Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities – October 2021

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness arrived overnight, here in Ireland, bringing torrential rain and a dawn like melted butter. I love this time of year. And with the Autumn comes over 140 poetry competitions, writing submissions and opportunities open or with deadlines in October 2021.

These are the days that lead to Samhain – the ancient Celtic festival marking Summer’s End – a time of celebration and remembrance, when spirits could cross from the Otherworld into the human realm for a single day. Spellbound, a new 30-day writing challenge exploring the myths, legends, superstitions and folklore of Samhain and Halloween kicks off today and if that sounds like a spookily good time come join us!

There are still spots available on the Email Only version (Facebook group is fully booked), if you fancy a creative boost or a DIY writing retreat as the winter evenings draw in. All the booking details are at the link below but be quick – the first prompt goes out tonight and the challenge doors close end of day tomorrow (2 October).

Whatever you are up to in October – writing, editing, submitting – I wish you every luck and success! If you appreciate the monthly list and would like to support it, please consider making a small donation via the Paypal donation button (right) and/or share this post on your own blog or social media pages. Thank you!


OCTOber 2021

14 Poems – Queer Poetry – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

Manchester Irish Language Writing Competition – Poetry, Prose, theme: Celebration – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

Passengers Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Art – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

Skylight47 – Poetry, Artwork – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

The Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – closes 1 Oct (submit online)

The Emma Press – Pamphlets – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Children’s Poetry & Fiction – closes 3 Oct (submit online)

The Honest Ulsterman – Poetry, Prose, Critical Writing – closes 3 Oct (submit online)

The Liminal Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – closes 3 Oct (submit online)

Jerwood Arts 1:1 Fund – Collaboration – literature, music, performing, visual, contemporary arts (early career) – closes 4 Oct (submit online)

The Aryamati Poetry Prize – Poetry pamphlets (20-30 pages) – closes 5 Oct (submit online)

Millay Arts Core Residency – All disciplines – closes 8 Oct (submit online)

Abridged 0-80: Dominion – Poetry, theme: Dominion – Sovereignty, Ownership, Environment – closes 10 Oct (submit online)

Cynfas: Issue 7 – Any media suitable for a website – Words, Visuals, Sound, Music etc., theme: Power, Money, Visual Culture (Wales only) – closes 11 Oct (submit online)

The Waltham Forest Poetry Competition – Poetry pamphlets – closes 11 Oct (submit online)

Art Omi Writers’ Residency – All genres – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Cheat River Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Visual Art – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Okay Donkey – Poetry, Flash – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Phoebe Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Visual Art – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

Visual Verse – Poetry, Flash, Non-Fiction – closes 15 Oct (submit online)

The Prole Pamphlet Competition – Poetry pamphlet (20-40 pages) – closes 17 Oct (submit online)

Palette Poetry: Love & Eros Prize – Poetry – closes 18 Oct (submit online)

Templar Pocket Pamphlet Awards – Poetry pamphlet – short poems (max 25 lines each, 20-24 pages) – closes 18 Oct (submit online)

The John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize – Poetry collection (first book, 48+ pages) – closes 18 Oct (submit online)

Lemon Peel Press – Poetry, Fiction, Essay, theme: Disgust – closes 20 Oct (submit online)

Maytree Press – Poetry pamphlet (20-25 pages) – closes 24 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence (Irish Language) – Dublin City University – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence – Dublin City University – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence – NUI Galway – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence – University College Cork – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence – University College Dublin – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer in Residence – NUI Maynooth – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

Writer’s Fellowship – Trinity College Dublin – All literary genres – closes 28 Oct (submit online)

David Whyte Poet in Residence Award – Poetry (living and working in Ireland only) – closes 29 Oct (submit online)

F(r)iction Fall Contests – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – closes 29 Oct (submit online)

Icarus Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Photograph, Artwork (students, staff and alumni of TCD) – closes 29 Oct (submit online)

New Writing Scotland – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir and more – closes 30 Oct (submit online)

Anthology Poetry Award – Poetry, theme: Freedom (max. 40 lines) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Bad Lilies – Poetry (esp. underrepresented voices) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Banshee Lit – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Essay – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Bath Magg – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award – Poetry manuscript (unpublished, 48-96 pages) – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Cannon Poets Sonnet or Not Poetry Prize – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Fawn Press Anthology – Poetry, theme: Elements: The Natural & Supernatural – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

National Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Nine Arches Press – Poetry collection manuscript (20 page sample) – closes 7 Nov (submit online)

Parkinson’s Art Poet of the Year – Poetry, theme: Empowerment – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition – Poetry – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Split Lip – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir, Artwork – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Bedford Writing Competitions – Poetry, Fiction – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

The Frogmore Papers – Poetry, Fiction – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Wasifiri – Poetry, Fiction, Life Writing – closes 31 Oct (submit online)

Ninth Letter (Web Edition) – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, theme: Return – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

The Columbia Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-fiction, Art – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

The Poetry Society Members’ Competition – Poetry, theme: Survival & Extinction – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

The Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize – Poetry manuscript (rec. 20-36 pages) – closes 1 Nov (submit online)

Tiny Seed Literary Journal – Poetry, Flash, Photography, theme: Apaja’simk – To Return – closes 1 Nov (submit online)


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH RECURRING DEADLINES

Ó Bhéal Five Words – Poetry – deadline each week, annual prize (submit online)


JOURNALS / OPPORTUNITIES WITH OPEN SUBMISSION PERIODS IN OCTOber 2021

Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award – Poetry (unpublished poets only) – closes 5 Nov (submit online)

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award – Poetry – closes 5 Nov (submit by post)

The Interpreter’s House – Poetry, Fiction – closes 14 Nov (submit by post)

Broken Sleep Books – Poetry pamphlet (up to 40 pages) – closes 30 Nov (submit by post)

Acumen – Poetry – open (submit online)

Agenda – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – open (submit online)

Ambit – Poetry, Fiction, Art – open (submit online)

A New Ulster – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

Anthropocene – Poetry – open (submit online)

Apartment Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Atrium – Poetry – open (submit online)

Bear Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Artwork – open (submit online)

Bending Genres – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – open (submit online)

Brittle Star – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

Carve Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

Cheat River Review – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

Dreich Mag – Poetry – open (submit online)

Driftwood Press – Poetry, Fiction, Literary Criticism – open (submit online)

Dust Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Empty Mirror – Poetry, Non-fiction, Visual Art (committed to diversity & inclusion) – open (submit online)

Fecund Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Essay & more (POC only) – open (submit online)

FIVE:2:ONE – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Artwork by underrepresented writers (POC, LGTBQ, non-binary, neurodivergent, trauma survivors etc.) – open (submit online)

Frontier Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Fruit Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Hybrid (LGBTQI+, with emphasis on unheard voices – POC, trans, working class) – open (submit online)

Guernica – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Photo Essays – open (submit by post)

Hosking Houses Trust Residencies – Women writers over 40 (all genres – must have contract to publish / broadcast / perform) – open (submit online)

Idler – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

Ink Sweat & Tears – Poetry – open (submit online)

Irish Literary Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

Lighthouse Literary Journal – Poetry & Short Fiction – open (submit online)

LitMag – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

Lunate – Poetry, Fiction, Flash – open (submit online)

Marble – Poetry – open (submit online)

New Contrast – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

Omelette Literary Magazine – Poetry, Visual Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction & more – open (submit online)

One – Poetry, a single poem – open (submit online)

Orbis – Poetry – open (submit by post (UK) or online (overseas only))

PANK – Poetry – open (submit online)

Palette Poetry – Poetry (under-represented and marginalized voices of all colors encouraged to submit) – open (submit online)

Peepal Tree Press – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction manuscripts from Black & Caribbean writers – open (submit online)

Pigeon Pages – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction – open (submit online)

POETRY Magazine – Poetry (submit online)

Poetry Ireland Review – Poetry – open (submit by post)

Poetry London – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Poetry Salzburg – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Poetry Wales – Poetry – open (submit by post or online)

Porridge Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art – open (submit online)

PN Review – Poetry, Essays, Reviews – open (submit by post)

Prole – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-fiction – open (submit online)

Riggwelter – Poetry, Short Fiction, Visual Art – open (submit online)

Shakespeare & Co Tumbleweeds Residency – all writers – open (submit online)

Sine Theta Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Art (Sino diaspora only. People of Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, or Macau heritage, who live anywhere away from the original ‘homeland’ of that heritage – rolling deadlines, email to express interest (submit online)

