Comps and calls for August 2023

Hello Everyone,

I’m recovering well from my second wrist operation, and I’m hoping that this and future editions of C&C will have all the best listings each month – as always, free to submit or enter, and many paying.

Huge love to my Patreon heroes, who donate to keep this site going but never get any special content. This website was created to make getting published as fair and equal a process as possible, so my content is open to all. This makes the donors extra special, as they receive nothing but my thanks.

Should I start a Substack? What are your thoughts? Let me know on

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 Aug Spectator Competition No. 3211: Chamber music. ‘You are invited to submit a song suitable for inclusion in a parliamentary songbook. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 2 August.’

2nd  Aug ‘The Bennett Nieberg Transpoetic Broadside Prize awards a single poem written by a trans poet who has yet to publish their first full-length book.’ PAYING

9th Aug Spectator Competition No. 3312: Cooking the books. You are invited to supply a contribution to a book of recipes invented by fictional characters. Entries must be for the Carrollean, Dickensian or Shakespearean sections. Please email entries of up to 150 words/16 lines to by midday on 9 August.’ PAYING

14th Aug ‘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: Alone/Survivor/Naked and Afraid/The Nature of Things PAYING

21st Aug Ireland only: ‘The Waterford Poetry Prize is open to all writers currently living on the island of Ireland.’ Poetry. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

25th Aug ‘If you have an idea for a book of nature writing, you haven’t previously published a book, you’re based in the UK or Ireland, and you consider yourself underrepresented in nature writing (whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances) then the Nan Shepherd Prize is for you.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘Poets of color with US citizenship who have not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. Simultaneous submissions to other contests should be noted. Immediate notification upon winning another award is required. Winner must be available for a reading to be held in Chicago at The Poetry Foundation on a mutually agreeable date.’ Poetry chapbook MS. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Write a 3000+ word story for one of the six provided horrible covers. The best novelette for each cover will be published with royalties and a $25 award.’ PAYING

31st Aug Up to 2 haiku in English, Chinese or Spanish.  NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘Content Requirements: It needs to conform to the concepts and characteristics of Dyson Sphere scientific theory, including the uses, size, structure of a Dyson sphere and other related basic settings, and reflect and expand them in the story. On this basis, we welcome the canons and content of various streams of technology that can be considered as topics which could be related to “Dyson Sphere.”’ 30,000-100,000 words. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Creative nonfiction authors are invited to submit an essay of up to 3,500 words on the subject of their choice to be considered for the Diana Woods Memorial Award in creative nonfiction.’ PAYING

31st Aug ‘Translators and authors of multilingual texts are encouraged to submit their work for The Gabo Prize.’ PAYING

31st Aug Story 6-10,000 words. PAYING

1st Sep ‘For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long based on the photograph provided.’ UNKNOWN PAYMENT


1st -31st Aug ‘We’re not limited to any particular genre, and publish poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and visual art.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: free subs are capped at 300, so get your submission in early!)

3rd Aug ‘HAL publishes visual art, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, long form essays, reviews, video, film, and sound.’ Theme: Mundane is Radical. PAYING

4th Aug ‘Even as the conditions for human life on earth destabilize, even as ecosystems collapse, and bodies both human and nonhuman are uprooted from their homelands, even as technologies enable and encourage unprecedented forms of disconnection, human bodies are rediscovering old ways—and finding new and remarkable ways—to come into relation with place.’ Submissions in English, French and German.

5th Aug ‘Alien Magazine is looking for all types of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art submissions. Don’t be afraid to send us anything. Disclaimer: We are not a science fiction magazine, though we are open to SF work. By “Alien” we mean “outsider” or anything that exists outside the societal norm.’ PAYING

5th Aug ‘We seek to publish the unheard, the weird, the comforting, the loved, and the disquieted.’

5th Aug Poetry, fiction and much more on the theme of A Heatwave.

5th Aug Poetry on the theme of Animal Magic.

6th Aug Folk horror stories 2000-4000 words. PAYING

6th Aug Letter on the theme of letter to my lover. Must follow one of the provided prompts.

7th Aug ‘Vengeful spirits. Sinister groves. Ancient curses. Here the trees have eyes and whispers aren’t from the wind. Join us in the woodlands and get lost amongst the leaves in Issue Five: Wicked Woodlands. For this issue, we’re accepting short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and visual art for middle grade and young adult readers.’

