Lost Balloon publishes flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and prose poetry (all 1,000 words or less). We publish one new piece every Wednesday. There are no theme or genre restrictions, but we want your best. Give us work that entertains and challenges, that pushes boundaries and breaks hearts.

The site’s name was inspired by those small and sad but whimsical moments in life: the birthday balloon that slips from your fingers and floats into the horizon, or the dropped ice cream cone.


**Important note! Lost Balloon will be open for submissions during the first week (seven days) of each month. That means August 1-7, September 1-7, October 1-7, and so on. We’ll be taking submission breaks in July and December in 2018.**

To Submit to Lost Balloon when we reopen in August:

Please paste one original, unpublished story in the body of an email and send it to lostballoonmag [at] gmail [dot] com. (No attachments please, and only one piece at a time.) Include the word count in the subject line of your email, and please include a third-person bio as well as a short cover letter or salutation. The cover letter can be as simple as “Hi, please consider my piece.” This may seem picky, but it’s weird when an email only includes a story and a bio. It feels like you barfed on us, and you don’t want that, do you?

Please wait to hear back before sending another submission. If your submission is rejected, please wait at least 1-2 month(s) after hearing back before you submit again. We will specifically ask for more work if we would like to see something else from you right away. If we accept and publish your piece, please wait one year from your publication date before submitting again.

Simultaneous submissions are okay—please let us know right away if it’s accepted elsewhere. We cannot currently pay our authors, but you will receive our undying gratitude, plus a lot of promotion on social media.

** Submissions sent outside of open periods will be deleted with no response. Exceptions will be made for subs that have been directly solicited by the editor.**

Response time: you can usually expect to hear back in about 30-45 days. If it has been at least 60 days, and you have not received a response, feel free to send a query about your submission status.

Lost Balloon acquires First Electronic Rights and Non-exclusive Archival Rights. All other rights remain with the author. If you reprint your piece, please mention us.

We are a small organization with a commitment to fostering a productive and welcoming creative space. We support the VIDA campaign for #saferLIT and will not tolerate abuse or harassment. We therefore reserve the right to reject submissions or remove previously published material from the site at our discretion.