Comps and calls for June 2021

Read my new poetry pamphlet – Medusa’s Hair Tips!

Hello everyone,

My wrist is a lot better, and many thanks to those of you who’ve asked. It’d be even better if I could just stop doing things that involve it, but… 🙂

My tip this month is to share opportunities with writer friends. If you see a call for submissions and you think, oh, so-and-so might like that – make the effort to share it with them. They will return the favour, you can be sure. For instance, a writer and artist friend got in touch with me about this:

I’ve worked before with a brilliant artist called Karen Little. I’m now part of her new project, combining art and poetry to make gorgeous handmade booklets (or pamphlets. I love the ‘amph’ in pamphlets). Mine is called ‘Medusa’s Hair Tips’. Eight of my very best poems, including some brand new ones, with a fab cover by Karen, all to help a particular animal rescue. Being disabled myself, I’m always keen to support humans and animals who are ‘discarded’ or overlooked because of their disabilities.

Karen: These poetry booklets are now available….print on demand! If you want to buy one…or more!… all profits to Happy Tails Halfway Home (an animal rescue) please email They are £8 each, including post and packaging, £6 of which goes to the rescue (If you live outside the UK, it’s £9.25, of which £6 will go to the rescue). (they care for animals who because of their ‘disabilities’ would otherwise be ‘discarded.’ The booklets are hand-made on Very Arty Paper….and I look forward to printing, slicing and stapling Many Copies!

To find out more about the charity, check out their Facebook page and also the website of Broken Biscuits, who work with them.

Tl;dr? Buy my booklet ‘Medusa’s Hair tips’ in aid of disabled animals. Email and take a look too at the other 7 booklets in the series!


Quick shoutout to for some great links this month. I’m thinking of doing a list of good sources of info.

As always, massive thanks to my Patreon supporters and those who give one-off gifts to help keep the site going. No amount too small! One dollar gets me doing happy bounces. 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 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 ‘Spectator Competition No. 3202: lost love. You are invited to choose a well-known book with the word ‘love’ in its title, substitute the word ‘love’ with a word of your choice, and submit a short story with that title. Please email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 2 June.’ PAYING

4th Jun Fiction inspired by one of the provided prompts. PAYING

4th Jun ‘For this mini-contest, show, tell, or evoke a complete story between 25 and 50 words long in which someone is trying to sell something (a tool, a service, some kind of idea, etc.) to some audience, and the sales pitch ends up revealing more than the seller intends. You can either write the text of the sales pitch itself or incorporate the pitch into a story.’ PAYING

6th Jun Flash fiction up to 500 words on the theme that will be provided on 4th June. PAYING

6th Jun Under-represented writers only: poetry and fiction on the theme of Essential. PAYING–Award-2021–free-to-enter/ (Cathy’s note: there are quite a lot of criteria for eligibility, so do make sure that you’re eligible in at least one category before you write something specially.)

9th Jun ‘Spectator Competition  No. 3203: the third way. You are invited to provide an extract from the newly discovered Shakespearean play Charles III. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 9 June.’ PAYING

14th Jun Age 11-18: ‘The 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest theme WATER RISING challenges students to explore and understand their connection to water, and to creatively communicate the need to protect this vital resource and life-sustaining relationship.’ PAYING

15th Jun ‘Magazine is currently accepting entries for the eighth annual Christopher Hewitt Award. Named in honor of A&U’s first literary editor, the award showcases outstanding responses to the AIDS pandemic and the realities of individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction.’ PAYING

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Escapisms. PAYING

15th Jun Fiction, nonfiction and art pertaining to the Land of Oz. PAYING

15th Jun Up to age 25: essay up to 700 words or 1600 Japanese characters or fewer on the theme of What is Life? PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Jun ‘The Norton Writer’s Prize recognizes outstanding original nonfiction by undergraduates. The contest is open to students age 17 and above who are enrolled in an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university during the 2020-2021 academic year.’ 1000-3000 words. PAYING

15th Jun spec flash fiction on the theme of Hedy Lamarr. PAYING

25th Jun Horror fiction 1500-3000 words on the theme of Ghouls. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry. PAYING

30th Jun ‘For fiction manuscripts between 150 and 300 pages, containing any combination of short stories and/or one or more novellas. Open to writers who have published a novel or a book-length collection of fiction with a reputable book publisher, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in magazines or journals of national distribution.’ PAYING

30th Jun Unpublished writers: General nonfiction. ‘ So-called “creative nonfiction” will not be considered.’ PAYING

1st Jul For nonfiction social justice journalism. PAYING


7th Jun Writing by women on the theme of Roots. PAYING

7th Jun ‘Currently open to CRIME & CRIME/THRILLER novellas (up to short novels) and collections of crime (dark general fiction is cool, too) stories. Looking for books to publish late this year and next year. 21,000 words – 60,000 words.’

