Contributor Guidelines

The San Franciscan publishes two print issues per year featuring work from a diverse group of local artists and writers. Our magazine celebrates the unique and diverse subcultures of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Please browse our website and read past issues to get a feel for the breadth and depth of our publication.

We value unique perspectives and welcome contributors of all backgrounds. We consider lived experience to be an asset to journalists writing about communities in the Bay Area. We especially welcome submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ writers.

While contributors do not need to be current residents of San Francisco, we are looking for authors with a strong connection to the Bay Area. Reach out with any questions:

Nonfiction Pitches

The San Franciscan publishes literary journalism including short- and long-form reported pieces, reviews featuring cultural commentary or critique, profiles, data visualizations, and more. We have very limited space for personal essays and prefer essays that include a reported angle. Nonfiction pitches should clearly describe the author’s idea, unique angle, and connection to the topic. Full submissions or one- to two-paragraph pitches are welcome. Review past issues for guidance on style and tone.

Email pitches and nonfiction submissions to: Please include a short bio (50 words) and 1-2 clips of previously published work.

We are now accepting writing for Issue 5, planned for fall/winter 2021. Submissions will close August 1, 2021.

Fiction Submissions

The San Franciscan publishes one short fiction piece per issue. Excerpts of longer works are accepted. Please limit submissions to 3500 words. We encourage locally themed submissions. Email fiction submissions to: Fiction submissions for Issue 5 are closed.

Flash Fiction Submissions

The San Franciscan publishes up to three flash fiction stories per issue. We encourage locally themed submissions. We publish writers with a strong connection to San Francisco and the Bay Area. We would especially like to read submissions from BIPOC and LGBTQ writers.

Send your story in the body of an email to: Include your name and contact information. No attachments please. Please limit submissions to 200 words. Write the story’s title and word count in the subject line.  Include your name and contact info with your story. If selected, we will request a bio.

Flash fiction submissions for Issue 5 are open through August 1 of 2021.

Poetry Submissions

The San Franciscan typically includes two to three poems per issue. Though we encourage a variety of work, we have a preference for content relating to San Francisco. 

Submissions for Issue 5 are closed, however, we accept rolling submissions. 

Email poetry submissions to: with the subject line: Poetry Submission. Include a third-person bio in your cover letter, no more than 50 words. 

Send up to three poems in one document, one poem per page. Each poem should be a maximum of 30 lines. We accept .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, or .txt. Please do not include any identifying information in the document, as the poems will be read blind by our editor. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us of placement by replying to your submission email with the subject line: Poem Title, Withdrawn.

Though we get many incredible poems, we have very limited capacity to give each one a home. If your submission is not accepted, we encourage you to try again for our next issue.


The San Franciscan is run by a small team of passionate and dedicated volunteers. The money we earn from print and subscription sales funds the production of the magazine. At this time, we cannot provide financial compensation to contributors. Paying writers and artists is important to us, and we are working toward being able to pay our contributors in the future.