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

The economics of the literary world are constantly changing, and journals need to adjust in order to stay viable. Like other literary journals, we have to reduce the number of publications we release each year from four to three. 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. 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 $9 fee. 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.

55 Fathoms Publishing is the book publishing partner to Orca, A Literary Journal. We are open for queries for both fiction and nonfiction works. 

We are looking for submissions of book length works (40,000 to 120,000  words). Unpublished novels and nonfiction works only. Sorry, we have closed to story collections. Also no children’s, young adult, or poetry. We are only interested in those books written in the literary style; mainstream genre works are not a good match for us.

Fiction: We are particularly interested in books that are  high-concept literary, as well as those that exist on the boundary  between literary and speculative—books of profound imagination and  exquisite writing. In your submission please include, in a single  document: a query letter and the first 10 pages of your book. 

Nonfiction: Topics of interest include current social and political events, science, nature, environment, history, mathematics, and true crime. A collection of essays is also welcome. We will also consider memoir, but your story needs to be much more interesting than a family history. Send a query letter, a table of contents, and the first 10  pages. 

Please see the submission guidelines for more detailed information.

IMPORTANT: Do not submit work intended for Orca Literary Journal through this portal. It will be deleted unread.

Orca, A Literary Journal