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.

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