We seek works of fiction and poetry that speak to LGBT young adults and their allies. We are interested in creative, thoughtful, original work that engages our young readers. We seek writing that challenges them and makes them think. We’re looking for stories that capture their imaginations and characters that are relatable. We think there’s a need in the young adult literary market for fiction writing that speaks to the everyday experiences of LGBT adolescents: themes of identity, friendship, coming out, families, etc., are especially welcome. The protagonist need not identify as LGBT, but we do ask that there be some kind of LGBT angle to your story. We welcome all genres of fiction and poetry.

Because we publish for a young demographic, work submitted to Iris may not include sex, drug use, and violence. Submitting stories or poems with any of these elements will immediately disqualify the submission. However, stories submitted to Iris may address the consequences of drug use or acts of violence.  In no way should scenes that depict sex, drug use, or violence appear in a story or poem. They can be discussed and referenced, but not portrayed. For more on this policy, please read our Clarification of Guidelines for Submission, which explains our reasoning in greater detail.

Submissions to Iris should include strong characterization, relatable plot, and creativity – and you can do all of that while still keeping everything PG-13 friendly. We can’t wait to see what you come up with. 

Iris is friendly to everyone along the LGBTQAI spectrum and their allies. You do not need to identify as queer (or one of the above) to submit! We ask only that there exist an LGBT angle in your story.

We accept short stories (2,000 words max); flash fiction (under 750 words); short short stories for the blog (under 500 words); poetry; and visual art.

Submitting Your Work

Submit your work through our submissions manager. We do our best to respond to each submission within three weeks. If you have not heard from us within that time frame, please email us.

By submitting to Iris | New Fiction, you acknowledge that you are the creator of the submitted work and that you are over eighteen years of age. We’re sorry that we cannot yet accept works from minors – we are in the process of figuring out how to handle parental permissions.

We really regret that we cannot pay contributors; please know that Iris is a labor of love for us, too.

Cover Art

Iris is pleased to invite submissions for a contest to choose our cover art! Submissions must meet the requirements outlined in this post, as well as comply with our content guidelines. Artwork should be submitted via email to: submissions AT irisnewfiction DOT org.

Our reading staff will choose our top three from the submissions, and then we’ll open it up for a vote!

Submissions for the cover art contest must be submitted by 11 November 2013.

Accepted Submissions & Author Rights

If your submission is accepted, an editor will be in touch to discuss the next steps.

At Iris, we ask for first digital publication rights. Therefore, we ask that all submissions to Iris be previously unpublished, including on personal blogs. Simultaneous submissions are fine – just please let us know as soon as possible if your piece has been accepted elsewhere, and we will do our best to respond to submissions in a timely manner.

Authors retain all rights to their work following first publication in Iris. That means that you can go on to publish the piece elsewhere; if you do, it would be lovely to include a note indicating that it was first published in Iris.

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