Comps and calls for November 2022

Hello Everyone,

I’ve had a good month, so for once I won’t be complaining about things! Well, except for battles with technology, but those can be taken as read. I had a lovely birthday, and I’m slowly finding ways to manage the new pain levels. I won a small competition (one of the Poetry Nook ones), and The Fourth Corona Book of Horror Stories came out, with a story of mine in it. I’m thrilled about both!

Anyway! November is an odd month for submitting. It’s relatively quiet, between the fun of Hallowe’en and the glorious cascade of December celebrations. Perhaps it’s a good time to submit! Or perhaps your culture has November celebrations, so you could write about those! Here in the UK we have Bonfire Night, to commemorate the time that a chap called Guy Fawkes tried to blow up our Parliament hundreds of years ago (he failed).

I might be overthinking things! Have fun with your writing, and enjoy the weird and wild array of themes this month!

It’s been raining solidly where I am, dreary, relentless rain with minor moans of wind, and very cold. Wrap up warm!

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 Nov ‘Spectator competition No. 3274: beyond the cringe. It’s toe-curlingly bad analogy time (up to eight each). Here’s a winner, courtesy of Chris O’Carroll, from a previous contest: ‘He broke wind with the menacing thunder of ancestral voices not only prophesying war, but actually launching a poison gas attack to get the hostilities started.’ Email entries to lucyATSpectatorDOTcoDOTuk by midday.’ PAYING

9th Nov ‘Spectator competition No. 3275: delusional. ‘He thought he saw an elephant/That practised on a fife:/ He looked again, and foundit was…’ Sobegins Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Mad Gardener’s Song.’ Following thisformat and formula, you are invited to supply three stanzas (18 lines) which could aptly be titled: ‘The Deluded Politician.’ Email entries to lucyATSpectatorDOTcoDOTuk by midday.’ PAYING

14th Nov Speculative flash fiction inspired by the provided image. PAYING

24th Nov (opens 18th Nov) Microfiction on the provided theme. PAYING

25th Nov ‘We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, poem, narrative game, documentary, or transmedia work using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction. Interactivity is a key element of new-media storytelling.’ PAYING

30th Nov There are several writing competitions with different deadlines – 30th Nov is the deadline for the Sudden Fiction and Short Story comps. There is normally a fee to enter, but there are bursaries available for those from Yorkshire or on a low-income: ‘The Plaza Prizes will grant FREE ENTRY bursaries to writers on low incomes and under-represented writers from around the world. We also grant FREE ENTRY to writers from Yorkshire.’  PAYING

30th Nov ‘Simply compose up to 6 six word stories, memoirs, poems, or jokes.’ PAYING

30th Nov Fiction or nonfiction up to 5000 words. PAYING

30th Nov ‘Write a Love Letter to London of up to 500 words around the theme of ‘making connections’.You can write on any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It might be reportage, an historical essay, a ‘think piece’, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem.’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to fund prizes for first novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a traditional or romantic style.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: check eligibility carefully – there are geographical restrictions as well as age restrictions.)

30th Nov Flash, poetry, and other pieces up to 1500 words, inspired by one of the photo prompts. PAYING


2nd Nov Formal poetry on the theme of The Veil Between the Worlds.

5th Nov ‘Science-fiction and fantasy stories (horror and mystery too if fantastical enough) of between 2,000 and 6,000 words… These stories should be inspired by tabletop games – roleplaying games, board games, miniature wargames – but not necessarily be set in those exact worlds or feature particular characters or places.’ PAYING

5th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the themes of Thanksgiving and Advent. PAYING

5th Nov ‘Are you a poet from the greater (sic) Manchester area? Do poetry you want to publish? (sic)’ Up to three poems.

