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 All work must be previously unpublished.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:



Additional Guidelines

– 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.

21 thoughts on “Submissions

  1. Duotrope says you don’t take simultaneous or reprints, but your submissions page is silent on this. Since I have no wish to offend, I thought I would check.

    • Hi Scott – Good point. Realistically we should limit the number of submissions to one per issue/theme. If anyone sends in more than this we will have to just take the first and ignore subsequent submissions. This would go some way to making sure submissions were realistically aligned with the theme for that issue. I will update the submissions page. Let me know if there’s anything else you feel isn’t clear – Toby

        • Hi – We welcome simultaneous submissions but ask you let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere. We only publish previously unpublished work, so no reprints unfortunately.

    • Hi Suhaila – Each issue is themed and we are restricting to one entry per theme/issue, so not sure how this would work. We might be doing some other formats in the future but right now serializations are probably out. Please have a look at the submissions page and let me know if you have any further questions. Let me know if I have misunderstood – Toby

      • Thank you for the clarification Toby, I appreciate your speedy response. Will keep an out for any format changes, but for now I’ll restrict my submissions to one per theme/issue.

  2. The short-story submission I sent you by email at the email address on your submission guidelines (a few minutes back) was returned undelivered!!

    • Hi Kersie – did you use If you did and it did not work, can you let me know if there was anything stated in the email. We don’t appear to have any problems with the inbox and have received submissions without issue up until now, but I don’t see anything from you. Let me know – Toby

  3. Hi,
    I live in China and use Chinese computers. I know this sounds very weird, and it is, but every time I send docs in Chinese Word to non-Chinese Word, the formatting goes haywire (Chinese characters instead of punctuation marks, lost paragraph breaks… it goes on. Horribly). The only way around this (that I’ve so far found successful) is to save and send docs as .rtf.
    I’d like to send something to you; would you be able to make an exception on the format rule…?

    • Hi Gerry,

      Yes, there is no restriction on genre, however we are looking for work that avoids cliche so would prefer any genre story to have something that sets it apart.



    • Hi Angelina,

      I’m afraid not. We want to be the first place people can find the short-listed stories. Think of it as an incentive to start a new project…


  4. Do you have a minimum length? You specify that you wish for short stories, but flash fiction isn’t always included in this, and I would like to make certain before submitting.

    • Hi Holly,

      There is no minimum length, although I suppose we are a little wary of flash fiction as it would have to be exceptionally good to take a reader on the same journey that a longer piece could do. I think the shortest piece we have published to date was 1,500 words, but if something was of sufficient quality we would publish something shorter.


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