Written by S. Kalekar August 3rd, 2020

28 Themed Submission Calls for August

There are 28 themed submission calls for the 18 outlets listed here for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some of the themes are: archives, interrupt, Clara Barton and global health, tough times, cats, governance, Lovecraftian tales, wellness, secrets, strange holiday mysteries, characters working in illegal/unsavoury positions, cake horror, and the Wild Hunt. There are also a few themed contest calls at the end, and none charge an entry fee.


Vox et Liber: Graveyard Visits – Marginalized Voices in Horror
The theme includes but is not limited to stories about or centered around LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, people with mental illness, neurodivergent, and people with disabilities. They are looking for Own Voices fiction only (meaning authors from marginalized or under-represented groups writing about their own experience/perspectives, rather than authors writing these stories who do not belong to that group.) They are looking for horror stories that include a supernatural aspect to them only. The creepier, the scarier, the better. Writers can send up to three stories.
Deadline: 12 August 2020
Length: 2,500-5,000 words
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here.

Lackington’s: Archives
This Canadian speculative fiction magazine is reading work on the ‘Archives’ theme. Their guidelines say, “Archives” are more than sacred hoards in various states of array. They are under our feet in the very rock and in the trunks of trees. Scars can also be archives, and so can storage lockers and our personal digital wakes. Fate finds creative ways to preserve our memories, and the relics of vanished cultures, and the shades of people themselves. Send us your tales of memory, museums, loss, or preservation, but make sure they’re speculative.” They also pay for artwork.
Deadline: 14 August 2020
Length: 1,500-5,000 words
Pay: CAD0.01/word
Details here.

Honeyguide Magazine
They publish stories, art and poetry that examine the connection between animals and humans, and the ways we and our lives are more similar than people assume. Some topics and themes to consider: the process of an animal bringing out a character trait in a person (ie: Seabiscut); animals as living, interactive symbols or metaphors of human wants, fears, secrets, challenges, and change (ie: Life of Pi, Cujo); stories told through an animal’s perspective (The Incredible Journey, Pax). ​

They also want stories can you tell, either from imagination or experience, about marginalized species or creatures people usually avoid (ie: possums, bats, termites). They will consider pieces with mythical creatures. For fiction, they prefer flash, literary, historical, and young adult fiction, though they will consider other genres. It is unclear whether they pay all writers, but those featured on their website will get a monetary payment.
Deadline: 15 August 2020
Length: Up to 1,000 words for Life Advice from an Animal, Up to 4,000 words for fiction and creative nonfiction, up to five poems
Pay: $25 for featured writers, $50 for art
Details here.

FU Review: Interrupt
This is a literary journal published in Berlin, and publishes prose, poetry, nonfiction, and English-language translations. They are reading for their ninth issue, and the theme is ‘Interrupt’. The guidelines say, “When the internet cuts off, when the light goes out as you sit down to read, when the heart doesn’t beat, when a heart doesn’t beat for you, when the visa is rejected, when the binary breaks, when you fall in love, when two worlds collide, when — we pause this program for an important announcement — a dog barks (the autoplay ad starts) when the lightning strikes the picnic the stranger asks for directions the rain starts the statue of the slave trader hits the water when the rain ends when a missile —”
Deadline: 16 August 2020
Length: Up to two prose pieces, up to five poems
Pay:  €20
Details here.

Faces: Fun for All; Clara Barton and Global Health
Cricket Media’s Faces magazine is for children ages 9-14 years, where they can learn about important inventions and ideas from other cultures through articles, folk tales, recipes, illustrations, and hands-on projects. They publish feature articles – in-depth nonfiction highlighting an aspect of the featured culture, interviews, and personal accounts, supplemental nonfiction – subjects directly and indirectly related to the theme. They also publish theme-related fiction, activities, and puzzles and games. They have a few themed calls listed, including the following. They want queries only (see guidelines), no unsolicited manuscripts.
— Fun for All (for issue dated February 2021): Their guidelines say, “Sports and games have been modified through time to ensure a fun, fair, and safe experience for all.” They want queries on this theme by 17 August 2020.
— Clara Barton and Global Health (March 2021): Their guidelines say, “More than 1,500 health organizations across the globe provide critical services, such as training health-care workers, doctors, and nurses; educating people about disease; feeding people; providing sanitary drinking water; vaccinating; developing new beneficial drugs; and providing medicines.” They want queries on this theme by 14 September 2020.
Deadlines for queries: See above
Length: Varies
Pay: Unspecified
Details here
(Also see the guidelines, themes, and query deadlines for ASK, Cricket Media’s nonfiction magazine for 7-10-year-olds).

