We are looking for mainstream fiction. We want stories that are well written, intelligent, and enjoyable to read. We want stories with metaphors and emotional content and imaginative descriptive writing. (But we do publish science fiction, fantasy and horror from time to time, because we love to read just about anything.)

Writers tend to plateau and then stay there awhile. We challenge you to write something new, something different from your usual bag of stories. Exactly how does one go about being different? Break the rules. We’re not saying you should break the rules of good writing. Break your own rules. Stretch yourself. Go out on a limb until something snaps.

That’s easier said than done. Here are some clues regarding what we look for in a story:

Usually stories with more characters work better than stories with fewer characters. You’ll need to have a strong central character, of course. But as you write, think about which character owns each scene. Create a clear scene with imaginative writing but not too much exposition. While action and dialog lead to exciting writing, descriptive writing will play an important role in giving your story skin.

…and then, there’s this:

We prefer shorter stories, 500 words to 2,500 in length. And we also like collections of poems.

If your work is accepted, it’ll be put in the online edition of Longshot Island as a part of our short list. Best stories that appear online will go into the magazine. Best stories from the four quarterly magazines will go in the annual book.

We pay with 5 copies of the magazine after it has been printed. We send the magazines to the O. Henry awards. At the end of the year, the best stories in the book are sent to the Pushcart Prize.

As you can see, we’re more interested in helping you get recognition than we are in making money. It’s the validation that you’re one of the great writers that matters.

Use the form below to submit your work. Thanks.

New Story Submission