Written by S. Kalekar April 1st, 2024

38 Themed Submission Calls and Contests for April 2024

These are themed calls and contests for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some of the themes are: solidarity forever; sun rising; moon falling; status anxiety; Grimm retold; funny stories; food horror; fire season; impermanence; and tenacity. Some deadlines are approaching quickly.


Cursed Morsels Press: Solidarity Forever

Cursed Morsels Press has issued a call for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a special zine, ‘Solidarity Forever’. While the press specializes in Weird, queer, often splattery horror with an anti-capitalist and anti-fascist spirit (you can read about them here), for this call, the work need not be horror – they welcome all creative approaches on this theme. Also, from their FAQ: ‘Solidarity Forever’ “refers to the old union song of the same name. This song explores the workers’ struggles, triumphs, and collective power against oppressive capitalism when organized as a union. However, your submission does not have to be specifically about unions. It could be about all sorts of problems solved through collective resistance and people standing together.”
Submission period: 1-7 April 2024
Length: Up to 500 words
Pay: $0.10/word
Details here.

Flame Tree: Sun Rising

This is a science fiction, fantasy, folklore, and myth anthology. They have detailed guidelines, including, “This will be a feast of modern fiction, folklore and mythology, and ancient tales of the looming, life-giving, eye-burning solar entity that dominates our sky. The sun has inspired many stories – tales of its origins, in the myths and traditions of the ancient world, to modern storytellers who employ technology and deep space exploration to discover the many suns of the universe. … Submissions can … explore new interpretations and visions of sun-based mythology or interstellar, future and fantastical settings.” They will also accept reprints.
Deadline: 7 April 2024
Length: 2,000-4,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word for originals
Details here.

Flame Tree: Moon Falling
This is a supernatural, fantasy, folklore, and myth anthology. They have detailed guidelines, including, “This collection will bring a potent mix of superstition and belief that reaches back to the gods of Babylon, Ancient Egypt and Greece. Khonsu, Innana, Artemis and Thoth are just a few of the deities who brought a mix of love, sensuality and war to the ancient perceptions of the world. … And of course the moon brings to mind curses, howling wolves, the wolf moon and the harvest moon, while offering a guiding light at night for the weary traveller. There are so many inspirations for the modern storyteller, whether ancient, gothic, fantastical or futuristic, to contribute to this intimate portrait of the seductive, powerful moon. Submissions can explore new interpretations and visions of moon-based fantasy, folklore or supernatural settings.”
They will also accept reprints.
Deadline: 7 April 2024
Length: 2,000-4,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word for originals
Details here.

The Slab Press: Laughs in Space
This is an anthology of humorous science fiction. “I’m looking for great stories first and foremost, with relatable characters. They do not need to be riddled with dad jokes or puns. They do not need to be set in space! They do need to fit the broad remit of science fiction, but any kind of science fiction or humour is welcome, be it silly, generic parody*, grotesque, or black humour.” They will also accept reprints, though these will be a harder sell.
Deadline: 7 April 2024
Length: 2,000-9,000 words (will accept outside this range, but will be a harder sell)
Pay: £10 per 500 words, up to £55
Details here.

Terrain.org: Climate Stories in Action
This magazine focuses on place, climate, and justice. They publish fiction, poetry, essays, articles, artwork, videos, and other contributions, as well as translations. They particularly seek underrepresented voices (see guidelines). They have reading periods for general submissions; submissions for ARTerrain and Letter to America are open year-round.
Currently, they are reading submissions for a special call; they have detailed guidelines on the ‘Climate Stories in Action’ theme, including, “Narratives and art that center solutions (about climate action), introduce us to everyday climate heroes, and showcase the joy discovered through community engagement often lead to feelings of agency and possibility.
The “Climate Stories in Action” series will expand our vision of climate activism and help people imagine meaningful ways to be involved. We are inviting storytellers to submit poetry, nonfiction, fiction, art and multimedia pieces that showcase climate activism in professional, civic and community life. We are interested in stories that help shift our cultural mindset from despair to creative possibility and from isolation to collective purpose.” They will publish 12 pieces in this special series.
Deadline: 8 April 2024 for Climate Stories in Action
Length: Up to 6 poems; up to 5,000 words for prose
Pay: $200 for Climate Stories in Action series
Details here and here.

