Please read these guidelines carefully before submitting.
We are now accepting submissions for our final two months of publication. We will no longer be publishing stories online after 2016. All published stories will be permanently archived on this website.
What We Want
We want quality fiction that grabs us and doesn't let go. Stories we wish we had written. For examples of what we're looking for, read current and previous issues.
For both flash and long fiction, we're looking for characters, plot, stories, etc. Keep us engaged by maintaining focus and forward momentum. Strive for Poe's prescription of a single effect and Aristotle's criterion of a rising action. Abide by your favorite description of what constitutes a story; one of ours is by Flannery O'Connor: ". . . a story is a complete dramatic action . . ."
Other suggestions before you submit:
- Ask someone to critique your work.
- Consider whether your piece is better suited as a poem or essay.
- See Things That Generally Turn Us Off, below.
Please adhere to the following requests to ensure that your submission is read:
- Double space your submission.
- Word length:
- Flash Fiction: 1-1000 words.
- Long Fiction: 1001-3000 words.
- Simultaneous submissions are okay as long as you withdraw the piece immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. Please only send one submission at a time, and please wait at least one month before submitting again.
- Stories written in present tense (especially third person present tense)
- Stories with graphic dead baby scenes
- Stories about writers
- Stories about struggling marriages
- Stories set in bars
- Stories with more backstory than plot
- Stories with undeveloped characters
- Stories that are overly reflective
- Stories that rely heavily on second person usage
We aren't saying that we never accept these things, but they are less likely to be published. If you think your story is great, send it to us. The worst we can do is reject you. Don't take it personally. These are just our tastes.Where and How to Send
All submissions must be sent to us through our Submittable page.
We are currently listed as one of the Top 25 Swiftest Markets on Duotrope with an average response of about 2.5 days. Our typical response time is closer to 3-5 days.Acceptance
We accept approximately 3% of stories submitted for publication. We do not have a "goal" acceptance rate. Rather, we publish the stories that fit our needs and our tastes.Payment
Stories published on the website are eligible for the $25 Story of the Month prize. We also occasionally pay for stories that appear in special or themed issues. If your work is accepted for one of our print issues, you will receive one contributor copy. We also host a yearly dialogue writing contest with a professional-level prize purse.Publication
We publish one to two pieces of fiction per week on the website. Published stories are featured on the Current Stories page for one month before being permanently archived. We also publish 1-2 print magazines per year featuring our favorite stories from the website. See The Magazine page for more details.Rights
We will acquire First Time Publishing Rights. You will maintain all other rights after the story is published on our website. Please keep in mind that by giving up First Publication Rights you are limiting the options you have for future publication of that piece. Please be sure you understand what this means before you submit. We also will retain the right to publish your story in our semiannual magazine. All stories will remain on our website or archive. If you would like us to remove your story, please let us know.Story of the Month Contest
Each month we host a story of the month contest. The winner will receive a $25 prize and a guaranteed spot in the next issue of the PDF/print magazine.
If you like what we do here, please consider a donation. Donations help improve the magazine and support contributors.