Comps and calls for September 2022

Hello everyone,

Is it me, or is this year flying by? I’m seeing callouts for Hallowe’en stories and poems, and even Christmas pieces! Didn’t summer start only a couple of weeks ago?!

I’m not meeting my own submission targets, but I’m doing OK. At the time of writing I’ve made the longlist for a competition, and I’ve been wrangling the proofs of a story, soon to be published. I’ve also written some poems, and I’ve started putting my fourth poetry collection together.

I hope that you’re finding the time to write, enter and submit. Remember that you’re allowed to take time for yourself and for your creative side. You want your children to be able to do that, even when they’re older, so set them the example now. Mind you, I worked for years in childcare, starting with a relative’s newborn twins, so I do understand that some things have to be put on hold for that first year or two! Anyway – if you can – write, and enjoy every precious minute of it.

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.


2nd Sep ‘For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the story’s main character(s) spend most (even better, all) of the story’s time in constant motion. For instance, they could spend the whole story in a moving vehicle. There are plenty of other ways to do it, too. (Just being on the Earth, which is spinning and moving around the sun, doesn’t count.)’ PAYING

5th Sep ‘We are accepting submissions for our first ever short fiction contest through September 5, 2022. Theme is “Pets, Pets, PETS!!!” Stories should engage with the literal or conceptual idea of “Pets,” whatever that means to you.’ Up to 2000 words. PAYING

5th Sep Australians only: Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. PAYING

7th Sep Spectator Competition No. 3266: larkin about. ‘To mark the centenary this month of Philip Larkin’s birth, you are invited to re–imagine one of his poems (please specify) in the style of a poet of your choice.’ PAYING

22nd Sep (opens 16th Sep) Microfiction on the provided theme. PAYING

30th Sep ‘Submit a flash or poem (max 500 words) on the theme of Hiatus – Solstice literally refers to the pause when the sun seems to hang unmoving in the sky on the 21st December, so it’s quite an appropriate time theme.’ ROYALTIES (Cathy’s note: submissions will close after only 50 entries have been received, so get your skates on! while visiting, why not buy my book ‘Erratics’?)

30th Sep Flash Fiction up to 300 words. PAYING

30th Sep Short Story Competition. Theme: Summer. ‘This latest Competition from The Horse’s Mouth sees a grand prize of £150: £100 for the Adult Winner and £50 for the Younger Entrant’s Winner.’ Adult section: 2000 word limit.

30th Sep ‘ The Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment of at least eight cents per word, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits.’ SF/F prose up to 17,000 words. PAYING

30th Sep ‘We accept literary (poetry; essays and short stories under 2500 words); video; music; dance; performance or visual work around the theme: “Never again: Remembering to heal and overcome.”’ PAYING

1st Oct ‘Send us your Halloween-themed poetry, fiction, short plays, and creative non-fiction.’ PAYING


2nd Sep Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Roots.

3rd Sep Poetry, CNF, nonfiction, art and more on the theme of Ocean Culture. PAYING

3rd Sep ‘We are looking for visual art and creative writing for our inaugural print issue. We accept work from queer, nonbinary, trans, and other LGBTQIA+ artists and writers.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

4th Sep Spec flash fiction 300-1000 words on the theme of Gluttony/Temperance. POSSIBLE PAYMENT (Cathy’s note: if your work is used in an anthology, then you’ll get paid. Otherwise, you won’t.)

4th Sep ‘From September 3rd at 12:01 a.m. PT to September 4th at 11:59 p.m. PT, our Submittable link will be live for debut nonfiction nature writing submissions (including memoirs, essay collections, and graphic nonfiction).’ ‘We ask that you do not send us a project unless you have a completed draft of the full manuscript available upon request.’

4th Sep Short story 800-2000 words on the theme of Skull and Crossbones. OTHER

5th Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Unravel. PAYING

6th Sep ‘Be it unhinged mayhem or sublime beauty, we want stories of what happens when characters step INTO CHAOS.’ Up to 5000 words. PAYING

6th Sep ‘For “Unspeakable”, we are inviting stories centred on/around a character who has done a crime that society regards as “unspeakable“. Stories of ALL GENRES are invited. Be it a social drama wherein a poacher of endangered animals is blaming their poverty and the corruption of the system for his crimes; or a taut suspense thriller where an obsessed police detective chases a brutal serial killer.’ Flash, short fiction and novelettes. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

7th Sep Theme: Lost or Found. Stories, essays and poems. ‘As our publication is digest-sized, we are more apt to accept shorter works.’

9th Sep ‘…the Spooky Special! We’re looking for romantic work with a fantastic twist! Fantasy of all flavors, sci-fi, cli-fi, horror, slipstream, anything that comes under the speculative umbrella.’ ‘…we publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and flash prose.’

9th Sep Poetry, CNF and art on the theme of Changes.

10th Sep Theme: ‘It must be inspired by our Halloween theme. We are reviewing works inspired by digital wastelands.‘ ‘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.’

11th Sep Theme: Science, Disability, and the Body. ‘We welcome new or previously published poems, short stories, book reviews, or literary or personal essays.’ PAYING

15th Sep ‘Please submit first-person essays anytime before the deadline prior to publication date. We also consider art and photography from women and gender non-conforming writers. Although the essay holds the central role at DPA, we are open to other genres, including experimental, poetry and flash non-fiction, as long as there is a first-person point of view.’ Theme: Mother

15th Sep ‘We rarely have seen examples in which Holmes solves the case entirely from the arm-chair of his sitting-room. This anthology is intended to fill in that gap in Sherlock Holmes’s published career… A pastiche from 5,000–10,000 words (with some variance acceptable) that is canonically accurate (i.e., Holmes and Watson should be the Holmes and Watson we encounter in Doyle’s writings), in which Sherlock Holmes serves as “the last and highest court of appeal in detection” for his fellow detectives.’ PAYING (thanks to for this)

15th Sep Poetry and prose on the theme of Tales from the Deep.

15th Sep Writers over 50 only: poetry, memoir and short fiction on the theme of Ancestral or Generational Trauma.

15th Sep Theme: Quest. ‘The hero’s journey is one of the oldest forms of storytelling. It has many components that can go in a thousand directions with a thousand faces. Your quest, should you care to accept, is to use one part of the hero’s journey as the focus of your quest poem. It could be a call to adventure or the refusal of that call. Meeting of a new mentor and its consequences, or facing an ordeal that creates inner change.’ PAYING

15th Sep ‘A bilingual Spanish/English anthology showcasing the creative contributions of artists, writers, poets, essayists, and photographers from, or previously lived in, one of the U.S. – Mexico border states on both sides.’

15th Sep ‘We are looking for new, unpublished, first-person, non-fiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are our primary editorial focus.’ Theme: Gather & Gobble.

15th Sep Short stories 500-1500 words. PAYING (Although the Submission page gives the 16th Sept as the deadline, the Submittable date given is the 15th.)

15th Sep Poetry, prose and art. PAYING

15th Sep ‘Aniko Magazine publishes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and creative nonfiction by writers from Australia and around the world. We also accept more experimental work.’ Theme: Double. PAYING

15th Sep Poetry and fiction on the theme of Rain.

17th Sep Poetry and flash on the theme of Undead.

18th Sep Writing on the theme of Ecstasy and Despair.

18th Sep ‘We are most interested in dark genre-bending works in the realms of horror, sci-fi, the weird, the macabre, fantasy, and magical realism. We want stories that grab us by the throat and ask questions about what it means to be human. Make us feel something long after we are done reading.’ Flash, poetry, and short fiction. PAYING

20th Sep ‘Our Winter 2022 Edition theme is Hibernation. We’re looking for stories, poems, and essays about hunkering down for the winter and quietly resting. Write about animals hibernating, or write about you hibernating. Send us pieces full of longing and patience as you hide out, slow down, and wait for the end of winter.’

21st Sep ‘Gramarye issue 22 will be a special issue in collaboration with the Open Graves, Open Minds project based on their conference ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture’. However, we are still open for submissions that if accepted may be published in a future issue, so our next deadline for submissions is on 21 September 2022.’

22nd Sep Theme: oceans. ‘The short version: creative writing and art about environmental justice. The fiction we publish is mostly, but not exclusively, speculative; the nonfiction is more creative than journalistic, the poetry tends towards the narrative, preferably with some thematic heft, the visual art leans away from the pulpy towards the surreal, subversive, political. PAYING

23rd Sep ‘Full-length poetry manuscripts, by BIPOC writers only.’

25th Sep ‘… regularly scheduled love & romance issue but! on a micro scale. We’re looking for micro-poetry (no more than 10 lines) and micro-prose (no more than 800 words), both fiction and nonfiction.’

30th Sep ‘In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, FlowerSong Press welcomes response poems to SCOTUS’s attack on a person’s right to their own bodies. Please submit 3-5 pieces of poetry or prose.’

30th Sep Humour by women on the theme of The Party is Always Right. ONE CONTRIBUTOR GETS VOUCHER

30th Sep Fiction on the theme of Home, by people who have experienced – or are experiencing – homelessness. 500-3500 words.

