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Big Fiction publishes long-form fiction with substance, texture, and urgency. We especially love to read prose that matters, in language that sings on the page. We welcome both experimental and traditional narratives.

Our reading period for regular (non-contest) submissions is now closed. Thank you to those who sent us your work during the September reading period.


Submissions update: If you submitted to the Novella or Lazarette Books category, and you have not heard from us by December 31, it means your work is still under consideration. If you submitted to the Novelette category, you can expect to hear from us by the end of January, 2015. Thank you for your patience.


We consider only long-form literary fiction: novelettes (7,500 – 15,000 words) and novellas (15,000 – 30,000 words). For slightly shorter or longer works, please query us first. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as you notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. No genre (sci-fi, horror, fantasy, romance) or children’s fiction, please.


News flash! We are also now accepting submissions of novellas and short novels of 15,000 - 45,000 words, in collaboration with Lazarette Books, an imprint of Dock Street Press. Use the link below to submit to either Big Fiction or Lazarette Books.

We accept online submissions via Submittable. Please submit no more than two pieces per reading period. We try to respond as quickly as we can; in the past our response times have ranged between 3-6 months. If you have not heard from us in three months, feel free to query


Big Fiction pays a flat rate of $100 and six author copies for each published piece.


Sound good? Use the link below to submit your work. Thank you!







First- and second-place entries will receive $500 / $250 and publication in our contest issue. David James Poissant, author of The Heaven of Animals (Simon & Schuster, 2014), will judge.



Submit your entry online between December 15, 2013 – March 15, 2014. All entries are considered for publication, and all participants will receive a copy of the contest issue. The winning entries will be announced on our website during May 2014, and will be published in the Summer/Fall contest issue. Finalists will be given priority consideration, but because of space, we can’t guarantee publication.

We welcome simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Only previously unpublished work can be considered. Submit online through Submittable only (see link below). E-mailed submissions will not be considered.




  1. All entries must be single, self-contained works of fiction, between 8,000 and 30,000 words.
  2. Please DO NOT include any identifying information on the manuscript itself.
  3. Only literary fiction in English will be accepted. Sorry, no translations. (We’d love to publish a translation issue, just not this time.) No genre fiction or children’s, please.
  4. The $20 contest fee includes a copy of the contest issue for all entrants.
  5. International submissions in English are eligible for an additional $10 to help us cover postage.
  6. Volunteers and staff of Big Fiction are not eligible.
  7. Students, former students, and colleagues of the judge are not eligible.




David James Poissant is the author of The Heaven of Animals, a short story collection forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in March, 2014. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Playboy, One Story, Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and in the Best New American Voices and New Stories from the South anthologies.



2013 Judge: Lauren Groff

2013 Winners: Steve Yates and Sandra Gail Lambert

Questions about these guidelines? E-mail us at


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