15 Themed Submissions Calls for February 2019

Written by S. Kalekar

These are themed submission calls for writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Some of the themes are holidays and holiday romance, dark skies, creatures, small-town America, apocalypse, exchange students, serial killers, mystery stories with boy protagonists, sports stories with girl protagonists, and demons. All of these pay writers, whether royalties, token, or pro rates. Also see this list of themed submissions – some deadlines are coming up.

The Suburban Review: Luck
They want fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and comics on the subject of Luck. They want stories of massive moments, near misses, and one-in-a-million chances. They charge a submission fee after a certain number of submissions each month.
Deadline: 6 February 2019
Length: 500-2,500 words for prose (see guidelines), up to three poems
Pay: AUD112.50-225
Details here.

Blood Bath Literary Zine Issue 2: Demons
They want fiction, poetry and art for this issue. Their guidelines say, “Internal or external, real or imagined, DEMONS haunt the corporeal and fictional plane, and just like the saints in heaven, there’s a specific Demon for every purpose. We’re open to references to academic demonology theories or newly invented creations; try your best to surprise or intrigue us. The reading team are avid horror fans and dying to be exposed to a new kind of terror.” Demons from outside traditional Western Christianity depictions are particularly welcome. They are specially interested in experimental and subversive forms.
Deadline: 14 February 2019
Length: 50-2,500 words of prose, up to 30 lines of poetry; up to 2 stories or 4 poems
Pay: £20 per 1,000 words for prose, £20 per 15 lines for poetry, and £20 per image for visual art
Details here.

Carina Press: Holiday 2019 Proposals
This is a call for proposals for romance novels on the Holiday theme. They want contemporary romances set against holidays that fall from October to January. Holidays celebrated by all different faiths, belief systems and cultures are included, as are Christmas stories. The books do not need to be set in the US. They welcome #ownvoices stories, as well as LGBTQ+ and poly pairings. Writers need to send a query letter, a synopsis and an extract. Carina is a digital-first imprint of Harlequin.
Deadline: 27 February 2019
Length: A minimum of the first 7,500 words of the work in progress for the proposal; the actual novel is to be at least 50,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.


Darkhouse Books: What We Talk About When We Talk About It: Variations on the Theme of Love
They want poetry and prose on this very broad theme. Their guidelines say, “What is love, anyhow? You can love your partner, your friend, your country, your dog, cat, rat, your local library, your family, yourself. You can love money, liquor, food, wilderness, or the dive bar on the corner. What does love make people do? What will people give for it? What will they steal?” For this issue they lean towards the literary while welcoming all genres. Also see this page for their anthologies on other themes, with other deadlines.
Deadline: 28 February 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Parsec Ink: Triangulation – Dark Skies
Triangulation, Parsec Ink’s speculative fiction annual, is accepting stories that celebrate dark skies. They are joining forces with International Dark-Sky Association to raise awareness of the dangers of light pollution. Their guidelines say, “We’d like to see proactive characters experiencing firsthand the dangers and consequences of a world without darkness, but even more than that, we want stories celebrating our place in the universe, and our ability, as sentient beings, to see into the depths of space. Give us past, present, and future accounts. Cautionary tales. Secondary worlds and altered timelines. The effects of light pollution are many and varied—feel free to explore any aspects, from neurobiological studies, to life in an alien star system, to legends out of time.”
Deadline: 28 February 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words (“the sweet spot is 3,000.”)
Pay: $0.04/word
Details here.

Uncanny Magazine: The Disabled People Destroy Fantasy
They want fantasy stories from writers who identify themselves as disabled; identity is what matters for this issue (see this essay on their website, Disabled Enough). Their guidelines say, “We’re looking for immediate and visceral tales of danger, fun and inventive adventures, and fateful journeys to distant lands or to the dragon’s lair in your own backyard. We’re looking for intricate, challenging tales with gorgeous prose, verve, and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs.” They do not require stories to explore issues relating to disability, although those are welcome. They are also looking for essays that explore the relationship between fantastical literature and disability, and will accept pitches or fully written essays. They also accept poetry.
Deadline: 28 February 2019
Length: 750-6,000 words for fiction, 1,000-2,500 words for essays,
Pay: $0.08/word for fiction; $60 for essays; $30 for poetry
Details here.

Tell-Tale Press: Creatures
They want fantasy, horror, mystery and science fiction stories about creatures: animals, insects, arachnids, dinosaurs, aliens, monsters, cryptids, legends, mythical, or mythological. They want writers to think outside the box. The stories can be about vampires or aliens, werewolves or unicorns, but these must be new and fresh, something that hasn’t been thought of before or hasn’t been worked with much. They will be accepting one novelette-length work.
Deadline: 4 March 2019
Length: 500-10,000 words (see guidelines)
Pay: $5-25; $50 for novelette
Details here.

