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Guidelines for submission

Essays and short nonfiction:

We’re looking for personal essays, lyric essays, reportage, narrative journalism, experimental nonfiction, prose poems, flash essays/flash nonfiction, vignettes, sketches, comic essays and short memoir of under 2,500 words. If you would like to submit something to be performed at our quarterly Manchester reading series, please keep your submission to under 1500 words.

We welcome submissions of original essays and short nonfiction that have not already been published elsewhere (including the writer’s own blog or website). Please submit via our Submittable account, including with your submission a one- or two- line bio. We do not currently pay for essays and short nonfiction.

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 submitting the piece elsewhere and withdraw it as soon as it is accepted by another publication.

If your piece is accepted, you’ll be assigned an editor to work with. We’re different from some literary journals in that we work directly with writers to edit and polish a piece, rather than publishing work as submitted. This means we may offer editorial feedback and ask you to revise your piece if we accept it for publication. Please be aware that we will only publish accepted pieces which have been through the editing process.

 

Ninjas of Nonfiction and book or essay reviews:

Writers are welcome to contribute to the Ninjas of Nonfiction series. Each post is a 500-800 word introduction to a nonfiction writer’s whole oeuvre. Tell us about the writers who have influenced you, the writers whose work you can’t stop thinking about, the writers whose books you would rescue from a burning building.

We also publish reviews of nonfiction books new and old (500-800 words), or short pieces of writing considering individual essays. Get in touch if you’d like to write one of these for us.

Authors and publishers are welcome to email us information about books available for review (info@openstories.org) and we’ll get in touch if we want a review copy. We’re also always looking for nonfiction authors to headline our Manchester event series; proposals for featured readings are welcome.