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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 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.

If you have submitted a story to us and haven’t heard from us in 60 days, you are welcome to query at the submissions inbox.

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.


Validating short fiction as the ideal writerly art form for these current jam-packed times, this article from The Telegraph on the rise of the short story is a nice overview of short fiction's coming into its own.

RSS Short Story News Center

  • Margaret Atwood, others explore the short-story cycle - Entertainment Weekly 2014/10/20
    Entertainment WeeklyMargaret Atwood, others explore the short-story cycleEntertainment WeeklyIn September, Margaret Atwood—celebrated author of The Handmaid's Tale and the MaddAddamn Trilogy (the latter of which is being adapted by director Darren Aronofsky for HBO)—saw the release of her latest short-story collection, Stone Mattress. […]
  • The Naked Convos (TNC) Releases New and Unique Short Story Collection ... - 360Nobs.com 2014/10/20
    360Nobs.comThe Naked Convos (TNC) Releases New and Unique Short Story Collection ...360Nobs.comAccording to Wole Talabi, author and fiction Editor at TNC, “These Words Expose Us: An Anthology which has been released for purchase today is a unique and complex collection of stories old and new that all highlight the power of words to make us feel ... […]
  • Novelist Hilary Mantel shows quirky side in short-story collection 'The ... - Kansas City Star 2014/10/19
    Kansas City StarNovelist Hilary Mantel shows quirky side in short-story collection 'The ...Kansas City StarTwice winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for her historical novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” Hilary Mantel takes a break from Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher,” 10 quirky, unsettling and […]
  • The 10 best short story collections - The Guardian 2014/10/17
    The GuardianThe 10 best short story collectionsThe GuardianThe best short stories should haunt you for days and weeks. The stories in McGregor's collection have stayed with me for months on end. They are linked by a unity of place – the fenlands of Norfolk and Cambridge – and by precise, elegant prose that ... […]
  • Short story collections dive in to this fall - Washington Post 2014/10/14
    Short story collections dive in to this fallWashington PostSuave and accomplished, the stories in the veteran writer's latest collection nonetheless feel stubbornly unsatisfying. They are unsettling, resistant to tidy denouement and faintly misanthropic, all qualities that I generally find appealing in short ... […]
  • Matt Rader's short story collection touches on past and present - Vancouver Sun 2014/10/10
    Vancouver SunMatt Rader's short story collection touches on past and presentVancouver SunKelowna author Matt Rader's short story collection, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, draws on Vancouver Island's long and turbulent history of labour activism. The final story in the book, All This Was a Long Time Ago, was awarded the Jack Hodgins ...an […]

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