November 2010 (Issue #12)
The premise for Issue #12 was
One or more characters either exemplify strength themselves, or encounter someone, something, or some place that exemplifies any kind of strength.
We received 247 contest entries and chose five stories for prizes. No repeat winners this time; every author this issue is new to OTP. Plus we have cartoons!
Note From the Publisher: We pay up to $180 for short fiction. So why do magazines that pay nothing get so many more fiction submissions? I’m considering a rather in-your-face ad campaign and I’d like your opinion about it.
Cartoons!: You think you’ve been getting rejection letters lately? You should see my inbox. Matt Howarth illustrates six of my strongly rejected book and movie proposals for young children.
And now for our stories...
She began with the classic approach: roll up a boulder and trust that, this time, it won’t slip. This occupied her for many, many weeks.
FIRST PLACE: Boulder Number III by KJ Kabza
[T]here it was again, that scratchy little noise that didn’t belong in her house. It was coming from the kitchen.
SECOND PLACE: Blind Faith by Dawn Melodie Rae
Mealticket was showing the picture of me in the teacup. [...] I wanted to tell all those perfume-drenched women, “Stop laughing! I was a puppy! You’re fat.”
THIRD PLACE: Chamomile’s Cake by Manuel Royal
“She doesn’t like dolls,” Patricia whispered.
“She doesn’t like dolls anymore.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Visitation Day by Doree Weller
Next morning, six miles up, they were rubbing at the edges of a new word.
HONORABLE MENTION: Or Even Up by J. E. A. Wallace
Note: Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto