Submit 300-Word Love Stories to Our 300th Issue

We’re five issues away from a milestone (and Valentine’s Day), and we want to publish the people who got us there — you

In today’s cycle of culture and media, 300 editions of anything is a lot. So many, in fact, that when we tried to figure out a way to theme our 300th issue around it, there wasn’t much fodder to draw from other than movies starring a steroidal Gerard Butler. Almost two years ago, we celebrated our 200th publication with a four-part issue based on the “200 episode club,” or sitcoms that have released as many episodes: Frasier, The Cosby Show, The Jeffersons, and Love Boat. But the list for the proverbial 300 episode club was, unsurprisingly, mostly Law & Order spin-offs.

And then we noted the calendar date that our 300th issue would release: Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that brings out affection and vitriol, passion and sworn indifference, roses, chocolates, menus with astronomical prix fixes, and spikes in wishful condom purchases. (There isn’t really a way to fit this in smoothly, but it’s also our senior editor’s birthday.)


The Love Story, and its shadow, The Heartbreak Story, are a kind that will never get old — there will be versions and retellings and sequels for as long as humans exist. Love, in short, is perhaps the grandest source of anguish and inspiration. So we’ve decided that’s what we want for our 300th issue: Love, in short.

For one week, from January 8 through the 16th (yay for long weekends!), we’ll be opening submissions for 300-word love stories. Recommended Reading only publishes fiction, though it is up to you how thinly you choose to veil the scumbag character who cheats and then meets an untimely death. We are not accepting multiple submissions per writer, so make sure to pick your best one, and that it is 300 words exactly, not including the title! The issue will be composed of ten stories, and upon acceptance, we can offer $25 per 300-word story. All submissions should go through our submittable page, where you’ll also find the complete guidelines.

For a sense of the kind of love stories we like, read through the Recommended Reading archives, particularly other flash fiction we’ve published. Members have full access to the almost-300 issues, plus year-round open submissions, so if you’re not already, become a member for $5/month today!

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