Written by S. Kalekar May 6th, 2024

35 Themed Submission Calls and Contests for May 2024

These are themed calls and contests from 35 outlets for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; a few outlets have more than one call, and a few calls are for a limited demographic. Some call themes are: time travel; nightlife; food; tenacity; girlhood; howl (werewolves); bite; and strange mixology.


Celestial Echo Press: Ruth’s and Ann’s Guide to Time Travel

Their guidelines say, “The theme for this anthology is time travel. We’re looking for stories that will take readers on a journey through time, from the Wild West to the future in outer space, from humor to horror. All genres accepted, except erotica. Send us well-written stories that make us believe time travel is real.” They also accept reprints. They have some slots for invited authors, and a few slots will be filled with this open submission call. Their reading period will open soon; please send submissions only during the reading period. Submission is via a form.
Reading period: 7 May to 1 June 2024
Length: 500-4,000 words
Pay: $0.01/word for originals
Details here.

Cat Eye Press: Cursed Cooking – A Horror Community Cookbook and Food Horror Anthology
This is a fiction and recipe anthology. While their submission call period for all writers is passed, they have an extended submission window this month only for writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented groups. “Cursed Cooking is a horror community cookbook and food horror anthology, featuring both real-world recipes and food horror fiction. This hybrid publication aims to feed not only your body with frighteningly good food, but also your imagination with cleverly crafted horror stories. So, send us your tales of haunted hamburgers, killer chocolate chip cookies, monstrous manicotti, world-ending wontons, and everything in between. … But also, send us the recipes that you love, recipes that make your mouth water and have people screaming for seconds (and thirds and fourths). … (They want) horror stories and recipes for three categories of submissions: appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Appetizer recipes and drabbles (100-word stories) to introduce readers to Cursed Cooking in bite-sized portions.
Entrée recipes and short stories (1,501–4,000 words) will serve as the book’s main course
Dessert recipes and flash fiction (500–1,500 words) will round out the book—they’ll be short and oh so sweet. You can submit fiction, recipes, or both. Fiction should fall reasonably in the food horror subgenre. … As for the recipes, we want to make this publication special, so please, don’t send us recipes copied and pasted from the Food Network or conjured up by AI. Submit real recipes you would be proud to serve up to your friends and family. … Please note that recipes do not need to be connected to a work of fiction in order to be submitted, and there are no word limits for recipes.” They also accept reprint stories.
Deadline: 10 May 2024 (underrepresented writers only – see guidelines)
Length: See above
Pay is $0.05/word for original fiction; $5 for recipes
Details here.

Shooter Literary Magazine: Nightlife
They want submissions – fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art – on the ‘Nightlife’ theme. “We’re looking for stories, essays, memoir and poetry on anything that relates to nocturnal happenings: dating, working the night shift, crime, clubbing, dinner, sex, partying, witchcraft, ghosts, childbirth, insomnia, even nocturnal wildlife.”
Deadline: 12 May 2024
Length: 2,000-6,000 words for short prose, up to 3 poems
Pay: £25 for short prose, and £5 for flash prose and poetry
Details here.

Diet Milk Magazine: Food
They publish Gothic fiction (including flash fiction) and poetry, and they’re reading submissions on the ‘Food’ theme for their mini issue. All work must fall under the Gothic umbrella, and must adhere to the current theme.
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: Up to 3 poems, up to 2,000 words for short fiction (see guidelines)
Pay: $10 per poem, $20 per prose piece
Details here and here.

Brilliant Flash Fiction: Tenacity
They want a piece of flash fiction on the ‘Tenacity’ theme. “Brilliant Flash Fiction celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2024 with an eBook and print anthology entitled TENacity. We are seeking flash fiction stories of 300 words or less on the subject of Tenacity. Writers do not have to use the word “tenacity” in their stories or titles; simply send us your best work expressing the concept of te·nac·i·ty”.
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: Up to 300 words, excluding headline
Pay: $20
Details here.

