Real people. Real places. Real stories.

(AND PLENTY OF FICTION, TOO)


Whatever happened to the art of storytelling? It's become a lost relic, along with our identities. But here, we're revitalizing this great craft. Don't worry, you're in good hands. After all, if laughter is medicine, then Story Unlikely is therapy for broken souls.


Featured Story

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other stories you may like


Flower as big as the sky
~fiction~

Praise from readers:

"A slice of childhood wonder, a peek into the magic of the unknown, and a reminder to never stop dreaming." – Erika Lee Sengstack"As massive as the sky, as universal as childhood…a vast landscape of literary enjoyment." - Derek R. Trumbo, Sr."A perfect ending of a young man's reminiscence of youthful escapism." - Stephen Workman“Took me on an adventure full of suspense that kept me wanting to read on." - JAM

Dog Years
~memoir~

Praise from readers:

"Truly a heartfelt tale, hitting on multiple angles that just continue to unravel. The brief bits of comedic verbiage bring light to a very touching subject. An excellent piece." - Jevon Magee"Equal parts love, loss, and hilarity, Leon Peter Blanda's "Dog Years" makes the reader look back on childhood with adult eyes and a boundless sense of wonder that lasts until the final line. A fantastic read." - Derek Trumbo"I felt like I was right there beside the author, seeing his memories for myself." - Clint McConnell"Very touching." -D'Vonta Middlebrooks



Story Unlikely membership is here! Get access to our back issues, longer stories hiding behind an obnoxious paywall, and a host of other perks. SIGN UP TODAY!


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submissions


monthly magazine submissions

-Get published, paid, and illustrated
-Make mom proud
~Boom goes the dynamite


Short Story Contest

-$1,000 $1,500 prize package
-Publication
-Illustration
-NO entry fee


story unlikely podcast

Because there really aren't enough podcasts out there, we've decided to take it to the streets airwaves, boys(!), by kicking down the barriers between us and your illiterate friends. Click the icon for latest episodes, or find us wherever you download podcasts from.
If you host a podcast and would like one of our staff as a guest, send an email to [email protected]


Our story

Come, read all about us

-What hole did Story Unlikely crawl out from?
-And who runs this joint, anyway?


IVORY TOWER

Warning: The Ivory Tower series is a chronicling of an abusive pastor and the corrupt men he has surrounded himself with. This is not a story for entertainment value; understand that many of our readers will find no interest in it. However, until these men have acknowledged their perverse behavior, stepped down from their positions of power and suffer the necessary corrections, then this is a story we will continue to tell.


Ivory Tower Pastor

-Raw
-Powerful
-Shattering


The attempt: create a literary magazine that publishes top tier stories, pays writers fairly, and treats both our readers and writers like they're actually human. This takes time, and money, and resources, and effort, and lots of caffeine. So consider throwing a few bucks our way. Not only is it for a worthy cause, but we guarantee that you might - just maybe - feel slightly better about yourself after doing so.

Disclaimer: Story Unlikely is a literary magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction, but cannot guarantee distinction between the two. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editors. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. Story Unlikely cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website and errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the content providers.On this website you might find links to the websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website and online magazine you acknowledge that and agree that Story Unlikely cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. Story Unlikely reserves the right to make changes to any information on this site without a notice. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

latest issue



IVORY TOWER

Warning: The Ivory Tower series is a chronicling of an abusive pastor and the corrupt men he has surrounded himself with. This is not a story for entertainment value; understand that many of our readers will find no interest in it. However, until these men have acknowledged their perverse behavior, stepped down from their positions of power and suffer the necessary corrections, then this is a story we will continue to tell.


Ivory Tower Pastor

-Raw
-Powerful
-Shattering

Updates

I'll continue posting updates as they come in, so circle back (Jen Psaki style!). I'll also be posting a segment recapping updates on our monthly issue of Story Unlikely; feel free to subscribe (scroll up). - Danny Hankner, Editor-in-chief

“They said I was either going to do great things, or start a cult." Justin, pastor and elder of the church, referring to the leadership of the Acts 29 Network.

5-31-23: Real Men of genius gutlessness.4-13-23: Emails to the elders, info dump round 2.3-14-23: Emails to the elders, info dump round 1.1-16-23: "Look's like cancel culture's back on the menu, boys!"

“Do you fear Justin?”
Rob purses his lips, thinks, nods. “He’s smart, well-read, very knowledgeable, and a great arguer. Yes, I’m intimidated by him, and that’s not a good place to be as a fellow elder of the church.” - Rob, elder and pastor of the church.

12-23-22: Diving into the psyche with some New Year’s Resolutions Predictions11-18: As with Covid, so with church...10-14: Justin returns, triumphant, from his Naughty Sabbatical

“It’s going to be difficult to convince Justin of his sin.” – Rob, elder and pastor of the church.

9-20: Answering the skeptics8-30: Read the decision of another church’s elders in their letter to remove their lead pastor for near-identical abuse.8-26-22: "They have no idea what they're doing."...an actual quote not by me.

“You have brought charges against Justin, the elders have listened, and now we dismiss all charges against him.” – Alex, elder of the church.

8-13-22: Are we really that different than the elders...seriously?7-27-22: Misinterpreting Matthew 18...read more.7-13-22: "You call these eggs!?"...keep reading.

“These aren’t sins, they’re just character flaws,” – Alex and Rob, elders of the church.

6-28-22: One of the scariest verses in all of the Bible comes from Exodus...read on.6-13-22: Have you straight up asked the elders, "Is this true?"...click HERE to read more.6-8-22: The elders have issued a statement...click HERE to continue reading.

“We’re not satisfied by Justin’s repentance,” – Alex, elder of the church.


testimonies

"Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men....On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” - Joshua 6: 2-5

Why are we posting testimonies, and why does it even matter? Click HERE to find out. If you, or someone you know, has a testimony to share about the abusive leadership of this church, please reach out to [email protected] (Nothing gets posted without prior consent. Even if you're wrestling with this, please reach out.) More testimonies are coming in, so check back soon.

Following up with Jamie Richardson
Jamie & Billy Richardson

“We don’t know exactly how to handle this. We’ve been trying to walk Justin through areas of repentance, but, it’s just not…I mean, if it comes down to it, do we have enough evidence to do something about it?” – Rob, elder and pastor of the church.

Ethan Graham
Jeremy Gardner recounts his own journey with cognitive dissonance.

