Why We Took It - "Life of Pie" by Gary Moshimer

Posted by Rod on December 1, 2022

"Life of Pie" by Gary Moshimer


Along with its humor and startling imagery, we loved the speck of redemption buried in the absurdity. We loved Mervin Bruce, and all the Mervin Bruces in the world, fighting the good fight against hate and bigotry. 

~ The Editors

Submissions Closing Friday!

Posted by Rod on November 25, 2022

Hey there, we're officially closing submissions for the 2015 Anthology (stories > 1,500 words and poetry) Friday December 5!


Firebox Fiction submissions are accepted year round.


Happy Holidays!

This is a quiet story, not much action, plot, or drama, but we love how it evokes the transience of human existence, how it recalls that our individual lives are all at once everything and nothing.  The woman’s worry about her expensive perfume is a sharp contrast to what’s in front of her:  the timeless setting of the Eternal City and its vast human landscape over centuries. She is not named in the story, and the reader senses she’s already a ghost.

~The Editors

We Want To Have Too Many Options

Posted by Rod on November 1, 2022

Do you have an idea how badly the editors of literary journals want the next submission they look at to be fantastic?  I wonder sometimes if the reader or, for that matter, the writer really understands the very real desire to find something magical in the submissions box. 

We aren’t in this game because we enjoy telling people no or because of power or any other silly idea like that.  At least those of us who really love amazing literature and have no agenda aren’t.  We are in this game to find beautiful stories and poetry and then share them with others who appreciate the same.

Night Train receives absolutely top-notch submissions, so that hope that the next one is going to be amazing is even greater.  What would be a perfect day for us at the office?  Well, having too many submissions that just absolutely stun us to even know how to handle them.  That would be an amazing day.  So, get to it, you all. 

~  Sheldon Lee Compton, Night Train Associate Editor

[email protected]

Coming Soon @ Firebox Fiction

Posted by Rod on November 1, 2022

In the coming weeks, you'll see stories by these wonderful writers:


Kim Chinquee

Pamela Painter

Joan Wilking

Gary Moshimer

Brandon Patterson

Frank Scozzari


Stay tuned!

Why We Took It - "Contractor's Mix"

Posted by Rod on October 29, 2022

The story deals with a dying man whose wife wants to have a baby regardless of the man’s bleak prognosis. Along the way, the narrator describes how, during the renovation of their home, his wife accidentally picked up grass seed that was “contractor’s mix”—a mix of grass seed that is meant to provide a short-lived lush lawn—until the house is sold—and then it dies. We loved the oblique metaphor that rides shotgun to the events of the story, the bitter in the bittersweet.

~ The Editors

Poetry Submissions Temporarily Closed

Posted by Rod on October 19, 2023

Hi folks, we've built up a hefty backlog of Poetry submissions. Rather than make our writers wait too long for a reply, we're going to suspend Poetry submissions until we feel we can keep up with the volume. One key tenet we try never to ignore is to respond to our writers within a month of the submission date, and right now we can't do that. Thanks for understanding.


~ The Editors

"Recycling" - Why We Took It

Posted by Rod on October 8, 2023

Recycling” by Jenn Stroud Rossmann

Why we took it:

We loved its fierce voice and humor, and the way it evokes the pressures and challenges of modern life along with the vulnerabilities of parenthood.


~ The Editors

Creative Fire in Firebox Fiction

Posted by Rod on October 8, 2023

"In a steam locomotive, the firebox keeps the engine going. At Night Train, we define Firebox Fiction as short stories of 1,500 words or less, bursting with creative fire."

Since writing this, many have asked: "So, what do you mean by creative fire?”

Here's our answer:

Creative fire is something surprising buried in something familiar. Heartbreak, elation, the distillation of the human spirit with its failings and triumphs and need for love.

Creative fire is darkness that spikes the hairs on our arms and heads and disturbs something deep in our own dark selves. It’s absurdity that punches the solar plexus with something true.

Creative fire is composed in sentences that are remarkable; sentences that are the best they can be, that reverberate, that tell a story, a new story, or an old story told a new way. 

The sum total of these sentences, for Firebox Fiction, should be 1,500 words or less.

So that's it. If you think you've got the fire to feed Firebox Fiction, we look forward to reading your work.

Submit your work here.


~ The Editors


Posted by Rusty on April 19, 2023

Now available. Night Train: The First Ten Years Anthology. Click the cover image to purchase.

Stories (in order of publication date):
John McManus "Face of the Moon"
Judd Hampton "Second Change"
Ed Falco "Professor's Son"
Tom McNeely "King Elvis"
Glenn Blake  "Shooting Stars"
Pam Painter  "Addictions and or Appetites"
Tom Cobb "Quantrill"
Kerry Jones "Rescue Effort"
Silas House " Total Immersion"
Mary Speece "Stone Dog"
A. Ray Norsworthy "Let it Shine"
Roy Kesey "How it Happens that Our Senses..."
Stephan Clark "Secret Meeting of the Secret Police"
Dewitt Henry  "Train Station"
Steve Almond  "Unfriendly Cashiers"
Robert Boswell "Long Words"
Dylan Landis "Fire"
Larry Fondation "Cut Lip"
Ron McLean "Last Seen, Hank's Grille"
Jon Papernick "My Darling Sweetheart Baby"
Laura Payne Butler  "Ruby Red"
Mary Helen Specht "In Search of a Bird"
Curtis Smith "Beneath the Net"
Bob Thurber "Significance of Sunlight"
Mary Kelly "Lesser Intentions"
Brian Howell "The Transfer"
Phong Nguyen "Pages From the Textbook of Alternate History"
Heather Fowler "A Good Laugh"
Roxane Gay "The Mark of Cain"
Andrew Scott "All That Water"
Steve Frederick "Dragon"
Sheryl Monks "Run Little Girl"
Jim Nichols "Yuri"
Olivia Kate Cerrone "The Place Where Names Hide"


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