October is here, which means a number of your favorite lit mags have opened submissions for the spooky, the strange, and the downright pumpkin-spiced. Have a look at this month’s most unusual calls for submissions.
1. The Pinch “Feast or Famine” Audio Contest (prose, deadline unspecified): “For this contest, we are looking for audio prose pieces that are either fiction or creative nonfiction, and that somehow work with the theme of feast and/or famine. Pieces should be read and should not be longer than four minutes. The winner will receive a year’s subscription, three back issues of his or her choosing, and be immortalized on the Internets forever.”
2. 7×20 “Halloween Week” (fiction & poetry, deadline unspecified): “Fiction and poetry which fits in a tweet (140 characters or fewer). Literary and speculative work. We like haiku and get plenty of it. We like and don’t get enough American sentences, cinquains, gogyohka, senryu or prose poems. We also don’t get enough fiction.”
3. Masters Review “October Scarefest” (fiction, deadline October 15, $13 entry fee): “To put it simply, creep us out. Make our palms sweat. Scare us with the unsettling, the horrible, the surprising, and the terrible. Make the hair on the back of our necks stand up. We want to think twice before turning out the lights.”
4. Saraba “Survival” issue (all genres, deadline October 23): “A word from the 1590s, ‘survival’ implies the ‘act of surviving,’ of ‘continuation after some event.’ To ‘survive”’suggests to outlive, and to continue in existence after the death of another. From Latin supervivere, ‘live beyond, live longer than’; from super ‘over, beyond’ + vivere ‘to live.’ We expect submissions that respond to the possibilities of living beyond, in spite of, within.”
5. Bartleby Snopes “Everything October” issue (fiction, October 25): “We mean if it relates to October (Fall, October, Walpurgisnacht, Halloween), then we want to read it.”
6. The Golden Key “Things That Float” issue (fiction & poetry, deadline October 31): “We want things that are buoyant, things that are unmoored and drifting, things that rise up into the ether when their strings are cut. We want hot air balloons blown off course and helium balloons clutched tightly in hand. We want swimming lessons and messages in bottles. We want zero-g. Take us to Aoelia, Laputa, Perelandra. Give us sailing ships and airships and space ships. Make us feel weightless. Build castles in the air, leave us with the bends.”
7. Unlikely Story “The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia” (flash, deadline November 1): “Officially, Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns, but we don’t want to just just get rehashes of It. So the issue is open to anything involving clowns in some significant way. Think Stephen King’s Pennywise and Danny Kaye’s Jacamo in The Court Jester, think Sacred Clowns and Holy Fools. Horror, humor, existential angst, and tears of, we’re open to all that and more, in any combination. Heck, why not see how many different genres you can fit into a piece of flash fiction?”