9th Jun ‘Submissions must fit the theme of the Dark Deep and should be centered around bodies of water and anything connected to them, such as sea creatures, mysterious disappearances, pirates, the Bermuda Triangle, etc, and must be written in the horror genre.’ 5000-10,000 words. PAYING

13th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Wanderlust.

14th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Arrivals.

15th Jun Writing and more on the theme of Yesterday.

15th Jun or when full:  Dystopian drabbles on the theme of CTR ALT DEL. ‘Artificial Intelligence is taking over the world…Super AI, robots, cyborgs, killer toasters and cell phones…intelligent machines are taking taking over and we’re here for it.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jun or when filled: poetry and prose.

15th Jun ‘Plainsongs presents poems that seem to be aware of modernist and postmodernist influences, not necessarily by imitation or allusion, but by using the tools provided by that rich heritage.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

15th Jun Poetry and prose on the theme of Connections. Also CNF by Service Workers. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Jun Story 2500-5000 words on the theme of Unicorns vs Clowns in Hell. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

15th Jun ‘For this upcoming issue of the Tinfish Journal, we are interested in work that explores unwritten spaces and seeks to align vulnerability with chaos specific to the Pacific region. We want your poetic approaches toward what cannot be named, explained, or dreamt.’

15th Jun Stories on the theme of Counting Your Blessings. ‘Please share your stories about handling challenges in your life, finding the silver linings, and counting your blessings, whether the challenges you are facing are COVID-19 related or other kinds.’ PAYING

15th Jun Poetry on the theme of Siblings.

15th Jun Poetry and more on the theme of Joy.

15th Jun Emerging Canadian writers: ‘Good. Short. Writing. We look for a diversity of styles and formats that are creative and engaging: poetry, short/flash fiction, creative non-fiction (including, but not limited to: creative essays, ficto-criticism, flash memoir, photo essays), and hybrid/multi-media such as comics, postcard fiction, and collaborations across media.’

15th June opens until filled: ‘HOME SWEET HOME –  send us pieces that are sweet, honeycomb-y, sticky, poemy, buzzing, or homey!’ Poetry, flash or CNF.

15th Jun Theme: ‘Swords and Shadows. Sexy Fantastic Magazine features the absolute highest quality of fiction, comics, book and movie reviews, articles, photos of sexy fantastic heroines, and other cultural delights by top professionals and award-winning authors and artists.’ PAYING

16th Jun Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Friendship.

18th Jun ‘We are looking for short stories up to 6,000 words, flash fiction, or poetry in the Science Fiction/Science Fantasy genres. If you aren’t sure whether it fits, submit it anyway. The worst that happens is we let you know it doesn’t fit what we’re looking for! And we don’t bite!’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYING (SUBJECT TO FUNDRAISER/FUNDING)

21st Jun Writing on Policing and Mass incarceration for this Quaker magazine. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

21st Jun Canadian women/nonbinary only: ‘Understorey Magazine publishes stories based in life experience and told through fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. We feature writers who identify as women or non-binary, and who also have a strong connection to Canada.’ Theme: remote and rural living. PAYING

21st Jun Theme: Nature. ‘For our print magazine, we 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.’’s note: you can also submit to the online or podcast versions of Litro.)

22nd Jun ‘The Nightfire team is looking for novels and novellas for adults across the breadth of the horror genre—from the cosmic and Lovecraftian to the beloved undead tropes of zombies, ghosts, and slashers and the more uncanny and internal terrors of isolation, lost love, and aging.’ PAYING

25th Jun Poetry MSS by BIPOC writers.

25th Jun Writing and more on the theme of Dream Journal.

27th Jun ‘We are seeking short stories exclusively set in South America. We are seeking poetry set in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and South America.’ PAYING

30th Jun Short horror story 4000-8000 words on the theme of M is for Medical. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry and more on the theme of My Holiday. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Jun Poetry and more.

30th Jun Neurodivergent writers: poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

30th Jun Poetry, flash and more. ‘Stories, poems and essays that feature someone not wanting to be where they are now, or something that is happening somewhere else but definitely not right here, or a longed for travel destination … or maybe definitely not here, because somewhere else is better … or anything that suggests someone might want to be somewhere else or doing something different.’

