General Guidelines   Thanks for submitting Flash Prose or Micro Series to Variant Lit! 

Q: What does Variant Lit consider to be flash prose? 

A: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Hybrid narrative prose of 750 to 1200 words.

Q: What does Variant Lit consider to be a micro series?

A: A series of three micro narratives, each titled, with no page breaks between micros. Fiction, Nonfiction, or Hybrid (need not be identified). Each micro should be between 250 and 400 words, for a total of 750 to 1200 words.

Q: How many can I submit in one document?

A: Either one piece of flash OR one micro series. 

Q: Do I have to indicate whether my piece is fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid?

A: If you like, you can tell us in the cover letter. Or you can leave it ambiguous.

Q: Is this where I submit my nonfiction? What happened to the prior genre? 

A: We no longer have a separate nonfiction genre. If your nonfiction narrative is 1200 words or less, submit it here. We are not looking nonfiction longer than 1200 words.

Q: What do you mean by narrative?

A: We are looking for prose in which characters do things and things happen. If your prose does not provide an active experience for the reader, consider whether it might be a prose poem?

Q: Is this where I submit my expository essay?

A: Nope.

Q: Are there any content restrictions?

A: Not really. 


Our asks:
1) Submit once per submission period, unless specifically invited to resubmit the same period.
2) Submit EITHER one piece of flash OR one micro series.
3) All work must be submitted through Submittable.
4)  Please include a brief 3rd person bio with your submission.
5) Simultaneous submissions are fine--withdraw as needed.

6) Do not send previously published work unless we put out a particular call stating otherwise.  


We intend to provide:
1) Responses within 2-3 months. (Most prose submitters receive a responses within one month.)
2) Pay of $10 per accepted flash story or micro series.
3) Publication of accepted work in the subsequent issue. (We do not hold work for consideration for later issues.)
3) Upon publication, all rights revert to the author.
4) Nomination of exceptional work for awards.


Our standard practice is to edit all prose in communication with the writer.

It is uncommon for us to respond to submissions later than 3 months--please contact us through a Submittable message if you haven't heard from us by then.   

Thanks again for all you do!

General Guidelines   Thanks for submitting Fiction 1200 to 5500 words to Variant Lit!
Q: What do I do with fiction shorter than 1200 words?
A: Submit to our Flash section
Q: What happened to Nonfiction?

A: We no longer have a separate nonfiction genre. You can submit a nonfiction narrative of fewer than 1200 words to our Flash section.
Q: How many stories can I submit in one document?
A: One.
Q: What are you looking for?
A: We are looking for fiction in which characters do things and things happen. We like dialogue. Fiction in this category must have one or more kernels (pivots/aboutness) supported by satellites (clues/cues/breadcrumbs) and have the makings of metaphor.

Q: I don't know if my story has metaphor. 

A: We'll know. Just send it.

Q: Are there any content restrictions?
A: Not really. 

Q: What if my story is about martian propaganda robots?

A: Sure? We publish speculative fiction of literary quality. 

Q: Can I send you Middle Grade Fiction?

A. Hard no.

Q: Do you require a certain format?

A: We are partial to MS word, Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced, indented paragraphs, no additional spaces between paragraphs, paginated.

Q: What if I forget to paginate my story?

A: Jail.

Q: Let's say my story is accepted by Variant but then three weeks later I get an offer from Giant Paying Market, and I withdraw the story after you've done a lot of work in it. What happens then?

A: Right to jail.

Q: Why won't you take a pdf? I use google docs and I can save as a pdf. Seems exclusionary to me.

A: Listen, if we love your story A LOT we'll reformat it for you, moaning and gnashing.

Q: I hear you do real edits. What if I don't want my story to be subject to edits?

A: Please tell us in the cover letter so we can consider whether your story is publishable without edits.

Q: How many pages is 5500 words?

A: About 20.

Q: What's your sweet spot?

A: About 12.


Our asks: 

1) Submit only once per submission period, unless specifically invited to resubmit the same period.   

2) All work must be submitted through Submittable.   

3)  Please include a brief 3rd person bio with your submission.   

4) Simultaneous submissions are fine--withdraw if accepted elsewhere.
5) Do not send previously published work unless we put out a particular call stating otherwise.  


We intend to provide: 

1) Responses within 2-3 months. (Most prose submitters receive a response within one month.)   

2) Pay of $10 per accepted Fiction 1200-5500 word story.    

3) Publication of accepted work in the subsequent issue. (We do not hold work for consideration for later issues.)   

4) Upon publication, all rights revert to the author.   

5) Nomination of exceptional work for awards.


Our standard practice is to edit all prose in communication with the writer. 

It is uncommon for us to respond to submissions later than 3 months--please contact us through a Submittable message if you haven't heard from us by then.   


Thanks again for all you do!

Ends on

General Guidelines
Thanks for submitting poems to Variant Lit! 

Our asks:

1) Submit once per submission period, unless otherwise invited.

2) Submit up to to 5 poems totaling no more than 10 pages.

3) All work must be submitted through Submittable.

4) Please send all work in one file. When submitting multiple poems, please start each poem on a new page.
5)  Please include a brief 3rd person bio with your submission.

6) Please withdraw individual poems accepted elsewhere by means of a submittable message. (Simultaneous submissions are fine.)
7) Do not send previously published work unless we put out a particular call stating otherwise.

We intend to provide:

1) Responses within 2-3 months. (Most poetry submissions receive responses within one month.)

2) Pay of $10 per accepted poem or set. 

3) Publication of accepted poems in the subsequent issue. (We do not hold work for consideration for later issues.)

3) Upon publication, all rights revert to the author or artist. 

4) Nomination of exceptional work for awards.


It is uncommon for us to:

1) Offer edits on poems. 

2) Respond later than 3 months--please contact us through a Submittable message if you haven't heard from us by 3 months.

Variant Literature