Mini-Contest #32

The 32nd OTP mini-contest was held in December 2016. This mini-contest asked contestants to use no more than 40 words to show, tell, or evoke a complete story that used the word “propinquity” exactly once.

Here are our winning entries, then our honorable mentions. All seven authors are new to OTP. I can’t remember the last time we had all new authors. (Though as my co-publisher pointed out, it’s not hard to think of the FIRST time we had all new authors…)

Third Place by James Dunlop (new OTP author)

They say I have to get her out of my mind. The propinquity is holding me back.

“Please don’t leave me—”

The last thing she says, then silence.

“Sorry,” I whisper. “I’m too old for imaginary friends.”

Second Place by Jordan Kurella (new OTP author)

“Our names are Anna,” my babysitting charges said. “They’re palindromes.”

They were so identical the electric propinquity between them falsely signaled: Twins. They smiled. I shut the door. No way, I’ve read way too much Stephen King for this.

First Place by Rachel Dib (new OTP author)

Dan had always loved scuba diving. He claimed the propinquity to the marine life bonded him with nature. “You’ll never understand the ocean’s inhabitants unless you pretend to be one.” I guess the shark didn’t know he was just pretending.

Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)

Four other entries scored highly enough to earn honorable mentions.

We grew up in close propinquity. As a kid, I’d peek through her window and watch her read. Sometimes she’d invite me in, but I’d get nervous and run away. I don’t run away, anymore. I have my own key.
(by Tamera Peake, new OTP author)

Waiting for the bus. A car passes, window rolls down.


Walking home with bread yesterday, car door flies open.


Wednesday, emerging from the dentist.


This propinquity is not coincidence. How does he know where she goes?

(by Shirley Muir, new OTP author)

Since social media feels like I’m drowning in a cesspool of loneliness, I’m reminded of Mom’s advice about propinquity. She married the guy she shared an office with at her psychology lab studying attraction.

Now they’re divorced.
(by Justin Hoo, new OTP author)

Powerless to resist the effects of propinquity, Martin surrendered to the attentions of the barista as she slipped in an extra shot. He wanted to ask her out. He needed to ask her out, if only to get some sleep.
(by Erica Eastick, new OTP author)


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