Welcome to our robust and genuinely easy-to-use story submission system!  

We know how much goes into writing a story you care about. Glimmer Train tries to set the bar for treating writers with respect, and continues - after 27 years - to actively champion emerging writers. (Fully half of the coming year, our submissions will be open only to emerging writers.)

Over the past four years, 88% of the 1st place stories in our Short Story Award for New Writers, and 48% of winning stories in all categories were their authors’ first print publications! Although the gender balance shifts widely issue to issue, over those same four years, it has been exactly 50/50!

Glimmer Train’s 2017 Submission Calendar

Now that I've regained my composure a little, I want to thank you for the gigantic boost you've given me. You probably hear this from everyone who places in the Short Story Award for New Writers, but at the risk of boring you: Every time one of my stories dies halfway through draft two, every time a friend says, "I don't get it," every time I open a rejection letter, I'll think back on our call and know I'm allowed to return to my desk and keep plugging away at the thing I love. That knowledge is life-changing.—Gillian Burnes, 1st place winner of GT's Short Story Award for New Writers

One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train Stories is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small PressesNew Stories from the MidwestThe O. Henry Prize StoriesNew Stories from the SouthBest of the West, New Stories from the Southwest, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Best American Short Stories.

We are eager to read your work! (And we read all submissions ourselves.)

Susan & Linda

Sisters and co-editors

Ends on October 31, 2017$18.00


Emerging writers are welcome in ALL categories, but this category is exclusively open to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled to appear, in any print publication with a circulation over 5000. (Entries must not have appeared in any print publication.)

Most entries run from 1000 - 5000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 words are welcome.


  • 1st place wins $2500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies.
  • 2nd place wins $500, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.
  • 3rd place wins $300, or, if chosen for publication, $700 and 10 copies.

READING FEE: $18 per story.


This contest is held in January/February, May/June, and September/October, with these deadlines:

February 28 | June 30 | October 31 

NOTE: There is always a one-week grace period.


Winners will be contacted directly the week before the public announcement in our bulletins, which will be on these dates:

May 1 | September 1 | January 10

We look forward to reading your work!

Wikipedia describes the "slush pile" as the set of unsolicited manuscripts sent to publishers, and normally sifted through by young assistants. Susan and I started Glimmer Train because we wanted to read the great short fiction being written by emerging voices, and to publish the very best in a handsome print publication that would endure.

When we dive into reading stories, we are prepared to be moved, surprised, and changed; we are never disappointed. We look forward to reading your work.