Submission Guidelines

Pithead Chapel electronically publishes literary fiction and nonfiction monthly. At present, we only accept submissions under 4,000 words. All submissions that follow our guidelines below will be considered for an upcoming issue.

Flash Fiction: We only accept one flash story at a time and please make sure the word count is 1,000 words or less.

Short Fiction: Please make sure the word count doesn’t exceed 4,000 words. If the guidelines aren’t followed your story will be returned at our convenience, unread.

Nonfiction: We’re interested in personal, memoir, lyric, flash (short-shorts), and experimental essays; we aren’t interested in critical essays. Please make sure the word count doesn’t exceed 4,000 words. If the guidelines aren’t followed your work will be returned at our convenience, unread.

Cover art: We’re looking for cover art for our upcoming online issues. Previous issues have featured paintings and photography–both realistic and abstract. Browse through our archives to get a sense of what we like.

Simultaneous Submissions: We do accept simultaneous submissions; however, please let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere.

Rights: If your work is accepted by Pithead Chapel, you’re granting us First Serial Rights, along with nonexclusive Electronic Archival Rights, to showcase your work indefinitely on our site. At the time of publication, all rights revert back to the author. If you republish the work elsewhere, all we ask is that you please credit us as the first publisher. (Authors can learn more about how rights work here.)

Editing: Pithead Chapel reserves the right to edit manuscripts for grammar or clarity issues without notification if necessary. If a manuscript requires a substantial amount of editing, we will notify the author of such changes for review before publication.

Response Time: We’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible about your submission. If you haven’t heard from us in six months then query us; otherwise, please be patient. We are doing our best and giving each submission the attention it deserves.

Payment: Currently we don’t have any way to pay contributors. Someday that could change. For now though all we can do is help promote your writing and say good job.

Please adhere to these guidelines when submitting to Pithead Chapel:

  • Name, email address, and phone number appears on the first page of the story
  • Work is double spaced and  has a 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman)
  • Document is saved as a rtf, .doc, or .docx file (we will not accept any other file types)
  • Work has page numbers
  • Pithead Chapel doesn’t consider previously published work (this includes journals, blogs, etc.)
  • Please don’t send us genre fiction; we aren’t the market for it
  • Please only submit one fiction or nonfiction piece at a time and wait for a response before sending another
  • All submissions must be sent through Submittable (click on the link below)

Submittable submit button

Please note that Pithead Chapel might temporarily close submissions from time to time to prepare an upcoming issue—so always check this page for updates before submitting. If you need to contact us please send us an email at