Comps and calls for December 2015

Here are December 2015’s 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 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. December is the best time by far to submit and enter. There are loads of opportunities, and many people are too busy to take advantage of them. Please try to find the time if you can!

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.


If you enjoy Comps and Calls and find it useful, then please leave a comment here saying so:

It only takes a minute. Thanks!



Add your thoughts on the monthly topic. PAYING

Weekly: Respond to the photo prompt in 3 lines, no more than 10 words per line. NON-CASH PRIZE

2nd Dec Write up to 150 words about what makes a good cruise ship, based on your own experience. NON-CASH PRIZE

3rd Dec Poems on the theme of Light (Cathy’s note: you might want to read last year’s winning poems before sending yours).

3rd Dec Comment explaining why you’d like a new cooker. NON-CASH PRIZE

4th Dec ‘Your challenge: In no more than 50 words, tell, show, or evoke as complete a story as you can about any subject you want. However, exactly ONE of your up-to-50 words must be the word “xylophone.” ‘ PAYING

7th Dec Funded residency at Cove Park (note to international applicants: transport to Cove Park is not included). Send the appropriate samples of your work.  PAYING

11th Dec UK only: write a blogpost over 500 words on why you should win this diamond necklace. NON-CASH PRIZE

14th Dec Crime novel by someone who hasn’t had a novel published before, other than self-published (Cathy’s note: check guidelines as they’re quite specific). PAYING

18th Dec UK only: a fiction story of maximum 4,000 words, in English (translations are not eligible), on a subject inspired by this line from Stephen King: “There’s something to be said for a shorter, more intense experience. It can be invigorating, sometimes even shocking, like a waltz with a stranger you will never see again, or a kiss in the dark, or a beautiful curio for sale at a street bazaar.” NON-CASH PRIZE

18th Dec UK only: publish a blog post according to the instructions, for the chance to win a holiday at the Costa del Sol. NON-CASH PRIZE

20th Dec US only: The winner will receive $5,000 in prize money, an advance and a standard publishing contract with Little A, Amazon Publishing’s literary imprint. Poets who have published no more than one full-length book of poetry can submit their manuscript for consideration. Submitted collections will be judged on the quality of writing, strength and originality of content and creativity of language. PAYING   (thanks to for this one)

20th Dec US and parts of Canada only: short story. PAYING

25th Dec Up to 3 poems about Beaumont Park, Huddersfield. VOUCHER/OTHER

31st Dec Poetry, preferably non-rhyming. PAYING

31st Dec Fiction up to 2000 words. PAYING

31st Dec Golf story up to 700 words. PAYING

31st Dec Three to five poems, preferably rhyming and metered, on the provided themes. PAYING

31st Dec ‘Between July 1 and December 31, 2015, Cartridge Lit will be accepting submissions of chapbook-length collections of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and hybrid work inspired by video games for its first contest: The Push [START] to Begin Chapbook Contest.’ PAYING

31st Dec Up to 750 words of travel writing on the theme of Travel and Water. PAYING

31st Dec Write an alternative final scene for Brave New World. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Dec USA only: novels or short story collections by first generation residents of the United States. PAYING

31st Dec Poem about Winter (Cathy’s note: although no age restriction is stipulated, the site is called ‘young writers’ and the winners will be ‘one girl and one boy poet’, so it looks as if under 18s are the target demographic here). NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Dec Drabble on the theme of Confessions of a Shapeshifter. PAYING

31st Dec Story up to 2000 words. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Dec Story up to 4500 words on the theme of Heat. PAYING

31st Dec UK only: say what your mum does best, and she might become Mum of the Year. NON-CASH PRIZE

1st Jan Poetry or fiction on the theme of Belief. PAYING


4th Dec ‘There are things that go bump in the night, and they aren’t all frightening. Who says only humans can have passionate sex when so many supernatural creatures can enjoy the desires of the flesh? For this anthology we’re looking for Male/Male (M/M) erotica with a supernatural element. Whether your character is a werewolf, vampire, ghost, god, or anything else, we want you to tell us a story that will have us under the blankets, but not from fear.’ PAYING

7th Dec Poetry and more on the theme of Disability and Inclusion for this Quaker-themed mag.

7th Dec Women only: poetry and short fiction on the theme of Monster. PAYING

10th Dec Bigfoot horror short stories, poetry and artwork. Myths, legends, fiction & non-fiction horror. PAYING

10th Dec Poetry and prose on the theme of Migrations.