SubTerrain: Trash
This Canadian literary magazine is reading fiction, creative nonfiction, commentary (social or otherwise), and poetry on the ‘Trash’ theme. They want works “that mine the depths of your trash — be it literal, metaphorical, metaphysical, or more. In a tech-filled world that engages in planned, rapid obsolescence while the planet burns, talk to us about the ethical quandaries of garbage. In a gentrified society with its moralistic values, how do you revel in your own feelings of being, well, trashy? Send us writing littered with the dregs of society, the lowest of the low, and remains and rabble of your brain.” Electronic submissions are charged, but there is no fee for mailed submissions.
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: Up to 3,000 words for fiction, up to 4,000 words for nonfiction, up to 5 poems
Pay: CAD50/poem; CAD0.10/word for prose, up to CAD500
Details here.

khōréō: Point of View
They want speculative fiction (including flash) by immigrant and diaspora authors only, in the broadest sense of the term. Their general submission guidelines say, “our stories include fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and any genre in between or around it — as long as there’s a speculative element. We’re especially interested in writing and art that explores migration. Examples include themes of immigration, diaspora, and anti-colonialism, as well as more metaphorical interpretations of the term.” They’re reading submissions on the ‘Point of View’ theme: “Our theme for Issue 4.4 is “Point of View”. We are looking for unusual, unexpected, and uncanny takes on POV!” Some areas they are specially interested in are: unreliable narrators; first-person plural; second-person plural; experimental takes on third-person POV; non-human / more-than-human POVs with horror or ecological elements. They also accept translations.
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: Up to 5,000 words for originals; up to 3,500 words for translations
Pay: $0.10/word
Details here and here.

Atomic Carnival Books: Eat the Rich Anthology
This is a speculative fiction anthology; they want stories about billionaires (see guidelines) being eaten. They want stories from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, chronically-ill/disabled, and writers from other historically marginalized groups only. “Give us carnivores, cannibals, kaiju, cryptids, and, of course, capitalist comeuppance. So long as some kind of obnoxiously wealthy fuck gets eaten — somewhere, somewhen, somehow — the sky’s the limit.”
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: 100-8,000 words (see guidelines)
Pay: $0.05/word
Details here.

Talk Vomit: Girlhood
They want submissions on the ‘Girlhood’ theme. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews. Some of the things they particularly like are Gothic stories, flash satire, essays that weave first-person with cultural criticism; essays with a fresh coming-of-age narrative (see guidelines), and more. Submission is via a form.
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Length: Up to 2,000 words for fiction (also serial story pitches – see guidelines), up to 4,000 words for nonfiction, up to 2 poems
Pay: $10-30 for prose, $5-15 for poetry
Details here and here

Apparition Lit: Anachronism

This is a quarterly speculative fiction and poetry magazine. They will be reading submissions on the Anachronism theme during the second half of May. As part of their equity initiative, they have a one-week extra reading period for writers who self-identify as BIPOC in their cover letters; they will also accept simultaneous submissions from writers who identify as Disabled, BIPOC, or LGBTQIA+ (see guidelines).   
Reading period: 15-31 May 2024 for general submissions; will extend by a week for BIPOC writers (see guidelines) 
Length: 1,000-5,000 words for fiction, up to 5 poems 
Pay: $0.05/word for stories, $50/poem 
Details here.
(Apparition Lit also has a themed flash fiction challenge, open on the first fortnight of every month – see guidelines.)

Little Ghost Press: Little Guts – A Gory Anthology
This is a fiction anthology. The editor says, “Some of you might know me for my love of GROSS, GOOPY HORROR—which is exactly what this anthology aims to be! I’ll be looking for pitches that evoke FUN and DISGUST, like Peter Jackson’s Braindead, and the films of Frank Henelotter. Shows like Freaky Stories and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. Like a pig in mud, we revel in the nasty and go, “hey, check this out! Made me want to barf!” Give me fluids! Guts and gore! Slime, ooze and GOOP! Your story can feature dark themes and heavy topics, but have FUN with it.” Their website also says, “We will be taking PITCHES, and if accepted, your story should be 2-5k words.” In the pitch, “Please include… just the guts! Character, rising action, and conclusion teaser. Suggest a style, leak the ooze, make us laugh (or go EUGHHHH). Pitch us something gross!” If your pitch (which is via a form on the website) is accepted, please send your stories before the submission deadline; they plan to do the edits June-August, with expected release in October.
Submission deadline: 31 May 2024
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Pay: $0.12/word
Details here.