30th Sep Stories up to 7500 words on the theme of Women and the Sea. PAYING

30th Sep Canadians only: poetry and prose. PAYING

30th Sep Theme: Reverence. ‘At Fathom we publish articles, personal essays, profiles, interviews, book reviews, Bible exposition, theological and/or historical analysis, poetry, and short stories.’

30th Sep ‘What we are looking for: Science fiction and fantasy stories where the androids, robots, and/or cyborgs have been naughty, going off programming, cracking their internal code, etc… Stories for this anthology must be original (no reprints or previously published material), no more than 7,500 words in length, we accept microfiction and flash, and must satisfy the theme of the anthology, meaning the protagonist must be a robot, cyborg, android, or robotic in some manner.’ PAYING

30th Sep ‘A poetry and art journal supporting all writers and artists particularly students and the emerging.’

30th Sep ‘We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else.’ PAYING

30th Sep ‘If a Chicken Soup for the Soul story has made a big difference to your life, we want your story! Please be specific!’ PAYING

30th Sep Poetry and prose on the theme of Post-mortem.

30th Sep ‘We’re looking for gothic romances that are equal parts horror and romance. The short stories should be mysterious, atmospheric, and include a HEA (or happy for now). This is an open call with no slots reserved for invitation pieces. Women and non-binary authors only (our definition of women includes transgender women and femme-identifying individuals – and always will. If you identify as woman by any definition, or identify as non-binary, this call is open to you).’ 2000-6000 words. PAYING

30th Sep Reign of Fire: dragon stories. 3000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

30th Sep ‘We aim to publish a small selection of quality books each year, each with a print run of 100. There are no submission guidelines for length, presentation, form, or genre. We celebrate work that has previously faced difficulty in finding a home.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL), POSSIBLE PAYMENT

30th Sep Poetry, flash, short fiction, comics and more. PAYING (Cathy’s note: there’s a submission cap, so submit as early in the month as possible.)

30th Sep ‘Our Call for Papers include essays from academics, independent researchers, fans and creative writers, appealing to both the casual reader and a more research-oriented one… The theme of the annual Call for Papers 2022 is Religion in Fantasy and Science Fiction… Before you start, send us an email with your abstract or simply to let us know what topic you intend to explore.’ PAYING

30th Sep Australia and New Zealand only: ‘Aurealis is looking for science fiction, fantasy or horror short stories between 2000 and 8000 words.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

30th Sep ‘Split Lip Magazine is a voice-driven literary journal with a pop culture twist. We publish online monthly and in print periodically. We accept fiction (flash and short stories), memoir, poetry, art, and photography… In an effort to promote Black voices, free submissions will be open for Black writers and artists in all genres all year (except when we are closed to all submissions in July and the second half of December).’ PAYING

30th Sep Fiction up to 2000 words on the theme of ‘Something Wicked—Stories about autumn, Halloween, or witchcraft.’ PAYING

30th Sep ‘Stories, essays and poems where hearing just a snatch of an operatic aria changes things.’

30th Sep ‘I am reminded of Salman Rushdie who, in one of his novels, cheekily complains that one might just draw a circle around themselves and call it “selfistan”. Borders that were supposed to have been effaced have reared their ugly head all over again. It is this idea of “selfistan” that Parcham would like to explore in our forthcoming issue.’ Poetry, fiction, and much more.

30th Sep ‘Submissions for Issue 49 are open! The theme is “Ropes and Roses: Love, Sex, and Sexuality.” We are interested in kink, erotica, and love. Interpret as openly or closely as you’d like. We are particularly interested in work from Black writers and creators.’

30th Sep ‘GARDEN PARTY SPECIAL EDITION Please submit 3 poems OR 1 piece of art criticism OR 1 personal essay OR 1 interview draft/pitch at one time.’

1st Oct (deadline is for the print edition – submissions for digital publication are ongoing) ‘Welcome! We’re Spoonie Press, and we publish art and writing for and by disabled, chronically ill, and neurodivergent people. Our mission is to share authentic experiences of disability— as happy, sad, inspirational, or frustrating as they may be. We love things that are candid, showcase underrepresented viewpoints, and that speak to the larger disability community.’ Poetry, prose, and more.

1st Oct or when submission cap is filled: ‘We are actively seeking submissions from Black, Minority, Indigenous, and other Persons of Color in all categories… Please tell us in query form the length of the piece, the theme, working title, and attach a 750- to 1500-word synopsis of your literary fiction work, novella, contemporary, urban, historical, fantasy, or other type of fiction.’

1st Oct Poetry.