“We feel a bit like the cleanup crew. Justin makes a mess, and we come in after to patch things up.” – Alex, elder of the church.

Paul J. Brack
Seth Fuller
Ryan & Danielle Jensen

“We have all experienced Justin, but for so many others in this church, if they themselves have never been run over by Justin, then they can't fully comprehend the reality of it.” ~ Rob, elder and pastor of the church.


Helpful links

"Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God - I say this to your shame." - 1st Corinthians 15:33-34

We're receiving volumes of content from people - how to make sense of this, why it happens, how to move forward, how to prevent this from happening in the future, etc. I'll be posting the most relevant ones once I have time to watch, listen, or read through them.

Read the decision of another church’s elders in their letter to remove their lead pastor for near-identical abuse.In their book Restoring the Fallen, a group of authors walk through the long, hard journey of Biblical restoration after a Christian speaker and psychologist's affair and sexual sin is exposed. This is a must read for anyone dealing with extreme sin in the church, and how to respond appropriately.Chuck Degroat joins Bodies Behind the Bus to dive into narcissism and how it affects the church. Disclaimer - the hosts (and Chuck himself) often deviate from the main topic of spiritual abuse and lend their thoughts to more debated issues such as diversity or complementarianism vs egalitarianism. Although these are important topics to discuss - and I believe there are things to be gleaned from all sides of these issues - personally, I feel this is out of place in the broader topic, and may leave some listeners feeling put-off, which is why I'm mentioning this.Author, psychologist, and certified trainer from the John Maxwell Team, Shaneen Megji shares insights into how narcissism infects the church in these revealing videos:
How God sees the narcissist pastor
When church turns into a cult
What the Bible says about Christian narcissists
Pastoral Bullies - by Sam Storms.When to distrust your pastor - An article posted in the Gospel Coalition.The story told a thousand times. Accomplishments as high as heaven, character as low as hellWhy are people like this? It's hard to wrap our minds around things we don't understand. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ramani delves deep inside the mind of the The Grandiose Narcissist.

"Jesus was not killed by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware those who claim to know the mind of God and are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware those who cannot tell God's will from their own." ~ Barbara Brown Taylor

Disclaimer: Story Unlikely is a literary magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction, but cannot guarantee distinction between the two. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editors. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. Story Unlikely cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website and errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the content providers.On this website you might find links to the websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website and online magazine you acknowledge that and agree that Story Unlikely cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. Story Unlikely reserves the right to make changes to any information on this site without a notice. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

Short Story Contest


Our annual short story contest is currently CLOSED for submissions and will reopen October 1st through January 31st, IN THE MEANTIME, OUR magazine submission period is open, CLICK HERE FOR GUIDELINES.

Contest guidelines below. READ CAREFULLY. Failure to do so may result in disqualification!

Please note that we have additional perks and leeway for MEMBERS, see details below (highlighted in green)!

Story Guidelines:
      Attention storytellers: we just want good stories! There are no restrictions on genre: fantasy, sci-fi, memoir, fiction/nonfiction, etc - we don't care as long as it's written and told with quality and care. The story itself cannot exceed 4,000 words. There are no restrictions on age or location of participant, and no need to ask us for permission to participate in the contest - just follow the guidelines below. Previous winners are allowed to submit.

What do I win?
      A $1,000 $1,500 prize package will be divvied up like so: $750 first place, $500 second place, $250 third place. The winning story will be featured on Story Unlikely's website, will be strongly considered for our annual (print) sample magazine, and may be sent out as the bonus story for signing up, which means a lot of exposure to the winner. All three placing stories will be published in the monthly issue, and all three will be illustrated.
      Don't forget about the honorable mentions! That's right, you honorable little losers, you. Is that harsh? It's supposed to be a compliment. Anyway, we do NOT notify honorable mentions ahead of time, because we're lazy busy, so very, very lazy busy. Rather, we announce them in the monthly issue along with the winning story, which you need to sign up for in order to be eligible to enter. If your name appears on this list of honorables, you'll be prompted to contact us and we'll send you a fancy-schmancy certificate for proof that you, indeed, almost won a writing contest. But not quite. Plus, if there is a strong showing, some honorable mentions may be considered for publication in our monthly magazine or podcast.

When can I submit?
      The submission period runs from October 1st through January 31st (midnight central standard time).
When will my story be published?
      Stories will be published - at our whimsical discretion - the following calendar year between June and December. Winning authors will be notified, at the latest, by May 31st. All authors MUST be signed up for the Story Unlikely monthly magazine (free!) to be eligible for prize and publication. Please note that although you're welcome to unsubscribe at any time, just wait until the contest is over, otherwise we'll consider that a disqualification of your entry. DO NOT mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be barred from future submissions. Harsh judgement, sure, but easily avoided.

Halftime break!

Slogging through all those guidelines is a chore, so if you need a breather, kick back and enjoy our Contest Submission Song! Or skip it and keep on reading, you go-getter you!(coming soon)...

How do I submit?
      We accept email submissions only, and from legitimate email addresses, not tied to some private school server that will bounce back. If your submission (or email you use to subscribe) comes from one of these, it will be disqualified. Attach the entire story to the email (Microsoft word doc or docx) Do not put a link to Google doc - actually attach the document. Be sure to remove ALL forms of identification from the story (If your story happens to be about you, just be sure to remove your last name).
      Due to our endless quest to get our stories past overreactive spam blockers, we've changed our submission email to: [email protected]. As long as you type the word 'Submission' in the title, your story will end up in the right place. And this is important, so we'll say it again: make sure you type the word 'submission' in the title of your email, otherwise it may be lost! So email submissions to [email protected] in the following format:

(Email Subject Line) Submission: TITLE/GENRE(In the body of the email)Dear Editor,TITLE, GENRE, WORD COUNT[Insert FIRST 250 words of your story (rounded to the nearest sentence) here]# (insert page break, or double space if you can't)(Insert short author bio, including any previously published stories, as you want it to appear below your story if/when published)(Tell us how you found Story Unlikely, and why you decided to submit)Sincerely,
NAME
Contact information (best email contact, phone number (just in case), country and state, and email)

If that's confusing, then emulate our sample below (minus the red lettering part), or even better, become a member and submit via our oh-so-easy submission form by clicking HERE.

One last important note (ANOTHER SONG (extension) COMING SOON).

