22 Calls for Themed Submissions (Short Stories, Poetry, and Essays)

Written by S. Kalekar | June 5, 2017

This is a list of themed submission calls for a variety of topics, genres and audiences – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, interviews and reviews. Topics include compassion for the natural world, romance, colonizing other worlds, reconciliation and decolonization, stories about ruins and chefs, post-apocalyptic horror, themed stories for children, work by and about underrepresented communities, and about the afterlife of discarded objects. Payments range from none, to token amounts, to a few hundred dollars or royalties.

Zimbell House Publishing: After Effects – A Collection of Short Stories

The theme for this collection is Ruins and the after effects, to be interpreted broadly – of a life in ruins, a society in ruins or an archaeological story featuring ruins. The ends of all stories should focus on the after effects.

Deadline: 15 June 2017
Word count: 5,000-20,000
Pay: One soft cover copy of the anthology
Details here.

CutBank Literary Journal: All Accounts and Mixture

Taken from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, and the poem “Rooms,” the series title appears in the line:  “Cadences, real cadences, real cadences and a quiet color. Careful and curved, cake and sober, all accounts and mixture, a guess at anything is righteous, should there be a call there would be a voice.” They want work from writers who self-identify as queer on this theme. Content need not be LGBTQ-specific. Allies can submit reviews of poetry or prose books by queer writers. They also want provocative interviews with queer writers and artists.

Deadline: 19 June 2017
Word count: Up to 5,000 for prose; up to 7 poems
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Cricket Media: Ladybug Magazine – Animal Kingdom

This magazine, for ages 3-6, is looking for fiction, retellings of folktales, creative nonfiction, poems, action rhymes, and proposals for short comics about animals, reptiles and birds, including those in your imagination. The readers like simple yet strong plots, memorable characters, and humor.

Deadline: 30 June 2017
Word count: Up to 800 words for stories, up to 20 lines for poems
Pay: Up to $0.25/word, up to $3/line for poems (minimum $25)
Details here.

Broken Eye Books: Miskatonic University Anthology

What might a modern Miskatonic University (which first appeared in H. P. Lovecraft’s work, and subsequently in many Cthulhu Mythos stories) look like? What might student life be like today? They want tales that combine college life and the cosmic weird. No pastiches of previous eras. They specially welcome writers from underrepresented populations.

Deadline: 30 June 2017
Word count: 3,000-6,000 for short stories; 1,000 for flash fiction
Pay: 8c/word
Details here.

Arc Poetry Magazine: Reconciliation, Decolonization, and Nation(s)

This is a themed issue on Canada’s 150th year post Confederation. They want to talk about reconciliation, decolonization and nation(s) from a poet’s perspective. They specially welcome work from Indigenous poets, but accept work from anyone, from any country, who has something to say.

Deadline: 1 July 2017
Word count: Up to three poems
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Spring Song Press: Still Waters Anthology

Stories must have a fantasy/speculative element, and address the ‘still waters’ theme in some way. Creative interpretation of the theme is encouraged.

Deadline: 1 July 2017
Word count: 2,500-10,000
Pay: $0.01/word
Details here.

Jellyfish Review: Intergalactic Planetary Issue

They want hybrid literature/sci-fi flash fiction on the theme.

Deadline: 10 July 2017
Word count: 1,000 words or less
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Zimbell House Publishing: Morsels from the Chef – A Collection of Delectable Short Stories

This anthology will feature short stories about chefs, from the restaurant to the private home. While this is not a cookbook, adding a recipe to be included in the back of the book will be allowed – this is not mandatory, and simple recipes are best. They are looking for stories with light romance, a happily-ever-after, and believable tales that show the action more than tell it.

Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: 5,000-20,000
Pay: One soft cover copy of the anthology
Details here.

The Compassion Anthology

Entries – essays, fiction and poetry – should focus on compassion and appreciation of the natural world.

Deadline: 15 July 2017
Word count: Up to 4 poems, up to 5,000 words of prose
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Franklin/Kerr Press: Down with the Fallen Horror Anthology

They are looking for horror stories with post apocalyptic and dystopian themes. Stories could be a variety of horror sub-genres.

Deadline: 21 July 2017, or until filled
Word count: 2,000-8,000
Pay: $5 per 1000 words, one copy of the published anthology
Details here.

Carina Press: Contemporary Royal Romance Anthology

This is Harlequin’s digital-first imprint. The call is for royal-themed romances, to be digitally published both as novellas and as an anthology. Stories should be contemporary in setting and royals or royalty must be key to the story, and should have an HEA or HFN ending. The use of actual people as main characters is prohibited.

Deadline: 30 July 2017
Word count: 25,000-40,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Franklin/Kerr Press: Into the Unknown: A Sci-Fi Anthology

Stories should focus on new worlds and civilizations.

