We assume that every writer is also a reader, so please read the guidelines before submitting and not the other way around.
Our philosophy: Most stories are not rejected because they are not good, but because other stories are better.
Vestal Review now publishes its print issues twice a year in a perfect-bound edition. All content is available on the Web. We welcome your submissions, but please read our guidelines first.
We don’t read new submissions in December, January, June and July (except for special calls for submissions). All submissions sent during this time will be deleted. Don’t worry: the categories that we don’t temporarily consider will be hidden from view. Each submission is to be sent separately.
Our reading periods are:
Once in a while, we have special calls for submissions that change the above schedule and payments.
Effective immediately, all submissions should be done using our submission manager. We will not consider any other forms of submissions.
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Use this e-mail to inquire about the status of your submission (please wait three months before sending it):
Please start the subject line with the word “Query.” Do not use this e-mail for anything else including submissions.
Vestal Review accepts only original material. No reprints, please. Even if it has been displayed on your own Web page, we consider it published. If the story has been posted and reviewed at a password-protected e-workshop with a controlled list of participants, we consider this a plus.
Vestal Review is a magazine for flash (short-shorts) fiction. We realize that there are different definitions of what a flash story is and all of them have merit. In our definition, a flash story is no longer than 500 words and it has a plot. If it’s longer than 500 words and/or has no plot, we are not interested. We are also not interested in porn, racial slurs, excessive gore, or obscenity. On the other end of the spectrum, no children’s or preachy stories either, please. Our target audience is people over 18, so R-rated content is OK, but not X-rated. Most genres, other than children’s, syrupy romance or hard science fiction, are accepted, and we love humor.
Don’t forget that the title is an important part of the story. Make it pertinent but don’t tell too much. We generally don’t favor one-word titles.
A change in our payments: Since our content is free and we pay our authors, and since our expenses are constantly going up, we are forced to resort to service charges after 16 years of fee-free publication. We now charge a $2 for each submission, which is less than the industry standard $3.
Subsequently, we increased our honorarium to $25 flat.
We have a fee-free category for our previous contributors, to recognize the importance of our alumni and alumnae.
Our VERA award is also fee-free.
In addition, every contributor will get one free copy. The default method of payment to all authors is PayPal, but arrangements can be made for an alternative way. PayPal is the only alternative for foreign writers.
In exchange for these fees, we ask for first North American serial rights and First Electronic Rights. In addition, we ask for no posting of the accepted story anywhere on the Web, or in print in the United States or Canada, for 30 days after its exclusive appearance on the Vestal Review Web site. After this period, all rights revert back to the writer but we ask that you acknowledge Vestal Review in any subsequent printing of the material published here, be that on the Web or in hard copy. We are also asking for one year archiving rights and anthology rights. Anthology rights are secondary, meaning that the author may sell his or her story to any other anthology market providing that 30 days passed after the Vestal Review publication.
Being writers, we understand the frustration of waiting for months and months for an editor’s reply. We do allow simultaneous submissions. Please inform us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. If your story is accepted for Vestal Review, please withdraw it from other markets immediately.
These guidelines are created to make the editors’ lives easier and our replies faster. If you won’t follow them, we will have to return your submission unread!
A cover letter is great. Please enclose a 2-3 line third-person bio. We would like to know whom we are dealing with. Don’t forget your legal name and the postal address so we can mail you the check. We will not consider an anonymous submission.
So, please send us your best and let’s work together.
Vestal Review welcomes all writers. We will not list every category we welcome because we would invariably miss some. All means all.
P.S. Magic Mondays
Submit a magic realism story of up to 250 words. It can be a story of the type of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” or humorous magic realism. No hard science fiction or high fantasy. The selected story will appear on the VR’s website every other Monday. The best published story of three months selected by the reader’s poll will be included in the next issue of Vestal Review with our standard publication pay. No fees.
Please do not submit anything that doesn’t match the theme or the story length limitations.