Submission Guidelines

How To Submit

Click over to Submishmash to submit. 

WE DO NOT ACCEPT EMAIL SUBMISSIONS.

 

What We Look For

We publish stories from 500 to 1,000 words in length.

They’re very short, but they are still stories. That means the best ones have strong, interesting characters, plots, and (to some extent, at least) settings.

 

Regarding Content

We’re not that concerned about genre. Many of us have a fondness for science fiction and fantasy, but we also like literary fiction; and in any case, great flash stories aren’t always easily classified. If you wrote it, and you love it, then submit it.

No erotica, porn, graphic sex, or violence.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF:

1. STORY LENGTH: 500 to 1000 words (up to 1100 words with the caveat that if accepted the story will have to be cut to 1000 words.) Submissions of fewer than 500 words or more than 1100 words WILL be returned unread. Please include an exact word count.

2. Previously unpublished, original stories only. We do not publish poetry, nor do we publish fiction with poetry-like formatting. 

3. No simultaneous submissions. 

4. FORMAT: doc., rtf., or txt. files only. No docx.

***Submitting in Times New Roman or Courier New font, 12 pt. Double spaced, left alignment, and one-inch margins gives you brownie points.

5. Omit all author information (including your name) from the text body, headers, and text file name. Include author information in the cover letter only. This allows anonymity in our selection process, and ensures that stories are selected entirely on merit – not previous publication credits.

6. We do accept multiple submissions. Submit multiple submissions as a SEPARATE submission for each story—DO NOT submit multiple stories in one Submishmash submission form or in one text document. DO NOT submit more than 3 stories at once.

HELPFUL STUFF:

ON HARD SELLS: Check out our short list.

ON STORY: Flash fiction is very short but still a story, complete with a resolved plot and strong, interesting characters. Flash fiction is not a story synopsis or a scene from a novel. For a pretty good article (if I do say so myself) on writing flash fiction, follow THIS LINK, The Slushpile Avalanche: http://slusheditor.blogspot.com/2010/01/managing-story-length.html

ON RESPONSE TIME AND QUERIES: Our response time ranges from 2 to 10 weeks. Queries are only for stories that have already been submitted. Please do not query until at least 8 weeks after submission. Send queries to editor@flashfictiononline.com. Include QUERY in the subject line.

ON US: Want to know more about us? Visit our staff page, read our stories, sign up for a free subscription. We’re also on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook. Look us up, Like us, Tweet us.

 

SFWA Qualification

Publication in Flash Fiction Online counts toward the requirements for membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).

Although the SFWA recognizes this magazine as a professional market, we frequently publish literary fiction and other genres. 

Payment and Rights

Here is our FFO Sample Contract

As of April 1, 2014, we pay sixty dollars ($60) per story. This payment provides us with first electronic rights, including HTML, PDF, plain text, and MP3 (audio) formats. Distribution will be through this Web site and a variety of other electronic means, including but not exclusively epub, mobi, and pdf. This payment also provides us with a non-exclusive one-time right to publish the stories in an anthology. 

All other rights for the work remain with the author.

Response Times and Queries

Due to the number of submissions we receive, we are unable to give personal feedback or critiques.

To query about a previously submitted story, send an email to editor@flashfictiononline.com with “QUERY” in the subject line.


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94 comments
Feuervogel
Feuervogel

Do you find it difficult separating the subjective interpretation from the objective in the guidelines?

Oops
Oops

how do you withdraw a submission? I couldn't figure out to whom my cover letter should  be addressed and then I got the confirmation email...with the editor's name. (Which was not the name I put down.) 

MC
MC

I've used the word 'fuck' & 'dick' in my story. I couldn't find anything about the use of abusive language in the guidelines. Will it be okay? Should I use F*** instead?

edward
edward

how do you pay international authors? By PayPal? Will they be notified in case of rejected articles?




NC
NC

Do you accept stories that were posted in personal blogs or is it considered as published already (and therefore won't accept it)?

srinidihm
srinidihm

What if I published my work on FictionPress? Is that pre-published? 

Curious757
Curious757

Are these guidelines supposed to be the fictional representation of a self-important, small-time editor obsessed with control in order to compensate for a failed writing career?

SONIA BOGLO
SONIA BOGLO

Should the cover letter be included in the same txt file as the story or should it be separate and match up with the story title. PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT IT.

Guest
Guest

Should the cover letter be included in the same txt file as the story or should it be separate and match up with the story title

Bethany Jane
Bethany Jane

Would you accept multiple works from the same individual that were all set in the same fantasy world or all involved the same character, if they are different stories? On a similar note, if an author wrote within a fantasy world of their making, would they be able to submit a completely different work set in the same place or with the same character to a different publisher before the one year mark reverts rights back to the author? Thank you

pnkbelly
pnkbelly

You say you don't accept email submissions, but then you don't give a snail mail address!

Jordan888
Jordan888

How strict are you guys on the word count?  I have a story that's 1013 words.  If I have to I could find a way to cut out 13 words, but would 1013 still work?


