We are currently closed to submissions.
The Town Drunk publishes lighthearted and humorous short stories that contain an element of science fiction, fantasy, or the supernatural. Horror tropes are welcome, but they must receive a lighthearted treatment. Cross-genre work is also welcome. Most importantly, we seek to offer stories that are fun to read, leaving our readers smiling and eager to share what they've read.
Please note that we only publish short stories at this time. We do not accept poetry, scripts, or nonfiction.
We look for quality, accessible writing and original ideas. We prefer strong plots with lively characters and satisfying endings. The more humor, the better, but a story does not have to be laugh-out-loud funny for us to use it.
Check out our Hard Sells for story forms and concepts that are not likely to work for us.
Regarding sensitive content:
Submissions must be between 500 and 5,000 words in length. To us, a “word” is six characters, counting spaces. (Why we count words the way we do.) Submissions shorter than 500 words or longer than 5,000 words will be rejected unread.
We pay a flat rate of US$35. This entitles us to First Worldwide Electronic Rights, and we retain exclusive rights for three months. After that time, we may archive the story on our website indefinitely, unless the author requests otherwise. We pay on publication. U.S. authors may choose between check or PayPal payment; special payment arrangements can be made for non-U.S. authors.
Historically, we’ve been able to turn around most rejections in under a week. Very promising stories often take a month or more to fully evaluate. Please wait at least one month before querying about a submission.
We encourage writers to submit their response times to Andrew Burt’s Response Time Tracker and Duotrope.
Reprint submissions are welcome, but please query first. Our pay rate is the same for reprints as it is for previously unpublished stories.