Want to Submit?



Inside The Bell Jar accepts poetry, short stories and flash fiction of absolutely any genre. The only real requirement we have is that your piece is related to mental illness in some way. This can be in a character, the general theme, something about the setting – you decide.


We have been publishing quarterly issues online for a year, but are now seeking to transition into bi-annual with plans to produce the journal as an eBook. We have set up a Patreon to help us do so and would love it if you could check it out. We will have more announcements on this in the coming months, including possible ways to feature work that does not make it into the eBook issues.


It’s our passion to share with readers an intimate insight into the minds of those suffering from a mental illness. We are therefore looking for writers of fiction and poetry that speak openly and honestly about their own experiences, or those of their characters. We are especially keen to hear the voices of young adult teens, people of colour, those from the LGBTQA+ community or any other groups which often find themselves under-represented in the world of fiction.


  • All poetry must be no more than 40 lines. All short stories must be between 1,500-5,000 words. Flash pieces must be between 200 and 1,500 words.
  • You are allowed to submit as many times as you like, but please do so separately – one email per piece.
  • Please edit your submissions before sending them in for consideration. Small typos and minor grammatical errors are fine, but as the journal is run by a small team there is simply not enough time to make substantial changes to sub-par work. Tip: reading something aloud a few times is very useful for spotting errors or clumsy sentence structures.
  • All work must be your own.
  • Work should not be published anywhere else, though simultaneous submissions (work that is currently submitted to another market) are allowed. We ask you that you inform us immediately if your work is selected elsewhere.
  • We buy First Serial and Electronic rights i.e the right to be the first place to publish that story. Work can then be sold elsewhere after publication.


At the present moment we are only able to pay our writers a small payment per published piece, given our reliance on crowdfunding to pay production costs. For now, we rely on our Patrons to enable us to create this important space to give a voice for those living with mental illnesses.

As of May 9th 2017, our rates are as follows:

  • 5 GBP per published short story.
  • 5 GBP per poem.
  • We currently are not paying for flash fiction. However, we are interested in publishing an unspecified number of flash fiction per issue.

Every contributor will receive a free eBook copy of the journal.

Payment, of course, counts as a publishing credit also, enabling you to list such a publication when submitting elsewhere.

Payment will be made via PayPal upon publication. We will contact you for your PayPal details if your submission is accepted.


We had previously planned to move into print publication for Inside The Bell Jar but unfortunately encountered some roadblocks. For details on these changes, please see this post.


We aim to reply to all submissions within 60 days, although we will sometimes go slightly over during busy periods or holiday seasons. Feel free to enquire about your submission after this 60 day period if you have not heard back from us, as it may have been lost in the mail.


Simply email your submission to submit@insidethebelljar.com, including your name, title of your submission, plus the submission both attached as a .doc and pasted at the bottom of your email.

Please also include a short bio (max 50 words) in the body of your email.

Inside The Bell Jar

Inside The Bell Jar

Inside The Bell Jar is a literary journal dedicated to providing a raw and honest insight into the complexity of mental illness. We hope that you enjoy reading our stories and poems, and that you might consider submitting.
Inside The Bell Jar

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If you have enjoyed what you read, please take a second to support Inside The Bell Jar on Patreon!
  • Ailsa Abraham

    Donated what I can, about to submit.

    • Sami Clara

      Thank you, Ailsa!

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  • Charlotte Farhan

    Hello, I am very interesting in submitting, I am a visual artist who deals with mental illness as I suffer from 10 co-morbid mental disorders, I was wondering if you accept visual art with the poetry? And do you accept things which have been published before on a person’s own blog? Thank you for your time.

    • Ophelia Meara

      Hey Charlotte,

      Absolutely. We’re just starting to accept visual art, but unfortunately are unable to pay at this time. We are only able to offer payment in two areas: poetry and short stories.

      Work previously published on a blog isn’t an issue.

      Kind regards!

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  • Lodhi bushra

    If I email before 1 Oct ..will it be considered as submitted ? Because you said it would take 45 days to respond..

  • August Pfizenmayer

    If I posted something I want to submit on my small blog, does that count as being published elsewhere?

  • Pingback: Poetry Competitions & Submissions – November 2016 – a dreaming skin()

  • Hi there, I’m keen to submit but wanted to check the closing date for the next issue – bit confused that it looks to be closing after the publication date – can you confirm this please? Thank you!

    • Sami Clara

      Whoops! Sorry Rebecca, this was a typo on our part. It’s now been corrected. We look forward to reading your submission.

      Kind regards,

      • Oh that’s great, thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I’ll definitely be submitting.
        Best, Rebecca.

  • Bree A Terrill

    Are cuss words allowed? I don’t mean like an F-bomb every other word and offensive slurs, but maybe one or two F-bombs and minor cuss words like d*mn and h*ll?

    • Autumn Aurelia

      Hi Bree,

      That’s absolutely no problem.


  • Jake E. Kilpatrick

    Currently working on some poetry pieces to submit dealing with battles of anxiety and depression.

    • Autumn Aurelia

      That’s awesome news, Jake! Looking forward to seeing what you produce. 🙂

  • Jaye

    I write a lot of poetry on the subject of depression, but I write metaphorically. I do not explain my poetry, preferring them to be interpretive. I’m of the belief that poetry doesn’t need to be understood, to be felt and connecting with the reader on an emotional level is my goal. Is this acceptable for submission or do I need to explain what each piece is about?

  • Rooh Varz

    Is there a deadline? I am currently working on a piece of fiction, would love to submit.

    • Autumn Aurelia

      Hi Rooh,

      Thanks so much for enquiring. Submissions close August 10th. Wishing you all the very best in your writing.