Comps and calls for November 2023

Hello everyone,

It’s drizzly and cold here in the North of England – a good time of year to write in the warmest room you have! As the old rhyme so very nearly says:

   Remember, Remember, to write in November,
   Articles, fiction and pomes.
   And if you Remember, submit in November
   To find your work fabulous homes.

Ha! I bet you can do better than that, anyway!

As always, many thanks to my Patreon People. I really appreciate your support.

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 Nov ‘We are excited to announce the fourth annual Bird in Your Hands Prize: a contest that centers and celebrates BIPOC voices. This is a no-fee contest accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in any form under 500 words.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

13th Nov ‘Unlike many other prizes, we will not be asking for completed scripts. Instead, playwrights will be invited to submit a pitch form for a new idea alongside a sample of their writing.’ PAYING

14th Nov  ‘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: Do your worst month (Canada’s Worst Handyman, America’s Ugliest House, Nailed It) PAYING

15th Nov ‘Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK. Each year a question or quote exploring Benjamin Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2023 is:

“Government must depend for its Efficiency either on Force or Opinion.” From ‘The Colonist’s advocate’, VII. (Feb 1, 1770)’ PAYING

15th Nov US only (though check eligibility as there are various categories within that): ‘The Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize is given to honor exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present.’ PAYING

19th Nov ‘Wild Words is an exciting new cross-species poetry project inviting young people aged 18 and under across the UK to connect with nature. We want you to collaborate with an element of your local environment, whether a flower, insect, bird, tree, natural landscape, or even the weather, to craft an original piece of poetry.’ (Cathy’s note: the only prize is publication, but I’m hoping that publication will be thrilling enough for children.)

30th Nov ‘This is the place for you to enter your absolute best six word stories, memoirs, poems, and jokes, with the chance of winning $100, getting published, and being named the Six Word Wonder!’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘First novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a traditional or romantic style.’ PAYING (LOTS) (thanks to for reminding me of this one.)

30th Nov ‘This competition is focused on finding new voices in crime, thriller, mystery and suspense.’ Send the first 5000 words of your novel. Check eligibility requirements. PAYING

30th Nov ‘To make a long story short: we want your stories! Open to writers never before published in The Hudson Review.10,000 word limit.’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘For this award, any genre or theme of short story is accepted. All applicants should submit their original unpublished work of short fiction or nonfiction, 5,000 words or fewer, to be considered.’ PAYING

30th Nov Short story, 6-10,000 words. PAYING

1st Dec ‘The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry is awarded annually to an African poet who has not yet published a collection of poetry.’ PAYING

1st Dec ‘The theme this year is Love Letters to London of the Future. What does your London of the future look like – what are your passions, hopes, dreams and aspirations for this most wonderful of cities? Now in its third year, this competition is open to everyone to celebrate our wonderful, fantastic, infuriating city in prose or poetry. Open to all ages, and to all writing styles – fiction, poetry, essays and reportage – whether you live in the capital or not.’ PAYING

1st Dec US only: Experimental, both pulished and unpublished. PAYING


4th Nov ‘Paper Dragon is committed to publishing poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and artwork that resonates with contemporary readers.’ Theme: Friendship.

5th Nov Poetry, fiction and more.

5th Nov ‘As always, we’re open to submissions of short stories, flash fiction and even novel extracts (which are self-contained/can stand alone) – so long as they are unpublished and 800-2000 words long.’ READING IN LONDON

5th Nov or until filled: Poetry on the theme of For the Ages.

6th Nov ‘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: Patience.

10th Nov ‘ANTHOLOGY CALL: LoveNotes! – True Stories of First Love, Last Love, & All The Love In Between. Have you ever been in love? Submit your TRUE story, anything from heartbreaking to heartwarming, about romantic love in any of its incarnations. Remember, a LoveNotes! story is the kind of yarn in which Cupid has shot someone in the heart and has lived to tell the tale.’ 1000 words or under.

10th Nov or when 200 submissions have been received: ‘We will consider only previously unpublished and philosophically informed creative work (though our understanding of “philosophically informed” is capacious). Please submit only one prose manuscript or up to five poems for each issue. We are accepting submissions on the theme of books, reading, and being read.’ PAYING

10th Nov Canadians only: poetry, reviews, essays and art.

10th Nov Poetry and prose on the theme of Burning up/Burning Down.  CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

11th Nov Theme: Infestation. Stories must be 2,000 (10% tolerance +/-)  PAYING

12th Nov ‘Our main focus is genre fiction, prioritizing on character-focused stories.’ Theme: Home. PAYING

13th Nov ‘Dog Throat Journal is dedicated to the publication and promotion of flash fiction and prose poetry. Flash fiction has various definitions, but for our purposes we define it as a work of fiction up to 1000 words.’

15th Nov Articles or artwork on the theme of Queer Iconography/Icons. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Nov Poetry and art on the theme of Winter Solstice. PAYING

15th Nov Writers aged 25 and under: Poetry and prose on the theme of Lacuna.

