Comps and calls for March 2023

Hello Everyone,

The year marches on — yes, it’s March! I have some news — this month I’ll be having my wrist fused. The wrist of my dominant hand, of course. My surgeon has promised that she’ll arrange the cast so that I can still write and type — but I’m not allowed to put any pressure on the wrist at all. Hmmm… anyway, if next month’s listings are late, that’s why. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’ve been making mistakes all month. I entered a competition, and misread the rules. I found this out because the judge contacted me, and I had time to resend my entry. This is rare, and very kind. Usually I just think that my entry wasn’t right, and move on – but maybe I’d have done better if I’d just read the rules one more time. Another day I was rushing to meet a deadline, hacking off bits of a story to meet the submission requirements. I submitted that piece with about ten seconds to spare — I hope… Anyway – have a go. We all make mistakes. Apologise if it’s appropriate, and then get on with it. But do have a go!

There’s no spoof comp or call this month — I couldn’t come up with anything suitable.

Huge love as always to my Patreon heroes, who help to keep this site going.

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.


2nd Mar ‘The Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award is a grant of $12,500 to support the work of a promising early-career nonfiction writer on a story that uncovers truths about the human condition.’ PAYING

3rd Mar ‘WHERE IS…? For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which one or more characters have a problem because something (someone?) important is missing. Whether whatever is missing is ever found is up to you. Choose the answer that makes the story work better.’ PAYING

8th Mar Spectator Competition No. 3290: let us pray. You are invited to recast the Lord’s Prayer as a sonnet. Please email entries of up to lucy AT spectator DOT co DOT uk PAYING

8th Mar US only: ‘The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. This program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. In 2023 we will be accepting applications in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction).’ PAYING

10th Mar Various age categories ranging from 9-19: poetry and more on the theme of What Does War Mean to You? NON-CASH PRIZE (thanks to for this one)

13th Mar ‘…the prize awards £3,000 to the best proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) by a writer resident in the UK & Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. In addition to the £3,000 prize the winner has the opportunity to go on residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, to work on their book. The book will then be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.’ PAYING

13th Mar Short story by a writer with a history of publication in the UK. PAYING (LOTS)

17th Mar UK residents 18-30: up to two poems. PAYING

20th Mar Age 14-18 Story up to 1000 words. NON-CASH PRIZE

15th Mar Poetry on the theme of School. PAYING (Cathy’s note: I’m a member of this group, though I don’t run it. It’s free to join, and you can find entry details there.)

31st Mar ‘The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is an annual grant of $2,000 for an emerging writer of color. This grant is intended to support the recipient in crime fiction writing and career development activities.’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose submission demonstrates literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their work.’ PAYING

31st Mar Short story, 6-10,000 words. PAYING

31st Mar High School juniors and seniors: Poetry, fiction or nonfiction. PAYING

31st Mar ‘The Foley Poetry Contest: America Media is sponsor of the annual Foley Poetry Award. Each entrant is asked to submit one poem of 45 lines or fewer. Poems should not be under consideration elsewhere. Poems may address any topic.’ PAYING

31st Mar ‘Only writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work with a U.S. publisher are eligible. Writers who have not yet contracted to publish a book are invited to apply. Submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and—this year, for this first time—poetry are welcome.’ PAYING

1st Apr One humor poem. PAYING


From March 1st to 31st Aug (the first 250 submissions are free, but there’s a fee after that – so submit quickly! – Cathy) ‘Editors are interested in works that have the courage to acknowledge, challenge, and celebrate modern Jewish life beyond distinctions of secular and sacred. We like accessible poems that find fresh-new meaning in old traditions that recognize the challenges of our generation. We evaluate works on several levels, including their skillful use of craft, ability to hold interest, and layers of meaning.’

3rd Mar ((am UK time) Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Solar.


5th Mar Food writing in English and German.

5th Mar ‘Call for science fiction stories, poems, essays, and art featuring optimistic visions of the future and why we must fight to get there.’

5th Mar 800-2000 word story on the theme of Royalty & Revolution.

6th Mar Women writers: Fiction and poetry on the theme of Ghosts. ‘For Issue 98 we’re looking for pieces about hauntings, and welcome or unwelcome visitations from beyond the grave.’ PAYING

6th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Animals and Healing.

