The Submission Window for our Spring – Summer Issue is open through March 31st.

Please check out a preview of our current issue, #12, Winter 2017 and find out how to get a print copy yourself. Our Summer 2016 issue is already sold out but you can click here to view the online experience and find a downloadable PDF.

Please scroll down the page for the complete guidelines and submission instructions.

What to Send Us

We invite emerging and established writers to send us their previously unpublished stories, poems, flash fiction, and mixed genre work. We prefer very short pieces as we seek to pack quality and variety into 40 to 60 pages. We’re looking for concise writing with a strong voice.

Emily Dickenson told Thomas Wentworth Higgins, “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”

Well, we do like fires that can warm us and we’d rather keep the tops of our heads intact, but we think Dickinson had the right idea. We long to read something so well carved and beautiful that we feel a punch in the gut, a need to gasp for breath, or the impulse to say, “Oh!” Most importantly, we want to read something that makes us want to read it again. Poetry that tells us something in a new way, a story that makes us see, even the smallest something in a way we hadn’t considered before. That’s the sort of writing we crave.

Read our mission statement on the About page. Read the current issue, and maybe glance at a past issue or two, not just to get a feel for what we like, but also for what we might be missing. Don’t be afraid to try something new with us. We certainly don’t want to keep publishing the same things over and over.

Still Need Help and Inspiration?

If you have never submitted to a literary magazine before and need some help and encouragement,  you can boost your confidence here, or learn some nitty-gritty details here. But let’s keep this as simple as possible.

It is very important that you carefully follow the guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines:

  • We want your original, previously unpublished works (Blog posts and public Facebook shares count as publication. Private workshop forums do not), whether they be flash fiction, short stories, poems, or some genre-bending combination.
  • In an effort to include more writers in our small publication, we ask that if you have been accepted for publication with us, please skip the next issue before submitting again. But please, do submit again (in about six months).
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions and ask you to please notify us as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • In one file, please submit up to 5 pieces of prose, poetry, a combination or blend. Each piece should be no longer than 1,500 words and the entire submission file should be no longer than five pages total. Basically, whatever you send us, it can be up to five pieces or five pages, whichever comes first.
  • All submissions should be emailed to (Please note, due to technical difficulties with the old county servers, we are using this new Gmail address for submissions). You should receive a reply in acknowledgement of your submission from us within three days at the latest. If you do not, please let us know!
  • Please in one Word document (.doc or .docx file preferred. .rtf is okay)
  • Please use the word “Submission” in the subject of your email.
  • In the body of your email, please include a third-person bio of no more than 100 words, suitable for publication.
  • Please also include full contact information in your email, including your physical address, so that we may send you two contributor copies (continental US only), should your work be accepted.

Legal and Technical Stuff:

  • We are a small literary magazine, supported by the Osterhout Free Library. As such we can pay only in two author copies which can be sent only within the continental United States. Once the full issue goes up online, a downloadable PDF will be available there.
  • Submission grants First North American Serial Rights, which simply means you are giving us the right to be the first to put your work in print.
  • While all copyrights revert to the author upon publication, we do ask for Non-exclusive Electronic Rights to display and archive the work here on the website.
  • If your work is later published elsewhere, we simply ask that you credit its original publication to Word Fountain.
  • Submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, and spacing, so please let us know if your piece requires special formatting or spelling (dialect, slang, etc.).
  • Writers under the age of 18 must include a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian.

If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to email us at and ask, or if you want more detailed advice about submitting to literary magazines, including some help with the confusing lingo, click here.

Send Your Submissions to:

or if you really must do snail mail:

Osterhout Free Library
ATTN: Word Fountain Staff
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Word Fountain is listed on Duotrope, Poets & Writers, and New Pages’ Big List of Lit Mags.