15th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Art and Music. PAYING

15th Nov Haiku on the theme of a gift you received or sent this year.

15th Nov ‘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.’ Poems and stories on the theme of On Vacation. PAYING

15th Nov Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Feel. ‘What do you feel when you dive, submerge, flip beneath the surface? Literally, though, do your palms have a grasp on this elusive fluid or does it slip between your fingers?’ PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: only Australian contributors are paid.)

15th Nov ‘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. Each issue I hope to publish: 7 short stories, 1 flash fiction piece and 2 poems.’ PAYING

15th Nov Stories that rebel in some way, on the theme of Two for the Show. PAYING

15th Nov ‘Artful autobiographical writing’ on the theme of Correspondences.

18th Nov Horror short story up to 4000 words, on the theme of Flora and Fungi. PAYING

20th Nov ‘Friends Journal welcomes articles, poetry, art, photographs, and letters from our readers. We are also helped by your comments and questions. We are an independent magazine serving the entire Religious Society of Friends.’ Articles, poetry, and more. No particular theme this month.

20th Nov ‘Laughter is the best medicine. And we love to publish your funny stories—in all our books. Our books filled with nothing but funny stories are always bestsellers, so we’re doing it again.’ PAYING

20th Nov Women over 60: lists of likes and dislikes for their Short Takes section.

20th Nov Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Cozy.

24th Nov ‘All writers must be undergraduates who are enrolled in a college or university, and who have not yet earned an undergraduate degree.’ Poetry, fiction, and more. SOME CONTRIBUTORS GET CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

25th Nov Flash and short fiction on the theme of Intrepidus – undaunted and overcoming. PAYING

30th Nov ‘Do you identify as a queer mom and a feminist? Are you parenting a son? We want to know your story! We are excited to announce a new collection of essays and interviews featuring writings by queer moms of sons about the intersection of queer parenting and the development of healthy masculinity.’ PAYING

30th Nov ‘In honor of Native American Heritage Month, no-fee submissions are open for all Native/Indigenous/First Nations creators, not limited to those from the US.’ Poetry, fiction, and more. PAYING

30th Nov MS. ‘We publish poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, and creative non-fiction.’

30th Nov Assault Team: ‘Uncommon courage was a common virtue that day. These are a collection of stories about the common soldier rising to the occasion and defending their ship against enemy hordes. Or they can be those same heroes capturing the enemy ship, but regardless of which side of the boarding party they’re on, courage is the underlying theme.’ 5000-10,000 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

30th Nov ‘Vital Minutiae Quarterly wants to collect and curate writing and art that is focused on the creative process. We accept submissions of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, visual art about the creative process, and images of physical art.’

30th Nov ‘10 stories of original British gothic fiction between 4000 and 8000 words will be selected for this first volume.’ PAYING

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more incorporating the three elements: Waterfall, Blackout, and Roadkill.

30th Nov ‘The Broken City is currently accepting submissions for its winter 2023 edition: Silver and other screens.That’s right, the magazine is running an issue on cinema. We want to hear about movies and filmmaking, from the biggest screen to the smallest—tales of the watched or the watcher. Finally, a venue for your Star Wars poetry! Send your poetry, fiction, essays, illustrations and photography.’

30th Nov Theme: mental states. ‘Whether in the form of a manifesto, poesy, mockumentary, creative nonfiction essay-ing, or collage, we seek writing and art with that something special, not so easily defined, that gives you that aha moment.’

30th Nov Stories up to 250 words on the theme of Manu/Bird.

30th Nov ‘We publish fiction, poetry, comics, art, images, medical reports, plays, essays, philosophies, sculptures, sounds, mushroom dataset analyses, magic spells, fairy tales, folklore, riddles, jokes, horoscopes, death-predictions, and more. Surprise us!’ Theme: Ghosts.

30th Nov Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Funeral.

30th Nov ‘The Other Journal welcomes the submission of critical essays, reviews, creative writing, and visual or performance art that encounter life through the lens of theology and culture; we seek pieces that consider the interaction of faith with contemporary life, art, politics, sexuality, technology, economics, and social justice.’ Essays on the theme of Church.

30th Nov Poetry and art on the theme of Animal.

31st Nov (sic!) ‘Theme: Detectives, Sleuths, and Nosy Neighbors – we’re searching for the murder mysteries, detectives noir, cozy, and humorous. This is our Mystery anthology and if you think it comes close to the genre, give us a shot.’ PAYING/ROYALTY OPTION

1st Dec ‘There are tons of boy meets girl stories that we see, all the time… But for the rest of us who do not fall easily into the boy/girl combination, there are very few examples of “How do I meet them?” “What do I say?” “How can I tell if they like me, or even if they are like me?” “How do I deal with…?”  …I would like to put together an anthology of those kinds of stories: first time meetings, of people who fall somewhere on the all-inclusive LBGTQ+ spectrum, that lead to healthy relationships.’ ROYALTIES

Opens 1st Dec until full: horror stories 4000-8000 words on the theme of W is for Witchcraft. PAYING

1st Dec or until filled: poems on the theme of Wild Abandon.

