If you’re an author in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and are looking for UK publishers of short story collections, the following list has been compiled just for you.
An Oxford-based publishing company, Fairlight Books focuses on quality rather than quantity, which is the main reason why they only produce a limited number of books every year. Their main aim is that of promoting short story as a form of literature, and, in terms of genres, they strive to publish works which celebrate contemporary adult literary fiction and genre fiction.
The short stories they choose to publish are available on their website, so you can find them here. If you feel like this would be a suitable choice for your work, you should know that they are closed to short story submissions until autumn, meaning that they should become available again anytime now – the exact date will be announced on Twitter and Facebook.
In the meantime, if you want to be prepared, you can read their Submission Guidelines.
Founded in 2008 by editor Gill James, Bridge House Publishing is a company specialized in anthologies. They support the work of both aspiring and established authors, as they are aware of the importance of encouraging new talents.
When it comes to genres, however, things are quite different – they have an yearly period in which they’re open for submissions, respectively from January 1st until March 31st, and each time they set a distinct theme. For instance, the 2019 theme was Nativity.
Even though it might seem rather strict, they allow their authors to interpret the given theme in any manner they prefer, so don’t worry about having to follow specific criteria. If you want to work with them, check this section for any updates on the 2020 submission period, and don’t forget to read their Guidelines as well.
The Fiction Desk is a UK-based independent publishing house that focuses on new short fiction, providing opportunities for both aspiring and established authors – regardless of the category in which you fit, they pay for all of the stories, offer editorial support, and make sure that your author rights are respected.
If you want to learn more about their already published anthologies, you can find them here. Some of the titles are “Somewhere This Way", “New Ghost Stories", and “The Maginot Line".
Most of the stories they publish are unsolicited submissions, so feel free to contact them if you’re interested in a collaboration. Your work has to be sent through an online form, and the length of your short stories should be of 1,000-20,000 words. It is relevant to know that they have preferred criteria when it comes to manuscript formatting. For additional information, you should read the Submission Guidelines available online.
4. Seren Books
A top independent publisher in the UK since 1981, Seren Books specialize in English-language writing from Wales. Besides raising cultural awareness, their goal is also to help culture evolve, and to bring Welsh art, politics, and literature to a broader audience, so that they can engage with the world.
Their book categories consist of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, providing a separate short story section within the fiction division. They also feature a Short Story of the Month on their website – you can find the current one here.
The Submission Guidelines for each of the genres are available online – if you want to send a short story, make sure that you submit it in Word or PDF format using Times New Roman, size 12.
Penguin Random House UK is a part of Penguin Random House, a worldwide leading trade publisher. Due to its numerous imprints, partnerships, and collaborations, the authors published by them manage to obtain significant visibility.
The genres that are of interest to them vary widely, including action and adventure, classics, romance, graphic novels, general fiction, history, health and lifestyle, sport, science, and many others. In addition to this, the fiction category also includes a short story subcategory, so this can be a great opportunity for short fiction writers.
Although they do not accept submissions sent directly by authors, they do accept submissions from agents. If you want to find out more about what you have to do in order to send a manuscript, you can read their Submission Guidelines here.
6. Valley Press
A Scarborough-based independent publishing house, Valley Press was founded in 2008 and it represents authors from Leeds, York, London, Brighton, China, Bermuda, and the US. In September 2015, it was awarded a £50,000 Arts Council grant in order to be able to improve and expand the business.
They publish fiction, including collections of short stories and novels, non-fiction, and poetry. Their categories vary widely, encompassing film, charity, art, grief, history, humor, motherhood, pamphlet, philosophy, and many others.
If you access the FAQ section, you will notice that their submissions are currently closed. However, if you want to collaborate with them, you should subscribe to their newsletter in order to be announced about their new submission period.
7. Fox Spirit
Fox Spirit is a small press that works on split profit, thus covering all the costs required for the editing and producing of your work. However, as they have a limited budget, the number of published books per year is limited as well, so they are currently not accepting submissions.
Their topics of interest fit the standards of non-fiction, poetry, young adult, and many others. Novellas and anthologies are two of their available categories which promote short stories, so, if this is your genre of preference, you can consider them as a future option in terms of publishing.
Even though they are not open to submissions at the moment, you can still check for updates here.
Luna Press Publishing was founded by author Francesca T. Barbini in 2015, and it is now an award-winning Scottish press, and a member of Publishing Scotland. Their range of clients is varied, as they work with new and established authors, as well as with agents. They currently have three main projects – Academia Lunare, which is a non-fiction branch, Visual Words, for graphic novels, Lines to Life, comprising art books, and Traditional Fiction, dedicated to fictional work, from novels to anthologies, meaning that short stories are accepted as well.
