Submission Guidelines

How To Submit

Click over to Submishmash to submit. 


AS OF MARCH 1, 2015, WE ARE OPEN TO REPRINTS. Payment is $.02 (two cents) per word. You must include where the piece has been published before. All general guidelines apply. 


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.

We welcome submissions from writers of every race, religion, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation.

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.


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. Stories only. We do not publish poetry, nor do we publish fiction with poetry-like formatting. Reprints are okay. Submit them under the appropriate link and let us know where they have been previously published.

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.


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:

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 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 with “QUERY” in the subject line.



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