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Deadline: March 3, 2024, 11:59 p.m. EST


In collaboration with The Cloudscent Review, Renaissance Review, and Rewrite The Stars Review.

Healthline Zine is glad to announce our second annual contest in collaboration with The Cloudscent Review, Renaissance Review, and Rewrite The Stars Review. The submission period opens on the first of February and concludes on the third of March. The contest is open internationally to all age groups. If our theme inspires your creativity, we want to read it.

Contestants are welcome to submit to the poetry and prose categories from which we will be selecting three winners each. The prizes to be won are as follows:


  • Document with detailed review from initial submission reader(s) and brief communication regarding the piece from the guest judge. 

  • Expedited submission tickets to all four magazines. Tickets can be infdividually attatched to submissions sent to the respective magazines for any of their ongoing submission calls and this will guarantee their response of acceptance or rejection, or any other communication forwith, within the period of a business week. Each ticket may be used only once within its period of validity. Note that using a ticket does not ascertain acceptance of the submission to any magazine.

  • Publication in participating magazines. We strongly hold the opinion that art is subjective and thus cannot be ranked definitively, and so the magazines we choose to publish from the six pieces whichever's core they discover to be most befitting their mission. The magazines may also choose to individually feature and interview their chosen creatives.

  • Cash prize. Additionally, first place winners in both categories can expect to recieve a cash prize of $20. 

  • A winners' booklet will be published two months after the contest has concluded. This will contain all six winning entries.

Take us home, show us your truth.

What tales have you devoured impatiently by the hearth on a long winter night, whispered in hushed tones by your elders, lest the unspeakable horros assume flesh and blood to lure you out of your bed?


Or perhaps your stories speak of morals and wisdom belonging to otherworldly beings that somehow found themselves beguiled by earthly captivities.

Maybe the villain of your folktales isn't quite the antagonist as per modern standards — a growth in your vision allowing you to see that the knocks on your window weren't borne from malicious intent but the naivety of an unaging spirit. The ghosts stealing bread from street vendors do not wish to cause cchaos as much as they wish to satiate their undying hunger. The witches in the tropical forests sacrifice men, yes, but only because the men are not as virtuous as they claim to be.

Tell us about the colours of your folktales; the land from which they were birthed, the figures that weave through these renditions and ascend to folklore, how they have fared against the turning of time. Offer a different, unique perspective.

Look beyond what they were when you first heard of them — tell us what you see, and give us your truth

What we wish to see: retellings of stories that already exist, passed down orally or chronicled; new takes on figures and events; complexity in social narrativesl; a take only you can offer us.

guest judges

Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of Blood Betrayal, the second instalment of the Blackwater Falls crime series published by Minotaur Books which was a 2023 Nero Awards Finalist; The Unquiet Dead, published by St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books, the winner of the Barry Award, the Authur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel, as well as a 2016 Macavity Award finalist; The Bloodprint, Ausma Zehanat Kan's fantasy debut and the first book of the Khorasan Archives, was hailed as "one of the year's finest fantasy debuts", published by Harper Voyager US & UK, and followed by three instalments in the epic fantasy series.

Khan's nonfiction book, Ramadan, for middle-grade students, was published by Orca Books as part of the Origins series in Spring 2018. Khan was the Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl Magazine. She is also the founder of the Muslim Writers Index, and is currently serving as Director of the Oceans of Ink Muslim Writers Festival. Khan practiced immigration law in toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer, and currently li8ves in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband.

Sara Ghazal Ali is the author of THEOPHANIES, selected as the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award, and forthcoming with alice James Books in January 2024. A 2022 Djanikian Scholar and winner of The Sewanee Review Poetry Prize, her poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Yale Review, Poem-a-Day, Guernica, Best New Poets, and elsewhere.

A Stadler Fellow, Sarah is the poetry editor for the West Branch. She has recieved fellowships and residencies from Tin House, the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts, the Hambidge Center, the Kenyon Review Writers Workship, Community of Writers, and others. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was a Juniper and MFA Fellow, and currently lives in the Bay Area, California.


We welcome creative writings from writers and Poets across all ages and nationalities.

Submission guidelines are as follows:

  • All submissions are to be mailed, in accordance with the provided guidelines, to the following mail address by midnight, your local timezone, Sunday 3rd March.

  • Contestants may only draw upon pre-existing folktales to contrive a newer version of their own. We appreciate reimaginings, explorations of complexity in underlying narrratives and the unearthing of social reflections , a solid feel of the ground from which these tales are birthed, and anything more you can conjure up.

  • We will not accept self-made folktales.

  • We encourage exercising your craft with tales of your ancestry and nation, but ask that you remain respectful and carry out your due diligence in research if you venture to base your submission on lores not of your land of origin.

  • The title of the piece is to be mentioned in bold at the beginning of the document and should be followed by an exact word or line count (discluding the title, content warnings, and word count header itself).

  • To accompany your submission, add a prelude to the document itself, following the title and wordcount, that introduces the folktale you have built upon, where and when you encountered it, and why you chose it in the first place. We appreciate any links to books or articles you've used while researching, if your piece required any prior research at all.

  • The contestant's name or any such identifying information should not be added to the document. Pieces containing such details will be disqualified directly. 

  • Avoid the unnecessary usage of profanities and note that we will not engage with content that aims to offend any groups of people. Triggering topics should be duly accompanied with the appropriate content warnings to be added right below the word count and before the prelude

  • Contestants may submit only one entry to either prose or poetry. Multiple or simultaneous submissions will not be entertained.