Luna Press is highly interested in fantasy, dark fantasy, and science fiction, in both fiction and academia. As all of their projects are distinct, their submission availability differs as well – at the moment, they only accept manuscripts for Academia Lunare, respectively academic works.
However, this may change in the future, so make sure to check their Submissions page for any updates. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with their books, in order to see if you could fit their standards.
Founded in 2010, the British company Honest Publishing now distributes its books through Turnaround Publisher Services. In terms of clients, it is permanently looking for innovative and talented authors, especially for those neglected by the mainstream.
They specialize in short story books, poetry, and alternative fiction. To become accustomed with their interests, a list of already published works is available here. Also, as they are supporters of technological advances, some of them are available in eBook format, and there is a distinct category where they can be found.
When it comes to submissions, although their average reading time is of 90 days, this period can extend depending on the volume of work. Regardless, they try to provide feedback as quickly as possible. They are now closed for submissions, but any updates on the matter will be provided here.
Honno was established in 1986 by a volunteer group whose main aim was that of promoting Welsh women in publishing, thus bringing their works to a wide audience. The people of Wales showed their support by becoming shareholders, and they remained one of the reasons why Honno continues its activity to this day.
Even though, in the past, they chose to publish poetry, teenage titles, and children’s books as well, they now focus on autobiographies, short story anthologies, and novels in English, while also publishing classics in English and Welsh.
They have been exclusively publishing the works of Welsh women since the beginning, and you can find them all here. In case you would like to collaborate with them, a complete catalogue of published books is available online. After becoming familiar with their interests, make sure to read their Submission Guidelines – keep in mind that they only accept manuscripts via post.
11. Dedalus Books
After beginning their activity in 1983, Dedalus Books have soon become a successful publisher of literary fiction. What is rather unusual about them is the fact that they created their own genre, respectively that of “distorted reality", where the surreal, the grotesque, the bizarre, and the unusual blend in a sort of intellectual fiction.
Among their titles, they have Dedalus European Classics, Dedalus Euro Shorts Series, Dedalus Anthologies, and contemporary English language fiction. If you want to learn more about their topics of interest, you can find the books they recommend here – however, the complete catalogue is available here.
They accept manuscripts submitted by both authors and agents, and they prefer them by post – you will have to send three sample chapters, a letter about yourself, and SAE. Additional information regarding this can be found online.
Established by Bournemouth University, Fresher Publishing is a young publishing venture that promotes new authors from across Dorset and further. As a matter of fact, they also have free creative writing workshops for primary school students as proof that they wish to encourage future talents.
They specialize in short stories, creative non-fiction, poetry, and novels, while also taking an interest in many other genres. A complete catalogue of their already published books is available here, if you want to become accustomed with their works.
Although they are not open for submissions at the moment, they still try to provide writers with visibility through their competitions. If you want to collaborate with them, feel free to check their website for updates.
13. Dahlia Books
Leicester-based, this is a small independent publishing press that was founded by Farhana Shaikh in 2010. Their projects, The Asian Writer and Leicester Writes, allow them to produce a limited number of 2-3 books per year – this is why they are rather strict and only publish high-quality writings.
Their Short Story September project is meant to promote the genre and to provide visibility to writers, providing them with prizes and several benefits. Checking their book range is recommended before submitting, as you should be familiar with their interests.
They are currently accepting collections of short stories and fiction proposals, as long as you send a few details on your manuscript and the reason why you write. More information can be found regarding the Submission Guidelines can be found here.
14. Salt Publishing
This year, Salt Publishing celebrates 20 years of experience in the industry. As one of the best independent publishers in the UK, it is supportive when it comes to all types of clients, from new authors to established ones. In time, they have managed to win several prizes, among which the Nielsen Innovation Award can be named.
Short story, poetry, non-fiction, modern fiction, creative writing, and crime & mystery are just some of the genres which they publish regularly. Unfortunately, they are currently closed for submissions. However, you can still enter their website for updates if you would like to work with them.
15. Cinnamon Press
Run by a family team in a village in North Wales, Cinnamon Press is a small, independent publisher that focuses on quality rather than genre. Because of their approach, they do not use social media, so their website is the main place where you can find out about their publications and activities.
With a distinct section of anthology, they can be your future option in terms of publishing if you write short stories. Even though they are closed for submissions at the moment, you can still check for updates here.
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