6th Mar  ‘In this quarter’s issue, we want to explore a creative, compelling, mysterious, and unorthodox side of literary experimentalism…This quarter’s theme is the “Psychedelic 60’s and Surrealism” which is often defined through absurd, erratic, changes to one’s perception of reality, elaborate and vivid colors, music, and periods which were plagued with war and often political struggles.’

6th Mar ‘At Fathom we publish articles, personal essays, profiles, interviews, book reviews, Bible exposition, theological and/or historical analysis, poetry, and short stories. The work we prefer often utilizes personal narrative to communicate the deeper aspects of the Christian faith and to draw our readers into the nuance surrounding an idea. Our standard articles fall between 1,000 and 1,600 words. Short stories should be at least 3,000 words. Poems vary in length and style.’ Theme: Peace.

10th Mar ‘carte blanche publishes 3 issues a year and accepts poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, photography, translation, and comics from Canadian and international artists with a focus on Quebec-based artists.’ PAYING

15th Mar ‘ “Summer of Speculation” will be a themed anthology containing stories from Fantasy and Science Fiction. All Sub genres are welcome (with a few exceptions noted in the submissions guidelines). We are seeking fresh faces as well as seasoned scifi/fantasy pros for this yearly anthology to be released in the summer every year. Our 2023 theme will be “Sidekicks”.’ 3500-10,000 words. PAYING

15th Mar ‘Mid/South Sonnets will be a shorter collection that brings together writers and themes from our eclectic region. We welcome both traditional and experimental approaches to the sonnet form.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Mar – poetry deadline. ‘The mission of the Loch Raven Review is to showcase the poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays and translations of both well-known and emerging writers who demonstrate excellence in their work.’

15th Mar but extended submission period for writers of marginalized backgrounds (broadly defined) March 16th — March 22nd. ‘Polite horror is all around us. Think about how power works. How those without it are expected to smile and accept injustice for fear of retribution. How those with power dress up ugly realities and make suffering palatable to prevent resistance. Polite horrors come from both sides of the weapon—the wielder and the wounded.’ 2000-4500 words. PAYING (SUBJECT TO FUNDRAISER/FUNDING)

16th Mar Poetry and fiction.

16th Mar Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Voices. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

20th Mar Articles and Poetry on the theme of Leadership. ‘We have some funds available to pay authors and artistic contributors for accepted work, upon request.’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

25th Mar Fiction, Poetry, Reviews, Essays and Interviews. PAYING

30th Mar ‘ Our first season of mind-rattling speculations, our volume one, is a menagerie of original monsters. To qualify, your story must feature, meaningfully, a never-before-seen monster (however you define the word) and must contain a speculative element. 1000-5000 words, with a sweet spot of 3k. All land, sea, space, time, earth, wind, and fire monsters welcome.’ PAYING

30th Mar Follow the website instructions to write a story using ChatGPT. ‘All submissions must contain speculative elements, and we prefer stories with a dark and contemplative tone. For this anthology, we’re particularly interested in exploring the relationships that humans form with those different from themselves–be it AI, aliens, or even their own kind.’ PAYING

31st Mar Honor: ‘All stories featuring East Asian warriors are welcome.’ 3000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

31st Mar ‘We are currently accepting original submissions for an anthology of words and images of Christian motherhood!’ Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Mar ‘Expanding on our catalog of risk-taking work, this fiction series will challenge writers to explore themes of climate change, freshly. We are searching for stories that anchor spaciousness within the emotional intensity of this crisis, helping readers to confront and process its magnitude.’ full length fiction ms.  Paying

31st Mar – fiction and CNF deadline. ‘The mission of the Loch Raven Review is to showcase the poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays and translations of both well-known and emerging writers who demonstrate excellence in their work.’

31st Mar Your true stories of animal courage. PAYING

31st Mar (or when submission cap is reached) Poetry, fiction and art. PAYING (Cathy’s note: submit as soon as possible – they close to submissions when their cap is reached.)

31st Mar Poetry, fiction and CNF on the theme of Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.


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

‘Latin@ Literatures is currently accepting essays, reviews, short prose fiction (up to 5,000 words), poetry (no more than 3 poems per contribution), and plastic art in visual format. Submission windows are generally open, but the review of texts is conducted during announced reading periods. All fiction, poetry, and art must be representative of Latinx artistic production. All other submissions must engage in topics in Latinx culture and/or be of relevance to the Latinx community.’

