Written by S. Kalekar

37 Themed Submission Calls for June 2022

These are calls and contests for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some of the themed calls are: tender; generations; incredible journeys; myths and fairy tales; outsiders; deadly women of the sea; and the still of winter. Also see this list; some deadlines are coming up.

THEMED CALLS

Antithesis: Tender
Antithesis is an Australian literary magazine and they’re accepting work on the Tender theme. They accept fiction, poetry, and artwork, including graphic narrative. For creative nonfiction/personal essays/memoir, they recommend that writers email pitches (see the nonfiction category in Submittable); the final submission deadline is 12 June. They want creative nonfiction, personal essays, memoir, critiques, discussions, interviews, cultural commentary, articles and reviews of books, films, exhibitions, performances, etc. They have extensive guidelines on the theme, including “Tender is the night, tender is the flesh, tender is … well, ubiquitous. But what does it really mean to be tender or show tenderness? Is it the appearance of a new bruise or maybe not that obvious? How and when are we tender or, at least, supposed to be? Where do you feel tenderness? Is it an act, an emotion, a concept or all the above? How does it shape societies, families, our sense of self, and the world around us? Would our lives be any better if we all just showed a little more tenderness?” They want “diverse voices that showcase what tenderness looks like in 2022 and beyond. What can we learn from the past, and what can we change for the future?”
Deadline: 12 June 2022 for everything except art; artwork deadline 27 June 2022
Length: Up to 3,000 words for creative prose, including fiction and CNF, longer for scholarly/research articles; up to 100 lines for poetry
Pay: AUD50 for contributors to the print magazine; no pay for blog submissions
Details here (general guidelines) and here (Submittable).

Farmer-ish: Generations
This magazine wants creative and engaging content on farming, homesteading, raising animals, cooking, making, and raising a family. They publish expository essays, poetry, personal essays, creative nonfiction, instructional or how-to essays, farmer profiles, recipes, and book reviews. They have a list of the things they like to cover in the magazine; some of these are nature, gardening, sustainable living, transcendentalism, recipes, and food and health. They are reading submissions on the Generations theme for the Summer Solstice 2022 issue. They have other themes too, with deadlines later in the year: Harvest; and Home. They usually also accept pitches, though the pitch deadline for the Solstice issue has passed; they accept direct submissions, as well.
Deadline: 14 June 2022 for Generations
Length: 1,000 words for feneral essays and how-to essays; 1,000-2,000 words for personal narrative essays; poetry can be any length, but they prefer short to medium
Pay: $25
Details here.

Standing Up: A charity anthology in support of Ukraine
They want true nonfiction stories and poetry for this anthology. “Every day, things happen right in front of you that you believe are wrong. You could act on that belief. Most days, for all sorts of reasons, you don’t bother. But on that day, for whatever reason, you did. You rose up: against tyranny, convention, rudeness, unfavourable odds, malevolence, apathy. Against your boss, your barista, your worst enemy, your best friend, yourself. Saved the day. Actually, maybe made things worse. Made a difference. Got flattened. Did it work? Well, life’s complicated. But one thing’s for sure: On that day, you saw something you believed was wrong and you took action.
This book will engage all degrees and manners of standing up, and what can happen when you act on your beliefs.”
Deadline: 15 June 2022
Length: Up to 3,000 words for prose; up to 40 lines each for poetry
Pay: None; all proceeds go to Canada-Ukraine Foundation
Details here.
(The publisher is also open for the Poetry Box series, and pay CAD40 for accepted poetry. Send submissions by 25th of each month.)

Fourteen Poems: Queer poetry
This UK-based journal publishes LGBTQ+ poets. Each issue publishes 14 queer poems. They publish thrice yearly, but take submissions throughout the year, with cut-off dates for issues.
Deadline: 15 June 2022
Length: Up to 5 poems
Pay: £25/poem
Details here.
(For other calls/opportunities for historically underrepresented writers, please see this list; a few deadlines are coming up.)

Neon Hemlock Press: Baffling Magazine – Fashion/Style
They publish speculative flash fiction with a queer bent. They’re looking for stories on Fashion/Style, and also unthemed stories.
Deadline: 15 June 2022
Length: Up to 1,200 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.
(– The publisher is also taking submissions for a reprint anthology, We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2022. You can see all the calls by Neon Hemlock Press here.
— And submissions are open for Rites of Passage: An Anthology of Queer Pagan Fiction, as well. Send stories of 2,500-7,500 words. Pay is $25-75, and the deadline is 30 June 2022.)

Muse Magazine: Three themes
Cricket Media’s Muse Magazine, a science and discovery magazine for readers ages 9-14. Apart from articles, they also publish science fiction or science-focused fiction. For nonfiction, they want “fresh and entertaining articles from the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math”. Articles are commissioned, and they accept queries on these. They publish feature articles; profiles and Interviews, particularly of underrepresented STEM professionals; activities and experiments; photo essays; and infographics. They’ve announced themes for their 2023 issues.
— January: Codebreakers. Queries by June 15, 2022. “An inside look at code making and breaking.
Creating an effective code; types of codes, ciphers, and cryptography; how to break a code by searching for patterns; mathematics and computer science in modern cryptography; codes used in wartime; the Navajo Code Talkers and Choctaw Code Talkers; the story of Alan Turing and the importance of Ultra to the Allied victory; profile of Elizebeth Smith Friedman; code devices; computer codes; breaking the code of DNA; secret signs used in baseball and other sports; hidden meanings in logos; how spies slip coded messages into songs, poems, and crossword puzzles; coded messages in art and literature.”
— February: Into Space. Queries by July 15, 2022. “What are we sending into space and why?
Tiny spaceships that “light sail” through space; research bots that land on asteroids and potential asteroid battlers; swarms of bots as massive space telescopes; unusual objectives of the James Webb Space Telescope; discoveries made with New Horizons; lasers and satellites; private space flight; how NASA is working to get humans to Mars; Perseverance and the search for extraterrestrial microbial life on Mars; European and Chinese space flights to Mars; the new lunar water mission; the rocket that recently crashed into the Moon and how distant space debris sometimes returns; Earth-based space education and simulations for kids and training programs for aspiring astronauts.”
— March: Incredible Journeys. Queries by August 16, 2022. “Animal migration, human migration.
Why species migrate during certain seasons; the effect of climate change on migration patterns; how animals know where to go and how they navigate; migrations of non-migratory animals such as millions of Zambia’s fruit bats; the incredibly long migrations of some birds; dragonfly and butterfly migrations; dispersions of animals before and after natural disasters; overland migration, land-bridge crossings, water rafting, flight, swimming, and human-related transport; the migration of slow-moving animals; technology that scientists use to track animal movement; the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space (ICARUS) and the International Space Station; how to safely observe migratory animals; human migration in history and open scientific debates; climate-change-driven migration; the longest journeys in history.” They have other themes listed, as well. Details here.
Cricket Media also has other nonfiction and literary magazines.

Mythulu Magazine: Two themes
They publish speculative fiction, nonfiction, and cartoons/graphic panels. They’re reading work for two issues.
— Wildly Original Fairy Tales & Myths: “Capture an adulthood dilemma so universal it transcends culture and time—then explain it so a child can understand.
Any era. Any world. Any hero or antihero.
Focus on the hardest-earned lessons of your life. The things you wish someone had explained to you earlier, and wrap that wisdom in a package “younger you” would have adored.” They do not want reimagined fairy tales. They want “unique shorts in the poetic style of myths and fairy tales.” Deadline 16 June 2022.
— Symbiosis: “Submit co-authored stories in any genre. Also looking for non-fiction commentary and experiences with co-created projects. Co-authoring is rising in popularity, both as a way to satiate the ravenous demand of readers more quickly, and to leverage team imaginative advantages. We’re curious about the pros and cons of this strategy. Naturally, we also host a Devil’s Advocate column to whoever provides the best cautionary advice regarding cooperative labor.” Deadline: 1 October 2022.
Deadlines: See above
Length: 500-2,800 words for fiction; 200-1,200 words for nonfiction; up to 8 pages for graphic-style stories
Pay: $0.04/word for creative works, capped at $75 for short stories; $0.08/word for nonfiction; $30/page up to $150 for graphic stories
Details here.

Pillow Talking: Three themes
This podcast is open for first person, narrative nonfiction or creative nonfiction, of real-life bedroom conversations. They have detailed guidelines. The editor says, “Whether they are thought-provoking, funny, heart-breaking or silly this takes trust, vulnerability and some guts”. They do not want pulpy true-confession stories. Their upcoming themes are: Suddenly, Strangers, deadline 18 June 2022; Sanctuary, deadline 2 July 2022; I remember…, deadline 16 July 2022. They are always open for unthemed submissions, too.
Deadlines: See above; ongoing for unthemed submissions
Length: 350-2,000 words
Pay: AUD25
Details here.

Dark Dispatch Magazine: Outsiders
They publish dark fiction, including horror, dark fantasy, sci-fi, and crime; they favor speculative fiction. For the Outsiders theme, they want stories on “People othered, excluded, shunned, cast aside. Societies excluded from the mainstream.”
Deadline: 22 June 2022
Length: Flash fiction of up to 999 words; short stories of 1,000 to 7,500 words; novelettes of 7,501 words to 15,000 words
Pay: $25 for flash fiction, $50 for short stories, and $75 for novelettes
Details here, here, and here.

Brigids Gate Press: Dangerous Waters – Deadly Women of the Sea
They want horror or dark fantasy stories, poems, and drabbles “about malevolent mermaids, sinister sirens, scary selkies, spirits, and other deadly and dangerous women of the sea. Stories including the ocean or sea are the focus of the anthology, but we will consider stories involving rivers as well.”
Deadline: 30 June 2022
Length: 500-3,500 words for stories, exactly 100 words for drabbles, up to 350 words for poems
Pay: $0.08/word for fiction; $50 for drabbles and poems
Details here.

War & Whiskey Media: Two themes
They’re reading submissions for two fiction anthologies.
— Strange Sunrises – Tales from Distant Planets: They want science fiction stories that take place on another planet. “The setting should feel alive and have some influence on the plot. Any subgenre is welcome, but please submit horror stories to the Sunsets collection.”
— Strange Sunsets – Terrors on Distant Planets: They want science fiction stories that take place on another planet. “There must be an element of horror. Gore and splatterpunk is welcome, but may not be a first choice.”
Deadlines: 30 June for Strange Sunrises; 31 August 2022 for Strange Sunsets
Length: 2,500-7,500 words preferred
Pay: $30
Details here.

New Gothic Review
This is a magazine of modern Gothic and Weird short fiction. They want stories “that reimagine Gothic fiction for the 21st century. We want stories that are beautifully written, heavily atmospheric, and psychologically chilling.” Please read the guidelines to what kind of elements they welcome, and what they do not want.
Deadline: 30 June 2022
Length: 1,500-5,000 words
Pay: $65
Details here.

Cast of Wonders: Young authors
Cast of Wonders is a YA speculative fiction online magazine and podcast from the Escape Artists suite of magazines, aimed at the 12-17 age range – they have extensive submission guidelines. They also accept translations, reprints, and submissions from young writers. They have a short submission window for in June, for stories by writers aged 19 and younger at the end of June (see schedule). They are scheduled to have one more submission window this year, in August – it is for their flash fiction contest.
Reading period: 15-30 June 2022 for young authors’ submissions
Length: Up to 6,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here (general guidelines), here (Moksha/submission portal) and here (schedule).

LOLcraft: An Compendium of Eldritch Humor
Submissions are open for LOLcraft: An Compendium of Eldritch Humor, a dark speculative fiction anthology which combines humor and something from the Cthulhu Mythos. This is a project from Dragon’s Roost Press.
Deadline: 30 June 2022, or until filled
Length: Up to 4,500 words; query for longer
Pay: $0.04/word
Details here.

Kernel: Reimagining techno-optimism
This magazine is open for creative work – fiction, poetry, and art; nonfiction is now closed. “Kernel is the flagship print magazine of Reboot, a publication and community reimagining techno-optimism for a better collective future. … We believe that technology can be transformative, for both better and worse, and that as technologists, we have a responsibility to own our role in this transformation. We believe technology exists within broader systems of power, and that understanding these systems as well as individual actors within them is critical to driving material change. … How will we get there? We believe in analysis that is both generative and adversarial. We value different viewpoints and placing authors in conversation and debate. This discourse might take a variety of forms: deeply researched essays with a critical eye, personal essays, speculative utopias and dystopias, creative short stories or poetry, edited conversations, published community responses, and more.” They also have a Twitter thread announcement on the kind of work they want for their second issue.
Deadline: 30 June 2022 (for creative work)
Length: Unspecified
Pay: $50-300
Details here (Twitter thread), and here (creative work guidelines and submission form).

Strange Aeon 2022: Hopeful Monsters
“Strange Aeon: 2022 (Hopeful Monsters) is a continuation of the Strange Aeon anthology series. As always, I want good, solid stories in a cosmic horror/Lovecraftian vein. … This year’s anthology is slanted more towards stories showing protagonists “fighting the good fight” in the face of implacable horror and fewer stories that are mood based rather than plot driven.” This is primarily a fiction anthology, but the editor will also consider nonfiction and poetry.
Deadline: 30 June 2022, or until filled
Length: 5,000-10,000 words
Pay: $20 or $35
Details here.

