Comps and calls for July 2020

Hello everyone,

First and most importantly: Black Lives Matter.

Secondly: There’s an extra section this month at the top of the listing. Several litmag editors I know are groaning under the weight of so many COVID-19/lockdown poems and stories they’re receiving. Perhaps it’d be a good idea to send your work on that theme to litmags and other projects that are specifically asking for it? (Use your own judgment, not mine!) Anyway, I’ve included a little section of opportunities for those pieces. Good luck!

I’ve had one big rejection this month, but also some lovely acceptances. Such is the writing life!

I’ve been asked why I have a Patreon thingy set up, when there is absolutely no content in it! This is deliberate. There are so many websites with a two-tier system – expedited responses if you pay, free submissions only in a particular month, that sort of thing. And I’m pleased when a litmag has any free submissions, these days. But I was determined from the start that Comps and Calls would be completely free for everyone who could access it (and I’d buy computers for those writers without them, if only I could!). It’s exactly the same C&C whether you’re on your uppers or you’re loaded with loot. You get exactly the same info – so you have exactly the same chance, or as near to it as possible.

So why give me, say, a pound or a dollar a month or something like that, when you don’t get anything extra at all for it? Well, you keep the site going. You get to help your fellow writers. If a writer has ever helped you, this is one way to pay it forward, so to speak.

But please, never feel pressured to donate. I would HATE that.

Enjoy writing!

Remember: Black Lives Matter.

Best wishes and stay safe,

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 four 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.


Pandemic diary entries from writers over 50.

10th Jul ‘Viruses are not new to life or literature. But the ways we experience them are always evolving. Join us as we explore love and loss, passion and betrayal, fear and panic, togetherness and separation, community and isolation within viruses of all varieties—real and imagined.’ Stories up to 7500 words. PAYING

16th Aug ‘We are looking for essays of around 300 words on the particular work of art—be it a work of visual art, performing art, or literature—that you are turning to right now. It could be an appreciation of the art you have access to from your home. It can also be a remembrance of the art you wish you could see or hear right now, or a trip to a museum or arts organization that you wish you could relive.’ PAYING

‘Tell us about your experience of pandemic self-growth in 100 words or less. We will be featuring your stories in an upcoming project on the site. All formats accepted, this is an unpaid opportunity.’

‘The Museum invites women and gender non-binary individuals of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer or shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women’s History Museum.’

Make a video of yourself reading all or part of the provided poem, and answering the provided questions about the pandemic.

‘Indolent Books is seeking poems responding to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) for our online poem-a-day feature, What Rough Beast.’

‘Life in the Time is seeking original content in the form of stories, thoughts, ideas, on how people are dealing with the Coronovirus, and its impact such as self-isolation and quarantine.’

‘Carol Ann Duffy and the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University have brought together poets from around the world to write new poems about the recent days past and the weeks ahead.’ (Cathy’s note: scroll down for submissions.)

31st Jul Poems on the theme of What does mental health (good or otherwise) look like through the prism of COVID19?

1st Dec ‘The North Meridian Review is seeking poetry submissions for our next issue to be published September 2021. The uncertain times we are living through call for the scrutiny (and respite) that poetry can provide in the face of collective fear and unease.’ There’s a list of themes to do with the pandemic, and epidemics in general.

A variety of free writing projects and resources during the pandemic.

Practical resources for writers during COVID-19:

Round and about the UK:

In the USA:

Apologies to those elsewhere, but I’ve been unable to find a good list of resources for you so far.


2nd Jul Full length novel. ‘All submissions must be in English and conform to the green stories criteria of showing a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like or in some way smuggling in green solutions/policies/characters in the context of an otherwise mainstream story.’ PAYING

3rd Jul Story 1000-3000 words on the theme of Superpower. PAYING

5th Jul Poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES

5th Jul Wales only: poem up to 35 lines. ROYALTIES

6th Jul Free to under 21s only: story 1000-5000 words on the theme of Vision. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

8th Jul Spectator  Competition No. 3157: glasto and glynders ‘Glastonbury and Glyndebourne have both fallen victim to Covid-19 this summer. To fill the gap you are invited to describe a visit to either in the style of an author of your choice. Please email up to 150 words/16 lines to by midday on 8 July.’

