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.) UPDATED --May 2, 2014

* * * CARS. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. We have several items we want to use for this anthology, but not enough to fill the page requirements. We will report on items already considered in early May; however, due to an over abundance of poetry and a shortage of prose, reading for THIS anthology has been extended for fiction and nonfiction. Repeat: we are looking specifically for fiction and nonfiction related to this theme. All submissions need to be sent to:

Theme concept: The story of cars is the story of America. They're the embodiment of our history, personal and shared, and they represent the loftiest of our ideals and the dearest of our values--tradition and innovation, industry and self-expression, freedom and responsibility. They're at once utilitarian and spiritual, tools of trade and work, objects of desire and fantasy, of memory and illusion. As Marshall McCluhan once remarked, "The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete..." So, we're looking for stories, poems, and creative essays that reflect the significance of a car on the personal, social, or historical level.

CROSSING LINES. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. Expected report date: May 2014. Perhaps it's a physical border. Or a passage from innocence to experience. Or a simple transgression. Crossing physical, cultural, or emotional boundaries occurs because of forethought, accident or circumstance. In a short story, flash, memoir, or poem, show us what happens when someone goes beyond literal or symbolic limits. No pornography or gratuitous violence. But don't hesitate to take a risk.

HOMES AND HOUSES. Reading/submission period: CLOSED. Expected report date: May 2014. Our home can house our greatest triumphs and tragedies. Homes can be our largest investment and our biggest mistake. Moving is one of the most stressful events, along with marriage, divorce and childbirth-all of which involve a home. Is Grandma moving into the home, but there's no money for an addition? Has a home been destroyed by fire? Can one family survive a move to a nicer neighborhood with little money left over in the budget? Send us your best work with houses and homes either as the main or secondary characters because everyone has to live somewhere.


Since the reading period has ended any and all anthology related queries should be addressed to:


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.

Law & Disorder (expected release: Fall 2013)

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)

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)

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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