Present Tense is a literary magazine of new writing. We publish poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and creative non-fiction with a strong sense of place.

In our fractured times, we want to create a meaningful space for dialogue, to find common ground, to listen and unearth, and to join the dots between writing, reading, and dreaming.

Our commitment to writers is simple:

  • We will accept unsolicited submissions
  • We will take care of your words
  • We will pay you within 30 days of publication

Present Tense will be published biannually (every two years) in print. A selection of pieces will also appear online.

We want to carve a space to acknowledge our shared humanity and connectedness, and as such, welcome submissions from around the world.

Submission guidelines

We are closed for submissions while we review our publishing schedule.

We accept poetry (up to 40 lines), flash fiction (up to 1,000 words), and short stories (up to 3,000 words) as well as creative non-fiction (up to 3,000 words) on the set theme.

We ask writers to submit one piece of work per issue. Submissions should be made using the form below. A reading fee of £3 is payable per submission and helps us with running costs. Please note, we only accept new and original writing. Your submission must not have been previously published – online or in print.

Pitches for features (human interest, interviews, and essays only) should be sent directly via email to the editor Farhana Shaikh at Please use the subject heading ‘Pitch for Present Tense’.

Payment: Poetry £25, Prose £5 per 100 words. All published writers will also receive a complimentary copy of the magazine.

Out now: Summer Issue on the theme of Water/fall
Out now: Winter Issue on the theme of Wilderness

Subscriptions & Submissions

Subscribers will receive a gorgeous welcome pack including a notebook and tote bag as well as our Winter and Summer 21/22 issues. Subscribers will be sent an email newsletter with occasional updates and invitations to our online gatherings. Single copies can be purchased in our online bookshop.

Please select the appropriate option using the form below.