Guidelines for 2017

Braddock Avenue Books is extremely excited to announce a new publishing partnership with The Best Small Fictions starting with publication of the 2017 anthology, guest edited by Amy Hempel.

The Best Small Fictions is the first contemporary anthology solely devoted to honoring the best short hybrid fiction published in a calendar year. With this annual, we seek to promote the seasoned writer as well as the emerging writer.



Journal editors and book publishers: submit up to five nominations from your print or online journals, chapbooks, broadsides, or story collections. Small fictions consist of 6 words to 1,000 words, and may take any traditional or experimental form and include illustrations or photos. However, the fictions must be prose and self-contained (no novel/novella excerpts) and published/translated into English. Poetry that sits on the edge of fiction and verse may be submitted, but should contain prose (haibun stories and tanka prose qualify). Small fictions must be published in 2016 and submitted November 1, 2016, until January 16, 2017 (postmark deadline).

NOTE: foreign submissions have a January 9 postmark deadline and may be submitted in hard copy or via email. Submit email nominations as Word File attachments (if one file, be sure each story begins a new page) and include the required cover letter. Email to the gmail address below.


Submission Checklist:

  • Up to 5 nominations (tearsheets, printouts, or photocopies)
  • 2 hard copies of each nominated small fiction (only one copy for emailed submissions)
  • 1 cover letter (editor email contact info; author/artist email contact info; publication info and word count). There must be an official editor making the nomination (authors cannot nominate themselves, these are discarded).

Do not send originals as all submissions will be recycled. We accept email submissions only from editors outside of the United States. Mail nominations to:

Best Small Fictions 2017
c/o Tara Masih, series ed.
3321 Haley Pointe Rd.
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Questions regarding the nomination process may be sent to series editor Tara Masih at, but queries as to the status of a nomination will go unanswered. Use tracking or enclose an SASE of you want acknowledgment of receipt. The 2017 guest editor, PEN/Malamud Award–winner Amy Hempel, will be judging the finalists blindly. At no time may the guest editor be contacted.

Writers accepted and finalists and semifinalists will be notified in spring, with a publication date in September 2017. Finalists will be acknowledged in the book.

For updates, please see the Braddock Avenue Books website at, like our “The Best Small Fictions” Facebook page, or follow @BestSmFictions and @BraddockAveBook on Twitter.


Frequently Asked Questions:

You mention you are looking for hybrid work. Can I send in my flash story, which is not considered hybrid?

Yes, we use hybrid lightly to encompass the whole genre of small fictions, as we consider flash stories to fall under the hybrid umbrella. Traditional and experimental are both welcome.

In what year do the stories have to be published?

Within January 1 and December 31 of the calendar year in which the submission period begins. If the story has yet to appear, the manuscript is welcome as long as there is a commitment to publish by the 31st. If you have a journal that is late and gets published the following year, as long as the publication date is the previous year, it qualifies.

How are winners and finalists/semifinalists notified?

We send winners and their nominating editors personal emails in the spring; finalists and semifinalists are notified in a group email and asked to let their nominating editors know their status. If you are a nominating editor who did not get notification from the series editor, your stories did not make the anthology. We post a complete public blog list after the authors are notified and have accepted.

Can the stories receive an edit before submission?

Yes, as long as a substantial part of the story remains as it appeared in the publication, edits are acceptable.

What rights are you asking for?

We are going to ask for one-time republication rights to revert back to the author on publication.

Should the pages of each story be stapled or paper-clipped together, or should all pages in the packet remain loose?  

All methods are acceptable.

When printing stories from the web, is it acceptable to hand-print the author’s contact information at the top of the first page?

Yes, but we still need a cover letter with the nominating editor’s name and email and word counts either on the story or in the cover letter.

If bios appear at the beginning or end of each story, is it okay to include them, or do I need to cut and paste those stories into Word and strip out the bios?

It is fine to retain bios; they will be stripped out for the guest editor. Cutting and pasting the stories into Word is acceptable, too, and has its benefits, as word counts can then be verified, but this is totally optional.

Are stories that won competitions eligible?

Yes, as long as they appeared in print or on a website as a published winner.

If a story collection includes stories published prior to the calendar year, can they be nominated?

Yes, as long as the collection was published in the nominating year, each story is eligible.

Is self-published work eligible?

Not at this time. The same applies to Fictionaut and similar venues.