Solarpunk Magazine: Colorful Roots
This is a magazine of solarpunk fiction. During April, they will accept work for ‘Colorful Roots’, an all-BIPOC issue. The magazine “publishes hopeful short stories and poetry that strive for a utopian ideal, that are set in futures where communities are optimistically struggling to solve or adapt to climate change, to create or maintain a world in which humanity, technology, and nature coexist in harmony rather than in conflict. We also publish solarpunk art as well as nonfiction that explores real world, contemporary topics and their intersection with the solarpunk movement for a better future.” Also, “Any genre of science fiction, interstitial fiction, magic realism, or fantasy has potential as a solarpunk forum—we welcome robots and elves with equal excitement.” The kind of work they want is described on their Moksha submission page, as well as the guidelines page. Also, “In 2024, we are particularly looking for stories between 1,500 and 3,000 words. While our word limit remains 7,500, stories that fall between 1,500 and 3,000 will have a better chance of being selected for at least the first few submission periods in 2024.” Nonfiction is open on an ongoing basis. All the 2024 fiction submission periods are listed on their website.
Reading period: 1-14 April 2024 for fiction
Length: See above for fiction; up to 5 poems; 1000-2,000 words for non-fiction
Pay: $0.08/word for fiction; $40/poem; $75/essay or article
Details here (guidelines) and here (Moksha submission portal).

Seaside Gothic
Submissions will open briefly in April for this magazine; they want seaside gothic fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and art. Their website says, “There are three criteria that define seaside gothic literature.
It is led by emotion, not reason, exploring the human experience mentally and spiritually as well as physically… ; It addresses duality—land and sea, love and hate, the beautiful and the grotesque…; It connects to the edge, living on the seaside either literally or figuratively, and has one foot in the water and the other on solid ground…” They have listed all their open reading periods on the website.
Reading period: 8-14 April 2024
Length: Up to 1,000 words
Pay: £0.01/word
Details here.

Griffith Review: Status Anxiety
They prioritize work by Australian writers, and also accept some international submissions. They want fiction and nonfiction on the ‘Status Anxiety’ theme for Issue 85. “Like the answer to a riddle, status is all around us, but it can’t always be seen or heard. The silent switchboard behind our professional and personal interactions, status dictates our place on the guest list, in the room, at the table; through its connections to class, race and gender, it affords some of us power and wealth and others empty promises. But why does status so often go unnoticed? How does it influence everything from social inequality to personal relationships? And what changing forces have come to bear on the high or low status we’ve ascribed ourselves and others over the centuries? This edition of Griffith Review grapples with the fallout of our status anxiety and explores what happens when we don’t measure up.”
Deadline: 14 April 2024
Length: Up to 4,000 words
Pay: AUD$0.75/word for fiction and nonfiction commissioned for the print edition
Details here (scroll down) and here.
(Griffith Review will also issue a poetry call on 22nd April 2024 – see guidelines.)

Consequence Magazine: War and geopolitical violence
They publish work “that addresses the human experiences, realities, and consequences of war and geopolitical violence through literature and art.” They accept non-fiction of up to 4,000 words (interviews, essays, and narrative non-fiction – reviews are on hiatus until mid- to late-2024), fiction (including flash and excerpts), poetry, translations, and art. All works will be considered for online and print.
Deadline: 15 April 2024
Length: Varies
Pay: $30-50 for print prose, $40 for online prose, and $20-30 for poetry
Details here.