The Orange & Bee
This is a Substack-based project; they want works “that explore, expand on, and subvert the rich traditions of international folklore, including fairy tales, fables, myths, and legends.” You can read more about them here. They’re reading submissions for their second issue. They want fiction (including flash) – “The Orange and Bee celebrates all styles and genres when it comes to fairy tales. We are seeking stories that stretch between the shadows, and we are as likely to accept a reimagining of a familiar fairy tale as a unique creation waiting to be added to the rich tradition of the continually evolving literary canon.” They also want poetry and hybrid (see ‘Other’) submissions for this issue – “We’re excited about the possibility of experimentation, and so also invite submissions of hybrid or experimental works, including but certainly not limited to works that combine life writing and fiction or poetry. Payment will usually be at the same rate as for fiction.” They’ve also given all the submission windows for the year on their website.
Deadline: 31 May 2024 (Midnight AEST)
Length: Up to 1,000 words for flash fiction; 1,000-4,000 words for short fiction; prefer up to 50 lines for poetry
Pay: $80 for flash fiction; $0.08/word for short stories and hybrid works; $50 for poetry
Details here.

Graveside Press: Three Anthologies
Graveside Press is a new horror imprint; you can read about the press, and their other projects, here. They’re currently open for three anthologies; Bite (stories featuring vampires); Howl (stories featuring werewolves and other shape-changing beings); and Soul (stories involving ghosts and possession). Please click on the links for details of each anthology. They also accept reprints for all three anthologies.
Deadline: 31 May 2024 for all three anthologies
Length: 2,000-6,000 words; for longer stories (5,000-12,000 words), see their Tiny Terrors short fiction program
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here (Bite); here (Howl); and here (Soul).

Heartlines Spec
This is a Canadian magazine of speculative fiction and poetry, focused on long-term relationships; they will publish at least 50% work from Canadian writers for each issue. “We’re looking for short fiction and poetry focused on long-term relationships: platonic, romantic, or familial. We don’t want the blaze of new love or the obsession of a new friend. We want pieces that show that comfort that develops when people know each other for years.
Give us deep space, dusty frontiers, or dreamy fantasy. We want stories and poetry with strong, confident relationships amid all the sci-fi/fantasy. While we are primarily looking for stories with happy endings (yeah, yeah), we also want endings that are earned. If things get a little teary or gory, that’s ok.
We are especially interested in stories featuring queer platonic relationships, ace/aro love stories, and polycules.”
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Length: 1,000-3,500 words for fiction; up to 5 poems
Pay: CAD0.08/word for fiction; CAD60/poem
Details here (guidelines) and here (submission portal)

Weird Little Worlds: The Robots Were Right – Tales of Unstoppable Technology
They want stories about “Robots, AI, and all things technology. Think of our annual anthology call as a mix between the Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, and Back to the Future. We are looking to highlight 20+ brand new writers with tales of technology gone right, wrong, and everything in between.” This is a Kickstarter-funded project. Submission is via a form.
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Length: 500-5,000 words
Pay: $0.05/word ($0.08/word if Kickstarter stretch goals are met)
Details here and here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s
They’re reading nonfiction prose and nonfiction poetry for various themed anthologies, and one of the deadlines is in May: for their ‘Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s’ anthology. They have detailed guidelines, including, “How do you celebrate the holidays? Are your celebrations very traditional or are they very spontaneous and never the same? We want to hear how you celebrate your holidays. How do you gather with family and friends to share the special spirit of the season? How do you brighten those long winter days?”. Also see their FAQ.  
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Length: Up to 1,200 words
Pay: $250
Details here and here.
(Chicken Soup for the Soul has other themes listed too, with later deadlines, including Funny Stories and Grandmothers; the deadline for both these themes is 30 June 2024. See here.)