6th Nov Short story 800-2000 words on the theme of Hopes and Fears. OTHER

7th Nov The theme for issue seven is Shelter:  necessity, right, instinct, act. Consider human and non-human refuge: urban and wild; homes created and structures built; havens sought, offered, denied or destroyed.  Think of protection, safekeeping and sanctuary; of dens, dugouts, canopies, caves, earths, nests and sets; of security, weathering and welcome.  Finished Creatures looks for poetry that is informed by environmental awareness and which considers the human experience alongside that of all species.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

7th Nov ‘We are looking for your best, bold poems on the theme of FREEDOM.’

7th Nov Canada only:  ‘The purpose of this call for submission is to rebuild to soundscape of medical practitioners. Instead of abstract concepts of equity and diversity that are so easy to acknowledge but so difficult to internalize, this chapbook aims to collect poems and pieces that focus on the stories and sounds of various medical professionals.’ PAYING

8th Nov ‘For this prompt, we’d like to see a range of interpretations of MOONRISE – whether the moon in your story is our moon, a moon in a different dimension, or on another planet entirely, you decide! We just want to see what imaginative settings, lore, and characters you can come up with.We’ll be leaning more towards science fiction for this issue and would particularly like to see some Lunarpunk stories in our submissions pile.’ Up to 1000 words. PAYING

8th Nov Women over 60 only: ‘Short Takes are usually short pieces, fiction or non-fiction (250-500 words), but can also be topical poetry, sometimes even drawings or photography. We’re especially interested in hearing about your experiences, but you can include your thoughts, dreams, ideas and opinions. Humor and irony are always appreciated!’

8th Nov ‘We’re after co-authored, original, unpublished dark fantasy short stories (4-6k words). No theme, but your submission piece must sit in the fantasy genre and contain dark elements – we aren’t after happy endings.’ PAYING

10th Nov Haiku and Senryu. (Cathy’s note: other categories are reserved for members. Scroll down for details, and for much interesting content and resources re haiku.)

15th Nov ‘In light of the cost-of-living crisis, we have decided to produce an anthology to raise money for charities in the UK who support people experiencing poverty (food banks, etc). We are looking for poems and personal (non-fiction) stories from workers, non-workers (can’t physically work, retired, or some other reason) and small businesses owners/freelancers who are/will be affected by the rising of essentials like energy, food and clothing. If you can address and correct common misconceptions, then even better.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

15th Nov Indigenous writers only: ‘We are interested in poems that illustrate, redefine, or reimagine relationships—land, nature, culture, history—to expand the possibilities of ecopoetics.’

15th Nov ‘This issue will explore the theme of silence and sound. The COVID-19 pandemic put communities in flux and changed our definition of what it means to be a collective. Many people felt the silence of being without community while others felt the abundance of constant noise and community. We want to reflect on and memorialize this. We welcome submissions that explore silence and sound.’

15th Nov ‘The Lorelei Signal is a quarterly SF/Fantasy electronic magazine – one that will feature strong / complex female characters. This does not mean your female character has to be the main hero or villain in the story. What it does mean is no shrinking violets, or women who serve only to get into trouble so the male hero can rescue them.’ Poetry, flash and short stories. PAYING

15th Nov ‘Plum Tree Tavern invites the submission of works for a special Autumn Moon edition. Haiku or other short work not to exceed five lines are preferred; longer works may be submitted and will be considered. Regardless of length, each submission must expressly contain the words “autumn moon” or a similar reference to the moon within the season, such as “October moon” or “first frost moon.”’

15th Nov Cosmic horror, 2000-7000 words. PAYING

15th Nov Poetry, fiction, and much more on the theme of A Life of the Spirit: Fuel for Change.

15th Nov ‘The anthology will feature traditional Sherlock Holmes stories blended with one or more of Lovecraft’s tales. Belanger Books is calling for submissions from writers, new or established, which are between 5,000 – 10,000 words (it is okay to be over some).’ PAYING (thanks to for this)

15th Nov ‘The Blue Route is an online undergraduate literary journal run by students and faculty at Widener University. We publish short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction written by undergraduate writers from any school other than our own.’ PAYING

15th Nov ‘Stories, poems, essays, and art about the secret lives of plants and the people who live with them.’ PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Nov Ekphrastic poems.

