Comps and calls for April 2023

Hello everyone,

Many thanks to those of you you have wished me well with my wrist operation. Sadly, it was postponed due to the junior doctor strikes. I’m not blaming them at all, by the way – rather I blame those who make the strikes necessary. Anyway! Onwards and upwards…

Here’s an issue that affects me directly and I’m sure some of you too. Recently I’ve had work accepted for two projects, both of which involved events for their authors. Unfortunately, neither of those events was disabled-accessible. I’ve heard organisers say that it can be really hard to find accessible venues – I know, but when I’ve organised events, I’ve always managed it by making it a priority and thinking creatively. So I feel excluded, and I’m saying to any of you who organise events: don’t exclude us. Just don’t. It’s a really bad thing to do. If your event requires a non-accessible space: could you change your event?

On a happier note, NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) is here! Could you write a poem every day in April? Why not have a go?

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

Good luck and love to all,

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.


5th Apr Spectator Competition No. 3294 ‘You are invited to provide the first 16 lines of an ode to a turnip or another similarly unglamorous vegetable. Email entries to lucyATspectatorDOTcoDOTuk by midday on 5 April.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: you have to scroll down the page to see the competition.)

7th Apr Up to 750 words of flash, nonfiction or prose poem on the theme of Levity. PAYING

12th Apr Spectator Competition No. 3295 ‘You are invited to submit a comically appalling final paragraph to the worst of all possible novels. Please email entries of up to 150 words to lucyATspectatorDOTcoDOTuk by midday on 12 April.’ PAYING

14th Apr ‘Reality Show Madness! We are looking for flash in the vein of these reality shows with a heavy addition of the speculative. We are not looking for fan fiction.’ Theme: Amazing Race/Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. PAYING

15th Apr ‘As part of the Green Stories Competition, this contest challenges you to create an uplifting short story of superheroes that respond to climate change. Imagine your target audience to be teens and young adults that enjoy watching superhero films. It is NOT enough to just raise awareness of environmental issues, you need to show how we might solve them.’ Up to 2000 words. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Apr Up to 3 flash fictions, each up to 500 words. Must be science/speculative fiction. PAYING

16th Apr Fiction, CNF, Humor, and three kinds of poetry. Please submit to one category only. PAYING

24th Apr Your Story #123 ‘Write a drabble—a short story of exactly 100 words—based on the photo prompt.’ (Cathy’s note: there’s no prize except for publication, but I occasionally include these because they are fun or have an interesting prompt.)

30th Apr ‘We call on you—poets, writers, fellow human beings—help us expose the especially heinous crimes committed against a peaceful and law-abiding group of Chinese citizens: Falun Gong practitioners.’ PAYING

30th Apr Write and submit a short story of no more than 8,000 words. It must be a work of fantasy, though all fantasy genres are open, e.g. epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, contemporary fantasy, etc.’ PAYING

1st May ‘Every year, QSF holds a flash fiction contest to create an amazing new anthology of queer speculative fiction stories. We ask authors to do the nearly-impossible – to submit a sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror LGBTIQA story that has no more than 300 words.’ Theme: Rise. PAYING

1st May Speculative fiction up to 3500 words on the theme of Preserve or Purge. PAYING


2nd Apr ‘The Sprawl Mag will accept submissions of speculative poetry, short fiction, and visual art from Volume 1.2. Whether it is utopic, dystopic, magical, or sci-fi, we look forward to seeing your work… Please, for the love of Mars, only send us work that is speculative (sci-fi & fantasy).’ PAYING

2nd Apr The Micro issue. Up to five poems of up to ten lines each, polished fiction of up to 500 words, and more.PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: re payment – there’s an Editor’s Choice Award in each genre, with a cash payment.)

3rd Apr ‘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: Kindness.

5th Apr Poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, and fake nonfiction: ‘Nonfiction includes what we call “fake” nonfiction. Think of it as fiction that reads like nonfiction. This can include anything from reviews of non-existent books, interviews with imaginary people, bogus letters to the editor, etc. Use your imagination. If you’re unsure whether your piece falls into this category, send it to us anyway. We’ll sort it out.’

7th Apr Short science fiction. PAYING

10th Apr ‘Wordpeace is featuring poems, fiction, essays and artwork for a special section of the spring/summer 2023 issue. We’d like to give space to the losses due to Roe being overturned the backing away of civil society from the extension of autonomy to trans people, medical rights for marginalized populations or other related issues… We want work which asks for positive change, critiques the status quo, is forward thinking, and takes a stand.’

10th Apr Flash, short fiction and more on the subject of Disintegration.

10th Apr Poetry and prose on the theme of Cities and Borders.

