Mini-update: Come As You Are

31st Aug ‘We’re looking for poetry, micro and flash fiction, flash essay (lyric essay especially), and hybrid works of no more than 750 words. We want to read personal stories, tributes, critique, idol worship, comedy and tragedy. We want you to dig deep into what pop culture did for you, to you, and with you in the 1990s. Whether your biggest fandom was Pokemon or Nirvana, Salt-N-Pepa or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Boyz II Men or the X-Files, we want to read what you have to say.’ PAYING

Mini-updates: DWL’s Short Story Contest and triskaidekaphobia fiction

31st Aug Short story up to 5000 words. PAYING

15th Aug Flash fiction on the theme of triskadekaphobia and/or – philia: a fear of or fondness for the number 13. PAYING


Comps and calls for August 2016


Hello all! It’s August – another good month for submissions, as so many people are on holiday (or looking after their children who are on holiday from school). Enjoy the sunshine if you get any in your part of the world, but do find time to submit and enter too!

Special thanks to our fabulous sponsor this month, Mystery Weekly (sign up for their free weekly mystery story here). Sponsors help me to keep this website going free of charge, and it’s extra nice when the sponsor is a publication I know and love, as in this case. Interested in sponsoring a future Comps and Calls update? Click here!

Have a fabulous August and I’ll see you in September. Good luck!

Cathy x

Here are August 2016’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.


Weekly poetry competition. PAYING

Each Friday: writing up to 500 words on the theme. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

3rd Aug Spectator Competition No 2960: summertime. You are invited to submit a poem on the theme of summer in which the last two words of each line rhyme. Please email (wherever possible) entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 3 August. PAYING

5th Aug UK only: short story up to 4000 words. PAYING

10th Aug Short story up to 2000 words. PAYING

10th Aug Spectator Competition No. 2961: act of contrition ‘You are invited to submit limericks (up to three each) that might have been written by Boris Johnson in an attempt to smooth ruffled feathers on the international stage. Please email (wherever possible) entries to by midday on 10 August.’

15th Aug SF story 1000-30,000 words. PAYING

15th Aug Tanka. CERTIFCATE

15th Aug Poems of various types. DIGITAL AWARD SEAL

29th Aug ‘All competitions are open to all non-professional fiction writers who are UK residents. A non-professional writer means a person who has never received a fee for their work, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. Prize money received as a result of entering work into a competition is not considered a fee.’ The competition: short story on the theme of Discovery. There are children’s categories as well as the open category, and their theme is Adventure.’ PAYING

30th Aug Fiction or nonfiction 1000-6000 words on the theme of Near Steps to Interstellar. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘The theme of this poetry competition is poetry and politics, so in order to enter your poem it must be about any aspect of politics. Your poem can be about international politics or instead be about something political much more closer to home.’ PAYING

31st Aug Monologue script up to 15 mins. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug Flash fiction 550-650 words on the theme of Theft. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Aug ‘You’re rummaging through an old tub of clothes from your childhood that your parents had stored away in their attic. As you search you find one particular piece that you remember as your favorite. When you hold it in your hands, you’re magically transported back to the moment you got that piece of clothing (birthday present, shopping with a parent, purchased with your own money, etc.). Write about that moment and how you felt when you received it. (Can be nonfiction or fiction.)’ Up to 2000 words. VOUCHER/OTHER

31st Aug Funny essay up to 500 words or cartoon on the theme of Writing. PAYING (Many thanks to Hope Clark’s FundsforWriters for this one. )

1st Sep ‘The 2016 Cheshire Prize for Literature is for an original and previously unpublished poem. Individual poems should not exceed 50 lines and no more than 100 lines per entrant. The Competition is open to residents of Cheshire, Warrington, Wirral and Halton including those who have ever lived or worked in the area.’ PAYING

1st Sep 70-90 min play. PAYING

1st Sep Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING!submit/cazy


2nd Aug ‘Bright Wall/Dark Room is currently accepting unsolicited submissions for its monthly magazine. Essays, criticism, poetry, reportage, interviews, and short humor pieces will all be evaluated and considered. We are absolutely not looking for formulaic plot-summary “reviews” of any kind. We are far more interested in content that has you interacting, engaging, or wrestling with a film (or film-related topic) in some personal or unique way. Creativity and thinking outside of the box are highly encouraged.’ Theme: Friends and Enemies PAYING

5th Aug Funny poetry and fiction.

