$500 Flash Contest Open Now!

Subscribers make our ❤️ pound

Check out the latest issue & download the ebook 

Full guidelines & FAQ

☛ Seeking unpublished, amazing writing and art — we'd love to see more photos, paintings, drawings, diagrams, graphic narratives, &c. Artists/photographers may email thumbs or portfolio links if the Art category is closed.

☛ We are actively prioritizing work by under-represented people: Indigenous, Black, people of color, lgbtqia+, women and gender nonbinary, disabled, poor, border-straddling, neuroatypical, and more. For real. You can put it right in the cover letter field. (We are not seeking performances of suffering aimed at a middle class-cishet-white audience.)

☛ Our taste is best gauged by reading an issue or at least our archive. This is a journal of safety and danger, in every sense. We want what we have not seen before

One submission at a time (except contests). Up to four free subs per year per author.

☛ Be respectful of other writers and do not withdraw/resubmit to correct typos, cover letters, make revisions to one paragraph, etc. We can receive only a limited number of free submissions each month.

☛ By submitting you agree to join our (very infrequent) mailing list.

Storm Cellar requires first serial rights and nonexclusive, ongoing electronic rights, per our guidelines. Serial rights revert to author upon publication. Contributors receive $10 honorarium by PP, two complimentary copies of the print edition, the ebook, and a discount on further print copies; plus, we love you forever.

Ends on $5.00 - 12.00
$5.00 - 12.00

Force Majeure: a great and unexpected power. We're looking for the best small things, any form, any content, any fine and wonderful creation.

Enter between Jan. 1st and Apr. 30th.


Top prize for a single flash $300; two runners-up $100 each.

DEADLINE: 11:59 p.m. CST, 30 April 2021.

Two ways to enter:

  1. Upload 1 flash (you'll receive an ebook of the prize issue) - $5
  2. Upload 1–3 flashes in a single file (receive a print copy and an ebook) - $12

Enter as many times as you wish. Simultaneous submissions are fine; if a flash is accepted elsewhere, please notify us via a note on the submission within Submittable. Winning flash must not be (scheduled to be) published in print, ebook, or internet before August 2021.

All entries considered for publication in Storm Cellar. Entries in any number do not count toward our regular submissions limits. No entries by agents on clients' behalf.

What is a flash?

  • Shorter than 1000 words
  • Not more than 5 pages
  • May contain fiction, nonfiction, hybrids, marks, or images, in any combination*
  • May bend genre, form, brains

We encourage entries by Indigenous, Black, and POC, trans, enby, and women, LGBQA+, morphologically atypical, disabled, and neurodivergent, migrant and border-straddling, and poor authors, as well as members of other under-represented groups. Authors who cannot pay the entry fee, because of financial hardship or lack of online payment in their country, should email the editors with the brief statement that they have need (explanation not required), from the email address associated with their Submittable account, and attach their entry as a .docx or .pdf file. Incarcerated authors may mail an entry and short author bio, postmarked by the deadline, to Contest c/o Storm Cellar, 601 E. Washington St. #4, Greencastle, IN 46135; no entry fee required (include SASE/postcard for reply, include someone's email address if you desire ebook delivery).

Contest will be decided by the editors. Close friends, family, employers, and students within the last four years of the editors may not enter.

All prizes will be awarded. Contest fees go to prizes and production costs. No fees may be refunded. "Extra" flashes within entries will not be read. We may disqualify an entrant for any reason. Entrants will be notified of their contest outcome by email, on or before June 30 in the contest year.

Handy link to examples of flash we've printed. Surprise us!

* (The magazine prints at journal size in black and white.)


  • Up to 20 images (files), any medium, subject, style.
  • Print edition interior is grayscale on uncoated paper, no larger than 5"x7".
  • Ebook edition is color, and larger where appropriate.

Though we want to see things different from what we've published so far, our main criterion is whether we dig what you're laying down. We tend to prefer striking compositions and contrasty texture. We like, but by no means require, series and projects.

We suggest you use the title of the image (if any) as the filename. We can handle most common file formats, but see below about file types.

Friendly advice about file size: Whatever size/format you upload, we suggest having originals available at 300dpi/1800px wide minimum (we prefer at least 600dpi/3000px wide for covers), in a lossless format like .tiff, uncompressed .png, or .ai. If your originals are smaller or .jpeg, that's fine: don't blow them up unless your Photoshop fu is strong.

