18 Themed Calls for Submissions

Written by S. Kalekar | March 19, 2018

These are themed calls for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Themes include shared-universe dinosaur stories, Halloween, crackers (not just the Christmas kind), the future of the internet and artificial intelligence, retellings of classic folklore, heirs and spares, dirty money, the looking glass, Galileo’s theme park, LGBTQIA-inclusive writing for children, romance of various shades (including romance adventure), military horror, race, class and gender, stories about pirates and crusaders, crime noir, and speculative masculinities. Many of these pay writers, from token to pro rates.

Uncanny Magazine: Special Shared-Universe Dinosaur Issue

The premise is this: “The year is 2069. Rumors of monsters haunt three abandoned islands in the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by dangerous waters from which visitors are warned away, few have dared visit and fewer still have returned to tell the tale. The three islands, linked via now-decrepit tunnels and bridges, were intended to create and experiment on Dinosaurs. Though many of their creations and experiments remain, The Owen Corporation mysteriously disappeared, never getting a chance to show off their work. A rich ecosystem developed in the absence of the organization—a mixing of abandoned facilities, technology, eccentric people, and amenities with the ancient wilderness of surrounding waters, labyrinthine caves, and highest treetops.

On the largest island sits a shimmering crater filled with mysterious energies, where dinosaurs sometimes wander and often end up elsewhere… or elsewhen. The portal, accidentally created by The Owen Corporation for unknown reasons, is a gateway to other worlds, times, and dimensions, and it is growing. Soon, the experimental dinosaurs may very well overwhelm the entire multiverse. Writers are encouraged to play with this island setting, or to simply write a story featuring dinosaurs who wandered through the portal to whatever setting works best for the story (outer space, throughout history, alternate dimensions, etc.).” They will accept two stories from the open submission call, so it will be extremely competitive.   
Deadline: 29 March 2018
Length: 750-6,000 words
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

Corpus Press: 2018 Halloween Anthology

They want horror stories that have a central theme associated with Halloween. Stories can be frightening, thought-provoking, atmospheric, humorous or satirical (or any combination thereof), but must contain a complete tale. See guidelines for further clarifications on the editors’ preferences.  
Deadline: 30 March 2018
Length: 4,500-8,500 words
Pay: $0.03/word
Details here.

Bridge House Anthology: Crackers

They want short stories about crackers for their annual anthology, and not just the Christmas sort. They want stories that amuse – “It would be good to have a few that give us great big belly laughs, but also welcome those that just make you smile.” Another interpretation of “crackers” might be madness.   
Deadline: 31 March 2018
Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Paper Dog Books: The Internet is Where the Robots Live Now

They want speculative fiction that considers the future of the internet, artificial intelligence, the mind, and robots; optimistic, fantastic, bittersweet stories of fantasy and science fiction. The editors are not looking for YA dystopian, robots will destroy the world, or high fantasy tropes, but want more nuanced stories for this anthology. 
Deadline: 1 April 2018
Length: 1,500-5,000 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

The Agorist Writers Workshop: The Clarion Call – Retellings of Classic Folklore, Fables and Fairytales

What makes classic folklore, fables and fairy stories endure is their ability to be translated across time, geography and culture. The editors are looking for retellings of these classics to the here and now (wherever that may be for the writer). “These tales, universal in so many ways, are our moral guideposts, our maps to the greater world, and our will-o-the-wisps that seduce us into the unknown…. So tap into the zeitgeist of today and offer our readers a new guidepost, map, and will-o-the-wisp.” Stories should be plot-driven, stand-alone and should fulfil the role of mythology in the past; that is, to offer wisdom and moral guidance, to lay the groundwork for an individual’s place in the world.   
Deadline: 1 April 2018
Length: 1,000-8,000 words (preferred length; will take shorter than 1,000 and up to 18,000 words)
Pay: Two free copies
Details here.

Splickety Magazine: Heirs and Spares

Think family feuds, political thrillers, trouble in paradise. Life as a teenage royal is flashy and glamorous… until trouble strikes in the palace. They want stories of royal drama among the monarchy’s younger members—contested thrones, unwilling heirs, coups, and intrigue. The stakes are kingdoms, and the loser stands to lose his (or her) head.
Deadline: 6 April 2018
Length: Under 1,000 words (see guidelines)
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here.

 

Shooter Literary Magazine: Dirty Money

They want literary fiction, creative non-fiction, narrative journalism and poetry on the theme. They want to read about playboys and playgirls, corrupt bankers, hard-up students, entrepreneurs, gamblers, thieves and grafters – anyone affected by money in any compelling way. Are riches really the root of all evil, or the key to the world’s delights?
Deadline: 8 April 2018
Length: 2,000-7,500 words
Pay: £25 for prose, £5 for poetry
Details here.

Harper’s Bazaar Short-story Competition 2018: The Looking Glass

They want a short story on the theme, The Looking Glass, for this competition. The contest does not have a cash prize.
Deadline: 9 April 2018
Length: Up to 2,500 words
Pay: For the winner, a two-night stay and a three course dinner for two in Amberley Castle, a 900-year-old retreat in rural Sussex, and publication in Harper’s Bazaar.
Details here.

