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, editor
Aleks Appleton, book reviews editor
Lacey N. Dunham, fiction editor
Michelle Bailat-Jones, translations editor


Submitting 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


Submitting Book Reviews

We are especially interested in reviewing fiction from independent publishers, with a moderate emphasis on short story collections, novellas and translations. We are also interested in spotlighting recent issues of literary journals. Self-published authors are welcome to submit their books, but please be aware a review is not guaranteed (for those titles or for any books submitted). Please bear in mind that our focus is on literary fiction for adult readers, and while we define that broadly we probably aren’t a good fit for books in other genres or for younger readers.

If you are a publisher, author, or publicist and would like to submit a book for consideration, please query Steve Himmer at If you are a reviewer, please (keep in mind our interest in independent publishers and then) query with a completed review or writing samples and a book suggestion. Please do not simultaneously submit reviews; we promise to get back to you quickly. We maintain a list of books currently on hand for review, but please don’t feel limited to those — we welcome pitches and submissions of other books as long as they fit our guidelines, and we are willing to request review copies from publishers (though we prefer to do so for reviewers we have worked with before or those with prior review publications).


Submitting for 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.


Submitting 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.