1st Dec ‘The what if series is just that, what if something happened differently? What if Vikings were inhabiting the East Coast of America when Columbus arrived? What if Kennedy survived the assassination attempt? What If… It’s thought-provoking and starts the mind down random rabbit holes of possibilities.’ Spec fic 5000-10,000 words. ROYALTIES

1st Dec Family-friendly weird tales and poems on the theme of This Mystical World. 500-5000 words.

1st Dec ‘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: Secrets.

1st Dec ‘We are are seeking poetry, short stories, essays, experimental art, video, sound art, all forms of visual art as well as asemic writing and textual arts of all kinds.’ Theme: Provocations/Instigations.

1st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Winter/Music (especially hip-hop).

1st Dec ‘Horror. Fear. Trepidation. Terror and revulsion. Send us your best scary poems and stories inspired by the world’s polytheistic mythologies and spiritual traditions. Send us poems about sailors journeying between Scylla and Charybdis. Send us short stories about the youth of Athens facing the Minotaur. Send us poems about Yūrei and stories about the Headless Mule. PAYING

1st Dec ‘Our submission period for Vol. 04: A Homesick Issue is open now. Fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art and photography.

1st Dec Poetry and more on the theme of Freedom. ‘Parabola is a quarterly journal devoted to the exploration of the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life.’

1st Dec ‘Who can submit: Canadian citizens / permanent residents / those residing within lands claimed by Canada / expats. (You do not need to be currently residing in Canada.)’ … ‘The sting of the whooshing north wind. The killing cold. A cry in the dark. It’s another night in the Canadian north. Night and all its torments.’ ‘Looking for horror and horror-adjacent dark weird fiction, ideally set in Canada and incorporating a motif of night / nighttime / dusk/ darkness.’ PAYING


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

‘Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is seeking high-quality short stories and poetry that explores the beauty and drama of rural life. RFM is willing to look at any genre (mainstream, literary, horror, fantasy, noir, mystery, thriller, adventure, etc.) so long as it has a rural setting and addresses topics or themes of interest to people in rural areas or with connections to rural areas.’

‘Mystic Mind Magazine is currently looking for short stories, artwork, photography, 2-page comics, and serialized role-playing adventure stories.’

‘Small Wonders Magazine publishes original and reprint flash fiction and narrative poetry, all tinged with the wonder of other worlds both science fictional and fantastic. Stories and poems arrive three weeks of every month.’ PAYING (Cathy’s note: different categories are open at different times, so check what they’re accepting before submitting.)

‘Killer Nashville Magazine accepts submissions for fiction; flash fiction; poetry; excerpts; professional, how-to, essays, and craft articles; creative nonfiction; interviews; book reviews; and artwork.’

‘Our mission is to create a forum where new works of young adult fiction will be celebrated. We will accept any and all types of submissions – the beauty of living in a digital world is that we have unlimited digital space! – and will give each submission equal consideration.’

Poetry MS. ‘Our chief concern is to provide opportunities for underrepresented voices in publishing, we reject all the “isms” and phobias suppressing our voices. No to racism, sexism, ageism, gender identity discrimination, homophobia, Islamophobia, and economic disenfranchisement.’

‘Poetry for postcards: poems you wish someone would send you in the mail. Poems need to fit on the front of a postcard, which means about 30 lines or fewer.’

Romance MSS for this epublisher. ROYALTIES

‘We are interested in manuscripts where the main characters are lesbians. The story should be engaging, new and fresh. Right now, we are seeking specifically: romance, mystery/intrigue with romantic elements and young adult. Novel manuscript must be a minimum of 50,000 words.’

‘Although we accept submissions of all genres, we are currently in the market for Middle Grade Romance and Sci-fi, Self-Help, New Age, and Historical Fiction. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR FULL MANUSCRIPT AS A WORD DOC.’


‘Send us your strange, grotesque, avant-garde, heavily experimental. Send us your manifestoes, dirge, commentary, roasts and prophecies. Send us chattering, ramblings, your hybrid, your we-don’t-even-know-what-the-fuck-to-call-this, send us your revolution.’

Poetry, short fiction and photography.

‘We are looking for writing and digital art which will cause our readers to smile or think (or preferably both). We’ll take anything that makes the rusty gears in the back of the brain start to sparkle…’ Poetry, fiction, and more.

‘Hobby Horse Press accepts original, novella-length submissions of literary writing that can fit in your pocket. We are not persnickety about page count! We consider novella-length to be about 80 – 120 pages, or 20,000 to 30,000 words.’

‘We’re always interested in finding amazing new novels to publish.  At the present time, we’re OPEN for submissions of original novels or novellas.  Though we don’t limit ourselves on the basis of genre and you’re free to pitch us anything you think might be our cup of tea, we’re particularly interested in horror, dark fantasy, crime, thriller, science fiction, and other related genres and subgenres.’


Leave a Reply

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