Written by S. Kalekar August 5th, 2019

16 Themed Calls for Submissions for August 2019

These are 16 themed submission calls in the 14 markets listed here for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and comics. Some of the themes are: detective thrillers, a dying planet, industry, climate change, 1984 revisited, secret lunar wars, darkness wired, tricksters, and literary lovers. All of these pay writers, whether royalties, token, or pro rates. There are also some themed contest calls for writers, at the end of the list – the contests are free to enter, and deadlines are approaching quickly.


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Thrillers; A Dying Planet
They want new and recent short stories for two anthologies.
— Detective Thrillers: Their guidelines say, “The thrill of the chase, the steely-eyed detective (either gentle or hard-boiled), the dark alleys and the double-cross, the unsolvable crime by a masterful criminal mind: we’re looking for chills and double twists, unexpected turns and private investigators with an eye for the unusual.”
— A Dying Planet:
 Their guidelines say, “Resources running low, the population exploding, the planet is in danger: are we masters of our own destruction, or have we been invaded by aliens bent on mass extinction? Is this a pattern across the entire universe, or just our small sector of cosmic life? New stories needed to explore themes of a dying planet.”
They have increased their rates for original stories, in keeping with the new Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) rates. They will also accept reprints for both anthologies.
Deadline: 18 August 2019
Length: Stories in the 2,000-4,000 word range are most likely to be successful, but they’ll read slightly outside this range
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

Speculative City: Industry
This magazine publishes speculative fiction, poetry, and essays centered within a cityscape. For their next issue, they are interested in work which shows how industry impacts communities and individuals.   
Deadline: 19 August 2019
Length: Up to 5,500 words for prose
Pay: $20-75
Details here.

Written Backwards: Miscreations
This is a short fiction anthology. Their guidelines say, “What happens when we make monsters? …when we confront the monsters inside ourselves? These are the grotesque things that should never have been. These are the beasts that stalk our twisted pasts. These are the ghosts of our own making that haunt our regrets. They’re the blood on our hands. They’re the obsessions in our heads. They’re the vengeance in our hearts.”
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Pay: $0.05/word
Details here.

The Secret Lunar Wars Anthology
This an anthology of alternate history short stories that explains “what was really going on during the period of time from the first suborbital rocket launches in 1956 to the fall of Skylab from orbit in 1979.” Stories “will explain what was actually going on during (or at some key point[s]) of that time period, with two requirements: the public perception of events remains that of the actual historical record (hence, “secret”), and the fate of humanity has to somehow be at stake. It also would explain – or at least hint at – why humans have not been back to the Moon, or even outside of low Earth orbit (LEO), since 1972 (Apollo 17).” They have extensive guidelines for authors, including “a spreadsheet timeline with over 200 actual space missions and related events during the period in question, along with (actual) historical notes that should suggest all sorts of story ideas. (Example: fertilized quail eggs on board a Russian space station were developing embryos without heads.” Stories can be science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Deadline: 31 August 2019 (or until filled)
Length: 2,000-10,000 words
Pay: Royalties and a contributor copy
Details here.

Apt: Climate Change
For their tenth print issue they want fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and comics that address climate change. Potential topics could be: environmental, economic, and intergenerational justice; community-based responses to climate change; physical- and mental-health impacts of climate change; biodiversity, species and ecosystem conservation; environmental policy and programs; intersectional views (e.g. indigenous communities, re: contested lands and their stewardship; the vulnerability and strength of racialized and classed neighborhoods; the challenges faced by disabled people and those with mobility constraints).  
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Length: 5,000-15,000 words for fiction; varies for other genres
Pay: $50
Details here.

Consequence Magazine: The Culture of War
This annual literary magazine publishes short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, interviews, reviews, and visual art mainly focused on the culture of war.
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words for prose, up to three poems
Pay: $10/page for prose (up to $250), $25/page for poetry, $15/page for translations (up to $250)
Details here.