15th Jul Speculative flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING

15th Jul New Roscommon Writing Award 2020. All entrants must have a connection with the county of Roscommon, Ireland (born in, living in, currently working in, went to school in). Short story up to 2000 words. PAYING (Cathy’s note: you have to scroll down a fair way to find this!; thanks to for this one)

15th Jul ‘Singapore Unbound’s SP Blog is holding its sixth annual poetry contest. We are looking for poems that include the word “Singapore” (or its variants) in some creative manner. The poems do not have to be about Singapore; in fact, we prefer it if the poems are not about Singapore. And here’s another wrinkle: the contest is only open to poets who are NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore.’ PAYING

31st Jul Age 11-17 only: ‘The competition welcomes poems on any theme and any length. It is completely free to enter for anyone aged 11-17 in the world.’ NON-CASH PRIZES

31st Jul Poetry book 35-50 pages. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

31st Jul Life writing up to 1000 words. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

31st Jul ‘The brief is broad: send us a piece of writing, up to 1000 words, which may include images, that explores any arts-related subject, written from a journalistic or critical perspective.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

31st Jul Comment giving your wedding date and saying why you’d like to win. YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY IN ITALY

31st Jul New Zealand only: essay up to 4000 words. PAYING

1st Aug UK and Ireland residents only: short story up to 4000 words. PAYING (LOTS)


3rd Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Metanoia.

5th Jul Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Women & Girls. If your work is chosen, it will be read by a professional actor on the night of the performance.

5th Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Race, Identity and Gender.

5th Jul Spec flash fiction on the theme of Hearing. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: they pay if they include your piece in one of their anthologies.)

5th Jul ‘Short story or poem no longer than 3,500 words’ – on the themes provided. PAYING (Cathy’s note: I’d basically describe them as ‘wintry gothic’ but please check before writing your piece!)

5th Jul Poetry and fiction on the theme of Mission and Motive.

6th Jul Poetry and fiction on the theme of Echo. PAYING

6th Jul Writing on the theme of Road Trip.

6th Jul Speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING

10th Jul ‘Viruses are not new to life or literature. But the ways we experience them are always evolving. Join us as we explore love and loss, passion and betrayal, fear and panic, togetherness and separation, community and isolation within viruses of all varieties—real and imagined.’ Stories up to 7500 words. PAYING

10th Jul BIPOC writers only: ‘Show us our futures in evocative, speculative flash fiction (up to 1,000 words) that responds to what humanity is facing this year. Experiments with story form welcome. We are featuring BIPOC writers for this call and will select one story for each month through the end of 2020. Society needs new blueprints to build from. Show us your Alternate Endings.’ PAYING

10th Jul ‘Abridged is looking for poetry and/or art, video, sound exploring the failure of words, of voice, of communication, our love of our echoed opinion, the comfort of our ‘bubbled’ desire and the loss of nuance.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

11th Jul Flash and short body horror/biological horror fiction. PAYING,  CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY

12th Jul ‘We’re a new online journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry of less than a page, spoken word videos, artwork and photography. We’ll showcase both known and excellent emerging authors in our featured sections.’ Theme: Thrills! Mystery! Suspense!

12th Jul ‘For our print magazine, we only accept short fiction, flash/micro fiction, nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives, etc), and original artwork (photographs, illustrations, paintings, etc) based on the designated monthly theme. Works translated into English are also welcome.’ Theme: the Macabre.

12th Jul ‘Our Autumn 2020 Edition theme is Burning Up (although we might tweak the name!). Send us stories, poems, and essays that feel crisp and distinctly autumn-y. Send writing that warms us. Writing that shows the world burning around us. Writing that plays with fire. Writing that explores the slow burn, the fast-growing flame, the steady heat from embers deep inside you.’

14th Jul 2000 word story on the theme of Immortality. ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING

15th Jul ‘Chipper Press is looking for short stories from the point of view of the Zombie. Write your tales as if they are diary entries and tell our young middle-grade readers what daily life is like as a zombie.’ 4500-17,000 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘About’ 15th Jul Speculative poetry and fiction. PAYING

15th Jul 50 word fiction on the theme of Guidelines for Home Cooking. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jul ‘Augur is open from June 15-July 15 2020 for Issue 3.2, which is gently themed as “A Multiplicity of Futures”. We are especially looking for the following genres and themes:Afrofuturism, soft scifi, scifi-fabulism, scifi-fantasy, Indigenous futurity, hopepunk, dystopia, utopia, post-apoc, solarpunk, scifi-realism, Canadian scifi, ecofiction, & “hopeful futures”. We are hoping to position stories and poetry that centre on trauma, systemic oppression and harm alongside pieces that examine hope, better futures, and quiet bildungsromans. We are also interested in pieces that tackle both sides of this coin.’ PAYING

15th Jul Black writers only: Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Revolution. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

15th Jul Women over 60 only: theme: Justice. ‘The Editors choose a different Short Takes topic for every issue. Short Takes are usually short pieces, fiction or non-fiction (250-500 words), but can also be topical poetry, sometimes even drawings or photography. We’re especially interested in hearing about your experiences, but you can include your thoughts, dreams, ideas and opinions. Humor and irony are always appreciated!’

15th Jul Flash and short fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Healing.

