Mini-Contest #22

The 22nd mini-contest was held in December 2013. This mini-contest asked contestants to tell, show, evoke, or imply a complete story in only three lines, each of which had to be exactly seven syllables long. (Seven syllables for seven years of OTP’s existence, three lines for three issues a year, for a total of 21, representing the number of published issues to date.)

Here are our winners, then our honorable mentions, then entries by some of our judges.

Third Place ($5) by Corinna Weyreter (took first place in mini-contest #19)

She hurried to the station
to tell him she’d changed her mind.
“Yes,” he said, “but so have I.”

Second Place ($10) by Laura Rittenhouse (new OTP author)

I hunt for him everywhere.
He avoids my cunning traps.
Romance is complicated.

First Place ($25) by Name (new OTP author or history)

They declare war. We ask why.
They say our world mirrors theirs,
and they hate their reflections.

Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)

Four other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.

Bird feet sketch designs on snow.
Cat’s paws follow; bird tracks end.
A drifting feather remains.
(by Janice Clark, new OTP author)

Down to the last daisy now
but Hope won’t admit defeat:
“He loves me… He loves me not…”
(by Jennifer Moore, new OTP author)

“Reward: Marry my daughter.”
The milkmaid slew the dragon.
The gay princess whooped with joy.
(by Sheila Crosby, took first place in mini-contest #1 and hon. mention in mini-contest #5, story published in Issue #17)

Special Honorable Mention for an entry we liked even though it makes no sense outside the context of our contest

Funny, when I got seven
three times in a craps game I
got thrown OFF the premises.
(by Michael McGovern, new OTP author)

Now It’s Our Turn
Some of our judges wanted to participate, too. They couldn’t enter the contest, of course, but judges can have an entry published in exchange for helping us pick the winners.

Five years sober, New Year’s Eve.
Not remembering before
Makes me need a good, stiff drink.
(by Lynn Stearns)

He tried to look on the bright
side, but fingerprinting on
the first date was ominous.
(by Kit Yona)

I tried to write a story
To enter the contest with.
All I did was draw blanks.
(by Bob Tighe)

“I think she’s dead,” Ellen said.
She shuddered, then smiled at Paul.
“Night’s still young.” Paul smirked. “Who’s next?”

(by Bryce Albertson and Melissa Piper)

Three bear rugs of different size:
one large, one small, one just right.
Poisoned porridge; golden curls.
(by Tarl Kudrick)

Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to everyone who entered the mini-contest.