The Special “Bad Sex” Call for Submissions

The Bad Sex Call for Submissions

Every year, the Literary Review, a British magazine, awards its Bad Sex in Fiction prize, and this year just gone, the singer Morrissey took home the prize for his debut novel, List of the Lost, with gems like “Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation”.

But ‘bulbous salutations’ are not a sign of bad sex. They’re a sign of bad writing (sorry, Mozzer!). What if the most talented flash fiction writers in the world right now decided to really write about ‘bad’ sex? What would we end up with then?


Well, we might get something like:

Russell Edson’s ‘Conjugal’.

Or Ellen Parker’s “Metallic”, which had the Smokelong team loving fence-porn

Or Lidia Yuknavitch’s “Black and White”.

In other words, we might end up with something amazing.


So, what are the rules?

Bad Sex is a pretty broad church, but we’re looking for stories that embrace it.

Standard submission rules apply. 1000 words or less. Send pieces to, pasted into the body of the email. Previously unpublished work only. And you grant us the usual first publication rights.

Deadline – July 13. Stories will go live after that.

Last time we had a special call for submissions we received a mammoth shed-load of stories, including some of the best pieces we’ve ever published. We’re hoping to top that. So get writing!


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(Picture by Katsushika Hokusai)