Comps and calls for July 2022

Hello Everyone,

I’ve had quite a time since I last wrote to you. I had Covid again, which was horrible, but last night I won the Cheshire Literature Prize for the second time, which was joyous! I received a certificate, and there’s a money prize on the way, but one of the best things was the award night itself. I met some wonderful people and saw some old friends, and as there were several categories there were some other happy winners too. I do love a comp that has multiple prizes. I should mention that I was fully recovered and testing negative before attending!

Anyway, here in the north of the UK we’re having a rainy start to July. I’d best stay in, then, and do some writing…

I hope that you are all well, writing avidly, and living your best life.

Massive thanks, as always, to my Patreon supporters.

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.


11th Jul 21 and under: story on the theme of Switch. PAYING (Cathy’s note: those over 21 can submit too, but they would have to pay a fee.)

14th Jul Spec flash on the theme provided. PAYING

17th Jul ‘We are delighted to launch the 2022 Young People’s Poetry Competition on the theme of Awakening (poems of up to 40 lines). There are two age categories: 16-18 and 19-25.’ VOUCHER/OTHER

18th Jul UK and ROI only: ‘Are you a writer who identifies as working-class? If you’re looking for an opportunity to hone your writing craft and let your work take centre stage, then this prize is for you. Simply submit a sample of your writing, which must be the beginning of an unpublished work-in-progress no more than 2,000 words in length and a one-page synopsis for the full manuscript. You must also include a short piece of writing (200 words) in the Covering Letter section of our online entry form about yourself and why this prize speaks to you.’ PAYING (and much more).

21st Jul (opens 15th Jul) Microfiction on the provided theme. PAYING

21st Jul ‘This is a targeted competition aimed at using an engaging fictional story to help readers understand how over-cleaning and misinformation about bacteria can mean that we can end up killing our bodies (sic) ‘good’ bacteria through over-use of harsh cleaning products. Your challenge is to write a short story (between 1000 and 3000 words) that helps to raise awareness and shift attitudes, especially for those people who assume that the more detergent the better.’ PAYING

31st Jul Story up to 3000 words. PAYING

31st Jul Poetry up to ten lines. PAYING

31st Jul 11-17-year-olds: poems. A VARIETY OF PRIZES


3rd Jul Spec flash fiction 300-1000 words on the theme of Pride/Humility. POSSIBLE PAYMENT (Cathy’s note: if your work is used in an anthology, then you’ll get paid. Otherwise, you won’t.)

3rd Jul Female writers: Short stories 800-2000 words on the theme of Women and Girls. OTHER

3rd Jul Haunted novel: ‘Horror/gothic/folk horror, dark fantasy novel set in a haunted location (by ‘location’ we mean a dwelling, an institution, a hotel, a factory, a ship/ferry, a train – in short a building/structure where people have lived, worked, died, grew up, etc.)’ 60,000 words plus.

4th Jul ‘After recent news regarding women’s rights, HauntedMTL would like to sponsor one of our world famous charity anthologies in the name of a few women’s rights and awareness organizations.’ Horror with a feminine twist.Under 13,000 words. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

4th Jul ‘Submissions are open from June 20 – July 4 for work under the theme “Solarpunk at Work” exploring what labor, economics, and our relationship to work looks like in solarpunk futures.’ Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

4th Jul ‘Pulp Modern is a fiction journal that publishes crime, noir, fantasy, science fiction, horror, adventure, war, and westerns.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: This journal isopen only on this one day – 4th July, PST.)

6th Jul ‘We look for fun and upbeat narrative content to publish in the journal.’ Poetry and prose.

10th July Theme: Pursuit. ‘At Fathom we publish articles, personal essays, profiles, interviews, book reviews, Bible exposition, theological and/or historical analysis, poetry, and short stories.’

10th Jul Fantasy story 3500-10,000 words. PAYING

10th Jul Poetry, fiction and much more on the theme of Submerge. PAYING

10th Jul One-line poems on the theme of Personal Transitions.

11th Jul ‘This is a topic to really get your imagination into gear. Alternative history is a big topic for movies and real-world events alike, on Netflix, HBO and more. It’s all science fiction, and this new book aims to cover every angle from ancient worlds to distant futures, world wars, steampunk and more. What if the course of history had been changed by a different decision, a different victor, a different invention?’ PAYING

15th Jul ‘The May attack on Chicago’s Walking Man exposes the risks faced daily by America’s homeless population. From now through July 15, 2022, the Tavern invites written or photographic work on the subject of homelessness.’

