We're looking for stories that show us the world in ways we aren't expecting.

Send us unpublished fiction, not reprints, up to 3000 words. (We will gladly consider new translations of stories not widely available in English, with all rights the responsibility of the translator — to submit translations please email translations@necessaryfiction.com). Simultaneous submissions are fine but multiple submissions are not, and we appreciate it if you wait a while between a response from us and your next submission to help avoid a backup in the queue. Please double space your submissions and use a unobtrusive font—if we can't read your story, we won't.

Here are some things we've noticed about our aesthetic tendencies over the years:

  1. We generally prefer the absurd, the off-kilter, and the darkly comic to the straightforward and sentimental.
  2. How the story gets told is usually more interesting than what happens — a blow-by-blow account of events told in a styleless style probably won't do much for us.
  3. If there's no sense of of how an experience matters in the broader context of who a character or becomes, we're probably not going to be invested in it. This is especially true of flash fiction that describes a static moment with no broader context in which to place it.
  4. Stories that seem like memory just for memory's sake with little sense of why anyone but the character remembering would be interested in rarely grab us
  5. Very particular pop culture references and stories dependent upon them often sail right over our heads. Ask us about the time we read a whole story thinking "Kanye" and "Yeezy" were two different characters and couldn't work out what was happening.
PS Please don't stress about your cover letter, because we certainly won't.
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