Bikes in Space Anthology series – Queer Halloween
They’re looking for stories for their 13th anthology in their Bikes in Space series. “Please submit your original queer Halloween short fiction (in written or comics form) about bicycling from a feminist perspective. We’re looking for stories that give us a shiver or make us leave the hallway light on at night. Raise our hair and make our spines tingle. We’ll also consider Halloween-themed stories that aren’t as frightful, but they should still be infused with all things spooky season. Stories should be written by authors who consider yourself queer (in whatever way you identify), and should feature Halloween and/or otherworldly elements, and queer characters/themes, as well as feminism. All four elements should be intrinsic to the narrative:
Halloween (or stories sufficiently scary or thematic enough to be read around Halloween)
Feminism (it is sufficient to simply not include sexist themes or tropes)
The genre can be anything fantastical—ghost stories, horror, hard sci-fi, comedic fantasy, slipstream, or anything in that constellation—despite the series title, stories need not be set in space.”
Deadline: 15 April 2024
Length: 500-6,000 words
Pay: A minimum of $50 (see guidelines)
Details here.

Speculation Publications: Grimm Retold
This is a fiction and poetry anthology. “Fairy Tales can be frightening, and while many have been watered down over the years, their grim roots are steeped in black magic, forced marriage, abduction, murder, curses and cannibalism. … Grimm Retold is a horror and dark fantasy collection of Dark Grimm Fairy Tales, retold in new and horrific ways.” And, “Stories should be based on specific Grimm Fairy Tales and recognizable to their source material, even if they drastically diverge from them. We want voice-y weird and terrifying. We welcome blood, violence and gore, but be careful with gratuitous and exploitive sexual violence, and keep it away from children and animals. … We would particularly love to receive retellings from the perspective of other cultures or marginalized points of view.” They also accept reprints.
Deadline: 19 April 2024
Length: 2,000-8,000 words for fiction; up to 4 pages for poetry
Pay: $25-35 for fiction; $15 for poetry
Details here.

Flash Fiction Online: Weird Horror

They publish flash fiction in many genres, including speculative and literary. They are now open for a special call: Weird Horror. They have detailed guidelines on the theme, including, “Weird horror is all about stories that engage with the unexplained and the unexpected, often through an esoteric lens of mysticism and metaphysics. A lot of the time the genre features circular or disjointed narrations, and endings that make readers reconsider the beginning. The mundane becomes taboo or absurd through a manipulation of the readers’ perception.”
Deadline: 21 April 2024, or until filled
Length: 500-1,000 words
Pay: $100
Details here.
(And Book Worms wants horror fiction and nonfiction on the Rock n Roll theme. Pay is $0.08/word for stories up to 1,500 words, and the deadline is 30 April 2024. Submissions have to be mailed. Details here.)

Third Flatiron: Offshoots – Humanity Twigged (SF, fantasy, positive futures)
This is a speculative fiction anthology. “The dictionary defines “twig” as a shoot branching off a tree, the result or descendant of something, or a style of fashion. How will humanity cultivate the strongest branches from among myriad potential futures? Please give us your science fictional and fantasy speculations.
Possible subjects might include: bioengineering, space exploration, future societies, magical futurism, and extrapolation of trends (think Asimov’s Foundation or Loki’s Sacred Timeline). Stories about effects of AI and virtual reality are fine, but they must be written by people. Flash humor is welcome.” (Flash humor can be on any theme).
Reading period: 1-21 April 2024
Length: 1,500-3,000 words for fiction; 600-1,000 words for flash humor
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here and here.

Latitude 46: Super Canucks – An anthology of small-town Canadian superheroes
This is a call for Canadian writers only. “We’re looking for stories from across Canada that push the usual superhero tropes while shining a spotlight on unique corners of Canada. We want stories set in and around the nation’s more often overlooked locales—isolated small towns, remote reservations, bedroom communities, and other underrepresented areas of Canada. Give us rural superheroes, backwater supervillains, and tales of characters/communities at a crossroads.”
Deadline: 21 April 2024
Length: 500-3,500 words
Pay: CAD200
Details here.

