The A3 Review's themed monthly contest is brought to you by the folks who make Writing Maps. We believe in words and images, and love a combination of the two. We're looking for prose, poetry, graphic stories, photography, paintings, drawings, and other visual and word-based creations and various combinations of the above.

The two winning entries each month are published in The A3 Review, a fold-out literary and art magazine that comes out every six months. The current issue is Issue 6 (The Orange Issue), which came out in April 2017.

Issue 7 (The Silver Issue): Edited by KM Elkes and Shaun Levin. The two winning entries from each month, March till August 2017, will make up the list of contributors to Issue 7. From this list, three overall winning entries will be chosen in August 2017. These three ultimate winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £150, 2nd = £75, 3rd = £50 (approx $190, $95, $65). Issue 7 will be published in early October 2017. 

Issue 8 (The Gold Issue): Edited by KM Elkes and Shaun Levin. The two winning entries from each month, September 2017 till February 2018, will make up the list of contributors to Issue 6. From this list, three overall winning entries will be chosen in February 2018. These three ultimate winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £175, 2nd = £100, 3rd = £75 (approx $220, $130, $95). Issue 8 will appear in early April 2018.

Writing: No more than 150 words (title not included).

Art:
Must fit into an A6 panel. That's about 4 x 6 inches or 10 x 15cm. Send as low-res in the first instance. If your work is accepted, we'll ask for a hi-res image.

There is a small fee of $5 (approx £3.50) per entry to help us cover admin and printing costs and to make sure we can keep offering cash prizes.

Follow us on Twitter for conversation, updates and inspiration. Sign up to The A3 Review newsletter here.

These are The Rules:

1. Entry fee is $5 (approx £3.50) per submission. Multiple submissions are welcome.

2. Enter online through Submittable.

3. Each contest closes on the 4th Saturday of the month.

4. Any entries submitted after the deadline will not be eligible.

5. The A3 Review's Monthly Contest is open to all writers and artists over 16.

6. We encourage prose, poems, prose poems, graphic stories, hybrid forms, photography, illustration, painting.

7. Maximum number of words is 150.

8. Artwork, graphic and comics stories must fit into an A6 panel.

9. Two winning entries from each month with appear in The A3 Review to be published every 6 months. From this shortlist of winners, 3 will be chosen to win cash prizes: 1st = £150, 2nd = £75, 3rd = £50 (approx: 1st = US$190, 2nd = US$95, 3rd = US$65). Starting from Contest #43, cash prizes will increase by £25.

10. Entries must be available for The A3 Review, and must not have been previously published.

11. The judges' verdict is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

12. Entries cannot be altered or substituted once they have been submitted.

13. Judging is anonymous.

14. Name and contact details must not appear on the entries.

15. Submission of entry is taken to be an unqualified acceptance of these rules.

Ends in 4 days, 11 hours $5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's August Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Silver Things. Make a list of silver things. Write about that samovar that's been in the family for generations. Clouds with silver linings. Literally. Bring a bit of sparkle into your stories and poems. Disco balls and glitter. And those silver foxes? Who loves them? Write the story of a day in the life of a silver surfer. Write about your favourite stars of the silver screen. An ode to Joan Crawford. Or Gary Cooper.

We'd particularly like to include black and white photographs in this issue. Send us your best. We'd love to see them. 

And because of the limits of CMYK and our budget, we'll probably have to settle for the grey that looks like silver! So write about grey, too. Going grey and grey areas. Greyhounds and grey squirrels and koala bears. And pigeons ("on the grass alas"). Write a piece and call it "My First Grey Hair." Write about your gran, the one who is anything but grey. Draw grey. Describe grey. Write 150 words on grey. Write about people in grey suits, take pictures of people in grey suits.

Grey, psychologically speaking, is the colour of compromise. Write about a time you had to back down from an either/or position. Write about a character who sits on the fence, who remains neutral, and how that impacts on their life. Write about a chromophobe who is calmed by grey, who wears only grey. What colour scares them the most?

Start with the words: "Grey is the colour of..."  or "When I think of silver..."

This month's contest is inspired by The Description Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 26 August 2017

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.
All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #7 of The A3 Review. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the March till August contests will receive cash prizes of £150 for 1st; £75 for 2nd; and £50 for 3rd.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.




