We believe that good fiction doesn’t have to have an unhappy ending. We believe conflict can be resolved, characters can make good choices, and fiction that’s fun to read is just as important as fiction that reveals the dirty undersides of humanity.

We want to create a space in the world of short fiction where hope can thrive. Where you can read a story and not worry about being subjected to some horrific image or soul-crushing moral, however artful it might be. Where happily-ever-afters are treated with the same reverence as literary fiction, and you don’t have to choose between quality literature and faith in humanity.

What We’re Looking For

Send us your happy endings, your good triumphing over evil, your stories where the dog doesn’t die. Romanticize everyday life until we have no idea how we never saw the magic ourselves. Make us laugh, give us hope, restore a little bit of our faith in humanity.

We don’t care what genre it is, whether it’s contemporary, a thousand years ago, or in another world entirely, as long as it’s well-written and enjoyable to read.

What We’re NOT Looking For

Stories trying to be inspirational. If you’re writing with a moral in mind, send it to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, or bigoted hatred of any kind. It’s hackneyed in villains and unacceptable in any other character.

Anything that could be described as gratuitous: violence, sex, gore, dialogue tags. If your story needs a trigger warning, it’s not the story for us.

Nonfiction. We’re sure your life is interesting. We just don’t really care right now.

Poetry. There may come a day we accept and publish poetry, but it is not this day.


Send one short story (1) in the body of an email to submissions@thelitnerds.com, preceded by a brief cover letter telling us who you are and anything else you think we need to know. In the subject line, write “SUBMISSION:” followed by the title of your piece and your name. If you send your story as an attachment, we’ll assume it’s a virus and delete it.

Only send one story (1) at a time. Additional submissions before you’ve heard back from us will be deleted. Once you’ve heard back from us, feel free to submit something else, unless we accept your story, in which case wait at least six months before sending another.

Use a reasonable font. Reasonable formatting. Etc. Please don’t give us a headache trying to read your work.

If your work is accepted elsewhere or you need to withdraw your submission for any reason, reply to your original email and let us know immediately.

Other Things You Need to Know

There’s no word count limit, but if you don’t wow us right away, we might stop reading. Life is too short for bad fiction.

We’ll try to get back to you within twelve weeks, and if you haven’t heard from us after that, feel free to send a follow-up email. If your follow-up email is rude, it’s an automatic no thanks on your piece from us.

We’ll pay you in adoration and publication and social media promotion. We don’t charge for submissions, which means we unfortunately can’t pay our writers. Yet. The Lit Nerds is a labor of love and everybody’s a volunteer here.

We accept previously published work, but prefer unpublished. If you’re submitting previously published work, inform us in your cover letter where and when it was originally published, and confirm that you have the rights to republish.

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

There’s no set publishing schedule for The Lit Nerds. We may publish one piece a month or four pieces in a week. We’re all busy people with full schedules. But if we accept your piece, you can expect it to be published and promoted on social media within two weeks, unless we tell you otherwise.

A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean your piece is bad, it just means it’s not the right fit for our site.

By submitting your piece, you are providing the Lit Nerds with the right to publish your work. All works are published with the permission of the authors, and all copyrights remain with the authors. We ask that you acknowledge the Lit Nerds as the first place your piece appeared if it’s republished elsewhere in the future.

Above all, thank you for fighting the good fight, writing your heart out, and joining us on our mission to make the world of fiction a little bit brighter.

If you’d like to submit an article, click here.