Speculative City: Governance
This speculative fiction magazine wants fiction, poetry, and essays on the Governance theme. They seek provocative works that are centered within a cityscape.
Deadline: 24 August 2020
Length: Up to 5,500 words
Pay: $20-55
Details here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Seven themes
They accept true inspirational stories and poetry on set themes. Deadlines have been extended for previous themes, and new themes added. Links to details on all themes and where to submit are at the end of the section on this publisher.  

— Miracles and Divine Intervention (previously Stories of Divine Intervention): They want stories about: Divine intervention and timing; Miracles; Coincidences; Unexplained happenings; Answered prayers; Miraculous healing; and Messages and signs from heaven. The deadline is 31 August 2020.

— Making “Me Time” (previously titled Stories about Self-Care and Me Time): Their guidelines say, “Self-care is what we all neglect most. And we’re waking up to its importance. We care for children and partners and parents and friends. We care for pets and homes and volunteer organizations. But, in order to take care of others you must first take care of yourself. And that is not being selfish. … We are looking for your stories about how you neglected your self-care and then how you realized its importance and so you now engage in it.” The deadline is 30 September 2020.

— Tough Times:  Their guidelines say, “We are looking for stories about how you have been affected and how you and your loved ones are handling the changes in your life. We’re looking for the ups and downs, so share the tough times but also the silver linings, the unexpected blessings, and resilience and gratitude that you have discovered in yourself and the people close to you.
We’re also looking for stories about tough times unrelated to the pandemic. Are you going through other challenges that have nothing to do with the pandemic, such as health crises, loss of loved ones, personal challenges, family issues, job loss and economic upheaval”. The deadline is 31 October 2020.

— Cats: They are back with this popular theme. Their guidelines say, “Tell us how he made you smile. How she “rescued” you after you “rescued” her. How she brought your family closer together, helped you find love, inspired you to change something in your human life. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both.” The deadline is 30 November 2020.

— Angels: Their guidelines say, “True personal stories about how an angel has touched your life – stories of true wonder and awe from people who have directly encountered or received help from angels. … Have you experienced something otherworldly or celestial? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? How did your angel manifest himself or herself to you? Were you the only person who saw your angel? How did your angel protect or guide you?” The deadline is 15 December 2020.

— Eldercare: They are only seeking stories from family members providing eldercare for this book, not professional carers. Some suggested themes are: Accepting the new reality; Convincing the person that he or she needs help; Cleaning out the old residence; Finding the blessings and gratitude in eldercare; Dealing with the rollercoaster ride of emotions; Taking care of yourself, too, and your marriage and other relationships; and The lighter side. The deadline is 30 January 2021.

— Counting Your Blessings: Their guidelines say, “Please share your stories about handling challenges in your life, finding the silver linings, and counting your blessings, whether the challenges you are facing are COVID-19 related or other kinds. … Attitude adjustments, finding contentment and gratitude, a new way of handling your daily life, and other great ideas to inspire readers to find their own paths to happiness and to remember to count their blessings every day”. The deadline is 28 February 2021.
Deadlines: See above
Length: Up to 1,200 words
Pay: $200
Details here (theme details), here (guidelines), and here (submission portal).

Strange Aeon: 2020 (Lovecraftian Tales)
The editor wants Lovecraftian stories. The guidelines say, “I specifically say Lovecraftian rather than Cthulu because I’d like stories across the entire Mythos including additions by the original group of Mythos authors like Robert Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. Likewise, specific Mythos references are not as important as getting the right style and tone.” Science fiction horror is strongly encouraged. There will also be one poem and one non-fiction piece in the anthology.
Deadline: 31 August 2020, or until filled
Length: 2,000-10,000 words preferred
Pay: $20
Details here.

Salvation Army: The War Cry – Character Counts; Suffering
This Christian publication requires themed articles to be submitted 60 days prior to the issue publication and for special issues of Easter and Christmas, submissions should be six months in advance. They publish articles, reprints, news, non-fiction, (limited) fiction, Use New Living Translation, and photographs. Some of their upcoming themes are:
— Character Counts (for the October 2020 issue): Guideposts for character development. Values on which to build a life.
— Suffering (November 2020): If God is good all the time then why does He let me suffer? The problem with pain, disease, and suffering in the modern world.
Deadlines: For themed articles, submissions to be 60 days prior to issue publication
Length: 800-1,250 words for articles; 100-400 words for brief news and sidebar pieces; unspecified for others
Pay: $0.35/word for original work, $0.15/word for reprints
Details here

Parabola: Wellness; Secrets
This is a quarterly journal that explores the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life. They accept original essays and translations, poetry, and extended reviews for a section called Tangents. They also publish retellings of traditional stories. Their guidelines say, “We look for lively, penetrating material unencumbered by jargon or academic argument. We prefer well-researched, objective, and unsentimental pieces that are grounded in one or more religious or cultural tradition; articles that focus on dreams, visions, or other very personal experiences are unlikely to be accepted.” They are reading work on two themes: Wellness, for which the deadline is 1 September; and for Secrets, with a deadline of 1 December 2020.
Deadlines: See above
Length: Articles: 1,000-3,000 words; Book Reviews: 500 words; Retellings of traditional stories: 500-1,500 words; Forum contributions: up to 500 words
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Editing Mee: Fantasy Anthology
They want stories for a historical fantasy anthology, about characters who work in illegal or unsavoury positions.
Deadline: 10 September 2020
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Pay: $15
Details here.

Blue Light Special
This is a fiction anthology, of folktales set in the modern world. They will each be based on a traditional folk tale but re-imagined to feature LGBTQ people grappling with today’s problems. They will each include a blue light as a surreal or supernatural element. Also see guidelines for how a blue light is used as a narrative device.
Deadline: 15 September 2020
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here and here.

Whortleberry Press: Strange Holiday Mysteries
This is an indie science fiction, fantasy, and horror publisher. They want mysteries taking place in a holiday. Writers can choose which holiday on which you wish to base your story – also, “It doesn’t have to be a major holiday. If your favorite is National Taco Day, go with it!” Like the rest of their ‘Strange Mysteries’ series, this will have about 20 stories.
Deadline: 30 September 2020
Length: Up to 3,000 words
Pay: $10
Details here.

Sliced Up Press: Slashertorte – An Anthology of Cake Horror
They want short stories involving cake for their debut horror anthology. “Delicious as cake might be, we want you to bring out the darker side of baked goods and give us something scary, disturbing or just plain wrong”, according to their guidelines.
Deadline: 1 November 2020, or until filled
Length: Up to 2,000 words
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

Lagrange Books: Worldbuilding fantasy anthology
This is a call for a themed fiction anthology. Stories must include, as a significant plot element, a political conflict that makes up a key piece of the worldbuilding. They want fantasy stories, broadly defined. This includes traditional high fantasy, urban fantasy, or any other flavor that includes a magical or fantastical element.  
Deadline: 1 December 2020
Length: 3,500-7,000 words for short stories; 9,000-15,000 words for novellas
Pay: $100 for short stories, $200 for novellas
Details here.

Chiral Mad 5

This anthology will feature speculative short fiction, poetry and artwork, and all profits will go to the Black Lives Matter movement. The focus of this anthology is diversity. They want stories from underrepresented demographics only to submit – POC, LGBTQIA+, female (see guidelines). More well-known writers invited to the anthology (there are some big names already attached) will be asked to forego payment to keep cost down. Contributors of underrepresented demographics, however, will be offered professional payment (see details below), but may donate their work in lieu of payment if they so choose.
Deadline: 31 December 2020
Length: Up to 5,000 words for fiction, up to 50 lines for poetry
Pay: $0.06/word for fiction, $1/line for poetry
Details here (scroll down).

Air and Nothingness Press: The Wild Hunt; Upon a Once Time
They are reading submissions for two themed speculative fiction anthologies.
— The Wild Hunt: They want stories in any genre about the Wild Hunt (Grimdark and New Weird are encouraged). The Wild Hunt occurs in European folklore and typically involves a ghostly or supernatural group of hunters passing in wild pursuit, and seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, or at best the death of the one who witnessed it (see guidelines for details). The accepted genres are Grimdark, New Weird, SF, Fantasy, and genre bending/breaking.
— Upon a Once Time: This is an anthology of new fairy tales for a modern audience. For this call, writers should mash up two fairy tales and a genre of their choice (for example, Snow White and Three Little Pigs as Detective Noir, or Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk as a Grimdark Fantasy. The accepted genres are Grimdark, New Weird, SF, Fantasy, Dying Earth, and genre bending/breaking.
Deadlines: 28 February 2021 for both anthologies
Length: 1,000-3,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here (Twitter call about The Wild Hunt) and here (Twitter call about Upon a Once Time); and this is the press website.

Aftermath Magazine
They publish stories and non-fiction on the theme of the end of human civilization as a result of our destruction of the environment (see guidelines). They also publish work that “celebrates the beauty and importance of our environment, the natural world, the splendour of the wild, the abundance of wonderful creatures, big and small, and our kinship with them, the simple joys and profound enrichments experienced by people who are able to commune with nature.” Submissions can be in English or Dutch.
Deadline: Unspecified
Length: 1,500-5,000 words
Pay: $0.02/word for fiction, $0.01/word for non-fiction
Details here.


TU Dublin Short Story Competition: Creation, Cosmos, & Caboodle
This is a short story competition, and they want fiction submissions of 1,500-2,000 words. Their guidelines say, “There is no restriction on theme or style, however the planned 2020 anthology will be called Creation, Cosmos, & Caboodle‘ and we are looking for strong stories that (even loosely) reflect this title.”
Value: 500, €250, €150
Deadline: 19 August 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here and here.

Endless Ink Publishing: Earth’s Final Chapter Short Story Competition 2020
This is a fiction concept for a shared universe, The Earth’s Final Chapter. They want fiction of 5,000-8,000 words, in any genre, on the shared universe of the Earth’s Final Chapter. Authors should contact the organizers on social media, let them know the genres they prefer to write, and the publisher will send them up to two stories to get them acquainted with the universe.
Value: $500; $100 for three runners-up
Deadline: 21 August 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here.

The Val Wood Prize 2020: The Next Chapter
This is a short fiction contest, of up to 2,000 words. Their guidelines say, “The overall theme of this year’s competition has been chosen as feel-good and we want you to pack your entries with optimism, originality and creativity.” Apart from the global prizes, there are also prizes for Yorkshire residents. Their rules also say that entries from already commercially published writers will not be considered.
Value: £100, £50, £25
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Open for: All writers who haven’t been commercially published
Details here (download details and conditions of entry).

Preservation Foundation Contest: Travel nonfiction
This is a contest for unpublished writers (see guidelines). For the upcoming deadline, they are reading travel nonfiction – “Stories should be factual and true accounts of a trip taken by the author or a person or persons known by the author.” Entries should be 1,000-10,000 words. Read the terms carefully; all entries, regardless of whether or not they win, will be on their website as long as the Foundation exists.
Value: $200, $100
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Open for: Unpublished writers
Details here.

Speculative Literature Foundation: Diverse Writers and Diverse World Grants
These are for writers of speculative fiction, with all levels of experience and publishing. The Diverse Writers grant is intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. The Diverse Worlds grant is intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background. Writers may apply for either or both grants. Their guidelines also say, “your project does not need to center on identity issues. We also do not expect or want work that simply attempts to check off all the boxes in a tokenistic way, but rather are looking for writing that offers deep characterization, complex cultural landscapes, and strong literary quality overall.”
Value: $500 each for Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Nottingham Writers Studio: The George Floyd Short Story Competition

This new annual writing competition is in memory of George Floyd. Their rules say they will accept all genres/styles in both fiction and non-fiction, up to 5,000 words, and it’s open to writers globally. Their guidelines say, “With this anthology, we seek to capture not only stories of social justice that capture the mood, tone, and energy of the vital Black Lives Matter movement, but the entire gamut of BAME life experience, from social justice to comedies by black authors to romances with a predominantly Asian cast.
This competition is open to all as we welcome the experiences of advocates and allies as well as voices from the black community. Above all, we want to ensure in publishing the anthology we amplify, centre, and celebrate the voices and writings of people of colour.” Value: £250, £125, £75; £30 for runners-up
Deadline: 31 August 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here.

The Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest
For this contest, they have two categories: a traditional sonnet, which can be Shakespearean or Petrarchan, and a modern sonnet. Poets can enter work in one or both categories. 
Value: $50, $35, $15
Deadline: 1 September 2020
Open for: All poets
Details here.

The Academy for Teachers: Stories Out of School
They want honest, unsentimental stories, of 6-479 words, about teachers and schools. The story’s protagonist or narrator must be a K-12 teacher. Sentimentality is discouraged and education jargon is forbidden. The stories will be published in the print edition of A Public Space.   
Value: $1,000
Deadline: 1 September 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here and here.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Awards
The American-Scandinavian Foundation annually awards translation prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Scandinavian author born after 1900. The Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award is for those whose translations from a Nordic language have not been previously published. There is also the Nadia Christensen Prize, and the Wigeland Prize (this is for the best translation by a Norwegian). The application includes 50 pages of prose or 25 pages of poetry.
Value: $2,500 (Nadia Christensen Prize); $2,000 (Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award); $2,000 (Wigeland Prize)
Deadline: 1 September 2020 (extended)
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

On the Premises: Ooh, that smell
Their guidelines say, “There are few things as evocative as scent. For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which either a specific scent, or the sense of smell in general, is important to the story.” They do not want children’s fiction, exploitative sex, over-the-top grossout horror, or stories that are obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds/characters created by other authors. 
Value: $220, $160, $120, $60
Deadline: 4 September 2020
Open for: All writers
Details here and here.

Author Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.


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