Written by S. Kalekar July 4th, 2022

41 Themed Submission Calls for July 2022

Here are some themed calls and contests/grants for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some of the themes are: hidden realms, survival horror, buried treasure, never cheat a witch, dark highways, music, museum piece, telepathy, family, thoughts & prayers, Shakespeare unleashed, and quest. Also see this list – a few outlets have themed submission deadlines coming up.

Flame Tree Publishing: Two themes
They have opened submissions for two fiction anthologies. They also accept reprints, for both of these.
Hidden Realms anthology: “Open your mind to contemplate the ways in which places can be hidden – tucked away in remote corners of the world, buried underground, existing on another physical plane or a different dimension in time or on a quantum level, on another planet, accessible only to those with the secret knowledge, or even in plain sight under our noses… They may be inhabited by beings just like you and me, or creatures utterly different to us.”
Deadline: 11 July 2022
Length: Stories in the 2,000-4,000 word range are most likely to succeed; will also read slightly outside this range
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.
Alternate History anthology: “Alternative history is a big topic for movies and real-world events alike, on Netflix, HBO and more. It’s all science fiction, and this new book aims to cover every angle from ancient worlds to distant futures, world wars, steampunk and more. What if the course of history had been changed by a different decision, a different victor, a different invention? … (The stories will explore) the variety and delight of alternative history to reimagine the world around us – some examples just to give you an idea: What if the Ancient Egyptians had conquered Rome? What if World War II had been won by the loser, not the victors? What if women had ruled the world for 4,000 years not men?”
Deadline: 11 July 2022
Length: Stories in the 2,000-4,000 word range are most likely to succeed; will also read slightly outside this range
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

Sasee: Three themes
They want first-person, nonfiction material that is for or about women. Essays, humor, satire, personal experience, and features on topics relating to women are their focus areas. They do not publish fiction or poetry. They have three upcoming themes: There is no “I” in “Team” (deadline 15 July 2022); Renew & Revamp (deadline 15 August 2022); and Gather & Gobble (deadline 15 September 2022).
Deadline: See above
Length: 500-1,000 words
Pay: Varies
Details here.

Dark Peninsula Press: Negative Space 2 – A Return to Survival Horror
This fiction anthology will focus on the survival horror genre of video games. “Overall, our main goal of this anthology is to incorporate elements of the survival horror tradition into narrative fiction writing. … We want stories featuring characters trapped in isolated and/or hostile environments. We want stories full of deadly monsters, makeshift weapons, and unspeakable horrors. We want stories that start with events already in motion, or in media res, and with characters facing ever-increasing odds, relying on their wits and skills to survive.” They want creature feature, thriller/suspense, supernatural horror, serial killer, cosmic horror, sci-fi horror, but not military horror.
Deadline: 15 July 2022
Length: 2,000-7,500 words
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

WolfSinger Publications: Two themes
They want submissions for two fiction anthologies, both of which have PG-13 rating. They also have other anthology calls, which will open later in the year – see this page.
— Never Cheat a Witch: They want stories featuring “mere mortals using their cunning, and whatever other assets and skills they may have to put one over a witch, wizard, or other powerful magical entity. And the consequences, if any, that they end up facing because of it. Stories can have the mortal winning or the witch winning in the end.”
Deadline: 15 July 2022
Length: 2,500-7,500 words
Pay: $15 + royalties
Details here.
— Ring of Fire: “How the Ring of Fire is shown is completely up to the author. It could be the traditional story of an Earthquake or volcano eruption as an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic tale, a doorway into another realm or planet, a magical object or a sought-after treasure, a ring around a world, or any idea the theme sparks.
Acceptable genres are Science Fiction and all sub genres, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal or Gothic romance, Mystery or even mixed genres. Faith based are okay as long as it is part of the character and not preachy. This is inclusive for all belief systems. Any time period can be used.”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 1,000-7,000 words
Pay: $15 + royalties
Details here.

Sovereign: An Anthology of Black Fantasy Fiction
This is a project by Pride, which runs the Aurealia Leo imprint. For their ‘Sovereign’ anthology, they want stories by Black writers only, from Africa and the African Diaspora. They want works from flash to novella-length. The sub-genres are: Heroic; Mythic; Flintlock; Gaslamp; Medieval; Religious; Weird West; Arcanepunk; High/Epic Fantasy; Sword and Soul/Planet; Noblebright/Nobledark; Fables/Fairytale Retellings. They also accept reprints. They will accept up to two submissions from writers – one original fiction, and one reprint.
Deadline: 16 July 2022 (or until filled)
Length is 1,000-39,999 words
Pay: $0.08/word for the first 1,000 words, $0.01/word thereafter; also, “If a Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, original fiction will be raised to $0.08/word for their full word count.”
Details here (guidelines) and here (submission form).
(And see this list for more opportunities for underrepresented writers.)

