Comps and calls for July 2019

Hello everyone! Many thanks to those who’ve chipped in to help keep this site going (Paypal/Patreon). I don’t know whether you’d want your names up or not—I should have asked before this morning, really…

This month’s tip: be more organised than I am.

Anyway, a big shout-out to Steve O’Connor’s creative writing group in the wilds of Yorkshire. I know that Steve is really impressed with you, and thank you for using this site to practise submitting and entering.

Love and sympathy to those experiencing heatwaves. We had a couple of warm days here, and some humid days; but mainly, the rain’s just a bit warmer.

Much love to all of you, and may you get the weather you wish for.

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.


Poetry. This is a free weekly poetry comp with a cash prize, yet it sometimes gets fewer than 40 entries! PAYING

3rd Jul Spectator Competition No. 3106: twister. ‘You are invited to submit a poem with an ingenious twist at the end. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 3 July.’ PAYING

10th Jul ‘We invite entries that engage with the subject of sex, sex-writing, desire, bodies, shame, pleasure, obscenity, intimacy, transgression, pleasure, gender, the unsaid, the screamed, made in any style or form. You are free to interpret the theme as you wish, though we will favour works that engage with and best reflect the central theme of sex.’ PAYING

10th Jul Spectator Competition No. 3107: when two become one. You are invited to provide an extract (up to 150 words/16 lines) that is a mash-up of two well-known existing works of literature (please specify). Please email (wherever possible) entries to by midday on 10 July. PAYING

15th Jul Poetry containing the word “Singapore” by anyone who is not a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore. PAYING

15th Jul Speculative flash. ‘The flash must pass or discuss The Topside Test which requires that the piece includes multiple trans characters who know each other and talk to each other about something other than medical transition procedures.’ PAYING

18th Jul Poetry. Although there’s a fee for adults, young people and children may have a free entry, so this is one to interest your children! PAYING to this one)

30th Jul US only: story up to 5000 words on the theme of Death from Above. PAYING’s note: although it says ‘unpublished authors’ in the general blurb, this is not mentioned in the official rules. It might be just that the story must be unpublished, not the author. If in doubt, please check with the organiser.)

31st Jul Poetry chapbook. PAYING

31st Jul Scary story on the theme of either True Tales of Terror or Fantastic Frights. 1000-4000 words. PAYING

31st Children up to age 13: poem on the theme of Place. PAYING

1st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Disability. PAYING

Short stories based on weekly prompts, which arrive by email if you sign up. PAYING


3rd Jul Stories and poetry suitable for children, on the theme of Conservation for Kids. PAYING

7th Jul ‘WOMEN & GIRLS:Our female-led fiction night returns for its third triumphant year! This month we’re after stories on any subject and in any genre, but both author and protagonist(s) must be women.’ Story 800-2000 words.

7th July Fiction up to 700 words on the theme of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY

8th Jul Poems, articles and more on the theme of Friends in Africa, for this Quaker mag.

9th Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Suburbia. PAYING

10th Jul  Spec and weird fiction. PAYING

10th Jul Poetry on the theme of The Light Ascending. PAYING

10th Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of “What’s love got to do with it? | Can spirituality transform politics?”.

12th Jul Writing and art on the theme of Space, by writers aged 4-26 (or thereabouts).

15th Jul ‘Poetry is Dead wants your poems and creative nonfiction on the subject of small town life.’

15th Jul Poem on the theme of Water. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jul 3-6 poems.

15th Jul Putrescent poems. PAYING

15th Jul ‘Interactive fiction, sequential art, and interactive poetry. We do not accept prose without interactivity or a detailed plan for interactivity.’ PAYING

15th Jul Fiction 3500-15,000 words on the theme of Secrets in the Water. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jul 50-word fiction on the theme of Disappear. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jul ‘In honour of the 150th Birthday of the Periodic Table, Rosebud Ben-Oni is guest editing a special folio for Pleiades featuring poems that delve deeply into chemistry in surprising and innovative ways. Send us your poems on all things elemental and reactive, the alkaline & acidic, the combustive & corrosive, your peculiar experiments gone awry, your alchemy & chain reactions.’

15th Jul Poetry and CNF on the theme of Broken/Whole. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

19th Jul Poetry, fiction and more by writers and artists of the African diaspora on the theme of Life at a Crossroads.

19th Jul Poetry, short fiction and more.

20th Jul “…primarily a journal issue for those in the BDSM / kink community who are also ace / aro. It seeks to address questions such as: Does your practice of BDSM / kink counter dominant perceptions of the subculture? How do you navigate the relationship between societal ideas of sex, sexual arousal, attraction, and play as they relate to BDSM / kink? How does BDSM / kink relate to asexuality?’

24th Jul ‘We invite authors to explore each theme in any way that speaks to them: re-write a  familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, give us a  personal essay about some aspect of our theme that has haunted you all  your life. We also invite art that will accompany the literature.’ Theme: Homer’s The Odyssey. PAYING

25th Jul or until full: ‘For our Halloween horror anthology this year, we are looking for tales of grisly and psychologically damaging isolation.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories that depict the end of the dragon race. The last battle has been fought, and the victors are leaving the field. What happens to the remaining dragons now? Show our young readers a fantastical world where dragons and magic were real. Keep in mind the reader age rating on this anthology is 9 to 12.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul Poetry and flash fiction. to www.palettepoetry.comfor this one)

