October 2019 (Issue #34)
We challenged contestants to write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which some kind of tradition is important to the story.
We received a new record 435 contest entries and chose six stories for prizes. Two of our authors have been published in OTP before; the others are new to us. Three of this issue’s stories are speculative fiction, and the others take place in the real world.
The leaves rustled as Grandma drew closer. I held my breath. Grandma’s steps slowed, and then she walked past me. My stomach dropped.
FIRST PLACE: A Summoner’s Tale, John Burridge’s speculative story about jealousy. (John has been published in three other issues of our magazine.)
Before the fun could start there was an important job to do.
SECOND PLACE: Break, Gina Burgess’s real-world story about a family that wants to do right by their son, but doesn’t have much to work with. (Gina was published in mini-contest #39.)
There are rules about burial at sea.
THIRD PLACE: Gone, the Sailor, Leonie Harrison’s real-world story of an unusual funeral. (New OTP author)
“When do you migrate away?” she found herself asking.
HONORABLE MENTION: Breathe, Jacob Mooney’s speculative story about an inter-species romance. (New OTP author)
Truth is, it could be worse. At least if something happens out here there isn’t anyone below.
HONORABLE MENTION: D.N.I.F., Andrew MacQuarrie’s real-world story about a fighter pilot with a medical problem. (New OTP author)
“The boy must have his Hunt.”
HONORABLE MENTION: The Irish Lion, Thomas Shea’s speculative story about a tradition that is getting difficult to perform. (New OTP author)