Susan Burmeister-Brown and Linda B. Swanson-Davies are the sisters who started Glimmer Train in 1990 with the simple goal of publishing the kind of fiction they like to read -- and with a healthy circulation of 16,000, their tastes are clearly shared by many. "We especially appreciate work that is both well-written and emotionally engaging," the editors write.
In addition, they read every story themselves and pay writers over $50,000 a year (almost 3/4 of that to emerging writers).
The magazine is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, New Stories from the Midwest, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, Best of the West, New Stories from the Southwest, and Best American Short Stories.
Submit to Glimmer Train
Open to all subjects, all themes, and all writers! Most entries run from 2,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 2,000 to 20,000 words.
- 1st place wins $2,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies.
- 2nd place wins $1,000 and if accepted for publication, 10 copies.
- 3rd place wins $600 or if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies.
READING FEE: $21 per story
The Fiction Open is held twice a year and is open to submissions in June and December with the following deadlines:
June 30 | January 2
NOTE: All contest deadlines have a one-week grace period.
Announcement of Winners
Winners will be contacted directly the week before the public announcement in our bulletins, which will be on these dates:
September 1 | March 1
We have five submission categories from which to choose, including our standard category ($2 processing fee and payment for accepted pieces is $700), and four contests (1st place prizes from $2,000 to $3,000 are made possible by reading fees).
NOTE: there is always a one-week grace period after the deadline.
- Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place - $2,500): Welcome in January/February, May/June, and September/October.
Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 1,500 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.
- Very Short Fiction (1st place - $2,000): Welcome in March/April and July/August.
Maximum length: 3,000 words.
- Fiction Open (1st place - $3,000): Welcome in March/April and July/August.
Open to all subjects and themes. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 3,000 to 20,000 words.
- Family Matters (1st place - $2,500): Welcome in November/December.
Calling for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,500 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.
- Standard Category ($700): Welcome in May and November.
Open to all. $2 processing fee. Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter lengths are welcome.