Comps and calls for October 2015

Here are October 2015’s writing competitions and calls for submission, all with free, electronic entry.

C&C is a little slimmer than usual this month but I have some very good excuses for this – I got married and my first novel, Pride & Regicide, has just been published! It’s all been a bit hectic. There are still some fantastic opportunities this month, though, and I and my husband Keir wish you all the best possible luck with them.

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!


Monthly until January: upload a photo of your answer to each month’s question. You have up to 25 words. CASH PRIZE

‘All you have to do is write 600 words or less about somewhere special that you took a trip to and know well.’ NON-CASH PRIZE

4th Oct Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Curiouser and Curiouser. NON-CASH PRIZE

7th Oct  ‘You are invited to write a poem that begins with the first line or two lines of a well-known poem but then takes off in a new and unexpected direction (16 lines maximum). Please email entries to by midday on 7 October.’ PAYING

9th Oct Poem on the theme of Just Like a Pearl. PAYING

11th Oct UK only. Short story by an unpublished writer. PAYING

12th Oct Story of up to 3750 words on the theme of Choices. PAYING

15th Oct Short story 3500-5000 words. PAYING

15th Oct Poem or flash fiction inspired by the artwork at Jupiter Artland.  PUBLICATION AND INVITATION TO READ

15th Oct Flash fiction by writers aged 18 or over who haven’t had a chapbook (or longer) length workpublished, and haven’t been published in Smokelong. PAYING

16th Oct (I think this is UK only, but I can’t find it in the T&Cs): Explain why you or a loved one would benefit from one of their watches. NON-CASH PRIZE

18th Oct (Cathy’s note: don’t press ‘enter here’ at the top, but scroll down to find the comp I’ve listed here): Tell them how the internet makes your life easier, and win a prize suited just for you.

19th Oct Flash fiction or poetry inspired by the video. PAYING

25th Oct ‘Woo hoo! It’s almost the best time of year, peeps. To celebrate, CC is accepting scary short story submissions until October 25th. There is no charge, but also no prize money. (Sorry, Charlie.) The best story, as determined by our estimable staff, will be published on All Hallows’ Eve and will win the title “Scariest Story of 2015”!’

30th Oct Nature poems and stories. NON-CASH PRIZE

31st Oct USA only: ‘The editors of Dating Over 40 Tales are holding a contest for TRUE, first-person stories/personal essays about dating over the age of 40. Your story can be humorous, heart-tugging, inspirational, life-changing, or be about something downright weird as long as it’s about a REAL dating experience that took place when you were 40 years old or older. Poetry more your style? You can also submit a poem instead of, or in addition to, a story/essay, but it must be a humorous poem about dating over the age of 40.’ CASH PRIZES

31st Oct UK only, aged 18-25. ‘Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The 2015 Franklin quote is : ‘If all Printers were determin’d not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed.’ ‘  PAYING

31st October Fiction 250-7500 words and art on the theme of Where Thou Art. PAYING

31st Oct  Poetry, flash and short stories, which can (but don’t have to be) on the theme of mental health. PAYING

1st Nov Commonwealth citizens only: short story.  PAYING

1st Nov Story 800-2000 words on the theme of Kith and Kin. NON-CASH PRIZE


9th Oct Micro, flash and short fiction on the theme of Castaway.

10th Oct ‘Our Samhain issue will deal with dark themes surrounding the festival of the Day of the Dead, Hallowe’en, and All Souls Night — the perfect time for sending us your spooky sonnets and horror haikus. We look forward to reading your work.’ (Cathy’s note: they also have a call for erotic mythic/speculative verse with the same deadline.)

10th Oct Prose and poetry on the theme of Transformation.

12th Oct Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Worlds Apart for this magazine dealing with mental health issues. PAYING

12th Oct Poetry, short fiction and more on the theme of Sound.!submissions/ck0q

13th Oct Topical sketches and one-liners for Newsjack. PAYING

15th Oct Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Oct ‘We are calling for BEST 1-3 poems per poet from Africa (living in Africa) or of African descent (Diasporas) to be included in BEST “NEW” AFRICAN POETS 2015: 100 Poems, 100 Poets Anthology. Poems of any topic, form… but less than 40 lines, must be in any 3 languages; French, English, and Portuguese. The anthology to be edited by Tendai Mwanaka and Daniel de Purificacao, is earmarked for publication by Langaa RPCIG (Cameroon) Entries should be sent to Tendai Mwanaka or Daniel Purificacao on these emails: or

15th Oct Poems on any subject by those who identify as feminist poets. PAYING

15th Oct Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Fear.

15th Oct Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Evolving Islands. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Oct Writing and more on the theme of Unity. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Oct Poetry, fiction, stage/screenplays and more.

15th Oct Short fiction and novellas on the theme of Curse of the Tomb Seekers. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

15th Oct Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Intersections for this ‘zine that deals with Asian-American concerns.

15th Oct Flash and short fiction on the theme of Halloween.

16th Oct Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING!guidelines/c1enr

17th Oct Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

18th Oct Poetry and fiction on the theme of Haunted.

20th Oct ‘Phosphene Literary Journal accepts unsolicited submissions from writers and artists in high school, college, or graduate school, or writers and artists of high school or college/grad school age (preferably, those under age 25).’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

21st Oct ‘We are taking as our theme The Longest Night. …ON THEME short story or poem, no more than 2000 words. Anyone can send us their work, provided it is their own, unpublished and in English.’

25th Oct Flash and short fiction on the theme of Going Home.

25th Oct Poetry, fiction and more on the theme of Surreal.  PAYING

25th Oct Fiction, poetry and more on the theme of A Twist in the Tale.

26th Oct Poetry and fiction for children on the theme of Knights and Castles. PAYING

28th Oct Flash and short fiction on the theme of First time eating something ‘extreme’. PAYS SOME CONTRIBUTORS

30th Oct ‘If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, please share your best advice, encouragement, funny stories, comforting stories, and support with other people like you.’ PAYING

30th Oct ‘We are seeking short fiction in the Speculative Fiction genre (by which we mean to be the umbrella term for the wide and varied range of Science Fiction and Fantasy subgenres).  The stories are to be inspired by (by which we mean drawn from, informed by, derived from) the author’s personal experiences of living on The Rez (by which we mean an American Indian Reservation or any of the country’s many Reservation analogs).’ PAYING

31st Oct Poetry, fiction and more. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

31st Oct Poetry and fiction on the theme of Clockwise (The Rising Dawn). PAYING

31st Oct British Columbia only: ‘Calling all writers and poets from the interior of BC (or who have spent time there), including the upper Fraser Valley, the Cariboo, the Thompson-Nicola Valley, the Okanagan Valleys, the Similkameen, the Columbia-Shuswap, and the Kootenays, to submit a short fictional story, a short creative nonfiction piece (a fascinating true story, well told), or some poetry for an anthology in which BC’s recent history, varied lifestyles, rugged landscapes, or stunning natural features play somewhat of a role.’ Proceeds from sales of the book will go to Doctors without Borders Canada (MSF).

31st Oct Horror fiction on the theme of radiotelegraphy. PAYING

31st Oct Poems.

31st Oct SF, F and H fiction up to 10,000 words. PAYING

31st Oct ‘We are seeking frightening fairytales, fables, and folklore. We want to feature your own new tales or new takes on old classics. Stories of seelie and unseelie alike. Are the things that go bump in the night there to help or harm us? Submitted stories should deal with fairies or fairy tale settings, and must also be considered horror, evoking a classic fear and dread reminiscent of the fables of old.’ 2000-8000 words. PAYING

31st Oct Murder mysteries combined with urban myths. Profit/revenue-sharing model

31st Oct Short fiction, novelettes and novellas revolving around magical items, cursed relics, ancient artefacts, or alien devices. The device must be central to the plot. PAYING

31st Oct SF story up to 5000 words. PAYING

31st Oct Horror stories 3000-10,000 words by women writers. PAYING

1st Nov Poetry, fiction and more.!description/c1t44

1st Nov Poetry and fiction on the theme of The Neat Lady and the Colonel’s Overalls (Cathy’s note: you can submit by email as long as you don’t live in the USA). PAYING

1st Nov Poetry and prose. PAYING

1st Nov Writing and more on the theme of the Divine Feminine. CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Nov Dark Poetry, fiction and more. PAYING

1st Nov ‘We are accepting essay, appropriate short fiction, and art submissions for The Fandom Universe: A Galaxy Far Far Away.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

1st Nov Fiction beginning with the line: “George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.” PAYING

1st Nov LGBTQ stories up to 10,000 words. PAYING


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.

‘By&By reads year-round. We welcome submissions of any poetic form or style, including but not limited to formal poetry (especially pantoums, sonnets, and invented forms), experimental poetry, found poetry, and, of course, free verse. Please submit poems that you’re really proud of. Try us: we’re open to a diversity of topics, perspectives, and methods.’

‘Bloodletters accepts previously unpublished Nonfiction and Poetry that speaks to dealing with physical, mental, and emotional trauma. While Bloodletters appreciates the severity and implications of all types of trauma, our goal is to publish meaningful, well-written personal narratives and experiences that will help to provide closure or resolution to our readers.’

Flash fiction inspired by the provided brooches, or a tube station.

‘We aim to stake out a distinctive space for innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work. In the spirit of poet Dean Young’s dictum that poets should be “making birds, not birdcages,” we are particularly taken with writing that is simultaneously graceful and reckless.’ CONTRIBUTOR COPY

‘Mulligatawny Books is now calling for manuscript submissions. We are interested in novellas or novel-length works across genres, as well as non-fiction works (completed) in English. Either the work or the writer must have an Indian connection.’

Poetry and flash fiction. PAYING

Various genre anthologies, plus SF novels. PROFIT/REVENUE SHARING MODEL


Up to 5 poems.

SF, F and H by people of colour.

‘SubverCity Transmit seeks stories about the otherworldly, stories about the subversive, the outcast, the miscast. We are a speculative fiction podcast seeking work mainly in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, though the station recognizes that genres are a mere illusion. Send us your weird tales, your riot words. We especially like stories featuring LGBTQA characters, and/or those where gender and sexuality are fluid.’

‘At Bella Books, we believe stories about lesbians are an essential of life—and so do our readers. We are interested in acquiring manuscripts that tell terrific stories about lesbians. To provide our readers with the kinds of stories they demand and deserve, we publish lesbian romance, mystery, action/thriller, science-fiction, fantasy, erotica and general lesbian fiction. If you believe your manuscript will meet our needs, we welcome your submission.’ ROYALTIES

Send queries for picture books, graphic novels, YA fiction and much more.

‘We are currently looking for submissions of work from writers of fiction, creative non-fiction, science or conservation journalism and poetry that celebrates and defends the animal world.’

Speculative writing on the theme of childhood monsters and childhood fears, by people of colour.

Romance novellas and novels.

Mini update: Cats short stories and personal essays

Deadline 30th Sep ‘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 cats. Proceeds from the 2015 edition of Write To Meow will go to support New Beginnings Animal Rescue, a no-kill animal haven in Michigan; a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.’

Mini update: Magic iPhone story

1st Oct Story 3000-7000 words about a magic iPhone. PAYING