15th Nov ‘We welcome your essays (up to 1200 words), poems, art and other works focused on leadership or one of the Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want (for basic human necessities), Freedom from Fear (of aggression by governments, armies or police).’

15th Nov ‘It’s Five O’Clock Everywhere invites original and previously unpublished poetry and fiction in the theme of Alcohol/Drinking (however you interpret that) to its pages.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Nov Alaskan women only: ‘Alaska Women Speak is open for submissions! We are currently gathering prose, poetry and visual art possibilities for Winter 2023/24: Adrift.’

15th Nov ‘We’re looking for stories where the dragon takes center stage (or at least steals the show). To be considered for the anthology, the story must contain at least one loveable ‘grumpy’ character – it can be the dragon’s human mentor, a disembodied ghost of a former dragon snack, or the dragon themselves. ‘ 3000-4000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

16th Nov Title: Out of Time: ‘Theme: Love across time, Time travel. Dark Romance: any sub-genre or trope. Heat Level 2-4. Word count: exactly 100 words’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

20th Nov Fiction, poetry and CNF on the theme of Space.

20th Nov Submissions are now open for Shooter’s winter 2023 issue, themed On the Body. Writers should send short stories and non-fiction of 2,000-6,000 words and/or up to three poems, adhering to the guidelines. PAYING

21st Nov ‘The theme is Blood / Water. Topics you could explore: lakes, the sea, streams, rivers, inner-replenishment, what’s taken for granted/seen as special, puddles, watering cans, kettles not boiling, your favourite hot beverage, inter-connectivity, veins being like branches of a tree, moon cycles, seven generations back/seven generations forwards, water memory, blood memory…’ Poetry.

24th Nov ‘We are looking for beautiful works exploring Bud and Branch; Fresh growth and seasonal change, new developments and returning ideas, and imagery around woods and forests are all interpretations of this theme we’d particularly like to see, and we will be selecting work for inclusion based on how well it relates to these themes. Work centred around other lifecycles, directly relating to plant growth, or around the use of wood (or branches, or sticks) will also be considered.’  POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

30th Nov ‘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 Nov ‘For this second issue, we invite contributors from Latin American countries who write in English. On this occasion, we have chosen to promote emerging authors who are citizens of, and based in, Latin American countries; therefore, our current submission call does not apply to Latinx authors at large or writers of the Latinx diaspora. Please do not submit if you are not from a Latin American country.’ ‘Welcome to Spooky Gaze, a literary magazine for prose and poetry that exults in the uncanny…’

30th Nov Small absurdist poems.

30th Nov Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of Dread. PAYING

30th Nov We’re currently seeking fiction novels, memoirs, nonfiction/long-form journalism, YA, hybrid works, essay/short story collections, graphic novels, and anthologies of exceptional literary merit that demonstrate a high level of creativity and originality.’

30th Nov ‘Abstract poems, the experimental, avant-garde etc …. poems which push boundaries (although traditional poems will also be read.)’

30th Nov Fiction up to 2000 words on the theme of  ‘Hear the Slay Bells Ring—Stories about Christmas or set during wintertime. ‘ PAYING

30th Nov Union: SF romance stories 3000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

30th Nov Beastly Tales: ‘All monster romance stories. All heat levels are accepted; erotica preferred.’ 3000-20,000 words. ROYALTIES

30th Nov Monthly haiku challenge: write a 5-7-5 haiku incorporating the provided season word.

30th Nov Fiction and poetry incorporating the words shipwreck, thicket, and disguise.

30th Nov Entries, definitions and more for Le Scat Noir Encyclopaedia of Human Sexuality.

30th Nov ‘MIDLVLMAG publishes short/flash fiction, poetry, prose, and CNF/essays. Submissions are OPEN for the following themes: Two Weeks Notice and Holiday Bonus.’