Bannister Press: Other – the 2024 fantasy short story anthology
Bannister Press specializes in supernatural and fantasy stories loved by adults and young adults. For this fiction anthology, they only want submissions from writers who identify as women. “We are seeking international short story submissions by writers who identify as women for an anthology with a focus on what it means to be on the outside looking in, or comfortably or uncomfortably out of step with the world(s) at large, and with a fantasy element (either subtle or writ large). The story can be visually focused, or character/narrative focused, as long as it leaves the reader thinking about the story long after closing the book. We don’t want a lesson, we want an experience that makes us come alive. Humour is fine as long as it’s not about the mic drop.”
Deadline: 1 June 2024
Length: Up to 3,500 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

Eternal Haunted Summer: Gardens
Their tagline is, ‘Pagan Songs & Tales’. They want poetry and short fiction about the Gods and Goddesses and heroes of the world’s many Pagan traditions, as well as reviews of books, graphic novels, academic journals, magazines, movies, plays which have a Pagan focus; and interviews with established and new Pagan authors, or authors of texts that interest a Pagan audience. They also accept essays concerning the Gods, Goddesses, heroes, myths and folklore of the world. The theme for Summer Solstice 2024 is ‘Gardens’. “Trees and flowers and shrubs. Rain showers and thunder and lightning. Bees and birds and insects and snakes in the grass. Send us your best poems, short stories, and essays about gardens from a Pagan/polytheist, witchy, and mythological point of view. Send us poems about Idun and her apple tree, the garden of the Hesperides, and Fangu, one of the Taoist islands of the immortals. Send us short stories about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a medieval witch’s poison garden, or a modern devotee of Demeter creating a community garden in New York. Send us essays about establishing a shrine to Melissa, ancient and modern festivals of Pomona, or creating a sustainable garden in honor of Priapos. Send us poems and short stories and essays about Xochipili, Adonis, Blodeuwedd, Qu Yuan, and Vertumnus.”
Deadline: 1 June 2024
Length: No length limit, but please discuss longer works with editors in advance (see guidelines)
Pay: $5
Details here.
(Submissions are also open for Parabola, 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. The theme is Grief & Gratitude. They want articles and translations, book reviews, retellings of traditional stories, forum contributions, and poetry. They pay. The deadline is 1 June 2024. Details here.)

Eye to the Telescope: Strange Mixology
This is a speculative poetry magazine. For the Strange Mixology theme, they say, “As your fearless bartender, I’m looking for cosmic concoctions, time-twisted tinctures and charmed potions. Give me something with a kicker, the green fairy’s secret spells, the sweet sap of the old woods and the moonshine of mermaids, alien aperitifs and speakeasies in space. All spirits welcome, even the ones that don’t come in glass bottles. Feel free to interpret the theme broadly but make sure there’s a spec element. Give me your old-fashioned verse and cosmopolitan compositions, pink squirrels, bee’s knees, gimlets and juleps, juniper berries, elderflowers, the marriage vows of Old Tom Collins and Bloody Mary. Garnish with kaleidoscopic umbrellas and a twisty straw. In Poetry Veritas.” They also accept translations.Deadline: 15 June 2024
Length: Up to 3 poems
Pay: $0.04/word (up to $25)
Details here.

