On the Premises

I’ve had to space these a bit father apart than one per month –hope to be up to one per month by summer. In the meantime, here is some good information from Tarl Kudrick and Bethany Granger Co-publishers of “On The Premises” magazine

They are wonderful to work with and their magazine is a market many of us in crime fiction may not have considered.

Here is the interview and good luck, fellow scribes.

Who are your target readers?

Our target readers are fans of short stories who like multiple genres. We’re not a “science fiction” or a “literary” or a “crime/mystery” magazine, even though we’ve published stories that fit these descriptions. We deliberately select contest premises that can be used in almost any genre of story. We want creative, compelling, well-crafted stories that are built around the (deliberately broad) contest premise. We’re kind of like the “Iron Chef” TV show, but for fiction. We tell authors, “Here’s an ingredient that might be difficult to work with. Make something amazing from it.”

Are you print or online?

We’re 100% on-line. We convert older issues into PDFs which can be printed, but we don’t print them ourselves. We use the program “Submittable” to handle contest entries and communication with authors. We never want to know who wrote a story until we’ve decided if it’s going to be published, and Submittable lets us send emails to authors without learning who they are.

Are you open to crime fiction?

Any story, regardless of genre, needs to be creative, compelling, well-crafted, and built around the contest premise. Put interesting characters into interesting situations and go from there.

What are automatic turnoffs for you?

Automatic turnoffs: (1) Lots of syntax problems, like spelling and grammar, and also formatting that tells me someone’s struggling to use a word processor correctly. (2) Blatant melodrama, where characters are shrieking and crying and acting all out of proportion to what’s really going on in the story. (3) The moment when we can figure out what’s going to happen next–and we’re right–we lose interest. We get a lot of stories that are pretty well written, with interesting characters and everything else we’re looking for, but by page three we’ve figured out exactly where the story is going and we could pretty much write the rest of it ourselves. That’s always disappointing.

What magazines do you read?

I [Tarl] subscribe to Ploughshares and Tin House. I used to subscribe to Glimmer Train, but I felt the range of stories they started publishing got too narrow. I scan a ton of on-line fiction magazines when I’m looking for short stories to recommend to our readers via our free 10-times-a-year newsletter.

When are you open for submissions?

We hold short story contests (1,000 to 5,000 words) every June and December. We hold “mini” contests (for extremely short stories, usually a maximum of 40 or 50 words) in April, May, October, and November.

Anything else you would like to tell writers?

We offer thoughts and advice about short story writing in our 10-times-a-year (every month except March and September) newsletter. You can subscribe to it from a link on our main page, www.OnThePremises.com.

Tarl Kudrick and Bethany Granger
Co-publishers of “On The Premises” magazine

Thank you Tarl and Bethany!



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