Perks for members

If you find our guidelines a little too restraining, consider becoming a member and unlocking the following perks:      1. Members can submit up to THREE stories instead of one.
      2. Stories can be up to 5,000 words instead of 4,000.
      3. All member stories that receive honorable mention get personal feedback from our editor-in-chief.
      4. Simultaneous submissions ARE allowed for our members - in other words, you can send your entry/s out to other venues while also entering it into our contest (any story withdrawal from non-members we automatically consider to be a simultaneous submission that was accepted elsewhere, which lands you on the excrement list, and none of us want that).
      5. Forget the complicated email and submit via our hassle-free/grain-free/humanely built submission form HERE.
      6. Additional perks for our magazine submission period, which can be viewed HERE.
      7. Read back issues and stories locked behind the paywall.
      8. 50% off the cost of our community message board (and in the words of Hollywood Hulk Hogan, "For liiiiife!"). That alone pays the cost of this membership!
Sign up for a membership today by CLICKING HERE!

Contest FAQ

Do you accept multiple submissions?
      No, one submission per author.
      EXCEPTION: If you are a card carrying MEMBER, you can submit up to THREE stories!
Do you accept simultaneous submissions?
      No – do not send your story entry out to other publishers prior to May 31st, and do not withdraw your entry. We offer a generous prize package with NO cost to enter - in return, we ask that you give us the time we need to give every story a fair shake.
      ANOTHER EXCEPTION: Once again, paid members ARE allowed to make simultaneous submissions. To become a member CLICK HERE.
What type of formatting should the story be in?
      Standard manuscript formatting is fine - we're not picky, so long as its not obnoxious. If you'd like an in depth look into modern manuscript formatting, then read this article by Bruce Bethke over at Stupefying Stories, which pretty well sums up how we feel.
Any tips on winning this thing?
      Many stories get ‘bumped’ before we finish reading the first page (that’s right, we’re a merciless bunch). A trained eye can tell the quality of a story and the ability of the storyteller from only a few sentences, so tighten that opening! It also helps to read some of our past issues, like our 2023 contest winning story HERE. Besides, you want to become the best writer you can be, right? Well then, to do that, you need to read the from the best writers out there, and who's publishing better stories than us? Seriously, SUBSCRIBE NOW and see for yourself.
What are you looking for?
      To put it simply, good stories. Entries will be judged both by the technical and literary quality as well as the author's ability to tell a story. All entries must be previously unpublished. Here’s what we’re NOT looking for: Excessive anything. Think PG-13, R if necessary. We're not attempting to salt the earth with more cultural dogma couched as mediocre fiction, or writers who are jockeying for the title of Most Woke. There’s enough of that out there already. You want to impress us? Write a good story. You want to win? Write a great one.
Anything I missed?
      Likely you skimmed over two things, and they're OH so important:
      #1. To be eligible for the contest, all writers must be signed up to Story Unlikely's monthly issue. Did we mention it's free? Because it is. Totally free. You can unsubscribe at any time, just wait until the contest is over, otherwise we'll consider that a disqualification of your entry. DO NOT mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be placed on our Excrement List, aka lifetime ban from submitting, where only a generous donation to the human fund can bring you back into our good graces. Ok, we're joking about the human fund, but not on the ban.
      #2. Re-read HOW we want you to submit (like, the first 250 words of your story, we really do need that in the body of your email - it is of utmost importance to us).
      #3. Now that you've slogged through all of our rules, how about a little word of encouragement from the Story Unlikely team?
      #4. If you have any additional questions, see our frequently asked questions page.
      #5. Oh, and if you submit and forget to attach the story, don't sweat it, just resubmit the whole thing (right away!)

Rights requested:
The use of the Work by Story Unlikely entails the assignment of first, non-exclusive Anthology Rights, for publication in the English language, and continuing, nonexclusive right to use the Work in the edition as long as Story Unlikely remains in print/publication. (In other words, you can publish your story anywhere else after it's been published here, we just ask that you mention that it was published in Story Unlikely first, and after a set period of time after original publication, generally 3 to 6 months.)

A special treat for reading this far

You, dear writer, are clearly a cut above. You slogged through all those guidelines, and we thank you for that. In fact, as a little token of our appreciation, enjoy this video - the inaugural address from our new CFO. You may have heard of him - a guy by the name of David Wallace.


Looking for more writing competitions to enter? We're happy to link other great resources if you're in the market:

Disclaimer: Story Unlikely is a literary magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction, but cannot guarantee distinction between the two. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editors. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. Story Unlikely cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website and errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the content providers.On this website you might find links to the websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website and online magazine you acknowledge that and agree that Story Unlikely cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. Story Unlikely reserves the right to make changes to any information on this site without a notice. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

a word of encouragement from the editors of story unlikely

Keep at it, dear writer

Submitting stories for publications is a drag. We get it. We’ve been there. It’s easy to get bogged down by a mountain of guidelines, worrying over what to include in your bio, and of course the endless form rejections devoid of constructive feedback. What am I doing wrong? You begin to wonder as the rejections pile up. And in time you lose hope, despair, and give up.But take heart, dear writer!It’s a cruel game, getting your story published, but we’re on your side, and we’re rooting for you. Why? Because we firmly believe that the best writers out there are people we’ve never even heard of. And we want to find them. And them could very well be you!Truly, we don’t care about an author’s background (as far as selecting their stories for publication - we still read them because we're interested in the writers submitting to us). So, you haven’t been published before, and you worry that without a big pedigree, your story will simply fall through the cracks? Not so. In fact – and we’re not lying when we say this - some of the worst submissions we get come from writers with the biggest pedigrees (well, not the absolute worst, but still shockingly bad). We’ve been as surprised by this revelation as you are. But it’s true!In other words - and despite the odds - if you want to get published in Story Unlikely, all you have to do is write a great story. And that’s it! Don’t sweat the other details. With us, it’s all about the story. And we know you’ve got one, or two, or a hundred, so show us! Then let us show the world.What do you have to lose?~THE EDITORS

