Comps and calls for November 2019

Hello everybody! I hope you are well! November can often be a dreary month for writing opportunities, before all the exciting stuff in December — but not this year! There are loads of interesting things to have a go at, and I wish you the best of luck with them.

Remember last month I mentioned that I’d been longlisted for the Cheshire Literature Prize? Well my play, ‘A Taste of Paradise’ (it’s about a woman stranded on a desert island. She falls in love with a coconut), has made the final four, and will be performed on 29th November at the Garrett Theatre, Chester, UK! I am so excited! My play, on a stage, with actors, and an audience (I hope!), and everything! If you can come, it would be lovely to see you, and do introduce yourself to me. You can get tickets here:

So I will be spending most of November in a fluster.

Have a lovely time with your own writing – you never know where it could take you!

Much love,

Cathy x

Ps. You can support Comps and Calls via Paypal or Patreon.

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 Nov Weird Christmas flash fiction. PAYING

6th Nov Spectator Competition No. 3124: it’s a date! ‘You are invited to compose a clerihew about any date in the calendar. Please email entries (up to three each) to by midday on 6 November.’

15th Nov ‘The flash must pass or discuss Raleigh Becket Test, which contains a central male character whose narrative needs the development of a female character but is precluded from being sexually or romantically involved with the character.’ PAYING

17th Nov ‘Simply tell us who you want to connect with and what a stay away together would mean to you. We can then work our magic and make it happen!’ NON-CASH PRIZE

22nd Nov Various awards with differing criteria. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

24th Nov ‘Angela Poetry Magazine invites all poets to submit lighthearted,
humorous, playful, and curious poems to The Lighthearted Poetry
Contest. This is a free contest, open to everyone on Earth.’ ROYALTIES

24th Nov Residents of Africa only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES

30th Nov ‘The prize is open to African poets, defined as those who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. It is for ten poems exactly in order to encourage serious poets. These poems may, however, have already been published. Only poets who have not yet had a full-length poetry book published are eligible. Poets who have self-published poetry books or had chapbooks and pamphlets published are allowed to submit for this prize.’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘We are looking for stories (in a variety of formats: play, film, radio, book, tv) that in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society.’ A six part TV series. PAYING

30th Nov Unpublished poems (maximum 96 lines) by youth (aged 17 and under) relating to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. PAYING

1st Dec Residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut: poem up to 25 lines. ROYALTIES

1st Dec 100-word story on the theme of Winter. ‘The competition is open to women of all nationalities. Entries must be written in English and should intend to bring a smile to the reader’s face (dark humour qualifies).’ VOUCHER/OTHER

1st Dec A metrical poem. PAYING (thanks to for this one)


Deadline every Friday: fiction up to 500 words written on that week’s theme.

USA only – deadline varies by State: poetry.

3rd Nov ‘We’re looking for thrilling stories of suspense, delving into the dark spaces of the night, ideally between 2000 and 5000 words.’ PAYING

3rd Nov Poetry, fiction and more suitable for Christian children on the theme of THE BEAUTY OF THE HOLIDAY. PAYING

3rd Nov Flash fiction on the theme of Dynamic Duos. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

3rd Nov ‘Hairstreak Butterfly Review welcomes submissions for our themed issue “O Canada.” For a short period (9/22 to 11/3), we will be accepting fiction, poetry, nonfiction, visual stories, and photography that praises, laments, addresses, or otherwise engages the topic of Canada.’

3rd Nov Theme: Rattle. ‘We accept all forms and genres of creative non-fiction and visual media so long as it presents a personal narrative.’

3rd Nov Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Sugar & Spice.

4th Nov Fiction 800-3000 words on the theme of Intimacy & Isolation.

4th Nov Poetry, flash, fiction and more on the theme of Mothers and Motherhood.

8th Nov Story 1000-3500 words on the theme of A Dysfunctional Family Christmas. PAYING

8th Nov Poetry and flash on the theme of Celestial.

9th Nov ‘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. Submissions should not exceed 10 pages per submitter. Poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction all receive equal attention and weight.’ Theme: Fertility.

9th Nov Undergraduates only: poetry, fiction and more. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

10th Nov Poetry, fiction, essays and more on the theme of Earth. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Only Australian contributors will be paid)

15th Nov Short poetry and prose on the theme of Hive.

15th Nov Poetry. PAYING

15th Nov Romance story. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Nov or when filled: Spec Fic 4000-15,000 words. Also another anthology for horror, same length.PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Nov Writing on the theme of Spirit.

15th Nov Women over 60 only: ‘Short Takes are usually short pieces, fiction or non-fiction (250-500 words), but can also be topical poetry, sometimes even drawings or photography.’ Theme: Gift/Giving (Cathy’s note: you have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the Short Takes guidelines!)

15th Nov ‘We’re looking for cozy (no excessive gore, torture, graphic violence) to cozy noir (where nothing really goes right for anyone) stories that include a crime. Each crime must revolve around a song from the 60s.’ 2500-6000 words. ROYALTIES

15th Nov ‘Submit previously unpublished poems 1 to 10 lines long or prose poems up to 100 words (viz. poetic drabbles and even more compressed microfiction). Titles, epigrams/epigraphs, postscripts/author’s notes, and white space are not counted. The poems can be one of many established varieties like monostich, distich, Haiku, senryu, tanka, cinquain, and all its variations, as well as free verse, experimental poems, hybrid forms, etc. Just be sure it contains a speculative element.’ PAYING

15th Nov Poems on the theme of Imprisonment/Freedom.

17th Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of Supernatural. PAYING

17th Nov ‘The theme of time travel must be present in the story (although the actual act does not need to take place within the story). The title cannot be time or travel or any variation of those, and the story must be exactly 100 words, with a 1 word title.’

