Fatal Flaw is a quarterly online magazine publishing unexpected, topical writing and photography that considers the world through a cracked lens. 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We welcome submissions from writers of all backgrounds – from the emerging and unpublished to the established – and especially encourage submissions from those who identify as persons of color, multiracial, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, and anyone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 Vol. 4: Ritual
Our lives are punctuated by ritual. From morning routines and rites of passage, to ceremonies of birth, death, and the moments in between. These rituals create order and reason within ourselves, our circles, and society as a whole. They are learned, inherent. But when you take a closer look at them, they are also...peculiar. Til death do us part is a rather morbid thing to vow at a celebration of love. Singing a national anthem can make you feel like you’re part of something greater, but also rings robotic.
In this issue, we want to break down ritual and pick apart its pieces. What does it represent to an individual and to the collective? What is its purpose? Do these innate practices stave off chaos, or do they at times help incite it? And what happens when ritual is disrupted or, even worse, used as a means to a malevolent end?
Send us your bold, your insidious, your exacting writing, art, and photography—we can’t wait to experience it.
Are simultaneous submissions allowed?
Yes, we encourage them! Just let us know in your cover letter. And if your piece is accepted elsewhere, please let us know as soon as possible by withdrawing your piece (for prose, visual art, and photography) or alerting us via Submittable messaging (for poetry), so that we can congratulate you and remove you from consideration.
How long should I expect to wait for a response?
Submitting to literary journals is a loooong process (we’ve been there, we know). But it’s a pretty time-consuming process on our end too, and we want to make sure we give each piece the time and attention it deserves. We aim to respond within two months of submission, but please allow four months before querying.
Does Fatal Flaw pay its contributors?
Short answer: we would love to. Long answer: as a fledgling journal, we can’t at this time. However, this is something that we are striving for in the future. As writers ourselves, it is our firm belief that we should get paid for our creations!
Can I submit an excerpt from my novel?
This is a tricky one. If you think the excerpt or chapter can stand on its own and is relevant to our quarterly theme, then please feel free to send it our way. But our ultimate aim is to showcase short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, so your work may be more applicable to another journal.
Does Fatal Flaw charge for submissions?
We charge a $3 fee to supplement costs of operation.
Is Fatal Flaw a print journal?
Nope, online only, baby! But who knows what the future holds…
What type of rights does Fatal Flaw retain? And honestly, what does that even mean?
Fatal Flaw retains First Serial Rights, but otherwise the work and the rights belong to you, meaning that we’ll publish it first, but once we do, feel free to include it in that short story collection you’ve been wanting to put together!
We also retain non-exclusive archival rights, which means that you will continue to be able to find and link to your work on our website after the issue’s publication date.
What type of editing do you do once a piece is accepted?
We work closely with writers to sharpen and refine work where needed (really, we just want to help make your piece the best it can be!). Usually, this just means minor copyedits, but occasionally our edits are more substantial. That being said, all final editing decisions are at the discretion of the writer.
As for visual artists and photographers, we may ask you to resize your files upon acceptance in order to abide by our web host's guidelines.