Comps and calls for March 2022

Hello Everyone,

It’s March, and I hope that you are making the way towards your literary goals! Do remember my personal motto: “Have a go”. And also remember that if you proofread your work and it isn’t filled with cliches, and you follow the submission guidelines, then you have as good a chance as anybody.

We’re all thinking about the situation in Ukraine as I write this. Remember that writing can be a helpful outlet to express your feelings and thoughts. Do take care of yourself. Much love to those who are suffering in Ukraine and elsewhere.

I’ve had some good news. When the pandemic broke out, the word ‘Corona’ wasn’t very popular. People even smashed bottles of Corona beer! The Corona Press decided not to bring out the 4th Corona Book of Horror stories, in which I had a story, and the future of the Press itself was uncertain. Well, I’m thrilled to say that they’re going ahead with the project now! I always used to look for anthologies such as ‘Tales of the Unexpected’, ‘The 12th Book of Pan Horror’, ‘More Tales of Unease’, and similar titles now on my bookshelf, so to have work in The 4th Corona Book of Horror Stories is a delight!

Many thanks for all the kind messages and emails. My Mother-in Law has indeed died, and her suffering is over. She died peacefully, not in pain, with her beloved son (my husband and the Comps and Calls Webbie) beside her.

Much love,

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 Mar ‘Spectator Competition No. 3239: bookish. Sajid Javid is a big fan of Ayn Rand and Justin Trudeau loves Stephen King. You are invited to submit political manifestos inspired by literary heroes (please specify). Please email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 2 March.’ PAYING

4th Mar ‘For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which… IN THE FIRST SENTENCE… one or more characters arrive at a location and find something unexpected.’ PAYING

5th Mar ‘Amateur playwrights world-wide are invited to submit a one-act play. Three winning scripts will be selected for fully staged performances during the Windsor Fringe Festival in October. One of the three scripts will be chosen as the overall winner and awarded a £500 prize.’ ‘If “BBC Writersroom” is written on the top right hand corner of contact sheet, no submission fee will be needed.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: you do need to send hard copies as well as digital, so some expense is involved.)

13th Mar ‘We invite published and non-published authors to enter by submitting an original story of up to 2,200 words on the theme of ‘Treasure’. NON-CASH PRIZE

14th Mar Flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING

14th Mar ‘The 2022 Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize, an annual competition for unpublished writers, is now open to submissions. Initially made possible by an Arts Council Grant in 2015, the prize awards £3,000 to the best proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) by a writer resident in the UK & Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal.’ PAYING

15th Mar 53-word story inspired by this month’s prompt. NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Mar Speculative flash fiction on the theme of Claude Calhun. PAYING

18th Mar Age 9-18 only: poem on the theme of Life After Conflict. PRIZES (UNKNOWN WHAT)

24th Mar Microfiction up to 250 words. PAYING

31st Mar Flash Fiction up to 300 words. PAYING

1st Apr Humorous poem. PAYING


7th Mar Short stories up to 5000 words on the theme of The Last Five Minutes of a Storm! PAYING

7th Mar ‘At the intersection of being Nigerian and being queer—outlawed by both government and society—the majority of us have had to inherit definitive models of religion, belief, and faith which exclude, devalue, or otherwise victimize us in our communities, our forms of expression, and our forms of love. What, then, are our processes of compromise, redefinition, negotiation, or renunciation? As the editor of this online folio, I am seeking poetry, creative nonfiction, and visual art from the queer Nigerian community (on the continent or in the diaspora)’.

9th Mar ‘Volume 4’s theme is Light. We accept poetry, Creative Non-fiction (CNF), and art.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

10th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Navigations: A Place for Peace.

11th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Resilience. PAYING

11th Mar ‘Caustic Frolic is seeking fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music, and digital media to the theme Limbo for our Spring 2022 issue. For this edition, we’re excited about works about isolation, loneliness, the unknown. Make us think, or even feel a state of limbo from your work.’

13th Mar Short story 800-2000 words. OTHER

14th Mar ‘If you are a BIPOC writer – regardless of whether you’re widely published or just starting out – and would like to see your work appear in a major anthology like The Book of Witches, we’d love to hear from you.’ 1500-6000 words. PAYING (thanks to this one)

15th Mar Indigenous writers only: ‘This call asks you to remember, imagine, or re-imagine moments in your life where you were the miracle (you define it) or where you were part of something bigger than yourself. Tell us about magic and miracles you witnessed, you fueled, you received, or that you want to wish into being for you and our world.’