Hippocampus Magazine: Ink
This creative nonfiction magazine is publishing an anthology that will celebrate print media—magazines and newspapers—from the pre-digital age. Their guidelines say, “We want to hear stories from all parts of these operations, from the newsroom to production. We want to hear from those who worked for small town papers and big city dailies. We want to hear about how these publications built community, impacted change, celebrated local milestones, or mourned national tragedies. We want to hear how people chased stories, and we’re interested in the stories behind those with the bylines. We want to hear how your printed words made a difference—as well as how your career affected you.” They do not want individual reflection per se, but rather compelling essays with a clear narrative arc.
Deadline: 30 March 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

Hippocampus Magazine – Main
For this anthology, they want creative nonfiction pieces that celebrate small-town America.  Their guidelines say, “We want to hear about small family-owned businesses, such as the stores and specialty shops that used to rule Main Street America. What did you family sell? Make? Fix? Build? How did these businesses define you or your family members? How did they evolve over time? While we’re open to all time periods, we’re most interested in business that began in the pre-Internet era—and we’re especially interested in places that span generations.” They are not interested in individual reflection per se, but in essays with a clear narrative arc. Further, “Place and sensory detail will be important in these essays, too. We want these places to come alive through your words.”
Deadline: 30 March 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here.

B Cubed Press: Alternative Apocalypses
They want stories about endings, beginnings and change. The apocalypse can be big or small, personal or world shattering. A political bent doesn’t hurt, but is not necessary. They will accept some poetry and thoughtful essays. They welcome humor and satire, and anticipate releasing the anthology at the WordCon in Dublin.
Deadline: 15 April 2019
Length: 500-5,000 words for fiction
Pay: $0.02/word + royalties for fiction, $25 for very short fiction and poems
Details here.

B Cubed Press: Alternative Bedtime Reading for Progressive Parents
They want nursery rhymes, poetry, and stories that can be read and enjoyed by children of all ages. There is no lower word limit on poems or nursery rhymes. The work can be original or derived from fairy tales, bible stories, folklore, myths, or similar so long as acknowledgement is made.
Deadline: 15 April 2019
Length: 500-3,000 words for stories
Pay: $0.02/word + royalties for fiction, $25 for very short fiction, poems and nursery rhymes
Details here.

Serial Killers anthology
The editor is looking for work by crime writers and crime reporters. This anthology will feature true crime stories with serial killers, the editor is especially interested in stories about killers from outside the US. Material must be factual or fact-checked. The style can be journalistic, first-person, narrative, etc. – they are looking for something more than dry reportage. They are not looking for sensationalism.
Deadline: 1 May 2019
Length: 4,000-7,000 words
Pay: $130
Details here.

Hadrosaur Productions: Exchange Students Anthology
This is a science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthology. It will “explore the vast realms of what it might mean to be an exchange student at any point in time, space, or across dimensions. Most of us have known foreign exchange students in our school years. This anthology imagines an exchange student program expanded to include students from the past, the future, fairies, trolls, distant alien races, and any other exchange student the author might dream of.”
Deadline: Until filled
Length: Up to 6,000 words
Pay: $20 + Royalties
Details here.

Highlights Magazine: Several themes
This is a general-interest magazine for children ages 6-12. They are currently interested in short stories on these themes: historical fiction set during periods other than World War II, mystery stories featuring boy protagonists, humorous stories featuring girl protagonists, sports stories for younger readers featuring girl protagonists, science fiction, graphic (comic-book format) stories, stories set in countries outside the US (currently do not need stories that focus on food traditions), holiday stories (especially Thanksgiving and Easter; do not need Christmas or Halloween stories). For poetry, they currently need short verse (up to 10 lines), especially non-rhyming and/or humorous poetry; they aren’t accepting poems with nature or seasonal themes or poems about dogs at this time. They also publish puzzles, articles, and activities.
Deadline: Unspecified
Length: Up to 750 words for fiction (see guidelines)
Pay: $175 and up for fiction and nonfiction, $75 and up for My Sci submissions, $40 and up for poetry, crafts and puzzles
Details here.

Nightlight
This is a horror podcast for Black horror writers (see guidelines). They accept fiction, occasionally flash fiction, and reprints that have not previously appeared in radio format.
Deadline: Open now
Length: Flash up to 3,000 words; short fiction of 3,000-10,000 words
Pay: $75 for short fiction, $35 for flash fiction
Details here.