Main Street Rag Anthologies

General Guidelines
/ Themes / Previous Anthologies

General Guidelines:

-- FYI: We can always tell who only read part of the way down the page. Authors need to read ALL of the guidelines (please). --


(1) Anthology Submissions are by EMAIL ONLY. All submissions should be emailed as WORD or RTF attachments to the address specified by the individual theme.

(2) File name should match the title of the story and subject line of email should read: "Anthology Submission for ___________ theme" (fill in the blank).

(3) Authors may submit 1 story or two poems per theme for the reading period; maximum length: 10,000 words (fiction/nonfiction), 60 lines per poem. Flash fiction is acceptable as are stand-alone novel excerpts. Do not submit the same story or poem to different themes even if there is overlap.

(4) Stories should be double-space using 11 or 12pt serif font (Times, Times New Roman, etc.). Single space is fine for poetry.

(5) Reading Period: Anthologies may differ, so be sure to read the specific terms below. Submissions close 5pm EASTERN on the deadline date with final report time 2-3 months afterward.

(6) Previously Published are eligible if they have NOT been published in print within the past 5 years (prior to submission) in another anthology or magazine. Items published in individual collections are fine, but items Previously Published Online are NOT eligible.

(7) NO Simultaneous Submissions. We will not include work in this collection that is scheduled for publication elsewhere (with the exception of an author's individual book), so we'd rather not invest the time reading something that may not be available press time. We appreciate authors' understanding our rationale.

If you have any questions in regard to eligibility, query first to If the question concerns previously published, please include where and when it was previously published.

Thank you.

Current Themes:

(Submisson links will be made active when reading period begins.)

SUSPENSE. Reading/submission period: May 31, 2015 through July 31, 2015. Editors: David Bell and Molly McCaffrey. Shouldn't all writing hold us in suspense? Shouldn't we be dying to turn the pages if only to fulfill that most basic question: What happens next? For that reason, we're looking for stories, poems, and nonfiction essays that are page-turners, the kind of writing that makes the reader's heart catch in her throat and causes her fingers sweat as she turns the pages. But we're not looking for cheap thrills here. We're not interested in blood and guts. We're interested in stories of psychological suspense, stories that explore the workings of the human mind and heart much more than the workings of a gun or knife. And we're not looking for straight detective stories either. We're less interested in who done it and more interested in why. Think Hitchcock. Think Patricia Highsmith. And keep those pages turning.

Submissions need to be sent to: Authors should not contact editors directly. Submissions are screened for eligibility prior to being passed on to the editors. Any that bypass this process may not be eligible for acceptance/publication.


When no link is available for a specific anthology, please direct questions to:


CARS. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. Book due out in Spring/Summer 2015

CROSSING LINES. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. Book due out in Spring 2015

HOMES AND HOUSES. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. Book due out in Spring 2015


Main Street Rag Anthologies

What better way to know what we do than to read what we've already done. Listed below are anthologies Main Street Rag has published with links directly to their authors' page for details. Others can be found on the MSR Online Bookstore.

Aftermath (Fall/Winter 2012, Rayne Debski, Editor)

Altered States (2011, Amy Locklin, Editor)

a la carte (2010, S. Craig Renfroe, Jr., Editor)

Big Water (2008, S. Craig Renfroe, Jr., Editor)

The Book of Villains (2011, Josh Woods, Editor)

Coming Home (2010, Katey Schultz, Editor)

Commutability (2010, David Jack Bell & Molly McCaffrey, Editors)

Dots on a Map (2009, Katey Schultz, Editor)

Keeping Track (Fall/Winter 2012, Yelizaveta P. Renfro, Editor)

Law & Disorder (Fall 2014, Amy Locklin, Editor)

Mountain Memoirs (non-fiction & poetry, Fall/Winter 2012, Chris Arvidson, Scot Pope, & Julie E. Townsend, Editors)

Suicidally Beautiful (2011, Dennis Bormann, Steve Taylor editors)

Tattoos (Fall/Winter 2012, Alice Osborn, Editor)

Voices from the Porch (Fall/Winter 2013, Maureen A. Sherbondy, Editor)

XX Excentric (2009, S. Craig Renfroe, Jr., Editor)


The MSR Monthly Newsletter

In December 2001, Main Street Rag began circulating a monthly electronic newsletter. Among other things, our goal with this service is to provide subscribers with a monthly reminder of events, deadlines, contests, and magazines that are actively seeking manuscripts. If you would like to learn more about this service, just click.



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