Doorknobs & BodyPaint
Guidelines & Prompts
Issue 94, May 2019

Submission deadline:
Opens — March 10, 2019 / Closes — April 30, 2019
Publication date: May 2019

Send Submissions to:

Call for Submissions

 Work.  It does or it doesn’t.  We do or we don’t.  Work that is.  Some of us do it without thinking, a bit like working in the dark.  Some of us never stop thinking about it, 24/7.  It consumes us.  We never stop talking about it.  We are always engaged in some form of it.  

Write a story about work within the limits of our contest guidelines (hoops):


1. Maximum length: 250 words.
2. The sub-theme is: performance.
3. The year is:  1981.
4. Within the story, you must use this text:  striving for perfection. 

TAPAS  (tiny morsels)
1.  Maximum length:  250 words.
2.  The sub-theme is:  expectations.
3. Within the story, you must use this bit of text:  drive past.
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: profound.
3. The setting is:  Rome, Italy.
4. Within the story, you must use this bit of text: a factory hand.

 DORSAL CONTEST:  Bara Swain, editor

 In Julia Glass' debut novel, Three Junes, the articulate and reserved Fenno McLeod narrates the middle section of this tryptich. His power of observation is reflected in the author's terse writing as Fenno watches his brother, a chef by profession, prepare dinner.

Through the kitchen windows, Dennis seems to dance at his chores, and I wonder if that might be how a chef gets through a long night on his feet. A mazurka to saute the garlic, a jig to grill the meat, then foxtrot the soup to a simmer and waltz the chocolate glaze right onto those tortes. I watch him dump leeks by armfuls onto the table and palm a stone to sharpen a knife the length of a small umbrella.

In 450 words or less, use the role of observer to write a story where the narrator watches someone at work.

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 you all.

General Guidelines: SUBMISSION PERIOD OPENING AND CLOSING: March 10, 2019 through April 30, 2019.

1. Send your submission by email, please include your name, mailing address, email address, and bio at the beginning of each story; paste your story into the body of your email.

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), CR (Cairo Room), the issue #, and your last name on the subject line. (example: DK, 94, 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 a Word attachment. If you send your story in HTML format or as an attachment, it will be discarded.

5. The selection of a story for publication and the winner depends on the guidelines (mandatory). If you want clarification on any of them, email us before sending your story. We will be glad to help.

6. We cannot pay for your work.
Contest Winners for each section (Doorknobs, Hayward Fault Line, Dorsal, Tapas):
An opportunity to read at one of Pandemonium Press Presents reading series.
The writers retains all copyright to their work.