One of the tools I've used sometimes to help myself get started on writing is writing towards prompts or themes for upcoming publications, either anthologies or themed issues of periodicals. Below you will find information about three such calls for submissions.
Actually, four, since before I get to the other submission calls, I'd like to remind my readers that I am currently guest-editing the Kazka
Press flash fiction contest for this month on
the theme of "Love Beyond Death". Stories need to be submitted by September 20th and Kazka will be paying a flat rate of $10 for stories of 713-1,000 words.
Penumbra has opened submissions for their January 2013 issue, a tribute to Ray Bradbury. They specifically say that they are not looking for "fan fiction" but rather for stories in a similar style or dealing with similar themes. This submission call runs through November 30th, 2012. They pay 5 cents per word for stories of 500-3,500 words.
Tin House is currently reading for their Spring 2013 issue, with the theme "This Means War." About the theme, they said: "We’re looking for the grey, the messy, the not-so-easily classified.
We’re not just looking for work about armed conflict, but domestic,
political, ecological, religious, and moral battles." They are looking for essays or stories of up to 10,000 words or poems (submit up to five). Submissions for this theme are open through October 31st, 2012. Pay rates are not stated in an obvious place on their website, but Duotrope does list them as having professional pay rates for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
Finally, Crab Orchard Review is looking for poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction relating to the portion of the United States (generally speaking) East of the West Coast states and West of the Mississippi. (That's not wholly accurate, so please take a look at the specific regions they are including.) They describe the theme as being "Prairies, Plains, Mountains, Desert." They do not take email submissions; submissions must be postmarked by November 3rd, 2012. Creative non-fiction and fiction should be 25 pages or fewer, novel excerpts are allowable, and up to six poems may be submitted at once. Payment is $25 per printed page in the magazine with a minimum of $50 for poetry and $100 for prose plus two copies of the issue.
As always, please make sure to read the
linked guidelines pages closely to ensure that you understand details
of the submission guidelines, terms, payment information, etc.
Stop back on the second Wednesday of October for more Upcoming Deadlines!