Good news on the breast cancer front – after examining 18 samples of me, the team gave me the all-clear! Hurrah! I’ll have to be checked frequently to see if anything nasty is hiding behind my lumpy bits, but that’s OK. Many thanks for all your good wishes and kindness. Several of you have been in touch about having cancer, often on top of other problems with health, money or family. I can’t stop thinking about you and I send best wishes and healing vibes.
As another correspondent mentioned, things are all topsy-turvy at the moment. Love to all of you, whatever your challenges are.
So here are this month’s listings, and I hope you like them. There are loads of interesting comps and calls this month – remember my writing mantra: Have a go! But this month I’ll add: remember to write for fun. Remember to write for therapy. Take a theme and enjoy it. If submitting and entering are too much for you right now, that’s OK. Enjoy your writing!
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.
Weekly: Just Back: travel writing. PAYING https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/just-back-travel-writing-competition/
3rd Nov Spectator Competition No. 3224: Tourist misinformation. ‘Now that we are allowed to travel more freely, it’s a good time to resurrect an old favourite. You are invited to submit snippets of misleading advice either for tourists visiting Britain or for British tourists travelling abroad. Please email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on 3 November.’ PAYING https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/spectator-competition-winners-odes-on-the-marble-arch-mound
5-7th Nov ‘On the first Friday of every month, a new set of story prompts will be revealed. You will have 55 hours to submit your best 500-word (or fewer) story for the chance to win… (drumroll)… $500!’ PAYING https://www.writerscentre.com.au/furious-fiction/
10th Nov Spectator Competition No. 3225: night terrors. ‘You are invited to provide a version of the Lord Chancellor’s ‘Nightmare Song’, for any member of the British cabinet, starting ‘When you’re lying awake…’ and continuing for up to 16 lines. Please email entries to email@example.com by midday on 10 November.’ PAYING https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/spectator-competition-winners-dystopian-animal-stories
15th Nov Poem on the theme of This Urge for the Truth. PAYING https://www.newyorkencounter.org/2022-poetry-contest (thanks to www.winningwriters.com)
15th Nov US only: ‘The Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize is given to honor exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present.’ PAYING https://poets.org/academy-american-poets/prizes/treehouse-climate-action-poem-prize
19th Nov ‘We’re excited to announce our newest One Teen Story Contest! From September 9th through November 19th, 2021, we’re asking writers ages 13-19 to enter their original, unpublished fiction. We are interested in great short stories of any genre about the teen experience—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, horror, etc. What’s in a great short story? Interesting teen characters, strong writing, and a beginning, middle, and end… Some examples of stories we look out for are ones that deal with issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. Gratuitous profanity, sex, and drug use are best avoided.’ PAYING https://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit&pubcode=ots
26th Nov ‘We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, poem, narrative game, documentary, or transmedia work using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction. Interactivity is a key element of new-media storytelling.’ PAYING https://newmediawritingprize.co.uk/faqs/
28th Nov ‘The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in the 11th grade in the U.S. or abroad. Contest judges are poets on the Princeton University Creative Writing faculty, which includes Michael Dickman, Paul Muldoon, Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Susan Wheeler, among others. Applicants may submit up to 3 poems.’ PAYING https://arts.princeton.edu/about/opportunities/high-school-contests/poetry-contest/
30th Nov short story up to 1500 words. VOUCHER/OTHER https://www.secret-attic.co.uk/p/short-story-contest.html (Cathy’s note: As the results are announced on 12th Dec, I’m assuming that the deadline of 31st Dec is a misprint. Or the other way round…if I’m wrong, send it in early December!)
