Comps and calls for January 2022

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year! May you be blessed with acceptances, wins, and six-figure contracts! I’d like all that too!!!

I’ve been asked why I list non-paying opportunities as well as paying ones. The answer is that they can be really interesting and unusual, and have wild themes that make us write outside our comfort zone. This can keep our work growing and developing.

Another reason is that some non-payers are run by and/or for marginalised groups. I want these groups to get as much traffic as possible, and I want to support the various communities (I’m in a few of those groups myself).

Sometimes, too, a contributor copy is so beautiful that it’s better than a small payment! Or you find that the prestigious litmag you’ve wanted to get into for years actually isn’t that good, and you’d prefer to try elsewhere.

So that answers that! Any other questions?

Enjoy your writing, and if you’re submitting or entering for the first time, you are wonderfully brave and should reward yourself accordingly, whether your piece is accepted or not!

Much love,

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 Jan Spectator Competition No. 3231: vindalism. ‘You are invited to provide an example of pretentious wine-writing. Please email your entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 5 January.’ PAYING

8th Jan ‘Seeking to promote and support fiction, poetry, and literary non-fiction writing in the emerging genre of climate literature, Homebound Publications proudly announces its new climate writing competition.’ Among the requirements: ‘Final and Complete Manuscript (Preferably no more than 75,000 words for nonfiction or fiction submissions and no more than 125, 8.5 x 11 pages for poetry.)’ PAYING

10th Jan 4000-6000 words of your novel manuscript. PAYING (thanks to for this one; Cathy’s note: you can enter after this date, but there’s a fee of $20 if you do!)

12th Jan Spectator Competition No. 3232: have i got news for you. ‘You are invited to retell a news story from the past year in sonnet form. Please email entries to by midday on 12 January.’  PAYING

15th Jan Poets residing in India only: up to three poems. UNKNOWN IF ANY PRIZE

15th Jan Poem. PAYING (thanks to for this one)

15th Jan Speculative flash on the theme of Graciela Iturbide. PAYING

17th Jan ‘The Women’s Prize Trust, Audible, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative Writing School are delighted to launch Discoveries 2022, searching for the most talented and original new female writing voices in the UK and Ireland.’ ‘The prize will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction and entrants will be required to submit only the first 10,000 words of their novel with a synopsis of up to 1,000 words (but if you can, keep it shorter than that – 500 words is plenty).’

22nd Jan US only:  ‘Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has recognized the U.S. writer of a poem that best evokes a connection to place. Zócalo is now accepting submissions for our 2022 competition.’ PAYING

25th Jan Fifty word story about a starry night. There are children’s categories as well as adult categories, and entries in Gaelic can also be entered. NON-CASH PRIZE

27th Jan Black authors only: Afro-Solarpunk Futures Microfiction. PAYING

31st Jan ‘The competition is open to anyone who has lived, worked or studied in Cheshire (including Wirral and Halton).’ ‘With tackling climate change at the forefront of the world’s agenda, this year’s Cheshire Prize competition will focus on the theme of Sustainability.’ Various categories and age ranges. PAYING

31st Jan ‘Three times a year, Jerry Jazz Musician awards a writer who submits, in our opinion, the best original, previously unpublished work of short fiction. The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America.’ PAYING

31st Jan Two categories: poetry and prose. PAYING

31st Jan: US and Canada only: prose up to 100 words. Theme: Draft. PAYING

1st Feb Students only: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and more. PAYING


2nd Jan ‘This anthology is seeking poetry submissions by historically underrepresented poets about their superheroes.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

3rd Jan Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of Lost and Found.

5th Jan  ‘Fahmidan & Co. Publishing is a publisher for all POC & Women ardent in battle against subjugation. Our mission for 2022 is to publish 4-6 Chapbook collections by Women & POC. Short fiction & Poetry collections are welcome!’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

7th Jan SF and F stories by Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other under-represented authors. PAYING

8th Jan ‘Mason Street seeks work which evokes your choice of one or more of the following four themes:The Quilt, The House, The Town, The Land. We publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry of less than a page, spoken word videos, artwork and photography.’

9th Jan Theme: Destination. ‘Unpublished, original stories of fiction, CNF, memoir, personal essay, or a hybrid of any. 1 piece over 1,000 words, but a max of 2,000 words, or 2 with under 1,000 words each.’ PAYING

9th Jan ‘The Christmas Gothic Short Stories collection (with thanks to author Marina Favila for the suggestion) is a seasonal celebration of the dark and moody, the ghastly, the ghostly and the magical Christmas short story. We’re looking for new submissions to join the classic tales of Algernon Blackwood, James Joyce, E.F. Benson and Elizabeth Gaskell.’ PAYING

9th Jan ‘The Compelling Science Fiction Short Stories collection is looking for new tales which are on the more plausible end of the SF spectrum. Time can be stretched, other worlds discovered, aliens can be present and quantum realms can be explored, but preferably all with a strong spine of internal self-consistency and dose of real-world science.’ PAYING

10th Jan ‘We want sci-fi stories about COLONISATION.’ 3000-7000 words, PAYING

10th Jan Women writers: poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

14th Jan One line poems on the theme of Birds.