‘Lit Shark is a literary magazine open to all poetry and creative works and artwork, written by emerging and established writers. Shark-, ocean-, and conservation-themed works are fun and will absolutely be considered for publication here, but we do not require a particular theme for our works.’

‘Fire and Ice acquires for most genres of UPPER YA (teen-15 years and above) and New Adult novels and novellas.’ ROYALTIES

‘Lit Pup is a literary magazine open to all poetry, creative works, and artwork, written by budding creative writers under the age of 18. Whether they are in elementary school just learning about poetry and rhyme, or they’re 17 and reading their first poems by Edgar Allan Poe and interested in writing poems and stories of their own, we want to read them! Shark-, ocean-, and conservation-themed works are fun and will absolutely be considered for publication here, but we do not require a particular theme for our works. Whatever themes fall on a young writer’s heart are welcome here.’

‘Shrapnel publishes experimental writing from emerging writers in the genres of fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and poetry. We also converse with the Canadian literary community through book reviews, interviews, and columns. We are also keen to publish graphic narratives and comics, as well as transgenre work that is not easily categorized. Please note that Shrapnel is not currently publishing stories centred around trauma or grief.’ PAYING

‘Founded by two immigrants in Chile, Copihue Poetry is a biannual literary magazine named for the national flower of our chosen home. We seek to publish exciting new work that moves beyond the imaginary borders of language, state, and culture. As a multilingual journal, we present poetry written in English, poetry written in Spanish, and poetry translated into English alongside the original language.’

‘We’re looking for well-considered and elegant writing that wrestles with the thorns and petals of the American spirit.’ Essays only. PAYING

‘We welcome submissions of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and art that is erotically focused and speaks to the human condition.’

(thanks to for this one)

‘Moot Point magazine is a literary journal that publishes fiction and poetry and maybe some other kinds of stuff soon. We like writing where the seemingly inconsequential, dust-accumulating moments of life become magnified and catch fire.’ (Cathy’s note: free submissions are capped, so submit quickly!)

‘Welcome to Stanza Cannon, the first-of-its-kind, quarterly zine dedicated solely to spoken poetry. Interested in having your voice heard (literally)? Head over to the Submissions page to find out where your talent and our interests overlap.’

‘We are a biannual online literary publication for imaginative fiction, poetry, essays, art, and comics. We publish writers at all stages of their careers, but are especially interested in new and emerging voices.’

‘We accept poetry, prose, short play, hybrid, and art submissions. . . Please do not send us work that contains excessive sexual content or gore. Also, please do not send us work that promotes discrimination, drug use, or self harm. We welcome pieces that deal with difficult subjects, but please make sure your message is not hurtful.’ (Cathy’s note: they offer free feedback, which is very kind of them!)

‘We accept poetry, flash fiction (up to 1000 words), fiction (1000-10000 words), nonfiction (personal essays, interviews, literary criticism), hybrid genres and visual arts.’

‘The University of Tampa Press, with its strengths in the study of history, drama, and literature, seeks submissions of previously unpublished novellas for standalone publication. We are interested in submissions of all kinds, including the fantastic, the speculative, as well as so-called literary fiction.’ ‘Manuscripts must be between 15,000 and 40,000 words in length.’

‘Welcome to The Sciku Project – the latest scientific and mathematical discoveries, thoughts and ideas as scientific haiku.’

‘Submissions should feature an artist or an artist’s tool, creation or environment in some way.  We very much welcome  unique and innovative approaches to this theme! Artists include, but are not limited to: writers, painters, musicians, dancers, performing artists, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers,  sculptors, photographers.’ Poetry, flash, short fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

Age 13-18, poetry: ‘We are looking for pieces that represents (sic) yourself. Something that CHANGES what has already been said or adds something new.’

‘The magazine seeks poetry submissions for inclusion in its Poetry at Arts Fuse feature. If you wish to have your work considered —  and are confident that it will meet our high standards — please submit up to five poems.’ PAYING

‘Any genre, including hard science fiction, though PLEASE no fantasy, erotica, or sappy romance. Humor is good… Please DO NOT SUBMIT anything erotic, sexual, pornographic, or portraying gratuitous violence. Think PG-13, maybe PG-18.’ Flash, short fiction, and poetry.

Children’s picture books.


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