Submission Guidelines

Update 10/2/2019: We have decided to read all submissions blind, in an effort to limit reader/editor bias. Please remove your name and other contact info from submitted documents (don’t forget to check the header).

We are currently open to submissions through February 29, 2020. Read through our guidelines below, and click the button at the bottom of the page when you’re ready to submit!

The After Happy Hour Review is an online journal produced in Pittsburgh, PA. We gravitate towards work that is quirky, accessible, and unconventional. An ideal piece might cover a subject few people write about or cover familiar subjects from an unexpected angle.

We also accept visual art, be it digital photos, paintings, or collages, as well as comics.

We read from October 1-February 29 and from April 1-August 31, and publish two issues each year. We especially appreciate the opportunity to publish new and emerging writers and nominate pieces published in After Happy Hour Review for awards and anthologies as often as possible. We are independent and proud of it.

General Submission Guidelines

  • We accept fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, visual art, comics, and every iteration and/or combination thereof. All genres and forms are welcome.
  • Please include a brief (100 word max) 3rd-person bio in your cover letter.
  • To limit editor and reader bias, we read all submissions blind. To this end, we ask submitters to remove their name and contact information from the document itself.
  • We are not opposed to sex, violence, or profanity when they are necessary to the story—we’re fans of all three, in fact. Having said that, we will not accept any work that contains hateful or discriminatory content, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Gratuitous sex and violence will probably get you rejected, too.
  • Use standard manuscript format (12-point Serif font, standard margins and spacing). It’s not like we’ll reject you for a bad font (probably) but it makes it easier to read, and that makes us happy. The exception is poetry that uses non-standard formatting for stylistic reasons. Prose writers have no excuse.
  • We accept submissions only through Submittable. Submissions sent to our e-mail will be deleted unread.
  • We accept and encourage simultaneous submissions. All we ask is that you be a good literary citizen. Tell us it’s a sim sub in the cover letter, and withdraw your submission through Submittable if it’s accepted elsewhere (if you’re withdrawing part of a submission, you can use the note feature or send us an e-mail). It is also expected that you’ll withdraw your submission from consideration by other journals if After Happy Hour accepts it.
  • Please send only one submission per category at a time. We’ll happily consider submissions in multiple categories from the same author (e.g. a poem and a story).
  • If you work in mixed genres (hybrid poetry/fiction, illustrated stories, etc.) submit the work in the category that seems to fit the best, and give us a bit of explanation in the cover letter for context.
  • We do not accept reprints, translations, or scholarly essays.
  • Our response time is generally less than 6 weeks, but we are humans (mostly) and have been known to fall behind. If you haven’t heard from us in 3 months or more, you can send an e-mail and give us a nudge. You can also check on the status of your submission at any time by logging into your Submittable account.
  • Accepted submissions may be edited for grammar. All changes are sent to the author for approval before publication.


If you write short (under 1,000 words) you can send up to 3 stories in a single document. Otherwise, send one story at a time and wait until you hear back to send another. There is no hard word count, but works over 5,000 words must be truly exceptional to merit consideration. Please double-space all prose longer than 1,000 words. Flash and micro pieces can be single- or double-spaced at your discretion.

Creative Nonfiction

Send one piece up to 6,000 words, double-spaced. For flash essays and micro-essays (under 1,000 words) you can send up to 3 in a single document, which can be single- or double-spaced.


Send up to 5 poems in a single document (no line limits).

Comics and Graphic Narratives

There is no length limit on graphic narratives. For short works (3 pages or under) you can send up to 5 in a single submission. For works longer than 3 pages, send one at a time and wait until you get a response to send another.

Visual Art 

We consider all forms of visual art, including paintings, drawings, photographs, and digital images. We consider both individual works and artist profiles for feature issues. To submit individual work, attach up to 5 works in a single submission. If you would like to be considered for a feature, attach a sample of 3-5 works and include a link to your website or portfolio in your submission.

Online Content 

After Happy Hour publishes book reviews, author interviews, and craft-related content on our website. Posts should be 250-1,000 words in length and contain all relevant links and references. The online content category is open to submissions year-round.

The Other Stuff

  • We acquire first publishing rights and electronic archive rights. All rights revert to the author following the work’s publication in After Happy Hour you can re-publish and anthologize your work at will. Content can be removed from the website on request, but cannot be removed from the the issue in which it was published.
  • If you submit late in a reading period and the current issue is already full, your work may instead be considered for the next issue. You’ll be notified of this if your work is accepted.
  • We nominate work published in After Happy Hour for various awards and anthologies, including the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot offer payment to our contributors at this time.


Contact us at afterhappyhour [at] gmail [dot] com