Current Contest

The Current Mini-Contest

Special Mini-Contest #45 launched on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

We’re doing just one mini-contest between regular short story contests this time, but it’s a doozy. Instead of the usual $25/$15/$10 for first/second/third, we’re awarding ten prizes of $40 each. That’s a total of $400 in prize money. Why? Because even though $40 isn’t much money, it might make more of a difference in someone’s life than it will to our relatively small annual OTP budget.


Life isn’t much fun right now, anywhere in the world. The pandemic has touched everybody to some degree. Wrap up how you feel about life today–the good, the bad, the ugly, the inspiring, the awful, the funny, the not funny–and because this is a contest challenge, send it to us in the form of a limerick. The limerick doesn’t have to be funny, but it does have to evoke thoughts and feelings in us like everything else we ask of you.

For those of you who want to take political themes, please remember our audience is literally world-wide, though it definitely leans Western. Still, jokes requiring a deep understanding of the Hong Kong anti-China protests or some of the subtler points of Brexit might not translate for all of our thousands of readers, so aim for a broad audience.

If you’re wondering what the exact definition of a limerick is, this source should be a big help.

Deadline: 11:59 PM Eastern US time, Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Publication: Winners will be published on or around Sunday, June 7, 2020, when the next contest launches.

Length: It’s a limerick, so limit it to five lines of text. The first, second, and fifth line should have 7 to 10 syllables, and the third and fourth lines should have 5 to 7. No matter what, the third and fourth lines should be shorter than the first, second, and fifth. Remember to use the AABBA rhyming pattern.

Hyphenated Words: Our rules about hyphenated words don’t apply to this contest because the strict format of a limerick takes precedence.

Prizes: There will be ten prizes of $40 each. We will still announce a first, second, and third place–bragging rights count for something!–but the cash prizes will be the same for everyone this time.

One entry per author. There is no fee for entering this contest.

To submit an entry, click the button below and follow the instructions. If you don’t already have a (free) Submittable account, you’ll be prompted to make one.

Submit Your Entry


By the way, please don’t give your mini-contest entry a title. We never publish titles for mini-contest entries, just the entries themselves.

If you have questions, ask us at