Flame Tree: Two anthologies

Flame Tree Fiction is open for two anthologies in their Myths, Gods, and Immortals series; Anansi, and Circe.
— For Anansi, they say: “Anansi is at once a creator god, a trickster folk hero, a wily spider and a heroic symbol of resistance. From his origins in West African folklore, to his lauded status in Jamaica, Anansi is a versatile immortal whose many stories reflect the early world of his origins, and the potential for re-imagination. Sometimes dark and chilling, occasionally light-hearted, but always lively and clever, Anansi appears in the lives of everyday folk, pricks the pomposity of the mighty and in this collection of new stories, appears in the modern and the ancient world, a symbol still of individuality and resilience, adapting to City life, with the undertow of ancient lore ever-present. Stories submitted for consideration need to explore new angles to the character: have him follow alternative paths, present different viewpoints, imagine new futures, or perhaps pursue story lines that are hinted at in the original tales.” And, “All previous submissions for Anansi are still under consideration and authors will be contacted in due course, within 4 months of the new deadline.”
— For Circe, they say: Enchantress, goddess, witch, predatory seductress… Inevitably, Circe has been best-known in these terms, through the male gaze of Homer, Hesiod et al., as interpreted by readers and storytellers until today. Rarely does the classic literature give us a rounded view of a woman subject to the same flaws and emotions as the rest of us: jealousy, desire, unrequited love; her witchcraft is perhaps not so much dreadful as awe-inspiring and led by nature. What we know of her story is piecemeal, from many sources. This enriching collection will bring together new stories and ancient origins, offering a wider perspective on the whole life of the enigmatic, enchanting Circe. Stories submitted for consideration need to explore new or expanded angles to the character: have her follow alternative paths, present different viewpoints, give deeper background, counter the patriarchal narrative and male gaze, or perhaps pursue story lines that are hinted at in the original tales and poetry.”
They’re also accepting reprints for both anthologies, which will be published in hardcover.
Deadline for both anthologies: 23 June 2024
Length: 3,000-4,000 words (will also read stories slightly outside this range – see guidelines)
Pay: $0.08/word for originals
Details here (Anansi) and here (Circe).

Bad Hand Books: Long Division – Stories of Social Decay, Societal Collapse, and Bad Manners
This is a fiction anthology. “We live in divided times. We’re fueled by misinformation. We retreat inside ideological bubbles. We no longer trust each other. We’ve forgotten what holds us together. We’re more dangerous than ever.
We’re looking for original stories of transgression, of the mechanisms behind what’s fraying the bonds that bind us.
We want to ask readers to consider what’s worth keeping and what requires smashing to bits. Preference for stories that have a speculative element (horror, fantasy, sci-fi), but it is not 100% necessary.” They will remain open until they receive 500 submissions.
Deadline: Until filled
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $0.10/word
Details here.


(A few unthemed contests are also open this month, including:
— RTÉ Short Story Competition, a short fiction contest for those who live in Ireland, or have an Irish passport – see rules. All 10 winning/shortlisted stories will be broadcast. Prizes are €5,000, €4,000 and €3,000; and €250 for shortlisted authors. Deadline: 10 May 2024. Details here, here, here, and here.
— Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin Award for a second full-length poetry manuscript by a US poet, contracted by a publisher. Winner gets $5,000, and an all-expenses-paid weeklong residency at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Deadline: 15 May 2024; Details here.
RBC PEN Canada 2024 New Voices Award, a prize for new Canadian writers, ages 17 and over; unpublished writers are encouraged to submit short stories, creative nonfiction, journalism, and poetry. See the contest page for guidelines; jury announcement here. Winner gets CAD3,000 and mentorship. Deadline: 19 May 2024. Details here.
— The Heron’s Nest: Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Awards, an international contest; submit up to 2 haiku. Prizes are $200, $100, $50. Deadline: 1 June 2024. Details here
— Fitzcarraldo Editions: 2024 Novel Prize, a biennial international prize for a literary fiction manuscript of at least 30,000 words; writers based in Africa and Europe should submit to Fitzcarraldo Editions; writers based in the Americas should submit via New Directions; writers based in Asia and Australasia should submit to Giramondo. The prize is $10,000 advance. Deadline: 1 June 2024. Details here.  
— The Bard Fiction Prize, an annual fiction prize for US writers aged 39 or younger. A published book (not manuscript) that best represents your work is part of the application. Winner gets $30,000 and appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester. Deadline: 1 June 2024; Details here.)

