At The Fiction Desk, we’re committed to keeping the door open for new writers, and we aim to source at least a third of the content of our publications from unsolicited submissions.
How to submit
At the moment, we’re only accepting submissions through our online submission form. This helps us keep track of all of the submissions as efficiently as possible. Please don’t post us anything, as it won’t reach the right people. We may try to accept postal submissions in the future if there’s a demand for it, but try the form: it’s quick and simple to use, and you don’t have to pay for postage. (You could always put the saving towards a subscription…)
The best way to get a really good answer to this question is to try reading us. If you have a Kindle or other ebook reader, you can download any of our anthologies for just £4.99 each. The paperbacks cost £9.99 each, including worldwide shipping. Click here for details.
One other thing to note is that we’re looking for stories about people and places, rather than about writing itself. If the most important thing about your story is its quirky narrative technique, or if the character is a writer who’s writing about the challenges of writing a short story about the challenges of being a writer, then it may not be for us.
Please note that we do not consider novel excerpts, or anything under 2,000 words.
When we’ve finished work on each short story anthology, we move straight on to the next. So there’s no need to rush: just send us your work when you feel it’s ready.
Although we’re based in the UK, we accept submissions from authors all over the English-speaking world.
We ask for first serial rights on any story we publish. This means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online. (This includes publication on an author’s own website.)
We prefer to see stories that are between 2,000 and about 11,000 words in length. Our absolute minimum is 2,000 words; we prefer stories a little longer than that.
We pay around £20 to £30 for stories we publish, with the amount varying slightly according to length. Contributors get two complimentary copies. There’s also a cash prize for the best story in each issue. More information on this will be announced on this website in the coming weeks. (Or sign up to the newsletter for updates.)
It’s free to submit stories to The Fiction Desk, but we do have a voluntary £2 submission fee. This helps contribute to our running costs, and as thanks, we’ll speed up response time on your submission so that you hear back from us within two weeks. Payment can be made at the time of submission, via credit card or PayPal. This fee is voluntary, and is not required for submission.
It’s fine to send us more than one story at a time. In fact, we prefer to see two. Please don’t send more than three, though, and please send them through the form separately, not together in one document.
Submitting stories for publication can take a long time, so we do understand if you want to submit to more than one magazine at a time. However, please let us know if a story you’ve submitted to us has been accepted elsewhere!
We aim to reply to all submissions within three months. You can speed it up to two weeks by paying our voluntary £2 submission fee (see above).
If you submitted less than three months ago, please just sit tight and wait. Chances are that we just haven’t got to your submission yet. If it was more than three months ago, first check your junk mail folder, in case our reply wound up there. If you still haven’t heard from us after three months, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be very helpful if you could include your submission code (the number you received when you fired off the submission).