9th Aug Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Subscribe. PAYING

9th Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Funeral Foods. PAYING

11th Aug ‘UNDERLAND PRESS is publishing SHUB-NIGGURATH’S SWEATER, a cozy cosmic horror anthology… We want to see stories about those who continue on. Stories about those who know their spouses are planning on sacrificing them during the next full moon, but in the meantime, these spouses make a solid mac and cheese and they listen when you bitch about the absurd emptiness that is the day job…Yes, the Old Ones are out there, but there’s no reason not to be cozy… Stories should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. We’ll consider longer stories, but we’re not interested in novellas for this project. We’re totally down with poetry, and would love to see it.’ PAYING

12th Aug ‘Blood & Bourbon is here to showcase all things hard, gritty, and raw.’ Theme: Choices.

13th Aug ‘Unless otherwise stated, Island welcomes submissions from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Australians living abroad.’ Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

14th Aug Canadians only: Poetry and fiction on the theme of Solastalgia. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Alaska Women Speak welcomes submissions in the following genres: non-fiction, poetry, fiction, memoir, creative non-fiction, and essay. We also publish work from visual artists and welcome Cover Art/Photo submissions.’ Theme: Apologies.

15th Aug Poetry and art on the theme of form poems. PAYING

15th Aug ‘RED HEADED WRITING seeks pieces inspired by the music of Willie Nelson, especially the spare and haunting album Red Headed Stranger.  We want stories and cnf and verse that hits themes like love, the jilted, revenge, roaming, and redemption.  We want a toke of anything you’ve got inspired by Shotgun Willie.’–submit.html

15th Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Familiars. PAYING

15th Aug Theme: Trespass. ‘We are looking for beautiful works exploring trespass within nature; access to natural spaces, the right to roam, rural trespass and land ownership (whether private or by the commons) are all specific interpretations of this theme we’d particularly like to see.’

15th Aug Poems.

15th Aug ‘Founded in September 2009, Lowestoft Chronicle is an online literary magazine, published quarterly, accepting flash fiction, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Preference is given to humorous submissions with an emphasis on travel. An anthology of the best work is published annually. Our mission is to form a global “think tank” of inquisitive, worldly scribblers, collectively striving towards excellence and, if possible, world domination.’

15th Aug Flash fiction (up to 1000 words). ‘We want a feel-good fantasy story, if not feel-good, make someone in the story happy. Soft revenge and kismet are under the umbrella of feel good or satisfying, (No outright horror, gore, or overall nastiness.)’ PAYING

15th Aug ‘We are currently accepting submissions for: Poetry, Art, Short Stories, Songs, New Books, Photography, etc.’ Theme: Folklore and Fairytales.

15th Aug ‘Send us your birdsong-inspired poetry, the symbolic, the prophetic, the transcendental. Channel Walt Whitman. Interpret the theme in a unique or unexpected way…Submit up to six (6) tiny poems.’

15th Aug ‘Tales from the Moonlit Path publishes dark, eerie, speculative stories. Horror is not a necessary element, although fiction should contain some aspect of the weak, frail, changeable human condition.’ Fiction and poetry. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: They pay for fiction, but not for poetry or art.)

15th Aug 50-500 words in response to this month’s provided image.

15th Aug Speculative flash and short fiction by immigrant and diaspora authors. PAYING

15th Aug ‘The Lorelei Signal is a quarterly SF/Fantasy electronic magazine – one that will feature strong / complex female characters. This does not mean your female character has to be the main hero or villain in the story. What it does mean is no shrinking violets, or women who serve only to get into trouble so the male hero can rescue them.’ Poetry, flash, short fiction. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Up to five poems, all five lines or fewer. Harvest. Halloween. The cool rust in the air. You know. Visual work is also welcome for this call (haiga, etc.).’

17th Aug ‘We want your music-related Holiday stories and poems. Submissions must relate to both music and a late autumn or early winter holiday such as Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Dongzhi Festival, Dongji, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or New Years. For our Holiday Supplement, we can also accept submissions that relate to dance.’

19th Aug Theme: Masks II. Stories must be 2,000 (10% tolerance +/-)  PAYING

27th Aug ‘Following our hugely successful Black Sci-Fi Short Stories, First Peoples Shared Stories, Immigrant Sci-Fi Short Stories and Asian Ghost Short Stories, we’re now seeking tales from African and African-diaspora writers to be included in our powerful collection of African Ghost Short Stories. The volume will explore the deep-seated supernatural element in African storytelling – whether reaching back to the spirits, ancestors and ogres of folklore or the vibrantly modern ghosts of today’s African horror.’ PAYING

28th Aug (July 31, 2023-August 6, 2023 for marginalized voices; August 7, 2023-August 28, 2023 for all submitters) ‘The Off-Season is an anthology of disquieting and disturbing New Weird horror set in landscapes and communities on the edge of the sea. These coastal stories defamiliarize the ordinary, evoke dread even in the daylight, and haunt like half-remembered nightmares.’

28th Aug ‘We are open writer/artist who self-identify as queer/LGBTQIA/pan/non-binary. Our cishet/ cisallohet allies, are welcome to submit, but we ask that the story center around a character who self-identifies as queer/LGBTQIA/pan/non-binary.’ Short fiction, CNF and more. PAYING

30th Aug True stories and narrative poems on the theme of The Power of Positive Thinking. PAYING

30th Aug ‘STRIPES LITERARY MAGAZINE is open for submission. We are accepting original poetry, prose (fiction and creative non-fiction), art and photography for our Issue 3:Volume 2. This issue is themed HAPPY MEMORIES.’

31st Aug ‘Megaphone Writers CIC provides development for people of colour in England who want to write for children and teenagers. Our ultimate aim is to change bookshelves so every child can see themselves in stories.’ (Cathy’s note: there are a couple of completely funded places on this available.)

31st Aug ‘Send us your most seductive flash fiction and prose poetry! We’re seeking super short erotica in any subgenre, featuring characters of any and every orientation and gender, so long as they’re 18+ and express their consent to all erotic activities. Whether they find pleasure through BDSM, fetish, or vanilla encounters; in long-term romances or one-night stands; with one person, a roomful of people, or just themselves, it’s all good.’ Up to 1500 words. PAYING

31st Aug ‘Just because the cosmic flirts with disaster doesn’t mean it can’t flirt with other things! In this anthology, we’re looking for cosmic tales with a light romantic twist. Think couples visiting Leng on blind dates and Carcosa on their honeymoons, Valentine’s Day roses tinted with the Color Out of Space, and brains in jars finding everlasting love with Mi-go… Open to poetry, and stories 1,000 to 6,000 words, in English.’ PAYING

31st Aug ‘Would I Lie to You will be a collection of crime fiction/noir short stories inspired by the music of the legendary pop group, Eurythmics.’ 2000-4000 words. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE, CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Aug ‘What we have presented here are six horribly made covers that you would expect from an over-enthusiastic self-publishing author who insists that their skills with photoshop is all they need in the world. Well, that and a little bit of written content. Minor. How does this involve you? We need the questionable content to go with them! Over the next four months we will be taking submissions for novelettes that use the covers as the prompts.’ PAYING

31st Aug Speculative fiction and poetry on the theme of  Reclamation. PAYING

31st Aug ‘All stories must have science fiction or fantasy elements… Please no stories dealing with space exploration or colonization in this anthology.  We want stories about underdogs that take fantastical worlds or places but want characters to be the focus.’ About 3000-12,000 words. PAYING

31st Aug ‘It’s the question asked of any story about a haunting: why didn’t you just leave? If accounts of people who have stayed in haunted houses are any indication, it’s never that simple. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t just leave scary situations, and we’d like to see smart, spooky stories that reflect the complexity behind that question.’ 500-5000 words. PAYING

31st Aug Horror fiction 3000-6000 words. PAYING

31st Aug ‘The cause of Roman poet Ovid’s exile was “carmen et error”, a poem and a mistake. We want your poems and your mistakes. Fiction that falls between genres. Weird, wild poems. Anything speculative, daring, or just plain odd…we accept poems up to 40 lines long, and microfiction/oddities up to 350 words. We reserve a couple of spaces for writers who are from or have a significant connection to the North of England.’

31st Aug Horror stories up to 10,000 words. PAYING

1st Sep ‘We are currently accepting  submissions of poetry, flash fiction, and micro memoirs for our inaugural issue.’

1st Sep Themes for different editions: Teachers; College Life; Parenting; Kids (written by kids for kids); and Teenage Years. ‘The Bad Day Book is a humorous de-motivational motivational book. A compilation of stories detailing different people’s funny bad days. The perfect gift to those you know who are having a bad day, or a pick-me up for your own rough times.’ Tue, first pewrson stories up to 1500 words, and poems that tell a story. PAYING

1st Sep Theme: Nebula. ‘Send words and art that blur dreams back into existence.’


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

Until filled: ‘We are open to stories, poems, essays, and visual art. The anthology is open to individuals who a) identify as queer and b) have experienced either incarceration or the threat of incarceration. (note: for the purposes of this anthology, we are including state-mandated stays in mental hospitals as incarceration). Loved ones of those individuals may also submit, with acceptance depending on the volume of submissions, as preference will be given first to those directly affected.’ PAYING

Until filled: ‘The Spring issues of Coreopsis Journal and Roses and Wildflowers will explore the nature of the wild and what it means to enter wild places through essays, reviews, editorials and, in the mythopoetic imprint Roses and Wildflowers, with poetry, fiction, and art.’ PAYING

Canadians: ‘Second Story Press is proud to be a Canadian feminist press, and to publish books that our entire team believes in…We focus on publishing Canadian authors (citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are currently living in Canada). We rarely make exceptions to this rule.’

‘Open to anyone who identifies as trans (or to those who are seeking a platform to explore their relationship to gender but aren’t quite sure how they identify), x/y is now open to submissions for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, recipes, collage, comics, drawings, paintings, crossword puzzles, or anything else that you want to throw at us.’

Flash, short fiction, poetry, and more.

Book MSS by Canadians.

‘We accept… fiction, poetry, nonfiction, one-act plays, hybrid works (submissions blending more than one of these forms), or visual art/photography. We are now open to submissions from US and International writers and artists.’

‘Currently the only submissions we’re taking are for our project  ‘Off-Cuts and Loose-Ends’ . We’re planning on producing a variety of publications from tiny chapbooks to postcards to bookmarks to broadsides or pamphlets. Due to the size of some of these off-cuts, they won’t fit through our printers, meaning we’ll be hand-stamping and typewriting many of these publications. For this reason we’re going to mainly focus on minimalist poetry.’

Poetry and fiction.

Micro poetry.

‘The Vineyard is our biannual unthemed zine, open to all and published in January and June. Poetry, prose, visual art, or anything weirder you have up your sleeves—send it our way.’


‘Founded in July 2019 by Jean Lowd, Creative James Media seeks to discover and publish new authors and bring exciting, genre bending stories to life.’

‘We are looking for searing, electric work that plays with language in beautiful ways. Send us your love for words, in whatever form that manifests—bonus points if your work is connected to nature or the environment in some way. We’re a fan of confessional writing, but also of simple, pretty things. Nothing is too raw here. We want your authentic voices and your deepest truth.’ Poetry and prose.

‘NeWest publishes outstanding literary works by established and emerging Canadian authors. On average, we publish from 10 to 12 books a year. Our list includes fiction (including mysteries), poetry, drama, and non-fiction works with literary merit; we are especially interested in publishing books by Western Canadian authors or which explore Western Canadian themes.’

‘We will consider all types of work: games, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art, audio, anything else you can think of – as long as it’s interactive.’

‘We publish Canadian authors and landed immigrants and strive to publish a significant number of new writers, to publish in a variety of genres, and to have a portion of each year’s list authored by Manitoba writers and/or books featuring prairie content. We are always looking for titles that reflect the diversity of both Manitoba and Canada and encourage Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers from the LGBTQ2S community and writers with disabilities to send us their work.’ Poetry, fiction and nonfiction MSS.

‘The editorial and publication team are drawn towards titles that are engaging, that they find are inspiring and enlightening, and bring the words to life for contemporary audiences. We are currently accepting submissions of manuscripts and proposals of both fiction and non-fiction.’

‘At Bay Press is a literary publisher. We are only interested in literary fiction and literary non-fiction—including poetry. We do publish literary mysteries, thrillers, and noir and are interested in quality submissions in the science fiction, fantasy and graphic novel genres as well.’

‘We are currently open for submissions for our “From the Heart” series. The focus of this series is to bring short works to the trade in a small, well designed, inexpensive book format. We are accepting short poetry collections (minimum 5 poems, maximum 10 poems per manuscript), literary short fiction stories, genre fiction short stories, non-fiction short works, short essays, graphic novellas etc.’


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