Themes for 2019

Accident & Emergency - Deadline: Monday, 2nd September 2019

Intimacy & Isolation - Deadline: Monday, 4th November 2019

Liars’ League NYC looks for fresh, original, emotionally engaging fiction – stories that make us think, laugh, cry, or just leave us speechless. We tend to favor character-driven stories, and look for a sense of character development arising from situation or circumstance - we’re less interested in simple character studies, anecdotes, or place descriptions, however beautifully written.

We’re open to all genres, but we’d suggest avoiding the following: reworked fairy tales; stories featuring personifications of concepts (Love, Death, Fate etc); reworked Bible stories; stories about writers or writing; writing about heaven or hell, gods or devils. Sorry if that sounds dismissive, but we receive a lot of the aforementioned, so it’s hard to make them really stand out. We also look for stories with a sense of an ending – “lack of an ending” is one of our most common notes. We're not going to be too prescriptive when it comes to the themes themselves - so it's up to you how to interpret them.

Please read some of our stories to get a sense of what we’re looking for. They’re freely available in our Story Archive, to both read and listen to.

Full Guidelines

•   Stories must be unpublished. If it has only appeared on your personal online blog, that’s fine.

•   Writers may submit to any open themes, even if they have already submitted to another theme, but please submit only one story per theme.

•   We accept submissions for open themes year-round. New themes are generally announced in the fall.

•   We happily accept simultaneous submissions - please just let us know if your story is accepted elsewhere. The only exception to this rule is if your submission is to another Liars' League - please only submit each story to one Liars' League at a time to prevent conflicts. 

•   We accept submissions from anywhere in the world.

•   Word count should be between 800 and 3000 words, unless otherwise specified. Short & Sweet Flash Fiction submissions should be less than 1000 words.

•   We’re happy to accept creative non-fiction, as long as your piece reads as a story.

•   Send your story by email to us at by midnight PST of the deadline day.

•   Please submit your story in either Word (.doc) format or Rich Text (.rtf) format. We’d also very much appreciate it if your manuscript is set in Time New Roman, double-spaced, and includes page numbers.

•   Please make sure your submission includes the word “Submission”, the story title, and the theme in the subject header: i.e. Submission, "Traffic Jam”, Entrances & Exits.

•   Please include a short (80-100 word) biography in the body of your email.

•   Stories are judged anonymously, so please do not include your name or address anywhere on your manuscript.

•   We just ask for first-time internet rights for your story, which will be published on our website and included in our story archive. We will also include a recording of your story on our website, which will also appear as part of a downloadable free podcast in the iTunes Store and on Stitcher Internet Radio. All other rights are yours – and if it’s accepted for publication elsewhere after that, we’d just appreciate a credit.

•   We unfortunately don’t pay contributors at this time. We’re hoping that will change soon, however. If we use your piece in a published anthology, you will, however, be given a share of any profits.