Cast of Wonders: Banned Books Week (Unwanted, Unheard: Challenging the Silence)
Cast of Wonders is a YA speculative fiction podcast from the Escape Artists suite of magazines. They will read submissions for their annual Banned Books Week call; for 2024, the theme is ‘Unwanted, Unheard: Challenging the Silence’. “In the last year, we’ve seen countless attempts to silence the voices of others. … For Banned Books Week 2024, we want to see stories that challenge collective silence, that show the risks and consequences of inattention and inaction. We want the voices of the silenced and unwanted to be centered, in stories that demand to be heard.
At Cast of Wonders, we welcome stories that portray the full spectrum of human experience. We don’t challenge stories; we want stories to challenge us! Cast of Wonders looks for stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence, or pervasive obscene language.
Preference for this submission window is under 5,000 words with an absolute limit of 6,000 words. Flash submissions under 1.5k are also very welcome!” They also accept reprints, and translations. Cast of Wonders also accepts submissions from writers under 18 – see their general submission guidelines. Their submission portal will open during the reading period.
Reading period: 15-30 April 2024 (see their schedule)
Length: See above
Pay: $0.08/word for originals
Details here (theme details), here (general submission guidelines), and here (submission portal)

The Other Side of Hope: Journeys in Refugee and Immigrant Literature
They publish fiction (including stand-alone excerpts from unpublished novels), poetry, and art from refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only; these are unthemed. They also consider poems from refugee/asylum seeker writing groups. Nonfiction, author interviews, and book reviews are open to all, and the theme for those is migration. Also, A.M. Heath Literary Agency will offer 1-2-1s to 6 of their contributors​​. From 2024, all issues will be published both in print and online.
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Lenth: 1,000-8,000 words for fiction; 1,000-5,000 words for nonfiction; up to 4 poems
Pay: £100 per published writer, and £300 for art; asylum seekers get gift cards.
Details here.

Book Slayer Press: Hentai Ectoplasm
This is a shared-world horror fiction anthology. “On the night of April 19, 2021, something happened in the suburban town of Brookhaven that changed the course of humanity. In the fancy Southtown gated community, The Sanctuary at Lemongrass Lake, a cosmic event occurs, destroying most of it in the impact. Over on the North end, middle-aged, overweight, cannabis grower, Pam Goodall, determined to save her holy holiday—4/20, bands with unlikely neighbors to not just survive the night, but save humankind. HENTAI ECTOPLASM is not your average anthology. Twelve – fifteen authors will tell a story of survival as their neighborhood is cut off by the destruction, each delivering the perspective of their respective home.” They want “cannabis positive stories written from the perspective of a residence stuck inside “The Danger Zone”.” They also have guidelines for all of their anthologies, including, “ALL horror subgenres and tropes are welcome, including comedy and splatter.  Genre-blending is highly encouraged. Queer retellings and gender swaps are our favorites. Writers should have a diverse representation of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, gender identities, disability, fat positivity, and neurodivergency.”
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Length: 3,000-6,000 words
Pay: $100
Details here (scroll down).
(Book Slayer Press is also open for Hemorrhaging Flowers: A Collection Of 100% Femme Rage. This is “a collection of speculative poetry showcasing the spectrum of femininity and the rage contained within.” It is open to anyone who “identifies (now or in the past) as femme in the most inclusive of definitions.” Poems can be up to 50 lines. Pay is $10. The deadline is 30 April 2024. Details here.)

Chicken Soup for the Soul
They’re reading nonfiction prose and nonfiction poetry for various themed anthologies, and two of the deadlines are in April: for their Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s anthology (“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?”); and also for their Funny Stories anthology (“We are looking for stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home that made you and the people around you laugh out loud.”). Also see their FAQ.
Deadline: 30 April 2024 for both the above anthologies
Length: Up to 1,200 words
Pay: $250
Details here and here.

FIYAH: Disabilities
They accept submissions only by and about Black writers of the African diaspora. They are reading speculative fiction and poetry on the ‘Disabilities’ theme. They have detailed guidelines, including, “Show us life at the intersections of Blackness and disability. We’re not your magical negros, we’re not your inspiration porn. We do not want to be scorned or pitied. Life can be difficult in a racist world which too often denies access. We are worthy of being protagonists, just like anyone else.” They want “Variety: stories about visible disabilities, invisible ones, chronic illness, mental illness, and neurodivergence to name a few.
Tales centered on disability, and others where it’s part of the story but not the focus. Stories where magic and technology add accessibility, as well as SFFH settings adding unique barriers to access.”
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Length: Up to 1,000 words for poetry; 2,000-15,000 words for fiction
Pay: $50 for poetry; $0.08/word for fiction
Details here and here.

Cat Eye Press: Cursed Cooking – A Horror Community Cookbook and Food Horror Anthology
This is a fiction and recipe anthology. They have an open submission call period for all writers (till 30th April), and an extended submission window exclusively for writers of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented groups (1-10 May 2024). “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: 30 April for general submissions; 1-10 May for submissions by underrepresented writers (see guidelines)
Length: See above
Pay: $0.05/word for original fiction; $5 for recipes
Details here.

Last Girls Club: Fire Season
Last Girls Club is a feminist horror magazine, and the theme for their summer issue is ‘Fire Season’. “The world is on fire, environmentally and politically. On the US West coast we have rains of ash in the fall from all the forest fires. The Canadian border was plagued with smoke pollution from raging fires. It’s a thing now. Your characters can be fleeing a fire, starting one, or surviving one. Take it where you want.”
Deadline: 1 May 2024, or until filled
Length: Up to 200 words for poetry, up to 2,500 words for fiction
Pay: $10 for poetry, $0.015/word for fiction
Details here and here.

The First Line Journal
They want fiction (all genres) and poetry that begins with pre-set first lines, one for each quarterly issue. For nonfiction, they want critical articles about your favorite first line from a literary work. For fiction and poetry, for the Summer issue, the first line is:
“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.”’ Deadline: 1 May 2024 for the Summer issue
Length: 300-5,000 words for fiction; 500-800 words for nonfiction
Pay: $25-50 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction, $10 for poetry (less postage fee for international writers – see guidelines)
Details here.

Vilas Avenue: Impermanence
They publish poetry. They want submissions for Issue 6, on the ‘Impermanence’ theme. “Impermanence is a fact of life that we all acknowledge in some form or fashion. It can be appreciated in a natural sense:  the transition from Spring to Summer, plants ripening & decaying, bird song throughout a given day, & so on. However, in the context of both Eastern & Western philosophies, impermanence can be examined from a deeper perspective, with change being thought of as the nature of conditioned phenomena existing in a constant state of process, construction, & interdependence. This includes us— our thoughts, emotions, & perspectives follow a similar pattern of connectedness & becoming, existing & vanishing from moment to moment. The actualization that nothing exists in a permanent or dualistic way makes the written word real. Vilas Avenue wishes impermanence to inspire a variety of interpretations of the theme, challenging the writer to attain a deeper understanding of the state of change— crafting work that lives, dies, lives again, & vanishes into momentariness.
With this issue we celebrate 10 years of recognizing work that involves movement, travel, & liminality that pulses in various ways, which is why impermanence seems a fitting motif for a publication that operates in reciprocity with the nature of change. In short, we are a constant process, just like you.”
Deadline: 1 May 2024
Length: Up to 3 poems
Pay: $25
Details 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.

Caretaker Press: Back Into The Ground
This is a place-inspired horror fiction anthology; they are accepting submissions from writers all over the world. “For the purposes of Back Into The Ground we seek spooky stories inspired by place, specifically, our home, the Pacific Northwest. Towering trees and rough seas crashing under gray skies strike us as the ideal settings for a scary story. We define place-inspired horror loosely, so bring us your best work and we’ll talk about fit. … Do we like vampires, zombies, werewolves and other familiar creatures? Yes… just as long as they’re done right.”
Deadline: Until filled
Length: Up to 7,500 words (query for longer)
Pay: $40
Details here.

