Comps and calls for June 2023

Hello everyone,

I’m recovering fast from my wrist fusion operation, though I’ll still be in plaster for a while. Many thanks to those of you who’ve sent good wishes. I can type properly now, at least! So this is a big, bumper issue to make up for last month’s short one.

For some reason, there are loads of opportunities in the ‘Submissions with no known deadline’ section this month. This is great for those who like to (or have to) take their time writing. One tip: copy the section, and put it in a folder to read in three months, or six months, or a year’s time. That way you won’t be submitting at the same time as everybody else! Though not all of the mags will be open at that time. As so often with submitting, it’s a difficult choice.

Huge love to those who give to my Patreon. There’s no special content – just the knowledge that you’re helping this site. You can also make a one-off contribution via PayPal, if you’d like.

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.


2nd Jun ‘For this mini-contest, tell, show, or evoke a complete story between 25 and 50 words long in which the same thing, place, or incident is seen from two very different points of view.’ PAYING

5th Jun Three awards for writing for television (Channel 4). VARIOUS NON-CASH PRIZES

7th Jun ‘Spectator Competition No. 3303: sex education. Sex education has been in the news lately. You are invited to submit an explanation of the facts of life by a person from the field of fact or fiction who might be deemed a surprising choice. Please email entries of up to 150 words/16 lines.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: scroll down past the recent winners – though reading them might give you some idea of the sort of thing the Spectator likes.)

13th Jun ‘Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world. We dare you to dream anew.’ 300-4000 words. PAYING

14th Jun ‘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: House Hunters/Love it or List It/Extreme Home Makeover/Flippers PAYING

15th Jun The Queen’s English Society Forum POETRY COMPETITION – WIN £100. The competition is open to all and entry is free. Each entrant may submit two poems not previously published or currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Please keep copies as those submitted will not be returned.’ Theme: STONE or STONES. To read further details, please join the group at (Cathy’s note: it’s free and I’m in it!)

30th Jun ‘A “drabble” is defined as a short story containing exactly precisely no more and no fewer than 100 words. It has a title, which can be from 1 to 15 words– but no more than 15. That’s a drabble.’ Theme: Space Station Duty Free. PAYING

30th Jun ‘The theme for Issue #13 will be These Things We Carry. As with every issue, poems submitted do not need to follow the prompt/theme. A single $100 award will be given for an outstanding poem. There is never a reading fee. An interview with the prize winner will be published in the same or next issue (optional). Poems can be any style, but preferably non-rhyming.’ PAYS ONE CONTRIBUTOR (Cathy’s note: I wasn’t sure whether this is a comp or a call, so I’ve put it in both sections.)

30th Jun ‘Marlborough LitFest is excited to launch this year’s national Love Books competition, to celebrate and share a love of reading amongst all ages. Now in its fourth year, this competition is open to anyone across the country in three age groups: 13-15 years, 16-19 years and 20 years and above… The annual LitFest Love Books competition invites participants to explain their choice of a favourite book, poem or play by a written response of up to 750 words. The emphasis needs to be on what entrants love about their chosen read and why they think others should try it.’ PAYING (thanks to )


Submissions OPEN 1st June and stay open until filled, or Oct 1st: unsettling short story 1500-5000 words for one of the Dark Decades series. Check the website for specific parameters. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

2nd Jun ‘We are now accepting submissions of poetry, flash fiction, short stories and creative non-fiction inspired by the theme ‘Into the Forest’.’ PAYING

2nd Jun ‘We are now open to poetry and fiction submissions for our Fiendish Father’s Day Issue, slated for publication June 2023. We are open to all of our regular horror themes as well as stories that have a Father’s Day element.’ Fiction and poetry. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: pays for accepted fiction, but not for poetry.)