10th Dec ‘For December’s issue, we are looking for Christmas-themed pieces as well as personal narratives or poems about grandmothers. Tell us the many ways these vintage mothers have enriched, expanded, and added dimension to your family.’

10th Dec Age 14+: ‘Cicada wants to hear about the clothes you chill in and the ones you dare to wear, that thrill with the promise of a newer (or truer) self. We’re interested in the use of fashion to express identity, connect with cultural history, and signal community membership. Also: the perils and pleasures of consumerism. How does purchasable fashion limit the range of identities available, and how are individuals and communities subverting those limitations? Send poetry, fic, nonfic, humor, and comics pitches! Especially welcome: works by LGBTQIA+ writers/artists, writers/artists with disabilities, and writers/artists of color.’ PAYING

10th Dec Poetry on the theme of Loss. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

12th Dec ‘Writers spend a lot of time writing, and writing about writing. What are your other creative pursuits? Artists spend a lot of time writing about their work. How? This special issue of cahoodaloodaling is interested in the intersection of art and writing—writers who create in other forms, and artists who write. We want craft essays and interviews about what your art means to you as a maker or how your art impacts your writing, or the ways you find yourself writing about your art; tutorials for others to follow, to engage in your craft; photographs of your creations with brief descriptions and creation stories; stories or poems about the art of making; any combination of the above.’

15th Dec ‘ Whatever else can be said about the Mythos (within the Lovecraftian world-view, naturally) it remains that the madness which underlies it is THE TRUTH OF EXISTENCE. The light may be deadly, yes, but it isstill light, and it still reveals! Remember, too, that the Great Old Ones and their servants, have been around for a very long time. What wisdom, what insights into Life, Death, and Reality might be gained by currying their favour? What would be the price of that wisdom, and more… would it be worth it’ Fiction up to 7000 words. PAYING

15th Dec Poetry, plays, short fiction and more. PAYING

15th Dec ‘Victims and survivors of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse have been taught by this culture that whatever horror they have endured could have been worse. At least you weren’t touched. At least you weren’t raped. At least you weren’t killed. This world effectively silences those who have been violated by demanding their first reaction be gratitude for what did not happen. Not That Bad is an opportunity for those whose voices were stolen from them, to reclaim and tell their stories. This anthology will explore what it is like to navigate rape culture as shaped by the identities we inhabit.’ PAYING (Many thanks to and her Monday Markets for this listing)

15th Dec Dieselpunk fairytales by US writers. PROFIT/Revenue-SHARING MODEL

15th Dec ‘We’re looking for your stories and poems about how you used the power of gratitude to change your own life. You’ll help readers through your examples and your personal tips on how to use thankfulness.’ PAYING

15th Dec Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

15th Dec Mediaeval fantasy fiction 2000-10,000 words. There’s also a SF anthology. PAYING

15th Dec Romance stories up to 10,000 words, featuring geeks. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ PROFIT/Revenue-SHARING MODEL

15th Dec Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Five.

15th Dec 3-5 poems about dolls. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Family.

15th Dec Short fiction and flash humour (SF, F and anthropological fiction) on the theme of It’s Come to Our Attention. PAYING

15th Dec Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Lost & Found. ‘For this issue, we are especially interested in receiving poems using, but not limited to lilacs, berries, dance, and rain as image or metaphor.’

15th Dec Military SF. PAYING

15th Dec Personal stories, poetry and art both funny and serious that show how people with disabilities adapt and relate to everyday life and situations.

15th Dec Poetry and short prose on the theme of Time Travel.

15th Dec ‘Work that reflects the UNICORN in myriad capacities. We want to question what it means to write like a unicorn; how the unicorn is concealed and exposed – in poetics, fiction, graphic art, and lyric essay. We want to know what the unicorn represents and how it fluctuates in cultural imagination. Submissions for the seventh issue will reflect on this topic, delving into the topography of the unicorn and presenting work that showcases it in fresh ways.’

15th Dec Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Voice of the Witch.

15th Dec Koans, poems, riddles and quotes on the theme of Balance.

15th Dec Romantic fiction up to 16,000 words on the theme of Geeks in Love. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

16th Dec Essays on pop culture. PAYING

18th Dec Micro, flash and short fiction on the theme of Love.

18th Dec Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Shakespeare. PAYING

20th Dec Haiku on the theme(s) of Peace and/or Winter.

