We look forward to reading your work. We publish 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.
All submissions are seen by two readers and we aim to respond within two months. There are no submission fees. We offer a paid Critique service (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.
We are currently CLOSED for general submissions. The Short Fiction/University of Essex International Short Story Prize 2021 is OPEN from 1 Jan to 31 Mar 2021.
When we are open, we accept submissions via Submittable (link below). Please do not email your story unless using our Critique Service.
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 use 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 brief Submittable cover letter:
a) the title of your story and its rough word count;
b) a short bio;
c) [only if the story has been previously published], the name and year of the print publication in which it appeared.
4. No multiple submissions – please only submit one story at a time, and don’t send more until you have a response from us. This should come within two months – after this, do nudge us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, withdraw your submission via Submittable 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. Even if there's a paywall (sorry). 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 2p (£0.02) per word, to the nearest 100 words, with a minimum of £30 and maximum £100, paid via PayPal. (For those without a PayPal account, we can work out an alternative method of payment.)
10. We accept submissions from the UK, Europe, the Commonwealth and every other country except for the United States of America. We are sorry to exclude the excellent work of our US friends, but in order to manage the volume of submissions, we've had to close this door.
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.
We don't charge any reading fees, but 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: