The A3 Review is an international magazine that behaves like a map. Its themed monthly contests are 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.

Scroll down to enter upcoming contests. 

We welcome submissions from everywhere in the world.

Each month's two winning entries will appear in The A3 Review, a fold-out literary and art magazine published every six  months. The current issue is Issue 8 (The Gold Issue), which came out in April 2018.

Issue 9 (The Circles Issue): Edited by KM Elkes and Shaun Levin. The two winning entries from each month, March till August 2018,  will make up the list of contributors to Issue 9. From this list, three  overall winning entries will be chosen in August 2018. These three ultimate  winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £250, 2nd = £150, 3rd = £75 (approx $325, $195, $95). Issue 9 will appear in early October 2018.

Issue 10 (The Triangles Issue): Edited by Shaun Levin. The two winning entries from each month, September 2018 till February 2019,  will make up the list of contributors to Issue 10. From this list, three  overall winning entries will be chosen in February 2019. These three ultimate  winners will receive cash prizes: 1st = £250, 2nd = £150, 3rd = £75 (approx $325, $195, $95). Issue 10 will appear in early April 2019.

Writing: No more than 150 words (title not included). Poems no longer than 30 lines in total.

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.

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These are The Rules:

1. Entry fee is $5 (approx £3.50) per submission. Multiple entries are welcome, though each must be uploaded as a separate submission.

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. Poems must be no longer than 30 lines.

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 = £250, 2nd = £150, 3rd = £75 (approx: 1st = $325, 2nd: $195, 3rd: $95).

10. Entries must be available for The A3 Review, and must not have been previously published (including on blogs).

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

12. Entries cannot be 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.

Welcome to The A3 Review's August Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Ball. Beach balls, tennis balls, volley balls, and yes, balls. Write about the last time you had a ball? (Not to be confused with bawl. Or, perhaps, yes. Confuse them.) The ball's in your court. Send us poems, short stories, essays and images inspired by ball. Tell an entire life story through sports and the different balls you or a character have played with: cricket, golf, net, volley, bowling, soccer. And juggling. Write a poem about learning to juggle.

Be inspired by John Berryman's "The Ball Poem" to explore existential themes. Or write about throwing a ball for your dog to catch, and be inspired by "Old Man Throwing a Ball" by David Baker. Be on the ball! You could write about medicine balls and Swiss balls at the gym or snooker balls in the pub.

Tell the story of a crystal ball and the time you had your fortune told. What's it like to be the belle of the ball? Or to be at a ball, at all. Write a brief essay on the role of the ball in Cinderella. Write about two characters who meet at a ball, or about ball gowns and the person who makes them. We'd like stories and poems about a glamorous ball, but make sure they're a bit radical. This, after all, is a free-for-all.

Other prompts include: snowball, eyeball, and meatball!

For more writing inspiration visit the Writing Maps online store.

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.

Visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 25 August 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 #9 of The A3 Review in early October 2018. 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 £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 September Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Triangles (and Pyramids). The first contest in our Traingles Issue. We’re looking for flash fiction, mini essays, poems and artwork on the theme of triangles and pyramids. From the perfect slice of pizza (and the perfect Netflix series) to the most complicated love triangle. Let the Pyramids of Giza inspire you, or The Shard of London (we love The Shard, but welcome jeremiads against it!). Experiment with a poem about math class memories in the shape of an isosceles or equilateral triangle.

You could research the significance of the black triangle. Or keep it light and fluffy with Doritos, sarnies, and slices of cake. Meditate on the triangle, riff on the triangle. Look around and notice the triangular shapes near you: shadows, road signs, billiard racks. You could write in the voice of a traingle player. What do they think of the kettle drums?

Check out Hera Lindsay Bird's poem "Pyramid Scheme."

Other prompts include: bunting, Toblerone, the Star of David. There's a book called 100 Things to Draw with a Triangle.

For more writing inspiration visit the Writing Maps online store.

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.

Visit us on Twitter

DEADLINE: 22 September 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 #10 of The A3 Review in early April 2019. 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 £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. We 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. 

The editors of The A3 Review offer a Brief Critique Service for writers looking for knowledgeable and forward-looking feedback on their work. We are passionate about writing and believe strongly that rewriting and refining a poem or short story is an essential and satisfying part of a writers's development.

We will suggest ways to revisit and strengthen your short story or poem. Through our feedback, we will aim to offer you tools to carry forward into the other stories and poems you are working on.

Critiques are for prose and poetry up to 150 words.

An overview of what we offer:
  • 200-word feedback
  • a line edit, via Track Changes, of your work
  • where relevant, suggestions for further reading
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, 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.

Welcome to The A3 Review's October Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Ears. This month’s theme is Ears, those things on the side of one's head. The more you look at them, the weirder they get. Write about ears, human ears and animal ears: elephants, caracals, or parrots. You could write from the point of view of the dog who likes being massaged behind their ears. What do they love about it?

Write a brief history of your ears: what they’ve heard, who’s touched them, your first piercing. Write about what you cannot hear. Write a poem and call it “Ear Drums.” 

The ears are erogenous zones. Kissing, licking, nibbling. Not everyone's cup of tea! Write a poem about how to do it well, or what you hate about it. Start with the words "The way you..." or "Do not..." 

What goes in one ear and out the other? Who grins from ear to ear? How do you make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Make poems, stories and artwork inspired by ear-related idioms. We like weird, so don't hold back! We're all ears.

Other prompts include: dog-eared paperbacks, tinnitus, and playing by ear.

For more writing inspiration visit the Writing Maps online store.

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.

Visit us on Twitter

DEADLINE: 27 October 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 #10 of The A3 Review in early April 2019. 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 £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. We 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 November Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Hats. Top hats, bowler hats, fedoras and beanies. How do you wear your baseball cap? Write about jobs where they make you wear hats: helmets or hairnets, or flight attendant hats. How did you feel about wearing a hat to school? Remember the cheese cutter? Make a list of all the hats you've owned and turn that list into a poem. 

Have you ever fallen in love with a milliner? (Yes, we have.) Write a love letter to the milliner. Tell the story of a character who likes wearing a hat to church. Or you could go off on a tangent and explore what it means to eat your hat, or the time you scored a hat trick.

Write about hats and head coverings as a statement or a disguise. Compose an ode to your favourite hat, or the hat you inherited from someone you love. Check out Pablo Neruda's "Ode to My Suit" for inspiration.

For more writing inspiration visit the Writing Maps online store.

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.

Visit us on Twitter

DEADLINE: 24 November 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 #10 of The A3 Review in early April 2019. 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 £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. We 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. 

The A3 Review