Dark Matter Ink: Monstrous Futures
This is a science fiction and horror anthology. They have extensive guidelines, including, “I’ve been referring to this anthology as “the next season of Black Mirror that never got aired” and that’s exactly what I’m looking for–dark sci-fi with an emphasis on exploring our connection with technology and one another through speculative concepts and backdrops.
I want every piece to look at some aspect of our lives through a “what if” lens and only lean on science as much as strictly necessary to show those human experiences. … Focus on showing your concept and character on page one, and use the social, environmental, political, and philosophical absurdities around us as your launch-pad. Ask questions about life, the universe, and everything. Avoid providing answers.” The editor wants near-Future or alt-present; concept-forward; characters that feel real; dark and ominous moods; and stories with a philosophy.
Deadline: 30 June 2022
Length: 2,000-4,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here and here.


Unsettling Reads: Still of Winter
This is a fantasy, horror, and science fiction anthology; they want stories, poems, photos, and/or artwork. Work should feature the winter season, a tree should have a significant role, and it should be about the creepier side of winter – “Send us your stories that unsettle, unnerve, frighten, discomfit, challenge, and/or just generally entertain.”
Deadline: 1 July 2022, or until filled
Length: 1,500-5,500 for fiction; up to 3 poems
Pay: $20
Details here.

Water Dragon Publishing: Corporate Catharsis — The Work From Home Edition
This is an imprint of Paper Angel Press focused on publishing fantasy and science fiction. They want submissions for the Corporate Catharsis anthology, which “gives you the opportunity to explore the impact of the COVID pandemic on your personal and professional life through your speculative fiction. We’re certain that you can, far too easily, find inspiration from your real or virtual workplace. Magic, mayhem, revenge — and, yes, perhaps even redemption — can all be found there.” Also, “Your story does not need to be set in a corporate environment. We welcome stories involving, among other settings, retail, education, or stay-at-home parenting. Your story can be from whatever genre best fits its theme, but should contain some fantastical element.”
Deadline: 30 July 2022
Length: 2,000-10,000 words
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here.
(The publisher is also occasionally open submissions for unthemed SF and fantasy short fiction, called Dragon Gems, though these were closed at the time of writing.)

FIYAH: Hauntings & Horrors
This speculative fiction magazine only takes submissions by and about Black writers from Africa and the African Diaspora (see guidelines). They are reading for the Hauntings & Horrors theme. For nonfiction, they want queries only. They also publish reviews. The theme guidelines say, “We’re turning October into Black Horror Month. Give us your night terrors, your blood-thirsty urban legends, your ancestral ghosts haunting plantation weddings. We want stories that linger in dark corners and aren’t afraid to follow us into daylight.”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 2,000-15,000 words for fiction; up to 1,000 words for poetry; 800-1,200 word for nonfiction
Pay: $0.08/word for fiction, $50 for poetry, $0.10/word for nonfiction
Details here.
(– Submissions are also open for The Sacrament, an anthology of religious horror fiction – writers can send stories of invented religions, too. Pay is $0.01/word for stories of 6,000-8,000 words, and the deadline is 1 July 2022.
— Submissions are also open for a Folk Horror anthology. Pay is CAD0.01/word up to CAD70 for stories of 2,000-7,000 words, and the deadline is 1 July 2022. )

Taco Bell Quarterly
They want “literary/creative essays, short stories, fiction/prose, poems, comics, art, one act plays, fever dreams, multimedia, stupid status updates, criticisms, manifestos, recipes and anything else that explore any and all elements of Taco Bell. Or not. Shoehorn a chalupa in your short story. Maybe we’ll love it. An elegy for the discontinued menu items? Fine. An experimental essay about marine biology and the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito? Awesome.”Every piece must have a Taco Bell reference; “How much or how little “Taco Bell” is up to you.” They’re reading submissions for Issue 6.
Deadline: 5 September 2022
Length: 500-1,500 words
Pay: $100
Details here and here.

