Written by Emily Harstone November 16th, 2023

riddlebird: Now Accepting Submissions

riddlebird is a beautiful electronic and print-based literary journal that was founded in 2022. They are focused on publishing creative nonfiction and short stories. They are not interested in flash or poetry. They publish a very small percentage of what they receive. Even though they are a newer journal, they are already respected. They nominate 6 pieces a year for the Pushcart Prize.

In terms of short stories, the list of their favorite writers is as follows: “George Saunders, Souvankham Thammavongsa, and E.C. Osondu”. In terms of personal essay, they want work that achieves distance from the subject itself and allows the reader to share a newfound insight with the author. They are not interested in overly sexual work. At first they set aside space for speculative fiction writing but now they appear to publish mostly literary fiction, without genre leanings.

There is a little bit of contradictory information on the site. For example they ask for no flash, but say their lower limit is 650 words. They also mention emailed submissions, but state elsewhere that submissions are only allowed through their submission manager. They also mention being open to two categories, but then only list one. Personally I’d just focus on following the submission guidelines listed here, after reading some of the creative work on the site here.

They print one issue a year that combines their two electronic issues. They pay $100 per piece.

For a submission portal they use Duosuma, which is run by Duotrope. They ask for North American Serial Rights, which revert to the author post publication. They are not interested in previously published work. They ask for a brief cover letter and a short bio in third person.

One of the interesting things about Duosuma as a submission system is that they now allow journals to establish a quota like Submittable, and they close when that quota is reached. However unlike Submittable, Duosuma shows potential submitters how far the journal is from reaching the quota. At the time of writing this review, it is at 20%. That said, they will close when they reach their quota. Please only submit if you feel like your work is a good fit.

Once they publish an authors work, they promote other work by that author in an ongoing way, on social media and through their email list.

To learn more, please visit their submission guidelines on Duosuma after reading what they’ve published in the past here.

Emily Harstone is the author of many popular books, including The Authors Publish Guide to Manuscript SubmissionsSubmit, Publish, Repeat, and The 2023 Guide to Manuscript Publishers. She regularly teaches three acclaimed courses on writing and publishing at The Writer’s Workshop at Authors Publish. You can follow her on Facebook here.


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