This is the submission portal for Orca, A Literary Journal, and our book publishing arm, 55 Fathoms Publishing. To query 55 Fathoms Publishing, please scroll down.

Our next literary issue is scheduled for December, and deadlines October 15. Beginning in 2023 our schedule will look like this: June, speculative issue; October, literary issue; February 2024, literary issue. Submissions will remain open year-round. See the Literary issue guidelines here, and the Lit-Spec guidelines here.

Orca publishes short stories and flash fiction, and a limited amount of nonfiction. We are a literary journal and we believe in the literary style of writing. We are open to almost any topic, as long as it’s written in a literary style. We are committed to diversity of origins and perspectives on our pages. But the main criterion by which we judge submissions is the quality of the writing. We seek work that is high concept: imaginative, thoughtful, even speculative, and open to possibilities. We look for deep, diverse characters, and narratives that blend genres, or connect seemingly disparate ideas.

Orca offers 100 free submissions each month in addition to the $3 standard fee. If the fee-free submission forms do not appear, it means the 100 free submissions have been used for that month, and the free portals will reopen at the start of the next month. 

We currently pay $50 for published short stories and $25 for flash fiction. You can also get editorial feedback from two readers or one senior editor for an $12 fee. The feedback fee also gets you a PDF copy of our latest issue. For full manuscript editing and consultation visit our website.

This is our fee submission portal for both literary and speculative fiction. All of our submissions are considered equally. So why pay a fee when you don’t have to? You’re making it possible for someone without financial means to submit. Submittable is not free to use, and even with the annual subscription fee we pay, we can only accept a limited number of no-fee submissions. By submitting to this category you’re supporting another writer, as well as the journal. We appreciate your donation.

You may submit once in each area of the category: literary short story; literary flash fiction; speculative short story; speculative flash fiction. Use a separate submission for each. Identify the category of your submission using the labels below. (Submittable limits how many portals we can have open, which is why these are combined.)

Unpublished fiction only: Up to 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document, or 1 short story up to 8000 words. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. A word count is appreciated.

Beginning with our fall issue our schedule will revert to two literary issues and one literary-speculative in each calendar year. The next speculative issue is still scheduled to be released in July. The next literary issue is now scheduled for December. Beginning in 2023 our schedule will look like this: June, speculative issue; October, literary issue; February 2024, literary issue. Submissions will remain open year-round. Full guidelines here.

This is our fee submissions category for nonfiction. All of our submissions are considered equally. So why pay a fee when you don’t have to? You’re making it possible for someone without financial means to submit. Submittable is not free to use, and even with the subscription fee we pay, we can only accept a limited number of no-fee submissions. By submitting to this category you’re supporting another writer, as well as the journal. We appreciate your donation.

Unpublished literary nonfiction only: 1 story from 2000 to 8000 words. No flash. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. A word count is appreciated.

Beginning with our fall issue our schedule will revert to two literary issues and one literary-speculative in each calendar year. The next speculative issue is still scheduled to be released in July. The next literary issue is now scheduled for December. Beginning in 2023 our schedule will look like this: June, speculative issue; October, literary issue; February 2024, literary issue. Submissions will remain open year-round. Full guidelines here.

Please note: This is our no-fee submission portal for both literary and speculative fiction. We accept 100 no-fee submissions per month. We ask those who can afford to do so to consider submitting through the fee-based portal, so that others for whom a fee is a financial hardship can submit for free. 

You may submit once in each area of the category: literary short story; literary flash fiction; speculative short story; speculative flash fiction. Use a separate submission for each. Identify the category of your submission using the labels below. (Submittable limits how many portals we can have open, which is why these are combined.)

Unpublished fiction only: Up to 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document, or 1 short story up to 8000 words. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. A word count is appreciated.

Beginning with our fall issue our schedule will revert to two literary issues and one literary-speculative in each calendar year. The next speculative issue is still scheduled to be released in July. The next literary issue is now scheduled for December. Beginning in 2023 our schedule will look like this: June, speculative issue; October, literary issue; February 2024, literary issue. Submissions will remain open year-round. Full guidelines here.

Please note: This is our no-fee submission portal for literary nonfiction. We accept 100 no-fee submissions per month. We ask those who can afford to do so to consider submitting through the fee-based portal, so that others for whom a fee is a financial hardship can submit for free. 

Unpublished literary nonfiction only: 1 story from 2000 to 8000 words. No flash. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. A word count is appreciated.

Beginning with our fall issue our schedule will revert to two literary issues and one literary-speculative in each calendar year. The next speculative issue is still scheduled to be released in July. The next literary issue is now scheduled for December. Beginning in 2023 our schedule will look like this: June, speculative issue; October, literary issue; February 2024, literary issue. Submissions will remain open year-round. Full guidelines here.

Orca, A Literary Journal