Comps and calls for May 2023

Hello Everyone,

I had my wrist fusion operation this month! So, the listings are tiny!

I should be better next month I hope when I shall be able to type with any luck. Keep writing!

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.


11th May ‘Limp Wrist’s Glitter Bomb Award  (GBA) is an annual poetry contest.  The award is for one outstanding poem by a poet of any stage of her/his/their career.  The GBA is a contest with no entry fee that is open to LGBTQIA+/non-binary poets and their allies.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

14th May Underrepresented UK writers over 18 only: poetry, fiction or CNF on the theme of X. PAYING (Cathy’s note: the eligibility criteria are quite broad, so don’t self-reject!)

14th May ‘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: Great British Bake Off/Baking It/Cooking Shows PAYING

15th May ‘Submissions should be haiku inspired by insects (or spiders or millipedes or other related arthropods).’ PRIZES (UNKNOWN WHAT)

1st Jun ‘The OFIC Press Prize will be awarded to up to 2 novels and up to 3-4 novellas, which will be published in 2024. The prize for a novel is $1000 and a novella $250. Novels will be published as standalone books and novellas will be compiled into an anthology. Your work must stand on its own as an original piece, although we of course welcome common fanfiction tropes (or the subversion thereof), and works that feel fanfiction-y but contain original characters and worlds. If you don’t know what “in fandom” means, this is not the press for you.’ PAYING


3rd May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Spice. PAYING

3rd May Poets living outside the United States: ‘… you must be a woman over 60. You may submit up to three poems, all of which should be previously unpublished.’ (Cathy’s note: they refer to this as a competition, but as there’s no prize except publication, it doesn’t fit the specifications for a competition on Comps and Calls.)

3rd May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Spice. PAYING

7th May 800-2000 word story on the theme of Heroes & Villains.

8th May ‘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: Self-control.

15th May Poetry and art on the theme of Second POV. PAYING

15th May Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Pride Month. ‘What might a sacred story immortalizing an LGBTQIA+ icon look like today? Do you factor Stonewall, Pride, or marriage equality into your sacred cosmology? Do you view some deities as being particularly linked with LGBTQIA identities or breaking gender norms?’ PAYING

15th May ‘Farmer-ish publishes both online issues and print collections. We’re looking for creative and engaging content on farming, homesteading, raising animals, cooking, making, and raising a family. We want creative nonfiction, personal essays, memoir, how-to pieces, informational and instructional essays, poetry, and more.’ PAYING

19th May Women over 60: writing on the theme of Verbal Lightning.

20th May Women over 60: ‘Topic for the fall issue: Shameless Self-Promotion. What we are looking for: Women of the “boomer” generation and before were, by and large, raised to be self-effacing, not to trumpet our accomplishments. In fact, many of us came of age believing it would be unseemly for us even to have accomplishments. It’s time to step outside that (dis)comfort zone: Short Takes is open for bragging. Of all the fabulous things you have done in your life, until now cloaked in demure silence, which makes you proudest? Share it, or them, with pride, and without embarrassment.’

31st May Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of Creature. PAYING

30th May ‘Pupusas nourish body and soul. They are an umbilical cord to the cultural, spiritual, and historical roots of Salvadorans and Central Americans in the US. Tell us your stories of immigration, arrival, resilience, identity, and community through the lens of the humble and mighty pupusa. We welcome poems written in English or Spanish.’

31st May ‘Our third issue invites poetry, short stories, essays, interviews, visual art, film, and creative nonfiction that responds to conflict in the post-Soviet space. Conflicts may be interpreted broadly, including the linguistic, economic, social, ethnic, national, religious, or political. We seek to avoid Russocentrism, highlighting the underrepresented. However, we also acknowledge the responsibility Russians have to interrogate the cultural forces that undergird, promote, or permit Russian authoritarianism and imperialism. For this reason, we also invite Russian dissident voices.’

31st May ‘Reckon Review accepts prose (fiction and non-fiction) of any length. No poetry please… This is where we tell you what our aesthetic is, but we don’t like rules, and believe guidelines cramp creativity. Send us honest and vulnerable, something you’re proud of, something that will keep us up at night. Meagan’s taste skews gritty and rural, but she loves surprises.’

31st May ‘This summer, we are celebrating Farmer-ish kids with a special issue written for kids and by kids. Because future generations are our hope, we are excited to present an opportunity for young writers, ages 12-18, to share their stories or passions for farming, gardening, nature, and more.’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

31st May ‘We want real life content that makes us choke into our coffee. Whether it is something overheard in Wellington, Auckland, Tulum, LA or Brooklyn NY. Send us your hilarious snippets, your short essays on life, and see how far you can push it.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

1st Jun ‘We seek to publish the best in Black and Brown poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from established, emerging, and never-before-published writers around the world.’ Theme: Climate. PAYING

1st Jun ‘O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press will consider pamphlet collections of 8 (minimum) to 16 (maximum) pages of poetry, prose poetry, or flash discourse, ifiction or nonfiction, including memoir.’ (Cathy’s note: they have 100 fee-free submissions per month, so get your submission in quickly!)

1st Jun ‘Saucy Pineapple Publishing is currently taking submissions for polyamorous tentacle lover stories for Treasured Tentacles. This anthology is just for fun because… well, we’re curious. Aren’t you?’ 5000-10,000 words. PAYING


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

None this month! Normal service should be resumed soon…


1 Comment

  1. Hi, Cathy. Please note for your writers’ sake that Songs of Eretz demands ‘exclusive reprint rights in perpetuity’ if they publish your work and for that they pay the princely sum of $7.
    Doug Jacquier

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