15th Mar BIPOC only: ‘Here’s what I’m looking for: Novel or novella length adult or YA fiction. I’m thrilled that the novella has made a comeback, but will note that the available markets are still few in number so having plans for novels also would be keen. My list is fairly representative of my taste, but I’m particularly interested right now in grounded science fiction, futurism, space opera, second world fantasy, secret history, gothics, and horror. I’ll consider anything that falls into SF/F/H or adjacent speculative categories, though.’ (Cathy’s note: This is a call from an agent rather than a publisher or editor, but it’s a well-worded and clear call, and I feel like including it, so I have.)

15th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Layers.

15th Mar Poetry and fiction on the theme of Baseball. PAYING

15th Mar ‘We’re excited to read your original science fiction stories (genre benders welcome)!’ Up to 5000 words. PAYING

15th Mar ‘We are looking for stories centered around one of our favorite sub-genres, Human Monsters. We enjoy twisty-turny, dark, psychological, thrilling, dangerous, menacing, gothic, strange, ugly, murderous, messed-up tales of people doing awful, no-good, very bad things to one another.’ 2000-4000 words. PAYING

15th Mar Stories, drabbles and poems on the theme of Medusa. PAYING

15th Mar Haiku and Senryu: using punctuation.

15th Mar Prose poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Breaking the Rules.

15th Mar Poetry, essays and more on the theme of The Sacred Masculine.

15th Mar ‘When former editor Katharine Hyzy first introduced this tagline in the fall of 2003, she wrote, “What makes the West what it is has more to do with what it inspires than the physical, tangible features of its terrain.” Our place, our politics, and our social fabric have changed a lot since she wrote those words. After 30 years of making Camas, want to reimagine what it is that the West inspires.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

15th Mar This collection was inspired by an earworm from the 1978 film, Grease. The lyrics “Summer Lovin’” from the song “Summer Nights” became “Summer Bludgeon,” and a new anthology title was born! We’re imagining a collection that highlights the dark corners of our hearts. Pull back the curtain and show us people at odds, broken relationships, love gone wrong. Send us stories, poems, photos, and art that have a dash of retro, maybe a hint of the campy, and a heaping helping of broken relationships of some kind (romantic, familial, collegial, etc.).’ PAYING

16th Mar ‘Following the success of Black Sci-Fi Short Stories comes another important collection, now open for submissions, inspired by stories of the first peoples in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, the first migration, the first exploration, the discovery of land and landscape without the footprint of humankind…We are looking for submissions from writers with appropriate heritage, whose stories will be cast alongside ancient myths and legends from around the world and will bring new perspectives to the legacy of First Nations, of First Peoples. The stories themselves can be speculative, fantastic, mythic or folkloric.’ PAYING

20th Mar ‘Our Summer 2022 Edition theme is Swimming. We’re looking for stories, poems, and essays that explore slipping into the water and finding yourself.’

21st Mar Writing on the theme of Vocal Minstry for this Quaker publication.

25th Mar ‘We publish work on the topic of history and we have specific themes per issue. The third issue’s theme is ABSURD.’

25th Mar Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Time.

26th Mar Canadians only: poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) (Cathy’s note: international writers may submit to the digital edition, but won’t receive a free copy unless they pay for shipping.)

27th Mar ‘We’d love to see your prose, flash and micro fiction, poetry, essay, creative non-fiction, photography, ekphrastics, and more! Surprise us! Be creative! Bend and blend genres!’ Theme: LIARS! (The Unreliable Narrator).

27th Mar ‘JADEN is small leaf press’ proudest publication created to give writers of colour and underrepresented writers and creators a space to express their self-discovery journeys.’ Theme: New Beginnings.

28th Mar BIPOC writers only: poetry, fiction and more.

30th Mar ‘We’re looking for your uplifting true stories and poems about how you used the power of gratitude to change your own life while you navigated the preteen and teenage years.’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘We’re seeking original, unpublished stories of up to 2022 words (horror/dark/speculative fiction) on any topic, in any style. (Word count does not include title.) The one rule, and here’s the tricky part … your story should be set in 2022. We don’t want one hundred stories all about coronavirus though, so think outside of the box!’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘All stories featuring East Asian warriors are welcome.’ 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Mar ‘Everyone deserves a chance at love. Whether it lasts forever or ends up being temporary, these characters will fight for the chance at happily ever after.’ 5000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Mar Haibun.

31st Mar ‘The theme this year will be energy, sustainable energy. We’re looking for outstanding fantasy, science fiction, weird fiction, and speculative horror–from both new and established writers.’ Fiction up to 500 words, and poetry. PAYING

31st Mar ‘The theme for Summer 2022 will be: CYCLES. We encourage you to think of this theme broadly and incorporate into your work. Nonfiction, reviews, open letters, and research should relate specifically to experiences of madness or mental health challenges. Poetry, fiction, or visual art submissions do not need to focus on madness/mental health, but we may prioritize pieces that we feel fit our mandate and this issue’s theme.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL), POSSIBLE PAYMENT

31st Mar ‘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: Cold. PAYING

31st Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Catalyst.