3rd Jun ‘Water is life-sustaining—a symbol of rebirth, cleansing, healing, and renewal. It reflects its environment, and it offers us a glimpse of our surroundings. When we gaze upon our reflection, we see our rippled selves in a seemingly altered way. In this process, refugees, like these shifting reflections, can find the resilience to reshape their lives anew. This issue of Clepsydra aims to deliver hope and inspiration to those who may need it the most. In this issue, we will come together and share words that bring hope, inspiration, and renewal to these refugees. We will also showcase art that provides refugees with joy and comfort.’

2nd Jun ‘Our theme for our inaugural issue is genesis; origin and creation. We imagine stories which explore what it means to begin or to begin anew. New Beginnings are always possible– but at what cost? What comes before the beginning? What comes after? Feel free to expand or embellish this prompt however you like– art is exploration. The Litmora team is looking forward to receiving your (undoubtedly awesome) submissions! – Submissions don’t have to be focused on the theme ‘Genesis’, but we welcome all that are!’

5th Jun Women writers: fiction and poetry on the theme of Poison. ‘Our Issue 99 theme is toxic substances, and the deliberate or accidental damage they can cause.’ Poetry and fiction. PAYING

5th Jun Theme: Cinema. ‘For our winter 2023 issue, guest-edited by filmmaker, educator, and writer Saeed Taji Farouky, we seek works which explore the relationship between moving image–making and writing and what the two practices can offer one another… Contributors do not need to identify as of Arab/SWANA descent, provided their work is of relevance to or in dialogue with the social realities of the SWANA/Arab region or community.’ PAYING

5th Jun ‘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: Love.

6th Jun ‘Writers Victoria’s in-house magazine, The Victorian Writer, welcomes submissions from both members and non-members writing short fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and articles on the craft and business of writing.’ Theme: Lunar. PAYING

7th Jun Science Flash Fiction. PAYING

7th Jun We’re looking for all the same dark fiction, crime and noir as our usual submissions, but with a target length between 1,000 and 2,000 words, and aligned with the monthly submissions prompt.’ Theme: Freedom. PAYS ONE CONTRIBUTOR

10th Jun Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. PAYING

10th Jun Theme: Herbs and Spices. ‘Poets may send up to 5 short poems (30 lines max) as text in an email or in a single .doc attachment.’

10th Jun ‘We seem to get a LOT of strange science fiction romance and dating shorts and poems… There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact there’s so little wrong with that we gave in and are making an anthology just for it! THEME: Humorous sci-fi romance, romantic comedy, and smut. DEETS: Submit 1-3 short stories (50-3,000 words), or 1-5 poems (2-80 lines, including line breaks)’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) (Cathy’s note: the actual deadline is 30th June, but only the first ten days of the month don’t require a submission fee.)

13th Jun ‘Skear Zines is now open for submissions – we’re looking for zines that build worlds in flash fiction, poetry, entangled memoir, spells, magic realism, literary maps, or some other experimental form (anything from 50 – 2400 words). We’re particularly interested in working with people who haven’t been published or whose work has been overlooked. UNPAID but author gets 15 of the 40 print run.’

15th Jun Speculative poetry on the theme of Trauma. ‘Let your imaginations go wild in the speculative, but ground your trauma in the human experience.’ PAYING

15th Jun ‘The theme for this issue will be “Past Regrets.” We are open for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, and essays. We are looking for submissions from established, emerging, and never-before-published writers.’

15th Jun Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Pagan Renaissance: Getting Started in Paganism. PAYING

15th Jun ‘In Issue 18, we are exploring the treasure heap of minutiae that enrich our lives. Minutiae may only be small, precise details, but far from mere trifles in their impact on who we are and what we truly value as humans… We accept fiction, nonfiction, visual art, and poetry of all flavors, from free verse to found. We are also interested in submissions that include raven artwork.’

15 Jun ‘For poetry chapbooks, we are accepting manuscripts between 18-30 pages, single-spaced.  For flash fiction and flash creative nonfiction chapbooks, we are accepting manuscripts between 20-90 pages, double-spaced. For collections of prose, we are interested in manuscripts where most individual pieces do not exceed 2,000 words.’ PAYING

15th Jun Flash and short fiction on the theme of Light.