14th Jan Cosmic Horror Monthly is seeking Cosmic Horror, Lovecraftian, Weird stories, original and reprints. If you aren’t sure if your work qualifies, submit it and we can decide. No subject is off-limits and we do encourage writers to try and push the status quo. 1000-7500 words.

15th Jan ‘Bad Habits…We know you don’t have any but others might, what then? Surender to them, flaunt them, solicit a gentle gypsy to coax them away, hire a dominatrix to beat them out? Horrid clowns to scare them away? Please DO NOT send us heart-breaking tales of baleful addictions. Just bad habits–those things one ought not to do but ..…  Please send us your best stories of approximately 50 words regarding Bad Habits in the body of  an email to No poetry, bios, or attachments please.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Jan Theme: The Reinvented Detective. ‘As we move forward into the age of information, what happens to our ideas of detection and crime? How do you handle it when your smart car blackmails you or you need to murder the downloaded personality of your enemy? What acts to enforce society’s norms and catch those violating them in the future?’ ‘Length: 1500-5000 words (5k is going to be a tough sell)’ PAYING

15th Jan Issue IV: Mirror of Society. For this issue, we seek unique depictions of society at this turbulent moment. Whether it be culture, media, or politics, we seek works that reflect the unique characteristics of your individual societies and countries. Literature and art, through its rawness and depth, are often described to be mirrors of society. We wish to see works that encapsulate this idea, grapple with it, and explore it uniquely.’ Poetry, prose, and more.

15th Jan ‘Thank you for considering Room for the publication of your original short stories, poems, creative non-fiction, or art. Room publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art by folks of marginalized genders, including but not limited to women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people.’ Theme: Audacity. PAYING

15th Jan Poetry and prose on the theme of Boundaries.

21st Jan ‘We accept writing from all self-identifying women, transgender, nonbinary and marginalised people who identify with the experience of gender inequality.’ Writing on the theme of Inheritance.

21st Jan Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Flow. PAYING

21st  Jan or 26th Jan Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Sense and Splendor. (sic) (Cathy’s note: both dates are given in the call, one at the top and one in the letter-style window that starts with the quotation. It’s NYE and I don’t have time to check which is correct!)

23rd Jan Australians under 25 only: Poetry and fiction on the theme of Portrait. PAYING

30th Jan Authors over 40 only: ‘Seeking winter-themed short literary works. Poems, short stories, literary non-fiction. PROSE limit 5,000 words. THEME for all pieces: Think Northern Lights, candles against the darkness, the rolling year, spirits (both in a glass and in the ether), warm hearths.’ PAYING

30th Jan Poetry, fiction and CNF on the theme of Snowscape.

30th Jan ‘A multimedia project inspired by the electrosymphonic album “Wayward & Upward” by Spinoza Gambit. The music already exists. Your job is to come up with stories and poems that resonate.’ Poems and stories. PAYING

31st Jan ‘For a new notebook on The Margins, we’re looking for original and translated poetry and short prose works by Asian and Asian diasporic writers that center stories, images, and sensations related to the transformative influence of wine.’ PAYING

31st Jan ‘Speculative stories focusing on queerness in the darker side of science-fiction, fantasy and horror: mechs, mecha and cybernetics as both extensions and perversions of humanity.’ ‘Under 6,000 words. 1-4,000 words is probably the sweet spot.’ PAYING

31st Jan Poetry, microfiction, short fiction and more on the theme of Earth. (Cathy’s note: their free submissions are capped at 500, so don’t wait until the last minute to submit!)

31st Jan Poetry on the theme of Culture and Identity. ‘Use your skills as a poet to tell us about YOUR OWN particular cultural identity, heritage, nationality or social and ethnic background.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Jan ‘Bibliotheca Alexandrina is seeking submissions for With an Adamantine Sickle: A Devotional for the Titans. The editor is interested in a variety of material, including but not limited to: prayers, poems, rituals, hymns, essays, visual artwork, short stories, plays, recipes, and new translations of ancient and public domain works.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Jan ‘Romance can be difficult on its own, even before adding the complications of time travel to the equation. These couples find themselves from separate timelines in history, but cross paths due to unforeseen circumstances.’ ROYALTIES

31st Jan ‘Be it day or night, the forest hides its secrets from our eyes. Whether you find yourself alone or with others, its innocence can be deceiving, and its inhabitants deadly. What horrors await within the wooded land where nature reigns supreme?’ 2000-8000 words. PAYING

31st Jan 101 word story on the theme of Flowers/Romantic Comedy.

