87 Bedford is currently OPEN to submissions!
We publish the following:
- Short Fiction
- Flash Fiction
- Micro Fiction
- Serial Fiction
- Other Forms of Creative Media
- Book Reviews
We are seeking beautifully-written, original short stories by writers with distinct voices and a clear, sweeping vision. We want to read stories not simply for the pleasure they give us, but also for the way they dare to dream, to take risks, to question or to speak out for/against our ever shifting world–stories that possess both the courage and craft needed to execute on their ambitious intent: the melding of art with entertainment. Our favorite kinds of stories are those that are still emotionally haunting long after their plots have slipped from our memories, the fingerprints of their ghosts left behind on our day-to-day lives. To paraphrase Flannery O’Connor, the ending of a short story should be at once surprising and inevitable, gifting us with some kind of intangible – a deepening awareness of the fragile conditions of being human.
We are strong advocates for intoxicating language and pleasing sentences. That said, stories should also be clear and readable. Proper grammar and punctuation are vital to crafting a story which is fluid, artfully-written, and also easy to comprehend on a line-by-line level.
We welcome both traditional and experimental forms of literary fiction, as well as genre fiction provided we feel that the work shows some “literary” aesthetic. We highly encourage submitting intrepid stories that slip across borders, elusive to strict marketing conventions while staying in full control of their geography at all times. Genre-blending should have purpose and direction.
We’ll take any great story that can be classified under the umbrella of commercial or genre fiction (romance, mystery, crime, etc). What gets us excited is speculative fiction in all its guises (fantasy, science-fiction, magic realism, surrealism, slipstream, urban fantasy, horror, steampunk, silk punk, cyberpunk, etc). We are fans of humor, but our tendency is towards dry wit, satire, or absurdity treated with a flat acceptance, rather than anything slapstick or vulgar.
We do not accept anything that contains gratuitous sex, violence or unnecessarily graphic language. Nor do we read fan fiction.
Please only send us short stories between 500 to 8,000 words (preferably ~4000). We will not consider any story over 8,000 words unless we feel it’s absolutely outstanding and makes a valid case for the extra word count.
We define flash fiction as stories between 500 to 1000 words. Submitted stories that fall within these limits will automatically be classified as flash. Just like a great short story, a great piece of flash ought to impress us with finesse throughout its entirety, instead of hinging solely on an unexpected twist at the end.
For a bigger (or smaller) challenge, send us a work of micro fiction (less than 100 words). Be sure it still tells a “complete story” that has a beginning-middle-end with conflict and resolution. Micro fiction shares a lot of the same elements with prose poetry. We like to think the difference is an emphasis on character and character development rather than on an image.
We accept serial works, especially for fantasy, science fiction or other genre fiction. We will publish each installment weekly or in each new issue.
Please send us only (1) story per category per active submission. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission in a given category. For example, you may send us a short story submission and a flash fiction submission at the same time, but no multiple submissions, i.e. do not submit another short story or flash until we have responded to your previous short story or flash submission.
We allow simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify us as soon as your story has been accepted by another market.
Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your manuscript.
We try our very best to keep our response time to under one month. Feel free to inquire about the status of your submission if you have not heard back after a month.
We want vibrant poetry that steals into our mind, hijacks our neurotransmitters, and takes us for a joyride outside our comfort zone, towards a higher political, social, and cultural elevation.
We accept all types of original prose and spoken-word poems. Please submit a total of no more than (2) prose and/or spoken-word pieces to us at a given time. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission. Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your poetry.
Art & Photography
We want sublime art and creative photography to pair with our stories and poems. We’re much more inclined accept works that complements the prose we’ve published (any story or poem that is not featuring an art sample), but we’re happy to consider standalone pieces as well.
You may submit up to a total of (3) pieces of art or photo in a single submission. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission. Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your art or photography.
If you would like to submit art that fits the subject of our current or upcoming contests, please take a look at our Contest Page.
Formatting & Submitting
All fiction manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format. Most important: double-spaced, 12 pt standard font (e.g. Times, Arial, Courier), and page numbers.
Poetry can be formatted any way you want.
Include your work as a separate attachment (.DOC, .DOCX, or .RTF) in an email. For spoken-word and other creative media pieces, include a link to your performance video in the body of your email (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or attach a video file in a common video format (.AVI, .FLV, .MPEG, .WMV, .MOV) along with a transcript of the piece.
For art and photos, please send each piece as a separate attachment only as .PNG or .JPEG.
Please email all submissions to email@example.com and include in the subject field the type of piece, the genre, if appropriate, the name, and approximate word count or number of lines of poetry. Examples: Flash Fiction – Fantasy – “The Girl Who Grew To Be 80 Ft. Tall” (6000) or Poetry – Spoken-Word – “Folding Origami With My Mother” (20). Please also mention how you heard about us in the body of the email. A cover letter isn’t necessary, but you’re welcome to include anything that you feel is important or interesting for us to know about the piece.
For contest submissions (currently closed), please follow the instructions on our Contest Page.
We look forward to receiving your work!
Editing, Rights & Payment
If we accept your work, we may make line-edits for grammar, punctuation and clarity. You will have the opportunity to review and discuss all edits with us before the final version of your work is published.
For unpublished works (that have never appeared anywhere online or in print), we ask for First World Serial Rights, First World Electronic Rights and Exclusive Rights for 90 days. All rights revert back to the author after 90 days.
We accept reprints of published works. For reprints, we ask for Second Serial (Reprint) World Electronic Rights, which are non-exclusive.
For all stories and poems, whether original or reprint, we ask for Non-exclusive Audio Rights, which gives us the right to publish an audio podcast of the work if we so choose.
We also ask for a One-time Non-exclusive Right to Reprint and include the work in a single, digital PDF Issue that will be electronically distributed and transmitted via email to our Patreon subscribers within the 90 days of the work being published on the website.
We kindly request permission to archive your work on our website. We publish works on a rolling basis, and all published works will automatically be archived unless you tell us not to.
We pay $0.01 USD per word for each short story, installments of serial fiction, or book review.
We pay $10 USD for everything else, such as reprints, flash fiction, micro fiction, poetry, art and photography, or other creative works.
Payment will be made through PayPal (preferred), or mailed by check, upon publication.
All published works will be credited with a byline, and contributors will be featured on our Contributors Page.
Our core vision from day one is to compensate creative authors for their time and hard work, while continuing to provide quality content to readers for free. We are working on becoming a professional paying market, but need your help.
We really appreciate your support!