Our Story

Confession: Story Unlikely was an unlikely afterthought


The divide between the masses and the elites is growing, and it’s infecting every aspect of our culture, including literature. In fact, the arena of the written word may just be its origin. How often are the stories we’ve come to love – whether on the page or in the cinema – derided by the critics, while shallow titles devoid of purpose or meaning gobble up all the awards, accolades, and praise?I’ve experienced a taste of this, only on a much smaller scale. For years I received positive feedback from editors who eventually declined my stories because ‘it just didn’t fit the theme,’ or ‘wasn’t quite the style we had in mind’. And I always wondered: who cares? Am I the only person who just wants good stories, regardless of whatever flavor of the month is currently trending?Meanwhile, of what words of mine did manage to make it to the public eye, I began to witness the immense power that deep, meaningful literature can provoke. Do you know how many times readers have reached out to me, moved by the words I put to paper, weeping over their keyboards over a simple story? Me, a mere stranger, a million miles away, and they just let it all come out.You don’t forget that - as a writer, and as a human.While this continued, the industry took a radical turn, and I watched many authors - far more talented than myself - sidelined by mediocre prose. What was once a measure of writing and storytelling had been replaced by unashamed propaganda foisted by acolytes masquerading as authors, editors, and publishers. I'm not saying stories can’t contain personal beliefs or deeper meaning, but rather the story - in spite of whatever message you’re trying to sell - better be king. But it’s not. Not anymore. And these bad actors, either frightened to death by a prospective Twitter mob storming their virtual gates, or themselves having sworn fealty in religious-like fervor, can no longer see past their own biases.Somewhere along the way, an idea bubbled to the surface: what if I founded an outlet that shed all the pretense and just delivered the things I, as a reader, cared about? Forget rigid genre classifications, no more free passes to established authors coasting on past success, and to hell with the insanity of extreme politics. What would it look like if a literary magazine - for once - just published stories because they were good?Well, we did, and it’s working. We’re only three years in, and (to my knowledge) we’ve become the fastest-growing literary magazine in the English-speaking world, with new subscribers pouring in every day from over a hundred countries. And the best part - we did it all without social media. Let that accomplishment – and its implications – sink in.These are the fruits born of merit, and it should come as no surprise. Since our inception, Story Unlikely has become synonymous with top-tier literature – if it’s published here, you know it’s worth reading. And if you manage to get published here, it’s because you earned it - nothing more and nothing less.While so many others have lost sight – have become themselves the distributors of the very prejudices they so vehemently despise – we’re taking a different approach, and like the American companies of yesteryear, building our foundation on a reputation that delivers quality. Every. Single. Time.We are the underdog stepping up to the plate, David gathering stones in the river, the meteor hurtling towards the barren deserts of our literary landscape, and this is our anthem:1. Find great writers
2. Publish great stories
3. Build a yuuuuge audience
Welcome to Story Unlikely.
~Danny Hankner, Editor-in-chief
1-1-24

MEET THE UNLIKELY TEAM

Danny Hankner

Editor-in-chief

Danny Hankner began penning stories about himself and his idiot friends as a teenager. Now, masquerading as an adult, he lives in Davenport, Iowa with his wife and three children, working as a master electrician for his own company. In his spare time, Dan rides and builds mountain bike trails, scrapes infinitely spawning cat hurl off the basement floor, and runs Story Unlikely, an award-winning literary magazine where he floats around self-important titles like 'Editor-in-chief'. His work has besmirched the good reputation of many a publisher, garnering tens of thousands of reads in more countries than not.


Megan Hankner

Senior editor

Growing up without a TV (poor, neglected child), Megan was forced into the tattered pages of series like Nancy Drew or Little House on the Prairie for entertainment. Megan cultivated her appreciation for prose by earning an overpriced English degree from St Ambrose University. Don’t feel too sorry for her – shortly after graduating, she managed to land a super handsome prince charming for a husband who now operates as full-time sugar daddy, and who clearly had no hand in crafting this bio, despite his brilliant (totally brilliant!) way with words. When not wrangling the kids or rolling her eyes at her husband’s antics, Megan samples a garden variety of books at an alarming rate, though her favorite genres include travel and athletic memoirs.


David Wallace

CFO

Hailing from one of the most iconic companies of all time - Dunder Mifflin - David Wallace has returned to the paper business as the new CFO of Story Unlikely. With David's expertise in running giant corporations into the ground and (mis?)managing a wide cast of unpredictable characters, it's obvious he's the perfect choice to usher Story Unlikely to pinnacle of prestige. Is this a joke? At this point, we're not quite sure ourselves, but we're going with it. Click on the image above to hear David's inaugural message to our editor-in-chief. And stay tuned, there may be more to come =)


Laura

Editor who misplaced her last name

Recently exiled from California, Laura has returned to her midwest roots after years of longing for its sweltering summers, its frigid winters, and a charming array of allergens. Laura is a fantasy connoisseur who has a strange addiction to re-starting epic, long-winded series like The Wheel of Time before she actually finishes them. She lives in Des Moines with her high-functioning germophobic husband and token feline named Chaos.


Craigbeard

Editor

Craig’s a top-notch man of mystery who enjoys a top-notch story (it’s rumored that he takes his books like he takes his carnival food – hot and fast and slightly terrifying). When not ingesting novels from authors like Stephen King or Kurt Vonnegut, Craig indulges his inner movie buff with the latest Wes Anderson flick. He lives in Moline, Illinois with his wife and son, grinding out the work week with a beard that brings all the girls to the yard.


M.G.C.

Digital editor overlord

From his youthful days photo-swapping heads with his adolescent friends and inserting geysers of fake blood from a multitude of orifices to now, where he crafts ridiculous digital selfies and stylizes them with proper titles like, “Government knows best,” or, “Body by booster,” or, “My pronouns are was/were," MGC - an admirable tax-loathing paying citizen - enjoys life in a small village outside Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and trio of tromping children he refers to as “The Broodlings.” When not hacking away on a computer at his day job, he can be found tinkering with mechanical keyboards, reading fantasy, sci-fi, and theology books, or lending his talents to Story Unlikely for compensation we refer to as “A Pittance.”


The Berminator

Digital editor

A rider of mountain bikes, a builder of mountain bike trails, and a photographer of femur-breaking dirt jumps that Napoleon Dynamite would certainly describe as ‘sweet’, The Berminator travels the greater United States ever in search of the next singletrack to shred. When he’s not enjoying the outdoors, he’s likely hunched over his keyboard, snacking on stale saltines and enhancing every pixel of cover art thrown his way.


Barb Delf

Editor

Influenced heavily by a mother who taught English (and whose instruction – in terms of rigidity - was perhaps rivaled only by the special forces, or The Soup Nazi), and a father who plucked obscure words out of thin air like a word magician, it was inevitable that Barb found her way through the pages of crime and spy novels and into the doldrums of editing. By day, Barb lives on a horse farm in the rural Midwest with her husband, running her own business and minding after the crew – Gunner, an exuberant Wire-Haired Fox Terrier who defends the fort against all manner of foul creatures (coyotes, feral raccoons, wayward possums), and his cheer-squad, an Australian Shepherd named Orville.