31st Jul ‘We are currently open for poetry and flash fiction submissions for our upcoming anthology “Heat the Grease, We’re Frying Up Some Poetry.” The anthology is centered around the theme of cooking, either the act of cooking, watching someone cook, eating or preparing food, and observing holiday traditions centered around food. Any poetry or flash fiction which is tangentially about this theme may be considered at the discretion of the editor.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul ‘We are looking for stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud.’ Stories and poems. PAYING

31st Jul – but free subs are capped at 300, so submit earlier if you can! Poetry. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul ‘Stories in which three (or more!) characters find happily-ever-after all together. We want ménage stories – à trois, à quatre, whatever works for your characters! Any pairing will work, but MMM and MMF seem to sell best for us.’ ROYALTIES

31st Jul ‘Blasphemous Rumorsis a themed anthology of religious horror stories edited by David Barnett and Regina Garza Mitchell. We are seeking dark short stories that focus on religion or spirituality, stories that may be considered blasphemous by the standards of your religion of choice. We are looking for quality dark fiction, not hate-filled rants against religion.’ PAYING

31st Jul Writing and art for children on the theme of Circles. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Borderlands. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul ‘Roomshowcases writing and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people.’ Writing on the theme of Hair. PAYING

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Getaway.

31st Jul Poetry and more featuring The Word Bookstore.

31st Jul Urban nature fiction and more on the theme of Roots/Routes. PAYING

1st Aug ‘UNDERLANDPRESS is seeking mystery, crime, dark fantasy, horror, and other speculative types of fiction for a loosely-themed anthology to be released in the winter of 2020. This one is called “Eighteen,” and is symbolic of the great river at night, where the wolves howl and all doors are open. All thresholds are possible, and every truth is elusive. The Eighteenth Tarot card is the Moon, and those who raise their arms to her know she offers Mercy and Severity in equal measure. These are stories of mischief and mayhem. These are stories of magic.’ PAYING

1st Aug ‘We are interested in the use of the “I” voice by emerging and established writers. We love the intersections of things: where fiction meets essay, where essay meets poetry, where poetry meets visual art. We love all forms of creative non-fiction: auto fiction, memoire, experimental essay and prose.’ to this one)

1st Aug Prose poems. PAYING

1st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Trouble.

1st Aug Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction on the theme of Cats. PAYING


‘POETiCA REViEW exists to promote the work of new and older poets alike, the less fortunate, the dispossessed, those without a voice, but encourage the artistic talents of all, not just a privileged minority.’

Until filled: ‘We are pleased to announce our first drabble anthology! For this anthology, we are looking for drabbles featuring the element wind. You can have a wind deity, a magic user that controls wind, or the wind as an entitiy of its own. The book will be split into four chapters: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, and Romance. Be sure to label your submission with the correct genre chapter!’CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

Until filled: ‘We are pleased to announce our first flash fiction anthology! For this anthology, we are looking for fantasy flash fiction. It can be epic fantasy, fairy tales, or dark fantasy. We are mostly looking for sword and sorcery type of fantasy, so we would prefer no modern stories.’CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES


‘Library Tales Publishing is an independent book publishing company founded in 2011. The company is focused on publishing, marketing and distributing self-help, memoirs and niche fiction books by qualified and talented authors.’

‘We are looking for poetry and essays that speak to the mission of Tinfish, which seeks to publish experimental work of the Pacific Region, while also considering the themes of rageand hope.’

Microfiction on the themes of Vampires or Zombies. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘While I begin trying to get some pamphlet poets on board, to take Marble to the next level, I’m also mulling over some smaller chapbook ideas as well. So if you have a dozen or so poems that will work together as a mini collection, please send them on to pamphlets(at) Remember, this isn’t a competition, there’s enough of those out there already. Marble tries to make its money from selling poetry, not false hopes. The only requirement is that I like it.’

‘Imagine your local movie rental store back in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures.

Rewind or Die is a series of books I’d like produce with each title being between 25,000 and 50,000 words in length.’ Women only, at present.


‘New York City-based independent press specialising in high-quality literary fiction and nonfiction. Send submissions by post or email.’’s note: although the subs page hasn’t been updated for a while, they have published books this year, so are still in action (I reckon!).)

‘Sponge is looking for original science fiction and speculative fiction from New Zealand, Australian, and Pacific writers.’ They also take poetry.

‘We accept original theoretical or research articles, book reviews, interviews, poems and short fiction.’

‘The Stay Project is an online space where you can submit your experiences of the here and now as they relate to our president. We want your feelings, thoughts, reactions, hopes, fears – however big or small and in any form. Literary, Visual, Performative, etc. Our only criterion? No hate.’

‘Q/A Poetry exists to amplify the voices of womxn and nonbinary poets, and to expand the subjects deemed “appropriate” for womxn to be writing about.’

‘We prefer original works (no reprints) with (but not limited to) general, literary, magical realism, and Christian themes… Most themes are accepted though we do not publish violent, overly sexual, vulgar works.’

‘Black Coffee Review was created as a way to showcase poets who write about the rawness of life– the dirt and grit of being human. We’re open to almost any style as long as it’s honest and has a kick.’

Fiction, poetry and more.

‘Plato’s Caves invites poetry, fiction, reviews and articles on society, culture and politics from prospective contributors of all ages.’

Poetry, flash and short fiction. ‘We are particularly interested in work by unpublished or emerging writers and underrepresented writers.’

Speculative Flash and short fiction. PAYING

‘We’re interested in untold stories, fresh perspectives, and original thought covering the nuances of life, politics, and culture in the American South. We publish nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, as well as state politics coverage and photo essays.’ PAYING

Prose up to 1500 words.


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