South Bank Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

Spry Literary Journal – Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

Squawk Back – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Reviews, Plays – open (submit online)

Stand Magazine – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

Stepaway Magazine – Poetry, Flash Fiction, theme: walking in the city – open (submit online)

Tears in the Fence – Poetry – open (submit online)

The American Journal of Poetry – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Aurora Review – Poetry (quick turnaround / feedback) – open (submit online)

The Brooklyn Quarterly – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translation, Humour – open (submit online)

The Cardiff Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Flash (preference given to students and unpublished graduates of Creative Writing, English Literature & Journalism) – open (submit online)

The Compass Magazine – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Curly Mind – Poetry, theme: experimental – open (submit online)

The Dark Horse – Poetry – open (submit by post)

The Ellis Review – Poetry, published weekly – open (submit online)

The Galway Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Reviews, Plays – open (submit online)

The Lake – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Lascaux Review – Poetry, Fiction, Essays – open (submit online)

The Lincoln Review – Poetry, Flash, Creative Non-fiction, Essays and more (actively encourages writers, artists, and photographers who come from marginalised and underprivileged backgrounds) – open (submit online)

The London Magazine – Poetry, Non-Fiction, Art – open (submit online)

The Missouri Review – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

The Moth – Poetry, Fiction – open (submit online)

The Offing – Poetry, Translation, Art and more – open (submit online)

The Ofi Press Magazine – Poetry & Short Fiction – open (submit online)

The Poetry Village – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Poetry Review – Poetry – open (submit online)

The Sea Letter – Poetry, Fiction, Artwork – open (submit online)

The Seventh Quarry – Short Poetry – open (submit online)

The Southeast Review – Poetry, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Reviews, Artwork – open (submit online)

The Sun Magazine – Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Interviews – open (submit online)

The Times Literary Supplement – Poetry (submit by post)

Three Drops From a Cauldron – Poetry, Flash, theme: Myth, Folklore, Fables, Fairytales – on hiatus until 2021 (submit online)

Tinderbox Poetry Journal – Poetry – open (submit online)

Wildness – Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction – open (submit online)

Best of luck!


If you have a competition or journal with a deadline in October 2021, and it is not included above, feel free to add the details with a link in the comments section below!


(Illustration by Nicole Ray via Etsy)

JOIN SPELLBOUND: 30 DAYS OF SAMHAIN WRITING CHALLENGE FOR OCTOBER 2021

As we look forward to crisp days of Autumn, the 30-Day Writing Challenge returns with all the inspiration you need to spark your imagination and write every day in October – plus a few extras tricks and treats!

October is when we take stock of the year before the onset of winter. It is also the time of Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival marking Summer’s End – a time of celebration and remembrance, when spirits cross from the Otherworld into the human realm for a single day.

In Christian times, it became All Hallow’s Eve, then Halloween, and many of our modern customs still have their roots in the old ways.

For this challenge, we are taking inspiration from all things natural and supernatural – witches and woodland, fairy folk and fantastic creatures, moonlight, magic and things that go bump in the night… 

Join me for the month of October to explore the myths, legends, superstitions and folklore of Samhain and Halloween!

In addition to writing prompts, we’ll have a few surprise activities to help us flex our creative muscles in new directions.

If you haven’t taken part before, the 30-Day Challenge is the perfect remedy for an uncertain world, with bite-sized daily exercises, inspiration, opportunity to explore, and a supportive and encouraging community of writers in the private Facebook group.

Whether you’re looking for focus, connection or a creative kick-start, the challenge offers a reprieve from the everyday anxieties – plus all the tools you’ll need to build a daily writing habit.

As before, I’m offering an email only version of the challenge for those who want to avoid social media and the internet right now, and have also introduced a tiered pricing system.

All the information is on the website – just click the button below for details – and if you have any questions, please drop
me a line.

For those of you using this time to send your work out, there are still plenty of opportunities available in the September Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities list!

I completely understand that this might not be the right timing for you to take part in a challenge and that’s OK.

Nurture your creative self in any way you can – DO WHAT YOU LOVE – play, read, make art, make something with your hands, knit, sew, mend, grow seeds, bring something new into the world this Autumn.

Image by Mike Kenneally for Unsplash (edited)