Comps and calls for May 2022

Hello Everyone,

How are you all? Here in the UK most of us are having a glorious Spring, filled with sunshine and flowers. However the world situation is so worrying that it can be hard to enjoy things, and to know how best to help. I’m also waiting for a wrist operation (again!), so if next month’s C&C is short, that’ll be why!

Many, many thanks to my Patreon heroes, and a big hug to all of you who use this site. I wish you many acceptances and prizes!

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 May Two page treatment for your romcom idea. If successful, you’ll need to submit an outline of up to 30 pages. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

4th May ‘Spectator No. 3248: where there’s a will. You are invited to submit the last will and testament of a well-known fictional character (please specify). Please email entries of up to 150 words.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: you have to scroll down quite a bit to find this!)

4th May Story 1000-2000 words, inspired by Jane Austen.’s note: I don’t usually post comps that are decided by a public vote, as they’re often won by the person with the most social media friends rather than the best writing. In this case, however, the stories are posted anonymously and the finalists asked not to urge people to vote for them. The prize is to have your story recorded as an audiobook and published worldwide, which is exciting.)

5th May ‘Fix was founded on the simple premise that promising solutions to the climate crisis exist — they just haven’t gained enough momentum to take off. With Imagine 2200, we’re inviting writers to envision a future in which those solutions soar, and our world is radically better. Our hope is that this fiction contest, and the collection of stories we publish, will be part of an uprising of imagination — something we believe is necessary to get us out of this climate crisis.’ 3000-5000 words. PAYING

7th May Poems on the theme of Water. (Cathy’s note: there’s no prize except publication in an ebook. I’ve only included it because many of us have poems on the theme of water hanging around, so this is somewhere to submit them! Also it’s Dylan Thomas related, and sounds like a charming project.)

11th May ‘Spectator competition No. 3249: a fine romance. You are invited to submit an extract from a Mills & Boon-style novel whose central character is a contemporary politician (please specify). Email entries of up to 150 words.’

PAYING’s note: you have to scroll down quite a bit to find this!)

14th May Spec flash on the theme provided. PAYING

16th May ‘We are looking for poems that use the chiming words “time” and “regime” together or separately in imaginative ways. The words must be used as they are, although different forms of the words (pluralized, adjectival, etc.) may appear elsewhere in the poem.’ PAYING

21st May Poetry celebrating Identity. PRIZES (UNKNOWN WHAT)

22nd May UK underrepresented writers: poetry and prose on the theme of How it Started. (Cathy’s note: there’s always been a prize for this before, but I can’t find a mention on the site. It’s a good prompt so have a go anyway, perhaps!)

26th May (opens 20th May) Microfiction on the provided theme. PAYING

31st May ‘The Programme is open to emerging writers over 18 years of age and living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published. Applications are invited for projects in the fields of Fiction, Non-Fiction (including journalism) and Poetry. The programme offers bursaries of up to £1,500, mentorship, peer-support and a programme of writing seminars to ten UK-based emerging writers of any background.’ PAYING

31st May Story up to 3500 words. Theme: ‘Deathbed Confessions. An ill girl says a magical phrase that frightens a doctor/shaman/medicine man, which foreshadows the end of the world. What happens? Successful or not it is up to you.’ NON-CASH PRIZE (Cathy’s note: Scroll down to find the free comp!)

31st May LGBTQ+ -themed 101-word story.


5th May Theme: Vinaigrette. ‘think olive oil, sumac, honey coating your throat, rose petals, augury, stained glass, tart, pucker, warmth, drooping coneflowers, with a particular soft spot for experimental and lyrical/melodic pieces, though am open to an eclectic group of pieces.’ Poetry, prose and microfiction.

 6th May ‘Submissions are now open for our winter 2022 Black SWANA Issue. In this issue, we are interested in focusing specifically on work by people from Black SWANA communities and their diasporas, to create a gathering space for our voices and ideas.’ PAYING

6th May Actively feminist work on the theme of Fear.

6th May Poetry, prose and art on the theme This is the End.

7th May ‘The Hypocrite Reader is a biannual magazine of reportage, criticism, history, sociology, theory, translations, manifestos, analysis, popular science, synthesis, verse, comics, wedding announcements, and Viking-themed erotica. Just because something doesn’t fit into any of those categories doesn’t mean we won’t publish it.’ Theme: Holes. PAYING

7th May ‘Nat. Brut’s (pr. nat broot) principal mission is to showcase the work of writers and artists who have been historically devalued or pigeonholed by art and literary institutions. We publish work that has been buried, ignored, and disappeared from public consciousness… We are currently holding free open fiction, nonfiction, comics, and poetrysubmissions.’

