Arts Desk

Now Open for Submissions: City Paper’s Fiction Issue

Hey! In early 2013, Washington City Paper will publish a fiction issue, and we're looking for contributors. FAQ below.

What kind of fiction are you looking for?

We're looking for previously unpublished stories that are in some way of and about the District. Feel free to define that as loosely as you like, though ultimately we'll be deciding if you pulled it off well enough to publish.

Who's "we"?

Me, with the help of City Paper editors.

How long should my story be?

As long as it needs to be, as workshop teachers like to say. That said, the realities of alt-weekly publishing demand some constrictions. Think around 2,000 words. Stories that are much longer will have a higher hurdle to climb; institutional enthusiasm for flash fiction is, well, minimal.

What's your idea of a good story?

Nothing firm. Surprise us. If you're looking for inspiration, you won't go wrong taking a look at DC Noir 2, a George Pelecanos-edited collection of classic stories set in the metro D.C. area. But there's not a particular template to which stories should adhere.

If my story is selected, will I be paid?


A lot?


What's the deadline?

We must receive your submission by midnight, Nov. 1, 2012.

Where do I send it?

Email your story in the body of an email to No attachments, please.

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  • Vance Garnett

    I am a weekly on-line columnist for The Washington Times.
    I would like to write a Book Review for you guys,however, because I need more that the 800-word limit and more freedom of language since the book is by noir writer James M. Cain.
    I know he's dead. He died back in 1977, in Hyattsville, MD, but he has a new book coming out at the end of this month, based on a lost-and-found manuscript.
    It's called "The Cocktail Waitress." It's a pretty sexyThe murder mystery. The publisher mailed me an advance copy and I've read it.
    I met Mr. Cain once, and we had a nice exchange, more like an informal mini-interview.
    I've read all his books and am thoroughly familiar with his three most famous: "The Postman Always Rings Twice,"
    "Double Indemnity," and "Mildred Pierce."
    I can relay some quotes which will heighten the review.
    Email me with your OK or questions.
    Plaase pass this on to the appropriate editor, and thank you.
    - Vance

  • rex

    When will you make selections/inform authors?