Short Story September Anthology – call for submissions

Following our Short Story September campaign we are now inviting short stories of up to 4,000 words on the theme ‘kitchen’.

Please send us your short stories interpreting this theme in any way you wish. We are looking for work which surprises us and embraces the unexpected.

Selections will be made by joint editors Farhana Shaikh and Susmita Bhattacharya.

Successful writers will receive two copies of the anthology which will be published in September 2020.

Please send your short story with a short covering letter to with ‘Short Story September – Kitchen’ in the subject heading.

Deadline: 31 December 2019

General submission guidelines

We are open to new submissions all year round. Please follow our submission guidelines before sending your submission.

Working with a publisher is often the start of bringing your book to market. It can be a long, intensive process. We ask you to buy one of our books before you submit so you get a feel for what we like and the sort of books we publish. Your publisher will see your manuscript through to publication. When your work lands in our submissions pile, we carefully assess if we think it matches our tastes (we only want to publish the best fiction).


We are currently only accepting proposals for short fiction and short stories when presented as a collection.

Send us a covering letter, a synopsis and the first three stories or 10,000 words of your manuscript.

Send your manuscript on A4 white paper, Times New Roman in 12pt, double spaced to:

Submissions Dept, Dahlia Publishing Ltd, 6 Samphire Close, Hamilton, Leicester, LE5 1RW

Or email us at

Please ensure you:

  • Send us your covering letter in the body of your email.
  • Address your letter or email personally to Farhana Shaikh.
  • Tell us a little bit about your manuscript and why you write.


If we do say ‘No’ it’s not usually a case that your work is terrible and no one will ever publish it. It just means that we can’t publish you. It’s not by any means the end of the world. Sometimes we ask you look at working on certain things before re-submitting, sometimes we just say ‘It’s not for us.’ Do keep on trying, there are many many publishers out there, all with their own tastes.

If we say ‘Yes’ we will email you. Sometimes we have lots of submissions and it can take us eight weeks to get back to you with a positive response. We’re happy for you to send out your work to more than one publisher, but do let us know if somebody else is interested. We will let you know what we loved about your book and if you’re happy to, send us the entire manuscript. At this stage, we are interested in your work but might not always offer to publish. If we are, we will send you an offer of publication – a publishing contract. We advise all our writers to have their contracts checked with the Society of Authors, and then once you’ve signed and returned your contract we will ask you to be patient while we have a closer reading of your work. The entire process from contract to publication can take up to one year, if not longer.

If we are interested in working with you, expect to hear from us within 6 weeks. Please note, we do not read any submissions over the summer or Christmas holidays. We cannot offer feedback on submissions.