8th May ‘We aim to stake out a distinctive space for innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work. In the spirit of poet Dean Young’s dictum that poets should be “making birds, not birdcages,” we are particularly taken with writing that is simultaneously graceful and reckless.’ PAYING

9th May We are happy to publish work that celebrates the joy of reading and writing across different reading preferences. The marketplace can divide us based on our reading tastes, but riddlebird can strive to make a space for more diversity (of interest, of authorship, of meaning). Poetry, Personal Essays, and Literary Genre Fiction. PAYING

9th May ‘What were those neon lights in the night sky? What is hidden at Area 51? Have we been visited by aliens? And, more importantly, what do these questions tell us about ourselves? The London Reader is looking for stories featuring UFOs, government conspiracies, and our relationship with the extra-terrestrial. Poetry and art that feature the same are also welcome.’

9th May ‘We’re looking for short prose—fiction or creative nonfiction—that explores the need to leave, to escape, to run. We love a speculative slant, whatever that means to you. It can mean the strange or surreal. It can mean horror or fantasy. It can simply mean it’s not what you’re supposed to wish for. We’re flexible. Just keep it between 500-3000 words.’ PAYING

9th May ‘Submissions are now open for Shooter’s summer 2022 issue, themed Out West. Writers should send short stories and non-fiction of 2,000-6,000 words and/or up to three poems.’ ‘We’re looking for stories, essays, memoir and poetry on anything to do with western places and westward migration – not just the American West but western regions in any country, or immigration from East to West globally.’ PAYING

9th May ‘We realized there’s no better way to break our hiatus than with a special themed issue of the Starward Shadows eZine that’s centered around Eastern European folklore, culture, and heritage.’ Flash and short prose. PAYING

10th May ‘We publish OwnVoices stories in all genres. All works including common triggers will be prefaced by a trigger warning. How we define OwnVoices: an author from a marginalized, persecuted, or underrepresented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group.’ Theme: Rebirth. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

13th May Theme: Sympathy. ‘At Fathom we publish articles, personal essays, profiles, interviews, book reviews, Bible exposition, theological and/or historical analysis, poetry, and short stories.’

15th May Haiku and Senryu on the theme of Using Punctuation.

15th May ‘In these stories and poems, mothers become heroes and villains. The concept of motherhood is examined and stretched to its ultimate limits across time, space, gender, location, and concept. Deliciously dark, each tale forces us to examine the depth and breadth of what motherhood is and what a mother will do for her offspring.’ 1000-3000 words. PAYING (SUBJECT TO FUNDRAISER/FUNDING)

15th May Theme: Transfigurations. ‘I am looking for essentially any piece of “writing” engaging with, responding to, and utilizing a source text. I’m curious to discover all the different ways that we can bend and interpret the forms of erasure and collage as we explore the murky space in which poetry and visual art become inseparable.’ Poetry, collage, visual art, and prose.

15th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Mental Health.

15th May Poetry, fiction and much more on the theme of Waging Peace.

15th May Poems on the theme of Vision.

15th May ‘The theme is “The Wizard Must Be Stopped!” – which can be interpreted by the author in any way that provides a story featuring a wizard in some shape or form. The wizard does not have to be the antagonist, nor does she have to be strictly human.’ PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th May Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Sugar. PAYS ONE CONTRIBUTOR

15th May Scifaiku.

15th May Poetry, short fiction and essays on the theme of Recovery.

15th May SF/F Novellas, 17500-40,000 words. PAYING

15th May Poetry on the theme of Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary.

20th May ‘Mithila Review is inviting submissions for a special global Hopepunk issue of science fiction (and fantasy) devoted to positive and powerful character-driven stories that imagine an open and inclusive tech-empowered democratic future for all people, species and countries on Earth.’ Fiction and Poetry. PAYING

20th May ‘We are now collecting stories for our HOLIDAY 2022 book and we are looking for stories about the entire December holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s festivities too.’ PAYING

20th May Poetry and fiction on the theme of Vacation, and the Tributes section is for those who work in Food Service.

25th May ‘Issue 12: Surrealist Spring! April 15th-May 25th: Send us the depths of your imagination! Your poetry/prose/essays can contain anything absurdist.’