30th Nov Up to three poems. ‘Theme is human rights. Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recommended.’ There’s a youth option too. PAYING https://www.anitamcandrews.com/news-and-events
30th Nov Write a 50-word story about a pair of wellies. NON-CASH PRIZE https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/fifty-words-competitions/write-a-story-featuring-a-pair-of-wellies
30th Nov Metrical sonnet. PAYING https://www.betterthanstarbucks.org/sonnet-contest
1st Dec US only: ‘This award honors Tony Quagliano’s legacy as an experimental poet and editor. It recognizes an accomplished poet with an outstanding body of innovative, cutting-edge work pushing the boundaries of poetic craft, such as experimental approaches to form and/or language. This award also recognizes a poet who contributes meaningfully to a literary community.’ http://www.tonyquaglianopoetry.com/poetry-award-competition-2021.html
2nd Nov ‘We will accept short-form fiction any way you want to write it. This can include poetry, flash fiction or short stories.’ ‘We want your best stories about spooky old houses and the creep-crawlies that float forlornly down back passageways, leave strange cold spots in libraries, and come out at night to terrify unsuspecting guests.’ PAYING https://www.periodicalforlorn.com/submission-guidelines
5th Nov Theme: Healing Hands. ‘The world needs some healing. What do the hands of a healer look like? What does it feel? Open for speculative poetry, prose (fiction & non-fiction), comics & art. AKA. a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, magic realism, futuristic. Non-fiction should tie in to the theme of the greater work and include either literary theory, philosophy, or science.’ ROYALTIES https://duotrope.com/duosuma/submit/macromicrocosm-1lhW7
7th Nov Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Friends & Family. https://www.liarsleague.com/liars_league/writers.html
7th Nov Theme: Dark Arts. ‘We’re looking for stories, essays, memoir and poetry to do with enchantment and scheming, in any context. Black magic, witchcraft and wizardry are the obvious subjects, but we welcome wider interpretations of the theme.’ PAYING https://shooterlitmag.com/submissions/
8th Nov ‘The London Reader is issuing an open call for creative climate writing about the weather, disaster, and perseverance. Bad Weather is an upcoming collection of stories, poetry, and art about people facing the immediate effects of climate change in harrowing moments and their daily lives.’ http://londonreader.uk/2021/10/open-call-bad-weather/
8th Nov ‘Submissions must contain elements of savagery and slaughter, conducted by a person, an animal, a being other than human, or an unknown/original type of perpetrator. We are very much interested in stories with extremely original plots and not the typical “person slaughters a bunch of other people” type stories. Bonus points if the setting of the story is unique.’ 4000-12,000 words. PAYING https://www.sinistersmilepress.com/copy-of-v6-submission-guidelines
9th Nov Fiction 3000-7000 words on the theme of All Flavours Punk. ‘… basically we’re looking for Steampunk, cyberpunk, gaspunk… any punk.’ PAYING https://www.breakingrulespublishingeuro.com/upcoming-anthologies-roadmap.html
10th Nov ‘We accept submissions in all genres—including genres that many other publications overlook such as horror, science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, graphic novel art, anything you can think of. If your work resonates with us, we will publish it!We strongly recommend you have a read of our previous issues, to see the type of pieces we are inclined to accept. Think, quirky with a sense of fun and humour. Much like ourselves.’ Theme: Bad Decisions. PAYING https://silver-apples.squarespace.com/submission-guidelines
11th Nov Writing and more on the theme of A Walk through Love Land. https://brownbag.online/submission-guidelines/(Cathy’s note: Love Land is a Korean Sex-themed Park.)
14th Nov Australian contributors paid, others not: poetry on the theme of Kin. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS http://cordite.org.au/submissions/
14th Nov ‘This is an anthology of short space opera stories, featuring New York Times and USA Today bestselling and Hugo award winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Canadian author and three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, Douglas Smith.’ 2000-7500 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL https://storiesrulepress.com/space-opera-digest-2022-call-for-submissions/
15th Nov ‘We are a biannual literary zine focused on women’s embodied experiences of perimenopause, menopause, and croning—minus the patriarchy.’ Theme: Expectations. https://www.hagsonfire.com/
15th Nov Young Poets Anthology. ‘The author of the poem must have been age 15 or younger when the poem was written, and 18 or younger when submitted. The poets may use their whole name, first name, or a pseudonym at their parents’ discretion. We will not publish any contact information.’ https://rattle.submittable.com/submit/34387/young-poets-anthology
15th Nov Poetry on the theme of Place. PAYING http://www.songsoferetz.com/p/guidelines.html
15th Nov ‘Space-related dark scifi, where technology and horror meet with frightening results.’ Up to 1500 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.blackinkfiction.com/sci-fi-calls
15th Nov Poetry, fiction, and much, much more. https://www.mockingowlroost.com/submission-guidelines-2/
15th Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of New Beginnings. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.writersworkout.net/waywords
15th Nov ‘Short Édition, seeks short work (8,000 character max, about 1,000 words) exploring the theme of Home. Please limit submissions to one story, one short essay, or up to five poems.’ https://lib.msu.edu/shortedition/submit/
18th Nov Theme: Acts of Reckoning. ‘We seek submissions of essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories that address this year of change.’ PAYING https://www.griffithreview.com/guidelines-for-writers/
20th Nov Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Recovery. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE https://www.eclipselit.org/submit
20th Nov Theme: Experimental Writing. ‘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.’ https://www.litromagazine.com/litro-magazine-is-one-of-the-best-places-places-to-submit-writing/#print (Cathy’s note: you can also submit to the online or podcast versions of Litro.)
22nd Nov Poetry and prose on the theme Glow. PAYING https://clawandblossom.com/submissions/ (Cathy’s note: they have a quota for free submissions, so submit ASAP!)
