19 Calls for Themed Submissions (Fiction, Poetry, and Essays)

Written by S. Kalekar | June 30, 2017

These are themed calls for submissions from literary journals and anthologies, for various genres, sub-genres and themes – pirates, Sherlock Holmes and H. G. Wells mashup, odd creatures, beginnings, shelter from a storm, re-writings of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories and about parenting and mental illness, and about miracles, redemption and death. Many of them pay writers.

Flame Tree Publishing: Pirates & Ghosts

Think adventures and hauntings at sea, shipwrecks and buried treasure, treacherous waters, sea spirits, ghostly galleons, giant squid, kraken and sailors gone mad. They accept reprints, and welcome new writers for this anthology.
Deadline: 7 July 2017
Word count: 2,000-4,000 preferred; can read slightly outside this range
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Flame Tree Publishing: Agents & Spies

Think intrigue and avarice, secret letters, poisonings and betrayal of lovers and governments. They accept reprints, and welcome new writers.
Deadline: 7 July 2017
Word count: 2,000-4,000 preferred; can read slightly outside this range
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Alice Unbound

Stories should contain a character from Lewis Carroll’s works named in the guidelines, and an element of the speculative. No rehashing of Carroll’s tales, but new stories taking place in a modern or slightly futuristic world. The editor is getting many Alice, Chesire Cat and falling through the rabbit hole stories – writers might want to look beyond these elements. Canadian citizens or permanent residents only. LGBTQ and people of color are encouraged to submit.
Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 2,000-5,000 for prose, minimum 1,000 words for poetry
Pay: CAD0.05/word
Details here.

Bellanger Books: Sherlock Holmes – Adventures in the Realms of H. G. Wells

They want traditional Sherlock Holmes stories, blended with one or more tales from H. G. Wells. For instance, imagine Holmes trying to solve the case of the invisible man, matching wits with a traveler from out of time. All stories must use public domain material.
Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 5,000-10,000
Pay: A portion of the net sales (2-5% depending on the number of stories)
Details here.

Helios Quarterly Magazine: First Contact & Conversations

They publish science fiction, fantasy and horror. For their theme issue, they want fiction that questions how we construct the “other” – and stories, poems and non-fiction within the cyberpunk, solarpunk, dieselpunk or other realms. They also publish Eos Quarterly, the submission calls of which are concurrent for the Helios Quarterly, for which they accept pieces by marginalised groups – which are not limited to race, religion, ability status or sex.  They are specially interested in stories that push the boundaries of genre.
Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: Poetry up to 100 lines; 100-10,000 for various fiction categories
Pay: $0.25/line for poems, $0.06/word for drabbles, $0.02/word for flash fiction, $0.03/word for short stories and serials; $35 for non-fiction essays and articles; see guidelines for word counts and pay rates of Eos Quarterly Review
Details here.

Third Flatiron: Strange Beasties

This is a slipstream anthology featuring odd literary devices or creatures. They need not be monsters, but they should be strange.
Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 1,500-3,000; around 600 words for flash humor
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Left Hand Publishers: Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths

They want speculative, horror, mystery/thriller, Western, fantasy or science fiction stories on the theme for this anthology, widely interpreted. Some literary fiction will be accepted.
Deadline: 28 July 2017
Word count: 4,000-8,000
Pay: $25
Details here.

Blyant Publishing: Beginnings

This short fiction quarterly anthology, blÆkk (meaning ink in Scandinavian), will be hand-bound and illustrated. Stories can be in any genre and the theme – Beginnings – can be widely interpreted.
Deadline: 30 July 2017
Word count: 1,000-2,500
Pay: £10-25
Details here.

Black Beacon Books: Shelter from the Storm

They are accepting six short stories for this anthology. The stories must begin with an individual, couple or group seeking shelter from a storm of some kind. Atmosphere, suspense and gripping plot are essential elements. They want mystery (specially locked-room mystery), suspense, psychological horror, historical, and strange and quirky stories. They prefer British English.
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: 3,500-7,000
Pay: £0.01/word, capped at £50; £10 for reprints
Details here.