21st Dec ‘Please write us something on the general theme of Liberty, or address a specific clause of the Magna Carta. There are plenty of weird ones to play with  as the more obvious… read and wonder. We do NOT want stories about the opposites of Liberty, it’s a celebration, so no matter how tempted you are by dwelling on the iniquity of false imprisonment, restrain yourself. Light & Shade, you know? Story Length: 800-2000 words.’

21st Dec ‘Our spring issue will explore “the wild.” This can mean work that represents wilderness, wildlife, or wild lives, uninhabited/unrestrained spaces and their remains, and/or activities of those living in such environments. The Wild can also mean wild states of mind or conditions that un-domesticate or un-civilize.’

25th Dec Speculative fiction with Christian elements.

26th Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Winter Depression. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

28th Dec Flash and short fiction on the theme of Flu Season. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

30th Dec ‘I want to see Lovecraftian monsters of your own making here, but you can give me some new takes on the Old Ones, if you like, but make it fresh. Make Cthulhu interesting as well as terrifying. Show a different side to Nyarlathotep. But do give us some new creatures…either some New Old Ones or some Brand New Ones. Or a battle of Old Ones vs. New Ones.  As for your settings, as the theme title suggests, I’d really like to see these stories set on other worlds.’

31st Dec ‘How does science inspire the literary imagination? Can science writing be a literary art? The Kenyon Review is looking for poetry, fiction, essays, and drama that respond to issues in science, ecology, and the environment for a special issue.’ (Cathy’s note – they are usually PAYING, so I assume that they will be for this special call too, though I can’t be sure).

31st Dec Poetry and prose on the theme of Cannabis. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Dec Short genre fiction and nonfiction. PAYING

31st Dec Poetry on the theme of Neighbours: Intimate Strangers.

31st Dec Haiku.

31st Dec Presence is seeking haiku, senryu, tanka, other haiku-related poetry and haiku-related essays.

31st Dec Poetry chapbooks.

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and cross-genre MSS.

31st Dec Short fiction, novelettes and novellas ‘…revolving around monsters, evil aliens, or otherworldly entities that serves as the antagonist for the story. We will not consider stories in which the monster is the protagonist.’ PAYING

31st Dec Strange Musings Press is looking for short funny paranormal stories of life after death for our new anthology, Alternate Hilarities 5: One Star Reviews of the Afterlife. I don’t want to lock anyone down as to what I am looking for, but you need to have two things for sure. It needs to deal with the afterlife and it needs to be funny. Flash and short fiction. CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

31st Dec Writing by non-men.

31st Dec SF or F fiction 1000-6000 words on the theme of Money. PAYING

31st Dec Short fiction up to 5000 words.

31st Dec Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Island. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Dec ‘ We would like tales of civilised, gentle(wo)manly horror, cold, calculating and bloodless; spinechillers rather than slashers, enervating instead of eviscerating. Though a wee bit of the red stuff will not make us blanch, focus more on unshakeable dread. Make us afraid to investigate that noise downstairs. Cause us to shudder when we glimpse something move out of the corner of our eyes. Think Ann Radcliffe and the Gothics, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, M.R. James and even those modern folks like Shirley Jackson and Fritz Leiber.’ PAYING

31st Dec Poetry fiction, personal accounts and more on the theme of Disability, though the focus is very much on Ability.

31st Dec Complex fairy tales.

31st Dec ‘We are looking for work that describes the meeting of verse and commerce. Poems should address some aspect of business – money, consumer experience, or professional life, for example.’ PAYING

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Love and Marriage. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Is the Moon a Dead World?

31st Dec Fiction and more on the theme of Heroes and Villains.

31st Dec Speculative fiction on the theme of Superheroes. PAYING

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Sex, Again? PAYING

1st Jan Poetry and fiction on the theme of Garland of the Goddess: Tales and Poems of the Feminine Divine. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

1st Jan Poetry and more on the theme of Indigenous Peoples around the World.


NOTE: Publishers sometimes don’t discuss their royalty rate upfront. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t pay! I just haven’t put them as paying/giving royalties whenever I haven’t found details on the website. 

Poetry, fiction and more PAYING

‘This blogzine is for quality poetry which takes risks, which pushes at the limits or simply ignores them. It is not for any particular school of poetry such as language poetry, beat poetry, conceptual, flarf, minimalist poetry, etc. It offers a home to any and all of what might be considered to fall under within the scope of avant-garde and/or experimental poetry. Collaborations between artist and poet are welcome as well as short films.’

