Guidelines for submission

We welcome submissions of original nonfiction that has not already been published elsewhere (including the writer’s own blog or website). We do not pay writers. We aim to respond to all submissions within one month. Simultaneous submissions are welcome but please let us know in your cover letter you’re also sending it elsewhere, and withdraw it as soon as it is accepted by another publication.

Please submit via our Submittable account, including with your submission a one or two line bio.

We publish original nonfiction writing including personal essays, lyric essays, reportage, narrative journalism and short memoirs of under 2,500 words. If you would like to submit something to be performed at our Manchester reading series, please keep your submission to under 1500 words.

Please note: We’re a bit different from some other literary journals in that we work with writers to polish and improve the pieces we publish. This means we may offer editorial feedback and ask you to revise your piece if we accept it for publication.

Writers are welcome to contribute to the Ninjas of Nonfiction series. Each post is a 400-800 word introduction to a writer’s whole oeuvre. Please include any links to the Ninja’s Twitter account, writing online, or online purchasing options.

We also publish reviews of nonfiction works new and old, including e-books, journals, and regular old nonfiction books. Get in touch if you’d like to propose a review. Authors and publishers may email us information about books available for review (info@openstories.org) and we’ll get in touch if we want a review copy.

About us:

The Real Story is brought to you by Openstories, a Manchester-based writing organisation. It’s run by Kate Feld and Adam Farrer

Kate Feld is a writer, editor and journalism lecturer. She writes short fiction and essays, and her work has appeared in  publications including minor literature[s], Neon, Caught by The River and Entropy.  She works for Manchester Literatue Festival, too. She’s evangelical about creative nonfiction. Don’t ask her to define ‘creative nonfiction.’ She can often be found on Twitter.

Adam Farrer is a columnist, short story writer and spoken word performer based in Manchester. His work can be found at BBC Online, This Is Not TV, The MagPi, The Drabble, MacGuffin, Flashflood, the Tapes & Tales podcast and on his blog, The Unsmoked Pipe. 

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6 Responses to About

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  4. Wordsgood on April 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I have just discovered your amazing site through Adam Farrar’s humorous WordPress blog. Thank you, Adam!

    I had no idea that these types of sites for creative non-fiction – which has been my favourite genre for several years now – even existed. To then find out through your Links Page that this site is one of many, is just downright exciting!

    I have no idea how I have gone all these years without ever coming across this type of site, or for that matter, why it never occured to me to search for them. Given the endless hours I’ve devoted to surfing the web for book and writing related sites, I feel rather silly now. And a wee bit dense. ;)

    That’s really all I have to say. I was just so thrilled about “my discovery,” that I felt the need to comment. I’m sure I’ll be spending many an hour here from now on!

    Cheers everyone. :)

  5. Alex Rankin on October 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I’ve got some writing that might be suitable. Is there an email address I could write to with a sample before I go ahead and submit?

    • Adam Farrer on October 25, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Hey, Alex. You could email us at our info@openstories.org address but we would prefer completed submissions via our Submittable account, which you can submit to free of charge.

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