5th Aug Various kinds of poetry and flash.

7th Aug Fiction 800-2000 words on the theme of Gods & Mortals.

8th Aug ‘Original Short stories, as short as you please or as long as 3K words (as always, I’m a little flexible on max word count, but shorter is better here), written as a caller to a paranormal talk radio show. <— THIS IS IMPORTANT. —> Your story must be written in the first person, as recounted by the caller.’ PAYING

8th Aug ‘Is there a Quaker way to use social media, online communication, and technology? What resources are we using and how do they help in outreach with the public and communication within the meeting community? How do we mindfully and ethically use technology and make sure it doesn’t reinforce other privileges? How do we disagree online? How do we engage or deflect online disruptions like flamewars and trolls?’ Poetry and more.

10th Aug Poetry and fiction on the theme of Feast.

10th Aug ‘We are looking for fairy tale retellings featuring princesses. Whether it be Snow White, Rapunzel, or one of the lesser know princesses, we will consider them all! We will consider any sub-genre. If you want to make a Cinderella story in space, send it. Sleeping Beauty horror? Yes please. Steampunk Little Mermaid? Go ahead. Erotica Rapunzel? We’re interested.’ 1000-40,000 words. PAYING

10th Aug Stories up to 8000 words on the theme of Dark Magic: witches, hackers and robots. PAYING

11th Aug Poetry and prose on the theme of Politics, for this journal devoted to women’s sexuality.

14th Aug Plays of up to 15 mins.

15th Aug Indigenous Canadians only: poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Shroud Quarterly publishes literary speculative fiction with a dark orientation from 500 to 6000 words. Submissions may now include horror, suspense, mystery, noir, fantasy, science fiction, humor, long-form poetry, bizarro, or other forms of intelligent, speculative writing.’ PAYING!submissions/c19lh

15th Aug Stories 1000-10,000 words about Krampus. PAYING

15th Aug Poems (Cathy’s note: another source says that they PAY, but I can’t find any payment details listed on the site).

15th Aug Writing about Vintage Beauty.

15th Aug ‘Write To Wildlife is an annual, anthology. The goal of this collection is to bring awareness to the important work sanctuaries around America do to keep wild animals safe, unexploited and off the endangered species lists. The Earth has an abundance of special creatures, and we believe it’s important to protect them all. Contributors wishing to achieve the goal of publication may submit short stories and personal essays of not more than 8,000 words; or poetry of not more than 45 lines, with a central theme or character involving any animal other than cats or dogs.’

15th Aug Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

15th Aug ‘Temptation Press is holding open submissions for short stories to be featured in this upcoming collection that tells tales of casual encounters. These tales are not to be the sweet romance, or the search for true love type of stories. Whether it is a friend with benefits or a random hook-up, your main character has an itch that needs to be scratched.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Aug Poetry and short prose on the theme of When I Moved.

15th Aug ‘We are looking for speculative fiction drawing from all of the themes from issues 5 – 8, but also specifically inspired by the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU. Where can you see this going? Are we headed for dystopia or utopia? What would the ghosts of people that died in our two world wars think? What would a secret supernatural underworld be feeling right now? How would this affect witches, robots, fairies?’ POSSIBLY PAYING

15th Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Voices from the Edge. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

15th Aug Poetry, prose and more.

17th Aug Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Dance.

18th Aug Flash and short fiction on the theme of India and the Global South.

21st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Liminal.

21st Aug ‘Plays must be full length (at least an hour) and have at least two female roles for characters in their 20s. Preferred texts will have simple staging requirements, any genre or topic will be considered but we are particularly interested in reading scripts which engage with current events.’

26th Aug Flash fiction romance on the theme of All’s Fair in Love and Uniforms. PAYING

26th Aug Fantasy fiction 3000-15,000 words on the theme of Broken Chains. PAYING

26th Aug Horror fiction 3000-15,000 words on the theme of A Scratch at the Door.

30th Aug LGBTQ fiction 10,000 words and under. PAYING

30th Aug or when filled: ‘Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking original science fiction, fantasy and horror stories of 3,000-5,000 words (firm) to be published in the In a Cat’s Eye anthology, slated for publication October 2016.’ PAYING

30th Aug Intersectionalist/feminist protest poetry on the theme of Fear.

