Sunday, May 14, 2023

A contest that opens on Mothers Day, plus other contests and markets for your short fiction and poetry

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Short Fiction is a high-quality online journal (previously also in print, since 2006), publishing some of the finest short stories from around the world. 

They publish one story per month as their Featured piece. They also periodically seek to publish one story in a new section – "Introducing" – which will be a showcase for excellent new writers; that is, writers for whom this is their first published piece. In both cases they are looking for the best, carefully crafted, deeply considered work.

Length: 500–5,000 words.

Short Fiction also publishes original art work, as they enjoy the possibilities of dialogue between literature and the visual arts, and want to support all forms of artistic practice. 

Accepts submissions from the UK, the Commonwealth {yes, including Canada} and everywhere else, except the U.S. {Sorry .} Pays 2p per word or 30 pounds minimum; 100 pounds maximum.

Deadline May 31, 2023. Full guidelines here. 

Heartlines Spec is speculative fiction magazine looking for short fiction and poetry focused on long-term relationships: platonic, romantic, or familial. They don't want the blaze of new love or the obsession of a new friend. They want pieces that show that comfort that develops when people know each other for years.

“Give us deep space, dusty frontiers, or dreamy fantasy. We want stories and poetry with strong, confident relationships amid all the sci-fi/fantasy. While we are primarily looking for stories with happy endings (yeah, yeah), we also want endings that are earned. If things get a little teary or gory, that's ok. 

“We are especially interested in stories featuring queer platonic relationships, ace/aro love stories, and polycules.” {For definitions, see Urban Dictionary.}


Short stories1,000–3,500 words
Poetry: send up to 5 pieces per submission
Strong speculative elements that start on page 1 or 2

Pays 8 cents / word. Submissions welcome from anywhere, but aims to preserve 50% of each issue for Canadian content.

Like everyone else, Heartlines is especially looking for submissions from “equity-deserving groups” {leaving us to speculate as to which groups do not deserve equity}.

Submission periods: May 1–30; Sept –30; Dec 1–31.  

Full guidelines here.  

The annual International Amy MacRae Award for Memoir was created in celebration of the life of the wondrous Amy MacRae and in support of her living legacy to improve the outcomes of women with ovarian cancer.

Contest opens on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023.

Deadline: July 9, 2023

The winner of will receive a cash prize of $1,000 US.

Shortlisted and winning stories are published as The Amy Award Anthology. Past editions are available for purchase through all bookstores.

All proceeds from the contest and the anthology are donated to Amy’s Living Legacy for ovarian cancer research.

In publishing the anthology, we buy First North American Serial Rights and First Digital Publication Rights only. After publication, copyright reverts to the author.

The International Amy MacRae Award for Memoir is given to an exceptional work of memoir writing.

Memoir writing, or personal essay, is defined as a work of creative nonfiction that illustrates a personal experience using literary techniques and narrative devices such as dialogue, character, setting and scene. Rather than simply recounting past events, successful memoir tends to offer a higher perspective on that past, use personal experience as an illustration of universal themes and/or endeavour to derive meaning, understanding or wisdom from the story it sketches. The quality of the writing is as important as the content of the story. (Note: Travel writing told from a personal perspective does qualify as memoir.)

This is a prose competition, so poetic prose (or prose poetry) is eligible, but poetry that is not prose is better submitted to a poetry contest. (Still not sure if your work qualifies? If your work looks like poetry, then that is what it is.

Submissions must be no longer than 2,000 words and must be original unpublished works. There is no minimum word count requirement.

Entry Fee: $25 US per submission, payable in the writer’s home currency.

Full guidelines here.   

My Mother's Secret by Alina Adams
published by History Through Fiction Press

History Through Fiction is proud to announce its first annual short story contest. Beginning June 15, 2023, and ending August 15, 2023, History Through Fiction will be accepting historical fiction short stories for publication to a special contest section of our Member-only Content Area. Six finalists will be announced on September 15. First, second, and third place winners will be announced on October 15. The three winning stories will be published on November 1, 2023.

First prize: $200; Second: $100; 3rd: $50 gift card to

All submissions receive a written evaluation

Submission Guidelines

Word Limit = 4,000 Time Period = Must take place prior to the year 2000 Historical Setting = Any Publication Status = All submissions must be previously unpublished Multiple Submissions = Accepted $9 Submission Fee

Deadline August 15, 2023. Full contest rules here

In addition to their contest, History Through Fiction also publishes short stories, novel excerpts, and novels.

If accepted, short stories and novel excerpts are published in the member-only content area of their website. Stories and excerpts must be previously unpublished and should be 1,000 - 7,000 words long. 

HTF prefers stories that are based on real historical events and/or people. However, all stories with any kind of historical setting will be considered. This includes those with elements of fantasy and alternative history. Stories that are accepted will receive light editing before being scheduled for publication. HTF publishes one new story on the first day of each month. 

Pays $25.

Novel submissions are currently closed but will re-open September 1, 2023. HTF looks for stories about real people and real events. Though fictionalized, their books include nonfiction elements such as footnotes, endnotes, and/or a bibliography. When submitting, consider whether your historical novel is informative and educational in addition to being a compelling fictional story.

Full submission guidelines for both short pieces and novels here. 

Quick Brown Fox welcomes your short stories, poems, and essays about reading, writing, favourite books, and libraries. Read a few essays on the blog to get a taste of what other writers have done (see  here and scroll down).

Quick Brown Fox also welcomes reviews of any kind and of anything, anywhere or anybody. If you want to review your favourite coffee shops or libraries, babysitters or lovers (no real names please), go for it. See examples of book reviews here (and scroll down); other reviews here (and scroll down).

Submit to:

Include a short bio at the end of your piece and attach a photo of yourself.

 See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.


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