Issued triannually, American Short Fiction publishes work by emerging and established voices: stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way home. Stories published by American Short Fiction are anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-Required Reading, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and elsewhere.
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We have separate guidelines for our short story contests and regular submissions. We run two short story contests a year, the American Short(er) Fiction contest in the winter/spring, and The Halifax Ranch Prize for Fiction in the spring/summer, plus the Insider Prize for incarcerated writers in Texas. Please check our homepage for current contest information. Guidelines for regular submissions are below; please follow these guidelines for all non-contest submissions.
Submission Details: Regular Submissions
American Short Fiction has published, and continues to seek, short fiction by some of the finest writers working in contemporary literature, whether they are established or new or lesser-known authors. In addition to its triannual print magazine, American Short Fiction also publishes stories (under 2000 words) online. Submit here.
Unsolicited submissions will be accepted from August through December. During other times of the year, keep an eye out for our contests. There are no set guidelines as to the content or length of regular submissions. Anyone wishing to send a story to American Short Fiction should first become familiar with the work previously published by the magazine. Our standards for acceptance are extremely high. Sample copies and subscriptions are available for sale through our online store.
Short fiction submitted to the magazine must be original and previously unpublished. ASF considers work that has appeared online (including on blogs and Facebook) to be previously published.
All manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced, with the author’s name, address, phone number, and approximate word count at the top of the first page, and numbered throughout.
Send only your best work. Submit only one story at a time. Pay the $3 submission fee before submitting your work.
We are not accepting paper submissions at this time. All paper submissions will be recycled upon receipt.
All manuscripts must be written in English. Translations are acceptable, but must be accompanied by a copy of the original text.
We will read and consider simultaneous submissions on the condition that if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, the author immediately withdraw the submission through the Submittable site.
Payment is competitive and upon publication. American Short Fiction purchases first serial rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication.
The editors aim to respond to manuscripts in a timely fashion, and ask that you wait a minimum of five months to send follow-up inquiries. Please send inquiries by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the phrase “Submissions Inquiry” in your subject line.
As the name indicates, American Short Fiction does not publish poetry, plays, nonfiction, reviews, etc.