Orca accepts submissions of short fiction.

We are open to any topic, as long as it’s written in a literary  style. We are open to all writers, without prejudice or preference. The  language of a story is very important to us—we like it to be intelligent  and erudite. We prefer work that is high concept: imaginative,  thoughtful, even speculative, open to possibilities. Give us deep,  diverse characters. Blend genres. Connect seemingly disparate ideas.  Keep it entertaining, but make us think.

Originality will help your submission. If your story regards a topic that’s been published a lot (grandpa’s dementia comes to mind), it’s  probably not for us.

We love flash, and short stories, and not-so-short stories, and we accept submissions up to 8000 words. We don’t mark down based on length. An 8000-word story has the same chance at publication as a 500-word flash fiction. For anything longer, you’re welcome to query.

We abhor polemics, or anything that even hints at a polemic. Fiction is an exploration, not a screed. Fiction asks questions (the right questions, as Chekhov said), and is not about providing a single or simple answer. In good fiction, answers are complex and often ambiguous. Good fiction allows readers to discern their own truth.

Orca is fee free for the first 100 submissions each month. After that, Submittable charges us, so we have to charge. If we make a little profit from that, we’ll return it to our published writers and photographers as a stipend. 

Ends on August 31, 2019$5.00
$5.00

We love cover letters. The best of them are like flash fiction, expressing a story of their own, and making us excited to see the submission they introduce.

In fact we like them so much we’ve decided to hold our first Orca Cover Letter Contest. In 300 words or less, introduce yourself, and/or your submission (real or imagined). Make us laugh, make us cry, make us wish there was a story attached for us to read. 

Rules:

  • Up to 300 words. Can be about the story submitted (real or imaginary), or about the writer, or both.
  • Contest will be open May 13 through August 31. 
  • You may enter as many times as you like, but only one cover letter per entry.
  • Entries must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but entries must be withdrawn if accepted elsewhere.
  • Entry fee: $5
  • First place: $200. Second place: $75. Third place: $50
  • Winners will be announced in September. Winners and honorable mentions will be published in Orca’s second issue in October, 2019
  • The Orca staff will judge. 
Short Story - Standard Fee
Ends on August 31, 2019$3.00
$3.00

This is our fee submissions category for 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 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.

By submitting here you will receive our response in one month or less. If you use the free option you will not receive our response until after the submission period closes.  

Unpublished fiction only: 1 short story up to 8000 words. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. Double space. Indent paragraphs. Minimum one inch margins. Author name and email, and a word count on the top of the first page. Start the story about halfway down the first page, with the title and byline centered above it. Title and page numbers on subsequent pages in the header. 

This is our fee submissions category for flash 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 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.

By submitting here you will receive our response in one month or less. If you use the free option you will not receive our response until after the submission period closes.  

Unpublished fiction only: Up to 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. Double space. Indent paragraphs. Minimum one inch margins. Author name and email, and a word count on the top of the first page. Start the story about halfway down the first page, with the title and byline centered above it. Title and page numbers on subsequent pages in the header. 

Orca, A Literary Journal