30th Jun ‘We are looking for “playfully dark”, intelligent, humorous, descriptive literature written for children ages 8 – 13. We invite poetry and fiction submissions by email.’ Theme: Hidden. PAYING

30th Jun Speculative novellas by BIPOC authors. ROYALTIES

30th Jun Poetry on the theme of Friends and Friendship. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (PRINT OR DIGITAL)

30th Jun Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ‘LitRPG genre. Playing Virtual Reality games is a favorite pastime, but getting trapped in them due to a glitch is another story. It’s a true fight for survival now and the only way out is to finish the game.’ ROYALTIES

30th Jun Fiction 5000-15,000 words. ‘After killing Earth, humans have been launched into space exploration. Discovering aliens and new technologies, future generations are unrecognizable from the Earthlings that once were. There are a select few who want to go back to their roots, some who will prevent this at all costs, and others who don’t care. Where do your characters fit within the vast universe full of the unknown?’ ROYALTIES

30th Jun ‘We have all had dates we would much rather forget, but how many tragic souls have had the misfortune to swipe right on a serial killer, lycanthrope, one of the undead, a denizen fresh from hell itself, or any other manner of nefarious beings?’ 4k-10k words. PAYING

30th Jun ‘Clichés! We all know them, we’ve probably all been guilty of using them and we usually dismiss them but what if there’s something to them? After all, they’ve not been forgotten.’ ‘We’re happy to look at stories or poems of any length up to 7500 (query for over) and encourage submissions from people of all cultures and backgrounds.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

1st Jul  ‘We are looking for essay submissions from queer parents who identify
as female/mom about the experience of parenting boys. Pieces should be nonfiction between 750-1000 words. Include a brief cover letter describing the makeup of your family and why you’d like to be included in a collection about challenging toxic masculinity through parenting choices.’ Email to

1st Jul  ‘Rock and a Hard Place Press is open for submissions to its first themed anthology of short fiction, titled, Under the Thumb: Stories of Police Oppression. The anthology will feature stories about individuals, families, and communities that have faced or are facing police violence, persecution, harassment, and oppression.’ 2000-5000 words.


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

‘Founded in 2021, MONO. is a literary journal inviting dark humour, satire and brutally honest reflections on ordinary life that sit on the borderline of the melancholic and amusing. We welcome unpublished flash fiction, poetry, short stories up to 3000 words, and amateur monochrome photography (the more creative the better!)’

For our weekly online flash feature, please submit up to three pieces in a single file. For fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid works, each piece should be 500 words maximum. For poetry, submit poems 32 lines or less. Please include your name and contact information in the document. You may withdraw individual pieces from a batch of submissions by contacting us at editors [at] cincinnatireview [dot] com or using the contact form on their website. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘We are looking for stories that capture the mood and feel of the old EC horror comics, the Amicus horror anthologies from the 1970s, old school Hammer, Night Gallery, Kolchak, etc. We prefer literal monsters to the metaphoric kind. Nothing too depressing or highbrow.’

‘F I V E S welcomes submissions of interdisciplinary and cross-genre work not typically publishable in print form. Send us your audioscapes, visual work, short films, digitally inclined prose, poetry, and criticism, and artistic experiments of all types.’

Dark speculative flash, short fiction and art. PAYING

‘Eucalyptus & rose accepts heartwarming and thoughtful fiction and creative non-fiction under 1000 words, as well as poetry that does not exceed 20 lines. In particular, we are looking for unsent love letters, bite-size memoirs, poetry revolving around landscapes and colors, and short fiction that makes us feel fuzzy on the inside.’

Crime fiction, nonfiction and art. PAYING

Australia and New Zealand writers only: ‘We are broadly interested in publishing fiction and non-fiction, including middle grade and young adult.’

‘Three Line Poetry reports the slush pile is empty! After a big push to catch up, all pending TLP submissions have been read and posted. Submissions are open!’ PAYING

CNF, art and music.

Until filled: Disabled, chronically ill, and/or neurodivergent writers: poetry and prose poetry that explores the intersections of disability and trauma.

Horror flash fiction. PAYING

‘Timber Ghost Press is looking to publish high-quality horror fiction to include cosmic horror, weird horror, dark fantasy, sci-fi/horror, gothic, and contemporary. We especially love Old West mixed with horror.’ PAYING

‘Shrapnel publishes experimental writing from emerging writers in the genres of fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and poetry.’ PAYING

‘The Vita Poetica Journal is an online quarterly publication of creative work explored through a spiritual lens. This may be engaging directly with religious faith or a broader inquiry into meaning and the human experience.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

‘We like poems with concrete imagery and strong emotions; We like poems that surprise us and make us weep like soft children; We like beautiful music flowing in your lines. No racism or sexism please.’


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