Punchnel’s is a general-interest web magazine written for a smart, discerning
audience of adults around the world. We don’t have a specific editorial focus. We
buy what we like. And we pay $10.00 American, on acceptance, for first serial
rights to your work, unless otherwise specified. You retain all other rights.

Punchnel’s is not responsible for material misrepresented by contributors as their
own. If you don’t own the rights, don’t sell it to us.

Read Punchnel’s official contributor guidelines

Punchnel’s is searching for the meaning of life. Before you chime in with your suggestions, please know that we’ve checked in the usual places. Churches, mosques, synagogues, ashrams. Universities, old folks’ homes, the sky, the sea, that dimly lit area behind the bathrooms at a Wilco concert. We found a lot of things. Some of them were kind of meaningful. Some of them were kind of…meh. A surprising number of them were both mysterious and wet, in nearly equal measure.

After washing our hands thoroughly, we decided to do what we usually do when we’re looking for something: Send out a call for submissions.

Now it’s up to you. One thousand words or less. On the meaning of life. Fiction, nonfiction, pantoum, limerick…whatever. It doesn't even have to have those specific words in it: “The Meaning of Life.” Right there, it’s like we spotted you four extra words. You’re welcome. It also doesn’t need to be particularly interesting or original, unless you’re hoping that we’ll use it.

Oh, you are hoping we'll use it? Then it does, it really does. And if the dimensions of your completed piece, when fully justified in 12 point type, should work out to be those of a golden rectangle, that’d be cool, but it’s not strictly necessary. Even though it would make the Templars really happy.

We’ve said too much. Except for this: All submissions must be made in Submittable, through this category. Payment will be at our standard rate. Submissions will be open until further notice. We realize this quest could take some time.

Please, take your best shot. You owe it to every living, reading thing.

Instructions for a photo essay submission:

Put your content in a Microsoft Word document and include the images in between the text. If you have your images hosted on Flickr or another photography website and you know how to create HTML image source code, include that code where the images will go.


< img src="Full link to where your photo is hosted" alt="The alt text of your photo" width="630" height="418" />

Make sure all of your photos are 630 pixels wide.

If you do not know how to include the image code, no problem. Put your content in the Microsoft Word document and in between the content, put each photo file name where it should go. Make sure the file name you place in the text corresponds with the file name of the images so we don't confuse your photos.

Compress the Microsoft Word document and photos. Upload the zipped file to the Photos/Photo Essay option in Submishmash.

For prose that can't be categorized