31st Jan Theme: Shared Worlds. ‘All works should be based in a well-established fictional world and should obey that world’s rules and customs, and we should be able to recognize that fictional world from your work. Works may NOT be based around major characters or previously published stories from those worlds, although they may be mentioned. NonBinary Review is a quarterly digital literary journal that joins poetry, fiction, essays, and art around each issue’s theme.’ PAYING

31st Jan ‘Theme: PLACE. Sometimes referred to as landscape or regionalist work. We seek a strong sense of Place that is integral to the poem’s existence, even when it simply means    a room or a house, or the locale is not specifically identified. We don’t want inventories or mere geographical descriptions, but “geography wedded to its people,” as CD Wright put it.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Jan ‘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: Organizing.

1st Feb ‘We want stories about magic portals that open up to other places, other worlds, other times, or just other. Where to, and what happens there is up to you… Reprints, poetry, flash fiction, and B&W art are welcome and will be paid at 1/2 rate of original stories.’ ROYALTIES

1st Feb ‘We want stories about wishes granted. Whether they played out the way the wisher wanted is up to you… Reprints, poetry, flash fiction, and B&W art are welcome and will be paid at 1/2 rate of original stories.’ ROYALTIES

1st Feb Poetry and prose. PAYING

1st Feb Fiction, poetry and more with the first line:  ‘Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath.’ PAYING

1st Feb ‘Halfway Down the Stairs publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and book reviews.’ Theme: Frontiers.


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

‘Minyan Magazine publishes poetry and flash fiction written by Jews and their allies alongside one another. Although we like work with a Jewish theme, we also enjoy work with secular themes. Send us your best, regardless of the theme!Unsolicited manuscripts of three to five previously unpublished poems or up to three flash fiction stories are welcome year-round.’

‘At Ahoy, we believe our sacred duty is to find new voices and let them scream at the world. Thus, each Ahoy Comics magazine will include at least one piece of short fiction or social commentary. We seek smart, weird, funny articles or stories, which run between 500 and 1,500 words. Mostly, we want short fiction for mature readers, pieces that uphold the story-telling legacy of comics. It could be a delirious rant, a personal anecdote, a tale of horror or even poetry. It can be about anything, but we have a soft spot for submissions with a dash of humor.’ PAYING

MSS of fiction or nonfiction. (Cathy’s note: there’s absolutely no info about the pay structure, so do find out before signing anything. Fingers crossed they don’t charge anything! If they do, I suggest trying elsewhere. Looks nice though)

‘If you have a manuscript ready, we are interested in reading and potentially publishing it. This will be a completely traditional publishing process. At no point will we be forcing the author to buy back hundreds of copies of their own books.

We are interested in Novel or Novella length manuscripts in the following genres – Humor, Horror, Romance, Thriller/ Mystery, Drama, Fantasy/ Science Fiction

At present, we are not looking at Poetry, Non-fiction, short story collections, or memoirs. If you have a manuscript or an idea for a manuscript, get in touch with us through e-mail. thehivepublishers(at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll take things from there.’

‘Neatly genred or genre-bending, classically styled or modern, we want your prettiest, most pungent dread. Give us withering romance, creatures that lurk and lure, families to be feared and houses that haunt; give us isolation and creeping, oppressive unwellness. Quietly thrill, terrify, and leave us wanting more.’ Poetry and prose. PAYING

‘SORTES considers unsolicited submissions of poetry, prose, illustration, music, videos, and anything else you think may fit our format. Feel free to poke us; we’d love to find a way to publish dance, sculpture, puzzles, and other un-literary modalities.’

‘We’re looking for short stories, poetry, prose, comedy, humor, satire, interviews, exposés, essays, narratives, opinion articles, commentaries, fiction, nonfiction, flash, activist pieces, historical pieces, research, infographics, how-tos and more. When in doubt, send it our way!’

Speculative (plus espionage/thriller) novels and novellas. ADVANCE + ROYALTIES

– Also scroll down for: ‘VALRAVN is our yearly annual of “wyrd fiction” short stories (3,000 to 10,000 words). We also publish anthologies as the mood strikes us. These guidelines are similar to our novel/novella guidelines above, but there are key differences, so we’d recommend you read carefully.’ PAYING

‘We are looking for literary and experimental flash fiction and prose poetry in the following categories: micro fiction or prose poetry under 250 words, and flash fiction or prose poetry between 250 and 500 words.’ PAYING

Comps and calls for December 2021

Hello everyone,

It’s December – the very best month for submitting and entering! Most people are too busy with winter celebrations and holidays of all kinds to sit down and send their writing out into the world. By all means have fun, but do try submitting too. There are so many opportunities this month!

It’s also the time of year when we take stock of the last twelve months. As many of you know, in 2021 I’ve had long Covid as well as a breast cancer scare and a number of procedures, on top of the usual fibromyalgia, arthritis etc. But I’m also in a lovely little house with my awesome husband and much-loved cat, so I’m not having a moan. I also had a lovely booklet published in aid of an animal charity, and I won a small competition, as well as being published in exciting places. Anyway, I hope your year contained plenty of good to outweigh the difficult.

A massive thank you to my Patreon peeps, who help to keep the site going but get nothing whatever in return, except the knowledge that they are helping a lot of writers. I admire these people enormously.