30th Nov ‘As with the first anthology in this series I am looking for adventure-loving dogs, puns, water and fun. I’m looking for sailors, submariners, explorers, Vikings and more. Fun stories filled with excitement, drama, treasure-seeking, sword fights, discovering new worlds and dogs, dogs, dogs! All. The. Dogs.’ PAYING http://tychebooks.com/pirating-pups
30th Nov Stories 1200-7000 words. PAYING http://smokingpenpress.com/submissions-2
30th Nov ‘WORD Stafford are pleased to offer this call for submissions for our forthcoming anthology in support of Katharine House Hospice in Stafford. We are asking for ‘photo – poetry sets’ meaning a photograph sent in with an accompanying poem, or vice versa, a poem to be sent in with an accompanying photo. Photos must be in colour please, and poems to be no longer than 30 lines. We ask also that your submissions have a ‘Staffordshire’ theme – in any way you wish to interpret this but you do not need to be from or living in Staffordshire to enter. Please send (a maximum of 3 per person) photo poetry sets to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th November 2021.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE
30th Nov Horror story 4000-8000 words on the theme of M is for Medical. PAYING https://redcapepublishing.com/submissions/
30th Nov ‘From September 1st to November 30th, our editors welcome our past contributors, community members, and the broader literary community to submit creative work that showcases defamiliarization in either content, form, or practice…We would be happy to read your fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, as well as experimental, cross-genre, multimedia, translated, and collaborative work, and we are especially interested in receiving craft essays about defamiliarization (or defamiliarized craft essays).’ PAYING http://thegravityofthething.com/submit/
30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Light. https://www.inscribejournal.com/writeforusjournal
30th Nov ‘Our Spring 2022 Edition theme is Into the Light. We’re looking for stories, poems, and essays that explore growth and new possibilities after a long, dark winter. Write about moving out of a dark period of your life into the light of a new day. Give us blissful descriptions of basking in the sunlight, letting it warm you and dance on your skin. Give us euphoric poems about sunrises.’ https://capsulestories.com/submissions/
1st Dec Fiction up to 5000 words on the theme of Cosmic Menagerie. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) https://www.blackinkfiction.com/sci-fi-calls
1st Dec Poetry, screenplays and short stories. PAYING https://www.abbeyreview.com/submissions/
(Publishers might not give out their pay rates on their submission pages, so make sure to find them out before signing a contract!)
‘The Riverside Quarterly currently has an open submissions policy. We accept pitches and articles year round for our quarterly publications. Acceptable submissions include: original articles, research digests, interviews, literary journalism, immersion journalism, narrative journalism, memoirs, lyric essays, cultural criticism and book reviews [between 750 & 3500 words in length] that explore the art and practice of creativity in the arts, education, and business arenas. We do accept previously published material that meets this criteria, and is timely, responding to current trends. We do not accept fiction or poetry. These arts forms are creative and important, but this is not a forum for such works. This journal explores creativity and how it is used and expressed.’ https://riversidequarterly.com/submissions/
‘Yeehoo Press is dedicated to publishing fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children’s books for audiences around the world.’ https://www.yeehoopress.com/submissions/
‘We are looking for a wide range of stories. And, although we mainly deal in Science Fiction, Fantasy, SHTF, Slipstream, Horror, Sword and Sorcery and surreal fiction, we are also open to other stories. As a bonus, we love the humorous tales as well! We are NOT interested in explicit sex. For poetry, we are looking for very similar genres as our story topics. We deal in the surreal.’ PAYING http://syntheticrealitymagazine.com/submissions/
Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING https://iselemagazine.com/submission-guidelines-2/
The World of Myth Magazine accepts work in the following categories: Action/Suspense, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Science Fiction, Drabble/Flash/Micro, Poetry, Art. http://www.theworldofmyth.com/
‘Whose Pleasure is it Anyway? is a digital collection of essays, interviews, poems, visual art, film, music, and multimedia/hybrid works that will explore the feminist pleasures that activate or infuriate us. We’re looking for grouchy and disobedient desires, feral and exploratory delights, and playful and improvisational delectations. We’re looking for pieces that firmly place pleasure at the centre of their aesthetics, poetics, or politics. Submissions that laugh, tickle, and shriek in the face of frivolity, shame, and institutionalization highly encouraged.’ PAYING http://www.canthius.com/call-for-submissions-pleasures
‘Take 5ive is a new journal from the Bamboo Hut featuring only 5 line tanka, gogyohka and gogyoshi. As far as this journal is concerned I will accept tanka in 5 lines whether it follows a 5-7-5-7-7, a s-l-s-l-l or a minimalist form. Similarly with gogyohka. The lines between the two are somewhat blurred. As far as gogyoshi is concerned I default to Taro Aizu’s definition. In short, 5 lines only, any theme and give it a title. Simples !’ https://take5ive.weebly.com/
Medicine and Meaning: ‘May include poetry, fiction (e.g. short stories), or creative non-fiction (including essays).’ https://medicineandmeaning.uams.edu/about/submission-guidelines/
‘We’re an evolving community of Jews from assorted backgrounds seeking to understand what it means to be Jewish today through our writing.We come to our writing without pre-conditions, seeking through words a path that will lead us to a deeper understanding of our connection to our heritage. You’re welcome to share stories, poems, memoirs, interviews–even random thoughts–as long as you keep the focus on being Jewish and on what being Jewish means to you.’ https://jewishwritingproject.wordpress.com/about/
Full manuscripts (MSS). https://www.parkroadpublishing.com/submissions/
‘At Not Another Lit Mag, we tend to focus on work that is in conversation with pop culture. We enjoy ekphrastic poems that reflect on digital media, allusions to film tropes that characterize a speaker, meditations on pop icons. These are but a few examples.’ PAYING https://www.notanotherlitmag.com/submit.html