You had an idea for a story. You wrote it down. It came to about 800 words. You edited it, and now (finally) it’s ready to be submitted… but where? Well, you’re in luck as there are thousands of literary journals/magazines around looking flash fiction pieces such as yours (stories under a 1000 words). The following post highlights fifteen of what I consider some of the best in the biz in terms of attitude, response rate, politeness, and/or encouragement. Drum roll please…
- The Molotov Cocktail: If nothing else, you just have to love this place for the name alone. They want “your action, we want your rotten characters, we want viscera”… kinda says everything, doesn’t it? Flash pieces need to be short though – ideally they are looking for pieces between 300-600 words long. Oh, and keep a lookout on Twitter for their upcoming writing contests (@MolotovLitZine)
- Longleaf Review: One of my absolute favourite lit. journals! This is the site that I revisit when I need some to pick some inspiration. Really great stories – and a positive attitude to boot! I’m especially fond of the ‘Aliens’ themed issue (Fall 2018). Only downside: waiting time for responses is 3-6 months! Ouch…
- Jellyfish Review: I love the name. I love the style of the site. And, I especially love the kind rejection letters I get from them. Yes, rejections they may be, but the fiction editor really does go out of his way to add a few personalised lines to help with the disappointment. Oh, and a very, very short turn-around time! No waiting for weeks on end with these guys.
- époque press: This indie UK-based publisher accepts fiction stories under 2,000 words for its online ezine. I know that 2k words kinda breaks the bank regarding flash, but I had to put them on the list given the outstanding feedback I received from them. When I first submitted, they responded by saying that they liked the story but couldn’t publish it in its current form. However, instead of just leaving it at that, they actually had a go at editing the story for me, and offered advice and notes on where it could be tightened. I have yet to experience anything like this from anyone else – which is why they are going on the list. And yes, after working through the story, they did actually run with it. Highly recommended!
- Ink and Voices: “You are exactly where you are supposed to be” is the first thing that greets you on opening their site – and they are not wrong. Representing unapologetic voices, Ink and Voices publishes stories that have something to say. In addition, these kick-ass guys will always have a special place in my heart for been the very first space to accept and publish my work.
- Outlook Springs: As they say on the site, “Outlook Springsis a literary journal from another dimension. It is devoted to fiction, poetry, and nonfiction tinged with the strange.” This is a great looking journal – with an extra special vibe. It’s clear that whoever’s behind this journal takes their work seriously – but isn’t afraid to have some fun too. Oh, did I mention that they actually pay authors too? Get submitting!
- Leopardskin and Limes: This publisher has the honour of being the first place to ever reject me… but no-ill feeling as they were the main reason why I got into writing flash fiction in the first place as their site is filled with really outstanding lit. pieces.
- Occulum: Weird, strange, and odd – but in a good way – Occulum is certainly different. Accepting flash and longer works of fiction up to 2000 words, this is one to keep in mind. Update (Dec. 2018): they are currently taking a hiatus from submissions L. Keep an eye on their Twitter feed for updates: @OcculumJournal
- The Ginger Collect: I’m really a sucker for a great logo, a nice site, and a great name. In this case all the boxes are ticked! Publishers of flash and longer fiction stories, the Gingers are looking for “…wretched stories with unhappy endings.” Does yours fit the bill?
- Ghost Parachute: Another great name and eye-catching site…I think I’m starting to notice a trend here! Straight-forward lit publisher, accepting works up to 1000 words – one to keep on your radar.
- AntipodeanSF: Are you a fan of sci-fi stories? Then this is the place for you! AntipodeanSF is Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, and even hosts a weekly radio show featuring key stories from the site. Extremely friendly and cooperative, they are open to submissions from across the world. Editing advice is also provided on stories they are interested in. Well worth checking out!
- After the Pause: A small indie press that publishes flash fiction and poetry. There’s a quiet elegance about the site that I like somehow. That – and the extremely fast turnaround time! I received my rejection just three days after submitting 😉
- The Arcanist: I don’t know a great deal about this ezine but what I have seen/read so far has been inspiring. The Arcanist is a ‘literary magazine focusing on genre-based [sci-fi/fantasy] flash fiction and in-depth looks into pop culture’s biggest stories.’ A Medium based site, they publish once weekly (every Friday), and waiting time is between 1-2 months…Oh, and did I mention that they pay? Yup, a flat 50 USD rate per published story. Submissions can be made via your Google account, Medium, or via mail. Get submitting today!
- The New Yorker: Ok, let’s do this… do you have a chance of getting published by The New Yorker? Yes, but chances are extremely slim – especially if you are an unknown writer. Should that put you off? Absolutely not! The New Yorker is what it is – a selective journal of good taste and quality that can afford to be picky about the authors and stories it publishes. It has hosted some amazing authors over the years, such as Scott Fitzgerald, and J.D. Salinger – but the next one could be you! Seemingly all submissions are read within 90 days and must be sent as a PDF attachment to the Fiction Editor. Go on, give it a shot! You know you have to eventually. 😉
- SAND Journal: Berlin’s most prestigious lit. journal. They “… exist to provide opportunity for emerging authors and artists, inspiration for writers and readers, a chance to engage with the literary scene in Berlin and beyond, and remain a source of support for other communities.” If you are a fiction writer based in Berlin, this is the one to watch. Check them out on Twitter via @SANDjournal.
What do you think of the above? Have any favourites that should be included? Leave them in the comments and I will see about adding them to the above. Happy writing!
Article written by Shane O’Halloran. Feel free to reach out to him via this blog, or on Twitter and Instagram under @SomeOddHat.