Capsule Stories is a print literary magazine published once every season. Our first issue was published on March 1, 2019, and we accept submissions year-round.

We are not currently a paying market (someday!), and submissions are always free.

We have a penchant for pretty words, an affinity to the melancholy, and an undeniably time-ful aura. We believe that stories exist in a specific moment, and that that moment is what makes those stories unique.

What we’re really looking for are stories that can touch the heart. Stories that come from the heart. Stories about love, identity, the self, the world, the human condition. Stories that show what living in this world as the human you are is like.

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All writers are welcome to submit, especially writers of color, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities, and all writers from marginalized backgrounds.

Contributors who have been previously published in Capsule Stories are welcome to submit. There is no waiting period or restriction on submitting after we've published your work.

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We are currently reading submissions for Capsule Stories Winter 2022 Edition: Hibernation and we are open for blog submissions year-round. You may submit to both Winter 2022 Edition and our blog at the same time.

Please read our full submission guidelines for each category before submitting to ensure that your piece is a good fit, as we're looking for submissions that engage with or relate to our themes.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! We're reopening our Winter 2022 Edition: Hibernation submissions for fiction and nonfiction pieces only (no poetry).

Our Winter 2022 Edition theme is Hibernation. We’re looking for fiction and nonfiction pieces about hunkering down for the winter and quietly resting. Write about animals hibernating, or write about you hibernating. Send us pieces full of longing and patience as you hide out, slow down, and wait for the end of winter. Write about snow days or sick days and taking a break instead of being productive. Write about fallow periods for the land—and your writing. We are especially interested in quiet, lingering pieces that take place in winter and evoke the feeling of the season.

Fiction and nonfiction submissions for Capsule Stories Winter 2022 Edition: Hibernation close October 16 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

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We accept short stories and remarkably written essays. For short stories and essays, we’re interested in pieces under 3,000 words. Only send one story or essay at a time. Please send previously unpublished work only ("published" includes pieces that have been posted or made publicly available on a blog, website, or social media platform). You may only submit one submission per edition. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know if your submission is accepted elsewhere. Please include a brief third-person bio with your submission, and attach your submissions in a Word document (no PDFs, please!).

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Capsule Stories does not tolerate plagiarism. We run pieces through Copyscape to check for duplicate content before sending acceptances.

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A note on privacy and safety: You will be asked to enter your mailing address before submitting on Submittable, as this speeds up our acceptance process. However, we want you to feel safe. If you do not want to enter your address into Submittable for privacy or safety reasons, please enter a placeholder and let us know in your cover letter that the address is a placeholder. Likewise, feel free to enter a placeholder phone number as we don’t need that info from you.

We are currently accepting essays for our blog about your reading life.

Tell us about your reading slumps or the book that you stayed up till 2 a.m. to finish reading. Write about how you read an author’s work before visiting their home city or country and how their work framed your travels. Write about how your understanding of a book changed or deepened after hearing the author talk about it. Write about how you started a virtual book club with your friends, how your reading habits have changed by listening to audiobooks, how you managed to read books during the pandemic without access to your library. We’re interested in essays that explore the intersection of your reading life and your writing life, or your travels.

We’re especially interested in essays that talk about reading the right book at the right time. Tell us about that book that came into your life at the exact right moment in time and how it spoke to you. Maybe it was a book you were supposed to read in college but didn’t until years later. Maybe it was a book a friend insisted you borrow. Maybe it was a book that caught your eye in the bookstore even though you knew nothing about it.

We are not able to pay our blog contributors currently, but we will share your work far and wide. We will also link to your website or social media to encourage more people to follow your work or book reviews. Because these essays are for our blog and are accepted on a rolling basis, we have more time to work with you to develop the essay and make it shine. If you’re a bookstagrammer interested in writing, this is the perfect opportunity to work with an editor to develop a piece of writing and build your writing portfolio. All writers are welcome, especially writers of color, LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities, and all writers from marginalized backgrounds.

We’re looking for remarkably written essays under 3,000 words on the above topics for our blog. Please do not submit fiction or poetry to our blog category, and please do not send submissions that are not related to your reading or writing life.

Capsule Stories