Another big thank you to those who have been in touch for whatever reason – telling me of their fabulous success, sharing the challenges they face as a writer, or all kinds of other things. We’ve become a community thanks to you.

Have a wonderful winter festival of whatever kind, and a very Happy New Year!

Much love,

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.


Weekly: poem. PAYING

3rd Dec Spectator Competition No. 3229: born again, You are invited to provide the story of the Nativity retold in the style of a well-known author. Please submit up to 150 words/16 lines. PAYING

5th Dec 5pm ‘To celebrate 50 years of The University of Limerick, the 2022 edition of The Ogham Stone will be running a 50 word anything competition. You can enter poetry, verse, stories, prose, monologue, dialogue or any literary form you want as long as it is 50 words.’ VOUCHER/OTHER

6th Dec ‘The Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowships, to be awarded simultaneously in 2022, are a pair of one-time fellowships for emerging Caribbean-based writers in English, in two categories: prose (fiction or non-fiction) and poetry.’ PAYING (many thanks to for this one)

14th Dec Speculative Flash Fiction Contest. Fiction up to 1000 words, inspired by Zelia Nuttall. PAYING

15th Dec Micro/mini poetry or flash. PAYING (thanks for this to )

17th Dec Crime novel. ‘The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, aged 18 or older, who has never been the author of any Published Novel (in any genre), as defined by the guidelines below, (except that authors of self-published works only may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel.’ PAYING

25th Dec Fiction 1500-4000 words on the theme of Were-beasts. PAYING

31st Dec 101-word fiction on the theme of New Year, New Me. (Cathy’s note: there’s no real prize other than publication, but I just liked the look of this.)

31st Dec Drabble on the theme of Marcia’s Murder Mysteries. PAYING


3rd Dec ‘We look for well-crafted poetry and prose that is bold and memorable. We want art that challenges.’ Theme: Worlds in Flux.

5th Dec ‘Writers from Commonwealth countries are invited to submit poetry (up to 2 poems, 5 pages maximum), literary non-fiction (2000-5000 words), short fiction (2000-5000 words) and graphic fiction (finished panels or samples of illustrations) that are in conversation with the Commonwealth’s commitment to freedom of expression.’ PAYING

6th Dec Poetry, flash, short fiction and more on the theme of To Make Much of Time. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

7th Dec Poetry and short fiction on the theme of Food. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

7th Dec ‘What endures after the future has vanished? In (the long crisis of) the present, who is haunting whom? Dilettante Army’s Spring 2022 issue, A Spectre Is Haunting…, invites contributors to play Mad Libs with Marx and Engels’s famous phrase and fill in the blanks of this popular and flexible metaphor. “A spectre is haunting ______; the spectre of ______.”  Topics might include: the logic of late capitalism, haunted houses, mourning, the long crisis of the present, pastiche, palimpsest, institutional memory, sampling, pop music, failed movements, outdated genres, things that go bump in the night, Goosebumps, echoes, literal or figurative waking nightmares, literal or emotional blackmail, guilt, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the intimacy of algorithms, and the ghost in the machine.’ PAYING

7th Dec Horror flash, drabbles and short fiction on the theme of Christmas. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS (Cathy’s note: themed short stories are paid a token amount. Unthemed horror drabbles are welcome any time, but aren’t paid.)

7th Dec ‘Scum is interested in publishing feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “non-fiction” or “poetry”.’ PAYING (thanks to for this one)

8th Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Precedented Times.

10th Dec Poetry and much more on the theme of Farmers Write. PAYING

10th Dec Nonfiction poetry on the theme of Architecture. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL) or PAYING (Cathy’s note: Australian contributors get paid, whereas international contributors get copies.)

10th Dec ‘The Broken City is currently accepting submissions for its winter 2021 edition: So this is Christmas? It has been a while since the magazine ran a December-ish holiday issue. Snow; ice; Hanukkah; Festivus; hockey; sleigh rides; touques—if it has something to do with winter, we want to read it. We’ll even read poetry about Santa Claus. Send your poetry, fiction, essays, illustrations and photography.’

13th Dec Prose poems.

15th Dec ‘Walled City Journal is a poetry and prose magazine. We want work that makes us feel something, and writing that is thoughtful-provoking and powerful.’ PAYING

15th Dec ‘Plainsongs presents poems that seem to be aware of modernist and postmodernist influences, not necessarily by imitation or allusion, but by using the tools provided by that rich heritage.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES, PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

15th Dec ‘Ancient Paths publishes poetry, flash fiction, photography, and art work. We do not publish articles or devotions. We welcome works by contributors of all religions, but you should be comfortable with having your work appear in a predominantly Christian publication.’ Theme: Christmas and the Epiphany. PAYING

15th Dec ‘Visual Verse is a unique publication offering writers a specific creative challenge: write 50-500 words, in one hour, in response to an image prompt. Please take the time to read the submission guidelines before you submit your work.’

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

15th Dec ‘I will be accepting up to 100 Flash Fiction stories (between 500 words and 1000 words, no more, no less) & 100 poems (between 10 to 25 lines) that fit the theme of Music or Song incorporated into the story either as a major element or a minor element of the story, but either music, songs, musical instruments, musicians (or a musician), or singing, must be incorporated in the story.’

