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Submission Guidelines

We are OPEN for Submissions

We are generally open for submissions year ‘round. We may occasionally close to get caught up on the slush pile. We are currently open for submissions.

How To Submit

Click over to Submishmash to submit. If you’re not familiar with the kind of stories we’re looking for, read on for a few moments first.

What We Look For

We publish stories from 500 to 1,000 words in length. We look for previously unpublished material, with the exception of our Classic Flash selections. (Classic Flash stories are old: the copyright must have expired on them. If you would like to recommend one, please email the editor.)

They’re very short, but they are still stories. That means the best ones have strong, interesting characters, plots, and (to some extent, at least) settings. You can read more about this aspect of what we’re interested in here.

Regarding Content

We’re not that concerned about genre. Many of us have a fondness for science fiction and fantasy, but we also like literary fiction; and in any case, great flash stories aren’t always easily classified. If you wrote it, and you love it, then submit it.

Second-person point of view has a hard time running our gauntlet. Some of us like it, some don’t. You can submit it, but the odds of publication are lower than first- or third-person.

We want our publication to be accessible to a variety of ages, so please, no erotica, porn, or graphic sex or violence. Think Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or Criminal Minds on TV: they handle horrific situations, but always obliquely enough to be shown on TV — and for the most part, you never notice that the graphic elements aren’t shown. But sex is also a part of life: if your story addresses sexual issues or contains non-graphic sexual content for a purpose, nobody on the editorial staff will be offended if you send it in. The worst we can do is say “no”, right?

In the same way, we won’t publish profanity. However, you don’t need to remove profanity to submit to us; just be prepared to modify it if we accept the story.

There are things that we’ll consider, but that are a hard sell for us. These include: Second-person point-of-view (does the story really need that perspective?), queer fiction (in particular, stories which would be obvious or trite if the characters had been straight), polemical fiction (we prefer stories with messages in them over messages told as stories). That said, we won’t rule out any of these, so the worst case is that we say “no”.

What To Submit

Look at the guidelines on Submishmash to see the details.

SFWA Qualification

Publication in Flash Fiction Online counts toward the requirements for membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).

Please note that the SFWA requires three qualifying publications of at least $50 each that total $250 or more. Publications in Flash Fiction Online would need to be combined with other professional publications to meet this requirement.

Although the SFWA recognizes this magazine as a professional market, we frequently publish literary fiction and other genres. See below for more information about the type of stories we like.

Payment and Rights

A sample contract is here (PDF format).

We pay fifty dollars ($50) per story. This payment provides us with first electronic rights, including HTML, PDF, plain text, and MP3 (audio) formats. Distribution will be through this Web site and a variety of other electronic means — as of this writing, we expect podcast, email, and RSS. This only means that we can publish in those formats; once we publish in one format, the author can do what she wants. For example, if we publish in HTML only, and later the author wants to publish a PDF, she maintains that right. We still have the right to create a PDF ourselves, but we have no right to stop the author from republishing.

This payment also provides us with a non-exclusive one-time right to publish the stories in an anthology. No timelines have been identified for this project.

All other rights for the work remain with the author.

Response Times and Queries

To query, send an email to

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