Short fiction

There's a special buzz that comes from discovering a really excellent short story. Sometimes they achieve more than a book, sometimes they offer a glimpse into a vast world. When they're done well they are really special.

A big part of what we want to do at Unsung Stories is find new authors and give their unique visions a home. This is why we are publishing short stories on our site. We publish a new story every two weeks, which goes out to our email subscribers as well as being published here on the site – make sure to sign up to Unsung Shorts here and receive a FREE ebook of the best of our short fiction so far. 

What kind of stories do we want?

Good ones, first and foremost. We want science fiction, fantasy, horror sub-genres and anything in the fuzzy bits between. All of these things can be and are literary. Help us push the envelope. Our novel submission guidelines should give you a good idea.

In some respects short fiction liberates you from world building, the interaction of every scene with the complete story and the weight of all those words that make up a book. That doesn't mean you can shirk on credibility of course. It means your believable characters, your engaging plot and that alchemical something work in different ways. It's an art, after all.

Make us laugh, scare us, get our adrenaline pumping, make us fall in love all over again, remind us why you're not meant to push that button, sing a song of cilia, a pocket full of lightspeed. Be original. Show the world the limits of genre fiction don't exist. We won't shy away from anything but always remember there's a difference between shocking and gratuitous.

How long is short?

We will consider stories up to 3000 words (preferred length is under 2000 words though).

Payment and Rights:

We pay £25 per story.  For this we get first electronic rights exclusive for three months, with non-exclusive archival rights. We'll pay within 30 days of publication via PayPal. 

How to submit

Fill out our submission form below. Standard manuscript format for the files please. Document files only please, ideally Word/Pages (we're not keen on RTFs). No PDFs or text files. We only accept short story submissions online.

No simultaneous submissions please, and only send us one story at a time. All submissions should be previously unpublished, no reprints. If we have rejected your story once please do not resubmit - if we want to see a rewrite we'll let you know.

When to expect a response

We are not a massive company and we don't have staff dedicated solely to reading through submissions. As such, we will endeavour to respond to short story submissions within 60 days.

We do sometimes offer feedback and suggest changes if we think a story is almost there.

Don't be afraid to query if you haven't heard after 60 days. We don't bite.

I still have questions!

Email us:

Our favourite kinds of question are stupid questions and obvious questions. They're normally the hardest to answer.