  • The word limit for prose is 2500 words and the line limit for poetry is 50 lines, disregarding empty spaces. We will not entertain pieces that cross these limits.

  • The piece is to be formatted in Times or Times New Roman, size 11, with 1.5 line spacing and justified alignment, and converted to a PDF before submitting.

  • The mail's subject line should read as follows — poetry/prose, title of the piece, submitter's name. 

  • Within the body of the mail, enclose the following details — legal full name and pseudonym (if needed), pronouns, social media handles (if any), email address for further communication, and a brief third-person account.

  • No edits will be accepted once the submission is recieved.

  • You will recieve a reply indicating your submission has been recieved within a period of seven business days. In the event of not recieving this mail within the specified time period, kindly send a follow-up mail asking after your submission to the same mail address and contact Healthine Zine (@healthlinezine) on Instagram via direct message.

  • Winners will be contacted via the e-mail address through which the submission has been sent if a need for the use of alternative address has not been expressed in the initial mail. If your piece has not made it, the mail of receipt will be our final communication with you.

  • Submissions that stray from these guidelines will be disqualified

  • The decision of the guest judge is binding.

Please know that our contest administration and submission reading team, alongside magazine executive stafff, do their utmost to ensure your piece is presented to the fullest of its potential. Avoid sending us unnecessary follow-up queries and ensure you understand these guidelines fully ot maximize your chances of success while also reducing the team's workload. 

ekphrasis contest winners' edition booklet (1).png


Deadline: March 1, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EST


In collaboration with Swim Press and The Cloudscent Journal.

ekphrasis, translating to 'description' in ancient Greek, is an exercise in appreciating the complexities of another's work of art and allowing the mind to roam while in the confines of an unfamiliar portrait, ensnared and unbound. Guest judged by Ashley Hajimirsadeghi and M. T. Khan.


Prose Winners: 

First Place: The Shadow People by Sara Buckley

Second Place: Collapse/Exile/Orgasm by Lindsey Bryant

Third Place: The Plea Of The Lost by Smrithi Senthilnathan

Poetry Winners:

First Place: the photoelectric effect & other tragedies of the universe by Liam Strong

Second Pace: On Bohnen's Summer Night by Connor Donovan

Third Place: Rhapsody in Gray by Candace Williams

Read the winning entries here

guest judges

Our poetry judge, Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is an Iranian American writer and artist. She is the author of the chapbooks cartography of trauma (dancing girl press) and cinephile (Ghost City Press). She is an M.A. Candidate in Global Humanities at Towson University, and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BS in International Trade & Marketing, an AAS in Fashion Business Management, and minors in Film and Media, English, Asian Studies, and American Studies. She is co-Editor-in-Chief at Mud Season Review. A six-time Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Ashley has received scholarships, awards, and fellowships from Brooklyn Poets, the US State Department, the State University of New York (SUNY), COUNTERCLOCK, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona, among others.


Our prose judge, M.T. Khan is a speculative fiction author with a penchant for all things myth, science, and philosophy. She focuses on stories that combine all three, dreaming of evocative worlds and dark possibilities.When she's not writing, M.T. Khan has her nose deep in physics textbooks or glued to her CAD computer as she majors in Mechanical Engineering. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada, with a hyperactive cat and an ever-increasing selection of tea. Her debut novel, Nura And The Immortal Palace, hit shelves on July 5th 2022 from Little, Brown.


We welcome entries from writers and poets across ages and nationalities. All submissions are to be mailed to by midnight, your time zone, Wednesday 1st March.


Submission guidelines are as follows:

  • Contestants may choose only one of the three provided prompts to inspire their piece.

  • Each contestant can submit one entry, either poetry or prose. Multiple submissions will not be entertained.

  • Prose word limit: 2,000 words. Maximum lines for poetry: 40 lines, disregarding empty spaces.

  • The piece is to be formatted in Times New Roman font, size 11, with 1.5 line spacing and justified alignment, and converted to a PDF before submission.

  • The title of the piece is to be mentioned at the beginning of the document along with the name of the artwork utilised. [Example: Sample Piece — The Lost Tribe]

  • The final word or line count should be mentioned below the title clearly.

  • The contestant’s name or any such identifying marks should not be added to the document. Pieces that do not comply with this will be disqualified.

  • Needless to say, the submitted work should not contain profanities, offensive content, and any triggering topics — which we ask you to wisely avoid unless fundamental to the art — should be accompanied by trigger warnings at the beginning of the document.

  • The subject line should contain the title of chosen prompt, the contestant’s name, and the title of the submitted work. [Example: Summer Night — B. Smith — Sample Title]

  • The body of the mail should comprise of the contestant’s full name and/or pseudonym, their pronouns, social media handles (for contact purposes, if any), backup Email address, and a brief third-person account of themself.

  • Additionally, contestants may choose to include a short writeup in the body of the mail that talks about why the prompt spoke to them, the context or details of their submission, etc. Note that this will not be considered by the reading team or guest judges.

  • No edits will be accepted once the submission has been received.

  • You will receive a reply mail indicating your submission has been received. In the event of not receiving this mail three days after the end of the submission period, kindly send a follow-up mail to the submission address and contact Healthline Zine on Instagram (@healthlinezine). 

  • Winners will be contacted via the Email address that has sent the submission. If your piece has not made it, the mail of receipt will be our final communication with you. 

  • The decision of the guest judge is binding, and please know that our reading team will care for your piece and ensure it is presented to the best of its potential.

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