We are looking for a first reader to join our editorial team. It’s a non-paying job, but you will gain valuable experience in this exciting field of magazine publishing.

Required qualifications:
Love of flash fiction
Good critiquing skills
Broadband connection at home
Availability to read 20-30 500-word or shorter stories a week (no critiquing is necessary)
Good communication skills
Light computer skills

An ability to promote the magazine on the social media

Everything at Vestal Review is done on Submittable and we communicate via email. No travel is required. The first reader reads and evaluates the submissions according to the schedule and makes recommendations to the senior editors.

Mark Budman and Sue O’Neill, editors

Apply to vrflash@gmail.com. Put “first reader application” on the subject line, please.

Please attach your bio and a short explanation on why do you want to work with us.

Update 4/7/16: We are pleased to announce our two new readers: Hillary Leftwich and Eileen Granfors. Welcome aboard, ladies.

Dear fellow writer. Let’s resolve the question of chicken and eggs pseudo-scientifically—does an author have a right to cash payment, or copies of his published work, above and beyond just plain exposure, or is exposure enough?

To be clear, we’re aware that most if not all authors crave exposure. This is just the nature of writing; we want to share it with the world. But do you feel that the publisher owes you something more than just exposure for your work? Do you consider compensation—whether it’s in copies, subscription, or an honorarium–your right as a contributor?

Here’s your chance to weigh in on this matter by taking this totally unscientific brief quiz:

For either a print magazine or ezine, print and electronic anthologies, do you agree that:

A copy/copies (print or digital) of your own work and/or subscription and/or honorarium offered by the publisher in addition to exposure is your fundamental right.

This is followed by “demographic” questions.

A copy/copies (print or digital) of your own work and/or subscription and/or honorarium offered by the publisher in addition to exposure is your fundamental right.
  • 60.71% - ( 34 votes )
  • 37.5% - ( 21 votes )
  • 1.79% - ( 1 vote )
Do you routinely send your new work to EZINES that do not pay (i.e.: the only "reward" for your accepted story is seeing it on line)?
  • 35.29% - ( 18 votes )
  • 64.71% - ( 33 votes )
Do you send your new work to paid venues first and to unpaid ones only when you exhaust all other possibilities?
  • 60.38% - ( 32 votes )
  • 39.62% - ( 21 votes )
Have you ever had a story or essay published in a pay venue, either print or on-line and/or have you ever won a writing contest that paid its winners?
  • 83.93% - ( 47 votes )
  • 16.07% - ( 9 votes )


Flash fiction: stories under 500 words. IRS code published here: 5368 pages, which at 300 words/page is 1,610,400 words. Should the writers of the IRS tax code use the same word limit as flash fiction as well before they self- publish it? Okay, let’s be generous. Let give them the word limit a of novel. 100,000 words?

Dear writer,

A word about submissions to ours or any other literary magazine.

The works coming to us over the transom are generally either good or very good. The problem, however, is that good is the new average, and, therefore, is not enough. You must be excellent.

Sue O’Neill and Mark Budman nominated the following stories published by Vestal Review in 2015 for the Pushcart prize:

  • Print Issue 46: “Momentum” by Pamela Wolfson;
  • Print Issue 46: “If Visiting Rome is Out of the Question” by Rachel Farrell;
  • Print Issue 46: “How Are You?” by Nancy Ludmerer.

Good luck to all nominees.