David Spaugh

Reader of the prose

Despite being only 1/8 Choctaw, David Spaugh makes up for his blundering whiteness by being 9/8 Texan – yes, the math here is correct, for he’d be 10/8 (remember, everything’s bigger in Texas, including fractions) if he wasn’t currently residing in Oklahoma, where he works as a Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, a title that will lull even the most feral toddler right to sleep. Here in the Not Texas, David can be found at late-night campfires telling stories to his wife and kids in a husky Batman voice (the throat-cancer Christopher Nolan type, not the bionic Adam West, May He Rest In Peace), talking about Jesus and/or Bigfoot, or discussing his love for the outdoors, largely cultivated from a healthy diet of Bob Ross and 80’s synth music. David’s debut Novel, Here in the Not Yet, was released in 2023. You can find out more by visiting www.davidspaugh.com.


Editors Unknown

The Luchadors of Literature

This is for the editor/s, if they do exist, who just like to read stories and give input without all the glamor that comes with being an editor, which really only includes a grainy photo from better days and an overly sparky bio. So here's to you, editors in the dark, ghost readers without name or pay. That is, of course, if you even exist.


The attempt: create a literary magazine that publishes top tier stories, pays writers fairly, and treats both our readers and writers like they're actually human. This takes time, and money, and resources, and effort, and lots of caffeine. So consider throwing a few bucks our way OR by BECOMING A MEMBER! Not only is it for a worthy cause, but we guarantee that you might - just maybe - feel slightly better about yourself after doing so.

Story Unlikely membership is here! Get access to our back issues, longer stories hiding behind an obnoxious paywall, and a host of other perks. SIGN UP TODAY!


We try and be a little more accessible than most magazine editors. Got a question, comment, or concern? A suggestion for us to improve Story Unlikely? A compliment to pass along to an author? Reach out to us at [email protected]

Subscribe below to receive an Unlikely Story every month, absolutely FREE, plus a bonus story sent to your inbox right now! Be sure to add [email protected] to your safe contacts so we don't fall into your spam!


Disclaimer: Story Unlikely is a literary magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction, but cannot guarantee distinction between the two. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editors. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. Story Unlikely cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website and errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the content providers.On this website you might find links to the websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website and online magazine you acknowledge that and agree that Story Unlikely cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. Story Unlikely reserves the right to make changes to any information on this site without a notice. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

submit your story

Have a good story? We want to see it.


Submissions to our monthly magazine are currently OPEN through September 29th, read the guidelines below carefully - failure to adhere to our rules may result in disqualification, and who wants that?

Please note that we have additional perks and leeway for MEMBERS, highlighted in GREEN. Your membership not only gives you a leg up in the submission process, but helps keep the lights on (and pay our talented writers).

Why submit to us?
      - WE PAY WRITERS FAIRLY. It’s hard work writing good stories, and you deserve to get paid. Or maybe you don’t and you’re just duping us? Regardless, we pay 8 cents a word for stories up to 2,500 words. Stories longer than this are capped at $200 payment ($400 for MEMBERS).
      - NO SUBMISSION FEES. We’re not saying the other guys are getting rich off $3 per submission, but there’s something about the idea that we, as writers, have you pay you, the publisher, just for the privilege of rejecting our work with a form letter, bothers us. (Costs of running an E-zine aside) We’re going to go ahead and coin a phrase right here and now - ‘Write privilege’, get it? Of course, you do.
      - GET YOUR WORK IN FRONT OF A LARGE AND GROWING AUDIENCE. Our aim is fixed on telling good stories, period, and because of that we have built a massive readership from all over the globe. Want to get your stories out to more than just dear old nana? Then you've come to the right place.
      - REASONABLE TURN-AROUND TIME. If you haven't heard from us within 90 days, then your story was rejected. Rejections stink - we get it - but its better than forever waiting and wondering. All MEMBERS get their stories reviewed within ONE month!
      - WORKABILITY. Is that the right term? Well, we're going with it. Unlike large publishers who view authors as just a number, we actually work with you to help present the story in its best possible light. We do, however, expect reciprocity; Story Unlikely is comprised of volunteers who are by nature team players. If you're an inflexible my way or the highway type - or even worse, an unbearable ideologue - then consider this a premature breakup. No really, it's us, not you.
      - GET ILLUSTRATED. We illustrate ALL stories we publish, and we think we're doing a pretty bang-up job with that.
      - Still NOT CONVINCED? Then listen to a message that our editor-in-chief JUST received from our new CFO, David Wallace. Yes, that's a clickable link, and no, we're not joking (well, sort of).

What to Submit to us?
      - STORY LENGTH: Our story limit is 10,000 words, but MEMBERS can submit up to 15,000 word stories.
      - CONTENT: To put it simply, we're looking for good stories, measured both by the quality of the writing and the skill in storytelling. We prefer prose that elicits emotion: make us laugh or cry, think or consider, anything on the edges or in between.
      - GENRE AND STYLE: Good stories don’t just come in all shapes and sizes, but in all genres, too (fiction and nonfiction). Although some genres naturally lend themselves to certain feelings, by no means do we expect authors to follow preordained paths. We like stories that cross genres, experiment, and push the boundaries of literature while maintaining the utmost quality in literary technique and storytelling, which is why we're open to just about anything.
      - WHAT WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR: Excessive anything. Think PG-13, R if necessary. We're not attempting to salt the earth with more cultural dogma couched as mediocre fiction, or writers who are jockeying for the title of Most Woke. There’s enough of that out there already. You want to impress us? Write a good story. You want to get published? Write a great one.
      - NEW STORIES AND REPRINTS: We accept previously published stories – and oh how we love a good reprint(!), as long as you, dear author, have retained full rights. For reprints, we pay 1 cent per word with a maximum payout of $75, and $150 for MEMBERS - the story can still be up to 15k in length, or 10k for non-members.
      - A NOTE ON PODCASTING: Last year we began telling stories audibly through our podcast. Click HERE for details on our podcast publishing guidelines. All submissions will be considered first for our magazine, and second for our podcast.
      - ONE STORY PER AUTHOR PER 90 DAYS: We do not accept multiple submissions. We DO accept simultaneous submissions (IE, you can send it out somewhere else at the same time. Just inform us immediately if it is accepted.) MEMBERS can submit stories once every 30 days!
      -PERSONAL FEEDBACK: Though we don't respond to rejections, historically we have sent constructive feedback to stories that were close but didn't quite cut the mustard (what does that even mean?). Moving forward, we will only respond with personal critiques to MEMBERS, (though again, only a small percentage of stories will receive feedback). We are run by volunteers, and with our ever-increasing costs, we have to prioritize those who help us stay financially viable. For a chance to receive personal feedback, Members MUST submit through our Member Portal

