Gertrude likes to publish literary short fiction that delights and surprises us; well-crafted work that takes readers on a journey, that shows us something about the world in unexpected ways. We want to read intelligent short works that are smart, rich in voice, strong in POV, lyrical, poetic and singular in language, vivid in detail, and swooning with atmosphere. We like to publish short fiction by and for—and uplifting of—queer/trans people and literatures. We like to see work that expands or transcends the possibilities of what queer/trans fiction can do. We like to read work that queers fiction in form, not merely content (however, content does not necessarily need to be overtly queer). We like dark work, funny work, experimental forms, hybrid forms, and traditional narratives. It just has to be amazing, especially considering that less than 3% of what is submitted is accepted (we typically only publish up to three fiction selections per issue). We aren't generally seeking genre fiction works, but if you happen to have a literary and well-crafted genre or spec-fic piece that aligns with the qualities described above, submit it. We aren't particularly seeking “coming-out” stories at this time.

We do not want to read work that involves gratuitous violence (sexual or otherwise) toward children, women, people of color, trans/non-binary people, any vulnerable people, or animals. For more info on what we are looking for, read our DUOTROPE interview here.

Submissions must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Maximum Word Count: 3,000 words. Please include a word count in your cover letter.
  • Document must be double-spaced, in 12 pt. Font, and with 1” margins
  • Submit only one piece at a time
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us if your piece is accepted elsewhere by withdrawing it via Submittable.
  • We do not accept previously published work.
  • Include a short (50 word bio) in your cover letter
  • In your cover letter, please note in one sentence why your work is a great fit for a queer lit journal like Gertrude
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.