Ends on September 23, 2017$5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's September Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Naked & Nude. This month we're looking for the naked truth. Stories, poems and artwork about being naked, admiring nudes in art galleries, or renderings of well-known fictional characters in their birthday suits. Think Emma Bovary, or Hamlet, or Mrs Ramsay. Write about locker rooms or changing rooms. Write about being exposed or feeling exposed. Write about voyeurs and exhibitionsts. Write about sculptors and their marble, painters and their life models, Burlesque dancers and their ostrich feathers. Write about posing nude. Write in the buff. Visit an art gallery and write about all the naked bodies in one room. Write erotically or scientifically. Tell us stories about skinny dipping in tropical waters, or diving into a hole in the ice. Reimagine Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. Or use the controversy around full body scanners as a catalyst for creativity. Write about a situation where nudity is used as a protest.  Translate Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 into words.

Some possible starts could be: "Now that she was naked..." or "When we're naked we like to..."

This month's contest is inspired by Writing the Body Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 23 September 2017

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.

All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.

Ends on January 1, 2018$35.00 - 70.00
$35.00 - 70.00
The editors of The A3 Review offer a Critique Service for writers looking for detailed, knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on their work.

We will focus on the strengths of your work, and suggest ways to revisit and improve on the weaker points. We will look particularly, where relevant, at characterisation, dialogue, point of view and voice, structure, and offer ways to pinpoint what the story wants to be, which is sometimes different to what the writer wants the story to be. Through our feedback, we also aim to offer you tools to carry forward into the other stories and essays you are working on.

Critiques are for flash fiction up to 500 words, short prose between 500 and 2,500 words, and longer prose between 2,500 and 5,000. Please contact us if your prose piece is longer than 5,000 words.

An overview of what we offer:
  • 250-word feedback (flash fiction)
  • 500-word feedback (short prose)
  • 750-word feedback (longer prose)
  • a line edit, via Track Changes, of your work
  • suggestions for further reading
  • suggestions of places to submit your work
Before sending us your work, please click here for formatting guidelines.

We are passionate about writing and believe strongly that rewriting and refining a short story is an essential and satisfying part of your growth as a writer. We look forward to being part of the ongoing development of your work.
 
About the Editors:

Shaun Levin, Editor, is the author of Seven Sweet Things, Trees at a Sanatorium, and the short story collections A Year of Two Summers and Snapshots of The Boy. His short stories and essays have been anthologised alongside writers such as Ali Smith, Nadine Gordimer and Edmund White. He has won an Arts Council Writers' Award and the Moment-Karma Short Fiction Prize, judged by Jonathan Safran Foer. Shaun is the founding editor of the literary magazine Chroma, and the creator of Writing Maps. Anthologies he has edited include Things that Have Happened and Writers in the Crowd.

KM Elkes, Guest Editor, has had winning stories in, amongst others, the Bath Short Story Award 2015 and the Labello Press International Short Story Competition 2014. He won the Prolitzer Prize 2014, Brighter Writers Flash Prize 2014, Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize 2013, Words With Jam Prize 2013. His stories have appeared in anthologies including the Fish Prize Anthology, An Earthless Melting Pot 1, 2 & 3, Your Messages, Heat, Conspicuous Accents, Lightship Anthology 3, Words With Jam, Labello Press Gem Street Anthology and Aesthetica Annual Anthology. And in literary magazines such as Structo, Accenti Magazine (Canada), Litro and online at East Of The Web. His fiction has also been used on schools and college curriculum in USA, Canada, Switzerland, UK and China (Hong Kong).

What people say:

"Shaun's biggest gift to me was to teach me never to be satisfied with the mediocre - to dig beneath my words until I found their core beauty or anger or power; in other words to find the truth of what I was trying to say." Rosie Rowell, author of Leopold Blue.

"I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the service, and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for the kind of feedback that is both challenging and supportive. A combination of written critique and detailed edit of my manuscript provided tremendous scope for my learning, and helped identify the most critical areas for focus." Dr Jacqui Scholes-Rhodes.

PLEASE NOTE:
When choosing a payment option, please select from the drop-down menu below. The three payment options correspond to the length of your story.
Ends on October 28, 2017$5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's October Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Betrayal. We're looking for stories, poems and artwork that are political, personal or both. Secret betrayals and double crossings. Write about feeling betrayed by someone's Tinder profile (see also the September theme). Write about betrayal in the family, at work or in the political arena, or the betrayals that effect some or all of these realms. Use the words associated with betrayal as prompts: back-stabbing, double-dealing, disloyalty, treachery and duplicity. 

Tell the story of the first time you betrayed someone, or you were betrayed. Write a poem of rage or forgiveness. Describe how a playground betrayal lingers in an adult character's life. Tell stories of fraud and treason. Or write the story of a character, or someone you know, who chooses not to betray: their lover, their neighbour, their principles. Use classic stories of betrayal as inspiration - Shakespeare loved double-crossers, from Iago in Othello to Brutus in Julius Caesar. And the Bible is full of betrayals, from Delilah to Judas Iscariot.