Sincyr: Book It! A Literary Lover’s Anthology
They want lovers of a bookish nature for this anthology. Their guidelines say, “Give us your best librarian, book dealer, first-edition collector, or bookstore owner. We don’t mind the stereotypical Marion the Librarian, but we’re excited to see other inspired options. Is your bibliophile actually an illiterate adult yearning to understand the written word? Could your ‘meet cute’ happen at the Little Free Library on the neighbor’s lawn?” The romance can be historical, paranormal, contemporary, etc., and they will accept any pairings –  M/F, M/M, F/F, or multiple. Heat levels can be sweet to sizzling, and they do not want erotica.  
Deadline: 31 August 2019
Length: 3,000-10,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Darkness Wired Anthology
They want stories on the intersection of elder gods, old monsters and new technology. Their guidelines say, “In this era where almost everyone can instant share to the web, where almost everyone carries in their pockets a powerful computer that can take movies, and record events, in a time when we are a few years away from colonizing planets — are the Elder Gods defeated? Quaint? A joke?

Would you live tweet Dagon’s forces rising from the depth to put an end to your cruise ship special? Maybe vlog Shib-Nigurath tromping trough your city park?
Or would they use the new technology to conquer this blue marble, corrupt social apps databases to elect unfit to serve, orange hued puppets. Would they alter vaccines or launch nuclear warheads?” All stories must use one of the scenarios they have provided.
Deadline: 1 September 2019
Length: 2,000-8,000 words
Pay: $15-25
Details here.

Underland Press: Eighteen
They want mystery, crime, dark fantasy, horror, and other speculative types of fiction for a loosely-themed anthology called ‘Eighteen’. According to their guidelines, it is “symbolic of the great river at night, where the wolves howl and all doors are open. All thresholds are possible, and every truth is elusive. The Eighteenth Tarot card is the Moon, and those who raise their arms to her know she offers Mercy and Severity in equal measure. These are stories of mischief and mayhem. These are stories of magic.”
Deadline: 1 September 2019
Length: 2,000-5,000 words (query for longer)
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

SubTerrain (#84): 1984 Revisited
For their 84th issue, this Canadian magazine plans to pay homage to the dystopian world that was depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984. They will accept fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and commentary on the theme. A revisit and analysis of Orwell’s world as depicted in his seminal dystopian novel, along with other complementary dystopian works and reviews, will form the over-arching theme for their Winter 2019 issue. Their guidelines say, “This issue will also offer us the opportunity to reflect on the state of American democracy and Canada’s own rise of alt-right Conservatism.” Writers are free to interpret these themes in unique and unusual ways. There is no fee for mailed submissions.
Deadline: 6 September 2019
Length: Up to 3,000 words for fiction, up to 4,000 words for nonfiction
Pay: CAD0.10/word, up to CAD500 for prose; CAD50 per poem
Details here.

Eye to the Telescope: Tricksters
This is a magazine of speculative poetry. For the ‘Tricksters’ theme their guidelines say, “Folklore is rife with stories of sly smooth-talkers and clever innovators who go up against adversaries much bigger and stronger than themselves. Sometimes these tricksters fail in their ploys, but often, against all odds, they come out on top. Through deceit and luck and cunning—the old tales tell us—prey animals can turn the tables on their hunters. Little tailors can defeat the tallest giants, and simple peasants can win themselves whole kingdoms. …Whether framed as deities or regular folks—as wise role models, rascally clowns, or underhanded villains—trickster figures have fascinated audiences for centuries. For the 34th issue of Eye to the Telescope, we want original work that demonstrates why this is. So, send in any poems you’ve got that put the exploits of Anansi, Raven, or Reynard into a fresh perspective; poems that set Askeladden, Puss in Boots, or Coyote loose in new settings; poems that introduce readers to never-before-seen tricksters and fantastical scenarios of your own devising; poems with twist endings orchestrated by the characters we’d least suspect. Pieces submitted can be of any tone, length, or poetic form, but please keep in mind this is a speculative poetry journal, so submissions are expected to be identifiable as works of fantasy, sci-fi, mythopoeia, or an affiliated genre of fiction.”
Deadline: 15 September 2019
Length: Up to three poems
Pay: $0.03/word, up to $25
Details here.