31st Mar Canadians only: poetry and fiction. PAYING

31st Mar Poetry and fiction on the theme of Many Worlds.

31st Mar Transracial adoptees: ‘Share your experience of being a child of color growing up and moving away from the gaze of whiteness. How has it shaped you? How has it informed your parenting? Have you decided against parenting because of it? Have you searched for your birth family? We invite all forms–essays, poems, interviews, comics, etc.–from diasporic transracial adoptees (Black, Asian, Latine(x), Indigenous, and other persons of color) to add nuance to the collective narrative. Being a parent is not a requirement.’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

31st Mar ‘This fiction anthology from Eric Raglin (writer of NIGHTMARE YEARNINGS, editor of ANTIFA SPLATTERPUNK) will feature stories of body horror in sports and fitness. Submit your most grotesque, strange, frightening, and thought-provoking stories—ones with complex characters, unapologetic weirdness, and horror that takes bold narrative risks.’ 2000-4500 words. PAYING

31st Mar ‘Tigershark ezine is open to submissions from anyone (both new and established writers) in any style or genre, and accepts flash fiction, short fiction and non-fiction/reviews up to 5000 words (loose), poetry of any length, and artwork.’ Theme: The City.

31st Mar ‘Love Letters to Poe will be open for original gothic short stories and poems inspired by “The Fall of the House of Usher” from February 1 through March 31, 2022.’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘The guidelines for this issue are simple – the first line of every fiction/non-fiction submission must start with “If I were you I’d […] and this must be the title of any art submission. When it comes to poetry the author may choose whether to use it as the first line or the title.’

31st Mar Theme: ‘(Re)Writing Home: In this issue of Apofenie, we seek poetry, prose, and nonfiction that addresses this question of home—its problems, possibilities, architectures, and mythologies.’

31st Mar ‘We are calling for poetry, fiction, and art for our 8th issue of Nostos (2022). This will be our ODES issue. All themes are possible as long as the work’s intention is the ode. The nature of the ode may certainly be captured in fiction and art as well as poetry.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Mar Speculative fiction 1500-5000 words on the theme of Prehistories. PAYING

31st Mar ‘Legion of Dorks Presents: Abandoned – An Anthology of Vacant Spaces is searching for short stories no more than 7000 words exploring the phenomenon of full spaces gone empty.’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘Fairytale retellings with a twist. The twist being a mirror must feature.’ 2500-7000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

1st Apr ‘We want stories about magic in today’s world. Not stories of witches and warlocks surrounded by vampires and werewolves that hide in the shadows, but of real, everyday people, in our real, everyday world, and that one little magic charm they found, or that one spell they learned that actually works, or that one gift they were born with, and how they can make it work for them in today’s world. And maybe how it works against them, too… Reprints, poetry, flash fiction, and B&W art are welcome and will be paid at 1/2 rate of original stories.’ ROYALTIES

1st Apr ‘There is currently so much room and need for more sapphic content in the horror literary genre. Moonflowers and Nightshade will include a diverse group of stories, including but not limited to stories involving genderqueer, non-binary, BIPOC, genderfluid, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and pansexual characters.’ 2000-5000 words. PAYING

1st Apr First person narratives under 1000 words on the theme of Field. PAYING

1st Apr ‘For Witches of a Certain Age, I’m looking for female (or female-identifying) magic users between 40-99, women with some life experience under their belts, and who are well-established in their magical power… I want to see what they do when faced with a challenge – preferably a threat or mystery that they have to resolve using the combination of their life experience and their magic.’ 6000-8000 words. ROYALTIES

1st Apr Word made by remixing work from an earlier (provided) issue. SOME CONTRIBUTORS GET CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Apr Theme: After the Gold Rush – Future SF, climate change, economics. ‘We appreciate short, imaginative tales, preferring those that work with the theme in some way. Short stories should be 3,000 words or less. Flash humor pieces (<=1,000 words) can be on any theme.’ PAYING

1st Apr Poetry, prose and art on the theme of Puppy Love.

1st Apr Writing on the theme of GARDENING: AN INSTRUMENT OF GRACE.


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

‘We are open for speculative fiction, poetry, prose (fiction & non-fiction), graphic novels & art submissions. Stories should be speculative (a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, magic realism & futuristic), and non-fiction pieces should tie in creatively to the speculative genre.’ ROYALTIES + SUBSCRIPTION

‘History Through Fiction is now accepting historical fiction short story and novel excerpt submissions that, if accepted, will be published in the member-only content area of our website (launching May 1). Stories and excerpts must be previously unpublished and should be between 1,000 and 8,000 words long.’ PAYING

MS over 50,000 words.

Romantic drabbles (100 word stories) on various themes. Open until filled. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)


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