We look forward to reading your work. From 2019, we will be publishing one story per month as our Featured piece. We will also periodically seek to publish one story in a new section - "Introducing" - which will be a showcase for excellent new writers; that is, writers for whom this is their first published piece. In both cases we are looking for the best, carefully crafted, deeply considered work.
There are no submission fees, but you can opt to pay for a critique (see here), which supports our future existence. We're also deeply grateful for metaphorical coffees bought at our Ko-Fi page and every small PayPal donation. The Short Fiction team are all volunteers.
We aim to read and respond to all submissions within two months.
Please note we will be closed to regular submissions from 25 December 2019 until 31 March 2020, while we prepare and run our competition.
Before you submit, please note the following guidelines:
1. We accept fiction between 500 and 5,000 words.* We have wide-ranging tastes and have happily published traditional character-driven stories next to non-conformist work of extraordinary innovation. We admire and love poets and memoirists, but can’t accept poetry or life writing. The boundaries can be blurred in hybrid forms and that’s great; if you feel your hybrid piece qualifies as fiction, send it in. We might disagree in the end, but we’ll admire your bravado.
2. Format: Please send your work to email@example.com as an email attachment in a widely accessible format such as .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf or .odt. Use a standard font like Times New Roman or Calibri or Arial, 11/12pt – unless the story itself dictates different formatting. You can include page numbers or not, double-space or not, but please give us reasonable margins. Just make it readable.
3. Include in your email:
a) the title of your story and its rough word count;
b) a short bio;
c) [where applicable] whether you’re submitting for the “Introducing” section – i.e. this would be your first published story;
d) [where applicable] the name under which you’d want the story published, if different from your email handle;
e) [where applicable] the PayPal receipt ID, if you’ve paid for a critique of the story you’re submitting
f) [where applicable] if the story has been previously published, the name and year of the print publication in which it appeared.
4. No multiple submissions – one story per email, please, and don’t send more until you have a response from us. This should come within two months – after this, do nudge us.
5. Simultaneous submissions (i.e. you’re sending a piece to us while it’s also being considered by other magazines or competitions) are absolutely fine. However, please, please, let us know straight away if your piece is accepted elsewhere. We’ll be really happy for you, and it saves us the pain of reading, discussing, and making space for a story that then turns out to be unavailable.
6. Work that has been published online, or is available anywhere else digitally, is NOT accepted. We DO consider work that has been previously published in a print medium with fewer than 5,000 subscribers or sales.
7. Work should be in English (or, at least, a form of that language that’s been deliberately altered for artistic reasons). We can’t accept foreign-language submissions.
8. The Editors’ decision is final, and we can’t provide feedback (unless you’re using the paid Critique Service).
9. YES, WE PAY. Payment is 1p per word, to the nearest 100 words, with a minimum of £15 and maximum £50, paid via PayPal. We know your work is worth more than this. We are working on a sustainable way of covering the costs of running the site and paying contributors, and, ultimately, we hope to increase payment.
Thank you for showing us your work.
*We intend to open to submissions longer than 5000 words in a special future series. Keep an eye on us for announcements.
If you feel moved to support us – perhaps because culture is the one of the cornerstones of human civilisation and it’s horrendously undervalued in the economy – please donate: