Magazine submissions


Quick guideline rundown:
50-4000 words short stories. Fiction only. No poetry.
We do not accept poetry submissions.

Here’s more on that.

So, you think you’ve got a piece of short fiction that we could be interested in? Well, we’d love for you to submit your work to us. You never know, it could end up being on the cover of our next issue with the full front cover treatment.

One thing we’d suggest, before you submit, is that you take a look at some of the stories we’ve published here at Open Pen. It’s always good to know the sort of fiction a publication enjoys. Of course, we’re willing to take a look at anything. It’s important to remember that we are not confining submissions to a theme or specific type or style of prose. As long as it is between 1 and 4,000 words, it’s suitable for submission. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Perhaps check our FAQ section below first, though.

Submissions can come from anywhere in the world. We’re OPEN.

Please note that we may take a bit of time getting back to you even once we’ve made our decision. We aim to get back to everyone, but we’re a small team so please bear with us.

Please submit as a word document (.doc) or other text file (.pages .txt .docx). Please do not submit your work as a PDF.


Audio submissions

We now run a podcast. We’ve called it Pencast. Audio submissions should be sent to us as an MP3. We’re looking for poetry, shorty stories, and anything in between. Contact us for more details.


I’m not sure if my piece is suitable. Are there guidelines for submission?

The only rules are that your submission must be your own work, between 50 and 4000 words (short fiction for our magazine, any creative writing for our website).

Can I submit to your magazine even though I’m not from the UK?

Yes. It’s “Open Pen” right?

Do you accept poetry?

Sure we’ve been over this, but… I’m afraid that we’ve decided not to include poetry in our magazine. Why? Well, we just don’t know enough about it, and there’s plenty of vessels out there for you budding Whitmans.

That said, we do accept spoken word recordings for our podcast.

How many submissions get used in each issue?

The number of runner up submissions we print each issue will depend heavily on the word count of the winning piece and runner up submissions. However we will aim to get the winning piece and at least one or two runner ups in each issue. We usually have about four.

Can I submit more than one piece?

We’re happy to accept multiple submissions from individuals. But don’t go mad, there’s only so many eyes here.

How will I know you’ve received my submission?

We will advise by email when we are in receipt of your submission.

I found a copy of Open Pen randomly, where can I get a copy of the next issue?

Check out our list of stockists.

How can I advertise in Open Pen?

Please get in touch by email or phone via our contact page and we will be happy to provide pricing details.

How do I contact one of your writers?

If you have a message for one of our writers we will be more than happy to pass it on for you. For full contact details we will have to request the permission of the writer so please send your request to us by email. Please see our authors section for some information about the winning authors.

Can I subscribe to Open Pen?

Yes. Subscribe here. (Open Pen is free from bookshops, which is where we’d really love you to pick up a copy. We understand that getting to one of our stockists is not always possible, we don’t have stockists everywhere, so if this is the case, check out our subscription packages, which cover costs – our magazine, should it really need to be said, is not-for-profit.)

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