We are looking for submissions, up to 4,500 words, from contributors who have something interesting to say and a talent for communicating. We want to take readers on a journey first and foremost, but we also want that journey to be to somewhere they would not normally go. Any stories involving vampires, wizards, or single women in their thirties looking for the perfect man/pair of shoes, will most likely need to be ground-breaking works of genius to make the short-list; they are all good subjects, but too familiar.
Contributions for each issue will be short-listed to somewhere between six and eight stories which will be posted on the site. Once they are on the site they will be handed to our judging panel, whether that be a reading group in Toronto or a convent in Dublin. The top story will receive a prize of GBP50.00.
Submissions should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman or Arial, with the title, author, and page number at the top of each page. The Red Line acquires first rights for publication. Upon publication, rights revert to author. Please do not submit more than one entry per issue/theme.
Note: From January 2014, in addition to the rights listed above, The Red Line would reserve the right to publish all short-listed story in the end of year anthology. More details to follow.
We welcome simultaneous submissions but ask you to let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere immediately. All work must be previously unpublished.
Our submissions form can be accessed here:
Conflict – Closes 28th February, 2015
Nature – Closes 30th April, 2015
Un-Themed Competition – Closes 31st June, 2015
The Album (stories inspired by specific pieces of music) – Open indefinitely. This theme is re-opened to submissions. The title and content of your story must be directly related to a specific piece of music. Please reference this piece of music in your cover letter. For example, the title of a story might be “Secret Xtians”, and then in the cover letter you might include the sentence: “This story is inspired by/based on ‘Secret Xtians’ by The Unknown Mortal Orchestra” so that we can find the piece of music.
– We do accept creative non-fiction, but please make sure there is something there of interest to a wider audience.
– We do accept experimental formats, but please bear in mind that we are a primarily a short story magazine; we are looking for pieces with a strong narrative that are designed to be read. We do not accept poetry, or work designed to be performed. Donald Barthelme would definitely have made the magazine, but a poem by T. S. Eliot, a song by Lennon/McCartney, or a script by David Lynch would not.
– We like genre fiction, but we don‘t like reading the same story over and over again. Try to make it fresh and well written, as anything relies solely on the standard tropes and stock characters will not make it through our stringent vetting process.