21 Themed Submission Calls for November 2020

***Please note, there has been an uptick in publishers that are not accepting unagented submissions. Too many presses and publishers are getting mass submissions that do not fit their catalogs. DO NOT submit your work if it doesn’t fit the publisher’s guidelines.

It’s the start of another month, and November 2020 is kicking off the transition between Halloween and Christmas. And we’re starting to see a switch in the type of themed submission calls editors are looking for.

You won’t find many horror fiction calls on this list, but you should check out October 2020’s themed submission calls as some of the deadlines are coming up in the next few weeks.

The Themed Submission Calls for November 2020

Here are the 21 themed submission calls for November 2020 for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. None of the following publishers charge a submission fee, and they all pay the writers that contribute to their journal, magazine, or anthology.

Please make sure you read the publisher’s submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting and make sure your work is a good fit. Doing this will increase your chances of getting published, so it’s well worth your time and effort to do your research.

3 Of Cups: Tell Me Who We Were Before Life Made Us

This is a poetry anthology about imagined histories. Their guidelines say:

“We want to read your takes on fairy tales, folklore, and urban legends. Send us your creation myths, founding myths, Greek, Haitian, Indian, and Mancunian myths. We want to see your counterfactuals, your apocryphals, your ‘What If’s? We want to know, who do you think we are, were, or could be?”

Poets can send up to three poems. For more details, click here.

  • Deadline: November 8, 2020
  • Length: Any length; up to three poems
  • Pay: £60 + royalties

World Weaver Press: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers

They want short fiction about fairy godmothers. Their guidelines say:

“Use your magic to come up with tales that illuminate, investigate, or turn the fairy godmother trope on its head. Origin stories are welcome, but so are stories about fairy godfathers, fairy godparents, mundane godparents who find themselves in magical situations, the beneficiaries (or victims) of fairy godmothering—you get the idea.

You can use existing fairy tales for inspiration or create a brand new story. What if Cinderella hates everything the fairy godmother does for her?

Or, think about retelling “The Goose Girl” from the horse Falada’s point of view. Can the Giant’s wife in “Jack and the Beanstalk” be seen as a fairy godmother?”

The editor is looking for subverted tales or new tales about wonder and transformation. Stories set outside of dominant, Western culture are very welcome, as are new fairy godmother tales about and by people who aren’t usually represented in “classic” fairy tales.

You can get the full details here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: 4,000 to 7,500 words
  • Pay: $0.01 per word

Flame Tree Publishing: Beyond the Veil

This is a call for horror fiction. They accept all sorts of horror content, and the anthology, titled Beyond the Veil, will be published worldwide in hardcover and paperback.

To find out more, click here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: Successful applicants will be between 3,000 to 5,000 words.
  • Pay: $0.08 per word

Death Throes Webzine: Horrific Holiday Edition

They publish dark fiction. For this theme, their guidelines say:

“We’re stamping out holiday cheer this year and bringing the darkness. Got a story idea about Zombie-Clause? Been speculating about cranking out a yarn about vampire elves from outer space? Perhaps you’re considering mixing genres or have an extremely dark take on a famous holiday story.”

For more information, click here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: Up to 5,000 words
  • Pay: $20; $50 if the story is selected as a featured story

Corpus Press: In Darkness, Delight – Fear the Future

Their guidelines say:

“We seek truly terrifying stories that deal with futuristic themes, set in the near future or far. Tales can be Earth-based or extraterrestrial, perhaps featuring technological or social upheavals that have frightful implications for individuals or society at large. As examples, the ongoing erosion of privacy and the enduring nature of online activity, artificial human enhancement via DNA manipulation or implants, impact of emerging technologies on developing children, and so on. […]

Post-apocalyptic stories will not be accepted. Rather, we desire fiction that occurs during periods preceding any total collapse, be they stable or unstable times. The horrors that await us in utopian futures may be far more chilling and fascinating than those endemic to dystopias, and therein lies our primary interest.”

They prefer stories of 2,500 to 4,500 for this theme; although, they will accept up to 7,500 words. Click here for more details.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Lengths: Up to 7,500 words (prefer 2,500 to 4,500 words)
  • Pay: $0.03 per word and up to $150

Summer Storm Press: Winter’s Vindication

This is a short fiction call for a themed anthology – “fantasy, sci-fiction, literature, and/or survival are acceptable genres.” Their guidelines say:

“Nuclear winter. The frozen plains of the wild west. The ice-capped mountains of a dark wizard. Modern cities drowning in dunes of snow.

Wherever or whenever the story takes place, winter is the worst enemy and is the deadliest monster chasing the hero. Survival is almost impossible as the sun hides behind billowing, gray clouds. The wind chaps their flesh.

Whether the world has been covered in a 100-year winter or the snow has just started to fall, inciting an anticipated panic, Winter’s Vindication is at hand.”

You can get the full details here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: 5,000 to 9,000 words
  • Pay: $10

Red Cape Publishing: A-Z of Horror – H is for Hell

They are (and will be) reading for horror fiction anthologies. Until mid-November, they’re reading on the H is for Hell theme – “experiences of Hell, whether that be a literal interpretation of fire and brimstone or a hellish situation.”

They have other themes listed, which will start accepting submissions later (do not submit now), including the Internet, Jack-o’-Lantern, Kidnap, Lycanthropes, and Medical. So be sure to keep checking their website for the new reading period dates.

You can get the full details here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020, for the H is for Hell theme
  • Length: 4,000 to 8,000 words
  • Pay: £10

The Pinch: GLISH – Variety English Poetry Project

They want poetry written in or regarding variety Englishes. Poems in Singlish, Konglish, Spanglish, AAVE, and other English-associated linguistic forms will be considered for publication. Poets may be asked to contribute supplementary linguistic information to facilitate publication. 

To find out more, click here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: Up to three poems
  • Pay: $150

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review: Spring

They publish themed poetry and visual art (cover art, but not inside art, must contain a seagull or seagulls). Poetry can be of any length and genre congruent with their themes, including traditional poems, form poems, prose poems, and narrative poems.

You can view their full submission guidelines here.

  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • Length: Up to three poems
  • Pay: $5 for poetry and inside art, $10 for cover art

Claw & Blossom Winter Solstice issue: Other

This is a quarterly online journal of short prose and poems that touch upon the natural world. The journal is reading work for their Winter Solstice issue, and the theme is Other.

The work must contain elements of the natural world – this needn’t be the main focus, but it should have a distinct and relevant narrative presence. For poetry, they are partial to free verse and aren’t keen on traditional forms.

Click here to find out more and to submit.

  • Deadline: November 28, 2020
  • Length: Up to 1,000 words for prose, one poem
  • Pay: $25

Injustice Watch Poem of the Week

Injustice Watch is a “non-partisan, not-for-profit journalism organization that conducts in-depth research exposing institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality.” They want poetry from 20 artists to publish on their site and newsletter.

The journal will choose one poem to be featured each week for 20 weeks. They are looking for poetry inspired by their reporting – the poem must relate to an Injustice Watch article. Poets must identify the post that inspired their work.

You can find the full submission details here in this Google form.

  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Length: Unspecified
  • Pay: $200

The Were-Traveler: Women Destroy (Retro) Science Fiction

This is a call for women authors only, including transwomen authors. Their guidelines say:

“What is retro sci-fiction? It’s also known as retro-futurism and described as ‘the future that never was.’ Something like the science fiction stories of the ’40s and ’50s. […]

I want you to imagine a future of women characters that shine and live in a world (that they created or helped to create) filled with impossible wonders.”

They’ll accept reprints for this call. They have other themed calls, too, and will begin accepting submissions for these later. You can find out more about this theme and upcoming themes here.

  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Length: Up to 2,500 words
  • Pay: $10 for flash fiction; $15 for short stories

ProleSCARYet: Tales of Horror and Class Warfare

They want short fiction for an e-book anthology about the horrors of capitalism. Their guidelines say:

“We want monstrous bosses, jobs from literal Hell, working class folks fighting back against great cosmic evils, and any other wild idea you can come up with. As long as it’s anti-capitalist and horror, it’s good. We also welcome dark weird fiction and horror-adjacent sci-fiction.”

The anthology is open to all writers, but they would especially like submissions from anti-capitalist writers of marginalized groups. Half the proceeds from this anthology will go to Labor Rights, an organization advocating for workers’ rights worldwide. The other half of the proceeds will go toward funding a future anthology project.

To find out more, click here.

  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Length: 1,000 to 4,500 words
  • Pay: $75

Slice: Levity

This literary magazine is reading fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on the ‘Levity’ theme. They look for work that plays off of the theme, especially in unexpected ways.

Click here to get the full submission details.

  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Length: Up to 5,000 words for prose; up to five poems
  • Pay: $400 for fiction and nonfiction; $150 for flash fiction; $100 for poetry

Lagrange Books: Worldbuilding Fantasy Anthology

This is a call for a themed fiction anthology on politics as story conflict. As a significant plot element, stories must include a political battle that makes up a vital worldbuilding piece.

They want fantasy stories, broadly defined. This includes traditional high fantasy, urban fantasy, or any other flavor containing a magical or fantastical element.

You can get the full details here.

  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Length: 3,500 to 7,000 words for short stories; 9,000 to 15,000 words for novellas
  • Pay: $100 for short stories; $200 for novellas

FableCroft: The Art of Being Human

They want fiction work and poetry with speculative elements – science fiction, fantasy, and horror (they don’t want erotica or splatterpunk). Their website says:

“The world in 2020 has been tipped upside down and shaken in ways we could barely have imagined, except perhaps in the post-apocalyptic and dystopic worlds of story.

Amidst pandemic illness and death, political machinations and despair, one of the casualties has been, at least in a financial sense, the Arts. Governments across the world have slashed funding, and galleries, theatres and entertainment venues have closed amid lockdown restrictions. Money is being carefully metered with jobs more uncertain than ever, meaning our creatives across all industries are suffering.

And yet, more than ever, we are turning to art to stay sane in lockdown, to keep our spirits up in isolation, and to remind us that despite the hardship, there is beauty in this world.”

Click here to get the full details.

  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Length: 2,000 to 20,000 words
  • Pay: AU$100 for stories up to 10,000 works; pay negotiated for longer stories and poems.

Prairie Fire: For the Love of Animals

This Canadian magazine is accepting fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry on the ‘For the Love of Animals’ theme for their Spring issue. Their guidelines say:

“Maybe more than ever, especially since the pandemic uprooted our normal lives, people have been turning to animals for comfort and joy as a way to reduce the anxiety many of us are feeling from isolation and disconnection. In North America, fostering and adoptions have risen dramatically over the past eight months, as people discover or re-discover the unconditional love gained from our relationships with animals.

At the same time, we’re taking greater refuge and solace in nature, where we might observe the flight of birds, or notice animals we’ve never seen before, in places we’ve never seen them before. Social media outlets saw a surge in photos and videos of animals re-wilding urban spaces. In times of crisis, we’re finding these images grounding, visions of hope. Whether domestic, or wild, animals have often been our saving grace, and we’d like to recognize their tremendous value and contribution.”

You can find out more about the theme here and Prairie Fire’s pay rates here.

  • Deadline: December 4, 2020
  • Length: Up to 5,000 words for fiction and creative nonfiction; up to three poems
  • Pay: C$0.10 per word, up to C$250 for prose, C$40 for poetry

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Multiple Themes

Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for true stories and poems written by authors under the age of 35. They want submissions for the 20th-anniversary editions of Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul and Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.

Some suggested themes for these anthologies include:

  • Dealing with the pandemic – how COVID changed your life;
  • Zoom schooling or homeschooling;
  • Dealing with tough stuff – being teased or bullied or confronting the bully;
  • Acts of kindness; Embarrassing moments and funny stories; Sibling relationships;
  • Learning to be comfortable in your own skin;
  • Divorce and remarriage – blended families and fitting in;
  • Being an immigrant;
  • Having a disability or being different.

They also have other themes listed, with later deadlines. These themes include Angels, Cats, Christmas Stories, Counting Your Blessings, Eldercare, and Tough Times.

You can find out more about the themes and book topics here, their submission guidelines here, and the submission portal here.

  • Deadlines: December 15, 2020, for the Preteen and Teenage anthologies; later for others
  • Length: Up to 1,200 words
  • Pay: $200

Dead Fish Books: Universe of Attractions

They want fantasy, science fiction, and speculative stories featuring a cross-species romance. Their guidelines say:

“Elves may be the champions of interspecies romance, but what about the others? What are some mythological races that usually are passed by? How do Venusians show their love? Do Alpha Centaurians get starstruck? Romance must be an essential part of the story, not just sprinkled on top, and the romance must contribute to character development.”

The pairings can be of any orientation. To find out more, click here.

  • Deadline: December 31, 2020
  • Length: 2,000 to 7,500 words
  • Pay: $5 and royalties

Planet Scumm: Snake Eyes

For this submission call, they want stories only by cisgender women, transgender women, transgender men, non-binary people, and genderqueer people. The anthology theme is ‘Snake Eyes.’ They want hard sci-fiction, soft sci-fiction, speculative fiction, weird fiction, and slipstream.

