Comps and calls for August 2022

Hello Everyone,

Just a reminder that my Patreon donors get nothing whatsoever for their money, except knowing that they are helping to keep the site going. There’s no special content. This is because I decided, when I first started doing this, that it would be free and equal for everybody. When I was an inexperienced writer, I didn’t have the confidence or money to pay for anything for my writing. Yet people helped me anyway. This site is my way of paying that forward, helping people to submit their work without any financial worries. My Patreon supporters are wonderful, paying it forward too.

As for this month, I’ve spent much of my time doing things related to writing, rather than writing itself! I’ve been working with the editor to improve a short story of mine that will be coming out soon; I’ve been judging a list of flash fictions on a fascinating theme; and, of course, I’ve been putting together Comps and Calls. As always I’ve tried to make it as wide-ranging, eclectic and thought-provoking as possible – there’s something for everybody here, I hope.

Much love and happy writing,

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.


(weekly) Poem. PAYING

(ongoing) ‘Everybody has a story to share. What’s yours? Send us a true story about you, in 100 words or fewer.’ PAYING

3rd Aug ‘Spectator Comp No. 3261: watch this space: You are invited to submit a poem about the James Webb Telescope.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: scroll down for this one.)

10th Aug Spectator Competition No. 3262: Initial embarrassment. ‘You are invited to submit a poem on behalf of Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss in which they set out their stall, but in which the first letters of each line inadvertently spell out an inappropriate word or phrase.’ PAYING’s note: scroll down for this one.)

12th Aug UK and NI: ‘The Women Poets’ Prize is open to all women poets resident in the UK and Northern Ireland.’ ‘Three poems, across no longer than four pages of text, OR one video OR one audio file of up to 3 minutes in length containing no more than three poems.’ PAYING

14th Aug ‘All stories must be speculative fiction, and be a maximum of 4500 words. All emerging writers who have not published a full-length manuscript or chapbook can submit. The work you submit can have been previously published but not awarded large national/international awards.’ PAYING

14th Aug ‘Previously unpublished fiction under 1k words based on the monthly photo prompt. August photograph by: Lorna Simpson.’ PAYING

15th Aug Up to 3 haiku. PAYING

25th Aug (opens on 19th Aug) Microfiction on the provided theme. PAYING

28th Aug Story up to 1500 words based on a pivotal moment in your life: The Story I Needed to Have Read. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘Gladiatorial Battle – Your MC has been captured and put to fight in the Arena. Choose their path. Do they win or do they die?’ Up to 2500 words. NON-CASH PRIZE’s note: scroll right down for the free comp!)

31st Aug Poetry, prose and visual art on the theme of Synthesis. PAYING


3rd Aug Poetry, fiction, CNF, comics and art on the theme of Weeds. PAYING

5th Aug Query first: ‘Brute is an anthology featuring dark and speculative short stories that address gay sexuality, desire, masculinity, and the aesthetics of “rough trade”. 2500-10,000 words. PAYING

6th Aug ‘Verum is currently open for submissions for its online magazine. The theme is awakening; bright discoveries and wretched journeys, however they may look. We are looking for work that highlights the unforeseen, tells us about the in-betweens, about anything that says something more than you think we want to hear. Tell us the truth.’

7th Aug Spec flash fiction 300-1000 words on the theme of Rage/Peace. POSSIBLE PAYMENT (Cathy’s note: if your work is used in an anthology, then you’ll get paid. Otherwise, you won’t.)

7th Aug Australians under 25 only: poetry and fiction on the theme of Grain. PAYING

7th Aug ‘Science fiction or SF-tinged literary fiction stories and novelettes ranging anywhere from 2,000 to 15,000 words.’ PAYING

8th Aug ‘This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation-states. We intend to mark this anniversary with related articles and poems, so for this issue we are especially interested in hearing from writers with links to India and Pakistan, although writing is not limited to the topic of Partition and we welcome submissions on any theme.’ PAYING

8th Aug ‘We are only open to submissions by those who identify as being from a marginalised gender, traditionally underrepresented and/or historically excluded community.’ Theme: Lexis/Axis. ‘Works submitted for this open call MUST integrate linguistics as a basis, whether this be through the research, design, materiality or ideating of the work. Work must relate to, be derived from or fuse with linguistics.’ (Cathy’s note: poetry is included, as well as research and other forms of writing.)

8th Aug ‘Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic: An Anthology of Hysteria Fiction, which is presented by CHM and will benefit the Chicago Abortion Fund, is seeking dark speculative fiction from anyone directly at risk as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade, defined inclusively.’ PAYING, CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

15th Aug ‘We are looking forward to Africa themed haiku i.e. haiku about African sights, sounds and settings.We may also accept haiku which explore a universal theme but must delight and thrill us.’

15th Aug Alaskan women only: writing on the theme of Storms.