Singapore Unbound: Singapore Poetry Contest

This is an international poetry contest. They are looking for poems that use the word “interrogation” in imaginative ways.
Value: $300, $200, $100
Deadline: 6 May 2024
Open for: All poets
Details here.
(See all their contests, fee-free and fee-based, here. See Singapore Unbound’s submission call for Asian writers here.)

Spindle House: Dark Tales from the Tarot
They have a monthly prompt challenge, and will publish one winning story each month. “For the first half of each month, Spindle House will be open for submissions of horror flash fiction centered around a prompt determined by the shuffling of a tarot deck. A winning story will be selected at the end of each month.” For May, they want horror flash fiction (up to 1,000 words) on ‘The Nine of Cups’: “After a long and arduous struggle, a character finally achieves peace, even abundance. Balance is restored but, alas, is short-lived. All progress is lost in a harrowing, inescapable twist of fate.” Submission is via a form.
Value: $10
Deadline: 15 May 2024Open for: All writers
Details here and here.

Pulp Asylum Fiction Contest
The editor wants drabbles for this contest (stories of exactly 100 words, not counting the title or byline). “The theme for this contest is rebirth/renewal. Your entry should connect with this theme in some way.  For this contest,  I will be considering drabbles that fall into the following genres: crime, mystery, horror, suspense,  fantasy, science fiction, western, or just plain weird.”
Value: $10
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here.

ABA Journal / Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction
This is a fiction contest for US writers (see guidelines). The ABA Journal is the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association. Send a story of up to 5,000 words that illuminates the role of the law and/or lawyers in modern society.
Value: $5,000
Deadline: 15 May 2024
Open for: US writers
Details here.

Creative Future Writers’ Award
This is an award for underrepresented writers in the UK, for fiction, creative nonfiction (prose up to 2,000 words) and poetry (up to 50 lines). Writers can submit one piece of writing. Apart from cash prizes, winners also get various non-cash prizes, like mentorship. The theme for this year is ‘Reveal’; they also say, “The theme is a creative prompt, not a requirement.” 
Value: £75, £50, £25 (more about the prizes here.)
Deadline: 19 May 2024 (postal submissions must be received by 20th May.)
Open for: Underrepresented writers in the UK
Details here.

The Dream Foundry Emerging Writers Contest
This is a contest for emerging writers of speculative fiction (it is for writers who are relatively new to paid or incoming-earning publication of speculative short fiction in English; please check detailed eligibility rules on their website). Send a speculative fiction story of up to 10,000 words. They want short speculative fiction only (science fiction, fantasy, weird fiction, etc.); do not send stories that have no speculative element. Submission is via a form on their website.
Value: $1,000, $500, $200
Deadline: 27 May 2024
Open for: Emerging writers of speculative fiction
Details here.

The Irene Adler Prize
The competition is now open to women worldwide, commencing or continuing to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in 2024-25. Applications include a 500-word essay on one of these five topics on the website:
— Which story in the news in 2023 impacted you the most and why?
— Write about a place – either human-made or natural – and show why it means a lot to you.
— What do you think our world will look like in 2074?
— Tennis star Billie Jean King said: “Champions keep on playing until they get it right.” Tell a story that exemplifies this statement.
— What motivates you?The prize is intended to be applied to educational expenses such as tuition fees – please see the rules.
Value: $1,000; two prizes of $250 each
Deadline: 30 May 2024
Open for: Women writers worldwide – see above
Details here (download 2024 submission guidelines and rules).

Speculative Literature Foundation Grants: Older Writers Grant
They have some upcoming reading periods for grants. The one open now is their Older Writers Grant, for a writer who is 50 years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The writing application sample could be of fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction, of speculative literature. A writing sample (up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction — if sending a segment of a novel, novella, or novelette, include a one-page synopsis as well) is part of the application.
Value: $1,000
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Open for: All speculative fiction writers above 50
Details here.

