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Submission Guidelines


UPDATE: December 30, 2017. After much consideration, Krissi and I have decided to PERMANENTLY CLOSE Read Short Fiction. We are very proud of the work of authors that have appeared on our pages and have felt it a great honor to be an outlet for these stories. Our lives, like those of most, have transitioned to differing priorities — not the least of which is our own writing — and we no longer feel that we can give the magazine the time that it needs to flourish. We look back fondly of the work that we have been able to highlight on these pages. It has been a privilege to bring strong, unique, character-centered voices across all genres out to a readership from the work of the many authors that have appeared in our pages, all of whom we admire greatly.

The site will remain active indefinitely for those who wish to reach the work that has appeared here before. If you are an author who has published with us previously and would like your material removed from Read Short Fiction, please contact us. (If this is your situation, the best way is to reach out to me (Robert Mayette) on Facebook via the Messenger app with your takedown request.)

Again, this wasn’t an easy decision. But life, family, creative passions and noble goals are always swirling around each of us and there are only so many that we can prioritize and to which we can be faithful. We are proud of the work that RSF has published. While we are not disregarding the possibility of re-invigorating the site with a fresh format in the years to come should circumstances warrant, Ms. Petersen-Schooner and I – who always join with our spouses and others for New Years Eve – will be adding a celebratory final toast to Read Short Fiction tomorrow night as we honor the past and look forward to new future of 2018 and beyond.

Whether you were an author who appeared in our pages or had submitted something to us, we wish you and your writing career the absolute best. May all things flourish around you, including and through your special talents in literary and story craftsmanship.

Warm Regards,
Robert Mayette
Editor, Read Short Fiction.
December, 2017

P.S. For posterity’s sake only, below were our prior submission guidelines.

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 illustration 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. We understand if this is too long a time for you to wait, and if that’s the case for you then please consider submitting to other markets with shorter wait times (there are many – we know we’re slow). If you wish to query to ensure that we received your piece or inquire about its status, pelase wait until 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.

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

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