The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume V
The editor wants any variation on the theme. They have stories on the other four volumes on their website so writers can get a feel of the kind of writing they prefer. Also see guidelines for another horror anthology from this editor, Loss and the Unknown, which is being funded via Kickstarter, with a later deadline.
Deadline: 15 October 2019
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Pay: AUD75

Thema: What a Strange Question; Not of this World
They are accepting short stories, poems, essays, photographs, and art on two themes currently: ‘What a Strange Question!’ and ‘Not of this World’. The premise (target theme) must be an integral part of the plot, not necessarily the central theme but not incidental, either. They do not accept electronic submissions, except from writers living outside the US.  
Deadline: 1 November 2019 for ‘What a Strange Question, 1 March 2020 for ‘Not of this World’
Length: Fewer than 20 pages of prose; up to 3 poems
Pay: $10-25 for short fiction and artwork, $10 for poetry
Details here.

Local Hero Press: Just Cause Universe stories
This is a submission call for short stories in their shared universe. Their guidelines say, “Write and edit a complete story set in the Just Cause Universe. This will require you to be familiar with it and its conventions. You may use existing characters or create your own, but the story must in some way tie into the existing JCU.” They also accept novels set in the universe, and writers who have had a story accepted in an omnibus are far more likely to get acceptance for novels.
Deadline: Open now
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $0.01/word, up to $50
Details here.

6th Crystal Ruth Bell Residency Program: Light and Sight

They are inviting people to apply for a fully-funded residency at Three Shadows & Red Gate Photography Art Centre in Beijing and Xiamen. They are calling for people of all types of creative practices to send them proposals for projects to pursue in China around the ideas of “light and sight”. Their guidelines say, “All creative people who make {work with, about, or from} images are welcome: photographers, filmmakers, cinematographers, animators, documentarians, photojournalists, researchers, critics, observers, lighting designers, astronomers, zine makers, opticians, and selfie enthusiasts are all invited to submit proposals around the themes of Light and Sight.”
Value: Travel, residency, equipment expenses, $1,080 stipend
Deadline: 8 August 2019
Details here.

Headway Quarterly Summer 2019 Writing Contest: Color
Submissions are now open for their second writing contest. They want a piece of writing, in any genre, up to 350 words, on the theme of ‘color’.
Value: $100
Deadline: 15 August 2019
Details here.

On the Premises Short Story Contest: Tradition(s)
They want a short story, of 1,000-5,000 words, in which some kind of tradition(s) play(s) an important role. They do not want children’s fiction, exploitative sex, over-the-top grossout horror, or obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds/characters created by other authors.
Value: $220, $160, $120, $60
Deadline: 30 August 2019
Details here and here.

Tidbits Micro Fiction Contest: Wishes 
They want micro fiction on the theme of ‘Wishes’. Stories could be about dreams, hopes, fantasies, needs, desires, wish-granting entities (genies, fairies, etc), be careful what you wish for, or wishful thinking, for example. They can range from somber to silly, real life to the fantastical, the dangerous to the banal. Stories must be limited to one page, or 500 words, whichever is longer, according to guidelines. They will compile an anthology of 50 stories from the entries, and three of the stories will receive a monetary award.  
Value: $300, $150, $50
Deadline: 30 August 2019
Details here.

University of Southampton: Green Stories Writing Competitions – full-length novel
They have writing contests with deadlines throughout the year, in various formats, e.g. book, tv, interactive fiction – that in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society. They will consider all genres – rom-com, literary fiction, science fiction, mystery, crime etc. – but stories must engage with the idea of environmentally sustainable practices and/or sustainable societies. They will consider all stories, but they encourage writers to imagine a more positive settings and practices for their stories, rather than dystopian. In August, they are reading novel submissions. According to their guidelines, length “will depend on genre, normal novels are 50,000 – 100, 000 words but children’s books may be as little as 15000. Submit the first 5,000 words double-spaced and numbered pages plus a one-page synopsis. We will then ask for the full novel from best entries.” Apart from cash prizes, they also have agreement from a literary agent from Curtis Brown to read the top entries and consider any writers they think suitable for representation.
Value: For each category, £500, £100, £50, plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. (If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless if the entry is from a student and the student prize will go to the next best student entry); potential literary representation 
Deadline: 31 August 2019 
Details  here

Transitions Abroad: 2019 Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest 
This is an international contest for professional and freelancer writers, to write a non-fiction inspirational and practical article or mini-guide (1,200-3,000 words) that describes their experience living, moving, and working abroad.
Value: $500, $150, $100, $50
Deadline: 1 September 2019
Details here


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