Submission Guidelines

Submissions update: October 2015

Summer 2016 issue

To have your work considered for our Summer 2016 issue, please submit during the month of November, following the guidelines below. The last day to post your submissions is Monday November 30th 2015. We will accept all submissions postmarked on or before that date, whenever they arrive. Please note that there is no specific theme for this issue.
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Winter 2016 issue - Fear & Fantasy

Our Winter 2016 issue, meanwhile, will have a special theme and it will be guest-edited by Mia Gallagher, author of HellFire
Submissions for this issue will not be accepted until January 2016, so there are a few months to dream dark dreams…

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.

Come back with some tricks and treats.

And see you all next Hallowe’en.

—Mia Gallagher

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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

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