Rough Cut Press: Air
They publish work by LGBTQ+ artists – fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They are open year-round, with cut-off dates for themed issues. They are reading submissions on the ‘Air’ theme. According to their website, “We seek personal, lyrical, critical, and experimental work in under 650 words.”
Deadline: 27 July 2022
Length: Up to 650 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

Jellyfish Review: Little Sayings
They want work on the ‘Little Sayings’ theme. “There’s a lovely book called Family Lexicon, by Natalia Ginzburg, which tells the story of her large Italian family with all its routines, its rituals, and its pet phrases. The characters and the story come to life through the little sayings the family have invented and shared with each other. … Feel free to interpret the prompt however you see fit, but we do want work that contains at least one wonderful line of dialogue.”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Up to 1,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

Tales & Feathers Magazine: Cozy Slice-of-Life Fantasy
This is the sister publication of Canadian speculative fiction, Augur. Tales & Feathers will publish cozy slice-of-life fantasy – they want quiet character-driven storytelling, gentle moments, rich fantastical worldbuilding, everyday moments, stories that take place before or between or after the epic conflicts, and stories that offer warmth, comfort, and possibility. “We welcome stories written in any fantasy genre or genres, including stories that blur genre lines. We are especially interested in high fantasy, fairy tales, and myth.
We also welcome stories that have been translated into English and stories that engage with non-Western fantasy genre traditions.”
Writers can send up to three stories each.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Up to 2,500 words
Pay: CAD0.11/word
Details here.
(Submissions for the Canadian magazine of speculative fiction and poetry, Augur, will open for all writers from 7-31 July 2022 – see this page for details. Until 6 July, Augur is taking submissions only from underrepresented Canadian writers.)  

Dark Peninsula Press: The Cellar Door – Dark Highways
They want horror/suspense stories that take place on a highway, road, or inside a vehicle. They will accept suspense/thriller, creature feature, supernatural horror, and grindhouse/exploitation stories.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 2,000 – 7,500 words
Pay: $25.00
Details here.
(Submissions are also open for the Fear Street anthology, YA horror steeped in late 80s-90s nostalgia – the unexplained mysteries, missing people, the things that lurk in the dark. Pay is $0.01/word for stories of 4,000-8,000 words, and they also accept reprints. Deadline 1 August 2022. Details here.)

Seaside Gothic
This is a new magazine. They want seaside gothic fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 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…” Please note, contributor copies can only be sent to UK addresses. After July, they will open briefly for submissions in October.
Reading period: 10-16 July 2022
Length: Up to 1,000 words
Pay: £0.01/word
Details here.

khōréō: Music
This magazine only accepts work by immigrant and diaspora authors. They want speculative fiction that explores “music and all its associated forms (sound, noise, song, instruments, etc. etc. etc.) as a vehicle for identity, culture, discovery, change, and any other facets of migration or diaspora.”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $0.10/word
Details here and here.

NewMyths: The Growers
This speculative fiction and poetry magazine wants work on The Growers theme. “The Growers (working title) will take a look at the life, struggles and dreams of those who provide for us—food, water, air, and other forms of sustenance. We are thinking agriculturists, botanists and biologists, fishermen and gatherers, terra-formers, and the like. All genres of speculative fiction are welcome.” They also accept reviews and art.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Unspecified
Pay: 1.5c/word
Details here (scroll to the middle for theme details) and here (general guidelines).

Brink Literary Journal: Reverence
This literary journal wants fiction, non-fiction, poetry, hybrid/cross-genre work, and translations on the ‘Reverence’ theme. They also accept artwork. “Bring us to the edge of awe. What inspires devotion? When have you stood before it? How did your body, your spirit, your family, respond to your encounter with admiration?
To have reverence is to hold a deep respect or regard for someone or something. It is an outward manifestation, the actions, words, or behavior, of the inward feeling of veneration. But it’s more than just adoration, it’s respect tinged with awe. It has a little to do with fear. It challenges loyalty.
How has reverence shaped you into the person you are today? What does the loss of esteem leave in its wake? Have you seen it curdle into obsequiousness?
We are interested in work that focuses on the edge, the brink, of reverence. What surrounds reverence? What are the images, sounds, ideas, people, movements, and opportunities?”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Unspecified
Pay: $25/poem, $50 for work less than 1,500 words, $100 for work more than 1,501 words
Details here.

