Submission Guidelines

Submissions update: January 2016
Work sent to us in November 2015 is still under consideration. We aim to respond to all writers within three months of the submissions closing date, so if you have sent us work, please expect to hear from us by the end of February 2016. 

Winter 2016 issue - Fear & Fantasy

Our Winter 2016 issue has a special theme and it will be guest-edited by Mia Gallagher. 
Submissions for this issue are now being accepted. The last day to post your submission is Friday, February 5th 2016. All submissions that are postmarked on or before this date will be considered.

A note from the ‘Fear & Fantasy’ issue guest editor:

The problem with fear memories is that there is no erase. You train the brain to suppress the fear but, if the horse is tired, or not with his familiar person, it comes back.

—Temple Grandin

We’re odd fish, we human beings. While other animals fight or flee, we have an altogether less straightforward relationship with fear. Think roller-coasters; think teenagers at horror movies; think reading Stephen King late at night in bed. Our dynamics with fear are perverse: we court, we flirt, we invite it into our bedrooms. Sometimes, through repression, we think we’ve mastered it; but we’re just playing a silly little BDSM game where only Fear has the safe-word. We’re suckers. We, alone of the animals, are in love with what terrifies us.

In this issue, I invite writers to explore the dynamics of fear through the lens of fantasy. Originally I’d suggested to Declan it might be fun to cast a net for some dark fairy tales and see what trawled up. But he – correctly – thought limiting the call to a particular genre could be constricting. And while I love fairy tales, I also love the Gothic, the Grand Guignol, psychological horror, ghost stories, the surreal, sci-fi, dark magic fantasy, nasty little poems that catch in the corners of the mind and those strange other transgenres that are neither fish nor fowl but are happy to brush against the skin of terror in a way that is not strictly naturalistic, leaving a clammy trace in the old reptile part of the brain.

It’s probably redundant to cite our particularly Irish heritage, but hey, it’s always fun to roll-call the greats – Stoker, Le Fanu, the Brontes, Shelley (a grand-daughter of Donegal), Maturin, Lafcadio Hearn, Wilde and Sinead de Valera.

Enjoy exploring the spectrum, from the uncanny and unsettling, through the chilling and creepy to the gory, terrifying, monstrous and horrific.

As well as fiction, we are looking for poems and essays – any piece of text that resonates with the theme.

We welcome essays from people working outside literature or lit criticism – history, psychology, biochemistry, philosophy, geophysics, forensics etc.


—Mia Gallagher


Mia Gallagher is based in Dublin. She writes novels and short stories, and has also worked as a theatre performer and deviser, a screenwriter and a script editor. Her debut novel HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006) was widely acclaimed and won the Irish Tatler Literature Award (2007). Her short fiction has been published in the UK, US and Ireland, won the START award (2005) and was shortlisted for Hennessy, Fish and Trevor/Bowen Awards. Her theatre work has toured widely and she has enjoyed several writing residencies at home and abroad, including Writer-in-Residence with IADT/dlr (2009-10) and a two-month residency in the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris (2015). Mia has received several Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and has also been grant-funded for her theatre work. Her new novel, Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland, will be published by New Island Books in April 2016.

— — — — —


What We Publish

We publish new, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers. We have a particular interest in promoting the short story. Each issue also includes a mix of poetry, book reviews and essays, alongside occasional author interviews and novel extracts. We also welcome submissions of poetry and prose in translation.


How To Submit

Work submitted should ideally not be under consideration elsewhere.

The postal address for submissions is: The Stinging Fly, PO Box 6016, Dublin 1, Ireland. 

Each submission should include an e-mail address for reply. Please ensure that you keep a copy of the work itself as we are unable to return manuscripts.

All submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter, which should include:
    * Author’s Name                         * E-mail address and postal address
    * Date of Submission                   * Name of story/poems submitted
    * Brief biographical note, if you wish.

Anyone submitting fiction and poetry should include a separate cover letter for both. All fiction submissions should be printed using 1.5 or double line spacing. Minimum font size: 11pt. Print on one side of the page only. Every piece of work should have the author’s name printed or signed on it.


The Details

* No more than one story and/or four poems should be submitted during any one submission period.

* Short stories and poems should always be just as long (or as short) as they need to be. (In our Winter 2012-13 issue the longest story is over 5,000 words; the shortest has less than 600.)

* All submissions are read. The editors’ decision may not be correct but it is final.  We aim to contact everyone within three months of the closing date.

* With a limited budget, we are only in a position to offer contributors a discretionary token payment. They also receive a copy of the issue in which their work is featured and can order further copies at a discounted rate.

* Copyright remains in all cases with the author. Some work published in the magazine may also be included on our website.


Our Featured Poets


In each issue we publish a number of poems by a poet who is working towards a first collection. To be considered, please send us 6-10 previously unpublished poems. If we want to see more, we will get back to you. If submitting for this slot, do not make a separate poetry submission. 



Is í ‘Comhchealg’ cuid Ghaeilge The Stinging Fly. Cuirtear fáilte roimh phíosaí Gaeilge ó scríbhneoirí úra. Is nós linn aistriúcháin Bhéarla a chur ar fáil i gcás na ndánta a roghnaítear. Chuige sin, déanaimid filí Béarla a chur ag obair ar shaothar a gcomhúdar. Leantar na treoirlínte iarratais thuas a bhaineann le filíocht Bhéarla.

Contact Details

The Stinging Fly
PO Box 6016
Dublin 1

stingingfly [at]

'In the Wake of the Rising' submission enquiries: inthewakeoftherising2016 [at]


Publisher: Declan Meade
Editor: Thomas Morris
Poetry Editor: Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin
Eagarthóir filíochta Gaeilge: Aifric Mac Aodha
Contributing Editors: Emily Firetog, Dave Lordan, and Sean O'Reilly

To keep up to date with the latest news on publishing opportunities, creative writing workshops, and author readings and events, we recommend you join our mailing list...