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 7 (The Silver Issue), which came out in 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 8. 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 $230, $130, $95). Issue 8 will appear in early April 2018.

Issue 9 (The Circle 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 = £175, 2nd = £100, 3rd = £75 (approx $230, $130, $95). Issue 9 will appear in early October 2018.

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.

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 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 = £175, 2nd = £100, 3rd = £70 (approx: 1st = US$230, 2nd = US$130, 3rd = US$95).

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 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.



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Welcome to The A3 Review's April Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Circles. What's it like to go round in circles? From the point of view of a dog, write about finding the perfect position on a sofa. Or you could write about staring at the washing machine's cycle and the thoughts that evokes. Write about vicious circles and the lover you ran circles around. Write about a character using circular logic, or about being outside (or at the centre of) an inner circle of friends or co-workers. Make a list of all the circles in your day.

What happens when the circle of trust is broken? Or healed? Write about learning to draw a perfect circle. Read "How to Draw a Perfect Circle" by Terrance Hayes. When was the last time you danced in a circle? Write about watching Sufi dancers in Istanbul, or teaching children to sing "Here we Go Round the Mulberry Bush." Take a look at this article about circles made by nature and humans, then write a poem that starts and ends with the same line.

Write about loops and hula hoops.

You could start a story with the words: "Her tongue circled her mouth..." or end a story with the words: "...and then the others stood in a circle around him and began to chant."

Write about a character watching their child on a carousel. Write about that time you got lost and drove around in circles. Tell the story of life coming full circle when a character meets their long lost sibling. Explore the sensual pleasures associated with circles: the evening sun moving towards the horizon, a slice of apple, a beautifully round donut, the rim of a martini glass, a Ritz cracker. Bake some chocolate-chip cookies and write about them as they rise in the oven.

For more writing prompts and 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.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 28 April 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.


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Welcome to The A3 Review's May Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Moon. One of the most evocative mysteries of life and stories... associated with legends and folklore, myths and magic, the moon effects us in visible and invisible ways. Tell the story of a werewolf who can sing, or how the cow jumped over the moon. Write about low tides and walking along river banks. Think of a character navigating their way home by the light of the moon, or being over the moon at good news. Write about what happens to you on nights when the moon is full. 

Investigate the myth of the moon rabbit, or write about lunar deities like Artemis, Selene and Thoth. Base a story on the theory that the moon is a hollow spacecraft. And speaking of rabbits and moons, we love Guess How Much I Love You, and would love to read some 150-word bedtime stories featuring moons and loveable furry creatures.

Create the job specifications for the first writer-in-residence on the moon. Write a poem from the perspective of someone who's missed the journey home from a moon mission - "We told him to stay close to the spacecraft!"

Use the different phases of the moon as subheadings for a poem or short story about changes you're going through. Read "The Harvest Moon" by Ted Hughes and "Moon Fishing" by Lisel Mueller, and be inspired by Basho's haiku:

Autumn moonlight--
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.  

Write about a memory of mooning. What made you do it and what was the outcome? Howl at the moon!

If you like our writing prompts and 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.

For more inspiration, visit us on Twitter.

DEADLINE: 26 May 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.




$15.00
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.

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Welcome to The A3 Review's June Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Wheel. The wheel of fortune or the wheels on the bus. Roulette wheels and fruit machines. Things that go round. Things that help us move heavy things. Read about the wheel as metaphor and re-invent it in interesting ways. Spin that roulette wheel of inspiration to produce some great work. Think about different types of wheels - from the yin and yang wheel to bicycle wheels. Write a praise poem to a spin class and the best spinning instructor you've had. Write about spinning wheels and modern-day versions of Rumpelstiltskin and Sleeping Beauty.

Start your piece with someone dealing with a bicycle or car puncture: where are they and who comes to help? What happens when two people crash their shopping trolleys due to a wobbly wheel? Tell the story of getting behind a steering wheel for the first time, or a parent teaching a child to ride a tricycle, or watching them in a simple boxcart. Think about wheels and cogs, about rims, hubs, spokes and tyres. Explore the vocabulary of wheels.

Keep it wheel! and send us your best work.

For more writing prompts and 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: 23 June 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 August Contest

The prompt for this month's Contest is: Thieves. Write about things you've stolen or things others have stolen from you: a purse, a necklace, a heart, an identity, a book, a jar of Nutella. Watch heist movies. We love heist movies! And retell the story in 150 words. Re-write Bonnie and Clyde as a poem.

Was it T.S. Eliot who wrote that "good writers borrow, great writers steal"? Write a piece out of words stolen from others, or write a confessional poem to come clean about something you stole. Write about the person who relies on stealing for a living. A poem from Robin Hood's point of view. Have you read Abbie Hoffman's Steal this Book?

Stolen fruit is the sweetest. Write about stealing apricots from a neighbour's tree, apples from an orchard, or grapes from the supermarket.

Write about the stolen moments of lovers or parents, the deliciousness, the guilt. What does a stolen moment look like? How do you know when a moment is stolen? What about stealing a place in the queue, or stealing toiletries and glances. Write about a time when you stole the show. 

Write about a day in the life of a thief. Think pirates and cat burglars, hackers and pickpockets. What plagues and excites them? What does a good day look like? Who do they fear? Some possible phrases to start with: "This is what we stole today..." or "First thing I look out for is..."

And so, like thieves in the night, we'll steal away, and hand the writing over to you.

For more writing prompts and 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: 28 July 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.

$5.00

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.