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

Written by S. Kalekar | October 30, 2017

The calls are for fiction, essays and poetry. Themes include captivating cityscapes, adventure on the high seas, private eyes in Texas, mystery, alien-human LGBTQ romance, queer perspectives in an imagined metropolis, Adirondacks water, quiet horror and dark fiction, guilds, environment, flight, India, bewitched, rebels and insurgents, sword and sorcery, mind control, the centenary of the end of World War I, and Arthuriana. Many of these pay writers.

­­­Cricket Media: Various submission calls

They publish work for children, and have several ongoing themes, including Short Shorts, Monsters, Captivating Cityscapes, Favourite Things, Let’s Pretend, and It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.
Deadline: Various, starting 15 November 2017 – see guidelines
Length: Various – see guidelines
Pay: Up to $0.25/word for fiction and non-fiction (except Cicada, which is up to $0.10/word); $0.03/line for poetry, minimum $25
Details here.

Augur Magazine: dreamy realism//fabulism

They want “dream-touched realism, slipstream, fabulism, magical realism (note: educate yourself before you claim this term) and, for lack of a better descriptor, “literary” speculative fiction.” They accept both YA and adult pieces. They publish short and flash fiction, and poetry. They encourage submitters to declare any intersectional identity they identify with, though this is not required and will be kept confidential.
Deadline: 15 November 2017
Length: Above 1,250 words for short stories; less than 1,250 for flash fiction; up to five poems
Pay: They pay 2 cents (CAD) per word for short stories, CAD25 for flash fiction, CAD20 per poem, and $20/page for comics submission.
Details here.

Lethe Press: Midas Clutch

This call is for horror stories about avarice and a fealty to Mammon – weird and eerie speculative fiction about people consumed by wealth. Stories should be suffused with the trappings of the well-to-do; decadence should be paramount. They don’t want the tales to be moralistic, and prefer stories that are contemporary.
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: 4,000-14,000 words
Pay: $0.05/word, $0.02/word for reprints
Details here (scroll down)


Dreaming Robot Press: 2018 Young Explorers’ Adventure Guide

The editors want science fiction stories where the main protagonist is someone a middle-grade reader (ages 8-12) can identify with. Think adventure, space, science. They particularly want stories where the main character is from the population that has traditionally been under-represented in science fiction, and has agency, and exercises it. No fantasy. They accept some reprints.
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: 3,000-6,000
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here


Book Smugglers Publishing: Awakenings

The theme is open to wide interpretation within the science fiction/fantasy genre. They want diversity, and welcome Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult submissions. They are particularly keen on stories with romance or horror elements, and they love subversion. They want work by both new and seasoned authors. Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: 1,500- 17,500 words
Pay: 31 December 2017
Details here


ChiZine Publications: Other Covenants – Alternative Histories of the Jewish People

They want speculative fiction stories on the theme. What if there were other timelines, other histories, other Jews? Would they still have a covenant with the one God? See guidelines for their preferred aesthetic, and possible themes to explore, including: what if the Holocaust had never happened, or if the Spanish Inquisition had never occurred? The anthology is open to all writers. Submissions can be in English or French; English language translations welcome. Send up to two stories per author. They accept some reprints.
Deadline: 4 February 2018
Length: 500-15,000 words for stories (few slots left at the high end, so query first); up to two pages of poetry
Pay: $0.08/word
Details here.

 

Band of Misfits: Adventure on the High Seas

This is an anthology for writers aged 13-19. They want high-seas short stories: gangs of pirates, steampunk sailors, mischievous mermaids, hostile Kraken, submerged vortexes, or any other maritime adventures — whether contemporary, historical, science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Deadline: 30 November 2017
Length: Up to 7,000 words
Pay: $30, a custom TABC name badge to wear at the Teen Author Boot Camp conference, a writing conference specifically for teens
Details here.

Less Than Three Press: Written in the Stars

This is an LGBTQIA collection call. They want stories of interspecies romance – specifically, human/alien stories.
Deadline: 30 November 2017
Length: 20,000-60,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Blueline: Adirondacks Water

This is a literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks and regions similar in geography and spirit, focusing on nature’s shaping influence. For this issue, they want poems, stories and essays about water in its multitudinous forms in this region. They also welcome creative non-fiction that interprets the literature or culture of the region, including northern New York, New England and Eastern Canada. They do not want effusive descriptions of scenery, but realistic approaches to the environment: what they publish expresses imagination, reflection, and insight about the natural world. They will also consider writing that is not on ADK water.
Deadline: 30 November 2017
Length: Unspecified
Pay: Contributor copies
Details here and here.

The Eyes of Texas

The editor wants private eye stories that represent the diversity of Texas. Stories should be set in 21st and late 20th centuries and should be hardboiled or noir fiction. The Eyes of Texas is currently scheduled for release to coincide with Bouchercon 2019 in Dallas.
Deadline: 30 November 2017
Length: Ideally 5,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Crystal Lake Publishing: Tales from the Lake Volume 5

They want quiet horror and dark fiction with a literary bent. Create believable, three-dimensional characters; the worlds that they inhabit must be equally believable. In their previous anthologies they’ve published work by well-known authors, including Neil Gaiman.
Deadline: 1 December 2017
Length: Up to 6,000 words
Pay: $0.03/word
Details here.

Sinking City

This magazine is based out of Miami, where rising sea levels threaten the future of a diverse, multicultural community. They want a wide variety of subversive work from multilingual narrative to avant-garde. They are “especially interested in work focused on our changing, at-risk environment.” They want fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Deadline: 1 December 2017
Length: Prose up to 7,000 words; 3-5 poems
Pay: None
Details here.

Slice Magazine: Flight

They want articles, interviews, stories, and poetry on the theme. Deadline: 1 December 2017
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $250 for stories and essays, $75 for poems
Details here.

Litro Magazine: India II

This is a submission call for their print magazine. They want short fiction, flash/micro fiction, nonfiction (memoir, literary journalism, travel narratives, etc) on the theme. They also publish poetry, but not unsolicited poetry submissions. Check out their other upcoming deadlines on the website.
Deadline: 4 December 2017
Length: Up to 4,000 words
Pay: Unspecified
Details here.

Mslexia: Bewitched

Twice annually, Mslexia asks for themed submissions for its Showcase section (previously New Writing). This time they want stories and poems with mythical, mystical or paranormal aspect to them, and ask you to channel your inner Rowling and Pullman.
Deadline: 4 December 2017
Length: Up to 2,200 for stories, 40 lines for poems, 1,000 words for scripts
Pay: £25 for most submissions
Details here.

Mason Jar Press: Broken Metropolis Anthology – Queer Tales of a City That Never Was

They want metropolitan tales of city-focused fantasy with queer perspectives. Think squalid flats, glittering spires, and alchemical trolleys; manipulative heirs, handsome swordswomen and noble automatons.
Deadline: 7 December 2017
Length: Up to 1,000 words for flash fiction; up to 6,000 for short stories, though 3,000-4,000 is preferred
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here.

Eye to the Telescope: Arthuriana

This online magazine publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative poetry. For this issue, they want to explore all things Arthurian; see guidelines for details about the potential and possibilities of this theme, and the editor’s preferences.
Deadline: 15 December 2017
Length: 1-5 poems
Pay: $0.03/word, up to $25
Details here.

Zombies Need Brains: The Razor’s Edge

They want science fiction or fantasy stories that explore the fine line between a rebel and an insurgent. It is a military science fiction and fantasy anthology. They want to fill half of the anthology with science fiction stories, and half with fantasy stories. Stories featuring more interesting settings and twists on the typical themes will receive more attention than those that use standard tropes.
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: Up to 7,500 words
Pay: At least $0.06/word
Details here.

Zombies Need Brains: Guilds & Glaives

This anthology will feature sword and sorcery stories where a guild is featured somewhere in the story. So thieves, assassins, and dark magic, but with a guild or guilds incorporated into the story somehow. Most such stories will be fantasy, but they are interested in science fiction takes on this theme. Stories featuring more interesting takes on the guilds, and twists on how they are integrated into the story, will receive more attention than those with the standard thieves’ or assassins’ guild.
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: Up to 7,500 words
Pay: At least $0.06/word
Details here.

Zombies Need Brains: Second Round – A Return to the Urbar

This will feature stories where the time-traveling Urbar, first used in the anthology After Hours: Tales from the Urbar, is a central part of the plot. The story may start in the bar, end in the bar, or be in the bar somewhere in the middle, but at some point a significant plot point must involve the Urbar. Stories featuring more interesting historical settings for the bar, and twists on how the bar is integrated into the story, will receive more attention than those with more standard uses of the bar, or where the bar is only incidental to the rest of the story. Authors cannot use the same time period used in the anthology After Hours, or that which will be used by an anchor author of the current anthology (see guidelines).
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: Up to 7,500 words
Pay: At least $0.06/word
Details here.

Hydra Publications: Unsheathed

This is a call for a sword-and-sorcery fantasy anthology. Epic / heroic fantasy submissions only; some element of sword play or sword-related theme must be present. The publishers say this will receive large marketing efforts. Authors can buy the print copies.
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Length: 7,500-10,000
Pay: $30
Details here.

Myriad Paradigm: Mind Candy

This is a call for speculative fiction that in some way address the intricacies of the mind. Mind control, mind augmentation, multiple memories, mental powers, or any other idea where mental oddities are key to the story line. The editor prefers science fiction, but will consider any speculative fiction that is not too depressing, violent or graphic.​
Deadline: 15 January 2018
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Arachne Press: Peace anthology

This is a call for an anthology celebrating the centenary of the end of World War I. Publication will be in late 2018.
Deadline: 31 March 2018
Length: Prose up to 2,000 words; poetry up to 1,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Mystery Weekly Magazine

This is an online magazine that publishes mystery stories on a monthly basis. Avoid excessive profanity or violence.
Deadline: Rolling
Length: 2,000-10,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

Lethe Press: The Decadents

This is a gay historical fiction anthology that embraces the Decadent Movement. Stories may have fantastical or horrific elements, and must be queer-positive. They should be set in 18th or 19th century, and need not be set in European cities.
Deadline: May 2018
Length: 4,000-14,000 words
Pay: $0.05/word, 1.5c/word for reprints
Details here (scroll to the end of the page)