Last revised: October 29, 2019. Submissions are closed.

Please read the fine print below, then submit to afteralexei [at] gmail [dotcom].


submission guidelines

Do you love reading Gabriel García Márquez, Sylvia Plath, Michael Ondaatje, Toni Morrison or Franz Kafka?

  • Are you the creator of the work?

  • Is the story written for a general audience? (Literature specifically for children or young adults will be a tough sell.)

  • Is your submission roughly 1,200 words? Written in English? (International submissions are welcome.)

  • Is this your best work? Does it fit our general guidelines? Did you edit and proofread tirelessly?

  • Is it your original, unpublished work?

  • Does it fall loosely into the categories of magic realism, contemporary fairy tale, horror, experimental or dark literary fiction?

  • Do you understand that the publishing format is digital-only, created by Issuu and permanently embedded on this website?

  • Do you understand that we will also publish an ebook version, with supplemental content available only to buyers, with one-year exclusive publishing rights for the additional content?

  • If your story is selected, do you agree to editing suggestions?

If the answers are yes, you’re almost there!

  • We understand that you will submit to multiple publications. Please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.

  • Submit a Microsoft Word document.

  • We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on! Please submit one, two or three works, under the combined maximum word count. In other words, three stories at 400 words each is fine. Four stories at 300 words exceeds our limit.

  • In the body of the submission email, please tell us what we’re about to read. The following are acceptable but we need to know: previously unpublished excerpt, poetry, flash fiction, flash CNF, experimental format, reprint. For the more daring among you, we will also consider found poetry, Markov chains, blackout poetry, script excerpts, computer code, or just about anything else. But we need to know what we are looking at!

  • Format the submission as recommended by you-know-who (not our favorite, by the way, but probably the easiest for you).

  • It is not a requirement, but it would be helpful if you named the file (abbreviated title) by (your last name), for example, Disgrace by Coetzee.docx.

  • End the story with two paragraphs breaks and a centered -30-. Even if your story ends with “The End,” also end it with -30-.

  • Use the subject line: [SUBMISSION] (your last name) (abbreviated story title).

  • Include a brief third-person bio, no more than 100 words.

  • Let us know how to address you (title, pronouns, nicknames).

  • Tell us how you heard about us! Duotrope, Twitter, a referral, an old-school Google search?

  • For Issue One, our submission confirmations were manual (right?!). For Issue Two you will receive an auto-reply, and all acceptances and rejections will go out the day the submission window closes. Sadly, that means any reworked stories will have to wait until future calls for submissions.

  • If you do not receive an auto-reply, check your junk box and spam filter settings. If you still don’t have one, inquire. Otherwise, please give us 6-8 weeks to decide on your story.

  • Unfortunately, we will not provide feedback for Issue Two submissions, either. Again, if your story is rejected, please do not submit again until our next call for submissions.

  • Optionally, tell us which of these four songs pairs best with the story. But only (!) these four:

    • “Yeah!” by Usher

    • “You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

    • “Killing Me Softly,” by Roberta Flack

    • “Animal,” by SABIWA

  • If we decline the publication of your story, the decision is final and strictly editorial. Please do not harass us or ask us to reconsider. Always feel free to submit again during the next call for submissions.

  • If we publish your story, you are also welcome to submit during the next call for submissions.

Regrettably, any submissions not in accordance with above are subject to rejection.

Rights: you grant After Alexei one-time publication rights. The story will remain in one online issue—here and at—indefinitely. You keep all other rights.

UPDATE: please note that the Issuu format will comprise stories and poetry only. Your readers can access this for free, for as long as we maintain an account. We will also release an affordably-priced ebook with added content, including visual arts, interviews and reviews. Those of you who submit visual arts are submitting to this ebook.