15th Jul ‘This is for marginalized members of the sci-fi/spec community—this includes people of color, the LGBTQ2S+ community, members of marginalized genders, and disabled and neurodiverse people. If you are not a person of color, LGBTQ2S+, neurodiverse, disabled, or of a marginalized gender, please DO NOT send us your work.’

No more than 1000 words. PAYING

15th Jul ‘Send us your story about raging against the machines, surviving attacks on your privacy, navigating the deliberately confusing systems out there, or dealing with the trials and tribulations of ever advancing technology.’ 1500-4000 words. PAYING

15th Jul ‘Send us your best stories of approximately 50 words that feature or reference a storm.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Jul Under 21 only: ‘We’re looking for poetry that focuses on any topic within human rights and social justice. In particular, we’re very curious about what human rights issues young poets find the most compelling.’

15th Jul ‘What we are looking for are stories that feature mere mortals using their cunning, and whatever other assets and skills they may have to put one over a witch, wizard, or other powerful magical entity. And the consequences, if any, that they end up facing because of it. Stories can have the mortal winning or the witch winning in the end.’ 2500-7500 words. PAYING

15th Jul ‘While we are devoted to giving a voice to LGBTQAI+ creatives, we also want to give a voice to women creatives, disabled creatives, and neurodivergent creatives. We also wish to give a voice to creatives with mental illness(es), invisible illness(es), and/or trauma… We are reviewing works inspired by Home and/or Liminal Spaces.’

15th Jul Poetry, fiction, plays and more. PAYING

15th Jul Poetry, fiction and nonfiction MSS.

15th Jul UK and I: Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

15th Jul ‘We are looking for poetry and short fiction, flash fiction on the theme of family or ancestors.’

15th Jul ‘For consideration in the 2022 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Anthology, poets may submit one poem using the theme of ‘earth’. The poem should include a title and be 24 lines or less in Times New Roman 12 point font with no line longer than 50 characters.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Jul ‘Are you a cat lady, cat daddy, or cat-friend of any stripe? Tell us about the furry guardian that assisted you in your hour of need or the horrible gargoyle that ate your trash and ruined your things. Let’s unpack the perceptions, stereotypes, and experiences of those cohabitating with cats.’ Poetry and more.

15th Jul ‘Riptide invites short story writers to pause and write a story inspired by the theme of our next issue, BREATH. Whether it’s pressed out or held beyond endurance, bated or panted, BREATH animates our next issue. From the first breath to the last one, or any of those in between, we want to see where the theme will take you.’

21st Jul (or when their submission cap is reached) Flash fiction 500-1000 words. PAYING

24th Jul Original fiction by fans. (Not fanfic – original fiction) PAYING

25th Jul Poetry, flash and more. ‘We welcome both English and multilingual works. At the current moment, members of our editorial team can fluently read and understand Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, and French. If your work is mostly in a language not mentioned here, we encourage you to submit translations in the same file or a separate document.’

30th Jul Fiction 1000-7500 words. PAYING (Cathy’s note: many accepted pieces appear to be SF or F, but the ‘submissions’ and ‘about’ pages don’t say anything about this, so send whatever fits the submissions parameters!)

31st Jul ‘FIYAH is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine that features stories by and about Black people of the African Diaspora. This definition is globally inclusive (Black anywhere in the world) and also applies to mixed/biracial and Afro-appended people regardless of gender identity or orientation. We’re turning October into Black Horror Month. Give us your night terrors, your blood-thirsty urban legends, your ancestral ghosts haunting plantation weddings.’ PAYING

31st Jul ‘This anthology is only open to writers who identify as Transgender and Non-Binary. Submission must be BODY HORROR, however you define that. Stories relating body dysphoria to horror are fine, but get creative with it! We’d also like to see funny, silly, wacky body horror.’ PAYING

31st Jul African writers: ‘A fusion of the two words ‘Africa’ and ‘reader’, we live for the well-crafted narratives and effortless reads that speak to our daily realities as Africans at home and abroad… This is an English publication but feel free to include languages from home – we believe in the power of Google so we won’t be including glossaries.’ Fiction. PAYING

31st Jul ‘The Sprawl Mag accepts submissions of speculative poetry, short fiction, and visual art. Whether it is utopic, dystopic, magical, or sci-fi, we look forward to seeing your work.’ PAYING

31st Jul ‘We publish speculative fiction that examines humanity’s possible futures living with anthropogenic climate change. We prefer fiction with a hopeful outlook, but the occasional dystopia might fit too.’ PAYING

31st Jul Sliced Up Press is looking for short stories & poetry that terrify without a single mention of blood or gore, for its latest horror fiction anthology, BLOODLESS, edited by Ben Walker. Terrify us with your best story or poem where no blood is mentioned, nor any associated gore, grue & guts.’ PAYING

31st Jul ‘We know just how much our readers just love their horror stories gushing with blood and spattered with buckets of gore, severed limbs, and disembodied viscera, so here’s your opportunity to scare them rigid and knot their stomachs with your most horrifying tales of death and destruction.’ 4k-10k words. PAYING

31st Jul Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Marriage.