Diabolical Plots: Telepathy
This magazine has two submission slots in July. Their initial reading period is for unthemed/general speculative fiction submissions (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) for Diabolical Plots magazine.
During the second half of July, they’ll read submissions for Diabolical Thoughts – on the Telepathy theme. They have extensive guidelines, including, “Stories might be as intimate as mind-readers in love, forever seeing themselves through their lover’s eyes; or as harrowing as a telepath on the battlefield, drowned in every iota of pain, fear and grief felt for miles. They might be as bizarre as telepathy tourism from alien planets, all cognitive connoisseurs who find humans to have a particularly piquant mindset; or as familiar as a job interview, which has simply gained a new mental level to spar upon.
Give us telepathic truck drivers; telepathic orchestra players; telepathic gladiators and magistrates and paramedics and revolutionaries.”
Reading periods: 1-14 July for general submissions; 24-31 July 2022 for Diabolical Thoughts theme
Length: Up to 3,500 words
Pay: $0.10/word
Details here.

Metaphorosis Books: Museum Piece Anthology
This is a speculative fiction anthology. “Bring your stories of intriguing museums old and new… Anything goes, so long as it’s an SFF story about an intriguing museum.
The story must be about (and likely take place in) a museum with an interesting concept, which should be essential to the plot, not just background.” They also accept reprints.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 1,000-6,000 words
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

Mysterion: Christian speculative fiction
They want science fiction, fantasy and horror stories that engage meaningfully with Christian themes, characters or cosmology. “We love science fiction and fantasy, enjoy good ghost stories, and think there’s great fiction material hidden in the mysteries of Christian theology–cherubim, leviathan, nephilim, visions, prophecy, and more”, according to guidelines. The stories need not teach a moral or be close to an approved theological position. Nor do they need to be pro-Christian – see their detailed guidelines on the kind of work they see too often, and what they would like to see. They are especially interested in stories that show Christians from cultures beyond those of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. They also accept translations and reprints. They have two annual reading periods for fiction, January and July. They are open through the year for art submissions.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: Up to 9,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

Nosetouch Press: Fiends in the Furrows III – Final Harvest
This is a folk horror anthology. “Folk Horror continues to haunt the horror world with visions of terror bound up in twisted morality forged in isolation within unforgiving landscapes that summon forth great evils at the fervent hands of human beings held captive by forces they can neither entirely comprehend nor fully control. (This is) a call for submissions for Folk Horror from around the world… We strongly encourage writers to continue to explore the wanton wilderness of Folk Horror, while honoring the elemental essence of this subgenre’s tangled, grasping roots.”
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 3,500-7,000 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

PodCastle: Indigenous Magic
This fantasy fiction podcast and online magazine from the Escape Artists suite of magazines is reading for an indigenous magic themed issue. “We want stories that center Black, Brown, and Indigenous cultures, histories, belief systems, philosophies, and perspectives. These are the stories of fireside tellings that are tied to the land on which they are written, the stories that reflect our cultural and historical trajectories in the wivestales and gossip on the tongues of our mothers and grandmothers. … It is important that these stories are told by the people they belong to. We respect the traditions they are drawn from and honour the need to make space for marginalized voices to tell their version of any given story. We welcome authors who are writing from indigenous perspectives that are within their realm of experience and personal history. If you’ve written a story about a culture that is not your own, please refrain from submitting it to this particular call.” They also accept reprints.
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Length: 2,000-6,000 words; and 2,000-7,000 words for reprints, for this issue
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here and here.

