Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is seeking mainstream and/or literary fiction and poetry that explores the beauty and drama of rural life on both an emotional and intellectual level. That said, RFM is willing to look at any other genre (horror, fantasy, noir, mystery, thriller, adventure, etc.) so long as it has a rural setting and addresses topics or themes of interest to people in rural areas. For that matter, although RFM expects the vast majority of submissions to be set in the US, but we are not adverse to seeing works set in rural areas of other nations. Remember, this is going out over the Internet. People all over the world will be able to read the stories published here, be they from Canada, England, Mexico, Tahiti, Japan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, or wherever.

For the foreseeable future, RFM will be a monthly, online-only magazine publishing on the first of each month.

Please note: there is no pay for any submission at this time. Maybe this will change sometime in the hopefully not too distant future, but for now, RFM does not pay.

However, the writer retains all rights to his/her work. Once it’s published here, you can reprint it wherever you like, whenever you like, as often as you like.


The upper word limit is 5,000. There is no minimum. If you can write a story in six words like (allegedly) Hemingway’s “Baby Shoes”, send it.

Please keep profanity to an absolute minimum. RFM is trying to reach the widest audience possible. Obscenities will turn away many people. Remember the old adage that for every obscenity a writer uses, he/she loses a reader.

Please use Standard Manuscript Format. This makes it a lot easier for me, the editor, to read your work, and the easier you make my life for me, the better the chance you have of being published. I won’t be holding to this religiously, but if you turn in an experimental piece that I have to figure out what is going on…well…which would be easier: to burn up my time trying to decipher some obscure format or to toss the work into the Recycle bin?

There is no submission fee or submission period. RFM accepts submissions 24/7/365 from the US or from any corner of the globe. However, the deadline for each issue will be one week before the publication date. For example, the deadline for the October 1 issue will be September 24.

Use to query and to submit. Everything must be submitted by e-mail either in the body of the e-mail or a Word document (.doc or .docx).

Please attach a short bio of 50 words or less. It may include your website, twitter handle, or any other social media identification you like. If you haven’t written one before, look at the author’s bios in almost any respected literary magazine. A good place to start is at The Chamber Magazine.

I am taking multiple submissions of up to three works at once. Once you have submitted, please wait until you have heard about that submission before submitting more.

I will take simultaneous submissions but be professional and withdraw your work if it has been accepted elsewhere before being published here.

I reserve the editorial rights necessary to make minor changes needed for clarity (such as obvious typos and misspellings). I will never make revisions or major edits. It’s much simpler and easier to just reject the work or ask for a rewrite (if the work is particularly good).

Be professional. The less editing I must do, the more likely you are to be published. In my experience, this is true of all publishers.

I will try to respond to submissions as quickly as possible, but please allow a couple of weeks before querying about your article/story. If I like your submission, I will publish it as soon as possible, probably within a month or two. This will depend on the backlog of submissions and other factors.

Gratuitous sex, extreme violence, violence to children, rape, and anything else that offends my personal sensibilities or anything that skirts the boundaries of the law will not be published.

Pseudonyms are fine, but please state them as the byline and include your actual name and contact info in the top left of the first page of the submission per standard manuscript format.

In the subject line of your e-mail please state whether this is an article or review or poetry or fiction submission, your name, and the work’s title. For example: Article by Phil Slattery “Poe’s Raven: an Analysis” or “Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction: The Raven”. This information helps filter out a lot of extraneous stuff if I must search for it.

Interviews are by invitation only. However, if you have conducted a short interview of an author (or artist/illustrator) of horror or dark fiction, I will be happy to consider it for publication.

Do not send fan fiction.

When time permits, I like to provide a quick sentence or two of constructive criticism on works that are not accepted.
Always re-check the guidelines before submitting. I may change them without prior notice.

Remember: send questions, queries, and submissions to