NonBinary Review: The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Authors can re-write a familiar story from a new point of view, mash genres together, or write a personal essay about some aspect of the theme. All submissions must have a clear and obvious relationship to some specific aspect of the source text (a character, episode, or setting). See their guidelines for suggested text as source material.
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: Up to 5,000 for fiction and creative non-fiction; up to 1,000 for flash fiction; up to 3 pages for poetry
Pay: $0.01/word for fiction and non-fiction, $10 for a poem/suite of poems
Details here.

How the Light Gets in

This is an anthology on parenting and mental illness. It will explore, through narrative non-fiction (essay, memoir or creative hybrid), the unique challenges and rewards of parenting with a mental illness. They also want essays from any point on the parenting timeline, and from people who are not yet parents, and aren’t sure if they want to be. See the guidelines for possible topics.
Deadline: 1 August 2017
Word count: 1,000-10,000
Pay: A copy of the anthology
Details here.

Exile Publishing: The Food Of My People

This is a speculative writing anthology – food and nourishment must be an integral part of the story and the outcome. Submissions must be by Canadian residents and they welcome diverse voices. There is a 10% window for content by non-Canadian residents.
Deadline: 1 August 2017
Word count: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: CAD0.05/word
Details here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

They are accepting true stories or poems for several themes now. Of these, Miracles and More – when good things happen to good people (stories about inexplicable events, like a premonition to take a different route, which helped you avoid an accident), and Stories of Redemption – what starts out as a negative force turns positive, have deadlines in August. See the guidelines for details, and more upcoming themes.

Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 1,200 for non-fiction
Pay: $200
Details here.

Digital Fiction Publishing Corp: Horror Fiction Reprints

They want to reprint horror stories that have appeared in professional or semiprofessional books, magazines, collections or anthologies; stories will be published as stand-alone and as part of an anthology. Content should be PG or R rated.
Deadline: 31 August 2017
Word count: 3,500-7,500
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

Dragon’s Roost Press: Hidden Animals – A Collection of Cryptids

They want dark speculative fiction that features one or more of the lesser-known, but established cryptids (an animal or creature whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, like Bigfoot, or Nessie). They will accept only one story per cryptid. Authors must put their own spin on the creature, to make them terrifying, sympathetic or humorous, but shouldn’t create a new creature. This is a charity anthology to raise money for the canine rescue organization, Last Day Dog Rescue.
Deadline: 31 August 2017, or until filled
Word count: Up to 6,000
Pay: $0.03/word
Details here.

Independent Legions Publishing: The Beauty of Death 2 – Death by Water

They welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction on the theme for this anthology. No excessive gore; sex or violence should be artistically justified.
Deadline: 1 September 2017
Word count: 4,000-5,000
Pay: $100
Details here.

The Flint Anthologies

There are five anthologies, around the theme of people triumphing over times of adversity, to support charities that are helping the people of Flint, Michigan combat their water crisis. Stories based around water are especially welcome. The anthologies are poetry/non-fiction stories of hope, courage and strength, general fiction (including sci-fi, fantasy), mainstream romance, LGBTQ romance and YA/children’s fiction; stories should be happily ever after/happy for now.
Deadline: Various dates in September for the different anthologies; see guidelines
Word count: 5,000-20,000 for stories, unspecified for poetry and non-fiction; can submit above or below this word limit and to more than one anthology
Pay: None
Details here.

Bards and Sages Publishing: The Society of Misfit Stories

They accept misfit stories, that are too long for most periodicals but too short for printing. They want stories in all speculative genres, and mysteries, thrillers and action-adventures. Authors will be invited to have their stories published in a print anthology at the end of the year. They also accept reprints.

Deadline: Unspecified
Word count: 5,000-20,000
Pay: $25 for 6-month exclusive digital publication, $25 for print anthology
Details here.

Hardened Hearts Anthology

This is a dark anthology about difficult love stories, in any genre. See the guidelines for the editor’s leanings and preferences.
Deadline: Until filled
Word count: 600-3,500
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.