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. (Fully half of the coming year, our submissions will be open only to emerging writers.) In the past seven years, over 80% of the 1st place stories in our Short Story Award for New Writers were their authors’ first print publications! 

Although the gender balance shifts widely issue to issue, over those same seven years, it has been almost exactly 50/50!

We invite you to visit www.glimmertrain.org to see our complete 2018 Submission Calendar

My story being accepted for publication in Glimmer Train still stands as among the most significant moments of my writing life. I'm so grateful for your support, and it's not an exaggeration to state that receiving your call a few summers ago helped give me the confidence to continue on what was then an uncertain path. Thank you a hundred times over.—Xhenet Aliu, Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories and Brass

We are eager to read your stories!

Susan & Linda  

Sisters and co-editors


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 800 - 4000 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.