15th Dec ‘Our theme is MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS — whether it’s human connection, connecting to nature and the environment, or connecting with your authentic self, we want to read your meditative poetry for this special issue!’

15th Dec Speculative poetry on the theme of Light. PAYING

17th Dec ‘For our next issue, we are accepting creative work that explores the theme of healing. It could be about recovery, a journey with grief, day-to-day living afterward, the relationships that help or challenge, ongoing work to overcome, moments of reconnecting to a place, or even some hope.’

17th Dec ‘New independent publisher Florida Roots Press issues a Call for Papers for a peer-reviewed anthology dedicated to all things related to coming of age in Florida. The current working title of this collection is Coming of Age in Florida: Words and Images’

19th Dec ‘It’s Psychology meets Literature at The Parliament Literary Journal and for our Winter 2022 issue, we’re going MANIC.We’d love to see your prose, flash and micro fiction, poetry, essay, creative non-fiction, photography, ekphrastics, and more!’

20th Dec ‘Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.’ PAYING

21st Dec ‘I am seeking writers for an experimental anthology titled “letters i’ll never send”. This anthology will be a compilation of first-person accounts including letters, prosaic poems, diary entries, postcard letters, very short personal essays, and other genre-bending experimental pieces.’ PAYING

21st Dec Poetry on the theme of The Importance of Words.

25th Dec ‘We publish work on the topic of history and we have specific themes per issue. This issue’s theme is ASIA.Anything and everything related to Asian history is welcome. Alternate history and speculative literature are acceptable! Anything goes! Submissions are open to everyone, but (as Asians ourselves) we especially encourage Asian writers to submit.’

28th Dec Friends Journal welcomes articles, poetry, art, photographs, and letters from our readers. We are also helped by your comments and questions. Theme: Safety in Meetings. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

30th Dec ‘Our next anthology, aptly titled For Those Who Deserve to Exist, will be about marginalized folk, by marginalized folk. We will be looking for passionate, visceral stories about rising up, overcoming, and righting (and rewriting) transgressions. The general theme is that of reclaiming narratives through the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. In true Inked fashion: no sugar-coating, no watered down characters or situations. No punches pulled.’ PAYING

31st Dec ‘Felis Futura is an anthology focused on stories about the future which feature cats. This volume will contain stories, poetry, and visual art.’ PAYING

31st Dec ‘It’s time to reclaim the “f” word. Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology is dedicated to empowering fat characters within the horror community. Give us your rage over weigh-ins, your detest over detox cleanses, your rebellion against diet culture. Give us bad-ass characters who own their size and never apologize for taking up space. This is a horror anthology, so be sure to have your character in some kind of horror story–but, we are open to what that story is!’ 4000-6000 words. PAYING

31st Dec Genre novels over 60,000 words.

31st Dec ‘There have been a lot of retellings of classic Fairytales, but we noticed that there were very few GRUMPY retellings.   We’re looking for fun new twists on classic Grimm fairytales and well-known folklore.’ 3000-4000 words.  ROYALTIES

31st Dec ‘For Simple Machines No. 2: Epochal Shift, we are searching for poems from the migrating margins of sputtering imperium, settler colonialism, and the carceral state, for we are shook, and the future is upon us. Send us your dispatches, your missives, your breaking reports, embedded as you are, eye level to the ground, all loose end and unthinkable new tomorrow.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

31st Dec ‘Throughout the decades, so many musical artists have had just the one hit, and that’s a crime. So is murder. So what better way to celebrate both than by combining them into an anthology? Here’s your chance to be inspired by your favorite One-Hit Wonder and give a chance to breathe some new life into the greatest hits of our lives.’  CONTRIBUTOR COPY+ ROYALTIES

31st Dec Poetry, flash and more on the theme of Communities of Care. ‘Share your sanctuary, your sacred or communal spaces. Where do you go for rest, healing, or comfort?Please add a note to your submission if you would like us to consider it for the themed issue. All theme submissions will be considered for General Submissions.’ PAYING

31st Dec ‘CROW TOES QUARTERLY:  ART & LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN WHO DON’T SCARE EASILY reads general submissions ALL YEAR ROUND. But please note that we only read and respond to submissions that follow our guidelines. We are looking for “playfully dark”, intelligent, humorous, descriptive literature written for children ages 8 – 13. We invite poetry and fiction submissions by email.’ Theme: Broken. PAYING

31st Dec Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Work. A CUP OF TEA IF YOU VISIT THEM IN ADELAIDE

31st Dec ‘A quick Google search will yield hundreds of vintage advertisements that are shocking, weird, and downright funny when viewed with our contemporary eye. For this anthology, we are seeking stories and poems that use one or more of these vintage ads as the inspiration or prompt. Submissions can be horror, science fiction, fantasy, or crime fiction. They can also be a mashup of two or more genres.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