Deadline: 30 July 2017, or until filled
Word count: 2,000-8,000 words
Pay: $5 per 1,000 words, one copy of the published anthology
Details here.

Cricket Media: Ladybug Magazine – Our World

This magazine, for ages 3-6, seeks simple explorations of a child’s world. Stories could be about a cultural tradition you know well, or a new place, such as a train station, theater, orange grove, or dam. Investigate an everyday mystery (Where does our food come from?) or open their senses to the natural world.
Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: Up to 800 words for fiction, up to 400 words for non-fiction, up to 20 lines for poetry
Pay: Up to $0.25/word, up to $3/line for poems (minimum $25)
Details here.

Cricket Media: Cricket Magazine – Animals Behaving Badly

Cricket (ages 9-14) is looking for contemporary or historical fiction, retellings of folktales and legends, and nonfiction on the theme of problematic encounters between humans and animals. They want humorous stories about troublesome pets, dramatic dealings with wild animals, domestic adventures with backyard pests, warm-hearted friendships with skittish horses, or tales of imaginary animals. They also accept puzzles, crafts and activities.

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: 1,500-1,800 words for fiction, also accept 600-900 words; 1200-1800 for nonfiction; usually 8-15 lines for poems (occasionally accept much shorter or longer) up to 6 poems
Pay: Up to $0.25c/word for stories and articles; up to $3/line for poems (minimum $25); $75 for activities and recipes
Details here.

Cricket Media: Spider Magazine – Fantastic Fantasy Beasts

This magazine, for ages 6-9, wants submissions that feature knights, castles, dragons, pixies, sprites, unicorns, and all manner of epic quests. They specially welcome twists on classic fairytales like Alice in Wonderland or Thumbelina, respectful and authentic treatment of different cultures, and strong female protagonists.

Spider Magazine is also looking for unthemed narrative non-fiction; the deadline is 30 June 2017 – details are on their guidelines page.

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: 300-1,000 words for fiction, up to 20 lines for poems, 300-800 words for non-fiction, 1-4 pages for crafts and activities
Pay: Up to $0.25/word for fiction and non-fiction; up to $3/line for poems (minimum $25); $75 for activities and recipes
Details here.

Upper Rubber Boot Books: Sharp & Sugar Tooth – Women Up To No Good

This is an anthology about the dark side of culinary life – the emphasis should be on preparation, or consumption, of food. Subversive, diverse stories about characters who identify as girls/women are appreciated. Stories could be any variety of fantasy or science fiction, provided the element of horror is present.

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: Up to 5,000 per story
Pay: 6c/word
Details here.

Room Magazine: Family Secrets

This Canadian magazine’s submission call is on family secrets. They accept fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry by women (broadly defined).

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: Up to 3,500 for fiction and creative non-fiction; up to five poems
Pay: CA$50-150
Details here.

Siren Call Publications: Mental Ward – Stories from the Asylum, Volume 2

They want stories of bedlam taking place within padded walls of an institution – for instance, dark stories of experiments gone wrong, or patients revolting against the staff.

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: 4,000-8,000
Pay: $25 and one print copy of the anthology
Details here.

Fiyah Magazine: Roots – Speculative Fiction by and about the African Diaspora

This magazine publishes stories by and about people of the African Diaspora, including the continent; they want speculative fiction for the forthcoming themed issue, Roots. Stories should reject regressive ideas of blackness, respectability politics and stereotypes. They strongly encourage submissions from women, LGBTQIA people, and members of other underrepresented communities within the Diaspora.

Deadline: 31 July 2017
Word count: 2,000-7,000 for short fiction; up to 15,000 words for novelettes
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Lycan Valley Press: Death’s Garden – A Black Books Series Anthology

The subject is Death’s Garden – Where Evil Blooms in the Shadows. They are looking for extreme horror stories and poetry.

Deadline: Open until filled
Word count: 3,000-10,000 for prose, up to 50 lines for poems
Pay: $25 for prose, $5 for poems
Details here.

Lycan Valley Press: Untimely Frost – Dark Poetry Anthology

They want poems about darkness and death.

Deadline: Open until filled
Word count: Up to 2 poems, up to 75 lines per poem
Pay: $0.10/line for original, $0.5/line for reprints
Details here.

The Afterlife of Discarded Objects Project: Memory and Forgetting in a Culture of Waste

This is a digital collective storytelling project. They want stories of playing with, collecting, preserving or making art from waste or unwanted items. Entries could be nonfiction narratives, personal essay/memoir, diary entries or short stories. Contributions that explore the topic from an environmental perspective, gender relations, race or class are specially welcome.

Deadline: Unspecified; open now
Word count: As short or as long as you like
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.