Writers: it’s time to unleash your terrified humans and your slow-moving, brain-eating antagonists. Or vice-versa. We’re not going to tell you how to write zombie fiction.

But we are going to tell you what zombie fiction we like. Because Punchnel’s is having a Zomific(a)tion! Contest. Which means we’re looking for writers like you to impress us with your fresh takes on rotting corpses.

We’re looking for zombie stories to coincide with our end-of-October events, including a giant game of zombie tag in a haunted shopping mall and our Write of the Living Dead Writer Night event to benefit Second Story. Visiting writers include Laird Barron, Gary Braunbeck, and Catherynne M. Valente–and you could share the stage with them if you’re one of our winners.

So, about that contest:

We’re looking for zombie stories of no more than 1,500 words; stories that exceed the word count or don’t involve zombies will not be eligible for the contest. If your story is ineligible, we’ll consider it for publication, but, honestly, don’t press your luck here.

We want zombie stories with literary pretensions. We’re all about the putrefying flesh and the sickening splatter of zombie headstuffs, but please make the gore matter to the story.

All entries must be submitted through Submittable. Click this link to submit, and please be sure you submit in the Zombific(a)tion! category.

The contest is open now and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 7. First prize is $50 and publication in Punchnel’s. We will also choose up to four additional winners, who will receive publication at our normal payment rate. All winners will be invited to read at our Writer Night event on Friday, October 26. Winners will be notified by Wednesday, October 17. Winning stories will be published in Punchnel’s the week of October 22.

Send us your stories. Write something amazing. Use your brains. Your sweet, delicious brains.


Zombie photo by Wikijazz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons.