Writing Contests: On The Premises Magazine

On The Premises is a web-based fiction magazine. New issues are published every four months. 
A rarity in the world of writing competitions: there are no fees, yet winners receive cash prizes in addition to exposure through publication.

They also provide a free critique to any contestant whose entry makes the top ten but doesn’t get published.
As well as the main contests (see below) there are mini-contests for anyone who has signed up for their newsletter. The current mini-contest #No. 23 is entitled ‘It Was the Best of Prose, It Was the Worst of Prose.’

There is an interesting article in the newsletter which conveys the concept of using the right prose for the right content. You should sign up for the newsletter if only to read this article, which is insightful.

The competition asks to write two very short pieces of prose, each one between 10 and 25 words. The first 10-25 word piece should use TERRIBLE prose that ruins what the content is trying to convey. The second one should be a dramatically improved version of the first piece that is also 10-25 words long but uses much better prose that enhances the content’s inherent power.

I have been enjoying this challenge. It’s a great learning tool – deliberately searching for the wrong way to convey the story and then aiming to improve the same few lines to produce a better version. I’m looking forward to reading the winning pieces.

The closing date is 30/4/14 so there’s still time to enter. Sign up for the newsletter here.


Here’s the main contest:

Contest #23 officially launched on March 9, 2014. Its premise is


One or more characters face an especially difficult decision. Whether readers would find the decision difficult will have no effect on how the story is rated. What matters is whether at least one of the story’s more important characters finds the decision difficult.

As usual, any genre except children’s fiction, exploitative sex, or over-the-top gross-out horror is fine.

Your challenge: In at least 1,000 but no more than 5,000 words, write a creative, compelling, and well-crafted story that clearly uses the “Decisions, Decisions” premise. If you have questions, ask us at Questions@OnThePremises.com.

Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern Time, Friday, May 30, 2014.


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