Submission Guidelines

We welcome fiction, poetry, non-fiction, essay, and art.

Fiction: We are looking for flash fiction, short stories, and novelettes. The word limit is 12,000 words. We’ll consider longer works (novella length), but expect tighter scrutiny. Same with novel excerpts: so long as no one else retains the rights, we’ll consider them, but only the exceptional will find a place with us.
We are less concerned with fiction category than with quality content. So if you offer a compelling, well-wrought story that happens to take place in a haunted cabin or in a space station, fine. That said, we rarely publish genre-specific pieces. Just ask yourself what is more important: the story or the genre, and if the answer is the former, send it our way.
The only type of work we’re less inclined to publish is hardcore erotica, explicit violence (violence for the sake of violence), or overly religious works. Such stories have a place, but probably not with us. Explicit language is fine, but think of it like violence: is it for its own sake or does it further the story?
Please submit only one piece at a time unless dictated otherwise by a contest.

Poetry: Please send no more than six poems at once. Quality weighs more than structure. We marvel at sonnets, Haiku, and free verse — bring it on. Quatrains, couplets, ballads, elegy poems, lyric, and narratives.

Nonfiction & Essays: We are open to memoir, essays, screenplays, and stage plays. Just as with fiction, longer works must bear greater scrutiny.

Art: We are looking for striking artwork in any genre (painting, photography, sculpture).

Thirteen Ways accepts simultaneous submissions, though we ask that contributors say so on the query or cover letter. If the work is accepted for publication elsewhere, please do us the courtesy of informing us promptly.

We will consider previously published work, provided the contributor can prove that any previous publication or medium no longer has rights to the work and that the work is not currently retained publicly (archival rights).

We only accept electronic submissions at this time. In the future, we may accept the dead-tree variety, but for now, attach your work as either a .doc or .docx format. We’re not worried about font or spacing or margins; just give us your best and we’ll take care of the formatting.

We accept submissions year round, but won’t be reading during the month of July, over the winter holidays, and during a short spring break. Expect slightly longer response times if you submit during these periods.

Rights: Upon acceptance, Thirteen Ways will have first-time digital rights (or one-time digital rights for previously published works) for the work to appear in that issue, both online and in the ezine. After that time, we ask for archival rights so the work can remain on the site, but surrendering archival rights is not required for initial publication. Refusal will not exclude any contributors from consideration.

Our response time is between two and three months. Sometimes you’ll hear back sooner, but we’ll try our best to make sure you never hear back later.

We will always accept submissions independent to our contests, so please don’t confuse the two. Indeed, contests help keep the lights on, but they also provide a financial incentive. It is important to us that – no matter what else is going on – we offer a no-cost avenue for submissions.

Please send all submission via email to Put the title of your work and your last name in the subject line.