We will likely re-open to submissions this fall. You can sign up for our newsletter below to get updates.
If you submitted in April 2016, we are aiming to respond to all stories by May 31. Please do not query about a submission before May 31.
UPDATE: We have responded to the vast majority of submissions and should have decisions wrapped up by Sunday, June 5. Please do not query before June 5. After June 5, you can email editor Brian White at email@example.com to query if you have not heard from us and you submitted in April 2016. (Please do NOT send submissions here. Any stories sent to this address will be deleted unread. Seriously. Don’t “try anyway,” it just irritates us.)
When open to submissions, Fireside will generally looks for original, unpublished flash fiction (1,000 words or less) and original, unpublished short stories up to 5,000 words. We do not ever accept unsolicited submissions of art, novels, novellas, novelettes, or anything else longer than 5,000 words. If you submit a novel or anything way over the word count limits, we’ll probably blacklist you.
Fireside is able to publish about 10,000 words a month and pay the writers well because of the generosity of our subscribers and Patreon backers. The more we raise each month, the more stories we can buy! (Note: Backers do not receive preferential consideration.)
Fireside pays 12.5 cents per word, with payment on completion of edits. We buy first world publication rights and six-month exclusivity, as well as the right to reprint the story once, non-exclusively, in a Fireside anthology.
Please DO NOT resubmit stories that we have previously rejected by Fireside, even if you have revised them. They will be rejected unread.
Please DO NOT submit a story that you have already submitted elsewhere but have not heard back from. (Often called simultaneous submission.)
You can only submit ONE flash story (up to 1,000 words) and ONE short story (1,000-5,000 words) at a time.
A story that you have posted on your blog or website is considered published, please do not submit such stories.
We are not looking for poetry, nonfiction, reviews, art, or anything but fiction.
Fireside’s goal is to publish great storytelling, regardless of genre. What do we mean by great storytelling? We want stories that go somewhere, with plot and a beginning, middle, and end. We’re not looking for character studies or metafiction or hallucinatory visions. (We LIKE those things; it’s just not what we publish in Fireside.)
I’ll let Neil Gaiman say it again, as I have in our Kickstarters. This is from his introduction to his “Stories” anthology, writing of his response to a question about what quote he would want inscribed on the wall of the kids’ section in a public library. He captured the reason why we love good stories in his response:
I’m not sure I’d put a quote up, if it was me, and I had a library wall to deface. I think I’d just remind people of the power of stories, of why they exist in the first place. I’d put up the four words that anyone telling a story wants to hear. The ones that show it’s working, and that pages will be turned: “and then what happened?”
And yes, we seriously mean any genre. We have published sci-fi, horror, romance, crime, fantasy, Westerns, near-future, and modern non-speculative fiction. The stories were all terrific, and we are looking for more of those and from all the many genres we haven’t explored. Just tell us a good story.
Vague? A little. But we think it’s exciting, too. No two issues of Fireside have the same feel, and we hope that makes every issue a little more surprising.
If you’re not quite sure if your story fits, please send it and our editors can decide. If you want to get an idea of what we’re looking for, all of our issues are free to read online (there’s links at the bottom of this page).
Fireside wants to reflect the endless array of diversity in the world. We welcome stories from all writers, and we are especially interested in stories including (but not limited to) the lives, experiences, and viewpoints of women, people of color, QUILTBAG people, people with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people outside the United States. We strongly encourage submissions from people of those backgrounds, and all others whom traditional publishing has historically excluded.
There are some things we absolutely do not want. If you send us stories with these, the story will be rejected and you will be blacklisted:
*Depictions of rape or sexual assault
*Depictions of child molestation or brutalization of children
*ANY sexual depictions of children (seriously what is wrong with you)
*Depictions of brutalization of women
*Depictions of brutalization of people with disabilities
*Depictions of graphic torture
*Depictions of animal abuse
This is not saying stories cannot touch on, address, or talk about these issues. But we don’t want these acts illustrated in detail in Fireside.
This isn’t negotiable, so don’t ask. If you need to have these things in your story, find a different market. We really do have a blacklist.
Sexual content is OK, but we are not a market for erotica. We are also fine with profanity and violence. We’re not looking for gratuitous violence, though.
If there’s something we haven’t addressed here, please feel free to email editor Brian White at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do NOT send submissions here. Any stories sent to this address will be deleted unread.)