The Berkeley Fiction Review is a forum for short fiction, published annually. We invite submissions of previously unpublished short stories from around the country and the world. For information about submitting artwork, please see the Art tab. For information on our annual Sudden Fiction Contest, please see the Sudden Fiction tab.

When submitting short fiction, please keep these guidelines in mind:

In the email:

  • We only accept electronic submissions sent to, with “Submission: Name, Title” in the subject line (For example, Submission: John Doe, The Girl in the Pool). Stories should be attached to the email as .doc or .pdf. Please do not put the story in the body of your email.
  • Include your name, address, email address, and the title of your story in the body of the email. We do not require author bios or cover letters along with your submission. If you would like to include a cover letter, please keep it brief, and add it to the body of the email.
  • Include content warnings if you feel your story contains particularly sensitive material, any warnings will not affect the review process.

In the submission:

  • Submissions should be typed and double-spaced in twelve-point Times New Roman font. There is no minimum required page count, but submissions should not exceed 30 pages in length.
  • Please do not include any personal information anywhere on the document as we do blind-reads only.
  • Don’t submit racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise prejudiced work. Be thoughtful and intentional in your writing.

Other info:

  • In order to ensure the quality of our review process, please refrain from sending more than two submissions within a three-month period.
  • While we often encourage resubmissions, we ask that authors take the appropriate time to look over their piece and wait three months before sending a revised submission.
  • Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, with notification. Please let us know immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere.
  • Multiple submissions per author are also accepted. However, you must send separate emails for separate submissions. Please do not attach multiple short stories in a single email, as doing so slows down our review process.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, our response time is generally anywhere from three months to a year. Since our staff is composed of students, expect a delay if you contact us during the summer. Feel free to e-mail us an inquiry about your submission, but as our journal functions as a class, some submissions get stuck in review between semesters.
  • Payment for contributors is one free copy of the journal in which the story appears.
  • All are encouraged to read Berkeley Fiction Review before submitting in order to get a feel for the work we publish. We include electronic versions of our issues in the Archive tab. Additionally, print copies are available for order. Our most recent issue is $10, and older issues are $7.50. This price includes shipping and handling. For information on ordering, please click here.


    • Hi Amy,

      Thank you for your interest in submitting art! There are no requirements, other than it needs to be sent in a digital format and must be pretty high resolution. We pick our stories on the basis of merit, and we do the same thing with our art pieces; a theme may emerge after we have selected everything, but we don’t aim for a theme in the selection process. We generally prefer paintings or drawings, but we do accept photography sometimes, as well. If you click the Archive tab on our website, it will show you examples of past covers. Again, thanks for your interest, and let us know if you have any further questions.

  1. Hi!
    On a similar note, do I need to submit a cover letter with the art work? Also, can I submit multiple pieces in a single submission (I have quite many that might be suitable for the journal)? Thank you in advance!


    • Hi Alisa,

      Thanks for your interest! You do not need to submit a cover letter with your art. Feel free to submit multiple pieces in a single email (up to 7). However, last week we selected our art for this year’s issue, but if you send yours in between now and March of 2016, we will set them aside for consideration for next year’s issue.

      Thanks again for your interest, and we look forward to viewing your art!

      BFR Staff

    • Hi Steve-

      We solely publish short, stand-alone fiction. If the excerpt can stand separately from the rest of the piece, without needing to be prefaced as an excerpt from a longer work, we will consider it for publication, but it must be able to stand by itself.

      Thank you for your interest in the Berkeley Fiction Review, and hope that helped! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      The BFR editorial team

    • Hi Giada,

      Thank you for your interest! Yes, we choose our art in April every year for the annual May issue, and we let the artist know before we go to print. They have to sign a release form, as well.

      BFR staff

    • We accept submissions year round. However, if stories are submitted during the summer months, there will be a 3 month delay in response time (in addition to the average 3-6 months), as our staff is on summer vacation.

  2. […] We invite submissions of previously unpublished short stories year round and publish annually. Submissions are free. Contributors whose stories are published receive one free copy of the issue their story appears in. We also host fiction contests and nominate to O. Henry, Best American Short Stories, and Pushcart prizes. Click the link to learn more about the submission guidelines: […]

    • Hi Paul,
      Thank you for your interest! While we do accept both photography submissions and story submissions, we judge them separately. We would encourage both of you to submit, but we can’t guarantee that the photo and prose will be paired together if published.
      BFR Editorial Staff

  3. I’d like to know if you accept photo-prose submissions. A friend in Northern CA took a photograph of the gnarled roots of a Redwood that goes beautifully with my short piece told from the tree’s perspective. Is this something you might be interested in?


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