FlashBack Fiction welcomes historical flash fiction, prose poetry and hybrid pieces up to 500 words.
What we publish
Feel free to send us anything from traditional storytelling to all manner of experiment and play, as long as the work engages with the historical in some way. We welcome unusual perspectives, magical realism, fabulism, alternate histories, and things that don’t seem to fit comfortably in any particular box. There is a maximum word count of 500 words (not including titles), but we welcome much shorter pieces as well and have no minimum word count. We can nominate up to eight pieces for Best Microfictions, for example, with a maximum word count of 400, so you may want to bear this in mind when submitting to us.
We are particularly interested in hearing from diverse voices including (but not limited to) writers of colour, LGBTQIA+ writers, writers from working-class backgrounds, and writers with disabilities.
At present, we’re not setting an arbitrary cut-off for when ‘history’ begins, nor are we limiting the notion of ‘history’ to any particular place or perspective. Anything set in the 21st century, however, is likely to be a harder sell.
We are currently open for submissions.
We accept submissions between:
- 15 January to 15 July
- 15 September to 15 December
Any submissions received outside these dates will be held until we reopen submissions.
We may close submission windows early if publications slots fill, but we would announce any early closures in advance.
How to submit (please read these instructions carefully)
- Please send us one submission of one longer piece (maximum 500 words) or up to three microfictions (100 words or fewer) at a time as a .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf or .rtf attachment to flashbackfiction <at> gmail <dot> com.
- We consider work up to 500 words. There is no minimum word count. We are happy to read microfiction, nanofiction, six-word stories, etc. Please put the word count at the top of your document, after the title.
- Please put the title of your work in the email subject line.
- We appreciate sensible, 12-point fonts and double spacing.
- We read anonymously at first, so please do not include your name or any contact information in your document or file name.
- Please include a third-person biography of no more than 50 words.
- A cover letter is welcome, but by no means necessary.
- We welcome simultaneous submissions, though please let us know as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- We primarily seek unpublished work. We will consider work that has appeared on your personal blog or website and also welcome non-winning Ad Hoc Fiction entries. We will also consider stories that have been previously published in journals that are now inactive or closed. Please highlight any of these eventualities in your submission.
- If we publish your piece, we ask for first world publication rights and the right to display your piece on our website as long as the journal exists. Copyright remains with the author at all times, and you are free to reprint at any time. If the work is subsequently published, we ask that you acknowledge FlashBack Fiction as the first publisher. We would appreciate six months exclusivity for pieces first published with us, but hey, if a great opportunity comes up, we’ll be cheering you on!
- If we publish your piece we encourage you to record an audio version to accompany the print. Our followers enjoy hearing authors read and it helps us be more inclusive. However this is entirely optional. Likewise we encourage you to participate in FlashBack, our author interview, which is published in the same week as your piece. Again, this is optional.
- Unfortunately, we are unable to pay authors at this time. However, we do our best to promote our authors on social media, and through nominations for awards such as Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize.
- We are based in the UK but welcome submissions from anywhere in the world.
- We reserve the right to copy-edit for spelling, grammar and consistency, before publication. Any significant changes to content will be approved by the author prior to publication. Please note that UK English is our house style.
- We won’t publish anything we deem offensive, abusive or discriminatory, or anything we feel just isn’t right for FlashBack. Our decision is final. Sorry, we can’t give feedback on every story we don’t accept, but will sometimes do so.
- Feel free to query if you haven’t heard from us within three months. We aim to reply more quickly, but our process takes time. We read each piece with care. At least three of us read and discuss every piece submitted, and strong contenders are read and discussed by the entire team.