Open Reading Period
We will be reading for the Fall/Winter 2018 edition beginning Monday, Sept 24 through Monday, October 29th.
It’s important that you scroll down to read and follow our submission guidelines. We’ve updated them to try to streamline things, keep it simple, and avoid confusion.
This next issue will be about 50 pages long, so short pieces are best. We’re looking for concise writing with a strong, human voice.
We have an engaged local and regional audience, and thanks to our internet presence, a growing national and global readership as well. We are committed to featuring writers from Northeast Pennsylvania along with poets and storytellers from all over the state, the country, and around the globe. We particularly enjoy showcasing talented new and emerging writers right alongside those with experience and previous publication.
Read our mission statement on the About page. Read the our current, 15th issue—Spring/Summer 2018, 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.
- We seek your original, previously unpublished works (Blog posts and public Facebook shares, unfortunately, count as publication. Private workshop forums do not).
- Flash fiction
- Short stories
- Or some genre-bending combination.
- In ONE attached file (.doc, docx, or .rtf), please send:
- 3 to 5 pieces of short fiction and/or poetry.
- Each piece should be no longer than 1,500 words,
- With the entire file no longer than five pages.
- In the body of your email please include:
- A third-person bio of no more than 100 words, suitable for publication.
- Full contact information, including your physical address, so that we may send your two contributor copies (continental US only), should your work be accepted.
- Email your file to firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will reply that we’ve received it, usually within 24 hours.
- No need to reply to that first email. But if you don’t get one, let us know.
- Yes, we do accept simultaneous submissions and ask that you please notify us as soon as possible if your work is accepted elsewhere.
- We ask that if you have been accepted for publication with us, please skip the next issue before submitting again.
Still need help or 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.
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, along with an early downloadable PDF version which will also be available online once the full issue goes online.
- 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.
- All copyrights revert to the author upon publication. We 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.).
If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to email us at WordFountainLit@gmail.com 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
Extras and explanations
- Since we do not all work in the same building, we no longer accept submissions by mail or in person. Please use the email address above.
- We cannot accept or respond to submissions sent outside of our posted submission windows.
- When we say “in the continental United States only,” please understand, we are not trying to be difficult. The library simply does not pay for international shipping. And we are bound by what our funding does and does not permit. In the past we have mailed copies overseas from our own staff members’ pockets. Without actually weighing a package at a USPS office and having an exact address upfront, we had no way of giving an accurate shipping estimate. Giving a flat overseas rate just wasn’t fair to staff members footing the bill. So please do not ask. Thanks for understanding.
- Word Fountain is published by a small but enthusiastic library staff, spread across four branches of the Osterhout Free Library. We are fortunate, heck we’re downright ecstatic about working for an institution that allows us to do this as part of our daily job. But as a public library, our funds and time are limited. Following the guidelines on this page goes a long way toward helping us streamline the whole submission and publication process on a budgetary shoestring and still bring you and our patrons an excellent, professional, and beautiful lit mag. Thanks for being super about it. We appreciate you.