10th Apr or until filled (this is the deadline for FREE submissions – for the rest of the month, a fee will be charged). Humorous steampunk stories and related poetry. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

14th Apr ‘The world of STEM doesn’t just open up a lot of possibilities in life; it can also open up possibilities in love. So for this issue, we want stories of scientists whose relationship goes from professional to personal, two crime-scene techs who connect on the job, or a math teacher who falls for someone who hates arithmetic. As long as the stories show off great chemistry, we’re bound to fall in love.’ Flash fiction 700-1000 words.

14th Apr ‘On this occasion, submissions are open to women writers only, inclusive of those who identify as non-binary and trans women…We are looking for short stories (fiction) to join our upcoming title, “All Women are Werewolves: An Anthology of Womanhood.” This anthology is a collection of stories about the transformative experiences that shape womanhood; dark, uncanny, curious and captured by vivid, varied feminine voices… We are looking for exceptional writing; think Literary fiction and magical realism. ‘ 1500-6000 words. PAYING

15th Apr  ‘Send us your best unpublished stories of approximately 50 words about  “Waiting for a Friend.” Tapping your toe, or daydream drifting. Is this an old friendwho is always late, or a new one you don’t know a thing about. Waiting. Does it come easy, or does it infuriate. What’s your take? So many stray thoughts, and all we can do is wait and wonder. No attachments, poetry, bios, or AI generated content please.’

15th Apr  ‘FlowerSong Press is currently seeking outstanding and unique manuscripts from Latinx authors in the area of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. We are seeking already finished, full-length novels from Latinx authors ranging from 75,000 to 150,000 words. We are not currently accepting short stories, novellas, or short story collections.’

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and much more on the theme of Sex Magic. PAYING

15th Apr ‘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: Endings.

15th Apr ‘Our Fall 2023 issue will be dedicated to poems written in response to prompts. The poems may be any subject, style, or length, but must have been generated by a writing prompt. Include a note beneath each poem briefly explaining what the prompt was and where it came from.’ PAYING

15th Apr Poetry and prose on the theme of Wholeness. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Apr Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Rivers.

15th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Perseverance.

16th Apr ‘Our theme for this issue is “in conversation.” We are looking for submissions directly inspired by other creative works or other artists. Some thoughts on how to approach this theme: considering the same subject matter as your favorite writer through your own eyes; using a color palette similar to that of a film that you like; representing a great song through sculpture; musing on a poet’s influence on your life; a comic inspired by your favorite painting.’

17th Apr ‘We’re thrilled to announce the call for submissions for the Summer 2023 Edition of the Creatopia® Collection Magazine. This issue is all about embracing the theme of “Ready,” and we’re looking for your modern, vibrant, edgy, bold, and energetic contributions that evoke the spirit of adventure, vigor, strength, and expansion.’

23rd Apr ‘HOAX offers artists and writers a unique framework within which to show creative work that incorporates text. We present work online, in print, and through events and exhibitions. This also forms a wider, ongoing collection or survey of work existing at the intersection of art and creative writing.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: despite the name, I can’t find any evidence that this is actually a hoax! But I could always be wrong!)

24th Apr Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Buds & Blooms.

25th Apr Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, book reviews, literature analysis, art, interviews and hybrid works on the theme of A Focus on Feminism.

28th Apr Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Archive. ‘How can we, as poets, return to the archive and reanimate voices and lives silenced through time and the resolve of official record-makers? How else might we think of, approach and (re)imagine archives, as cosmologies, as expansive structures for comprehending larger, wider dimensions, like the past, time, universes? For this issue, we are interested in poems that explore, engage with, test and challenge ‘the archive’ as place, space, repository and/or concept.’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: Australian contributors are paid, whereas international contributors receive copies of the journal.)

30th Apr ‘We invite you to submit if you identify as an immigrant or member of a diaspora in the broadest definitions of the terms… khōréō is a quarterly publication of stories, essays, and art: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and any genre in between or around it, as long as there’s a speculative element. Flash fiction only for this particular call.’

30th Apr Stories 1200-7000 words on the theme of Ill Winds and Wild Weather. PAYING

30th Apr Pirate Gold: ‘ stories featuring pirates are welcome. From Pirates of the Caribbean to Treasure Planet and everything in between.’ 3000-15,000 words. ROYALTIES

30th Apr Soul Ink: ‘All poetry pieces are welcome. There is no theme.’ ROYALTIES

30th Apr Short stories by young authors.

30th Apr ‘Inter et Inter from the Latin means Between and Between. Inter et Inter Magazine aspires to showcase speculative writing. We plan on publishing online issues biannually (May and December) and to compose a print version featuring work from both issues annually. We invite writing that—on the spectrum of genre—falls somewhere in-between.’

