Comps and Calls is short this month, and the reason is that I’m having a serious health issue. This may or may not impact January’s listings too. I’ll keep you informed.
There are some great opportunities here, though, so do have a good rummage!
Here are some of the other listings websites I recommend. I don’t consider these people as competitors, just as I don’t think of other writers that way. I see them as colleagues and sometimes friends, and I recommend that attitude. Anyway: Erika Dreifus at www.erikadreifus.com is one of my favourites. She’s a lovely person and writer as well as providing great listings. A few more: http://www.prizemagic.co.uk/html/writing_comps.htm , https://winningwriters.com/ , and https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/ . Most of my posted links come from my paid subscription to Duotrope. If you’re on Facebook, I recommend this group, though all sorts of people and opportunities post there! https://www.facebook.com/groups/35517751475
So – write and submit and enter in December, if you can! It’s the best time of year for it, because everyone is so busy.
Good luck and love to all,
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.
14th Dec ‘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: Terrace House/Big Brother/The Real World PAYING https://apparitionlit.com/submissions/
15th Dec ‘Send us skillfully written stories that are brief, humorous and engaging, with the emphasis on wit, word play, absurdity and inspired nonsense. No entry fee. Submissions close December 15, 2023. Word limits: 200-1000. First prize A$50, second prize A$20, third prize A$10, payable via Paypal only.’ https://duotrope.com/duosuma/submit/monthly-humour-competition-C6KF8
15th Dec Crime novel. PAYING https://us.macmillan.com/minotaurbooks/submit-manuscript/
31st Dec Uk poets aged 10-16: poems on the theme of Peace. VOUCHER/OTHER https://poetrywales.co.uk/wales-young-poets-award-2023/
31st Dec Short story, 6-10,000 words. PAYING https://shortstory.substack.com/p/coming-soon
4th Dec ‘Middle West Press LLC, an independent micro-publisher of military-themed and -adjacent literary projects, has issued a call for human-generated poems engaging with “Giant Robot” technology themes.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) http://www.middlewestpress.com/2023/06/editors-seek-war-poems-about-emerging.html
5th Dec ‘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 At Work. PAYING https://thebaddaybook.com/submit-your-story/
5th Dec ‘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 Sports. PAYING https://thebaddaybook.com/submit-your-story/
9th Dec Theme: The End. Stories must be 2,000 (10% tolerance +/-) PAYING https://theotherstories.net/submissions/
10th Dec Poetry, fiction and Kidlit. PAYING https://northerngravy.com/submissions/
15th Dec ‘We can’t wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and magical stories that celebrate the dog and the magic that dogs bring to your life or the lives of your family or friends!’ PAYING https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics/
15th Dec ‘We can’t wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and magical stories that celebrate the cat and the magic that cats bring to your life or the lives of your family or friends!’ PAYING https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics/
27th Dec ‘Moonstruck Books will publish an anthology of dark fiction titled Nightmare Diaries in Spring 2025. We are seeking short stories, fairy tales, flash fiction, and novellas of 500-10,000 words.’ PAYING https://www.moonstruck-books.com/submissions
29th Dec ‘We are especially interested in publishing work from early-career/emerging poets (poets who have yet to publish a full-length collection, or have recently published a full-length collection). We also consider work from mid-career and established poets who have published multiple full-length collections. We want to lead readers to their next favorite poets.’ https://frozensea.org/submit
31st Dec ‘Issue 20 of Workers Write! will be Further Tales from the Cubicle and will contain fiction and poems from the office worker’s point of view – we’re especially interested to see how the home office has taken on a new meaning because of Covid and what it’s been like for those of us who have returned to the annoying commutes and communal bathrooms.’ PAYING http://www.workerswritejournal.com/
31st Dec ‘Would neurodivergent folks find themselves at an advantage in dealing with aliens? Let’s find out. ‘Neurodiversiverse’ will be an anthology of 60,000 – 90,000 words, edited by Anthony Francis & Liza Olmsted, featuring stories with a range of neurodivergent perspectives on encountering aliens. We’re inviting you to put your spin on what that means.’ Poetry, flash, short fiction, and art. PAYING https://www.thinkinginkpress.com/ndv-submissions/
31st Dec ‘The Way of Worlds is an anthology focused on space exploration and colonization. We want aliens, solar systems, spaceships, alternate universes, and to go somewhere beyond imagination. The focus of this anthology is space but it doesn’t have to be hard science fiction. Show us what is happening in the galaxy next door.’ About 3000-12,000 words. PAYING https://theunderdogpress.com/pages/submission-guidelines
31st Dec ‘Ranger Press (RPRESS) is a new micro-press specializing in showcasing the best visual and concrete poetry, as well as all hybrid and uncategorizable genres (text + visual). Generative, glitch, asemic and digital art are all welcome, too.’ https://www.rangermagazine.net/ranger-press_home
31st Dec Theme: Wands. ‘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 https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission
31st Dec ‘Auroras & Blossoms will be five in 2024. And we want to celebrate this milestone with a special anthology featuring written and visual art. Our theme is “Auroras and/or blossoms”’. https://abpositiveart.com/the-auroras-blossoms-anthology-5-years-and-counting-submit-to-us/
31st Dec ‘Rattus Futura is an anthology focused on stories about the future which feature rodents. This volume will contain stories, poetry, and visual art.’ PAYING http://www.manawaker.com/submit-to-rattus-futura/
31st Dec The Map of Lost Places. ‘Editors Sheree Renée Thomas and Lesley Conner are looking for stories about places where weird things happen. Places that have strange histories, their own traditions and customs, their own dangers.’ Up to 5000 words. PAYING https://www.apexbookcompany.com/blogs/frontpage/anthology-submissions-call-the-map-of-lost-places
31st Dec Poetry. PAYING https://arcpoetry.submittable.com/submit (Cathy’s note: there’s a fee for those based in the US, but for poets of every other nation submission is free: ‘As a Canadian literary magazine, and due to the increasing number of submissions from US-based poets, we are requesting that US submitters pay a $2 entry fee per poem.’)
31st Dec ‘We want your best horror stories with some kind of mathematical theme.’ 3000-15,000 words. PAYING https://polymathpress.com/pages/arithmophobia-submission-guidelines
31st Dec ‘We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work.’ PAYING
http://www.ninthletter.com/journal/submit (Cathy’s note: although submissions are accepted until Feb, there is a fee to submit during most months. December subs are free until they’ve reached their 300 free subs cap. Or you can email them in cases of financial hardship.)
1st Jan ‘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: Panic. https://www.dorothyparkersashes.com/submit
(Publishers might not give out their pay rates on their submission pages, so make sure to find them out before signing a contract!)
Poetry, prose, and more. https://www.eucalyptuslit.com/submit (thanks to www.authorspublish.com )