Welcome to our new, more robust, and much easier-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 to actively champion emerging writers.  

Over the past two years, 63% of our 1st place-winning stories in all categories were their authors’ first print publications! Although the gender balance shifts widely issue to issue, over those same two years, 49.4% of the authors we've published were women, and 50.6% were men.


  • We’ve expanded (by 50%) the number of months that our submissions are open only to emerging writers.

  • You’ll notice we’ve significantly increased the 1st place prizes in every category.

  • Check out our 2016 SUBMISSION CALENDAR to see what’s changed – we hope you’ll be pleased.

I’d really like to thank you once again for accepting the story all that time ago. You have no idea how that’s literally flipped my life on its head, to the point that I now have a fellowship here at UT Austin, and am some way into an actual novel. It’s surreal. So thank you for the work you put in, for keeping the magazine alive. I’m sure I’m not the only one you’ve affected this way, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.—Zain Saeed

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!

Susan & Linda


Ends on January 2, 2017$ 18.00
$ 18.00


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 1000 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. 

NOTE: All contest deadlines have a one-week 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.