We know it’s not “cool” or “literary,” but we’re suckers for a happy ending. (Not that kind, pervert.) While we appreciate a good bloodbath finale or gothic tale of woe as much as the next forest-dwelling cryptid, this particular issue will feature stories that leave us feeling as warm and fuzzy as this melted butterscotch we just found in the pocket of our sweatpants.
Anything goes in terms of genre for this one, including narrative poetry, if that’s your thing. Science fiction, horror, and other genres where happy endings are comparatively rare would really schmear the sesame bagel of our heart—and it can be done; see Seanan McGuire’s “Each to Each” or Joe Hill’s “20th Century Ghost.” Really, though, we just want to be delighted. The details are up to you.
Remember, a dark story can have a happy ending (but please avoid the items on our “nope” list). And not all happy endings are hugs and smoochies and riding off into the sunset; conclusions involving death, destruction, or giant spiders could be considered happy, depending on the circumstances. That being said, we’re looking for more than schadenfreude here, so give us at least one character we can root for.
There are a lot of terrible things happening in the world, right now and always. Remind us that good things happen, too. Drain the vinegar of despair from our soul and fill it with the rainbow sprinkles of joy.
Length: Up to 4200 words for stories; up to 100 lines total for poetry. Flash fiction is welcome.
Deadline: Midnight on March 1, 2018. Final decisions will be made by March 14 (most submitters can expect to hear from us much sooner). Accepted Happy Endings stories and poems will be published in April 2018 as our 100th issue.
Ready? Head on over to Submittable!