Third Flatiron: Galileo’s Theme Park
The publisher’s focus is on science fiction and fantasy, and anthropological fiction. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme. For this anthology, think space opera, SF, physics. The great Italian scientist is famous for standing up for science in the face of the Inquisition, doing his best work while under house arrest. They want stories that take readers on a journey to the lands beyond Earth revealed to us by Galileo and other space scientists. See guidelines for suggested reading. For each of their anthologies, they also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the “Shouts and Murmurs” feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred. 
Deadline: 15 April 2018
Length: 1,500-3,000 words; query for longer
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Cricket Media: Over the Rainbow

Spider (for ages 6-9) and Ladybug (for ages 3-6) are looking for LGBTQAI+ inclusive fiction, poetry, and non-fiction manuscripts. They want warm family stories, an entire story without gender pronouns, children with different gender expressions, and gentle realistic or metaphorical coming out stories. They are especially interested in matter-of-fact stories where being different isn’t the heart of the story, but part of the character’s identity.
Deadline: 15 April 2018
Length: 300-1,000 words for stories for Spider; up to 20 lines for poetry, 300-800 words for non-fiction
Pay: Up to $0.25/word for prose; up to $3/line for poetry, $25 minimum
Details here.

Galli Books: Speculative Masculinities

The editors want work that interrogates, problematises and questions the forms of toxic male masculinities that have dominated speculative fiction since the beginning of the 20th Century. They want fiction, essays and poetry that explore other possible models of mansculinity, models not centred on violence and dominance and repression of feelings. They welcome work from writers of marginalised backgrounds and identities, especially where those identities complicate the author’s relationship with mascilinity.  
Deadline: 15 April 2018
Length: 1,000-7,000 words for fiction; 1,000-3,000 words for nonfiction
Pay: £0.08/word for fiction; £30/poem; £50/essay
Details here.

Evernight Teen: Kissed – A Young Adult Anthology

They want young adult contemporary romance. Stories should have an HEA. Plus, the stories must begin and end in a kiss. The first kiss may be planted on the top of a stray dog’s head, a lipstick-stained kiss on a car windshield, the final kiss after a breakup, for instance.   
Deadline: 20 April 2018
Length: 15k-25k words
Pay: Unspecified for the anthology; their regular submissions have royalty split
Details here.

Cohesion Press: SNAFU – Resurrection

This is a military horror anthology. Think Doom, Resident Evil, Terminator – anything that can be called a high-action monster story. They want extreme action of the military or paramilitary kind.  
Deadline: 30 April 2018
Length: 2,000-10,000 words
Pay: AUD0.04/word
Details here.

Less Than Three Press: Happiness in Numbers

This is a call for a polyamorous LGBTQIA+ anthology — non-erotic polyamorous stories that explore the idea of ‘Family’. They want to see non-monogamous family having picnics in the park, relationship anarchists being greeted by the gods in Asgard, maybe an open married family having a gathering with their tribe. They want polyamorous families of all sorts. Closed groups (like triads, poly fidelity, etc) as well as completely open relationships are all welcome. Stories must feature romance between a number of greater than two people. Extra consideration will be given to stories where the polyamorous elements are not the source of story conflict. Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end. Any sub-genre is accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.
Deadline: 30 April 2018
Length: 10,000-20,000 words
Pay: $200
Details here.

The Almagre Review: Issue Five – Race, Class and Gender

The editors of this Colorado-based journal want fiction and art on the theme of race, class and gender for their Spring issue. They want stories that illuminate that which divides us in society, how people engage in conflict with others, and sometimes build bridges across the divides. The editors do not want the kind of writing that is typically found on blogs, or the kind of expression one hears on politically oriented talk shows, or on TV news interviews. They are looking for something deeper and more sensitive. They welcome diverse writers. Their goal is to promote writers and illustrators from the mountains and the prairies but they also welcome work that is outside these geographies. The journal also accepts non-fiction, memoir and poetry and they consider themselves a friendly home for veterans.
Deadline: Currently open
Length: Various; see guidelines
Pay: None
Details here.

Rogue Blades Entertainment: Crossbones & Crosses

For this anthology, they want pirates’ and crusaders’ stories; more of the age of steel than shot, though rudimentary gunpowder is acceptable. No fantastical elements or grimdark nihilism. The submission system only accepts the first 500 words of the story for potential selection and allows for 100 submissions per month across open calls.
Deadline: Open through Fall of 2018
Length: 4,000-9,000 words
Pay: $30
Details here.

Rogue Blades Entertainment: Crazy Town

They want fantastical crime noir stories for this anthology. Think Sam Spade meets Roger Rabbit in Karl Edward Wagner’s story “Into Whose Hands.” Speculative elements are required, though this will not be a book of private eye magicians or grumpy superheroes battling werewolves and vampires on the streets of the local Gotham. They want urban fantasy hardboiled crime suspense mortal-against-the-world/system thriller noir. The submission system only accepts the first 500 words of the story for potential selection and allows for 100 submissions per month across open calls.
Deadline: Open through Fall of 2018
Length: 3,000-7,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

Rogue Blades Entertainment: Somebody Kill the Prince!  

This is a fantastical romance adventure anthology. A classical fairy-talish homage to The Princess Bride. The theme is that of diabolical machinations defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism. Authors should write all the mostly ‘good parts’ of fun heroic family entertainment, and include authorial asides, rhyming, inconceivable conceits, memorable characters, unique creations, and importantly, true love and loyalty.    
Deadline: Open through Fall of 2018
Length: The full anthology length is 65k words and they will accept 10 stories for the anthology
Pay: $42
Details here.