We are currently closed for submissions.
Our Spring/Fall 2017 issue will be released in print on Thursday, November 2nd at the Osterhout Free Library’s Main Branch on South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre PA with a launch party and reading starting at 6:00 pm. The online edition will follow in the weeks after that.
Our next submission window will open on January 25th when we start reading for the spring/summer issue.
Please scroll down the page for the complete guidelines for future submissions.
What do we look for?
We invite emerging and established writers to send us their previously unpublished stories, poems, flash fiction, and mixed genre work.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, 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 like featuring writers from Northeast Pennsylvania along with poets and storytellers from all over 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 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 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.
It is important that you carefully follow the guidelines below.
- We’d love to read your original, previously unpublished works (Blog posts and public Facebook shares count as publication.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.
- 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 attached file (We prefer .doc or .docx file, but .rtf is okay), please submit up to 5 pieces of prose, poetry, or a combination of the two. Each piece should be no longer than 1,500 words and the entire submission file should be no longer than five pages total.
- Email your file to email@example.com. You should receive a reply that we have received your submission within a day, three days at the latest. If you do not hear that your submission was received, please let us know!
- Please include the word “Submission” in the subject line of your email.
- In the body of your email, we ask that you 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, along with an early downloadable PDF version which will also be available online once the full issue goes up.
- 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 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:
or if you really must do snail mail:
Osterhout Free Library
ATTN: Word Fountain Staff
71 S. Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701