Zoetic Press: NonBinary Review – Two themes

They want poetry, fiction, essays, and art. They are accepting work on two themes currently. They also publish translations.
— In Motion: “We want stories, poems and art that put us in the process of travel, whether it’s on a starship, a railway, a frigate, or even a meditative walk from one setting to another. We don’t want indulgent travelogues: no gawking at the Eiffel Tower or sipping sangria in Ibiza. Play with place and time to uncover what it means to be leaving, sojourning, migrating, or escaping. Show us the implications of approaching an end destination – what it is to be driven, by internal and external forces, toward somewhere else. Move us, in every possible sense.” The deadline is 31 July 2022.
— Family:
“Just as each of us carries many identities within us, each of us belongs to many families. There’s our family of origin, often complicated and tumultuous, that leaves an indelible impression on our physical selves …. Some of us have foster or adoptive families that further complicated our childhood sense of ourselves in the world. There’s our family of choice, those people we gather to us to be our support system as we grow and change. There are families of affinity: people with whom we share common interests or experiences. But those aren’t the sum total of possibility.
Who are your family? How do you relate to them? How has family shaped your life and your responses to the world? What is the gulf between the family you need and the family you have? We want to know about your relationships and how they shaped you, rather than hearing the story of your (no doubt wonderful) grandpa, Auntie Bertha, or Little Timmy. We want to hear about your accidental families, your surprise families, your fucked-up families, and the ways you have carved out a place in your life and heart for them, or managed to build a much-needed barrier between you and them.”
The deadline is 31 October 2022.
Deadlines: See above
Length: Up to 3,000 words for prose; up to 3 pages for poetry
Pay: $0.01/word for prose, $10 for poetry
Details here.
(And Kosmos wants submissions of essays and poetry on The Families We Make. There is no monetary payment, and the deadline is 15 July 2022. Details here.)

The First Line
They want fiction that starts with a pre-set first line. For the Fall issue, this is: “Lily unlocked the back door of the thrift store using a key that didn’t belong to her.” They accept a limited number of poems and these have to start with the pre-set line, as well. For nonfiction, they want critical essays about your favourite first line from a literary work.
Deadline: 1 August 2022
Length: 300-5,000 words for fiction, 500-800 words for nonfiction
Pay: $25-50 for fiction, $5-10 for poetry, $25 for nonfiction
Details here.

The Last Girls Club: Thoughts and Prayers
This is a feminist horror magazine. They publish stories and poems from a feminist gaze. “The theme is “Thoughts and Prayers”. It’s a common response to tragedy, personal, national, or worldwide and it does nothing to fix or help the situation. In fact it normalizes it. They shrug and turn away. This is your springboard to drive a spike into the heart of hypocrisy.  Whether through powerlessness or apathy, it is complicit. Take it where you want.” They also accept nonfiction/review pitches.
Deadline: 10 August 2022, or until filled
Length: Up to 2,500 words for stories; up to 3 poems
Pay: $0.01 USD per word up to $25 for fiction, $10 for poetry
Details here and here.

Shakespeare Unleashed
They want horror stories based on Shakespeare’s plays and characters, as well as Shakespearean (horror) sonnets. For fiction, ”We’re looking for dark and scary stories — no parodies or humor pieces. Stories can be set in time periods other than the Elizabethan era, and can be updated or reimagined or merely “based on.”” For poetry, “We’re looking for horror sonnets — no parodies or humor pieces. Sonnets can be based on one of Shakespeare’s sonnets or plays or characters (let us know which one when you submit) or they can be totally original, but they should still evoke Shakespeare in some way.” The Kickstarter for this project has been funded. The anthology will be published by Monstrous Books and Crystal Lake Publishing. Please send submissions only during the reading period.
Reading period: 22 July – 21 August 2022
Length: 1,500-6,000 words for fiction; 14-line Shakespearean sonnets
Pay: $0.06/word for fiction; $35 for poems
Details here (guidelines) and here (Kickstarter).

Eye to the Telescope: Quest
This is a speculative poetry magazine. Their guidelines say, “The hero’s journey is one of the oldest forms of storytelling.  It has many components that can go in a thousand directions with a thousand faces.  Your quest, should you care to accept, is to use one part of the hero’s journey as the focus of your quest poem. It could be a call to adventure or the refusal of that call. Meeting of a new mentor and its consequences, or facing an ordeal that creates inner change.  Perhaps it is the moment of return when the hero brings new understanding to her people. Let the twelve steps of the Hero’s Journey be your inspiration.” They also accept translations.
Deadline: 15 September 2022
Length: Up to 3 poems
Pay: $0.04/word (up to $25)
Details here.


The H G Wells Short Story Competition: Switch
This is an international short story contest on the theme of ‘Switch’, of 1,500-5,000 words. There is no fee for the Junior Award, i.e. for those aged under 21 years.
Value: £1,000 for the Junior Award
Deadline: 11 July 2022
Open for: Fee-free for those under 21
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. They do not want poetry collections, graphic novels, anything below a novella in size, or chapbooks.
Value: $1,000, and more
Deadline: 15 July 2022
Open for: All writers
Details here.

