Opportunities: June 2020

A curated roundup for June 2020 of submission opportunities for short stories, poetry, and non-fiction writing.

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It’s June. Can you believe it? We are half way through the year already and I feel like we haven’t quite got going with 2020 yet. Still things appear to be improving, the weather definitely is, and sunburn has been an issue for this red head a couple of times already. We are now allowed out to exercise more and some of us are even back to work.

Things are beginning to look up and with that I have found that my writing is becoming a lot less dark and disturbing (even to my mind). Hopefully, by the time that I write this next month, life will feel less daunting and a whole lot more positive. I think the main thing that I have learned through this is that if my mum can be taught to Skype then anything is possible. Okay, I have spoken to an image of her ear a few times but we have got there now. Keeping in touch with friends and family feels even more important now than it ever did.

As you know Thanet Writers run a number of groups: Thanet Writers Critique group, Writers Gremlins, Julie’s Journaling and Dead Hoarse Writers. However, due to the lockdown these are not able to meet at this time, but fear not, you can still get help and advice from your friendly writers group. The website publishes an article every day including essays, short stories, interviews with authors, investigations and so much more. If you only read these articles online and haven’t visited the site then have a look you might be surprised at how much information there is at your fingertips. If you can’t find what you need then let us know and we will point you in the right direction.

Of course, in order to publish something every day we need the material to do so. That is where you, and your newly acquired spare time, come in:

Thanet Writers pay to publish and are open for submissions of short stories, poetry, essays, and book reviews. There is no charge for submissions, previously published items are accepted, and to make it even more tempting, you will be paid £10 for any piece that is accepted. At this current time we need more short stories than ever to keep everyone amused so keep them coming in!

You can submit here.

Short Stories

Are you one of those lucky people that have managed to write lots of short stories during the lockdown? If so then here are two places that you may wish to send them.

The first is the well-known magazine The People’s Friend. They have readers of both genders however the audience is predominantly female between the ages of 30 and 80+ so keep that in mind when submitting.

They are looking for stories that are 1200, 2000 or 3000 words in length that are entertaining and not depressing. They do not want any sex, violence, drink, drugs or anything that will make the readers sad or scared. Although some of the audience may be older they still enjoy stories of all age groups and ask that you do not fall into the trap of only writing about people who have retired.

Stories should be typed on one side of A4 paper only with each page numbered. You should use double spacing and double quotation marks throughout. They do not want paragraph indents or formatting.

Please include a cover sheet showing title, word count, author’s name (or pen name), address and email. Pages should be paper-clipped together rather than stapled and in an A4 envelope to avoid folding the manuscript.

Pay is £80 per story upon acceptance. I would recommend that you read their full guidelines plus a copy of the magazine prior to sending to get a ‘feel’ for what they are looking for.

For further information go to: The People’s Friend.

To submit, send your manuscript to:

The Fiction Editor
The Fiction Team
The People’s Friend
DC. Thomson & Co Ltd
2 Albert Square
Dundee. DD1 9QJ

If your writing leans towards the darker side and The People’s Friend is not a good home for your work then take a look at this next opportunity.

The Dark City Magazine is open year round for submissions of stories between 1000 and 7500 words. They say:

“The Dark City is dedicated to the love of story, and in particular, the rough and tumble of the world of crime and violence. We are fans of story that has roots in reality but we do consider humorous situations and characters to be part of reality. We hope to acquire stories that leave readers thinking about the characters and their dilemma.”

They do not have a lot of guidelines for you to follow, but just request that work should be previously unpublished. They do not accept simultaneous submissions.

Published stories will receive $25 and appear in an online version of the magazine, archive editions and a limited number of print copies. Some stories will be collated into an anthology and payment will be issued separately for these.

Stories should be in plain text in the body of an email with the subject line of ‘Story Submission’ and sent to: editor@thedarkcitymysterymagazine.com

For further information or to read some archived stories go to: The Dark City Magazine.


If you are a poet that has found inspiration during the Covid crisis and would like to help out a charity then look no further.

Freelance editor and publisher Jan Moran Neil is inviting submissions for a new anthology entitled ‘When This Is All Over’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care. This is a charity that supplies specialist nursing care for adults and children with life limiting illnesses.

She would like you to send her poems up to 200 words in any style. She wants to hear your “thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time, what is happening in your world and what is happening in the world out there.”

All submissions are free and open to any age whether you are 9 or 90. Include one line saying who you are and where you come from. Multiple submissions are welcomed. The provisional closing date is 30th September.

For further information go to: Jan Moran Neil’s website. and you can email your work to info@janmoranneil.co.uk.

The second poetry opportunity is in the form of a competition.

Penfro Poetry Competition 2020 is linking up with the ‘Loving the Earth Green Fair’ in Pembrokeshire and so the theme is roughly ‘green’. They say:

“Can you write poetry that digs deep into the eco-system and asks challenging questions, as well as being beautiful and full of subtle music? Can your poetry sow the seeds of ideas?”

Poems should be a maximum of 40 lines, typed with the title of the poem at the top of the page. The competition is marked blind so please do not include your name on the poem. Poems should be your own work and previously unpublished.

There is a £5 per poem entry fee and you can enter up to 6 in either a Word document or PDF. There is a maximum size of 10MB.

The first prize is £300 and there is £100 for second. Winners will be announced at the festival on 29th and 30th August and the closing date for entries is 1st July 2020.

For more information or to enter go to: their website.


Have you taken the opportunity during lockdown to transform your garden into a vibrant, sweet smelling haven full of thriving strawberry plants and delicate peas winding their way towards the heavens? If so then you could earn money for your story from Kitchen Garden Magazine.

Winner of the 2018 Britain’s Best Magazine at the Garden Media Guild Awards it caters for gardeners of all levels. They like articles that provide practical advice across the spectrum from how to build your own kitchen garden on a windowsill or tiny patio up to massive marrows at the allotment. Let your imagination run as wild as the weeds.

Feature articles are between 800 and 1000 words and the editor Steve Ott is happy to hear from prospective writers with a breakdown of ideas for a complete article along with photos to support the package. Payment will vary on the article.

To have a look at the magazine go to: The Kitchen Garden. or to pitch an idea e-mail: sott@mortons.co.uk.


The highlight this month boasts a first prize of £10,000 cash. The Manchester Fiction Prize 2020 is now open for submissions until 5pm on 18th September.

They want short stories up to 2500 word with no minimum limit. Other than stipulating that work must be typed all other formatting decisions are left to the author’s discretion.

There are no rules or guidelines relating to style/form/topic/genre or target audience except that they do not accept plays.

The competition is open internationally to new and established writers over the age of 16. Work must be your own and not previously published in print. Stories that have been featured on public websites, blogs and social media sites can be submitted providing that they are taken down by the day you enter and not uploaded again until after 28th February 2021.

There is an entry fee of £18 and you can submit as many stories as you like but each story must be on a separate form and will have a separate fee. As this is a competition please ensure that you do not have any identifying features anywhere other than on the entry form.

Please note that there is also a separate competition for poetry that can be found on the same link.

For further details or to enter go to: their website.

Good luck for any of these opportunities that you may follow. Until next month stay safe and well, keep writing and remember that although you may be isolating you are not isolated: keep in touch.

Having always been an avid reader, Zoe now writes fiction and poetry to relax and escape into her own reality for a while.

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