16 Themed Calls for Submissions

Written by S. Kalekar

This is a list of themed submission calls for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays, and for translators. Some of the themes are chocolate, Staten Island Ferries, earth science, reimagined folk and fairy tales, angels, darkness, witches, LGBTQ shifters with disabilities, and sports. All of these pay writers. Also see this list of themed submissions – some deadlines are coming up.

Brothers Uber: Once Upon A Future Time, Vol. 2
This is an anthology of classic tales, reimagined in a science fiction setting. Stories must be based on a folk or fairy tale, and be appropriate for all ages.
Deadline: 15 December 2018
Length: Up to 15,000 words
Pay: $50 advance against royalties
Details here.

Escape Artists: Cast of Wonders – young adult stories
They want YA stories for publishing on their website and podcast – stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, have something unreal about them, and are appropriate for an audience aged 12-17. The preference is for high fantasy; they also like science fiction, and their horror stories tend to be psychological, not visceral. They also read comedy, steampunk, age-appropriate paranormal romance, superheroes, and many other genres. They do not exclusively define YA as stories featuring children or YA characters; they would particularly like stories about older people having first experiences, and stories written by younger writers.
Deadline: 15 December 2018
Length: Up to 6,000 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Heart and Humanity: Coming Home to Yourself
They want essays, poetry and fiction about “self-discovery and self-acceptance—what have you struggled about yourself with and what was the turning point for you?  How did self-acceptance change your relationships, your work, your life?  What insights can you share with people to encourage them on their journeys to self-love?” They pay for some pieces, not all – read their guidelines and terms carefully.
Deadline: 15 December 2018 to be eligible for paid work
Length: Unspecified
Pay: $15-25 for prose, $15-20 for poems
Details here.

Pink Triangle Rhapsody: Volume 1 – Mixed Genre
This is Lycan Valley Press’ newest anthology series in celebration of and dedicated to gay men and their cultural history, for which they accept submissions from gay male writers only. The series is intended to be a collection of stories written with “effusively rapturous or emotional expression.” Volume 1 is a mixed genre volume and will feature 5 stories in each of 5 genres for a total of 25 stories — Horror, Sci Fi, Dark Fantasy, Thriller, Pulp Mystery. Each story must include a supernatural, paranormal or occult element.
Deadline: 31 December 2018
Length: 2,500-8,000 words
Pay: $0.04/word
Details here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories about Angels
They want real-life stories and poems about angels. Their guidelines say, “Sometimes mysterious good things happen to us, things that we cannot explain. … How do these miraculous events occur? … Was it an amazing coincidence, a kind stranger who came and went so quickly that we’re startled, the answer to a prayer? Are these kind people celestial or otherworldly? Are there angels at work? Whatever the explanation, these events seem to be evidence of a higher power at work and they give us hope for a better future. They give us peace and comfort and the belief that our problems can be resolved.”  They also have several other submission calls on their website with other deadlines, including about running and walking, about miracles, and the golden years – life after 60.
Deadline: 31 December 2018 (extended)
Length: 1,200 words
Pay: $200
Details here.

Unlit Press: Curse the Darkness
This is a UK-based horror publisher and they want stories on the theme of darkness. Their guidelines say, “That could be the absence of light, the presence of evil, or the sinister thoughts of the afflicted. However you choose to interpret the theme, just make sure you leave us afraid to turn out the lights. … Send us stories that step off the well-trod paths into the unlit wilderness of the unusual, the interesting, and the provocative.” This is their inaugural anthology.
Deadline: 31 December 2018
Length: 3,000-10,000 words
Pay: £75 (about $100) or equivalent in local currency
Details here.

Bad Dream Entertainment: Horror/Humor Anthology
They are looking for horror fiction with a touch of comedy and while most themes, subjects and settings are welcome, standard genre tropes like vampires, zombies, werewolves, anything Cthulhu are discouraged. They do not want reprints but first-time English translations are acceptable.
Deadline: 31 December 2018
Length: 1,500-5,000 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.

Horror Queen Media: Vex Me No More
This is a female-owned publishing company that focuses on horror in all its forms – from true crime to traditional supernatural fiction. For this anthology, they want horror stories about witches – they do not necessarily have to be female-centric, they do need to be tales of powerful, unique beings. While elements of other genres can be present, this is primarily a horror anthology. They accept reprints.
Deadline: 31 December 2018
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $0.02/word
Details here.

