Mini-Contest #56

The 56th OTP mini-contest launched in April 2023. This mini-contest asked contestants to write a story between 25 and 50 words long in which the word “unicorn” was used exactly once.

We received a record-shattering 474 mini-contest entries. Here are the winning entries, then the honorable mentions. All six winners are new to OTP.

Third Place by Anne Welsbacher (new to OTP)

She smooths the collar free of wrinkles. The pale rose dress hangs naturally, tailored to allow both room to play and decorum when still. Socks edged with pink scallops and pink Mary Janes, the child’s eternal favorites. Tucked in last, the beloved stuffed unicorn, before she closes the coffin.


Second Place by Robin Praytor (new to OTP)

“Daddy, Kevin’s father called Jeremy a unicorn. Is that bad?”

“No, sweetie. It means Jeremy is very rare and precious.”

In the nursery, Tish and Kevin loaded her armless baby brother into the wagon. “How much you think we can get for him, Kev?”


First Place by Taria Karillion (new to OTP)

So, we’re queuing to embark on our “once in a lifetime” cruise, and my partner decides he HAS to pee. Off he goes, the queue shrinks, the last horn sounds, he’s still missing, I’m PANICKING and the door host shouts, “Hey, Noah! What are supposed to do with ONE unicorn?”


Honorable Mentions (no money, just fame)

Three other entries earned honorable mentions.

Zoey looked at her lit birthday cake, concentrating on her wish. The five candles blown, she rejoiced at the sight of her desired toy unicorn. She wasn’t even mad about her little sister unwrapping the gift or yelling out “mine!”

Zoey was a big girl now; she could share.
by Chantal Bellehumeur (new to OTP)

The Head Griffin of Creature Academy glared at the first-year unicorn. “I’m banning you from the diving team. Your swim cap violates our dress code.”

Muzzle quivering, Melody fled to the restroom. After honing her horn for an hour, she emerged and slipped into the line for fencing tryouts.
by Elizabeth Spragins (new to OTP)

The white beast charged from the misty forest and pressed its horn against my chest.

I met the blue eyes. “I’ve been looking for you,” I murmured.

The voice of the unicorn filled my head. “No, you’re stalking me.” The horn raked a bloody trail across my body. “Quit it.”
by Susan Turley (new to OTP)

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