Possible words to start with are: "Afterwards..." or "Just before..." or "It wasn't the first time that..."

This month's contest is inspired by the Write Through School Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 28 October 2017

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.

All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.


Ends on November 25, 2017$5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's November Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Windows. Write about things glimpsed when passing windows, or a character standing at a window looking out. What did they see in that tower in Henry James' Turn of the Screw. Write about breaking windows and throwing pebbles at a lover's window. Write about glasshouses. Write about a particular type of window, anything from a witch window (google it!) to a bay window. Write about eyes, for they are the window of the soul. Write about a character who loves to window shop, or a day in the life of a window dresser. How much is that doggy in the window? Describe the changes seen from a car window or a train window, told by a character on their way to a wedding or a funeral, or a job interview. Tell the story of a prisoner and their lover separated by a window. Write a poem about the view from a picture window. 

Write about portholes and French windows, jumping in or out of windows, stained glass windows and things a housebound character witnesses through a rear window. Look up the Broken Windows Theory and use that as a starting point for a piece set in a run-down neighbourhood. This is your window of opportunity - don't let it pass you by.

This month's contest is inspired by the Write Around the House Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 25 November 2017

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.

All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.


Ends on December 23, 2017$5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's December Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Gold Things. Write about all that gliters and is gold. From lamé shorts to wedding rings, gold leaf to gold bullion. Tell the story of a heist in 150 words, or write a poem about a heist gone wrong. Or a guide to reaching a golden wedding anniversary. Write about gold diggers and dectorists. Tell the story of a day in the life of a detectorist. Give us a recipe using gold leaf. As a poem. Write about going for gold, and gold medals. Write the story behind the gold medal you won, or almost won, or wish you'd won.

Explore different idioms with "gold" in them: a heart of gold, good as gold, silence is golden. Write about rainbows and what's at the end of them. Do an in-depth critical analysis of Spandau Ballet's "Gold". Or Goldilocks.

Write a non-fiction piece about the brutal reality of gold mines. Tell the story of a person looking back at the golden age of their life, or make it your story. What would you do if you found a gold stash in the apartment you're renting?

Start with the words: "Gold is the colour of..."  or "When I think of gold..."

This month's contest is inspired by The Description Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 23 December 2017

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome. All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.





Ends on January 27, 2018$5.00
$5.00

Welcome to The A3 Review's January Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Losing It. Write about that time you lost it, whether it was your cool or a precious object (see also last month's theme). Write about the things a character does in order not to lose their self control, or the lengths a character goes to to lose weight. What have you done to lose weight? Write about that time you lost yourself in the music. Tell the story of a character, or someone you know, who never loses it.

We'd also love to see images of someone losing it.

Write about the build-up to someone losing it, and end with the words: "...and then she lost it" or "...and then we lost it." This could be duing a job interview, or a wedding speech, or the first time a character has sex.

This month's contest is inspired by The Character Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 27 January 2018

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.
All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.

Welcome to The A3 Review's February Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Brief Encounters & Chance Meetings. Whose that person you wish you'd spoken to at that party? Write about the one-night-stand that changed a character's life, or your own life. Write a poem about a brief encounter in a supermarket in California - is that García Lorca by the watermelons? - or anywhere else in the world.

Write about two characters who meet on holiday or on a retreat and feel they are meant for each other. Find inspiration in Paul Auster's The Red Notebook, and films like Brief Encounter.

Think about secific and dramatic situations such as: What if you met your first love by chance many years later in a casino on an island in the Med? What if a character met their long-lost brother in a coffee shop after a volcano erupts? Be dramatic. Make us believe the nigh-improbable. 

This month's contest is inspired by Write Over the Top Writing Map.

We welcome short stories, flash fiction, poetry, comics, graphic stories, a snippet of memoir, photographs, illustrations, and any combination of the above. The only restriction is a word-limit of 150 and images should fit well into an A6 panel.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 24 February 2018

Please make sure to view our full guidelines here.

Entry fee is $5 (approx £3) per submission. Multiple submissions welcome.
All genres welcome. All writers and artists welcome.

The two winning entries from each month's contest will be published in Issue #8 of The A3 Review in early April 2018. Winners will also receive contributor copies and Writing Maps goodies.

CASH PRIZES: Three overall winners of the September till February contests will receive cash prizes of £175 for 1st; £100 for 2nd; and £75 for 3rd (approx: $220, $130, and $95).

Good luck and we look forward to seeing your work!

PS. The editors of The A3 Review offer feedback on submissions after the deadline date. If you'd like suggestions on ways to strengthen your work, just add the Brief Critique option to your submission fee, and we'll provide you with a line edit of your work, along with a 200-word critique.