Submission Guidelines

Black Heart accepts submissions in all genres of previously unpublished works of short fiction, with a word count of 2,500 words max.

As of 2017, we publish triannual (three times per year) themed issues, beginning with our DISARM anthology released in April 2017. Additional info will be added to this page as new themes are developed.

Please read and abide by the specific guidelines (listed below) for the section to which you’d like to submit. We look forward to reading your work.


Short pieces to a maximum of 2,500 words are accepted. All genres are considered, but stories must relate (however loosely) to the themes provided below. We do NOT read novel excerpts. Please send only one story per issue. Simultaneous submissions (i.e. sending the same piece to several different publications) are fine; simply withdraw your piece from our submissions system if it is accepted elsewhere. Writers have a choice between Fee and Free submissions; fee-based submissions will receive brief feedback on submitted work, whereas free submissions will only receive a form acceptance or rejection letter.

AUGUST 2017 THEME: Summer’s End.

Currently closed to submissions.

DECEMBER 2017 THEME: Holiday Hell

Submissions Deadline: October 31, 2017

Publication Date: December 1, 2017



Submit your short fiction here.


We are currently CLOSED to poetry submissions at this time.


Response Time

Our new set-up is designed to eliminate lagging response times. We will only accept pieces for each issue during a certain window of time: March 31 to June 30 for the August issue; July 31 to October 31 for the December issue; and November 3, 2017 to February 2, 2018 for the April issue. All pieces will receive a response, according to their order of submission. Pieces submitted for each issue will receive notification by the first of the month of publication, at the latest. Please do NOT submit pieces for the December issue until July (etc.), as they will be discarded for not respecting the current theme window.


No monetary payment is available, as Black Heart’s day-to-day activities – like those of most literary magazines – are run on the sunshine and rainbows that emanate from our volunteer staffers’ asses. Contributors to our anthologies and issues will receive electronic copies of the collection in which their piece appears. (We do not typically publish print versions of our magazine or anthologies.)


Please do not send us work that you would not want to see published on our site. This may sound obvious, but note that we will not “unpublish” your work if you have a change of heart. Consider our website as written in pen, not pencil – just like the rest of the Internet – and use a pseudonym if you must.

Black Heart reserves the right to edit all pieces considered for publication, both for obvious typographical/spelling/grammatical errors and for alignment with our internal style guide and overall editorial vision. The editing process remains the same for all submitters, regardless of perceived stature and cover letter name-drops.

Writers intent on making our editors’ lives difficult will be added to a blacklist that fires all email from said writers directly into the sun. Piss off our editors at your own peril.

If you don’t like or agree with any of these policies, we cordially invite you to submit your work elsewhere.

How to Submit

Send us your best work via our submissions manager. Options are available for each genre; please choose appropriately (i.e. make sure your “poetry” submission is actually a poem and not a short story, as they will be routed to different editors). If one of your pieces is accepted elsewhere, please use the submissions system to inform us. Stories that surpass our stated word limits will not be read.

(Last updated 9 October 2017)

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