31st Dec ‘Themed submissions form for short stories, flash fiction, and poetry Current Theme: Relationships “I’d love to be the light that finds you.” ‘

31st Dec LGBTQ romance on the theme of Opposites Attract. ROYALTIES

31st Dec Canadians only:  ‘Transformation. Tell us about metamorphosis and mutability, send us your phoenixes and cockroaches, your end days and times of renewal.’ PAYING

31st Dec ‘We’re looking for fiction and poetry about music teachers, singer/band members, band managers, roadies, conductors, DJs, studio musicians, anyone who makes money making music. Drop us a line if you have a question.’ PAYING

1st Jan ‘The Particular Passages anthologies are for stories that really need a home, but maybe don’t quite fit in anywhere else. Or maybe they do. That’s up to you. Either way, they can find a home here.’ ROYALTIES

1st Jan ‘Still Point Arts Quarterly is now accepting writing submissions (fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, poetry; 5000 words maximum) on the theme MIXING MEDIUMS.’


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

Fiction and poetry MSS.

‘The Storyteller’s Refrain was created to bring the music and literary communities together in perfect harmony.’ Fiction, poetry, and more.

‘MONO. is a literary journal inviting dark humour, satire and brutally honest reflections on ordinary life that sit on the borderline of the melancholic and amusing. We welcome unpublished flash fiction, poetry, short stories up to 3000 words, and amateur monochrome photography (the more creative the better!)’

‘Day One is a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction from debut writers, English translations of stories from around the world, and poetry. Each issue showcases one writer and poet and includes an introduction from the editor, an interview with the authors, and occasional bonus content.’ PAYING

42-word stories with 42-character titles. Various themes. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

‘Have a cool project and looking for a funding? We love hearing about new projects and endeavours, whether it be story collections, podcasts, or another creative work. Funding and lack of support should not hold you back from bringing your project to life.’ Scroll down at:

‘The Pi Review is an online journal founded in August 2020 for the sake of exploring poetic form. Seeking submissions of unpublished text-based poetry, visual poetry and literary prose, the journal will also post interviews with contemporary writers, but utilizing questions from individual interviews published throughout the lengthy history of The Paris Review.’

‘We are looking for stories between 5,000 – 10,000 words, where work is a central theme.’ PAYING

Novels and novellas.

‘We believe in writing. So we try to provide our readers with books that are readable, creative, and inspiring. Our books cover a wide range of form, genre, style and topic. We publish books of many lengths (some in both print and digital forms, and some in digital only).’

‘We will publish novice, emerging, and established writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children´s books. We are open to submissions all year long and will make it a goal to have a rapid response to every submission.’

Comps and calls for November 2021

Hello everyone,

Good news on the breast cancer front – after examining 18 samples of me, the team gave me the all-clear! Hurrah! I’ll have to be checked frequently to see if anything nasty is hiding behind my lumpy bits, but that’s OK. Many thanks for all your good wishes and kindness. Several of you have been in touch about having cancer, often on top of other problems with health, money or family. I can’t stop thinking about you and I send best wishes and healing vibes.

As another correspondent mentioned, things are all topsy-turvy at the moment. Love to all of you, whatever your challenges are.

So here are this month’s listings, and I hope you like them. There are loads of interesting comps and calls this month – remember my writing mantra: Have a go! But this month I’ll add: remember to write for fun. Remember to write for therapy. Take a theme and enjoy it. If submitting and entering are too much for you right now, that’s OK. Enjoy your writing!

Much love,

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.


Weekly: Just Back: travel writing. PAYING

3rd Nov Spectator Competition No. 3224: Tourist misinformation. ‘Now that we are allowed to travel more freely, it’s a good time to resurrect an old favourite. You are invited to submit snippets of misleading advice either for tourists visiting Britain or for British tourists travelling abroad. Please email entries to by midday on 3 November.’ PAYING

5-7th Nov ‘On the first Friday of every month, a new set of story prompts will be revealed. You will have 55 hours to submit your best 500-word (or fewer) story for the chance to win… (drumroll)… $500!’ PAYING

10th Nov Spectator Competition No. 3225: night terrors. ‘You are invited to provide a version of the Lord Chancellor’s ‘Nightmare Song’, for any member of the British cabinet, starting ‘When you’re lying awake…’ and continuing for up to 16 lines. Please email entries to by midday on 10 November.’ PAYING

15th Nov Poem on the theme of This Urge for the Truth. PAYING (thanks to

15th Nov US only: ‘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 ‘We’re excited to announce our newest One Teen Story Contest! From September 9th through November 19th, 2021, we’re asking writers ages 13-19 to enter their original, unpublished fiction. We are interested in great short stories of any genre about the teen experience—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, horror, etc. What’s in a great short story? Interesting teen characters, strong writing, and a beginning, middle, and end… Some examples of stories we look out for are ones that deal with issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. Gratuitous profanity, sex, and drug use are best avoided.’ PAYING

26th Nov ‘We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone. It could be a short story, novel, poem, narrative game, documentary, or transmedia work using words, images, film or animation with audience interaction. Interactivity is a key element of new-media storytelling.’ PAYING

28th Nov ‘The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in the 11th grade in the U.S. or abroad. Contest judges are poets on the Princeton University Creative Writing faculty, which includes Michael Dickman, Paul Muldoon, Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Susan Wheeler, among others. Applicants may submit up to 3 poems.’ PAYING

30th Nov short story up to 1500 words. VOUCHER/OTHER (Cathy’s note: As the results are announced on 12th Dec, I’m assuming that the deadline of 31st Dec is a misprint. Or the other way round…if I’m wrong, send it in early December!)

