The Airgonaut seeks innovative short fiction. Below are more specifics that may improve your chances of publication.

Unique

We have the long-held belief that every writer has his or her own unique way of seeing the world. That said, what we’re expecting is a short story from you that only you could have written. Time to shed those influences. If it sounds like Roth or Atwood and Roth or Atwood didn’t send it, it’s not going to work for us.

Courageous

Too many writers are working safe these days. Literature has never moved forward an inch by writers playing it safe. If you’re fairly sure you want to write to fit a certain mold, send your work elsewhere. We’re looking for courageous writers more concerned with saying something bold than writers hoping to fit in.

Short

We love innovative short fiction. Stories of exploration between 250 and 1,000 words are some of the best being written today. The innovative short, short story cannot get enough attention, so another journal to showcase it makes a lot of sense to us.

Fun

Over time writers tend to write stories simply because they can, they have that talent. What is lost by doing this is the sense of fun and discovery they likely had at the beginning of their careers. The white page should not be a place writers go to do nothing more than what they are able. It should be a place where, like children, they see endless possibilities that bring smiles to their faces. If you didn’t have fun writing your story, it’s probably not going to be much fun for us to read it.

Polished

It goes without saying that any literary journal will have to endure its fair share of amateur work. However, if you’re serious enough to be submitting your writing for possible publication, you should be serious enough to make sure it’s the best work you can manage at that time. Polish it and make it a goal to present yourself as a professional.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Send one (1) previously unpublished story of no more than 1,000 words as an rtf., doc., or docx. attachment to theairgonautship at gmail dot com. Include with your submission a short, third-person bio.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if the work is accepted elsewhere. And, because we tend to respond within a week (often sooner), go ahead and let us know if it’s a sim sub. Truth is, with that kind of turnaround, you may want to just wait and see what we say before submitting it anywhere else. Make sense? We hope so. Also, please wait one month after hearing back from us before submitting again.

We do not publish straight science fiction, fantasy, or horror. If a story has these elements to a slight degree but keeps the focus on innovation, we might be swayed. Otherwise, you’re better off to submit to a journal that specifically seeks that kind of fiction.

Currently we cannot pay authors. However, we will champion your work as if it were our own, for what that’s worth, nominating for Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize.

If any of the general guidelines above are not followed in the received submission, that submission will not be considered or responded to at all. Those are the breaks.