15th Aug The Haunted Train: Creepy Tales from the Railways. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Send us up to ten of your best Grumpy Gods flash fiction stories featuring gods and mortals getting into spooktacular trouble with the deities that control pestilence, plague, life, death, healing, or anything in between.’ 500-1500 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Aug ‘From June 1st until Aug 15th we’ll accept original 500-1500 word flash horror fiction for the second installment in our Campfire Macabre series. No reprints.’ various suggested themes. PAYING

15th Aug Unthemed anthology: poetry, fiction and more.

15th Aug Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Social Justice: listening, learning, reaching out.

15th Aug Poetry, micro, flash and short fiction, and more on the theme of Hallowe’en.

15th Aug Poems and stories on the theme of Borders and Belonging. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) (Cathy’s note: I’m not classing this as a competition here, because the ‘prize’ is a contributor copy and reading at the launch. Therefore it doesn’t fit my specs for a comp. It does, however, sound like a good project anyway!)

19th Aug ‘We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your cat does.’ PAYING

20th Aug ‘CHERRY MOON is a special print issue of GASHER exclusively featuring the voices of Asian diaspora emerging writers. We seek to amplify emerging voices in our community while also highlighting the vast diversity of the Asian diaspora as a whole.’

20th Aug Poetry and fiction on the theme of Masquerade. The Tributes section on the theme of Mentors.

21st Aug Poetry. PAYING

26th Aug Theme: Affirmation. ‘At Fathom we publish articles, personal essays, profiles, interviews, book reviews, Bible exposition, theological and/or historical analysis, poetry, and short stories.’

30th Aug ‘We’ll be looking for erotic horror stories inspired by fairy tales, mythologies, and folklore from around the world. Retellings about sexuality, desire, and fantasies that take dark turns. We love a good spin on the classics, but want to see fairy tales, mythologies, and folklore from outside the Western Euro catalog as well.’ ‘Please do not submit rape fantasies. We all know rape is horrifying. Erotic scenes should feature consenting adults only. Absolutely no children.’ 1000-5000 words. PAYING

30th Aug Funny stories. PAYING

30th Aug ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul has been changing lives one story at a time since 1993. To celebrate our thirty-year anniversary in June 2023, we are creating a very special edition of our book filled with stories about how a Chicken Soup for the Soul story you read made an impact on your life and changed it. Those changes can be little day-to-day changes that improved your life or a monumental change that changed your life completely.’ PAYING

30th Aug Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction up to 8000 words on the theme of Reclaiming Joy. PAYING

31st Aug ‘ “Queering Americana,” work that queers the focus and perception of traditional Americana. For our August (1-31) submission period we are particularly interested in works from queer folks, especially queer BIPOC. We are also interested in reading submissions from non queer identifying folks whose work somehow still queers Americana.’

31st Aug Humour by women on the theme of Love at Second Sight. ONE CONTRIBUTOR GETS VOUCHER

31st Aug Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of Nostalgia. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Timber Ghost Press is proud to present Along Harrowed Trails, an anthology of horror set in the Old West. We are seeking well-crafted stories and poems that are creepy, disturbing, and weird that embrace the Old West aesthetic from around 1800-1900.’ Poetry, flash and short fiction. PAYING

31st Aug Horror story 1500-7000 words on the theme of Water. PAYING

31st Aug Small absurdist poems.

31st Aug ‘Theme: Hidden Villains Arise – Bold, imaginative fantasy, horror, and sci-fi sculpted to thrill and entertain readers with the bizarre or delve into the shadows. Arise – appear, emerge, come to light, surface, befall, ensue, stand up, transpire, etc.
Express yourself as the theme moves you.’ Up to 7000 words. PAYING

31st Aug Short fiction 1000-5000 words on the theme of Southern Gothic.

31st Aug Poems, stories, articles and more.

31st Poetry, CNF and art on the theme of Reaping.

31st Aug ‘This project is open specifically to artists and writers that are 13 to 17 years old. For this reason, please keep content age-appropriate.’ ‘Not all lives are literary. Some are messy, others mundane, many are even a little weird. Send us the zany and the off kilter; whether it be as simple as a story about stubbing your toe in the dark while stealing a packet of Oreos from your pantry or a poem about that one time you kissed what you swore was an extraterrestrial while on a Disney cruise. Whatever you do, don’t feel pressure to fit your life into a neat little narrative fit for a college application essay.’

1st Sep ‘First published in 1982, arc is a continuing literary showcase featuring members of the IAWE (Israel Association of Writers in English) and other citizens and residents of Israel. Because editorship is rotated from one issue to the next, arc demonstrates how aesthetic tastes and concerns vary even within the English-speaking community of Israel.’ Theme: Serendipity. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

1st Sep ‘Our next anthology will only feature the work of LGBTQIA+ authors, poets and artists… We’re primarily seeking speculative fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, or any other works with a speculative element. We’re interested in both prose and poetry, and we’re willing to consider work in experimental or unconventional styles.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ PROFIT-SHARING MODEL

1st Sep Horror on the theme of It Calls from Beneath/Below. ‘This one is all about below the surface. Think subterranean, buried alive, ancient buried treasure, something lost now found, underground, in basements, crawlspaces, caves, under a bed and dark places. This has a lot of ways it could go and we hope to see some unusual stories.’ 2000-7000 words. PAYING

1st Sep ‘Lifelong Edgar Allan Poe fan, Madame Gray, is in search of horror tales that pay homage to one of the greats of the genre. Whether you gravitate toward The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, Murders in the Rue Morgue, or the Masque of the Red Death, she wants to read your story…’ 3k-8k words. PAYING

1st Sep ‘We are looking for your very best tales of aliens, strange new worlds, fantastic beings from distant planets, space travel, terrifying glimpses of the future, and whatever else your sci-fi mind may conjure up to horrify our readers.’ 4k-10k PAYING

1st Sep ‘We’re looking for predominantly horror short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, but they can run the gamut of everything from absurdism to bizarre (and terrifying) science-fiction to unsettling dark fantasy. We love the uncanny.’ PAYING

1st Sep ‘The theme for Issue #6 is “Splendor” — however you conceive such glory and magnificence that comes with the word! We love honest and funny fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry.’ Up to 4000 words.

1st Sep ‘Little Thoughts Press publishes stories, poetry, and artwork for young readers ages ten and under. All submitted material should be aimed at this audience.’ Theme: AUTUMNATOPOEIA. ‘Autumn is a time for crunching leaves, crackling fire, and things that go bump and thump in the night. For this issue, we are looking for seasonal poetry and stories that are built around sound words! Send us writing that pops and creaks, whooshes and howls.’


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

‘The Mad Duck Coalition has simple quackteria: if you have something written up that’s academic, radical, or revolutionary (or just a little too unconventional/niche for the regular agent/publisher to take on), we want to see it!’

‘all (sic) work must be centered around Ireland, as this is an anthology dedicated to such. do (sic) not send us work which does not connect to this theme.’ Anthology: ‘An Áitiúil’. Poetry, flash, and more.

Poetry, prose and more.

Et Sequitur publishes short stories from 500 to 2,500 words. We are open to all genres, from literary to speculative and everything in between. Our only requirement is that your submission in some way connect with the latest Et Sequiturstory.’ PAYING

Children’s book MSS. ‘We like funny, genuine, thoughtful, heartfelt and clever (in any combination!) approaches to all sorts of stories and subjects — fiction and nonfiction — with particular interest in the areas of social-emotional development and mental health, historically underrepresented groups, global citizenship and awareness, and the environment.’

Poetry and more on the theme of Resurrection.

‘Beechwood Review publishes minimalist writing and art. We’re partial to themes of time, nature, humanity, philosophy, chaos, reason, the ridiculous, and the whimsical. We don’t like work that drones on about fancy table fruit. Although good fruit poems have their place.’ PAYING

‘Our standard publication is the cozy mystery—a light, gentle mystery with little or no blood, violence or sex. We do NOT publish any other type of book. The main character of a cozy mystery is typically an amateur sleuth–not a professional. The story usually takes place in a small town. Often the main character has a cat or a dog. We LOVE stories with CATS in them.’ ROYALTIES


‘We are looking for chapbooks and full-lengths in any genre. For chapbooks, we are seeking work with a minimum of 20 pieces or a minimum of 1,500 words. Work that exceeds 45 pieces or 30,000 words will be considered full-length.’ ROYALTIES

‘The Kolkata Arts accepts poetry, fiction, dramatic texts, experimental oeuvre, films, music, photography and visual art, essays, reviews and all that is artsy.’

‘ASSEMBLE ARTIFACTS is a short story magazine that assembles a thrilling new mix of stories from genres including horror, science-fiction, comedy, and suspense. Buried at the heart of every story in the magazine is a unique artifact, an object that has inspired our storytellers to create a big idea, an irresistible question, a new immersive world, or a sense of wonder.’ PAYING

‘We are looking for poetry and short fiction submissions for our online mag, the Inksac. We are looking for work that is brave and experimental, and sits outside the realms of mainstream publishing. Our favourite themes are anything that captures the human condition, and questions societal beliefs. We welcome work from anyone, anywhere across the globe, but are especially interested in showcasing marginalised voices.’

‘In EAP: The Magazine, all sorts of writing comes under the heading of what we here call “very EAP.” We’ve published film scripts, a libretto, poems, short stories, and analyses of everything from the Museum of Jurassic Technology, to Boris Pasternak’s love of the Everyday, to Bugs Bunny as a model for foreign policy.’


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