30th Nov Up to three poems. ‘Theme is human rights. Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recommended.’ There’s a youth option too. PAYING

30th Nov Write a 50-word story about a pair of wellies. NON-CASH PRIZE

30th Nov Metrical sonnet. PAYING

1st Dec US only: ‘This award honors Tony Quagliano’s legacy as an experimental poet and editor. It recognizes an accomplished poet with an outstanding body of innovative, cutting-edge work pushing the boundaries of poetic craft, such as experimental approaches to form and/or language. This award also recognizes a poet who contributes meaningfully to a literary community.’


2nd Nov ‘We will accept short-form fiction any way you want to write it. This can include poetry, flash fiction or short stories.’ ‘We want your best stories about spooky old houses and the creep-crawlies that float forlornly down back passageways, leave strange cold spots in libraries, and come out at night to terrify unsuspecting guests.’ PAYING

5th Nov Theme: Healing Hands. ‘The world needs some healing. What do the hands of a healer look like? What does it feel? Open for speculative poetry, prose (fiction & non-fiction), comics & art. AKA. a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, magic realism, futuristic. Non-fiction should tie in to the theme of the greater work and include either literary theory, philosophy, or science.’ ROYALTIES

7th Nov Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Friends & Family.

7th Nov Theme: Dark Arts. ‘We’re looking for stories, essays, memoir and poetry to do with enchantment and scheming, in any context. Black magic, witchcraft and wizardry are the obvious subjects, but we welcome wider interpretations of the theme.’ PAYING

8th Nov ‘The London Reader is issuing an open call for creative climate writing about the weather, disaster, and perseverance. Bad Weather is an upcoming collection of stories, poetry, and art about people facing the immediate effects of climate change in harrowing moments and their daily lives.’

8th Nov ‘Submissions must contain elements of savagery and slaughter, conducted by a person, an animal, a being other than human, or an unknown/original type of perpetrator. We are very much interested in stories with extremely original plots and not the typical “person slaughters a bunch of other people” type stories. Bonus points if the setting of the story is unique.’ 4000-12,000 words. PAYING

9th Nov Fiction 3000-7000 words on the theme of All Flavours Punk. ‘… basically we’re looking for Steampunk, cyberpunk, gaspunk… any punk.’ PAYING

10th Nov ‘We accept submissions in all genres—including genres that many other publications overlook such as horror, science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, graphic novel art, anything you can think of. If your work resonates with us, we will publish it!We strongly recommend you have a read of our previous issues, to see the type of pieces we are inclined to accept. Think, quirky with a sense of fun and humour. Much like ourselves.’ Theme: Bad Decisions. PAYING

11th Nov Writing and more on the theme of A Walk through Love Land.’s note: Love Land is a Korean Sex-themed Park.)

14th Nov Australian contributors paid, others not: poetry on the theme of Kin. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

14th Nov ‘This is an anthology of short space opera stories, featuring New York Times and USA Today bestselling and Hugo award winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Canadian author and three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, Douglas Smith.’ 2000-7500 words. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL

15th Nov ‘We are a biannual literary zine focused on women’s embodied experiences of perimenopause, menopause, and croning—minus the patriarchy.’ Theme: Expectations.

15th Nov Young Poets Anthology. ‘The author of the poem must have been age 15 or younger when the poem was written, and 18 or younger when submitted. The poets may use their whole name, first name, or a pseudonym at their parents’ discretion. We will not publish any contact information.’

15th Nov Poetry on the theme of Place. PAYING

15th Nov ‘Space-related dark scifi, where technology and horror meet with frightening results.’ Up to 1500 words. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Nov Poetry, fiction, and much, much more.

15th Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of New Beginnings. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

15th Nov ‘Short Édition, seeks short work (8,000 character max, about 1,000 words) exploring the theme of Home. Please limit submissions to one story, one short essay, or up to five poems.’

18th Nov Theme: Acts of Reckoning.  ‘We seek submissions of essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories that address this year of change.’ PAYING

20th Nov Poetry, prose and more on the theme of Recovery. CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

20th Nov Theme: Experimental Writing.  ‘For our print magazine, we accept short fiction, flash/micro fiction, nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives, etc), and original artwork (photographs, illustrations, paintings, etc) based on the designated monthly theme.’ (Cathy’s note: you can also submit to the online or podcast versions of Litro.)

22nd Nov Poetry and prose on the theme Glow. PAYING (Cathy’s note: they have a quota for free submissions, so submit ASAP!)