Whisper House Press: Costs of Living
This is a horror fiction anthology. They have detailed guidelines, including, “These are some possible interpretations of this potentially broad theme: The Neighbors/HOA/City Council Really Are Trying to Kill Us
A Bad Element… is Already Here in the Neighborhood
Why do I feel like everyone is watching me in my new town’s grocery store?
“How can I be sure I am not dreaming?” without the “Oh, it was all a dream” cliché”. Also, please note, “Anticipated publication: Q2 of 2025 with a pre-sale effort on Kickstarter. Authors will be recruited to help promote this project, so please do not submit if you aren’t willing or able to promote the book to book friends and your own audience.”
Deadline: Until filled
Length: 500-4,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.


The Hurston/Wright Crossover Award

This is a non-fiction award, and is open for Black writers only who have never published a book. It “honors probing, provocative, and original new voices in literary nonfiction. Named after the most common dribbling move in basketball, the Crossover Award, aims to highlight an unconventional winner who writes across genres and can effectively crossover between writing styles and techniques. The name also speaks to the potential of the award winner to transition from obscurity to the spotlight. This award will celebrate one writer who contributes a unique perspective to the literary nonfiction landscape.” Send up to 20 pages of literary non-fiction. Submissions may be stand-alone essays or excerpts from a book in progress.
Value: $2,000, other non-cash prizes
Deadline: 2 April 2024
Open for: Unpublished Black writers
Details here. (Their Submittable has other opportunities listed too, please be sure to submit to the correct category.)

Bacopa Literary Review Writing Contest
This is an international contest, and writers can submit to one category. Apart from prizes in fiction, creative nonfiction, and flash fiction, they have three poetry prizes: formal poetry, free verse poetry, and visual poetry. Please see the guidelines for submission requirements in the category you wish to submit. They also request for works on the Censorship theme, though they will accept works on any theme.
Value: $200, $100 in each of the six categories
Deadline: 4 April 2024
Details here and here.

Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships
These are fellowships for US poets laureate. They are for poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to support them in creating new work, as well as to enable them to undertake projects that enrich the lives of their neighbors, including youth, through poetry activities. There are some eligibility requirements, including: appointed as an official poet laureate of a state, city, county, U.S. territory, or Tribal nation by a Governor, State Arts or Humanities Council, State Poet Laureate Commission, Tribe President, Mayor, City Council, City Poet Laureate Commission, City Arts Board, County Arts Board, or a city’s public library system; your service as poet laureate, carried out in good community standing, occurring sometime between January 31, 2024 and June 30, 2025; and published one or more full-length poetry collection(s) and/or chapbook(s) or substantial history of public spoken word performances. Some of the submission requirements are a poetry sample, and a description of your proposed civic project(s), including a timeline for the project(s) you would conduct, that engages youth and/or addresses important statewide or local issues.
Value: $50,000 (see guidelines)
Deadline: 8 April 2024
Open for: US poets laureate
Details here and here.
(Also see other awards by the Academy of American Poets on their Submittable here – they have both fee-based and fee-free awards.) 

Casa Africa: Purorrelato micro-story contest
They have two contests for those writing in English; Purorrelato, a micro-story contest, with a deadline in April, and an essay contest, with a deadline in May. For their micro-story contest,they want stories that are related to Africa in some way. Stories can be in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese, with a maximum length of 1500 characters (not words) including spaces and excluding the title.
Value: €750, €375, €225
Deadline: 16 April 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here
(See all of Casa Africa’s awards/contests here.) 

The Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
They want stories in all fantasy genres and pay $0.08/word for work up to 8,000 words. “It must be a work of fantasy, though all fantasy genres are open, e.g. epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, contemporary fantasy, etc.”
Value: $0.08/word
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: Unspecified
Details here.

Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation: Author of Tomorrow Award
This international contest is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. Writers must enter a piece of short fiction. The work must fall within what can be defined as adventure writing (see guidelines).  There are three categories: for writers ages 16-21, 12-15, and under 11.
Value: £1,000 in the 16-21 group, £250 in the 12-15 group, £100 in the under-11 group
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: All writers ages 21 and under
Details here.