30th Aug ‘Women come in all shapes and sizes. We’re all beautiful and the key is to be fit and healthy within the body type that we were issued at birth. Our new book is all about body image, self-esteem, and feeling comfortable within our own skins.’ Poems and stories. PAYING

30th Aug Poetry and more on the theme of Women’s Human Rights.

31st Aug Fiction 800-3000 words on the theme of Truth & Consequences.

31st Aug Erotic haiku and other poetry. PAYING

31st Aug Spec fiction 8000-10,000 words inspired by a song. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Horror.

31st Aug Stories 1000-5000 words on the theme of Place. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug Microtext. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug Writing on the theme of Lost: Reflections. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Inspiration. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Food. PAYING

31st Aug or when filled: genre poetry and fiction on the theme of Automobilia. PAYING!spekulative-stories/c1cg0

31st Aug Poetry and fiction influenced by Thomas Ligotti. PAYING

31st Aug Vignette. PAYING

31st Aug Canadians only: ‘Fairy tales are often about the encounter with the strange, fantastic, and otherworldly. They are frequently used as texts of warning, inspiring conformity by telling people what they shouldn’t do. We want to explore the power of fairy tales as texts of resistance, as ways of speaking back to those power structures that try to get us to conform.’ PAYING

31st Aug Stories on the theme of Dark Magic. PAYING

31st Aug Poetry chapbooks. Send your MS as a Word doc or PDF to

31st Aug Philosophical poetry, fiction and more.

31st Aug Poetry chapbook. ROYALTIES

31st Aug Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Theft.

31st Aug ‘Sometimes magic happens in your life. You have a dream that reveals a truth or a course of action to you. You have a premonition that changes your behavior and saves you or a loved one from disaster. You meet someone at just the right time and you can’t believe the coincidence. Share your stories about the amazing things that have happened in your own life.’ PAYING

31st Aug ‘In 2017 Canada will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Our Canadian writers and readers will be focused on what Canada, and being Canadian, means. Send us your stories about what it means to be a Canadian, whether you’re talking about hockey or camping, Celtic fiddle music and step dancing or singing “O Canada,” or any of the other things that make you so proud—and grateful—to be Canadian.’ PAYING

31st Aug Poetry on the theme of Drought.

31st Aug Poetry, flash and short fiction on the theme of Happy Holidays!

1st Sep Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Nostalgia. PAYING

1st Sep ‘The special emphasis in Emanations VI is fiction and poetry with a strong sense of “other place”, and “unworldly” ways of seeing, feeling, and describing. Recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, political dystopia, satire, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism–are fine, but the chief idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as important.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Sep Fiction up to 500 words, poetry and more suitable for Christian children on the theme of Heavenly Kids. PAYING

1st Sep Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

1st Sep Poetry and fiction on the theme of The Kindness of Strangers. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Sep ‘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.’ theme for this issue: Identity.

1st Sep Novels by African-American women.

1st Sep Poetry, fiction and more.

1st Sep Poetry and fiction. ‘To be considered, all works must have a speculative, mythological, or fantastical element. The element must be important such that the piece would be a markedly different work if it were absent, but it need not be the central theme of the story or poem. There is no minimum level of “hard” for science fiction or “high” for fantasy.’ PAYING

1st Sep ‘Note: all stories submitted to our autumn issue must also be autumn themed in addition to the following requirements. The veil between worlds is intrinsic to the very nature of autumn. On the celtic feast of Samhain, otherwise known as Halloween, the veil grows thin and the dead can pass through for one night. If they can pass through, then what else can? And if it’s easy for the dead to pass through into our world… is the fabric of reality warped on that night, allowing for us to also travel to distant alternate realities?’ Flash and short fiction. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

1st Sep Poetry and fiction retellings of Andersen’s The Snow Queen.


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.

1,000-10,000 word mystery stories. PAYING

Dark poetry and fiction. PAYING

‘The more experimental, the riskier, the better. A story about a film-within-a-film-within-a-bus-tour. A treatment for an opera that stands alone as a story. Something shocking written in the language of the contemporary cover letter. Ideas are good, plots are fine, character development is okay. Creepy language is preferable above all else.’