30th May ‘We want your true funny stories, your heart-warming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your cat does.’ Stories or poems. PAYING

30th May ‘We all have them! Those eccentric, goofy, wacky, lovable, and oh so fun family members—the ones we tell all the stories about. They could be a parent or grandparent, an in-law, a brother or sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin. Or grown children. Share your true stories and poems about those family members.’ PAYING

30th May SF/F short fiction 750-6000 words. PAYING

30th May ‘We want stories that challenge our relationship with space—past, present, and future.’ ‘The call for our inaugural issue will be May 1 – 30, 2022, with the theme, Is There Anybody Out There? We’re seeking stories about unexpected encounters in isolated places.’ 1250 words maximum. PAYING

31st May Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of Omen. PAYING

31st May Poems. (Cathy’s note: This is run by lovely people. I can’t promise that they’ll accept you, but they’ll be lovely.)

31st May F/SF on the theme of Seasons. 2000-8000 words. PAYING

31st May ‘Alluvian is an online environmental journal of creative responses to the environmental crisis. We accept creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry), art, cartoons, short videoclips, and audio files.’ Theme: Weird Weather.

31st May ‘3Elements Literary Review is a themed literary journal, and all THREE elements (the specific words, Moon, Western, Placebo—art & photography excluded) given for the submission period must be included in your story or poem for your work to be considered for publication.’

31st May Poetry and art on the theme of Hunger.

1st Jun ‘The “urbanX Project” seeks to draw together a diverse collection of non-fiction stories and artistic expressions that speak to global urbanism for our Fall 2022 anthology. We explicitly seek submissions that explore the concerns and triumphs of everyday life from cities around the globe.’ Essays and street art on one of the provided themes. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)


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

‘BOOKS — If you have a manuscript that seems to resonate with our list, send us a query and tell us about it. If your vision intrigues us, we will ask to see your manuscript, which we will read with care and respond to personally. Lyricism, far-flung locations, daring, desperation, and experimentation are all of interest.’

Until filled: Stories, poetry and more featuring the creepier side of winter, and including a tree. PAYING (Cathy’s note: although there is a deadline in July, these anthologies fill up quickly, so get your submission in ASAP!)

Poetry, prose and more. PAYING

‘WCP Magazine — Published more-or-less quarterly. From lyrical to experimental: we’re interested in writing, art and hybrid work that is subtle, conscious and aware of the worlds in which we all coexist.’ ‘Digital Chapbooks — eBook only chapbooks available on Apple Books, Amazon and elsewhere. Submissions should be between 10 and 50 pages. Poetry, fiction, prose, visual, hybrid.’

Canadians only: fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Open until filled: ‘We want you to mix humor with your favorite Mythos elements.’ Up to 4500 words. PAYING

‘We seek previously unpublished fiction and hybrid work under 10k words [including excerpts and work in translation] that push out the boundary of what literary horror is and what it might become.’ PAYING

20-30 poems, fiction and nonfiction.

‘Unnerving Online accepts FLASH FICTION story submissions of horror and suspense. Generally leaning toward horror.’ PAYING

‘At Class Collective Magazine, we’re proud to publish writing that has a class-based perspective on politics and culture. However, we encourage writers to interpret this prompt as creatively as they’d like—the sky’s the limit! We have multiple categories, including poetry, short fiction, essays, and commentary.’ PAYING

Book MSS. ‘Purple Unicorn Media accepts queries across all genres, but has a special focus on poetry, travel, journals and essays.’ ROYALTIES

‘Infinity Wanderers is a new magazine dedicated to promoting alternate history and the associated genres of Science Fiction, Steampunk, Historical Fiction and Fantasy. In addition we aim for between 1/3 and 1/2 real history and writers of Historical features are welcome to submit.’ Fiction, articles, essays, poems and art work. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

‘For our online journal, we consider unsolicited submissions of original poetry, short stories, essays, and devotional meditations.’ ‘Our preference is for writing that explores what it means to be a Christian in terms of Monday through Saturday, not just Sunday; and that illustrates the way God touches our everyday lives.’ Also book MS subs.

‘We are looking only for science fiction and fantasy. Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality.’ MSS of 100,000-130,000 words. ROYALTIES

‘NINETENTHS Press is part traditional curatorial project and part meditation on the inevitability of failure and loss. Often times it feels like 90% (or more) of the things we attempt end up not working out, are rejected, just fall short, less than satisfy.’ Poetry, CNF, and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

Poetry and fiction, plus poetry and fiction MSS.

Erotic novellas and novels.


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