A sandy beach, the roar and crash of the waves. A sidewalk cafe in Paris, a hike through the hill towns of Tuscany. The lake house, the cabin in the mountains. The public pool, the sidewalk at 7-11, the barbecue pit. The race, the ballgame, the tree fort, the garden. Smoking grass in the park, cutting grass in the back yard. The sun, the heat, the–

Well. You get the picture. Punchnel’s is looking for summer stories. And we’re certain you have a great one.

Our Summer Story Contest is now open to submissions. We want short fiction–1,000 words or fewer. The only other requirement: the story has to be set in summer. And–only two requirements–you have to submit it through Submishmash, which you can learn more about here. And you have to submit it in the category of “Summer Stories.” Three. Three requirements….

We’ll choose up to five contest winners, and we’ll run them the week of June 18–the first week of Summer 2012. Winning entries earn $30–which ain’t much, but it’s triple our usual payment. (You’ll also receive the admiration of your peers and our undying gratitude. So you’ve got that going for you. Which is nice.) All entries will be eligible for publication at our normal rate.

Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us nervous. Make us feel the heat. Make us wish we were sixteen again. Taunt us; alarm us. Surprise us.

Just send us your stories, and send them soon. The Punchnel’s Summer Story Contest closes Friday, June 1, at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

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Photo by Steven Fruitsmaak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.