The Current Mini-Contest is Accepting Submissions (Prize: $75 + Honorarium)
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The Current Mini-Contest is Accepting Submissions (Prize: $75 + Honorarium)

The Current Mini-Contest is now open. 

The theme for the Current Mini Contest is “Unicorn”. For this mini-contest, tell, show, or evoke a complete story between 25 and 50 words long in which the word “unicorn” (singular, not plural) is used only ONCE.

The deadline is Friday, May 5, 2023.

Eligibility for The Current Mini- Contest

  • There is NO FEE for entering this contests.
  • Anyone can apply. There is no restriction on nationality. 

Submission Guidelines

  • DO NOT put your name or contact information anywhere in the story itself. Judges don’t want to know who wrote a story while they evaluate it.
  • All stories must be based on the contest premise.
  • On The Premises uses Submittable for submissions. When you submit your story, you’ll be given a way to create a FREE Submittable account if you don’t already have one.
  • The organizers only accept submissions in the following formats: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), plain text (.txt), and OpenOffice/NeoOffice (.odt).
  • Stories that have already been published in other magazines, blogs, or websites are unacceptable. Having a story distributed through an on-line criticism board or writer’s group so it can be critiqued as part of the writing process does not count as being published.
  • All short stories must be between 1,000 and 5,000 words long. Mini-contests are different; each one has its own word length requirements, but they usually ask for entries in the 25 to 75 word range.
  • One submission per author per contest.
  • Stories must be in English. A little bit of non-English is okay if the story needs it, but make sure people who don’t know that language can get a good sense of what’s written.
  • No fan fiction and no pastiches or comic, not even with public-domain characters like Dracula, Little Red Riding Hood, Sherlock Holmes, or Tom Sawyer.
  • On The Premises buys HTML, PDF, and ebook publication rights to your story. Current issues are published in HTML; back issues are published in PDF format and (someday) ebooks, which they consider a modern equivalent to PDF format. All other rights are retained by the author. Especially, all rights having to do with making more money from the published fiction are retained by the author.
  • Publication: Winners will be published on or around Sunday, May 14, 2023, when the next contest launches.
  • Hyphenated Words: Words that are normally hyphenated, but generally considered one word, are considered one word for this contest. (Examples: “Twenty-three”, “Jack-o-lantern”, and “Father-in-law” are each one word.) However, stringing a bunch of words together with hyphens for artistic effect will result in each connected word being counted separately. (Example: “It was a get-out-of-my-way day.” That hyphenated phrase counts as five words.)       

    The Current Mini-Contest


Prizes for The Current Mini-Contest

  • The First place pays $35, second pays $25, and third pays $15, all in US dollars.
  • Honorable mentions get published, but make no money.


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