Doorknobs & BodyPaint
Guidelines & Prompts
Issue 79, August, 2015

Submission deadline:
Opens--May 30 / Closes--July 30, 2015
Publication date: August 2015

Send Submissions to:

Call for Submissions

NOIR.  A private eye, a plainclothes cop, an aging boxer, a hapless grafter, a law-abiding citizen lured into a life of crime. So, it’s a man’s story, then. Only a part, the women are Dangerous, beautiful, mysterious, and always have a hidden agenda.  And, someone, the man or the women, is always looking for a big payoff.  And, someone is always played for the sucker.  And, under it all, the power of desire moves the story closer to the edge. Write your story within the limits of our contest guidelines (hoops):

DOORKNOBS Kieron Devlin, editor
1. Maximum length: 250 words.
2. The sub-theme is: Suave.
3. The year is:  1999.
4. Within the story, you must use this text:  subtly enflamed.

TAPAS  (tiny morsels) Joanne Faries, editor
1.  Maximum length:  250 words.
2.  The sub-theme is: dreamlike.
3. Within the story, you must use this bit of text:  elusive.
4. Like seasoning, it is language that makes your story unique. Surprise us.  

 HAYWARD FAULT LINE (shake us up) Leila Rae, editor 
1. Maximum length: 450 words.
2. The sub-theme is: decay.
3. The setting is: Baltimore, MD.
4. Within the story, you must use this bit of text: unsuitable for use.

DORSAL CONTEST:  Bara Swain, editor

DOUBLE INDEMINITY, published in 1935, is James M. Cain’s classic noir of desire for lust, money, and revenge.  The first person narrative gives the reader a privileged view of how the mind of an ordinary-man-turned-criminal operates. Insurance agent Walter Huff falls for the married Phyllis Nirdlinger, who consults him about accident insurance for her wealthy husband.

“Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nuts . . .

But all of sudden she looked at me, and I felt a chill creep straight up my back and into the roots of my hair. “Do you handle accident insurance?”

Maybe that don’t mean to you what it meant to me. Well, in the first place, accident insurance is sold, not bought. You get calls for other kinds, for fire, for burglary, even for life, but never for accident. The stuff moves when agents move it, and it sounds funny to be asked about it. In the second place, when there’s dirty work going on, accident is the first thing they think of … there’s many a man walking around today that’s worth more to his loved ones dead than alive, only he don’t know it yet.”

In spite of Walter’s basic, instinctual decency, he allows himself to be seduced by desire.  Write a story in 450 words where the narrator succumbs to the same temptation.

The Cairo Room contains all non-contest and writer's pool selections under 450 words. From the exotic to the post-modern to hypertext to first time writers, this room welcomes all writers. 

 General Guidelines: 
1. Send your submission by email, please include your name, postal address, email address, and bio at the beginning of each story; paste your story into the body of your email and send it in rich text form. 

2. If you send more than one story (four total), send each story as a separate email. 

3. This is important. Put the category DK (Doorknobs), HF (Hayward Fault), DO (Dorsal), TA (Tapas), PB (Planet Betty), CR (Cairo Room), the issue #, and your last name on the subject line. (example: DK, 61, Argure) We use a filter for all email; therefore, if you do not put this information in the subject line, your email will automatically go into trash. 

4. Do not send your story in HTML format or as an attachment. If you send your story in HTML format or as an attachment, it will be discarded.

Contest Prizes for each section (Doorknobs, Hayward Fault Line, Dorsal, Tapas):

An opportunity to read at one of Pandemonium Press Presents reading series.
We do not pay money for publishing your work.
The writers retains all copyright to their work.