30th Nov ‘As with the first anthology in this series I am looking for adventure-loving dogs, puns, water and fun. I’m looking for sailors, submariners, explorers, Vikings and more. Fun stories filled with excitement, drama, treasure-seeking, sword fights, discovering new worlds and dogs, dogs, dogs! All. The. Dogs.’ PAYING

30th Nov Stories 1200-7000 words. PAYING

30th Nov ‘WORD Stafford are pleased to offer this call for submissions for our forthcoming anthology in support of Katharine House Hospice in Stafford. We are asking for ‘photo – poetry sets’ meaning a photograph sent in with an accompanying poem, or vice versa, a poem to be sent in with an accompanying photo. Photos must be in colour please, and poems to be no longer than 30 lines. We ask also that your submissions have a ‘Staffordshire’ theme – in any way you wish to interpret this but you do not need to be from or living in Staffordshire to enter. Please send (a maximum of 3 per person) photo poetry sets to by 30th November 2021.’ CHARITY/GOOD CAUSE

30th Nov Horror story 4000-8000 words on the theme of M is for Medical. PAYING

30th Nov  ‘From September 1st to November 30th, our editors welcome our past contributors, community members, and the broader literary community to submit creative work that showcases defamiliarization in either content, form, or practice…We would be happy to read your fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, as well as experimental, cross-genre, multimedia, translated, and collaborative work, and we are especially interested in receiving craft essays about defamiliarization (or defamiliarized craft essays).’ PAYING

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

30th Nov ‘Our Spring 2022 Edition theme is Into the Light. We’re looking for stories, poems, and essays that explore growth and new possibilities after a long, dark winter. Write about moving out of a dark period of your life into the light of a new day. Give us blissful descriptions of basking in the sunlight, letting it warm you and dance on your skin. Give us euphoric poems about sunrises.’

1st Dec Fiction up to 5000 words on the theme of Cosmic Menagerie. CONTRIBUTOR COPY/COPIES (MAY BE PRINT OR DIGITAL)

1st Dec Poetry, screenplays and short stories. PAYING


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

‘The Riverside Quarterly currently has an open submissions policy. We accept pitches and articles year round for our quarterly publications. Acceptable submissions include: original articles, research digests, interviews, literary journalism, immersion journalism, narrative journalism, memoirs, lyric essays, cultural criticism and book reviews [between 750 & 3500 words in length] that explore the art and practice of creativity in the arts, education, and business arenas. We do accept previously published material that meets this criteria, and is timely, responding to current trends. We do not accept fiction or poetry. These arts forms are creative and important, but this is not a forum for such works.  This journal explores creativity and how it is used and expressed.’

‘Yeehoo Press is dedicated to publishing fun, enchanting, and socially responsible children’s books for audiences around the world.’

‘We are looking for a wide range of stories. And, although we mainly deal in Science Fiction, Fantasy, SHTF, Slipstream, Horror, Sword and Sorcery and surreal fiction, we are also open to other stories. As a bonus, we love the humorous tales as well! We are NOT interested in explicit sex. For poetry, we are looking for very similar genres as our story topics. We deal in the surreal.’ PAYING

Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

The World of Myth Magazine accepts work in the following categories: Action/Suspense, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Science Fiction, Drabble/Flash/Micro, Poetry, Art.


‘Whose Pleasure is it Anyway? is a digital collection of essays, interviews, poems, visual art, film, music, and multimedia/hybrid works that will explore the feminist pleasures that activate or infuriate us. We’re looking for grouchy and disobedient desires, feral and exploratory delights, and playful and improvisational delectations. We’re looking for pieces that firmly place pleasure at the centre of their aesthetics, poetics, or politics. Submissions that laugh, tickle, and shriek in the face of frivolity, shame, and institutionalization highly encouraged.’ PAYING

‘Take 5ive is a new journal from the Bamboo Hut featuring only 5 line tanka, gogyohka and gogyoshi. As far as this journal is concerned I will accept tanka in 5 lines whether it follows a 5-7-5-7-7, a s-l-s-l-l or a minimalist form. Similarly with gogyohka. The lines between the two are somewhat blurred. As far as gogyoshi is concerned I default to Taro Aizu’s definition. In short, 5 lines only, any theme and give it a title. Simples !’

Medicine and Meaning: ‘May include poetry, fiction (e.g. short stories), or creative non-fiction (including essays).’

‘We’re an evolving community of Jews from assorted backgrounds seeking to understand what it means to be Jewish today through our writing.We come to our writing without pre-conditions, seeking through words a path that will lead us to a deeper understanding of our connection to our heritage. You’re welcome to share stories, poems, memoirs, interviews–even random thoughts–as long as you keep the focus on being Jewish and on what being Jewish means to you.’

Full manuscripts (MSS).

‘At Not Another Lit Mag, we tend to focus on work that is in conversation with pop culture. We enjoy ekphrastic poems that reflect on digital media, allusions to film tropes that characterize a speaker, meditations on pop icons. These are but a few examples.’ PAYING