Poetry, flash and short fiction.

‘We’re after your best experimental short form fiction. All of the things you don’t submit because you think they’re too weird. Tell us stories without falling back on the traditional storytelling formats, explore what other forms a narrative can take. We want contributors to really experiment with the boundaries of narrative and create stories outside of the usual sentence-paragraph-chapter, beginning-middle-end system. Tell tales in school report cards, online quizzes, horoscopes, cryptic crossword clues, medical notes, geographical directions, weather forecasts, restaurant reviews, employment contracts…’ PAYING


Books on Jewish themes for children and families. FLAT FEE OR ROYALTIES

Poetry, flash, short fiction and more.

Poetry, flash and more. ‘Whale Road Review is a labor of love and can’t offer monetary payment at this time, but writers will receive a small token of appreciation upon publication.’

Funny poems.

Poetry and short fiction.

Poetry, flash and short fiction. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘Dark Park Publishing is currently accepting well-written novels and novellas in all areas of Dark Fiction. Works can be Horror, Dark Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Western, or Dark Comedy in any genre. What we are looking for, besides an entertaining read, is unique storytelling. Whether it’s a strikingly original premise, a mash-up of genres never done before, or a tale told in an unconventional (but effective) style, if your work presents fresh ideas and a distinctive voice, we’re interested!’ ADVANCE + ROYALTIES

(Many thanks to Hope Clark’s FundsforWriters for this one. )

‘The mission of Bick Publishing House for Teens/Young Adults is to relate modern science and its ethics, communications arts, philosophy, psychology to the teenager’s world, so they can make their own responsible decisions about their own lives and future. The mission of Bick Publishing House for Adults is to bring professional information to the general audience in mental illness and recovery, addictions and recovery, in the art of living with disabilities, and in wildlife rehabilitation.’

(Many thanks to Hope Clark’s FundsforWriters for this one. )

Pagans only: Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

‘The Drabble accepts original works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Our editors will review each piece we receive, and if we like it, we will publish it. We receive a lot of submissions, so if we accept your piece it may be a month or more before we publish it. Note: Your submission must contain no more than 100 words.’

UK only: Poetry, fiction and more.

Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! I have been creating an anthology since the verdict for Trayvon Martin … it has gone through titles due to the situation and I have settled on “Firewords: State of Our Union” .. please send your art, stories of living minority in AmeriKKKa, poems, videos to sinikpro AT gmail DOT com… subject “firewords”. send your bio and picture if you do not want to be anonymous..

Graphic novels.

US only: Fiction and nonfiction MSS.

Occult detective fiction. PAYING

Open until filled: ‘We are seeking short stories written by established and upcoming writers from around the world with the theme of issues that the future will bring. What issue or thing that will change our society for the better or for the worse in the future? It is a “what if” question, beloved of writers everywhere. For example, what if we had cheap, affordable FTL drives?’ 2000-9000 words. reprints acceptable. PAYING

Fantasy novellas. PAYING

All forms of writing. (Cathy’s note: they don’t pay, but they are absolutely lovely people.)

Three-line poems. PAYING

‘Send us one poem, one piece of micro fiction or one lyric essay—we use genre distinctions loosely here. Make sure your piece is no longer than a single page, 300 words or whatever comes first. Work must be previously unpublished.’

‘Crab Fat is interested in brutal honesty and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to use real language. Crab Fat is not interested in robotic academic language; frank language is always the best, even if that means using profanity and non-standard English. Break away from traditional structures and mainstream ideologies. Emotive writing is most important.’

Poetry and fiction. VOUCHER/OTHER (Cathy’s note: if your work is accepted for publication, you get a voucher for membership of Firstwriter. This is extremely useful for writers – they have a huge database of agents, publishers, contests etc. I bought a lifetime memebrship)

Dark short stories, 1000-3000 words. PAYING (Many thanks for this to )

‘Knut House Press endeavors to publish innovative literary work that a larger mainstream press probably wouldn’t bite. Incorporation of multimedia or collaboration with visual artists is welcome, but not required. Submissions should be fresh and polished. No mainstream genre fiction. No hackneyed nursery rhymes. As creative work, submissions should break the rules, but still make sense. Should be “outside the box,” yet cohere.’

Mystery and thriller novels.