Short nonfiction

We publish original nonfiction writing including personal essays, lyric essays, comic essays, flash essays/flash nonfiction, reportage, narrative journalism, 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.

Criticism, craft and writing about nonfiction

Writers are welcome to contribute to the Ninjas of Nonfiction series. Each post is a 400-800 word introduction to a writer’s whole oeuvre. Please include any links to the Ninja’s Twitter account or writing online.

Craft essays or posts about issues in nonfiction writing are also welcome. Please keep these to 2,000 words or less.

We also publish reviews of nonfiction works new and old, including e-books, journals, and regular old nonfiction books. Get in touch if you’d like to propose a review. Authors and publishers may email us information about books available for review ( and we’ll get in touch if we want a review copy.

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.