The Open Bar is the online arm of Tin House—a daily blog featuring previously unpublished fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, comics, and more. When Tin House Magazine's current issue is themed (March-May, September-November), the blog will regularly feature work on the same theme.

The Open Bar does not accept pitches. Please submit only one complete story or essay (word count dependent on category), or up to three poems at a time. Multiple submissions will not be read. Please do not submit the same work to Tin House Magazine and to The Open Bar. 

We will do our best to respond within three months, however, in some cases this period may be longer. If you have not received a response from us within 90 days, we will be happy to respond to status inquiries. We do ask that you please wait until you hear back from us before submitting new work for consideration.

Please include a cover letter with a brief bio, word count, and an indication of intended theme, if applicable.  

Only previously unpublished works will be considered for publication. The Open Bar does accept simultaneous submissions. In the event that the work is accepted for publication elsewhere, please do us the courtesy of informing us promptly. 

Unfortunately, The Open Bar cannot pay for content, except in free books and magazines. 

For general inquiries, please contact

To submit to Tin House Magazine, click here.

Calling all writers who are obsessed with plot and obsessives who can write a mean story. We want you!



The prompt below is from William Wallace Cook’s classic how-to manual Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots. Simply use this prompt to write your own 500-word (or less) story. Stories must be submitted by Monday, November 21 at 5:00pm PST

Whether you’ve written a Plotto story every week or this is your first submission, we can’t wait to read what you send our way.


The Week’s Prompt:

{B}, for many years mysteriously absent from her home, seeks a happy renewal of old ties by returning suddenly and unheralded to her native place.

In Plotto, {B} indicates a female protagonist, but for our purposes, feel free to write from the point of view of any gender.



Weekly winners will be published on, read their stories on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “State of Wonder,” and receive the new edition of Plotto.

After five weeks, Grand Prize Judge Paul Collins—NPR's "Literary Detective," author of nine books, and mastermind behind the Introduction to Plotto—will crown one winner the Plotto Writer-in-Residence. The Plotto Writer-in-Residence will be awarded a long weekend writer’s retreat at the Tin House studio in Portland, travel expenses paid.

Art of the Sentence showcases brief essays (under 2000 words) examining great single sentences in literature/poetry/cnf. Pick a sentence, any sentence, and tell us why you love it. What kind of work is it doing? What about its structure stuns you? Why does it make you envious?
Broadside Thirty includes single poems in thirty lines or fewer. Please submit no more than three poems at a time, and wait to hear back from us before submitting again.
Carte du Jour includes short essays (3000 words or fewer) on subjects related to—or through—food or drink.
The Open Bar runs graphic fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. (We're just getting used to it, so if we haven't enabled your preferred filetype, please let us know!)
Correspondent's Course features reading lists tailored to specific subjects, themes, or groups of readers or authors. (Novels set in boarding schools, poetry collections centered around lust, Canadian mysteries, etc.) Submissions should include 6-12 specific books and run no longer than 2000 words.
Flash Fidelity includes works of nonfiction in 1000 words or fewer. Please submit no more than one essay, and wait to hear back from us before submitting again.
Flash Fridays includes works of fiction in 1000 words or fewer. Please submit no more than one story, and wait to hear back from us before submitting again.
Lost & Found features short essays (3000 words or fewer) examining under-read, overlooked, or otherwise "lost" books which—for reasons personal, political, artistic, or otherwise—deserve to be found again.
Please limit submissions to 5000 words or fewer. (To submit to Flash Fidelity, The Open Bar's flash nonfiction series, please click here.)