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 as a stipend. 

For our full guidelines, including deadlines, preferred specs, response times, and more, please visit https://orcalit.com/guidelines/.

Please note: This is our no-fee submission portal. We can 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. 

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

Unpublished fiction only: Up to 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document, or 1 short story up to 8000 words.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. 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. 

Short Story - Standard Fee
Ends on December 15, 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. 

Ends on December 15, 2019$3.00
$3.00

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