Note: Berkeley Fiction Review‘s short fiction submissions will be closed from July 1st to August 31st, 2021 for Summer. If you miss the June 30th deadline, please feel free to send us your work in the Fall—we would be delighted to read it then!
The Berkeley Fiction Review is a forum for short fiction, published annually. We invite submissions of previously unpublished short stories from around the country and the world year-round. Some of the authors we have published in past issues have gone on to have successful careers in the literary world; others write only as a hobby. Unlike the majority of literary journals, we do not charge submission fees in the hopes that we can provide an opportunity for all authors, regardless of economic circumstances. On that note, we now offer a $25 payment for accepted stories and continue to offer a complimentary copy of the Issue in which your story appears.
When emailing us your short fiction submission, please keep these guidelines in mind:
What we’re looking for
- We look for innovative and reflective short fiction from new and emerging writers across all genres that play with form and content, as well as traditionally constructed stories with fresh voices and original ideas that say something new or bring nuance and perspective to an ongoing cultural conversation.
- We are passionate about representing a range of minority voices in the journal — by “minority,” we mean intersecting communities that often have their voices suppressed (the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, BIPOC, noncitizens).
- Most importantly, we look for short fiction that invokes a visceral reaction in our readers—whether it’s joy, fear, or the solace found in being seen and understood, make our readers feel something.
- Do not submit works that promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, or ableism. Be thoughtful and intentional in your writing.
In the email
- We only accept electronic submissions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Submission: Name, Title” in the subject line
- (For example, Submission: John Doe, The Girl in the Pool).
- Stories should be attached to the email as .doc or .pdf. Please do not put the story in the body of your email.
- Include your name, address, email address, and the title of your story in the body of the email. We do not require author bios or cover letters along with your submission. If you would like to include a cover letter, please keep it brief, and add it to the body of the email.
- Please include content warnings if you feel your story contains particularly sensitive material, any warnings will not affect the review process.
In the submission:
- Submissions should be typed and double-spaced in twelve-point Times New Roman font. There is no minimum required page count, but submissions should not exceed 30 pages in length.
- Please do not include any personal information anywhere on the document as we do blind-reads only.
Our review process
- Submissions go through three levels of review in order to be accepted for publication
- A submission must receive 3 votes of approval from our staff, then 2 votes of approval from our editors, and then receive a majority approval from our entire staff of 30-40+ folks. Due to the democratic nature of our journal, our reading period tends to vary between 4-6+ months.
- In order to ensure the quality of our review process, please refrain from sending more than two submissions within a three-month period.
- While we often encourage resubmissions, we ask that authors take the appropriate time to look over their piece and wait three months before sending a revised submission.
- Simultaneous submissions are encouraged.
- Please let us know immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere.
- Multiple submissions per author are also accepted. However, you must send separate emails for separate submissions.
- Please do not attach multiple short stories in a single email, as doing so slows down our review process.
- Due to the volume of submissions, our response time is generally anywhere from three months to a year. Since our staff is composed of students, expect a delay if you contact us during the summer. Feel free to e-mail us an inquiry about your submission, but as our journal functions as a class, some submissions get stuck in review between semesters.
- All are encouraged to read Berkeley Fiction Review before submitting in order to get a feel for the work we publish. We include electronic versions of our issues in the Archive tab. Additionally, print copies are available for order. Our most recent issue is $10, and older issues are $5. This price includes shipping and handling. For information on ordering, please click here.
Berkeley Fiction Review
c/o ASUC Student Union FMO
432 Eshleman, MC 4500
Berkeley, CA 94720
General / Submissions: