“Does such a thing as 'the fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.”
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Fatal Flaw is a 501(c)3 nonprofit online literary magazine based in New York City. Twice a year, we publish unexpected, topical poetry, prose, and visual art that considers the world through a cracked lens. We seek work that finds poignancy in unexpected places, confronts the status quo and, most importantly, prompts discussion about the human condition in these uncertain times. Give us fractured inner monologues, messy reckonings, imperfect catharses. Show us the fatal flaw and the beauty inherent within it.

We welcome submissions from writers and artists of all backgrounds – from the emerging and unpublished to the established – and especially encourage submissions from those who identify as persons of color, multiracial, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and anyone belonging to a community of underrepresented voices.

Fatal Flaw strongly believes in celebrating the work of our contributors. We enthusiastically promote on our website and social media, and nominate work for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and other honors.


Brenna mcpeek

Co-founder / Editor-in-Chief
(she / her)

Brenna McPeek is a writer and editor based in Southern California. She loves writing that is gutsy, unguarded, and subversive, with a bloody, beating heart at its core. Her current favorites include the likes of: Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, The Seas by Samantha Hunt, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.

abigail wessel

Co-founder / Editor-in-Chief
(she / her)

Abigail Wessel is a writer and editor based in New York City. She believes in inclusive expression, creativity that challenges the status-quo, and loves writing with an edge that veers dangerously close to the bizarre. Her current favorite books include McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh, Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, the Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, and Bewilderment by Richard Powers.

Shannon elward

Fiction / Nonfiction Editor
(she / her)

Shannon Elward is a writer and editor based in California. She is inspired by writing that is unhinged, bold and unafraid to explore the complexities of human experience and emotion. Some of her favorite writers are Jhumpa Lahiri, Haruki Murakami, Arundhati Roy, Dorothy Allison and Tobias Wolff.

Chelsea fanning

Poetry Editor
(she / her)

Chelsea Fanning is a poet, writer, and editor based in Jersey City. She is interested in experimental poetry that challenges traditional conventions and offers no apologies. She strongly believes that writing cannot simply exist on the page, but must engage with the wider world. Her favorite contemporary poetry collections include When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz, Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky, Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine, and If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey.

Mollye Miller Shehadeh

Visual Art Editor
(she / her)

Mollye Miller Shehadeh is a documentary portrait and street photographer with an MFA in poetry (The New School, 2009). Joyful, sad, uplifting and everything between, Mollye’s approach to photography is like it is to poetry: she takes in emotions and turns them into images. Mollye has had photographs up at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Baltimore and at Photoville photography Festival in New York City.  Her poems have appeared in Paperbag, Prerlude, and Stop Sharpening Your Knives (SSYK), a UK poetry anthology. See her photography at mollyemiller.com. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, stepkids, two cats, and her dog Zuri.

Michael Giddings

Associate Fiction Editor
(he / him)

Michael Giddings is a writer, cartoonist, and musician from Brooklyn. He is drawn to writing that is unafraid to be silly as well as somber, warmly surreal, and occasionally heartfelt {almost} to the point of corniness. His recent favorite novels include The Idiot by Elif Batuman, Luster by Raven Leilani, Mona by Pola Oloixarac, and Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth. Twitter: @mikexgiddings

Paul H. Curtis

Associate Fiction Editor / Events & Community Coordinator
(he / him)

Paul H. Curtis is a writer and editor based in Yonkers and Brooklyn, New York. He is drawn especially to stories about change – both global and personal – as well as to works that build on the traditions of magical realism, because he believes that we live in a magical realist world – a world where the strangest things happen, whether or not we see them. Find him at www.paulhcurtis.net, or on Instagram @paul.h.curtis.

Abby mills

Features Editor
(she / her)

Abby Mills is a writer currently based in New York City. She’s drawn to writing that's both stinging and sweet, and is of the firm conviction that everything should be at least a little bit ludicrous. Writers that got her through the last year include Mary Oliver, Jenny Slate, and, as always, the Brontës.

Ashlyn daniel

Assistant Fiction Editor / Secretary
(she / her)

Ashlyn Daniel is a writer, poet, and filmmaker based in Georgia. She enjoys writing that reaches into the dark recess to verbalize the almost unintelligible matters of the human psyche, along with lyrical language that comes with a snap and a jaw dropper plot line. Her current favorite books include The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, the Outline trilogy by Rachel Cusk, Antkind by Charlie Kaufman, and Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck.

Anna Babineau

Managing / Features Editor
(she / her)

Anna Babineau is a writer and editor based in Massachusetts. She loves writing that explores the heartbreak and complexity of coming-of-age, especially when it comes with lyrical sentences that beg to be savored. Some of her favorite books of the moment include My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, and, for her YA fix, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Melissa Moscoso

Fiction Reader

Melissa Moscoso is a writer and poet based in Boston. She feels alive reading surreal and whimsical writing grounded by a strong emotional core. Her favorite books last year include: C Pam Zhang's Land of Milk and Honey, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, Gerardo Sámano Córdova's Monstrilio, and Kim Fu's Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century.

Want to get to know us better?

Explore our issues! The work we publish speaks to what we're about much better than we can. You can also check out the "Six Questions For..." interview with our co-founders and editors-in-chief Brenna McPeek and Abigail Wessel.


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