Ploughshares: Blog pitches
Ploughshares is a prestigious literary magazine housed at Emerson College. They’re accepting pitches for their blog (and the magazine is also open now, for submissions of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry). They have extensive guidelines for proposals on critical essays (analysis of literature, both mainstream and niche), personal essays (should have a tie to literature), blended longform essays (blend of literary criticism and personal essay), interviews of authors/individuals connected to the publishing industry, and book reviews (their reviews are published prior to book publication dates). Do not send completed drafts.
Deadline: Open now
Length: Varies (see guidelines)
Pay: $25 for book reviews, and starts at $35 for personal essays and interviews, and at $55 for blended essays
Details here.
(The regular submission period for their literary magazine began 1 June 2022; online submissions are charged, but there is no fee for mailed submissions. They also publish Solos and Look2 Essays. All of these pay up to $450.)

Class Collective
This annual literary magazine was launched in 2022; it “illuminates the class struggle(s) hidden in the shadows of our culture.” They say, “we’re proud to publish writing that has a class based perspective on politics and culture. However, we encourage writers to interpret this prompt as creatively as they’d like—the sky’s the limit!” They want poetry, including visual poetry, short fiction, essays, and commentary.
Deadline: Ongoing for online publication
Length: Up to 5 poems, up to 5,000 words for fiction, up to 1,200 words for commentary
Pay: CAD10 for poetry; CAD20 for prose
Details here.

THEMED CONTESTS

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: 7 June 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest
This is for junior and senior division (11-14 and 15-18) students worldwide. The theme for this ocean awareness contest is ‘The Funny Thing About Climate Change’- it invites students to respond to climate crisis with humor/satire/positivity (see guidelines). The categories are: Visual Art; Poetry & Spoken Word; Creative Writing; Film; Performing Arts: Music & Dance; Interactive & Multimedia.
Value: Senior division – $1,500, $1,000, $500, $300, $250 in each category; Junior division – $1,000, $750, $250, $150, $100 for each category
Deadline: 13 June 2022
Open for: Students ages 11-18
Details here.
(And the Norton Writers Prize, a nonfiction prize for undergraduates who are enrolled in an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university, ages 17 and above, is open for submissions; there are three awards of $1,000 each, and the deadline is 15 June 2022. Details here.)


A&U — America’s AIDS Magazine: Christopher Hewitt Awards
This is an award for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and drama. All submissions must be HIV/AIDS-related. Writers may submit more than one work. Send up to 1,200 words for fiction and non-fiction, and 1,400-1,600 words for drama (drama can be an excerpt from a longer play).
Value: $75 in each category
Deadline: 15 June 2022
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

Goi Peace Foundation: International Essay Contest for Young People
This is an international essay contest for people aged up to 25 years, in two categories – children and youth. The theme is, ‘My Values’. ‘Our values determine how we think and act, and they shape the society we live in. What are the values that you hold dear? How can you best live your life in line with those values, and in doing so, what kind of society do you hope to create?’ Entries can be in English, French, (up to 700 words), or Japanese (up to 1,600 characters).
Value: For each category, there is one first prize is JPY100,000 (about $840); three second prizes of JPY50,000 (about $420) each; five third prizes, and 25 honorable mentions
Deadline: 15 June 2022
Open for: Children ages 14 and under; youth ages 15-25 years
Details here.

Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Contest
This greeting card company runs a biannual poetry contest. “Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.” Also, “We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.” Writers can enter the contest as often as they like.
Value: $350, $200, $100
Deadline: 30 June 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.
(They’ve also posted guidelines for their general greeting card poetry and prose submissions – see deadlines for seasonal poetry; and also for prose book submissions on certain topics.)


Richard J. Margolis Award
The award is for nonfiction writers of social justice journalism. It is for a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humour, wisdom and concern with social justice. Applications should include 2-3 non-fiction writing samples, up to 30 pages. At least one sample should be non-memoir material.
Value: $10,000, residency at Blue Mountain Centre artists’ colony
Deadline: 1 July 2022
Open for: Unspecified
Details here and here.


The H G Wells Short Story Competition
This is an international short story contest on the theme of ‘Switch’, of 1,500-5,000 words. There is no fee for those under 21 years; for the Junior Award, i.e. for those aged under 21.
Value: £1,000 (for those under 21)
Deadline: 11 July 2021
Open for: Writers aged under 21 years
Details here.

Mason Jar Press: The 1729 Book Prize in Prose
This is an international contest for a prose manuscript. “We’re open to most prose genres, though we tend to lean toward semi-experimental works with a strong literary bent. Hybrid works are welcome.” They want novels, novellas, story collections, memoirs, auto/biographies, and essay collections.
Value: $1,000, and more
Deadline: 15 July 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.


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

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