Short nonfiction

We publish original nonfiction writing including personal essays, lyric essays, comic essays, flash essays/flash nonfiction, reportage, narrative journalism, experimental nonfiction, sketches and short memoir of under 2,500 words. If you would like to submit something to be performed at our quarterly Manchester, UK live reading series, please keep your submission to under 1500 words.

We welcome submissions of original nonfiction that has not already been published elsewhere (including the writer’s own blog or website). We are unable to pay writers. We aim to respond to all submissions within one month. Simultaneous submissions are welcome but please let us know you’re also sending it elsewhere. If a piece you've submitted to The Real Story is accepted by another publication, please withdraw it here as soon as possible.

Before you submit, we'd like to make sure you understand that we edit all the writing which appears on The Real Story. This means that if we accept a piece we will offer editorial feedback on it and invite the writer to submit a final revision for publication. As a result, our editing process can take a bit more time. If you're unwilling to consider making any changes to your work, please do not submit to The Real Story.

Please include with your submission a one or two line bio. 


Ninjas of Nonfiction and reviews

Writers are welcome to contribute to the Ninjas of Nonfiction series. Each post is a 500-800 word introduction to a great nonfiction writer’s whole oeuvre. 

We also publish reviews of nonfiction works new and old, both books and individual essays. 

For these categories, you may submit a 1-2 paragraph pitch and bio, though we'll also read submissions of finished pieces.

The Real Story is an Arts Council funded writing organisation devoted to developing creative nonfiction in the UK.

In our online journal we publish original nonfiction writing including personal essays, lyric essays, reportage, narrative journalism and short memoirs of under 3,000 words.

Submissions are free and accepted on a rolling basis (simultaneous submissions ok), accepted pieces will be edited for publication.
Writers are welcome to contribute to the Ninjas of Nonfiction series. Each post is a 500-800 word introduction to a nonfiction writer’s whole oeuvre. Tell us about the writers who have influenced you, the writers whose work you can't stop thinking about, the writers whose books you would rescue from a burning building. 

Past Ninjas have included Gay Talese, M.F.K. Fisher, Susan Orlean, Malcolm Gladwell, David Foster Wallace, Nora Ephron and Hunter S. Thompson. If you want to write one, send us a short pitch.
We publish reviews of nonfiction books new and old. Thoughtful reviews of nonfiction books that have not just been published are especially welcome. 

We're also looking for short pieces of 
writing considering individual essays, or 2-3 related essays. This series is an opportunity to explore essays in more detail and investigate the craft of nonfiction.

We'll publish pieces of 500-800 words. If you'd like to write one, please submit a 1-2 paragraph pitch.