15th Jun Theme: Summer Solstice: Celebrations. ‘In the first of a new yearly digital collection, we are looking for beautiful works exploring nature in all its glory! We are particularly looking for work exploring the beauty and wonder of nature, celebrating the seasons, or natural things that you have an intimate connection to.’

16-18th Jun Novels or collections of the SFF genres.

22nd Jun Theme: Wild West.  ‘This is going to be a softer take on the usual cowboy fare. We want to see things like embroidery. textile arts and other handicrafts. We’re hoping for some dusty poems and dystopian western action. Laura Ingall’s fan fiction, your grandmother’s pie recipe or a top 10 list of your favorite spaghetti westerns.  We like surrealism, magical realism, speculative, confessional essays, feminist diatribes, punk DIYs, paper dolls, poems, comics and more.’

24th Jun Theme: Artificial Intelligence II Stories must be 2,000 (10% tolerance +/-)  PAYING

25th Jun ‘We are looking for ghazals of any topic for our next issue. Please note that we encourage creativity within this form but we do ask that your poem be recognizable as a ghazal.’

25th Jun Theme: Cosmos. Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

30th Jun Fantasy Flash Fiction. Bipoc writers only. PAYING

30th Jun Poems.

30th June Short stories on the theme of Mad Science. PAYING

30th June Horror and fantasy stories on the theme of Open All Night. PAYING

30th Jun ‘redrosethorns began with a simple core belief, that feminism is about empowerment. Through articles, poetry, interviews, art, and stories of all kinds, we intend to empower others to share their voices… For our second annual magazine edition, redrosethorns invites you to submit your unpublished writing and art on the theme of ‘HOME/BELONGING’… redrosethorns magazine publishes original short stories, creative non-fiction, fiction, poems, or art.’

30th Jun Dracula Beyond Stoker: Issue 3: Lucy Westenra/Bloofer Lady. ‘What’s your take on Miss Lucy? Innocent and pure? Promiscuous Tease? How about her time as the Bloofer Lady? You can romance us or scare us, just be sure to intrigue us.’ Fiction 500-5000 words. PAYING

30th Jun ‘In honor of Pride Month, no-fee submissions are open for all LGBTQIA2+/Queer writers, not limited to those from the US.’ Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

30th Jun ‘We want to build on our micro-journal, Carmen et Error’s ethos of small things done well (and strangely!). We are publishing one fiction chapbook: Unfurl, a collaboration between Finlay Worrallo, Nathaniel Spain and Kym Deyn and we will be opening submissions for poetry pamphlets and micro chapbooks.’ PAYING or ROYALTIES, plus copies

30th Jun ‘The theme for Issue #13 will be These Things We Carry. As with every issue, poems submitted do not need to follow the prompt/theme. A single $100 award will be given for an outstanding poem. There is never a reading fee. An interview with the prize winner will be published in the same or next issue (optional). Poems can be any style, but preferably non-rhyming.’ PAYS ONE CONTRIBUTOR (Cathy’s note: I wasn’t sure whether this is a comp or a call, so I’ve put it in both sections.)

30th Jun Theme: Pentacles. ‘Welcome to our four-book series, dedicated to horror inspired by the Tarot. Does the story have to be about Tarot Cards… NO. Think cups, knives, wands, and pentacles. We are looking for the theme to be the element, not necessarily the card itself, although we would love to read that as well… What we are looking for: Unique, clever, and terrifying stories. Well-written relatable characters with flaws and real dialogue. Take us on a journey and scare the sh*t out of us while doing it.’ PAYING

30th Jun ‘Poets are invited to submit full-length collections focused on a specific theme between May 1- June 30, 2023. In choosing a theme for submissions, the press will select an area that feels rich with possibility, representative of the Guest Editor’s interests, and open enough to allow for a wide range of interpretation. For the 2023 submission period, the theme is: Dreams and the Subconscious.’  CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) or possibly CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES – I’m not sure which. Cathy x

30th Jun ‘The Deronda Review is primarily a poetry magazine, but we are also open to short fiction, essay, and memoir… For the 2023 issue, we will still be interested in poems written in response to other poems (as in the 2022 issue).  Our main theme this time will be The Soul… In addition, poems about the seasons are always welcome.’

