ‘We are looking for stories about the humorous or serious sides of life after 60.’Stories or poems. PAYING

30th Jun Writing on the theme of Mental Health.

30th Jun ‘Stories in which two people are brought together because of – or maybe in spite of – the machinations of a young child.’ ROYALTIES

30th Jun ‘We want lots of bugs. Gross, scary, spine-chilling, and even a little humour. If you think you can make our skin crawl, inspire us to grab the insect repellent, or make us laugh even as we shiver, then send your story our way!’

30th Jun Poetry and CMF on the theme of Ballads and Breakups.

30th Jun Retropunk fiction set in World War II. PAYING

30th Jun Accursed. ‘Your story must prominently feature some kind of cursed item.’ 2500-6000 words. PAYING

1st Jul ‘We are seeking submissions for our newest anthology, “Is it Hot in Here or is it Just Me? Women Over 40 Write on Aging.” We accept submissions from anywhere in the world. We are open to any topics regarding aging and we look to use a wide brushstroke in this regard. Our minds are open; if you think it could fit, send it. Please note: we are seeking work ONLY from women or women-identified writers for this particular submission.’ Poems, dramatic works, essays and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Jul Sonnets. PAYING

1st Jul Flash fiction.

1st Jul ‘There is no required theme for the stories, although anything to do with the themes usually explored in Fiddler’s Green—such as magic, individualism, or iconoclastic approaches to spirituality—will be most welcome. Stories with word counts between 1500 and 3000 will be considered. Narrative or thematic poetry of any length will also be considered, but we will only be publishing a few poems at most.’ PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Marking Time. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Jul Fairytale/fantasy story 500-7000 words, or poetry. PAYING

Although the deadline for this is August, the editors add, “…or until 500 regular submissions have been received”, so it’s probably a good idea to submit early. Poetry, fiction and more.


‘Hello all. SHORT FICTION, one of the UK’s best regarded magazines, is open to submissions again after a year-long hiatus. We accept international subs but are particularly keen to get more from UK-based writers, so if that’s you, please feel strongly encouraged to submit.’ PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

Poetry. Submissions are free at the start of the month, and after that there is a fee. to for this)

‘Cornerstone Press seeks book-length manuscripts in any genre and makes publishing decisions based on the clarity of thought and the marketability of the manuscripts submitted.’ (Cathy’s note: although the deadline for this round of submissions is Aug 1st, if anyone misses this then their MS will go into the next round of submissions, so it’s OK.)

Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

Writing by women and non-binary people. There is an option to submit anonymously if preferred.

Poetry, prose and more. PAYING

Poetry, prose and more.

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

‘To focus on our mission of supporting rural LGBTQ and POC writers and artists, submissions of creative writing and art are restricted to people who identify as LGBTQ and/or POC. Allies are welcome and encouraged to submit in our Interviews, Reviews, & Miscellany category. For more information, see the category guidelines.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

Horror and SF MSS.

‘word west aims to publish exciting new works of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and whatever else we feel like. from the best authors in the west and beyond.’

Flash fiction.

‘Lady/Liberty/Lit is a journal spotlighting women-identifying and gender-non-conforming writers who address experiences of, and ideas about, freedom of voice and body.’

Poetry and prose.

SF/F microfiction. PAYING

Various fantasy anthologies, open until filled. PAYING

MSS of various kinds. ‘Our primary interest is in crime (mystery/thriller/suspense) sci fi, fantasy and horror; however, we love genre blends and champion works that infuse the best elements of genre. Whether you weave romance in with your mystery or have a sleuth who’s a ghost, we’re interested.’

‘Agate is considering submissions in the general areas of food, cooking, and nutrition-related nonfiction, for its Surrey imprint; business-interest nonfiction, for its B2 imprint; fiction and nonfiction by African American writers, for its Bolden imprint; and books on Midwestern topics or by Midwestern authors, for its Midway imprint.’

‘CultureCult invites submission of manuscripts in the English/Bengali language for publication in a wide range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. We are presently seeking novels, novellas,short stories/flash fictionscollections, graphic novels/collections and poetry. ALL GENRES WELCOME.’


‘Czykmate Productions proudly presents HauntedMTL–the Original Content. We want to hear what makes you tick, chill, and shiver. Give us your gore, your moaning banshees, heck, even a story about a Starbucks haunted by Elvis. Give us what’s unique to you.’ PAYING


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