Short story contest #38 launched on December 12, 2021. Its premise is


For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which... IN THE FIRST SENTENCE... one or more characters arrive at a location and find something unexpected. 

You are NOT required to use this opening template, but you can if you want:

When [character(s)] arrived at [location], the last thing [pronoun] had expected to find was...

GENRE RULES: No fiction aimed at readers younger than 12, no exploitative sex, no over-the-top grossout horror, and no stories that are obvious parodies of (or other uses of) well-known fictional worlds/characters created by other authors. Other than that, we'll take anything from the most super-realistic literary drama to crazy farces (real-world or otherwise) to any variant of science fiction or fantasy you can imagine. Read our past issues and you'll see.

DEADLINE: 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Friday, March 4, 2022

On The Premises magazine accepts submissions in the following formats only: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), plain text (.txt), and OpenOffice/NeoOffice (.odt). If you have any questions, please write to Thanks!


On The Premises