Home » Currently Reading:

Submission Guidelines


UPDATE: Effective 6/15/16, we are temporarily closed for submissions. Submissions sent before 6/15/16 are still under consideration and we will respond to all submissions ASAP. We’ve had challenging managing the submissions volume and are seeking ways to manage that. Apologies to all those who have been waiting — we hear you and are working to respond. If you have any interest in assisting us as readers, please indicate your interest by emailing submissions@readshortfiction.com.

Read Short Fiction is dedicated to publishing quality stories of almost all genres (we don’t publish erotica, and, as we are seeking stories designed for a large audience, we will rarely publish work that is too experimental).  Word lengths should be between 1,500 and 4,000 words.  We do not open attachments. Please submit your work as text pasted into the body of an email with the following subject line: “Submission: [Genre]: [Title]: [Author Last Name]“  So, if your name is Joe Smith and you have a mainstream fiction story called “Her Wooden Chair,” your subject line should be “Submission: Mainstream: Her Wooden Chair: Smith”.  Please use the genres as-categorized on our site (Literary, Mainstream, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance, Historical, Action/Adventure, Western).  We love humorous stories, but humor is really a tone of one of the primary genres.

Please include a brief bio at the start of your emailed submission, and please paste your story into the body of your email.  Please also provide a personal website or other contact information, which will be included in published stories.

As we publish an image with each story, if you have a royalty-free image that ties in with your story that you’d like to suggest, please feel free to attach it to your submission and indicate that the image is cleared for copyright.

Submissions should be emailed to submissions@readshortfiction.com.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable (we’re writers, too), but please notify us immediately at the above address of an acceptance elsewhere.  Please have only one story under consideration with us at a time.

We’ve updated our submission guidelines in 2013. We now publish only original fiction. We are contracting for First Worldwide Electronic Rights to your story for one year from publication, along with the right to archive the story on our site indefinitely. (We do have an author-requested take-down policy after two years from publication in the sole event that you are producing a collection of exclusively your own work and you believe the public presence of your story on Read Short Fiction would harm your sales.)  As syndication is one way to get short fiction into the limelight, we are also contracting for the right to include your story in syndication feeds such as RSS (your story will always remain attributed to you).  As of 1/1/2013, we no longer accept reprints.

Please note that we may take as long as six to nine months to respond to your piece; we are selective and spend a great deal of time deliberating. If this is too long a time for you to wait, then consider submitting to other markets with shorter wait times. If you wish to query to ensure that we received your piece or inquire about its status, you may do so after six months have passed. If you need to withdraw, you may contact us at any time after you’ve submitted. Send either query or withdrawal to submissions@readshortfiction.com.

For stories accepted after 1/1/2013, we compensate at the professional rate of 5 cents per word, with a cap of $150 per story (first 3,000 words). The cap is created to financially manage the journal as well as encourage stories of no longer than 3,000 words, as we believe compelling, gripping short fiction is not only possible but maximized at lengths of no longer than 3,000 words. If you need the additional 1,000 words up until our acceptance maximum of 4,000 words, by all means take them. Payment is made upon publication.

We don’t have set reading periods and we are always open for submissions, so please submit whenever you’d like.  We encourage all authors to report submissions and response times at Duotrope’s Digest. Our publishing schedule is variable, with a goal of publishing one story per month.

Prior to our submissions policy revision in 2013, we previously ran paid Facebook ads for published stories. We are no longer running these ads, due to 1.) revisions of Facebook pricing schemes that make it no longer practical and 2.) a desire to compensate authors. As our mission is still to bring short fiction to a wider audience, we may seek promotion mechanisms, including paid advertisements, on a case-by-case basis.

Welcome to Read Short Fiction


Read Short Fiction is a journal dedicated to the short story. There's no better medium for fiction in these time-compressed days than a short story that pulls you in and delivers. We hope you find many of them here on these pages.

Yours truly,

Rob Mayette and Kristi Petersen-Schoonover

Read Short Fiction

Recent Comments on Stories

RSS Short Story News Center

  • Lena Dunham to publish short story collection, Best and Always - Entertainment Weekly 2016/08/30
    Entertainment WeeklyLena Dunham to publish short story collection, Best and AlwaysEntertainment WeeklyLena Dunham has been sharing photos and hints about the upcoming season of Girls, but in the new issue of Lenny Letter, she updated fans on another project she has in the works: a collection of short stories called Best and Always. In Tuesday's ...Lena […]
  • Slices of immigrant lives - dailytelegraph.com.au 2016/08/29
    dailytelegraph.com.auSlices of immigrant livesdailytelegraph.com.au“Although the book is a work of fiction, each story features as its protagonist an Indian woman living in Australia and overcoming various cultural differences,” she said. “It is a reflection of my own experiences and views of life in this wonderful ... […]
  • Book review: Short-story collection 'The Fat Artist' is big on dark charm - Fredericksburg.com 2016/08/29
    Fredericksburg.comBook review: Short-story collection 'The Fat Artist' is big on dark charmFredericksburg.comFew books can offer such richness in plot that you're left feeling like you've won the literary lottery, and fewer still can deliver powerful punches of prose that remind you just how valuable short stories can be when in the right […]
  • WV Book Team: Short story collection illuminates mountain heritage - Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription) 2016/08/28
    Charleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)WV Book Team: Short story collection illuminates mountain heritageCharleston Gazette-Mail (subscription)Short-story collections cater to a smaller audience of readers than full-length novels. Short stories condense a tale, trim and tighten it, until not a word is wasted on the mundane, the trivial or the unnecessary. Yet […]
  • Rasheed Amjad's latest collection of short stories launched - Pakistan Observer 2016/08/27
    Rasheed Amjad's latest collection of short stories launchedPakistan ObserverIslamabad—“Sorrow is a sparrow that never flies away, rather, it continues to hover over one branch of the tree or the other.” Title of the prolific writer Dr Rasheed Amjad's latest collection of short stories “Dukh Aik Chiria Hay” or Sorrow is a ... […]
  • New Short-Story Collection by Duain D. Bennett is Released - Broadway World 2016/08/26
    New Short-Story Collection by Duain D. Bennett is ReleasedBroadway WorldDog Ear Publishing presents author Duain D. Bennett's latest collection of imaginative, innovative short stories. In part one, readers will encounter an array of fascinating characters, from a fighter pilot who is eager to walk through the pearly gates ... […]

Recent Visitors to RSF