UEA/Willowherb Speculative Nature Writing Call for Essay Proposals
The Willowherb Review, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, are offering a mentorship and publishing opportunity for three writers of colour who have yet to publish a book, in the field of nature writing. “The authors selected will be supported with online meetings and editorial feedback over the second half of 2022 as they complete an innovative nature writing essay for publication. The finished essay will be illustrated and published as an attractive pamphlet by the UEA Publishing Project and launched at a symposium on ‘Decolonising Nature Writing’ in April 2023.” As part of the applications, writers have to send a pitch for the nature writing essay idea (250 words), and a short writing sample (500 words). “Once you have been selected, non-fiction editors at The Willowherb Review will offer mentorship from August to November 2022, with the aim of delivering the finished essays by the end of November. Final essays will be between 3,000-5,000 words. We especially welcome ideas that are engaged with fresh ways of thinking about landscape, wildlife and nature writing as a genre—particularly pieces that blur the borders between literary and academic ways of thinking.” Submissions to The Willowherb Review Magazine, which publishes nature writing by POC, are now closed.
Value: Unspecified
Pitch deadline: 15 July 2022
Open for: Writers of color who have yet to publish a book
Details here.

2022 ArabLit Story Prize (+ ArabLit Quarterly Submissions)
This is an award for the best short stories, in any genre, newly translated from Arabic into English, of up to 4,000 words. Translators must have secured rights to the work, and the translations must have been previously unpublished. Stories will be judged primarily on the quality of the translated work as a thing-in-itself, although translators must also submit the Arabic original, as this must be a translation, not a loose adaptation nor a work written originally in English.
Value: $500, split between the author and translator
Deadline: 25 July 2022
Open for: All translators
Details here.
(Submission for ArabLit Quarterly magazine are also open, and the theme is Weddings; they want fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, and other interesting formats of works either in Arabic or translated from Arabic; they are also open to bilingual works in some formats. They take both pitches and completed works. The pitch deadline is 11 July, and the final submission deadline is 7 August 2022. Pay is $20/page. Details here.)

Red Hen Press: The Ann Petry Award
This award is run by the Red Hen Press and the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. It is for a work of previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a 25,000-word minimum (approximately 150 pages) by a Black writer. The prize includes cash, publication, and a four-week residency at The Community Library’s Ernest and Mary Hemingway House in Ketchum, Idaho. They have other awards too; those charge a submission fee.
Value: Residency, $3,000
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Open for: Black writers
Details here and here.

Sisters in Crime: Pride Award for Emerging LGBTQIA+ Crime Writers
This is a grant for an emerging writer in the LGBTQIA+ community. It is for an unpublished work of crime fiction, aimed at readers from children’s chapter books through adults. This may be a short story or first chapter(s) of a manuscript in-progress of 2,500 to 5,000 words. An unpublished writer is preferred, but writers with publication of not more than 10 pieces of short fiction and/or up to 2 self-published or traditionally published books are also eligible. Also, winners and any runners-ups who wish to maintain their anonymity, may do so, or they may choose to select a pen name for announcements.
Value: $2,000
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Open for: Unpublished/emerging LGBTQIA+ writers (see above)
Details here.

Singapore Unbound Awards: Singapore and Other Literatures
These awards are for the best undergraduate critical essays on Singapore and Other Literatures. “The author does not have to be residing in Singapore nor to have maintained their citizenship. The work(s) discussed may be in any of the literary genres, including but not limited to poetry, fiction, literary non-fiction, drama, and graphic novels.”
Value: S250 each for three essayists
Deadline: 31 July 2022
Details here.
(The page also has details of their other calls.)

Speculative Literature Foundation: Two grants
They will be open for two grants in July; writers can apply for one or both grants.
— The Diverse Writers grant is to support new and emerging writers of speculative fiction from underrepresented groups, including writers of color, disabled, women or working-class writers.
— The Diverse Worlds grant is for work that best represents a diverse world, irrespective of the writer’s background.
Writers may apply for one or both grants. The project must be a proposed book-length work of speculative fiction (novels, short story collections). Non-fiction, poetry, picture books, and editorial projects are not currently eligible. See their schedule for other grants, with later reading periods.
Value: Two grants of $500 each
Reading period: 1-31 July 2022
Open for: Underrepresented writers for Diverse Writers; and writers whose work represents a diverse world for Diverse Worlds
Details here (grant details) and here (schedule for all their grants).

A contest with a later deadline is
— Kindle Storyteller Award: This is an international award for those who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing in English in any genre. Entrants must make the book available for sale in both digital and print versions through KDP. The book must be at least 24 pages long, and can have a maximum of 2 co-authors. Please note, readers play a significant role in winner selection.
Value: £20,000
Deadline: 31 August 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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