Sundog Theatre: Scenes from Staten Island Ferry 2019 – 2 Alternate Endings
They want original one-act plays about the Staten Island Ferries. Plays should be 10-30 minutes and set on the Staten Island Ferry, be contemporary, involving 2-3 characters with easily accessible props and no special sound or lighting. Plays should be written with two brief endings, and be different from each other. A little humor is good. One character will break the 4th wall-in character-explain briefly the two ending choices, asking the audience to vote on which one they wish to see. Apart from cash compensation, plays will be produced in Staten Island. They want mailed submissions only.
Deadline: 31 December 2018 (postmarked)
Length: 10-30-minute plays
Pay: $100
Details here.

Crystal Lake Publishing: Tales from The Lake
For this horror anthology, they want stories with believable, three-dimensional characters, that will haunt the readers for months to come.
Deadline: 1 January 2019
Length: 500-5,000 words (prefer 3,000- to 4,000-word stories)
Pay: $0.03/word
Details here.

Room Magazine: Sports
This Canadian magazine accepts work by women, non-binary, Two-Spirit and trans writers. They want poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art about sports culture and athletics. Their guidelines say, “We want work that will make us sweat and cheer. Send us your best stories about women and non-binary athletes, sports fandom, alternative sports (e.g. theatre sports, e-sports—surprise us!), and how sports culture can intersect with violence and toxic masculinity. We also encourage submissions that are critical of sports culture, such as how athletics and fan cultures privilege certain bodies over others.”
Deadline: 31 January 2019
Length: Up to 3,500 words for prose, up to 5 poems
Pay: CAD50-150
Details here.

Less than Three Press: Bound By Nothing – LGBTQIA Collection Call
They want stories about shifters with disabilities. Their guidelines say, “Shifters are a league above humans: stronger, faster, more powerful, better senses; sometimes they’re longer lived and have special abilities—even magic. The one thing seldom seen in shifter stories are disabilities. Werewolves who can’t hear, werefalcons who can’t see, shifters with chronic pain or severe depression—where are their stories?” The disabilities can be physical or mental, visible or invisible.
Deadline: 31 January 2018
Length: 20,000-60,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

To Seoul, from the World
They want short stories set in and/or about the city of Seoul. Writers can interpret this broadly and freely, and all genres are welcome. They want work that provides a fresh and relatable insight into the city and its culture, and is engaging, with all the appeals of a traditional story. The anthology will also be translated into Korean and pitched to traditional Korean publishers. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are also accepted.
Deadline: 31 January 2018
Length: Under 6,000 words
Pay: $0.05/word
Details here.

Cricket Media: Faces – Chocolate
This is a magazine of world cultures and geography for 9-14-year-olds. They want nonfiction (in-depth nonfiction highlighting an aspect of the featured culture, interviews, and personal accounts), supplemental nonfiction, fiction, puzzles and games, and activities related to the theme. They only want queries, not finished articles. Authors are urged to use primary resources and up-to-date scholarly resources in their bibliography. Writers new to the magazine should send a writing sample with the query. They have several other upcoming themes with various deadlines for queries: The World’s Biggest Places and Things, Nepal, and Great Cities of the World: Lagos, Nigeria. Pay is unspecified for this magazine, but they do pay – their flagship literary magazine, Cricket, is called the New Yorker for children.
Query deadline: 25 February 2019
Length: 300-800 words (see guidelines)
Pay: Unspecified for this magazine
Details here (scroll down).

Issues in Earth Science
They want middle grade and young adult fiction and essays that incorporate earth science concepts as key elements, and also represent a key idea that might be taught in an earth science classroom. Stories should also be emotionally compelling. Those with adult characters but for a YA or MG audience will also be considered. The purpose of these stories will be to serve as supplemental reading material for middle or high school students studying particular topics in earth science.
Deadline: Open now
Length: 1,000-3,000 words for fiction, 500-1,000 words for essays
Pay: $0.06/word; additional $0.06/word if selected later for print edition later
Details here.

St Anthony Messenger: Christian fiction, essays, poetry
This is a Catholic monthly magazine. They accept articles, fiction and poetry. Their guidelines say, “Stories that sound more like essays or monologues with no dialogue or interaction on the part of the characters will not succeed.” Also, “Dialogue should move the story forward and sound real—the way people speak in real life.” For features, they want pitches only.
Deadline: Rolling
Length: 2,000-2,500 words for fiction; up to 2,000 words for features; up to 20 lines for poetry
Pay: $0.20/word for prose ($500 for 2,500 words), $2/line for poetry
Details here.