Open Pen

 Full details

We’re after short fiction with something to say. We publish three times a year and thus our it could take up to 4 months for us to read your review. Everyone reading your story is a volunteer, and it’s important that we all read submissions at the same time.

One thing we’d suggest, before you submit, is that you take a look at some of the stories we’ve published here at Open Pen. It’s always good to know the sort of fiction a publication enjoys. Of course, we’re willing to take a look at anything. It’s important to remember that we are not confining submissions to a theme or specific type or style of prose. As long as it is between 1 and 3,000 words, it’s suitable for submission. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Perhaps check our FAQ section below first, though.

Please note, we’re currently receiving between 400-500 submissions per period, and generally around 5 of those submissions will make it in.

Submissions can come from anywhere in the world. We’re OPEN.


Novelette submissions

We’re currently accepting novelette pitches from anyone that we’ve published in our print magazine. So the route to authoring one of our novelette titles is to get yourself published with Open Pen (head to Submittable).

Erm, what’s a novelette?



I’m not sure if my piece is suitable. Are there guidelines for submission?

You fiction should be between 1 and 3000 words.  See Submittable link above

Can I submit to your magazine even though I’m not from the UK?

Yes. It’s “Open Pen” right?

Do you accept poetry?

Sure we’ve been over this, but… I’m afraid that we’ve decided not to include poetry in our magazine. Why? Well, we just don’t know enough about it, and there’s plenty of vessels out there for you budding Whitmans.

How many submissions get used in each issue?

The number of submissions we print each issue will depend heavily on the word count of the winning piece and runner up submissions. However we will aim to get the winning piece and at least one or two runner ups in each issue. We usually have about four.

Can I submit more than one piece?

We’re happy to accept multiple submissions from individuals. But don’t go mad, there’s only so many eyes here.

How will I know you’ve received my submission?

We will advise by email when we are in receipt of your submission.

Can I submit the same piece elsewhere?

Sure, but please let us know if that story is accepted elsewhere.

Do I retain copyright?

If you wrote it, yes.

Do you pay for short stories?

No. For several reasons, not least of all that we don’t have any money. Open Pen is a not for profit magazine, run at our own cost. Everyone working on the print magazine volunteers their time. The magazine itself is of course free, and its aim is to provide a platform to up-and-coming or (ahem) ’emerging” writers.

I found a copy of Open Pen randomly, where can I get a copy of the next issue?

Check out our list of stockists.

How can I advertise in Open Pen?

Please get in touch by email or phone via our contact page and we will be happy to provide pricing details.

How do I contact one of your writers?

If you have a message for one of our writers we will be more than happy to pass it on for you. For full contact details we will have to request the permission of the writer so please send your request to us by email. Please see our authors section for some information about the winning authors.

Can I subscribe to Open Pen?

Yes. Subscribe here. (Open Pen is free from bookshops, which is where we’d really love you to pick up a copy. We understand that getting to one of our stockists is not always possible, we don’t have stockists everywhere, so if this is the case, check out our subscription packages, which cover costs – our magazine, should it really need to be said, is not-for-profit.)



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