THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
We two sisters genuinely welcome new writers, and are happy to consider any original short story that has not appeared in a print publication. (Previous online publication is fine, but please no novels, poetry, or stories written for children.) One of our greatest pleasures is being the first to present—in print—a wonderful story by an emerging voice.
We pay writers generously for accepted stories and publish them in a highly regarded physical publication where great short stories persist in the real world. writer/reader comments
Every submission in every category is read by us, and we don't stop reading for a competition just because we've found a good story. (the slush pile)
We maintain two Standard (minimal-fee) reading periods a year. Contact us if the $2 processing fee is a hardship. No one should be prevented from submitting their work for lack of funds.
If you read Glimmer Train Stories, you know that we go to some lengths to honor and support our contributors and their writing.
2018/2019 SUBMISSION CALENDAR
We have five submission categories from which to choose, including our standard category ($2 processing fee, and payment for accepted pieces is $700), and four contests (1st place prizes from $2,000 to $3,000 are made possible by reading fees). Contest vs. standard.
Click on the names of the categories, in green below, for details.
NOTE: contest deadlines are always followed by a one-week grace period.
Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place - $2,500):
Welcome in Jan/Feb, May/June, and Sep/Oct. The final New Writer Award will be held in Mar/Apr 2019.
Open only to emerging writers who haven’t had fiction appear in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 800 to 4,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.
Very Short Fiction (1st place - $2,000):
Welcome in Mar/Apr and July/Aug. The final Very Short Fiction Award will be held in Jan/Feb 2019.
We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words.
Fiction Open (1st place - $3,000):
Welcome in Mar/Apr and July/Aug. The final Fiction Open will be held in Jan/Feb 2019.
Open to all subjects and themes. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 3,000 to 20,000 words.
Family Matters (1st place - $2,500):
Welcome in Nov/Dec. The final Family Matters contest will be held in Mar/Apr 2019.
Calling for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.
Standard Category ($700):
Welcome in April and November. The final Standard Category will be held in April 2019.
Open to all. $2 processing fee. Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter lengths are welcome.
Formatting: We're not fussy about that since when we read the story, we can change the font style and size if we need to. Double spacing is nice, but not necessary.
Contact info and page count: Including that information at the top of your story is entirely optional; word count is helpful, but not required.
Pen name: If you use one, you're welcome to list both your legal name and pen name, but that is not required.