How to Submit a Story to Great Jones Street

Hey Gang. We are not currently accepting submissions, but are scheduled to resume in June.  Come back and see us then, ya?
The way we take submissions relies on our community and takes me out of the equation.

I’m looking for greatness, but there’s so much of it I can’t keep up with it all. Plus, I am flawed. My idea of great isn’t yours. For that decision, it’s best to rely on community. In addition to a world-class catalog of short fiction in a reader-friendly app experience, we are building a community: a community of writers entertaining a community of readers.

We’re unusual in that we don’t take unsolicited submissions. That said, if you can get a recommendation from one of our writers, you’re in. Your story is in, the price is set, and you will get paid and published within hours. No haggling. No fuss.

We feel that’s the right bar to set for both quality and efficiency. We don’t take everything. But we do take our writers at their word. If they recommend a story and a writer, we’re game.

How to submit your story/stories to Great Jones Street:
  1. You must reach out to one of our writers and ask them to recommend you. Here is a list of our current writers. The writer you choose will then make an email introduction to me, Kelly, the CEO. I will take it from there. 
  2. With your submission, include word docs of each of your stories. Send pdf’s, HTML, links, ePub, Mobi, txt if you must, but they are not preferred. Also include a note that tells us about each story (how you wrote it, what it means to you, some of its backstory — this helps us package each story for the reader), whether or not it’s a new or reprinted story, and, if a reprint, its previous publication. If the story or you have an award history, please say so.

We have a preference for award winning stories but we will publish anything you send us so long as you want an audience for it. Typically we take about three stories per writer on the first submission.

If you are just starting out in your career, the same process applies. Have your mentor hook you up. We will gladly add you to our “Fresh Writers” series and help you start building a name for yourself.

That’s it. There is no step 3.

If you don’t know one of our writers, get to know one. Many of them read stories for a fee. Most of them teach. Many of them are editors at journals. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Attend workshops. Hustle.

When we get intros, we get right to work. It takes about 24 hours get signed. We may look like a publication, but we are a run by geeks. Our machine is well-oiled.

Below you will find some Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

FAQ

What is your mission?

Our mission is simple: Bring short fiction back into pop culture.

Why does that matter?

We are building the definitive catalog of short fiction including classics of all genres and new works by established and emerging artists. We are simultaneously building an app experience and pricing model decidedly different than other e-readers. We have a vision for the future where short stories are more commonly read and shared among avid readers. We are building Great Jones Street into both a destination and community.

Where will my story appear?

Our mobile/tablet apps (iPhone and Android).
In our online pub.

How big/diverse is your catalog?

We buy about 1,000 stories per year. Today we have 500 stories by 251 writers currently. About 20% of our stories are original, first-run material. The rest are reprints. We publish any genre and any length (including serialized novels, though rarely). If we start seeing a lack of diversity, we ask our writers openly to make recommendations to help us fill those gaps.

What are your rates?

We pay between $250 and $500 for new stories of any length. Commissioned serials pay more and are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
We pay a minimum of $50 per story if it’s a reprint. We offer 1.5 cents per word (a standard reprint rate for many online pubs).
For flash fiction (~1,500 words or less) we pay $50 to $150 per story and do not discount reprints. (We do not distinguish between flash and “normal” short fiction in our publication or app but the flash market pricing precedence has been set and that’s something we honor).

Do you pay royalties?

No. However, when required, we will rate-limit how many users can have copies of your stories. In other words, if you have royalty in mind, we will pay for the first N users to have a copy at that rate then lock the rest out.

Will you work with my agent?

Yes!

How does contracting and payment work?

After you have sent your stories and we tell you you’re in, contracting is automated and online. Review and sign the contract online. Get paid via wire. Get your t-shirt and laptop stickers sent. Do the watusi.

What are your general terms?

For reprints, the contract is a standard story contract. We don’t need exclusivity. We don’t want derivative rights. 10-year license with option to remove after 5.

For first-runs, we are a little more needy but not by much. 6-month exclusivity. No derivative rights. Perpetual license.

FWIW, we have worked with writers’ associations to update make our contracts as writer-friendly as we can. We also seriously consider redlines.

What are your goals?

We will build a very large audience of readers who love short fiction. We will connect writers with those readers. We will host an app experience that promotes the discussion and sharing of writers and their stories. In the middle we all make money. The end.

How confident are you?

Very. There are 120 million buyers of fiction in the US alone, year over year. We don’t know how many of them are buying short fiction, but we feel that number is large enough to be a true market. Also, the number would be larger if the 30+ million avid readers (in U.S. alone) had a fantastic set of curators promoting stories regularly. Hence, our app and our online pub and our curatorial/acquisition guidelines.

Having launched in September 2016, our audience is in growth phase. We actively promote our writers and their stories via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Medium. Our users share writers and their stories via email, SMS, our app, and social media. Our presence is global.

Who are you?

I’m Kelly Abbott. My partner is Ken Truesdale. The company is staffed with five full-time employees (CEO, COO, Dir of Design, Dir of Engineering, and Dir of Growth). We have five contractors (video production, art direction, engineering, product management, QA). And we have five interns (readers). We are venture backed by Seed San Diego and several San Diego angels. We are not a silicon valley tech blah. Nor are we a NYC pub tech blah. We are dreamers, living the good life one story at a time.

A note about me, Kelly. My dad is Lee K. Abbott, a not-so-famous-but-critically-acclaimed Story Writer. Therefore it is important to me not just to do right by readers, but also to do right by writers.

After all, one day, when your stories are live, and I ask you to make a recommendation for a few more stories I should buy, I have you as a fan.