How To Submit Your Short Story To The New Yorker

As one of the most prestigious publications for fiction, poets, and journalists, The New Yorker receives thousands of short story submissions every year. But with its famously rigorous selection process, getting published in The New Yorker is no easy feat. If you want to submit your own literary short story, you’ll need to make sure your work and cover letter stand out among the competition.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview: To submit to The New Yorker, email your story as a Word doc or .rtf file under 5,000 words. Include a cover letter with details about your work. Adhere to their strict formatting guidelines and only submit finished drafts of your very best work.

Understand The New Yorker’s Submission Criteria

High-quality literary fiction only

When submitting your short story to The New Yorker, it’s important to keep in mind that they are looking for high-quality literary fiction. The magazine has a long-standing reputation for publishing some of the best works in the genre, so it’s essential to make sure your story meets their standards.

The New Yorker is known for its commitment to artistic excellence and pushing the boundaries of storytelling, so your submission should reflect that.

Stories under 5,000 words

The New Yorker has a strict word limit for short stories: they prefer submissions that are under 5,000 words. This allows them to publish a wide range of stories and gives readers the opportunity to enjoy a diverse selection of narratives.

Keeping your story concise and focused will increase your chances of getting it accepted by The New Yorker.

Unique storytelling and compelling themes

The New Yorker values unique storytelling and compelling themes. They are looking for stories that stand out from the crowd and offer a fresh perspective. Don’t be afraid to take risks with your writing and explore unconventional ideas.

The magazine is known for its thought-provoking content, so make sure your story leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Polished drafts ready for publication

Before submitting your short story to The New Yorker, it’s crucial to ensure that your draft is polished and ready for publication. The magazine receives a high volume of submissions, and they are more likely to consider stories that require minimal editing.

Take the time to revise and edit your story before submitting it, and consider seeking feedback from fellow writers or a writing workshop to make sure it’s in top shape.

Follow The New Yorker’s Formatting Guidelines

Submit .doc or .rtf files

When submitting your short story to The New Yorker, it is important to follow their formatting guidelines. The preferred file formats for submission are .doc or .rtf. These formats ensure that your story can be easily accessed and read by the editors.

Avoid submitting your story in formats that may cause compatibility issues, such as .pdf or .pages.

Single-spaced, 12 pt. font

The New Yorker requires that your short story be single-spaced with a 12 pt. font. This format makes it easier for the editors to read and evaluate your work. Keep in mind that using a smaller font or double-spacing may result in your story being rejected.

It is important to adhere to the specified font size and spacing to increase your chances of acceptance.

Italicize any words not in English

If your short story contains words or phrases in a language other than English, it is recommended to italicize them. This helps the editors understand that the words are not typos or errors, but intentional parts of your story.

Italicizing non-English words adds clarity and enhances the overall reading experience for the editors.

Include page numbers

When submitting your short story to The New Yorker, it is crucial to include page numbers. This helps the editors keep track of the order of the pages and ensures that your story is complete. Additionally, including page numbers shows that you have taken the time to carefully organize your work, which reflects positively on your professionalism as a writer.

Craft a Strong Cover Letter

Your cover letter is the first impression you make on the editors at The New Yorker, so it’s important to make it strong and compelling. Here are some key elements to include:

Summary of 2-3 sentences

Start your cover letter with a brief summary of your short story. Highlight the main theme, characters, and plot points in a concise and intriguing way. This will give the editors a clear idea of what your story is about and pique their interest to read further.

Relevant background about you

Provide a brief overview of your relevant writing experience or background. Mention any awards, writing workshops, or degrees that showcase your dedication and passion for writing. This will help establish your credibility as a writer and demonstrate your commitment to the craft.

How you found their submission info

Share how you came across The New Yorker’s submission guidelines. Whether you discovered it through their website, a writer’s forum, or a friend’s recommendation, mentioning this shows that you have done your research and are serious about submitting to them.

