The Washington Pastime is, at its core, a literary magazine. We’re driven by our contributors, who offer their stories to us. Each writer offers a unique story from a perspective only they have, told in only a way they can tell it. That’s why we encourage anyone who’s ever even thought of writing to submit a story.

We abide by a few hard-and-fast rules for submissions across the board:

  • No erotica or erotic literature shall be considered. Keep it in the bedroom.
  • We only accept the very best stories. Story type, genre, and an author’s resume don’t mean as much to us as a story that keeps us up at night, or challenges convention.
  • We only accept stories that are worthy of acceptance. If we don’t find any stories that meet our standards in a given month, we’re not going to publish. It’s part of our “Quality beats Quantity” philosophy.
  • All reviewed stories receive real critiques. We don’t believe in form replies, and we mean it when we say that we’re committed to getting writers published.
  • Submissions must meet SUBMISSION GUIDELINES, or they won’t be considered.

The Washington Pastime is accepting and reviewing submissions for the 2013 calendar year via our Online Submission Portal.




The Washington Pastime is an online literary magazine that publishes short fiction on a monthly basis. All original fiction published in The Washington Pastime, whether as a contest finalist or chosen story for weekly fiction, is considered for The Washington Pastime Collections trade paperback series. All fiction and art are open to rolling submissions. The Washington Pastime is open to submissions to anyone in the United States and internationally.

What We Publish: We publish literary and genre fiction in the following categories: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Western and other categories of general fiction. We will accept Poetry but it can be a hard sell, especially if the poet has not previously demonstrated a working knowledge of meter, rhyme scheme, or other poetic skills. We do not publish erotica. We do not put restrictions on what can be submitted as far as theme, but strong sexual themes can also be a hard sell. We don’t discriminate or judge genres with bias. We always seek stories that move us, and are the very best of what we read — The 99th percentile, if you will. NOTE: We accept stories previously published in semi-professional and/or professional markets.

Non-Fiction: We are looking to publish articles about the writing industry in the Author’s Resource page. We are also looking for articles in a category we are calling “Expanding Scope,” which will feature topics of interest and controversy. We also accept suggestion topics and topic responses for our We The People feature. Currently, this is the only non-fiction we will consider.

Word Limit: Submission Specific. Please see our 2013 Submission Guidelines for details.

Pay Rate: Pay ranges from Token payment to Professional payment (5 US cents per word) for fiction. Non-fiction is most frequently unpaid. Payment will be made through The Washington Pastime PAYPAL account, with no exceptions.

Genres: All Fiction

Language: English only

Rights: We claim first world electronic rights (text), first print rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights for The Washington Pastime Collection trade paperback series. After publication rights revert back to the author.

We strongly urge you to get a copy of our Collections Anthology to get an idea about the type of material we publish, as it includes handpicked stories from our publishing cycle. Click here to get a copy.

Literature Submission Guidelines

We recommend submissions be made using our FREE ONLINE SUBMISSIONS PORTAL.

Contest Submissions should be made using our CONTEST SUBMISSIONS PORTAL.

Authors have the option of paying for our SKIP THE SLUSH™ submission add-on, which guarantees a submission decision within 2 business days if they so choose. Skip the Slush™ does not increase a contributor’s chances of being published.

All stories should be in standard manuscript format and be in .DOC format. If you do not know how to put your story in this format, please reference William Shunn’s short story format guide.

We accept simultaneous submissions. Please note in your story synopsis if your entry is a simultaneous submission. Each new submission should be sent using its own separate portal submission process. We do not accept multiple submissions. If you would like us to consider multiple submissions, we recommend submitting them for The Washington Pastime Literary Prize.

Response time will be approximately four weeks, but we may hold a submission longer in some instances. In most cases, we ask that you not send queries until after a 2-month (60 day) period has passed. Once a submission is rejected, it may not resubmitted unless it is through The Washington Pastime Literary Prize. If you wish to submit another story, you may do so only after a four week period.

We appreciate donations from submitting writers and readers. Small donations can go a long way in helping to keep our content free and our forum open. We hope that you will take a moment to support our efforts.

Please use our contact form to query a submission after you have waited the requisite time.

The Washington Pastime is looking for unique and professional cover art for their monthly magazine and their yearly anthology. The authors name will appear on finished covers. Artwork must be available in a 300dpi .TIF file format, and must be able to be resized as a digital image without losing quality. Please submit .jpg copies through the Online Submission Portal, noting that your image is an application for TWP Cover Art in the submission synopsis.

Paper submissions are available by request at an additional cost to the submitter. Please use our contact form to receive information on paper submissions.


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