Thanks

Michael Chandos
Michael Chandos

Ah   I read further down.  "Never post anything you intend to sell"   Got it.

Aidan
Aidan

Two questions:

1.  Can Canadian residents submit to you?  

2.  If a shorter version of the story is posted on a blog (500 words) and I submit the "fleshed out" version to you (1000) - would I have to delete my blog entry if you published my story?


Thanks,


Aidan

M
M

Could you submit a story that has been published on a site before, but then you chose to delete it so it's unpublished again (the site allowed it)? Thank you.

mel
mel

Can the flash fiction come from a prologue of the book I'm currently writing?  

Ryan
Ryan

Hi, are you willing to accept stories from writers who have never published, or do we need a blog and previous publications?

Melissa Hicks
Melissa Hicks

Are works that have been featured in a collection like a college literary magazine considered published or unpublished?  I own full rights to my story.  I want to be honest in submission, but I'm not sure what you would consider this.

tom w
tom w

A quick question, I have published on line some super  flash stories of six to ten sentences. The websites have gone 404 and the ideas in them were never fleshed out to 100 much less 500 words. Can I rewrite and submit fuller more detailed stories using the same storyline but not the same characters?


AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Oops Log in to Submittable. There's an option there to withdraw.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@MC Use the language necessary to tell the story. Plain and simple. If we feel the language is gratuitous and doesn't further the storytelling, but we like your story enough to publish it, we'll ask you to remove the offending word. 

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@edward By PayPal. And yes, all authors are notified when their stories are either accepted or rejected.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

Blogs are also considered publication and are not eligible for publication in FFO.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

We consider that published. It is not eligible for publication by FFO. but we look forward to reading your original, unpublished submissions.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@David That should be fine. Critters is a password protected workshop. You're not putting your manuscript out there for the whole world to see.

Curious 758
Curious 758

@Curious757 Is this comment supposed to be the fictional representation of a self-important, nobody commenter obsessed with criticising minor, arbitrary details in order to compensate for a meaningless and unimportant life?

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@SONIA BOGLO Submittable will provide an entry box for your cover letter. It should NOT be included in the manuscript itself.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Bethany Jane In theory, yes. You can submit stories set in the same world. I've yet to see it done well. In my experience, flash works best as stand alone stories. But that's not to say it can't be done.


And yes, you can write an entirely different story and sell it to a different publisher. FFO only owns the rights to the story that it buys.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Jordan888 You can submit at 1013 but if accepted, be prepared to whittle. And I have seen stories sent back at Suzanne's discretion for being over 1000. So basically, if in doubt, cut it back. Almost every story can be made stronger by cutting.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Michael Chandos Yup. Best to write something new.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Aidan 

1.) Yes! We love international submissions. <waves to all the Canadians up there> 

2.) As long as your story has been *significantly changed* from the original so that it can no longer be called the same story, feel free to send it. But I would definitely pull down that original blog post. You're tiptoeing in shallow waters when it comes to first digital rights. The best advice in this day and age is to NEVER put anything online that you think you might want to sell (unless you plan to self publish).

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@JudiAnnCalhoun Not currently. We have an in house illustrator. But thank you for your interest.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@M No. Once a story has been published online, you lose first digital publication rights.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Chuck Taylor  Best of luck to you.... may you find a quiet place in the shade to take a long, long nap one of these days!

mel
mel

Umm, I wont be done with the story and would not publish until 1 yr from publish at flashfiction...

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Ryan We are open to any authors, published or not. Submit away!

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Melissa Hicks A college literary magazine would be considered a published work. Thank you for your honesty. But we would be interested in any future works you might like to submit.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@tom w As long as the story is changed enough that it is no longer recognizable as the same piece, it's not a problem to resubmit as a new work. Authors often reuse the same storylines, characters, and universes. Thanks for asking.

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@mel Usually successful flash fiction is a story unto itself. It should be able to stand alone. If your story fits this qualification, feel free submit. If we choose to publish your story, your rights would revert to you after a year. 

Feuervogel
Feuervogel

Is there a bit of frustration at rejections going on here?


Aidan
Aidan

@AnnaY If a shorter version of the story is posted on a blog (500 words) and I submit the "fleshed out" version to you (1000) - would I have to delete my blog entry if you published my story?

AnnaY
AnnaY moderator

@Aidan @AnnaY Sorry for the delay!  Just saw and answered your original post from earlier. Not unless it's sufficiently changed from the original so that it would be a different story all together. Best bet is to write something new.

Trackbacks

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  2. […] We believe good stories should be free to readers—our goal is to help foster appreciation for short fiction. At the same time, we’re eager to support writers. We offer pro-rate payment for stories (as defined by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, $0.05/ word). All our stories are read blind, with the author names and other identifying material stripped off, to ensure impartiality. At FFO, it doesn’t matter if you are a new writer or a seasoned pro–if we like your story, we’ll take it.  Submission guidelines […]

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