Previous publications (if any)

If you have been previously published, include a list of your most notable publications. This could be in literary magazines, anthologies, or online platforms. Highlighting your past successes can help build your credibility and show that your work has been recognized and appreciated by others.

Remember, the cover letter is your opportunity to make a strong first impression, so make sure it is well-written, concise, and professional.

For more information on crafting a cover letter for literary submissions, you can refer to Literary Hub’s guide on how to write a cover letter for a literary magazine submission. They provide valuable tips and insights that can help you create a standout cover letter.

Review Submission FAQs on Their Website

If you’re considering submitting your short story to The New Yorker, it’s important to familiarize yourself with their submission guidelines. One of the first things you should do is review the submission FAQs on their website.

These FAQs provide valuable information about the submission process and can answer many of the questions you may have.

Can’t submit multiple stories at once

One important thing to note is that The New Yorker only accepts one story at a time. So, if you have multiple stories that you’d like to submit, you’ll need to choose the best one and submit it separately. This allows the editors to give each story the attention it deserves.

No simultaneous submissions

The New Yorker does not accept simultaneous submissions, which means you should not submit your story to any other publications while it’s under consideration at The New Yorker. This is a common policy among many literary magazines and helps ensure that the publication has exclusive rights to the story if it’s accepted.

Only submit finished drafts

The New Yorker only accepts finished drafts of short stories. It’s important to spend time revising and polishing your story before submitting it. Make sure it’s the best possible version of your work before sending it in.

The New Yorker looks for well-crafted, compelling stories that showcase strong writing and unique perspectives.

Be prepared to wait several months

Submitting to The New Yorker requires patience. The review process can take several months, so be prepared to wait for a response. While waiting, it’s a good idea to continue working on other writing projects.

Remember, the publishing industry often moves slowly, and it’s not uncommon for response times to be longer than anticipated.

For more detailed information and answers to specific questions, be sure to visit The New Yorker website’s submission FAQs section. It’s a valuable resource that can help guide you through the submission process and increase your chances of success.

Submit via Email to Fiction Submissions Editor

If you dream of having your short story published in The New Yorker, the first step is to submit it to the Fiction Submissions Editor. Submitting your work via email is the preferred method, as it allows for easy communication and efficient processing of submissions.

Send to: [email protected]

To submit your short story, simply send it as an email attachment to [email protected]. Make sure to address it to the Fiction Submissions Editor, who will be responsible for reviewing your work.

Include cover letter in body of email

Along with your short story, it is important to include a cover letter in the body of your email. The cover letter should introduce yourself and briefly summarize your story. It is also a good idea to mention any relevant writing credentials or previous publications, if applicable.

Keep the cover letter concise and professional.

Attach Word doc of story file

When submitting your short story, it is recommended to attach a Word document of the story file. This ensures that the formatting and layout of your story remains intact. Avoid sending your story as a PDF or any other file format, as it may cause compatibility issues.

Add SUBMISSION in subject line

To ensure that your submission is properly categorized, it is important to add the word “SUBMISSION” in the subject line of your email. This helps the Fiction Submissions Editor quickly identify and sort through the incoming submissions.

Remember, submitting your short story to The New Yorker is a highly competitive process. It is essential to carefully follow the submission guidelines and present your work in the best possible light. Good luck!


With its distinctive prestige and massive readership, The New Yorker is many writers’ dream publication. Submitting your own short story requires carefully following their guidelines and presenting your best work in a professional manner. Understanding their selectivity and unique process will help you craft a submission that stands out. While publication is highly competitive, take your time polishing a compelling story and cover letter to give yourself the best shot at success.

This guide covers all the key details, from properly formatting your story file to emailing the fiction submissions editor. With a pristine draft, engaging narrative, and convincing cover letter, you’ll be primed for a solid submission to The New Yorker’s esteemed fiction section. Just be sure to thoroughly review their website first and follow all specifications to avoid easy mistakes.

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