(They also have other grants application periods coming up later – Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants during July; Working Class Writers Grant during September; Gulliver Travel Research Grant during November; A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian and Diaspora writers in January 2025. Links to all Speculative Literature Foundation grants can be found here.)

Humane Education Network: A Voice for Animals
This is an international essay contest for students in two categories: for 14-15-year-olds, and for 16-18-year-olds. The essay themes include mistreatment of one animal species, the preservation of one endangered species, and more (see guidelines). Participants must currently be attending middle or high school, or be home-schooled, and less than 19 years of age (see guidelines). Entries can be essays, essays with photos, or videos. They have extensive guidelines. Also, “We reserve the right to adjust the number of prizes and the amounts of the prizes based on the entries received.”
Value: Total prize purse up to $5,900
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Open for: All 14 to 18 year old students
Details here.

The Black Orchid Novella Award
This is an international contest for novellas (15,000-20,000 words) that confirm to the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series (see guidelines). They should focus on the deductive skills of the sleuth. They are not looking for derivatives of the Nero Wolfe series, or the milieu. Submission is via a form.
Value: $1,000 and publication in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here (also download the flyer from here.)

Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest
This is an international fiction contest. While the story should appeal to the audience of this magazine, all themes will be considered. Their readers have interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America. Ideally, stories should not exceed 3,000 words, but those up to 4,000 words will be considered.
Value: $150
Deadline: 31 May 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here.

The Africa Institute: Global Africa Translation Fellowship
The fellowship welcomes applications from across the Global South for a grant to complete translations of works from the African continent and its diaspora, into English or Arabic. This is a non-residential fellowship. Projects may be retranslations of old, classic texts, previously untranslated works, poetry, prose, or critical theory collections. The project may be a work-in-progress, or a new project feasible for completion within the timeframe of the grant. Application includes a translation sample.
Deadline: 1 June 2024
Value: $1,000-5,000
Open for: Translators in the Global South
Details here.

Defenestration.net Short Story Contest
They want a short story which should include an incident of defenestration – the art or –ism of throwing people out of windows. This need not be literal. Their team defines such an incident as follows – “a sudden, immediate, even violent shift, change, or seismical event between the beginning and the end.” There will voting by four judges for this contest, with fan voting counting as an additional judge vote.
Value: $75, two runner-up prizes of $30 each
Deadline: 2 June 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here

A couple of contests with later deadlines:

Soho Theatre – The Verity Bargate Award: This playwriting award is for UK and Ireland based playwrights. They want a play written for the stage. Submissions should be at least one hour in performance time. As a general rule of thumb, 10,000 words will correspond to one hour. Submissions must be unproduced, with a maximum of three rehearsed readings or equivalent development allowed before submission. The winning play will get £8,000, full production, and more. The deadline is 17 June 2024. Details here.

— Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors:
This is a climate fiction contest from Fix, Grit’s solutions lab. They want stories of 2,500-5,000 words. “Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world.” They have detailed guidelines on the kind of stories they want, please read them carefully. Additionally, “We are also partnering with Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project, which will offer the winning writer (or a runner-up, in the case the winner cannot accept) the opportunity to participate in its Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency, including a writing residency at the Cabin at Shotpouch Creek for the winner to spend up to four weeks in residence to continue their climate writing project. The Fellow will receive a $3,000 honorarium from Spring Creek Project.” The prizes for the short story contest are $3,000, $2,000, $1,000; and $300 each for nine winners. The deadline is 24 June 2024, and it is open for all writers. Details here and here.

— The Fountain Essay Contest:
Where is Home – They want an essay on the topic, ‘Where is Home’. See guidelines for details on the theme. Ideal length is 1,500-2,500 words. Also, “There is no age limit or a condition to fulfill for entry.” Please read the terms carefully, any of the entries may be published in any medium, whether or not they win the prize. The prizes are $1,000, $500, $300, two prizes of $150 each, and the deadline is 30 June 2024. Details here and here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She can be reached here.


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