30th Apr ‘We are looking to solve murders, investigate disappearances, and find clues, but with a twist. Send us your stories of cyborg sleuths, goblin gumshoes, and enchanted investigators. We want tales of fantasy, sci fi and horror with a strong mystery or investigation theme. Stories should be around 5,000 words, but that’s not a hard limit.’ PAYING

30th Apr Fiction and nonfiction. ‘You must include some information about your relationship to fandom in your cover letter. This is a magazine for publishing the original work of fans. If you don’t identify as a fan, we can’t accept your work.’ PAYING

30th Apr To Live Here – a haiku anthology. ‘The theme of the anthology is ´home´. We encourage writers to think about earth as our shared home, our connection with nature and the urban environment, and how climate change is affecting us and our habitat (think outside the box!).’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

30th Apr Nonfiction, fiction and poetry ‘… related to the concept of the city, whatever that means to you. we’re looking for your stories about city life, your odes to your favorite subway lines, your portraits of a skyscraper on fire. we’re also looking for works set in cities, real or fictional, that engage with the general concept of city life and all it entails.’

30th Apr ‘We are looking for your darkest, strangest microfiction in the form of user manuals, FAQs, and how-to guides for the use of (or by) robots!’ Up to 250 words. PAYING

30th Apr Poetry, flash, and CNF on the theme of Transformation.

30th Apr ‘The Writers’ Co-op invites submissions of short stories (and poems) for the sixth edition of our yearly anthology, The Rabbit Hole, scheduled for release in October 2023. Following this year’s fifth edition, we continue to explore how ‘weird’ fits into numerous genres or themes with a new theme, “Destination: Journey.”’ Up to 5000 words. ROYALTIES

30th Apr ‘MIDLVLMAG publishes short/flash fiction, poetry, prose, and CNF/essays.’ Theme: Supply Chain.

30th Apr Stories on the theme of Stella’s Secret Sonata.

30th Apr ‘The PRIDE issue (submission window 4/10-4/30, pub date 6/7) – an issue dedicated entirely to queer love, just in time for PRIDE! (please please send us more work exploring aro/ace love … please??)’

30th Apr Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of On the Move. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

30th Apr ‘We accept pieces from the perspective of animals who are as present and authoritative as human characters, the reciprocal bond between human and animal that bewildered, challenged, and changed the human, and discoveries that reveal how close in space and mind the animal and human kingdoms are.’ Theme: Ocean Animals. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL); PAYS ONE CONTRIBUTOR (Cathy’s note: if you are chosen as a featured writer, then you will be paid.)

31st Apr (sic). Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Light.

1st May Poetry, fiction and CNF. SOME CONTRIBUTORS GET CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (Cathy’s note: this is presented as a contest, but as there’s no prize except publication, and only US contributors get a contributor copy, this doesn’t qualify as a comp for Comps and Calls.)

1st May Fiction, nonfiction and poetry all starting with the same first line: ‘All the lawns on Mentone Avenue are mowed on Wednesdays.’ PAYING

1st May Poetry on the theme of Titration. ‘Interpret that theme any way you’d like. Teach us how to add just enoughwater to dry flour before baking the bread. Tell us about your high school chemistry class. That livestream of the waterfall slowly but surely collapsing stone. All the liminal spaces & everything else. The state lines & the 12:01am’s, one pipette droplet at a time.’

1st May ‘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: Rock ‘n’ Roll.

1st May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Resistance.

1st May Tales of the Apocalypse. 5000-10,000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL


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

‘Haunted Doll House is an imprint of Agape Editions that publishes full-length books in print.  As our name suggests, we aren’t afraid of the dark: we live there. We want your horror stories, your mystery novels, your dark sf/f, your genre-resistant writing about the ecstasies, traumas, and terrors that took you to the very edges of yourself.’

Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

Speculative poetry, flash, short fiction, and CNF on the theme of Into the Forest. PAYING

Poetry and prose.

‘We accept all types of writing in (Cathy wonders: ‘and’ instead of ‘in’?) art in the categories poetry, fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, general art, and cover art.’

Horror stories and poems on the theme of Monsters. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

‘Harbor Review is an online space for poetry, audio, and art. We are a feminist journal: we believe women’s rights are human rights, abortion is essential healthcare and an essential human right, and all people deserve equal protection under the law. Our goal is to address gender parity and marginalization in publishing. We are committed to giving diverse voices a home and amplifying the reach of our contributors by providing a forum for conversations between the work of both new and experienced artists and poets.’


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