Friday, September 11, 2009

Glimmer Train Stories

Glimmer Train is a prestigious literary quarterly that particularly likes short stories by new and lightly published writers. Publishing industry professionals take great notice of Glimmer Train. When a new issue comes out, an average of 15 agents call, asking to contact the authors featured inside.

Glimmer Train accepts submissions in July and October with no reading fee and pays $700 for published stories.

Each month also features a themed contest (or two), for which there are reasonable reading fees and substantial prizes.

Themes for September (stories accepted Sept 1 – Sept 30):

Best Start
Best Start is meant to encourage new writers to tackle that story! The piece should be an engaging and coherent narrative, but it does not need to be a complete story; it needs to be an important part of a story in progress. You could think of it as a writing sample, but we hope you'll feel free to reach a bit. Maybe you're experimenting with a new voice, developing a character, working on clarity in a complex bit of plot or trying to make your dialogue believable and significant. You could be playing with point of view, working to build tension, or looking for a satisfying ending. Or you might be two pages into something brand new.
Reading fee: $10 per piece.
Prizes: The 50 most engaging pieces will each win $50 and make Glimmer Train's Best Start list, which will be announced in our bulletin and in a number of other online publications.

Fiction Open:
Open to all writers, all themes, so have at it! Word count: 2,000 - 20,000
Reading fee: $20 per story.
Prizes:
1st place wins $2000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue.
2nd-place: $1000
3rd-place:$600

Themes for October (stories accepted Oct 1 through Oct 31):

Family Matters
We are interested in reading your original, unpublished short stories about family! Stories not to exceed 12,000 words.(No minimum, though it's rare for a piece under 500 words to read as a full story.)
This category has stimulated lots of questions about fiction/non-fiction/creative nonfiction, since many people have significant real-life stories they want to write. It seems to us that a substantial proportion of fiction submissions are heavily rooted in actual experience, which is entirely fine with us, but we do want stories to READ like fiction and anything we publish is presented as fiction. (Also, sticking too tightly to "truth" can limit the larger truth that fiction is able to reveal.) I would certainly recommend changing details that would allow the real-life people to say, Hey, that character is - without a doubt - me. I hope that makes sense.
Reading fee: $15 per story.
Prizes:
1st place wins $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue.
2nd place: $500
3rd place:$300

Standard Story Submission:
We are interested in reading your original, unpublished short stories!
Free – no reading fee.
Payment for accepted stories: $700, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies of that issue.
Stories not to exceed 12,000 words.(No minimum, though it's rare for a piece under 500 words to read as a full story.)


Note: for information about Brian Henry’s writing workshops and courses, see here.

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