submission guidelines

​We have two submission periods: our fall cycle runs from September 15th through December 1st; our spring cycle runs from March 15th through June 1st.

We accept fiction and essays: fiction in any genre (except children’s and YA) with a clear literary intent, and essays as narratively straightforward or as experimental as you envision. Translations are welcome. International submissions in English are welcome. We welcome simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Please only submit one piece at a time. Only previously unpublished work is considered.

We compensate our writers: fiction and essay writers featured in each BIG FICTION issue receive $50 upon publication. Every published writer will also be interviewed for our podcast. A completed novelette is no easy feat, and you should be recognized on as many levels as possible for that. A fee applies to all fiction and essay submissions. We're volunteers reading through beautiful long works, and we borrow time from our other endeavors to love your beauties through selection and publication.

Need more info? Of course, you do. See below.
 

Submit online through our SUBMITTABLE link only. Emailed submissions will not be considered.
No refunds will be given for any materials submitted.

FICTION

(submissions periods: September 15th - December 1st  &  March 15th - June 1st)
We welcome manuscripts of 7,500 – 20,000 words. All submissions must be self-contained works of fiction. We welcome longer novel excerpts so long as the submission entered can stand alone as its own entity.

The novelette and novella form carries a bunch of meanings and suggestions. They act like novels but are crafted with the concision and containment of a short story. This in-between space creates opportunities to explore linear and non-linear narratives, alike, as well as experimental approaches to perspective, structure, and language.
We can list so many fascinating takes on what the form ambitions to be, but we particularly enjoy Lindsay Drager's in the Michigan Quarterly that the form is "a book-length work that uses conciseness and unity to create a narrative of suggestion that feels at once compressed and expanded." You can also consider Ian McEwan's take (which Drager quotes in her epigraph) and also Meg Pokrass's take on how to discover alternate forms within the form.

ESSAYS
(submissions periods: September 15th - December 1st  &  March 15th - June 1st)

The numerical stat: we accept essays up to 5,000 words.

Our essays begin with the idea of we're all a fiction, that we create ourselves and our place in the world through the stories we tell about who we are collectively and invidually. We take our lead from Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, that a "nation" is an invention, something that springs to life from the stories that disrupt disparate lives with the novel idea that our discrete communities aren't not so different or isolated after all. That we're tied to each other. For better or worse.

We want essays that offer us a lens through which to consider the things that matter to us most. Entangle us in the shapes and textures that build into a person. Insight grows into and from unexpected places.


No style is out of bounds.

BOOK REVIEWS

(submissions accepted year-round)

We welcome reviews of novellas that you've read and loved, that you've read and engaged with on a material or stylistic level, that you've read and wrestled with on a narrative or character level. We ask that as you explore the content, you investigate the mode. What makes it work as a novella? What makes the work function differently than had it been a novel? The goal is to collectively to create an in-progress definition as we compile book reviews across months and years. We publish a new book review every month, unless you flooded us with great reviews and challenge us to keep up with you. Challenge us as often as you'd like.

The nuts and bolts: up to 2,500 words.

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