We'll be accepting stories through May 15, 2019. and publishing our final issue in October of 2019!  (See full details.) We happily anticipate reading like mad over the year ahead!

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 28 years - to actively champion emerging writers. 

Visit www.glimmertrain.org to see our complete Submission Calendar.

I was just describing what my experience has been like to another writer I've been encouraging…explaining that you are honest, and a force for good, and that sets a tone that comes through in everything, and produces all its own evidence, as all good work being done out of love does, and that's what makes Glimmer Train different.  It's the two of you, it's personal, and it matters.  There is no warmer home for writers than what you two have built.  And I feel so fortunate to have found my home early, because it's made such a difference, and by some strange magic, always when I've needed it the most.—Gabe Herron

We are eager to read your stories!

Susan & Linda  

Sisters and co-editors


We are looking for stories about families of all configurations. It's fine to draw heavily on real-life experiences, but the work must read like fiction and all stories accepted for publication will be presented as fiction. Sticking too tightly to "fact" can limit the larger truth that fiction is able to reveal. Give your story the leeway it needs in order to find its own life. And, if your story is closely related to your actual experience, it is wise to change details that would allow the real-life people to say, Hey, that's me!

Most entries run from 500 to 5000 words but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome. Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome. (Previous online publication is okay.)


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



The Family Matters contest is held annually in November/December, with this deadline: January 2.  

All contest deadlines have a ten-day grace period.


Winners will be contacted directly the week before the public announcement in our March 1 bulletin. 

We look forward to reading your story!

Wikipedia describes the "slush pile" as the set of unsolicited manuscripts sent to publishers, and normally sifted through by inexperienced 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.

Glimmer Train Press