1st Oct ‘Poetry, anti-poetry, or sub-poetry. Very short stories; memories; surrealism. liminal; K-mart realism; post-apocalypse; anti-authoritarian.’ PAYING

1st Oct ‘DEAD & BLOATED – Extreme Horror Anthology.’ Up to 3000 words. PAYING

1st Oct Poetry, fiction, nonfiction and more. PAYING

1st Oct or when submission cap is reached: Cozy Mystery.


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

‘Each FOLIO is led by a prompt, concept, or issue; for instance, TECH SUPPORT addresses the impact of the Internet and social media’s advent. To submit, simply create something that encapsulates how you feel about the issue. Because we want your voice to be a part of this global collaboration, we accept each and every submission we receive.’

‘We are fond of work that dwells in the space where STEM and the arts intersect.’ Poetry, fiction and more.

‘We accept writing of any and all kinds. From poetry to creative non-fiction, flash fiction and short stories.’

‘Flash Point Science Fiction wants speculative fiction stories from 100 to 1,000 words in length.’ PAYING

Poetry. ‘If you write in the established forms, thank God for you. If you write in blank verse, Thank God, and Please Send Me Your Poems. If your poetry rhymes, and does not cloy—if you rework old themes—if you make use of religion, or are religious—if you are interested in what is beautiful—please send me your work. There are no reading fees.’ PAYING

Writing and more on the theme of Feral.

‘Gender Queer Literature is a free online and living resource for contemporary genderqueer perspectives. With these goals, GQL looks for and publishes articles on the representation of non-conforming gendered contemporary literature. We publish creative works with gender non-conforming protagonists or by authors who self-identify as such. We also share the craft and workshop outlines on how to write such perspectives, as presented at colleges and communities across UK, USA and (hopefully) beyond.’

‘We are not accepting fiction submissions at the moment, but we do welcome submissions from non-fiction and children’s book writers who are residents of Australia or New Zealand.’

‘Monkfish publishes fiction and nonfiction books related to the subjects of spirituality and religion. If you would like your manuscript to be considered for publication, please send a query first.’ (thanks to for this one)

‘We are seeking submissions of original short stories, nonfiction essays, and artwork that fit the Tartan Noir or speculative fiction genres. Tangled Web Magazine is a Scottish magazine, but we are not an exclusive space for Scottish writers.’

‘Three Hills, a trade imprint of Cornell University Press, publishes smart, informative, entertaining, and provocative fiction and non-fiction books about New York State and the Northeast.’

‘LSU Press is one of the oldest and most prestigious academic publishers in the South. In addition to scholarly monographs, we also publish general interest books about Louisiana and the South.’’s note: in this instance, ‘the South’ refers to the south of the USA.)

Interzone is open to submissions of fantastika (including horror) of between 2,000 and 17,500 words.’ PAYING

‘AFAR aims to make a positive impact on the world through high-quality storytelling that inspires, enriches, and empowers travelers. We are currently redesigning the magazine, around editorial values that include inclusivity, optimism, radical empathy, curiosity, and joy…AFAR Magazine publishes a range of reported features, personal essays, opinion pieces, photo essays, illustrated features, short fiction, poetry, and shorter middle-of-book pieces. Instead of more traditional aspirational lifestyle travel stories, we tell the stories of a place and the people who live there.’ PAYING

‘Send us up to 3 pieces of anything – prose, poetry, art, essays, fiction etc etc. We wanna see your weird & eccentric!’

Short fiction. PAYING

‘Pnyx is a digital magazine that seeks to publish original work from people with academic and non-academic backgrounds pertaining to the ancient world. We welcome submissions on archaeogaming, fiction writing, opinions and responses to papers and books, original artwork, music, videos, poems, and more. This publication is the place for people to share their thoughts in a field they may not be a part of.’

‘Run Amok is now ACCEPTING full length novel manuscripts for its crime imprint Run Amok Crime… In fiction, we are looking for works with marginalized voices, out of the ordinary stories, and anything that might be considered off-the beaten-path (yes, the fringe). However, keep in mind that we are generally not fans of vampires, zombies, or anything that involves magic wands and the likes.’

Poetry and art.

‘INKSOUNDS is an experimental interdisciplinary art collective merging poetry and music founded by Daniel Liu in 2021. With an online gallery featuring original compositions by our in-house musicians in collaboration with selected poets from across the world, and a poetry journal pushing the boundaries of language, INKSOUNDS provides fresh takes on the human condition.’ Poetry.

Poetry, nonfiction, plays, microfiction, flash fiction, short stories and novellas.

‘The Pine Cone Review considers: Non-rhyming poetry, flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction, translations, visual art and any genre-bending or genre-mixing creations for general publication.’


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