Preservation Foundation Contest: Non-fictional Animal Stories
This is an international contest for unpublished writers (see guidelines). Their upcoming deadline is for the non-fiction animal stories category: “Stories should be factual and true accounts of an encounter or encounters by the author with a wild animal or animals. These include, but are not limited to, birds, fish, butterflies, snails, lions, bears, turtles, wombats, etc., as long as it is not a pet.” Entries should be 1,000-5,000 words. They want all entries, regardless of whether or not they win, to be on their website as long as the Foundation exists (see guidelines). Also see contests in other genres, which will have deadlines later in the year. 
Value: $200, $100
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: Unpublished writers
Details here.

New England Crime Bake: Al Blanchard Award
This is a short story award. Their guidelines say it must be a crime story, of up to 5,000 words, by a New England author or have a New England setting if the author is not from New England (the New England states are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island). The story may include the following genres: mystery, thriller, suspense, caper, and horror. (No torture/killing of children or animals.) Apart from the cash award, the winner also gets publication in Level Best Books’ Crime Fiction anthology, and admission to the Crime Bake Conference (conference attendance is not a requirement).
Value: $100
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here.

CNO Naval History Essay Contest – Professional Historian
This is an international contest. Their website says, “The CNO invites entrants to submit essays that apply lessons from throughout naval history to solving today’s Navy challenges.” See guidelines for details on the theme. Essays have to be up to 3,500 words. This contest is open to: US and international professional historians (including history museum curators, archivists, history teachers/professors, persons with history-related doctoral degrees; authors of books on naval history (not including self-published works); civilians who have published articles in an established historical or naval journal or magazine.
Value: $5,000, $2,500
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: See above
Details here and here.
(They invite essays for various other prizes as well – see this page for an overview, and this page links to all their contests.)

Sleeping Bear Press: Own Voices, Own Stories Award
This award is for children’s picture book manuscripts written by new authors from historically marginalized groups in the US. “Submitted children’s stories should speak to the authentic experiences and perspectives of BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ communities with the purpose of engaging readers in narratives that reflect underrepresented principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, those stories should both inspire and empower readers. Submissions should be for ages 4 through 10 and may be fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Text must come in at under 1,300 words (not including backmatter or ancillary material). Only stories with human protagonists will be considered. … Only projects and authors who have not had a previously traditionally published children’s book will be considered.”
Value: $2,000, publishing contract
Deadline: 30 April 2024
Open for: US writers who are BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+
Details here.

Waterston Desert Writing Prize
This prize is for a proposed book of literary non-fiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy – with the desert both as subject and setting. Writing samples about deserts and natural settings are more likely to be reviewed favorably. Apart from the cash award, there is also a residency at PLAYA at Summer Lake and a reading and reception at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.
Value: $3,000, residency
Deadline: 1 May 2024
Open for: All writers
Details here and here.

Casa Africa: Essay contest
They have two contests for those writing in English; a micro-story contest, with a deadline in April, and an essay contest, with a deadline in May. Their essay contest is on the theme of intra-African immigration; “The vast majority of African mobility takes place between the borders of the African continent itself. Although many people associate the term migrations with citizens of the neighbouring continent and an irregular, dramatic arrival in Europe, in precarious boats or by jumping the fences of Ceuta or Melilla, African citizens usually prefer to move within their own countries, normally in circular migration processes in the heat of labour and economic opportunities.” They invite submissions from academics and experts. Essays, of 15,000-20,000 words, can be in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese.
Value: €2,000
Deadline: 2nd May 2024
Details here.
(See all of Casa Africa’s awards/contests here.) 

A couple of contests with later deadlines:

— 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. The prize is $5,000, and the deadline is 15 May 2024, details here.
Drue Heinz Literature Prize: This is for previously published writers of short fiction (see guidelines), and the submission period is 1 May-30 June 2024. The prize is for a short story collection, or for two or more novellas, and the award is $15,000. Details here, here, and here (Submittable – the link for this prize will open on 1 May).

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


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