30th Nov Poetry and art on the theme of TREE.

30th Nov US only, BIPOC only: ‘ It’s mashup time! This anthology will focus exclusively on BIPOC writers who live in or hail from locales in the United States and whose short stories feature BIPOC characters set in a science fiction or fantasy setting where the character is an underdog who uses their skills to overcome a challenge.’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘From Beyond Press is launching with a bang—or a squirm, or the sound of too many legs skittering in the dark. This World Belongs to Us is an anthology of horror stories about bugs, writ large—we’re not scientists, so spiders and slugs and scorpions (oh my!) are OK too.’ 500-5000 words. PAYING

30th Nov Poetry, flash and essays on the theme of Home.

30th Nov Fiction on the theme of Hacking.

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Ends. POSSIBLE PAYMENT

30th Nov ‘We want to showcase writing and artwork that has been created with abandon. That term is free to be interpreted liberally, but ideally it is the kind of work that takes risks, created in a space wherein the artist doesn’t care what anyone else thinks or what everyone else is doing.’ Poetry, flash, short fiction and more. Theme: Abandon Love. PAYING

1st Dec ‘Decolonial Passage encourages emerging and established writers to submit to the magazine.  We accept writing from writers of all backgrounds engaged in the decolonial project regardless of race, origin, gender, disability, or geographical location.  Simultaneously Decolonial Passage centers African, African-American, and Black Diaspora writing from the African continent, the Americas, Europe, and beyond.’ Theme: Food, Power, and Powerlessness. Poetry, fiction, and much more.

1st Dec ‘We’re looking for genre authors who cross boundaries. Authors whose stories twist the tropes to showcase in a cross-genre anthology of stories that entertain, but read fresh and new. Send us the story that you can’t classify: a story that can’t be pigeon-holed into a single subgenre, or that pushes against your genre’s boundaries.’ 1000-10,000 words. PAYING

1st Dec ‘We are seeking the best crime/noir/neo-noir/transgressive short stories in which a diner-like venue plays a major role in the narrative.’ 2000-7000 words. PAYING

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Wind Witch.

1st Dec horror stories on the theme of Tunnels.

1st Dec ‘We invite you to share your supernatural fiction, nonfiction, and poems with us for the 21st issue of Jenny Magazine. We want ghost stories, paranormal activity, creepy crawly things, and everything else supernatural!’

1st Dec Horror novellas 17,500-40,000 words. ROYALTIES

1st Dec ‘What we’re interested in: poetry, lyric essay, visual poetry, collage, videopoetics, audiopoetics, docupoetics, and art.’ Theme: ecopoetics.


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

‘We’re currently considering both non-fiction and fiction with a literary bent, as well as poetry (collections only) and playscripts. Generally speaking we’re not looking for science-fiction, romance or crime – but if you feel your work is literary and only partially defined by one of these categories, please feel free to send it our way.’

‘We saw books that deserved to be published for their excellence… but like an idea too new for a Dewey Decimal number, seemed to exist outside the prescribed parameters for a “Jewish book.” So we started Ben Yehuda Press to give these books a home.’

‘We are currently OPEN to flash fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and art submissions. Submissions do not have to be about coffee or music; they must only contain one or both of these elements in some form (how much or how little is up to you). We are not interested in works based on current events. We view Loud Coffee Press as an escape from the 24-hour news cycle, so we tend to pass over submissions related to the news of the day.’

‘We’re looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror, the uncanny, or any work (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) that orbit this genre, with a particular focus on characters in some type of transition: political (as in migration stories); personal (such as across culture or identities), biological, linguistic, geographic, or other forms of being in-between.’ ‘We’re accepting submissions on a rolling basis until we hit 300 submissions across all submission categories.’ PAYING

Neo-noir stories 3000-5000 words. PAYING

‘Interstellar Flight Magazine is seeking essays on pop culture, movies, geekery, and scifi/fantasy related topics.’ PAYING


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