How to Submit to us?
      - BECOME A READER: Though we don’t charge for submissions, you do need to subscribe to our magazine (free) – this is how we publish our stories, and where you'll see yours in digital print. Don’t worry, we send out ONE issue per month. Your sacred inbox is safe with us! Please note that although you're welcome to unsubscribe at any time, by doing so will count as an automatic withdrawal for any pending or future submissions. DO NOT mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be barred from future submissions. Harsh judgement, sure, but easily avoided on your end. Besides, you want to become the best writer you can be, right? To do that, you need to read the best writers out there, and who's publishing better stories than Story Unlikely? Click HERE to subscribe.
      - SUBMISSION PERIOD: Our standard submission period runs from February 2nd through September 29th (In between runs our annual contest).
      - BY EMAIL: : Due to our endless quest to dodge overreactive spam blockers, we've changed our submission email to: [email protected], the same one we send our monthly issue through. As long as you type the word 'Submission' in the title, your story will end up in the right place. And this is important: make sure you type the word 'submission' in the title of your email, otherwise it may be lost! MEMBERS can skip the complicated email and use our handy SUBMISSION FORM. Everyone else will email submissions to [email protected] in the following format:

- FORMATTING: Standard manuscript format is fine, but honestly, you've spent enough time writing the darn thing to worry about our silly preferences on spaces and underlines and, heaven forbid, a different font. If you'd like an in depth look into modern manuscript formatting, then read this article by Bruce Bethke over at Stupefying Stories, which pretty well sums up how we feel.Copy the sample below (like, not literally. Just follow the formatting (directions in red and blue), and insert the information pertaining to your submission):

If for some reason you can't see the above picture, then follow the text guidelines below (if you CAN see it, feel free to skip this section:Email Subject line: (SUBMISSION: STORY TITLE, GENRE, REPRINT (if applicable))
Body of email: Include TITLE, (FICTION/NONFICTION,SUB GENRE (if applicable)),WORD COUNT, FIRST 250 words of the story (rounded to the nearest sentence), author bio as you want it to appear along with your published story, your contact info.
Please include how you found Story Unlikely. If you're really feeling chatty, tell us the main reason why you decided to submit a story to us - this feedback really helps us grow the magazine.Attachment: Attach your story as a DOC, DOCX, RTF, or something else if you want to be difficult.For previously PUBLISHED stories (reprints):
Email Subject line: (SUBMISSION, REPRINT, STORY TITLE)
Body of email: Include TITLE, FICTION/NONFICTION,SUB GENRE (if applicable),WORD COUNT. FIRST 250 words of the story (rounded to the nearest sentence), author bio as you want it to appear along with your published story. Include your contact info and information on the previous publication (where and when, online or print, and previous payment, if any).Please include how you found Story Unlikely. If you're really feeling chatty, tell us why you decided to submit a story - this feedback really helps us grow the magazine.Attachment: Attach your story as a DOC or DOCX, or something else if you want to be difficult.(If this is confusing, then just emulate our sample above)One last thing - if you're an editor of a paying magazine, mention this. We may contact you at some point in the future if an opportunity for collaboration arises.


Perks for members

Below are listed all the perks you get for becoming a member:      1. Member payments for stories are capped at $400 instead of $200, and $150 for reprints instead of $75 (author must be an active member both at the time story was submitted, and the time of acceptance).
      2. Members stories are reviewed within ONE month instead of three (which means you can submit a new story every month instead of having to wait three, as well).
      3. Stories can be up to 15,000 words instead of 10,000.
      4. Forget the complicated email and submit via our hassle-free/grain-free/humanely built submission form HERE.
      5. We only respond with personal feedback to our members (though again, most stories will receive none at all).
      6. Additional perks for our annual short story contest, which can be viewed HERE.
      7. Read back issues and stories locked behind the paywall.
      8. 50% off the cost of our community message board (and in the words of Hollywood Hulk Hogan, "For liiiiife!"). That alone pays the cost of this membership!
Sign up for a membership today by CLICKING HERE!


I submitted a story, now what?
      - Seriously, subscribe to our magazine (free): We do NOT consider submissions from anyone who is not one of our readers – sorry, but we’re kind of inbred that way. You’re welcome to unsubscribe at any time, just be aware that doing so automatically withdraws any pending or future submissions. ** DO NOT* mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be placed on our Excrement List, aka lifetime banishment from submitting, where only a generous donation to the human fund can bring you back into our good graces. Ok, we're joking about the human fund, but not on the ban.
      - Wait up to 90 days unless you've become a MEMBER. If we have not contacted you within three months (or one month for members) from when you submitted your story, then it was rejected.
      - Tell your friends about us: You want them to see your work, don’t you? We also want word of mouth referrals, so talk us up to your inner circle like we’re Jinko’s circa 1998.
      - Cheer up with your favorite carcinogen-filled soda and a little word of encouragement from the Story Unlikely team.
      - If you have any additional questions, see our frequently asked questions page.
      - And because you've made it this far, treat yourself to our very touching submission song...


SUBMISSION REFERENCE GUIDE

Once you’ve read all the information above (and you need to, to understand our procedures and why we do them), then feel free to scroll to the bottom of this page for a quick reference for our guidelines instead of wading through all that text above. See, we try and make it easy on you. Sometimes.      - SUBMISSION PERIOD – February 2nd through September 29th, central standard time.
      - WORD LENGTH – 10k limit, or up to 15k for paying Members.
      - PAY – 8 cents a word capped at $200, or $400 cap for paying Members.
      - GENRE – No restrictions. Go crazy if you want.
      - RESPONSE TIME – WE DO NOT respond to rejections. If you do not hear from us within 90 days (or 30 days for paying Members), it was rejected. Do not email us about the status of your submission, unless we have previously reached out and put your story on ‘hold’.
      - REPRINTS – Yes, we accept reprints at 1 cent a word capped at $75 (or $150 for paying Members.)
      -FORMATTING – Follow our sample above. We’re not concerned with manuscript formatting as long as it’s not obnoxious.
      - HOW/WHERE TO SEND – Via email to [email protected], make sure the word ‘submission’ is in the title. Paying Members should use our easy submission portal.
      - MAKE SURE YOU ARE SUBSCRIBED – You must be a (free) subscriber to submit to us. If you are not, your submission gets tossed. SUBSCRIBE HERE for free!