15th Jul ‘The theme for the anthology is regret / u-turn / turning back / making changes, and the book will be calledWrong Way Go Back.’ Poetry, flash, and more.

15th Jul Theme: Where We Live. We seek analytical articles, news reports, essays, poetry and fiction relating to housing, currently and historically, such as communes and squats, urban and rural, and activism around housing, rent strikes, evictions and blocking evictions, and living on the planet.’

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

15th Jul Poetry or CNF on the theme of Empty/Enough. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (Cathy’s note: only the first 100 submissions are free, so get yours in ASAP!)

17th Jul Poetry, essays and more on the theme of Growing systems of care for a more just and resilient future? PAYING

18th Jul  ‘All writers who identify as BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), mixed-race or POC (people of colour) who call Scotland their home, irrespective of place of birth. All levels welcome (unpublished, published, solo or agented). What to submit: Collections of short stories and stand-alone novels of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy (and their sub-genres).’

19th Jul Micropoems on the themes of Rapture/Freedom.

20th Jul Poetry on the theme of Body. ‘ Feel free to interpret this theme broadly. Beyond the human body, there are 8 million living species (give or take a million) on Earth today. There are also bodies of land, bodies of water, celestial bodies, body politic.’

20th Jul Philosophically-informed creative writing on the theme of The Body/Embodiment. PAYING

23rd Jul Tick Tock – 500-word fiction on the theme of Time Travel.  CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

24th Jul ‘Penumbra’s newly formed online presence calls for work by Black authors and artists across genres and media. We accept art, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid literary genres for publication on’

25th Jul Writing 1000-7500 words on the theme of Omens. PAYING

25th Jul Poetry, short fiction and more on the theme of Nature.

28th Jul Art, poetry and fiction on the theme of Time.

31st Jul ‘Typehouse Literary Magazine is currently accepting submissions of poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art for our 20th issue, a jumbo print and PDF combined May/September issue, through July 31st, 2020. We are especially interested in underrepresented voices of all kinds.’ PAYING

31st Jul Urban nature writing on the theme of Fauna. PAYING

31st Jul ‘The theme for the anthology is life / memoir / biography, and the book will be called 100 Lives. We plan to include 100 stories, essays and poems.’

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Choices. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st July ‘We publish new, previously unpublished work that engages with the natural world. We have a particular interest in work which encourages reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. Each issue includes a mix of poetry and fiction, alongside a selection of essays which may include creative non-fiction, criticism, and the occasional review of new creative work or of community-based environmental projects. We also welcome submissions in translation.’ PAYING

31st Jul ‘In a world where so many dark things go bump in the night, terror awaits around every corner as these authors take horror stories to the next level.’ Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Jul ‘A new twist on fairytales with a fresh element: dragons. Each fairytale has been reimagined with these beasts based on the author’s preference. Wise dragons, evil dragons, elemental dragons, oh my! These classic characters will never see this coming.’ Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Jul Artistic, erotic writing.

31st Jul ‘We are seeking high-quality, stand alone novels and a potential novella series in the dark fantasy genre. At this time we are not interested in short story collections, erotica, strictly religious fiction, YA Fiction, or poetry.’ ROYALTIES

31st Poetry, fiction and CNF on the theme of Football. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: only US contributors are paid. The rest of us get extra contributor copies.)

31st Jul Poems on the theme of Dwelling. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul Theme: Deep Time. ‘In addition to submissions explicitly envisioning the prehuman past, we encourage speculative explorations of the overlap of geological and archaeological deep time, Dreamtime, post-Capitalocene future deep time, the flora and fauna of your childhood doodles, the interval between falling asleep and waking, the suspended time of fossilization, and the interior archives and libraries of the hollow Earth. Let’s curl ourselves into the mane of a mummified dinosaur before the long-awaited glaciation of fatbergs consumes us all…’ All types of media considered.

31st Jul Young writers only (Cathy’s note: it’s not clear what the criterion is): Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, up to 6000 words. PAYING

31st Jul Poetry, flash and short fiction. ‘For this call we’re looking for things that have been buried, should be buried, could be buried or need to be buried. Undead or barely living? Sure! Buried treasure or buried secret? We want to see it. Whatever it is, dig it up or tamp it down. An element of your story must include the ‘buried’ theme.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE ANTHOLOGY

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Choices. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Jul Short story 1000-5000 words, set in Budapest.

July 31st ‘This anthology is ONLY open to authors who themselves are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary who have not been published or scheduled to be published in the first six Best Women’s Erotica of the Year volumes edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Stories MUST be from the point of view of a character who is a woman, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary.’ Erotic fiction 2000-5000 words on the theme of Surprise. PAYING

31st Jul Poems on the theme of Stranger.

