We welcome flash fiction, short stories, and poetry submissions by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can address your query to Michael (although Sirius, the old dog, might even respond in his place). Please follow the guidelines listed below for each submission category.
All submissions should be 1.5- or double-spaced, in a sensible font, pages numbered, and include the word count. Read this article (William Shunn manuscript format) for further guidance. Feel free to peruse our fiction and non-fiction pages to discern the kind of writing that interests us. Why not check out our writing lessons while you’re at it? Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
**IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ**
We advise that you proofread and edit all work before submitting. We may suggest edits, cuts, and/or revisions if we choose to publish your work on the site. If we decide not to publish, we will endeavour to provide you with valuable critical feedback: either through A) a line-by-line critique of your prose or B) a redraft to demonstrate how it could be rewritten/suggest where the story might go. We only wish to spur you on towards success.
Don’t despair if we think your work needs… more work. You wouldn’t eat an undercooked steak, would you? Remember, writing is a collaborative practice, so don’t be discouraged by negative feedback. Moreover, the level of detail we apply might seem overly intensive, but your story deserves to reach its full potential. Writers are poor judges of their own work, and sometimes it takes a second opinion to set the story on the right track. You should never be ashamed of having written something bad. We only learn through failure.
Finally, be sure to download the edited Word Document we send back to you as our comments may not appear in the preview. Voice your concerns politely (we don’t appreciate passive-aggressive emails) and feel free to ask questions. We’re here to help.
Please send a query, including your completed flash fiction, a brief synopsis, and your bio. Should Sirius approve, we’ll get back to you ASAP.
Tips: Flash fiction should hold to a single idea. Try to create the illusion of inner life and hidden depth by leaving gaps or hinting at something behind the curtain. Stories demand action, although inaction can be equally compelling. Don’t sacrifice juicy plot or character details for the sake of brevity. Your protagonist should always want something. Your story must have a goal and something must happen (however big or small) that drives the story towards or away from it. Don’t forget to reach a satisfying denouement. A joke isn’t funny without a punchline.
Word counts for flash fiction should fall between 100 and 1000 words. Submit any longer work as a short story. If you wish to submit microfiction, feel free to send us more than one piece at a time. Check out our dedicated flash fiction page for inspiration.
Please send a query, including the full short story, a one-page synopsis, and a short bio about yourself.
Tips: The best short stories strike a balance between brevity, immersion, and theme. Hook readers with an interesting narrative voice, energise the text with precise description, maintain the illusion with consistent logic, and be sure not to rattle the reader’s immersion. If the reader has to stop reading because they don’t know what’s happening, where, when, why, or to whom, then they won’t wish to read on.
Keep a tight focus on your story’s objective, while always ensuring your characters feel real. They need voice and personality, front-story and backstory, to give them depth and purpose. Fundamentally, all writing is transactional, and early on you should make a promise, a pledge as to the kind of story it is; you absolutely must make good on that promise by the story’s end, or else your readers will feel they have been short-changed. Use the reader’s time in such a way that they won’t feel it was wasted.
Short stories should weigh in at no more than 8000 words. (Sirius has bad eyesight and can’t read for very long.) We accept writing in any genre or style, so don’t hold back.
Please send a query, including your poem(s), your bio, and a synopsis containing details of the following:
- Subject/theme e.g. grief, love, nature, mortality, etc.
- Style (Shakespearean sonnet, free verse, prose poem, haiku, etc.)
- Metre (iambic pentameter, trochaic tetrameter, etc.)
- Persona (the voice in the poem)
- Rhyme scheme (if applicable; not all poems rhyme)
- Verse count
- Mood (the primary emotion in the poem)
We love poetry as much as fiction and we’re happy to consider just about anything.
Articles | Essays | Reviews
Please send a query, including the finished article (or a proposal detailing the subject matter), a brief synopsis, and a bio about yourself.
Please keep articles and reviews to a manageable length (below 5000 words). We will gladly consider any pieces with a focus on literature, art, cinema, philosophy, history, personal experience, or memoir.
Try to maintain an objective style, while ensuring your work has a suitable literary bent, and, most importantly… make it interesting!