A note on genres and what we're looking for:
      +There are plenty of publishers who claim they are open to any genre, but still only publish a select few. Just so you know that we're not yanking your chain, here's a list of genres we accept and are open to publishing:
      Action/adventure, general, fiction/narrative nonfiction, humor/comedy/satire, speculate (fantasy, sci fi, horror, magic realism, cyberpunk), memoir, western, romance, alternate history, suspense/thriller, mystery/crime, literary, and any cross/hybrid genres.
      ++And if our extensive submission page isn't wordy enough for you, you're welcome to read a little more HERE about what we're looking for.


The use of the Work by Story Unlikely entails the assignment of first, non-exclusive Anthology Rights, for publication in the English language, and continuing, nonexclusive right to use the Work in the edition as long as Story Unlikely remains in print/publication. (In other words, you can publish your story anywhere else after it's been published here, we just ask that you mention that it was published in Story Unlikely first, and after a set period of time after original publication, generally 3 to 6 months.)

Disclaimer: Story Unlikely is a literary magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction, but cannot guarantee distinction between the two. The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editors. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. Story Unlikely cannot guarantee and accepts no liability for any loss or damage of any kind caused by this website and errors and for the accuracy of claims made by the content providers.On this website you might find links to the websites, third-party content and advertising. By using our website and online magazine you acknowledge that and agree that Story Unlikely cannot be held responsible and shall not be liable for content of other websites, advertisements and other resources. Story Unlikely reserves the right to make changes to any information on this site without a notice. By using this site, you agree to all terms and conditions listed above. If you have any questions about this policy, you may contact us.

Podcast

The Story Unlikely Podcast is where we tell unlikely stories, interview interesting people, and sometimes do a bit of both. Click on the links above to listen, or search for "Story Unlikely Podcast" in your favorite podcast player. We generally upload a new episode the middle of every month.

Submission guidelines

The good news: podcasting opens up an opportunity to showcase stories that we simply don't have room for in our monthly magazine (although some of the stories we accept may be published in both mediums). We're also considering interviewing the occasional author - aka more opportunity for exposure, and we will continue illustrating ALL published stories, regardless of medium.The bad news: due to our limited budget (still waiting for that fat cat donor to fall into our lap), at this time we can only offer our reprint rate to stories slated for the podcast (1 cent a word, $10 minimum capped at $75). However, as of April 2024, we do offer all authors being published in our podcast a steep discount for our Membership - first year Membership is only $1. Discount code is sent once contract is signed.All stories submitted to us will be considered first for the magazine, and second for the podcast. If your aim is to be published in the magazine only, you're welcome to decline any podcast offers - don't worry, we'll only cry for a little bit.


Frequently Asked Questions

Not receiving emails/monthly issues:If you’ve subscribed to our monthly magazine (CLICK HERE if you haven't), but have not received our welcome email, or you have, but our monthly issue is not landing in your inbox, check the following:The usual problem is that your email host (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) is identifying our emails as spam, and as a result either filtering them directly into your spam folder (or sometimes ‘promotions’ if you’re using Gmail), or not allowing them to even go through at all. Do/check the following to help ensure our emails go through:      1. Check your spam. If it’s in here, mark it as ‘not spam’ or ‘safe’, or even better respond to the email itself.
      2. Check your ‘promotions’ folder if you’re using Gmail, or any other folder where your email service might have sent our email.
      3. Send an email to [email protected] if you haven’t already, as this helps your email register that our email is not spam.
      4. “Whitelist” our email address – google it for directions specific to your email host.
      5. If you’ve done all of the above and still our emails are not going through, unfortunately, there is nothing more that we can do at this time. You can still stay up to date with our issues by becoming a member where we keep all of our issues on archive for our members to read at their leisure.
      6. If you done all the above and are unsure if your email is in our system, send an email to [email protected] and we can check for you. But please, do the above first to help minimize our time troubleshooting.

Membership questions:1. I’m confused about the difference between “subscribing” and becoming a “member”:The Story Unlikely monthly magazine is free to subscribe to - you can do so by signing up HERE. Our membership is not. Our (free) subscribers get the monthly issue emailed to them the first week of every month and can submit stories to be published. Membership grants a host of additional perks listed HERE. Membership is not required to submit a story/get published/paid etc but it gives you a leg up (and helps pay our bills), so yeah, you should totally become a member. Who knows, it may even help lower your cholesterol? Ok, that's a stretch, but no more than pretending a bowl of Cheerios equates to a healthy diet.2. I thought this was free, why do I have to pay for a membership?It costs thousands of dollars annually to run Story Unlikely – and that’s with an all-volunteer labor force. It won’t be long before our costs rise to the tens of thousands annually. Someone has to pay for this, so where does that money come from? Historically, our benevolent editor-in-chief has funded this endeavor from his own pocket (how nice), but his pockets are not deep. Therefore, we have to monetize. Although the occasional donation is nice, charity is not a viable business plan. That’s why we’ve created our membership to help pay our increasing costs. The more people who sign up, the more we can do (IE pay our authors more and therefore receive even better stories, expand our podcast, partner with other organizations, bigger prize packages for our contest/accept more stories and even turn them into printed anthologies). If you’re unfamiliar with how businesses operate, just remember everything costs money – money is a business’s life blood. Even better, watch a season or two of Shark Tank and you’ll come away with a better understanding and appreciation for entrepreneurs everywhere.

Contest/Submission guideline questions:1. Inquiries about when our contest and/or magazine submission period opens and closes:Part of the year we run our annual short story contest. The remainder of the year runs our general magazine submission period. To be clear, these are separate submissions that fluctuate slightly year to year, though they never overlap. All the information you need is contained within their respective guidelines:Magazine submissionContest submission2. What constitutes too much gore/graphic material?Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question specifically without looking at the specific work (and no, do not send us a piece and ask us to look it over prior to submitting – we love you, but not that much). If you’re unsure, err on the less is more mentality. Worst case, if we love your story but have problems with a specific scene, we’re happy to work with you to make changes suitable to our needs. In the end, it’s unlikely your story will be rejected for the excess content alone (unless your story opens with it), but for reasons that have more to do with the quality of the writing and storytelling, so use your best judgment.3. Restrictions on participating in the contest:We have no restrictions on authors submitting their work. Read the guidelines for more details.4. What about AI?Great question. At this point, we’re like a lot of places and just not sure what to make or do with it. What we’ve seen from AI is quite remarkable in terms of a computer’s capacity to understand and articulate, but woefully underwhelming in its quality of ‘literature’. We’ve seen plenty of AI generated content and can spot it a mile away (and yes, it’s quite bad). But what about tomorrow? Or next year? Will AI be able to capture an author’s style and voice and “create” quality content? And then what? We don’t have answers to this, but for now, please do not send us AI generated material. If you want to use AI to look over and proof your own writing, that’s one thing, but you as a writer still need to do the hard work and develop your writing muscles. In other words, it's fine hiring a personal trainer to help you compete in that next marathon, but you can't pay the trainer to run it for you.

Formatting issues:1. I can’t make a ‘page break’ in my email:Don’t sweat it. Just double space or do something to separate the sections.2. I don’t know what to put in my author bio:Don’t sweat it. Do the best you can. These get finalized after we accept your story.3. I can’t attach a doc or docx. Can I use something else?We have a variety of readers reading submissions from a variety of devices, so please save us the hassle and follow this request. If you must, you can use something else like RTF, but know that if we can't read it your submission, then you risk it getting tossed.


Community message board

For a limited time, sign up now for free!

Interested in joining a community of like-minded writers who are serious about their craft, but not so serious about themselves? Then you've come to the right place. Stop in and chat with our editors, volunteers, previously published writers, and of course our beloved Members! Did we mention our Troll Free Guarantee?

Why join a writing message board?
Writing communities are where we learn, grow, and become better writers, where we find like-minded friends, pull our collective hairs out at the difficulty of this literary publishing game, and laugh together at everything thrown our way. In short, if you want to become the best writer you can be, you need to join a group. And not all groups are created equal. We know - we've been a part of many over the years, and with our decades of experience, we're creating an oasis for writers thirsting for good community.

Since we won't have the critique forum set up until later this year, we're offering a temporary FREE TRIAL! Sign up before this offer is gone!

ALL past contributors to Story Unlikely get free access to our message board for life, which means there's a lot of experience to glean from. This is a great group of people, and you have an opportunity to join (seriously, most writers don't realize the immense value of being part of a group like this, so try it for free and see for yourself!)

CLICK HERE to join our community message board and start your free trial today!And remember, all paying Members receive a coupon for 50% off the annual cost of joining the message board - which pays for itself right there!

Hi Andy! See script below. Feel free to ad lib whatever you want! Also, I have no idea what the limitations are on your end for this, so if you can't use the references "Nick Cage" and "Carl Weathers", feel free to improvise or scrap all together. Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks so much! Your last video was absolutely hilarious and look forward to this one =)script:

Hey Danny, David Wallace here, formerly Dunder Mifflin and now acting CFO of Story Unlikely, your humble little literary magazine which in no way can afford an actual CFO but never-the-less, has. So I got the latest issue in, and well, I’ve got some concerns. The featured story is a fantastic bit of writing, probably going to win all the awards, but I see in here, further down, in your section Titled “While You Were Reading”, talking about the Story Unlikely Podcast, and how great it is. First of all, I’ve listened to it, and it’s not that great - so that’s probably false advertising. Second, uh, so are you too cool to ask me to come on as a guest? Here I thought we were pals, and we had a moment the other night – did we not? - when we were drinking expired cans of Shasta and pounding down peanuts around the campfire, and you told me about the time you and your high school friends would ferret a toilet around on Friday nights, drop your shorts and pretend to take dumps all over town? That was a beautiful story, and I thought to myself, “ok, alright, he’s sharing some real personal stuff with me here…I think we’re friends now.”But Danny, friends invite their friends onto each other's podcast. It’s what they do in the 21st century.It’s ok, I’m already over it and I'm not at all bitter. But we have a more urgent problem: in that same issue, you have a picture of Nick Cage, and it says next to the picture, quote, “Every great story begins with a snake,” Nicholas Cage, who probably supports this message, end quote.Look, I actually got a call from Nick, and he’s a little miffed. Yes, a man of such esteem and refinement obviously supports Story Unlikely, but you can’t just throw around those kinds of statements for free. Nick said he’d need at least $25 for that quote, ok? But if you pay Nick Cage $25 a line, where’s the margins for me? Am I working for peanuts here? (And by the way, the peanuts you brought last week were stale – and when I asked Megan about it, she told me you sneak into Texas Roadhouse wearing oversized cargo shorts, pretend to “wait for a table”, stuff your pockets full, and just take off.) That’s beneath an “Editor-in-chief”. (Whispers) And that’s why we had Carl Weathers on retainer, God rest his soul – the guy knew every restaurant hack this side of the Mississippi!Look, I know you’re busy: you’re an entrepreneur, you build mountain bike trails, you have a lovely wife, two wonderful children…and a third one that’s, well, equally-wonderful-and-not-at-all-a-monster. But you’re going to have to dial back some of those commitments and put your focus on the magazine. Someone has to do the work, and it’s certainly not going to be me. I’m just here to look good, suck up a bunch of excess cash, and give this company a much-needed air of professionalism…before it inevitably tanks and I move on to the next gig.And speaking of money, your last check bounced, just so you’re aware. Now, I’ve heard about the endless string of bad luck and deadbeat accountants you’ve hired over there – which is quite frankly appalling, I mean, Kevin could do a better job than these clowns. Kevin! And that’s saying something. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in your ability to hire…except for, you know, your choice in CFO’s. Obviously, that was a stellar hire, maybe the best decision you’ve ever made, period.And you’ve made some pretty good decisions over the years – like that time you decided to schlep a used toilet around town, take pictures of you and your idiot friends posing with pants down, and then plaster the results all over the internet. Yes sir, Danny, you certainly are the gold standard for good decision-making.

Post Dunder Mifflin

WHat's this all about?

So we did a thing...and brought in a new CFO for Story Unlikely. Ok, maybe it's a joke, but if so, it's a pretty good one, so perhaps we'll do some more videos with David Wallace, maybe even poach more ex employees from ol' Dunder Millfin while we're at it - why not? In the meantime, enjoy David's innagural address to our editor-in-chief.

Stay tuned, more videos to come...