30th Jun Aotearoa New Zealand writers only: flash fiction up to 250 words on the theme of  MOANA / OCEAN.

30th Jun Poetry, flash, and much more on the theme of Mycelia. PAYING

30th Jun Theme: Motel. Fiction.

30th Jun ‘Submissions are now open for our next anthology, ‘A Coven of Witches.’ All submissions must include witches, or a witch, as the main theme of the piece. Each author may submit up to three pieces for consideration. We accept short stories of up to 5,000 words and poetry of any length.’ PAYING

30th Jun ‘Volume 9 of the popular Better Off Dead series will be themed around Death and Destruction.’ 4000-10,000 words. PAYING

30th Jun ‘We accept original submissions of short fiction in any genre (up to 3500 words), both formal and free verse poetry (up to 50 lines) as well as works of creative nonfiction (up to 3500 words). Theme: Childhood.’

30th Jun ‘B Cubed press is proud to announce our latest Open Call:  Alternative Truths. Southern Edition: Bless their Hearts (working title). Edited by K.G.  Anderson and Bob Brown and the next in B Cubed Press’s best-selling Alternative Truths series. This book will examine the South, a place where politicians and their followers compete to peg the outrage meter. Why—and how—are they turning the United States into a cauldron of bigotry and hate?’ Stories, essays and poems. PAYING

1st Jul ‘O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press will consider chapbook collections of 20 (minimum) to 44 (maximum) pages of Experimental Discourse with no individual title in the submission to exceed 2100 words.’ (Cathy’s note: they have 100 fee-free submissions per month, so get your submission in quickly!)

1st Jul ‘This anthology is ONLY open to authors who themselves are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary. Stories MUST be from the point of view of a character who is a woman, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary.’  Erotic fiction from 2000-5000 words. PAYING

1st Jul Writers aged 40 or over: theme: IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE FALL IN THE CEMETERY. ‘In which your work deals with the broad idea of fall: death/endings/Halloween/All Saints, a chill in the air, etc., not horror for this, but a piece that’s more ghostly than horror would work too.’ Poetry, fiction, and more.

1st Jul ‘Coffin Bell is an online journal for dark literature. Publishing quarterly, Coffin Bell reads submissions year-round. If your submission misses the deadline for one (unthemed) issue, it will automatically be considered for the next.’ Flash fiction, short story, creative nonfiction, poetry, essay, short criticism, art.


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

Poetry and prose. PAYING

‘We accept submissions of original fiction (short stories) and creative nonfiction (essays) up to 4000 words. Flash is also welcome. We are exceedingly unlikely to publish genre fiction.’

‘Immigration Diaries will platform and empower the words of those who are immigrants or have experienced the effects of immigration in their lives. Through this, we hope to connect people through similar and shared experiences.’

‘VerbalArt welcomes unsolicited submissions of poems and anything about poets and poetry. We also publish critical/research articles, translation, book reviews, interviews, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, essays, travelogues and creative writings pertaining to poems, poets and poetry.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

‘Honoring anarchist traditions while also remembering the great Octavia E. Butler, Black Dawn seeks to explore themes that do not reinforce dependency on oppressive forces (the State, police, capitalism, elected officials) and will generally express the values of antiracism, feminism, anticolonialism, and anti-capitalism … With its natural creation of alternate universes and world-building, speculative fiction acts as a perfect tool for imagining various avenues that can be pursued to bring forth a just and free world.’   Agents and authors are encouraged to submit science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, horror, and mystery works of 25,000 to 55,000 words.

‘Phenomenal Literature welcomes unsolicited submissions of novels, poetry, short stories, drama, plays, Critical/Research/Academic Articles, translations, book reviews, interviews, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, essays, travelogues and creative writing.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

Accepting queries for full length books.

‘If you have nostalgia for th carny, gritty world of professional wrestling, we wanna read, and we may wanna put it up on our new Jobbers sections, dedicated to our childhood love and adult nostalgia for the kayfabe and real stories behind the wrestling we loved growing up.  Think Tom Graves’ epic arm wrestling novel, Pullers, but with pro wrestling instead of arm wrestling.’–submit.html

‘We are seeking works up to 32 pages.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

‘Send us your poetry, fiction, flash fiction, nonfiction, and whatever else you’ve been dreaming up—we’re looking for the weird and the wonderful.’

‘We try to group articles and submissions by theme when it makes sense to do so. Articles are always about feminism, innovation, enterprise and critiques of policies and systems that drive inequality.  We are trans inclusive and intersectional feminists-full stop… LiisBeth/ welcomes queries from professional and emerging feminist writers and artists anywhere along the gender continuum. We prioritize submissions from womxn, trans, queer-identified writers, community voices and journalists.’ PAYING

‘The Bosphorus Review of Books is an English-language literary journal based in Istanbul. We aim to provide a platform for cross-cultural exchange, making space for literary works and non-fictional commentary for readers in Turkey and across the world.’ Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and more.

Poetry. ‘Some type of meter, such as iambic pentameter, is required (except for haiku, which are purely based on syllable counting). Some metrical variation is natural and fine.’

Novella and novel MSS of horror, crime, mystery, and dark general fiction. Between 20,000 and 110,000 words. ROYALTIES

‘We are looking for good quality, pieces of writing, be that story, critique, poem, prose, spoken word, music, or other written work. The writer’s section is changing a little this year, and we are not restricting you to a theme and the open call is a rolling one. If you want to send work that is to the theme then do take a look on our website or social media pages to see what we are after for that month, Otherwise, the theme is Open – it must be creative, inspiring, or. critical in some way.’

‘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.’ ROYALTIES

‘The way we connect with God in this life can be (and should be) shared with those who are struggling and surviving through the darkness. We are called to be the light. What have you gone through that can help others? What have you survived that points your very life to Christ? I’d love for you to share your story in written form with my subscribers.’ Poetry, fiction, and essays.

‘Our focus is on visual and literary art that is “ekphrastic” in nature. The scope that this covers is broad: literature inspired by painting, photography, film, performance; visual art provoked by poems, prose, essays, journalism, etc.  We request any work that finds its home in interdisciplinary expression. This includes visually-adventurous poetry, non-conventional prose, scripts, screenplays, reviews, original translation, and more.’

‘According to the Coroner is excited to hear what you have sworn to take to the grave. We take submissions always and publish issues when the ghosts start to get loud. We are excited to look at submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art.’

‘Thank you for your interest in submitting to Guernica. We publish poetry, essays, reportage/journalism, criticism, and fiction.’ PAYING

Up to three haiku or senryu.

‘The Battering Ram will only review submissions from students in high school or younger. Submit your work to be reviewed by our Editorial Board, and possibly be published in our award-winning journal! We welcome submissions of poetry, prose, artwork, photography, and anything else magnificent you’ve created.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

‘InterNova is a pure science fiction magazine, no fantasy, horror and so on (no offence intended!). We are looking for intelligent, stylish and entertaining modern sf stories, original in idea and conception, from all over the world. For our nonfiction-section we are also looking for articles and essays on international science fiction, especially surveys of the local sf production of countries and areas outside of the English-speaking world.’

‘Have something you think would fit at The Gorko? Email fake news reviews cartoons art poems and queries.’

Erotic fiction for a podcast. PAYING

‘We like stories with singular visions and points-of-view. We want to be the home of fiction that challenges the reader even just a little bit, at least to the point of thinking about something in a new or different way. We’d like to sit somewhere between speculative fiction and literary fiction, taking aspects of both and creating something new and original. We like wild, out-there, high-concept ideas that are still very grounded in character.’ PAYING

Poetry and short prose. (Cathy’s note: although there’s no pay, I, S and T is highly respected here in the UK, and elsewhere.)


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.