Comps and calls for January 2023

I’m still not in great shape, but here are some comps and calls for the rest of January 2023.

A huge apology for accidentally time-travelling in December. For several days the listings were titled: December 2023. Many thanks to Gargi, who let me know! Several people have asked me who will be Prime Minster and what the lottery numbers will be!

And now…. Happy New Year! May it bring you all you wish for. Especially when it comes to writing! I know it’s a bit late to say that, but there are many months left!

December was very stressful for us – our central heating broke and our roof started leaking, just when it was -8 (centigrade), and on a Friday too, with no hope of repairs until the Monday at the earliest. Fortunately everything was sorted out sooner rather than later, but for now I am very, very thankful that unlike many people, we have heating and hot running water for the rest of this winter.

As always, huge love to the Patreon heroes who help to keep the site going.

Both me and my webbie have been unwell. I hope you’re in better shape! See you at the start of Feb.

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.


15th Jan ‘Tell us your best unpublished stories of approximately 50 words about yard sales and their kin.’

15th Jan ‘Discoveries invites all unpublished women writers aged 18 and up, currently residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English, to submit their works of adult fiction to the Discoveries Prize. The prize doesn’t require writers to have finished a novel – only to have started one – and it is free to enter.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: do check their requirements for eligibility. You don’t have to be completely unpublished by any means! If you haven’t had a full collection or novel published, and you aren’t represented by an agent, then you might still be eligible. Check their T&Cs and their FAQ.)

19th Jan ‘We’ve teamed up with award-winning platform Questo to offer a competition that is all about creating your very own city exploration game. You will develop a script following any theme you’d like, but must include elements of fiction writing, location selection, puzzle creation and fact-finding.’ PAYING

 31st Jan Play for young people (not children or adults). PAYING

31st Jan There are three age group gategories, and various writing categories, including short stories, poetry and more. PAYING

31st Jan ‘Lipstick & Lies is a flash fiction contest where the theme of the story is Lipstick & Lies!! Give us those ‘it’s complicated’ relationship stories, with great characters and twists & turns woven into the plot! Secret Attic loves a great hook, plenty of dialogue and a satisfying ending! Thing is, these stories have to be told in just 700 words!’ VOUCHER/OTHER–lies.html

1st Feb Essay up to 2100 words on one of the themes provided. PAYING

1st Feb ‘We invite you to submit previously unpublished poetry or prose which creatively responds to David Oluwale’s story and its relevance today. Your submission can respond to David’s life or death or take it as a starting point to explore any issues that his story touches upon, such as the city of Leeds, marginalisation, racial justice, mental ill-health, rough-sleeping, exclusion, resistance and hope, reinterpreted as you see fit. Poetry and prose will be judged together. We would like to see submissions which respond to contemporary moment as well as the past.’ (Cathy’s note: there’s a link provided where you can find out about David’s story.)


15th Jan ‘Tell us your best unpublished stories of approximately 50 words about yard sales and their kin.’

15th Jan ‘Ancient Gods – We are looking for origin stories, battles between gods and demons/monsters, gods saving human civilization or wreaking wrathful havoc upon their creations.’ 2400-4200 words. PAYING

15th Jan ‘Our Summer 2023 issue will feature a special section of CryptoPoems. The poems may be any style or subject, but must be minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on a blockchain. In being part of a decentralized ledger, NFTs are an interesting space with the potential to revolutionize the way artists share and fund their work.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: please don’t ask me what this means. I read an article on NFTs in the hope of being able to understand, but it’s still as clear as mud.)

15th Jan ‘We prioritize submissions from FBCW members but welcome submissions from all writers with a connection to BC (Cathy’s note: British Columbia) or Yukon…Our spring 2023 issue is about money: making it, managing it, persevering without it. Being mindful of money is an asset for all writers, whether you’re a full-time author or just starting out. For this issue, we’re looking for practical advice, creative ideas, and helpful insight about the financial realities of being a writer.’ PAYING

18th Jan Poetry and prose on the theme of ‘Interiors and Intimacies’.

30th Jan Theme: ‘How stepping outside my comfort zone changed me. Tell us your own stories about stepping outside your comfort zone and how that changed your life.’ PAYING

30th Jan ‘At Astrolabe, we’re looking for work about how we seek out, discover, and grasp onto connection. Into the woods. Across a line. Beneath the ocean. Along a seam. Into the branches of an alternate present or the crevasse of an alternate future. Across the rifts between one another. And then, once we find one other, the myths we make.’ Fiction, CNF, photography and art. PAYING

31st Jan Song of the Siren: ‘All mermaid, siren, selkie, rusalka, etc. stories are welcome. All genres are accepted.’ 3000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Jan Poetry and fiction. PAYING

31st Jan ‘For a new limited series art journal, Milk seeks works of visual art and writing by artist-mothers on the topic of motherhood…We’re looking for visual art (photography, painting, illustration, collage, etc) and written work (essays, reports, poems, shower thoughts, stories, etc) on topics related to motherhood.’

31st Jan ‘5000-7000 words recommended. “Set it in space, in the far future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens helping to solve a pseudo-scientific problem. More cerebral than stomach! Space Fiction! Written in the restrictive third person.” ‘ PAYING


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


‘Wildhouse Publishing curates books for unconventional people with adventurous spirituality. We publish a variety of genres, in several imprints, but WHP focuses on trade publication (so not academic tomes or textbooks for classrooms) and always keeps our target audience in mind. We want to support gifted authors who also intend to address the WHP audience, even when it is financially risky to do so.’ Fiction, Poetry and Non-fiction MSS. ROYALTIES

‘We are looking for novellas in the fantasy and science fiction genres that have a good dose of humor (any form from macabre to slapstick, parody, or satire). Any subgenre. 8,000 – 30,000 words.’

‘Remember, we like the quirky, humorous, and unique! Most chapbooks will be published under Nat 1’s Audience Askew imprint. Submit 1 chapbook consisting of 5 to 20 works of poetry and/or microfiction (300 words or less per story) for consideration. Chapbook may contain original works of art, but at least fifty percent must be literature.’

‘Short fiction should be 5,000 words or less. Stories should contain an element of fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, whimsy, magic realism, mythology, folklore or fairy tale type inspiration… Poetry is NOT the main focus of this publication, but I am open to publishing poetry if it is particularly outstanding, but I’m sorry to say that the chances of poetry being accepted are not high.’ PAYING

Poetry over 100 words, and fiction 500-3000 words.’s note: there’s no payment except a ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ option, which I don’t count as proper payment. Maybe worth it if you have generous fans!)

‘Christine is interested in receiving both YA and adult novels. She is especially passionate about contemporary fiction that you can’t put down, whether due to a mysterious narrative, smart, insightful writing, or quirky characters that you’d follow anywhere. She wants beach reads that make you stay belly-down on your chaise lounge until your skin burns and thrillers that keep you up so late you curse your alarm the next morning. She wants romance that heats up in the right places and makes you laugh out loud in others.’

‘We take unsolicited submissions of short stories, poetry, and artwork year-round. Unfortunately, at this time we are a non-paying venue, but contributors will receive a free digital copy of the issue that their work appears in.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

MSS of poetry and various genres of fiction. ROYALTIES

Poetry, flash fiction and flash nonfiction.



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