18th Nov Poetry and prose on the theme of Fairy Tale.

20th Nov Poetry on the theme of Winter. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

20th Poetry and fiction on the theme of Christmas. ‘The main requirement is that the content should edify the reader. An edifying story doesn’t imply that challenging things cannot happen in a story. Difficult themes can be included in the story but something positive should be noted or have a hopeful resolution.’

22nd Nov ‘To mark the beginning of the 10-year anniversary of CantoMundo, Anomaly and I want your work! I will be editing a poetry folio of work that highlights, celebrates, and honors the incredible work of the fellows who have been part of CantoMundo’s ten-year history.’

25th Nov Poetry and prose on the theme of Rings. Must contain elements of the natural world. PAYING

26th Nov Story up to 3000 words on the theme of Twisted Love. PAYING

27th Nov Spec fic/horror on the theme of Lust. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Nov ‘This anthology will combine the best new mysteries with classic reprints from yesteryear, so give us a masterful tale. You’ll need an engaging and memorable protagonist who can hold his or her own against Sherlock Holmes and Auguste Dupin. Above all, we want a clever puzzle the reader can try to solve.’ 2500-7000 words.

30th Nov Horror stories consisting of only two sentences. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Movement.

30th Nov Fiction 5000-15000 words on the theme of Lost Love. ROYALTIES

30th Nov Japanese fantasy drabble.

30th Nov Poetry on the theme of Blue.

30th Nov Spec fic on the theme of Experimentation. PAYING

30th Nov Writing on the theme of The Elements.

30th Nov Story or poem containing the words Carriage, Pinwheel and Scour.

30th Nov ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories that feature youngsters that go caving.’ 4500-17,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Nov ‘Tell us stories of queer resilience and queer survival, stories set after the end of a world that could be ours but might not be.’ PAYING

30th Nov Writers of colour: ‘We publish adult literary fiction (novels and short story collections) and narrative non-fiction.’

30th Nov LGBTQ Romance: ‘We’re looking for science fiction romance set in space, whether it’s on a spaceship or a planet or even the moon. Whether it’s hard sci-fi or space opera, or somewhere in between, we want love stories that are literally out of this world!’ ROYALTIES

30th Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of Weird West in Winter.

1st Dec Poetry and fiction on the theme of When Hell Freezes Over. PAYING

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Persistence. PAYING

1st Dec ‘For Bodies in the Library we need tales of crime in stately houses, lonely mansions, ancient castles. Footsteps in the Dark will tease out the terror of the alleyways, the edges of the town, the frontier shacks, the winter forests and lonely mountain hideaways. An emphasis on heightened senses would differentiate the best stories from the rest! Word length is most likely to be successful at 2000–4000, but we will still read stories slightly outside this range.’ PAYING

1st Dec Flash fiction on the theme of Answering the Call. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

1st Dec ‘An anthology on the broad theme of freedom of movement. The anthology, Write to Move, welcomes submissions of fiction, creative non-fiction, essays and poetry that explore experiences and ideas about mobility, freedom, physical activity and physical limitations.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Dec ‘We are looking for works of fiction that directly address the significance of clothes and accessories in our lives and where the object — be it a dress, a skirt or trousers, a coat, a pair of shoes or a handbag, or even a piece of jewelry — is at the core of the story.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Decadence. PAYING

1st Dec Poetry and fiction on the theme of Anniversaries.

1st Dec ‘We’re looking for poems, short stories, and essays about both the many indigenous spiritualities of the Americas, and those which have been born or evolved here; e.g., African Diaspora Traditions, American-born Wiccan traditions, Feri Tradition, Santa Muerte, devotion to Goddesses such as Libertas/Statue of Liberty, and so on.’ PAYING

1st Dec Fiction on the theme of Grumpy Old Gods. ROYALTIES

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Grandparents and other Wise Ancestors.

1st Dec ‘The Broken City is currently accepting submissions for its winter 2019 edition: Welcome to the Interzone. That’s right, Dr. Benway, the magazine is running an issue on drugs (legal or otherwise) and the psychedelic experience. Fact or fiction: the weirder the better. Send your poetry, fiction, essays, illustrations and photography.’

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of There’s Something about Travel. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more.


(Publishers might not give out their rates on their submission pages, so make sure that they will pay you!)

‘beestung considers poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrids, and art, by creators who fall under the non-binary umbrella.’ PAYING

‘We are primarily considering novel-length works in any speculative fiction genre including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other subgenres, but we’re also open to other works of interest to the community of SF&F readers.’

‘We are actively acquiring agented and unagented Romance fiction for our Casablanca imprint including Own Voices, marginalized voices, inclusive and diverse romances.’

Send the first three chapters of your nonfiction book.

‘Futures is a venue for very short stories or ‘vignettes’ of between 850 and 950 words. The subject is typically near-future, hard SF, although this can be interpreted liberally.’ PAYING

Nonfiction writing about theatre. PAYING

Poetry, short fiction and more. PAYING

‘Persimmon Tree’s mission is to bring the creativity and talent of women over sixty to a wide audience of readers of all ages. We are looking for work that reveals rich experience and a variety of perspectives. Each issue of the magazine will include several fiction and nonfiction pieces, poetry by one or more poets, and the work of one or more visual artists.’

Poetry. ‘Must have both Asian and speculative elements (fantasy, scifi, etc). Due to the short format, you do not need to specify which country your poem is about within the poem itself, but the Asian setting/people/culture should all give good hints. The Asian elements are more important that the speculative ones, for this call. (It’s a challenge, but we believe in you!).’



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