‘Although we have a soft spot for submissions by Africans, we welcome stories from the rest of the world if they present Africa in a Fantasy, science fiction, or horror setting or with speculative elements. The characters in such stories mustn’t be blacks. In fact, if making your characters black is the only African attribute in your story, then it is probably not for us. We want you to dive into rare African cultures and traditions, tweak them to your taste and sprinkle magic and futuristic science over them.’ Poetry, flash and short fiction. PAYING

Work-themed poetry, humour and more.

Stories, poems, essays and articles on literature, criticism and literary trends, among other things.

Novels / novellas – (80-110k words), graphic novels, poetry (pamphlets – 20-30 poems/collections – up to 50 poems), bespoke non-fiction (pamphlets/articles/propaganda).

1000-10,000 word mystery story. PAYING

‘Send us dark, dirty crime fiction short stories, no less than 1500 words and no more than 4500.’ PAYING

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

Poetry, fiction and more.

Prose 1000-10,000 words. PAYING

Flash fiction up to 500 words.

‘TINY TEXT (@Tiny_Text) wants your Twitter-length fiction and memoir! Follow us on Twitter and email your compelling concision to Send three stories or memoirs at a time and include your contact information (we don’t publish titles). All submissions must be 140 characters or less (spaces count!) and will be read year-round. Please allow us 4 weeks to get back to you before sending more work or inquiring. We look forward to your work!’

Poetry, fiction and artwork by and/or for school-age readers of 12 and upwards.

Fiction MSS.

Lyric Essays and Experimental / Hybrid Essays only. No fiction, poetry, art, or generic nonfiction, please. We are seeking HIGH LEVEL PROSE. Story is secondary; focus on strong lyricism and language surprise. PAYING

‘Five on the Fifth publishes one short story in each of five categories on the fifth of every month. The five categories consist of: horror, science fiction, fantasy, general fiction, and flash fiction.’

‘We accept nearly every genre and subject. This is a platform for the under-represented. We accept submissions by White cisgender heterosexual neurotypical able-bodied individuals that portray exemplary displays of diversity. However, priority goes to LGBTQIA+/POC/neuroatypical/disabled writers.’ PAYING

‘Streetwrite is a melting pot of short-form writing from around the world. To “write”  on the “street” implies crafting open, attractive, short, relevant and often subversive narratives that catch the eye; submissions that meet those criteria are encouraged.’

Scanned, handwritten work.

Residency guarding the Slovakian end of the Maria Valeria Bridge! (Cathy’s note: it looks as if you will have to pay your transport there. If accepted, you get accommodation and a few other things, plus a stipend.) PAYING

‘We’re looking for the radical transformations needed for a collective future … a future that computes at an economic, ecological and spiritual level. Critical perspectives on the fate of modernity, the spell of reason and mental environmentalism are encouraged. Writing with a right cortex spark and a broad stroke of irrationality is given extra close attention. Essays, poems, rants, articles, features, spoofs, art, photos, designs, graffiti, scribbles, jams and mindbombs – all forms welcome.’

Christian MSS and various anthology calls – see home page.!page4/cfvg

An interesting concept: prose poetry, flash and short fiction are matched up with illustrations. PAYING or

‘We are looking to publish short and flash fiction, poetry, word art, and artwork that can be considered “strange and beautiful.” That’s open to interpretation. Literary sci fi and fantasy, weird tales, bizarro, or just literary stories that are kind of quirky and/or adorable.’

Weird fiction 1000-3000 words. PAYING

Poetry, prose and more about the Roman Catholic experience.

Humanist poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

Place/landscape poetry, fiction and more.

‘Epic or narrative poetry on a minimum of 6 pages and a maximum of 50 pages of A4.’ PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

Poetry and art.!submit/c24ju

‘We welcome poetry, short story, long story opinion pieces, reviews, satirical articles, epics, and old grocery lists. If you have something that doesn’t fit these categories, do not despair! We will read anything.’

Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of Dirt.

Short, witty, formal poems.

Poetry MSS. Send a sample of 6-10 pages of the manuscript.

Mini-update: Vote for Comps and Calls

If you enjoy Cathy’s Comps and calls, please send an email to with “101 Websites” in the subject line by December 1st. Include some brief comments on what you like about the site and how it helps. Thanks!

Also, if you enjoy Comps and Calls and find it useful, then please leave a comment here saying so:

It only takes a minute.


Mini-update: Stories, essays and more on the theme of North

Deadline 20th November: stories, essays and more on the theme of North. PAYING