The following guidelines are for general submission for publication in our anthology series. For competition guidelines, see menu on the left.
- Christmas Closing
- How to submit
- What we're looking for
- There's no deadline
- International submissions
- Word count
- Submission fee
- Multiple and simultaneous submissions
- Our response times
We will be closing to submissions over Christmas. The last day for submissions will be Friday 16th December, and we will reopen on January 3rd. (We will continue to respond to outstanding submissions during that time, but the form will be closed to new submissions.)
This refers only to our regular submissions: the Ghost Story Competition will remain open to entries throughout the holidays.
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.
The best way to get a really good answer to this question is to try reading us: every publisher has different tastes, and if you take the time to discover what we publish, you'll find it much easier to decide what to send us. Our anthologies are available in paperback and ebook formats. See 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 with illustrations or photographs.
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.) When we publish a story, we ask for a brief period of exclusivity (usually six months), and the right to keep the story in print. We don't ask for website rights, or place any limits on what you can do with your story after the exclusivity period.
We are able to consider stories that are between 1,000 and 20,000 words in length; please do not send anything longer or shorter than this. (Most of the stories we publish are between about 2,000 and 7,000 words.)
As of May 2016, we now pay £20 per thousand words for stories we publish (eg £80 for a 4,000 word story, or £120 for a 6,000 word story). Contributors also receive two complimentary paperback copies. The stories we publish are also eligible to enter the Writer's Award, a cash prize of £100 for the best story in each volume, as judged by the contributors.
We charge a £3 submission fee for each story submitted to us. This helps with our running costs (we do not receive any external funding), and allows us to devote more time and attention to the submissions we receive. It also enables us to work a little faster: we aim to respond to all submissions within two weeks. Our form now includes an option to purchase one of our anthologies instead of paying the fee. Payment can be made at the time of submission, via credit card or PayPal.
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 one at a time, and not together in one document.
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 two weeks, although we will sometimes go slightly over this during busy periods or holidays.
If you're waiting for a reply from us, please keep an eye on your junk mail folder, as our replies do sometimes make their way there. If you submitted more than three weeks ago, and have not heard back from us, please check your junk mail folder again. If there's nothing there, email us: . It would be very helpful if you could include your submission code (the number you received when you fired off the submission).