You can get the full details here.

  • Deadline: January 10, 2020
  • Length: 2,000 to 6,000 words (one story or a collection of flash stories)
  • Pay: $0.02 per word

Themed Contests for November 2020

Six themed contests are looking for writing in November 2020. They want fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, so there’s a bit for everyone here.

As always, please thoroughly read their submission guidelines before sending your work into these contests. It does make a difference between you getting published or not.

The Society of Classical Poets Ekphrastic Contest

They want poetry based on a photograph of Chateau Boswell, a winery, vineyard, and tasting room located in California. (The photo has been posted on their website.)

Each entrant may submit up to two poems of any length. Entries are expected to be classical in style, meaning that they must have a regular meter. Rhyming and other traditional techniques are good as well.

Please read the guidelines carefully – poets are to paste their poems in the ‘comments’ section of the guidelines page. For more information, please click here.

  • Value: $100
  • Deadline: November 8, 2020
  • Open for: All poets

One Teen Story Contest

This short story contest is for writers aged 13 to 19 about the teenage experience. They are looking for writing on issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming of age. Stories should be 2,000 to 4,500 words and can be in any genre. They also accept translations (see FAQ).

You can check out their submission guidelines here.

Value: $500 each for three writers
Deadline: November 20, 2020
Open for: Writers ages 13 to 19

Dappled Things: The J. F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction

Dappled Things is a space for emerging writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. For this contest, they want stories of up to 8,000 words “with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.” 

For more details, click here.

  • Value: $500, $250
  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Open for: All writers

Better Than Starbucks Sonnet Contest

This contest accepts metrical sonnets. Their guidelines say:

“Your sonnet can be Shakespearean, Petrarchan, Spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. We’ll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Some metrical variation is fine, but don’t forget the volta!”

They accept previously published work, as long as the poet holds the rights (see guidelines). Poets can submit up to two sonnets. The first prize is higher this year because of a donation. For more details, click here.

  • Value: $350, $100, $50
  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Open for: All poets

Black Hare Press: Dialogue Only Contest

This is an Australian press, and their tagline is “dark tales for dark hearts.” They want a short story of up to 5,000 words, written entirely in dialogue form.

Their guidelines say:

“A story told in dialogue only. At least one character must be from a speculative fiction world (alien, superhero, werewolf, zombie, vampire, faerie, etc.). A good example of this is The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy.”

They plan to publish these stories as single-author publications. They also have other themed calls for Dark Moments, their online publication – see this page. You can access their submission guidelines here.

  • Value: AU$100, AU$50, AU$10
  • Deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Open for: All writers

Washington College: Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship

This is a full-time residential writing fellowship for writing on American history and culture. Applicants should have a book currently in progress.

Their guidelines say:

“The project should address the history and/or legacy – broadly defined – of the American Revolution and the nation’s founding ideas. It might focus on the founding era itself, or on the myriad ways the questions that preoccupied the nation’s founders have shaped America’s later history. Work that contributes to ongoing national conversations about America’s past and present, with the potential to reach a wide public, is particularly sought.”

You can get the full details here.

  • Value: $45,000, other allowances, residency
  • Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • Open for: Published writers

Good luck to all of you who choose to submit. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

And if your work is accepted at any of these themed submissions for November 2020, please let me know! I’d love to read your work and pass it along to a friend.

Want more publishing opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Then please consider signing up for my weekly newsletter!

Stay safe, everyone.

Until next time.



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Danielle Adams

Danielle Adams

Danielle Adams is a writer and editor for a local marketing agency. She has formerly worked as a writer for the Investing News Network and as an editor for Whetstone, a bi-annually published literary magazine. Aside from writing, Danielle has an unabiding love for all marine life and the outdoors. She loves taking long hikes with her husband and cooking delicious meals in the kitchen.


4 Responses

  1. Re: Lagrange Books: Worldbuilding Fantasy Anthology
    Please remind me, what is “urban fantasy”.
    Is it a form of fiction that follows the mundane, physical realworld that we live in, or is it like a kid in the ‘burbs finding a wizard suddenly crash-materialized in her backyard?

      1. And then you’ve got stories like, “If you’re studying for your college entrance exams, and you use the north basement of the old library to study, then you’ll pass easily. But then an extra shadow will follow you home.”

        That’s urban legend.
        😄 That’s fun 😄

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