“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. Three times a year, we publish unexpected, topical poetry, prose, photography, 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We welcome submissions from writers of all backgrounds – from the emerging and unpublished to the established – and especially encourage submissions from those who identify as persons of color, multiracial, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and anyone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 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)
About Brenna...

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.

Shannon elward

Fiction / Nonfiction Editor
(she / her)
About Shannon...

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.

Mollye Miller Shehadeh

Visual Art Editor
(she / her)
About Mollye...

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)
About Michael...

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)
About Paul...

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.

abigail wessel

Co-founder / Editor-in-Chief
(she / her)
About Abigail...

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.

Chelsea fanning

Poetry Editor
(she / her)
About Chelsea...

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.

Daniel DeRock

Associate Fiction Editor / Contest Coordinator
(he / him)
About Daniel...

Daniel DeRock is a writer from the Midwestern United States based in the Netherlands. He reads widely but especially loves genre-bending fiction. Above all, he’s drawn to stories that dive deep into the (messy, beautiful, scary) emotional worlds of characters. His recent and all-time favorite authors include Denis Johnson, C Pam Zhang, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen Graham Jones, and Haruki Murakami.

Abby mills

Features Editor
(she / her)
About Abby...

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)
About Ashlyn...

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.

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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