If you don't see a submission form in your genre on this page — visual art, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, flash prose — we've received as many submissions as we can handle this month, and thank you everyone for that. Free submission resumes the 1st of next month.

Regular flash submissions are suspended during the flash contest (1/1 – 4/30).

Don't want to wait? 

Send anything*, all in one file; we use the revenue to cover our costs. Or get the latest issue too.

Artists may email thumbnails or a link to a portfolio webpage / Instagram / WeTransfer of dropbox / etc. to stormcellar.editor@gmail.com. Please include an artist bio of 50 words if one is not at the link.

* We are unlikely to publish more than 20 pages of anything.

Response time 7 days or less.

Don't want to wait? Send anything, all in one file.* Use the cover letter space to note mixed-, no-, and other-genre submissions.

Artists may email thumbnails or a link to a portfolio site/dropbox/wetransfer/etc. — stormcellar.editor@gmail.com. If you prefer, drop the images in a PDF and upload them here.


* We are unlikely to publish more than 20 layout-pages of anything.

You're awesome. The cabbage you're sending will keep us in pencils and rubber for another year.

Also, if you want, upload up to 20pp. of anything and we'll consider it for publication.

Add-on purchases include a year's print subscription beginning with the next issue. If you prefer PDF-only, EPUB-only, or no subscription, simply write your preference in the "Notes" field. 

Tips are anonymous by default. Friendship gifts may be credited in the next issue; gifts at the Uplifting, Sustaining, and Sponsor levels may be credited for one year. Gifts to Storm Cellar are not tax-deductible, but they are charitable donations that help cover our production, distribution, and web hosting costs, allowing us to bring this magazine into the world.

Yes, we can send the issue as a gift!

Submit anything (or nothing).* We'll send you the issue of your choice, print and/or ebook. Choose the appropriate add-on to receive the print edition; check "no ebook" for print-only delivery. ( Current issue info | archive. ) 

  • Ebook arrives by email attachment (up to 10MB) from stormcellar.orders@gmail.com.
  • Artists choosing this option may email us a flickr/portfolio/WeTransfer/Google Docs/etc. link, instead of creating a single file for their submission.
Multiple copies? Our store is over here.

* We're unlikely to print more than 20 pp. (6000 wd./600 ll.) of anything, but if you're convinced a longer (group of) work(s) is perfect for us, go ahead.

Yes, we send gift subscriptions!

The print and ebook editions of Storm Cellar delivered anywhere. Print subscribers outside the USA, MEX, and CAN should choose the Overseas fee. Ebook-only subscriptions are delivered via email.

  • Print subscription free add-on: the ebook sent to your inbox.
  • We publish about 2–3 issues per year; subscriptions are by-the-issue.
  • Shipping is included.

Just want to read a back issue after you submit? Click this.

• 1 fiction up to 5,000 words. More-compact stories tend to do better. This is not the category for flash or micro (compact =/= short).

We like it hot, we like it cold, we like it hard and fast, we like it slow and gentle, we like it traditional,* we like it experimental.

We like it anonymous, don't care about a title page. We like it 12pt Times New Roman, double spaced.

* Traditional: 1. not experimental; 2. ignorance, thanatos, octopodes, standing stones, sex rites, MRIs, cavaliers, Cadillacs, rude boys, buried toys, gold fever, war fever, bone fever, baby fever, submarines, pipe dreams, cigarettes & rock music, sign vs. signifier, prairie fire, smugglers, insurance, kissing cousins, "here there be monsters," border crossing, Amazons, apocalyptics, analytics, riding tigers, tiny islands, hackers, holograms, embezzlement, grafitti, hot zones, outer space….

• 1 item, up to 5,000 words. We lean toward the swift/compact.

Lyric(-al) and narrative(-ish) essay, form-blending & genre-bending, personal-ized history and memoir-that-connects-to-larger-issues: we're talking creative nonfiction. No academic studies, no lit crit. We may print your review/"review" of pretty much anything (including a Sweet Corn Festival or new talking-robot-toilet model), if it's funny, bizarre, and/or actually an essay. The internet's filled with short nonfiction, so surprise us.

Things we've not seen enough: formal invention, adventures, minority perspectives, things from the Midwest, things outside the US, truly weird crime, environmental disaster/success, signs & portents.

Things we've seen too much: cancer, addiction, break-ups, grampaw's war diary, mi-ma's cookies.

Interpret these suggestions as loosely as you see fit.

Storm Cellar