You’re the busy writerly type. We understand. You just want to know the basics so you can get on with writing more stories. So here’s the important stuff you need to know.
We accept quality short stories of between 500 and 3000 words. Each story should be sent in a separate email as an attachment in a standard format (doc, docx, out, rtf) along with a word count and genre – there’s a list later on for when you’re under less creative pressure. Please ensure that the manuscript document does not need permission for opening.
If you have had previous work considered please do not add a new story to that thread as your precious work may get lost in the ‘already seen’ folder. We love to receive your submissions but we need the above as a basic minimum to add the work to our system. Submissions that do not include word count and genre and that are in a format other than those already mentioned cannot be considered.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll get a decision from us within 6 weeks. We do send an email confirming receipt of your work and if you haven’t had that after five days please do follow it up. We will not think you are fussing.
Please note: WE DO NOT PUBLISH CHILDREN’S STORIES.
That’s basically it.
You can however earn extra brownie points by putting the story title as the name of your attached file and by not subjecting your lovingly crafted prose to a whole bunch of weird formatting and indents. 12pt, single spaced in a standard font will do nicely, thanks.
By default we assume you own the story, it hasn’t been published before and that it is an exclusive submission but we’re a friendly bunch so we will happily take a look at previously published work (just let us know where it is/has been published) and we don’t mind simultaneous submissions (just keep us informed). We’re also a bunch of writers at heart so all copyrights and publication rights stay with you.
We encourage constructive feedback and author interaction. As such, all published stories are open to comment (one or two older stories have no comment boxes but this is no longer an option). People generally play nicely but we will on occasion send a specially trained stealth-hobbit into the very heart of WordPress Towers to remove comments that are clearly spam or designed to be derogatory and destructive.
Speaking of hobbits…
We hope that you’ve taken the time to read some of the previously submitted work here on LS as that’ll give you the best indication as to whether your story is a good fit. It’s an eclectic mix in the archives but we don’t publish poetry, essays or travelogues and if you’re including hobbits they probably need to make us laugh. A lot.
We don’t rule anything out but if you’ve got any of the following elements lurking in your tale you’re going to be up against it:
Game of Thrones fan fiction even if it DOES make us laugh.
Stories about clever kids that save the world.
Stories with characters named Zorg or Klart. Or Klorg. Or Zart.
Stories with talking animals, about talking animals or Kangaroos that can rescue children who have fallen down a well.
Stories about children who fall down wells.
Stories that make us recall either The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie and smile wistfully.
Any story that was inspired by Kramer v Kramer.
Any story composed whilst wearing beige, tweed and/or listening to Daniel O’Donnell.
EXTRA THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW
Content: Whilst we set no barriers to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality; high amounts of profanity, gore, and sexuality are generally used poorly. Be sure to use them well if you do use them.
Multiple submissions: Please submit each story in a separate email. You may submit more than one piece while awaiting a decision.
Payment: Kudos only, we regret to inform you.
Biography/Writing CV: We love to know more about our authors and so we encourage you to provide a brief bio (200 words maximum). It is entirely optional, although we will mention it again when you get your first acceptance mail from us (unless you tell us otherwise, we will use this to set up your author page). You may also include a photograph (4MB maximum). If your photograph has been taken professionally please confirm that you own the copyright or have permission for it to be used in this manner and include any attribution where necessary.
Genre: We mentioned them back at the beginning and here they are. Please indicate in your email when submitting your story which ONE of the following genres best describes your story:
Revision: From time to time we may suggest specific revisions and ask the author to edit their story accordingly prior to publication. More often we will make very minor edits without informing the author.
Critique/Feedback: We do not provide detailed critiques and feedback as standard, however we often provide comments from the editors especially if a story is rejected and it’s a close call. Our motive is to encourage. We are all writers so we know what it’s like to get a rejection note. Please let us know if you would rather avoid any possible feedback and we will of course respect your wishes.
Anything still causing confusion? Email email@example.com and we’ll do our best to help.
Hugh, Diane, Nik and Leila