31st Jul Humour by women on the theme of The World of Statistics. ONE CONTRIBUTOR GETS VOUCHER

31st Jul ‘We are currently OPEN to submissions for “Tales from the Ruins: A Post-Apocalyptic Anthology”. We’re looking for tales of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. There are no specific thematic guidelines and we’re open to submissions featuring sci-fi elements, but at the heart of your story must be a human struggle. Preferred word count between 5,000 and 10,000 words.’ PAYING

31st Jul Three anthologies. Stories and poems about: how stepping outside my comfort zone changed me; the advice that changed my life; and the power of positive thinking. PAYING

31st Jul ‘The MockingOwl Roost is officially open for submissions for our final publication this year, themed “Yugen” – (Japanese) A profound awareness of the universe that triggers feelings too deep and mysterious for words.’ Poetry, flash, short fiction, and much more.

31st Jul ‘We want your poems for “the ones who make the world better” to go in this year’s anthology – our Big Book 2022!’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Jul Spec fic 1000-7000 words on the theme of Ring of Fire. PAYING

31st Jul Graphic poetry.

31st Jul Short story on the theme of Futures. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Jul Poetry on the theme of Freedom.

31st Jul ‘Nosetouch Press is pleased to conjure up FIENDS IN THE FURROWS III: FINAL HARVEST, a call for submissions for Folk Horror from around the world— from Britain and Ireland, to continental Europe, to North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. We strongly encourage writers to continue to explore the wanton wilderness of Folk Horror, while honoring the elemental essence of this subgenre’s tangled, grasping roots.’ PAYING

1st Aug Excellent poetry by LGBTQ+ folk.

1st Aug Fiction and poetry on the theme of Summer Ghosts.


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

‘Letter Review is an online Literary Journal dedicated to assisting writers to get published, performed, and produced. We feature interviews with professional writers, publish helpful information, run competitions with cash prizes, and are open to submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.’

‘We are a literary magazine aiming to create a space for new, diverse voices to be heard, with a focus on LGBTQ+, BIPOC, or/and neurodivergent individuals.’

Poetry, fiction, and more.

‘Send 5 of your best UNPUBLISHED (some exceptions with special features) poems/flash fiction pieces and bio note of approximately 75-100 words in the body of an email.’

‘We are currently accepting submissions for pamphlets (max of 30 poems). We are interested in all styles and themes however we are particularly interested in ecopoetry.’

Flash fiction and culture articles. PAYING

‘So Textual is a community and online platform for bookish individuals who seek smart conversations about literature, creative practice, and a considered lifestyle. We celebrate books alongside the contemporary reader.’ Essays and lists. PAYING

‘Gnashing Teeth Publishing is embarking on an ambitious and necessary project: “1st Quarter Preventable Gun Violence. 2021. Volume One.” From Jan 1 – Mar 31, there were 126 mass gun violence events. The numbers are going up every day and it has become a dull roar drowned out by our non-stop news cycle. We must demand better. We are seeking 126 poets, writers, essayists, and artists to participate. Each person will select one of these events to write or create art about.’

‘Eat the Storms, the poetry podcast, hosted and produced by Irish poet Damien B Donnelly, now on 12+ platforms provides a space for international voices in poetry and spoken word. The podcast is a platform for diversity of theme, accent and experience with submissions open to everyone from award-winning poets to spoken word performers to poems on unpublished pages.’

Poetry, stories andnonfiction. ‘Prose manuscripts must be 2,250 words or less.’

‘DG Sentinel is an inclusive online newspaper featuring unique journalism, powerful stories, and international perspectives. Our goal is to educate people around the world and raise awareness about mental health, post-pandemic career changes, and more.’

Poetry, nonfiction, and critical insights.

Poetry. ‘Ripe is a new digital literary magazine that seeks to publish work that riots, rebels, and quakes.’ PAYING


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