31st Jul ‘ The mission of the Awakenings is to MAKE VISIBLE the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. Awakenings is home to a multi-media art gallery featuring the artistic expressions of rape and sexual abuse survivors. By showcasing stories of survival, we are helping survivors find peace and healing while simultaneously challenging the cultural taboos that prevent an honest discussion of sexual violence.’ This issue’s theme: Legacy.

31st Jul ‘We feature writers who identify as female or non-binary and who also have a strong connection to Canada.’ Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Gender & Technology. PAYING

1st Aug ‘Super-powered pulp heroes. Supers with a single power who fight crime or villains. Good folks versus bad folks, no gray areas, no amorality, no Byronic heroes. And no non-powered heroes. So think of characters like Doc Savage, the Rocketeer, Zorro, The Phantom, and Flash Gordon, but with powers and ideals like Superman and Wonder Woman (in their earlier renditions).’ 2000-9000 words. PAYING

1st Aug ‘The left side of the brain is associated with logical and analytical characteristics, while the right brain with creativity. We’d welcome stories from both sides of the brain. Stories could feature puzzle solving and ingenuity, inverted tv tropes, inventions (clockwork, practical, or Rube Goldberg), masterful creations (like JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations), and social commentary.’ PAYING

1st Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

1st Aug 2000 word story on the theme of Underwater. ‘If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!’ PAYING

1st Aug ‘We’re looking for supernatural fantasy stories, supernatural mystery stories, supernatural pulp stories, supernatural adventure stories, supernatural horror stories and any other kind of supernatural story so long as it makes use of the 1980s milieu.’ 4000-20,000 words. ROYALTIES

1st Aug ‘Verse, poesy, and gestures various: collected seasonally.’

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

1st Aug Art and visual poems.

1st Aug Horror stories 3000-6000 words. ‘The theme is: local lore or location-based oddities. Write something dark into a setting you’ve experienced — it could be a place you’ve lived, or even just somewhere you’ve visited on a vacation.’ PAYING

1st Aug Story 300-5000 words beginning with the line: ‘The Simmons public library was a melting pot of the haves and have-nots, a mixture of homeless people and the wealthy older residents of the nearby neighborhood.’ PAYING

1st Aug Dark fantasy 5000-15,000 words on the theme of Elemental Magic. PAYING


(Publishers might not give out their pay rates on their submission pages, so make sure to find them out before signing a contract!)


Catholic poetry.

Poetry, fiction and more.

Flash narratives up to 1000 words. PAYING

‘Black Ocean considers full-length poetry manuscript queries year-round. To be considered, please submit an artist statement, biography with list of previous publications, and a 15-20 page sample from the manuscript.’

Writing for the International Times, the magazine of resistance. Please send work to

Speculative fiction, poetry and more. PAYING

‘We endorse diversity in our content and enjoy journalism, photography, philosophy, illustrations, commentary, criticism, fiction, satire, food recipes and comics.’

‘Send us the wild and divine, the eccentric and experimental.’

Open until filled: dark prose 3000-5000 words. PAYING

‘Flash fiction up to 1000 words. Any topic or genre with a weird slant. Short stories up to 3k words. Any topic or genre with a weird slant. Weird Mask is being released quarterly.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

Horror fiction or writing about horror.

‘We are open to original stories in all subgenres of fantasy, ranging from fairy tales to science fantasy, weird westerns to romantic fantasy, epic fantasy to urban fantasy, swords & sorcery to quiet character studies, and everything in between. Regardless of setting, stories should be centered on character and emotion (though the occasional thrilling adventure is welcome).’ PAYING

‘We want to represent all thats thrilling about the new wave of LGBT+ poets. If you’re a poet, even if you’ve never been published before, we want to read your work.’ PAYING

‘We are seeking work that explores the theme of obsession in all its variances and contexts.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

‘Plenitude Magazine is Canada’s only queer literary magazine. We promote the growth and development of LGBTQ2S+ literature through online publication of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and interviews by both emerging and established LGBTQ2S+ writers. We especially encourage BIPOC and trans writers to submit their work.’ PAYING

‘We publish stories, art and poetry that examine the connection between animals and humans, and the ways we and our lives are more similar than people assume.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

‘Yasou! A Celebration of Life is a creative talent magazine accepting poetry, micro poetry, haiku and senryu, lyrics, original photography and artwork submissions all year long.  Think A Celebration of Life! What does it mean to you??? That is what we want to see. Whether it be poetry art, music, food etc… Send it our way. We will read all styles but prefer the traditional and classic styles including meter and rhyme.’

Sonnets, for publication ‘sometime in 2020’.

Until filled: ‘For our Minibooks line, we are seeking original, previously unpublished stories of the highest quality between 5,000 and 20,000 words (hard limits, no exceptions; word count of the body only).’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

The submission details of this aren’t out until July 1st, so I don’t know what they are yet. I just like Scottish litmags… apologies if there are problems with this listing!


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