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.


**Important note! Lost Balloon will be open for submissions during the first week (seven days) of each month, excluding breaks. That means February 1-7, March 1-7, April 1-7 and so on. In 2022, we’ll be taking submission breaks during late spring and summer (May, June, July, and August), and again in November and December. As of spring 2022, we are scheduled all the way through 2022. Our spring 2022 reading periods will be tied to early 2023 publication dates. 

To Submit to Lost Balloon during our open periods:

We handle submissions through Submittable. Please do not email us submissions. Subs are free, and you will also have an opportunity to donate to the magazine by choosing the “tip jar” category. All pieces will receive the same consideration regardless of category. Money received through the tip jar will go directly toward paying for our submittable subscription and to the maintenance fees for our website.

Please send only one piece at a time and wait to hear back before sending another submission. We do not accept reprints, so your piece must be original and unpublished. Do not submit in more than one genre at a time. 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.

We love simultaneous submissions! Please withdraw your piece right away if it’s accepted elsewhere. We usually take from 60-90 days to read and respond, so if Lost Balloon is your first choice for your story, please consider that when submitting to multiple journals.

(NOTE FOR 2022 SUBS: response to our call for submissions has been huge for the past several months, which is great! That means, though, we use up all of our free submissions for the month very quickly. If you cannot afford a tip jar submission and free subs are no longer available when you try to submit, please contact us at lostballoonmag at gmail.com and tell us you need access to a free submission. We will figure out a way for you to be able to send us your work. Please do not email your sub without asking, and this only applies within our open periods.)

We cannot currently pay our authors. We do promise to promote your piece on social media. We also nominate work for anthologies.

Response time: you can usually expect to hear back in about 60-90 days. If it has been at least 120 days, and you have not received a response, feel free to send a query about your submission status to lostballoonmag at gmail dot com. If you query before 120 days, your email will not be answered.

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.