17 Themed Calls for Submissions (Short Stories, Poetry, Essays)

Written by S. Kalekar | August 7, 2017

There is a variety of topics and genres for writers to submit in – and the themes include mental illness, villains, both real and imaginary, sea terrors, gender and artificial intelligence, facets of Chinese cities, stories set in cellars and around mysterious stairs in the woods, writing by older women, about queer families and about phantasmagorical engines. Some anthologies pay writers, with payment ranging from semi-pro to token pay to contributor copies.

Anomaly (formerly Drunken Boat): Glitterbrain

This magazine wants poetry, hybrid, multimedia work and essays on mental illness and on poetics by queer and trans indigenous people and people of color who identify as mentally ill, neurodivergent, or as having a mental illness.
Deadline: 15 August 2017
Word count: Unspecified
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

The Poets Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius – Villains

They want poetry and short stories about fictional villains and super-villains. Think world domination schemes and battles with a heroic nemesis.
Deadline: 19 August 2017
Word count: Unspecified
Pay: Contributor’s copy
Details here.

Lagan Online: Poems about Poetry

They want poetry about the art of poetry. Send a maximum of two poems.
Deadline: 24 August 2017
Word count: 30 lines per poem
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Twelfth Planet Press: Mother of Invention

They want stories about gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics. The editors want to bring some revolution to the way artificial intelligence stories are told; if necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators? In the stories, the creator of the AI or robot must not be a cis man.
Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 500-5,000
Pay: AUD0.06/word
Details here.

The Shanghai Literary Review: Concrete

They want personal essays and narrative non-fiction that captures different facets of various Chinese cities for this special edition. Each piece should be about one Chinese city and may focus on people, buildings, histories, stories. They will likely not publish stories about teaching English.
Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 2,000-8,000
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Asterisk Anthology: Nautical Nightmares

They are looking for bone-chilling stories of the sea: the stories could be about sea monsters, ghost ships, creepy coastal towns or mysterious islands. No fresh-water settings.
Deadline: 3,000-9,000
Word count: 31 August 2017
Pay: $10 for one author; contributor’s copies for all selected authors
Details here.

Silver Empire: Stairs in the Woods

They publish heroic, wondrous adventure stories. They want stories themed around stairs found in the woods, as though cut and pasted from a house. Their guidelines have other details about the stairs. Stories can be science fiction, fantasy, horror or other genres.
Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 3,000-20,000
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Oz Horror Con: Below the Stairs – Tales from the Cellar

They want memorable short supernatural tales, psychological thrillers or creature stories involving cellars, basements, dungeons or other subterranean chambers. Emerging and new writers will be published along with established ones.
Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 6,000-10,000
Pay: AUD50 and a print copy
Details here.

Qommunicate Media: Queer Families

They want true stories about queer families – essays, memoir, creative non-fiction, poetry and scripts.
Deadline: 1 September 2017
Word count: Prose: 1,000-3,000; flash non-fiction: one page or less; poetry: up to 3 pages; scripts: up to 5 pages
Pay: $15 for prose; $5 for flash non-fiction and poetry
Details here.

Lycan Valley Press: Creatures in Canada – A Darkling Around the World Anthology

They want strange, dark landmarks and creature encounters in a collection of horror stories set in the 13 provinces/territories in Canada. There must be a horror element in the stories. Both Canadian and non-Canadian writers can submit.
Deadline: 15 September 2017
Word count: 3,000-6,000
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

Tribe: A print anthology about the lives of single older women

The publishers seek work – poetry and prose, including memoir, personal narrative, fiction – by women aged 55+, who are single by choice or circumstance. The anthology seeks to provide insights into the situations and roles of older single women in our times. They specially welcome work that reflects diversity and will consider reprints.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Word count: 1,200-3,000 for prose; up to 45 lines for poetry
Pay: CAD25, two print copies and royalties
Details here.

Books and Boos Press: A Sharp Stick in the Eye (and Other Funny Stories)

They want stories for a darkly funny anthology. Stories should be both entertaining, and fall firmly in the horror genre.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Word count: 4,000-8,000
Pay: $50
Details here.

Eastern Iowa Review: The SmartApocalypse – Intelligent Stories of a Real End Time

Stories on the theme should be family friendly; clean humor and hope is very much welcome. See their guidelines for the kind of stories they like. They will also consider non-fiction and poetry. They will look at general topics also, but the focus will largely be on the theme. Submit up to 10 pieces.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Word count: Up to 1,000 for flash, up to 10,000 for others
Pay: One Editor’s Choice prize of $50
Details here.

Fantastic Trains: An anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders

Stories must be speculative fiction: fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, etc. A good part of the story should take place on a train. See guidelines for details on the theme, and the “locomotif” characters they want.
Deadline: 30 September 2017
Word count: Up to 1,500 and up to 5,000
Pay: $50-150
Details here.

 (Dis)ability short story anthology

They want short stories written by people with disabilities; all stories must have disabled main characters.
Deadline: 1 October 2017
Word count: 500-7,500
Pay: $30
Details here.

NonBinary Review #15: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

They want poetry, fiction and essays around Shirley Jackson’s 1962 book We Have Always Lived in the Castle. The work should have an obvious relationship to the source text (a character, episode or setting). Authors can re-write a familiar story, mash genres together or write a personal essay on an aspect of the theme.
Deadline: 31 October 2017
Word count: Up to three pages of poetry; up to 1,000 words for flash fiction, up to 5,000 words for other prose
Pay: $0.01/word for prose; $10 for poetry
Details here.

The Poets Haven Digest: Darker Than Fiction – Real Evil

They want poetry and short stories about evil and monsters in the real world – serial killers, terrorists and warlords who are real people. This is branched off from their themed call about villains.
Deadline: Open until filled
Word count: Unspecified
Pay: Contributor’s copy
Details here.