Info & Guidelines

Necessary Fiction publishes a new book review each Monday, a featured short story each Wednesday, a contribution to our Research Notes series each Friday, and occasional interviews, essays, and other surprises. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Steve Himmer, general editor
Lacey N. Dunham, fiction editor
Diane Josefowicz and Lindsay Merbaum, book reviews editors
Michelle Bailat-Jones, translations editor

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Fiction

We welcome your stories, but ask that you send them via our submissions manager. Complete guidelines are available there.

To submit fiction in translation (which we also welcome), please contact Michelle Bailat-Jones directly at translations@necessaryfiction.com.

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Book Reviews

We primarily review recent (i.e., within the past year or close to it) literary fiction from small/independent presses and have a particular interest in contemporary translations. While we define “literary” broadly we probably aren’t a good fit for books in firm genres or for younger readers (and definitely not for books of nonfiction, despite the number of queries we receive). Self-published authors are welcome to submit their books if they fit those interests, but please note that reviewing self-published books is not a particular focus.

If you are a publisher, author, or publicist and would like to submit a book for consideration, please contact reviews@necessaryfiction.com. Please note that we strongly prefer to list a title as available then provide an address if/when it is requested, to avoid books being mailed twice or piling up unread in our corners.

If you are interested in writing a review, please find a list of available titles here.

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Research Notes and Translation Notes

For our Research Notes series, we invite the author of a recent book of fiction to reflect on the “research” behind it. Research is defined very broadly, from archival work to field work to family histories to memory — pretty much anything goes. Usually, these take the form of essays in the realm of 1000 words, but we’re open to experiments like annotated reading lists, conversations, or whatever authors come up with. The goal is more to see how authors think about their own process than to force them into a box, and we like to be surprised. If you think your book lends itself to the series, feel free to pitch us by email. Please note that our focus is on literary fiction, and while we have a pretty flexible view of what that means, if your book is in a more particular genre (ie, not in sync with the styles of fiction we tend to publish or review here) it’s probably not right for the series.

Our Translation Notes series invites translators of literary fiction to write about the process of bringing a book into English, and we welcome submissions to that series as well. We also consider essays on a specific literature in general which would introduce our readers to work from different languages and cultures. Please inquire by email if you are a translator interested in writing about your work or a literature you are familiar with, or if you are a publisher/publicist representing translators who may be interested.

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Interviews

We are also glad to receive submissions of interviews with writers, publishers, translators, editors, artists with an interest in story, or someone we haven’t thought of yet. We prefer interviews that do more than just try to sell a book, but instead show us how subjects think about their art and ask us to think, too. Think conversation rather than sales pitch, and be thoughtful about what kinds of books we tend to feature — if it wouldn’t make sense in the context of what else we publish, it might not be for us. Please inquire by email if you have an interview or conversation you would like to propose or submit.