We publish poetry, short stories, and essays from new, emerging, and established writers.

Arresting language and strong story will always keep us reading.

We accept unsolicited work and publish 3 issues a year in February, June, and October.          

We seek only unpublished work and accept simultaneous submissions. (Publication includes print or digital form, including personal webpages.) Please contact us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. Original works in English only; no translations, please. 

We accept submissions in multiple categories during a submission cycle (poetry, fiction or essays).

We are a non-paying market. 

If your work is accepted for publication, we will solicit a formal biography.  In the meantime, tell us about yourself.  We're curious people.

If you have any questions or experience difficulties, please contact us at info@birdsthumb.org.

Ends on June 1, 2018$5.00
  • We are accepting submissions for the 2018 Summer Short Story Contest through June 1, 2018. Submissions will close at midnight on June 1, 2018. 
  • We will accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
  • We welcome any subject or style.
  • Genre fiction will not be considered: mystery, romance, spiritual, science fiction, etc.
  • All submissions will be reviewed blind. The editors will select the top 5 manuscripts and guest judge Michelle Ross will select the winner. 
  • To preserve anonymity, please follow these directions carefully: 
    • Do not include your name or address anywhere on your manuscript or in the file name.
    • When you upload your manuscript, use only the following for your file name: Fiction2018. Your manuscript will be assigned a number.
    • Your title should appear ONLY on the manuscript itself. It should not appear in the file name.
    • 12 point font, double-spaced, and paginated
  • Five finalists will be notified by July 1, 2018.
  • There will be a first, second, and third place award of $100, $50, and $25 respectively.
  • The winning manuscripts will be announced and published by Bird's Thumb on August 1, 2018.
  • Manuscripts should be between 1000-3000 words.
  • A $5.00 entry fee is required and will be collected when you submit your manuscript. 
  • All manuscripts will be considered for publication by Bird's Thumb.
The editors strongly suggest reading past issues of Bird's Thumb to become familiar with what we publish.

Submit 3-5 poems per submission cycle. Single-spaced (except between stanzas). We are open to all styles and especially appreciate voice, image, figure, and craft. 

Include all poems in a single attachment (.doc or .docx)

Note: Do not use this category if you are submitting a manuscript to the 2017 Poetry Chapbook Contest. Manuscripts submitted in the Poetry category will not be entered into the contest. Please use the 2017 Poetry Chapbook Contest category instead.
Submit no more than 2 stories per submission cyle. Length is 1000-5000 words, double-spaced, 12 point font.  We are open to all styles, themes, and subjects with the following exception: no genre fiction, please.  We love stories—familiar and new—with compelling characters, strong movement, and perhaps an unlikely point of view.

Send each story as an attachment. (.doc or .docx)

Submit no more than 2 essays per submission cycle. Length is 2000-5000 words, double spaced, 12 point font. We are open to all styles, themes, and subjects with the following exception: no religious or spiritual awakenings, please. We seek essays that entertain while constructing new vistas for our readers.

Send each essay as an attachment. (.doc or .docx)