After Dinner Conversations

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How do I submit?

  1. Read the instructions below to make sure are submitting the type of writing we are looking for. The best short story in the world will get turned down if it isn’t the kind of thing we are looking for. Basically, we are looking for The Trolley Problem in short story form. “Rainbow People Of The Glittering Glade” is a bit long for what we typically publish, but is a GREAT example of the kind of thoughtful, well written, story we love. As You Wish is a good example of the type of children’s story we publish.
  2. Proofread your work. We stop reading at the 3rd glaring typo. We aren’t kidding. We get a surprising number of submissions with typos and random font changes.
  3. Email your submission to submissions@afterdinnerconversation.com with “After Dinner Conversation - Submission” in the Subject Line.
  4. Attach your story as .pdf document. If we can’t open it, it will be deleted.
  5. Put in the body of the email the following sentence, “I hate it when people spam submissions without even checking to see what kind of writing the publication is looking for. I didn’t do that. I looked over your writing, and I reviewed (or am familiar with) ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, and ‘The Trolley Problem’ and am sure this is the style of writing you are looking for.” If you do not include this in the body of the email, we will assume you are simply spamming submissions, and we will delete your submission without reading it. I know it sounds silly, but about 90% of our submissions aren’t even the type of thing we publish.
  6. Finally, include two sentences somewhere in the body of the email. The first one should tell us what the story is about and word count, the second one should tell us the ethical question it is asking. (This is a space opera set in a past distance galaxy about a young and old man who go off to rescue the Princess, rescue the Princess, and blow up a planet destroying weapon about to be used against the rebellion. The story asks the question, is a mystical force really better than a blaster at your side?)
  7. Your story will go to a first reader. Assuming it clears the first reader, it will go to the larger group for discussion. Assuming your story is accepted, we will send you a simple contract granting us the right to publish your story. Additionally, your story will be considered for inclusion in future podcast discussions and/or as part of the Kindle Direct Publication “After Dinner Conversation” Series.
  8. No more than three submissions per six months.

What are you looking for?

Your writing can be any genre, and from any perspective.
However, it must spur discussions and require the reader to expand their mind. If you need an example, read “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by the amazing Ursula K. Le Guin. Another way to think of it is this, we are looking for The Trolley Problem in short story form. A great example of something we have published is “Rainbow People Of The Glittering Glade.As You Wish is a good example of the type of children’s story we publish.
The point is, we don’t care if it’s sci-fi, fantasy, romance, contemporary women, historical fiction, western, or whatever, but the short story should have a deeper point for a longer discussion. 90% of what we turn down is not because of the quality of the writing, but because it’s simply not the kind of thing we publish.
We do not accept novels, poems, or artwork.

What length are you looking for?

  1. Children’s Stories: Under 1,500 words
  2. Young Adult: Under 3,500 words
  3. Adult: 1,500-7,500* words

What does this pay?

Accepted short stories from unsolicited submissions are $0.01 per word (limit $30).

Do you accept reprints and/or simultaneous submissions?

Yes. Just make sure you are not in violation of any other agreements you signed.

How long will it take to hear back?

Right now we getting floods of submissions, so our turnaround is about 6-8 weeks.

Why are so many of the stories you publish science fiction?

We would love to publish fantasy, biography, western, horror, erotica, etc. We just don’t get many submissions in these genre that fit the “trolley problem” guidelines, but if they did, we would happily publish them.

Do you need readers?

Yes! There is no better way to improve you writing then by reading what other people wrote! We would love to have more volunteer readers! Just email us at info@afterdinnerconversation.com to learn more.

* For some reason, shorter submissions (2,500-4,500 words) tend to fare best. Longer submissions tend not to have enough ethical questions density, and shorter stories tend to not have enough world building. That said, this is just the trend we see, it is not a requirement.

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