Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry Contest
The OddContest is an annual competition for speculative (science fiction, fantasy, or horror) stories or prose poems no longer than 500 words. The contest has been sponsored since 2008 by Odyssey Con. The contest offers cash prizes, convention memberships, and books in both Adult and Youth divisions.
The entry deadline
is January 15th, 2017
was extended to January 31st, 2017. The time for entries has
passed, and submissions have been judged. An awards ceremony and
reading of the 2017 winning entries will be held at Odyssey Con 17. The
winners and their offerings are
listed below, and will be published in the Odyssey Con program.
Printable Writing Contest Flier
Mary Soon Lee
2017 Contest Judge
Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh.
Crowned, which won the 2016 Elgin Award from the Science Fiction
Poetry Association, is the first part of her epic fantasy-in-verse about the
heroic King Xau, The Sign of the Dragon. Crowned is available at Dark
http://darkregions.com. Several poems from this epic, including the
Rhysling Award-winning poem “Interregnum,” may be read at
Adult Division: 18 and over, $10 thereafter entry fee per story/poem; multiple entries allowed
Prizes: $500 to first place; Odyssey Con membership and books to top 3
Youth Division: under 18 as of Jan. 1, 2016, NO entry fee, one entry per writer
Prizes: $50 to first place; Odyssey Con membership and books to top 3
All works of SF/fantasy/horror flash fiction or prose poetry 500 words and under will be accepted from any entrants: membership in the convention is not required. We do not accept previously published works, but welcome simultaneous submissions.
All submissions must be in .doc or .rtf or format for acceptance. Youth may send only one entry. Mutliple Adult submissions need to be sent as separate documents with a $10 fee for each submission. Include mailing address in body of e-mail.
For more helpful definitions and the FAQ page, click
For writing and submission guidelines, click here
How to Enter
The OddContest is closed for this year.
Announcing this year's winners! Winners are listed below with comments from
our judge. Click on the title to read their story.
Adult Division - Winners
This year we had 57 entries in the Adult Division, with the winners listed
below. Click on the titles to read the winning stories.
- First Place: "The
Sea Breathes Salty" by David Talon, Egg Harbor City NJ
- This story drew me in from its first paragraph and held me throughout. I found it well-crafted, melancholic, moving. It skillfully suggests the sweep of the narrator’s life (“wires with a plastic smile stole your profession”). I appreciated that the girl doesn’t resort to trickery, and the story persuaded me that the man might nonetheless let her in. I loved the ending, especially how the girl’s face is not described as gentle, but rather as almost gentle. Excellent.
- Second prize: "It All Goes by So Fast" by Karla Onstott, Jamul, CA
- This is a lovely, poignant story of a girl and a unicorn. The
epistolary structure compactly conveys how Lucy is changing, and the impact
of that upon the unicorn. The final three letters, all from Rainbow with no
response from Lucy, are haunting.
- Third prize: "Welcome to Death" by
Meghan Bechtel, Forest Hills, NY
An imaginative, highly entertaining and distinctly bizarre portrayal of the afterlife (humans existing in eight interlocking layers??) I particularly liked the levity. Very nicely done.
Adult Division - Honorable Mentions
- "The Fall" by Ken Poyner, Norfolk, VA
- "No Boundaries" by Sam Morgado, Gloucester, MA
Adult Division - Finalists
- "Analog Top 40" by Holly Lyn Walrath, Seabrook, TX
- "Attic Monster" by Michelle Cox, Wildwood, MO
- "The Blood Parrot" by Penelope Cottier, Lyneham, ACT, Australia
- "Candont" by Deborah L. Davitt, Houston, TX
- "Code de Puissance" by Carmen Kern, Scottsdale, AZ
- "Eating Sunshine" by Julie Fitzpatrick, Madison, WI
- "Exit Interview" by Patricia Semler
- "Floor Model People" by Megan McIntosh
- "Garbage Days" by Karin L. Frank, Odessa, MO
- "The Great Game" by Jenn Collins, Waukesha, WI
- "Life Lessons" by Shannon Connor Winward, Newark, DE
- "Lifetime" by Monica Ho, Morganville NJ
- "Lot for Sale" by Michael Simon, Saint John, NB, Canada
- "Night Mare" by Susan Taitel, Minneapolis MN
- "Sugar Tastes Sweet Here" by Kenneth Dickson, APO
- "Witchcraft Is a Selfless Art" by Hannah Froggatt, Huddersfield, United
Youth Division - Winners
This year we had 153 entries in the Youth Division, with the winners
listed below. Click on the titles to read the winning stories.
- First Place: "A
Farmer’s Guide to Growing Faceroot" by Zoe Leonard, Phoenix, MD (16 yrs.)
- I love this. I love the bizarre and original premise. I love the choice to present that premise in the form of farming advice. I love the smooth consistency of the tone. I love the details, which lend verisimilitude. I love how the piece is both sinister and humorous. Entirely wonderful.
- Second prize: "How
It Works" by Jacqueline Yang, NJ (17 yrs.)
This is a fantastic (and fantastical!) parody of the Alcoholics Anonymous
handbook. The central idea is great, and the execution of that idea is
excellent. I particularly appreciated the humor, such as the mention of
“grave robbing disorders.” Highly entertaining and very nicely done.
- Third prize: "A
Fishy Character" by Brittany Kang, NJ (16 yrs.)
- This is a light, sweet, delightful story. In a short space, it succeeds in making both Lucy and Lisa likable, and their friendship convincing. The opening paragraphs provide sufficient clues to support the revelation that Lisa is a mermaid. The second revelation—that Lucy’s mother is also a mermaid—surprised me in just the right way.
Youth Division - Honorable Mentions
- "Everything" by Nina Navazio, Allendale NJ (17 yrs.)
- "A Glimpse" Hannah Weibel, Hartford, WI (17 yrs.)
- "The Hero’s Journey" by Christina Kim, Albertson NY (15 yrs.)
- "It Crawls.…" by Jordan Barrow, Lane Davie, FL (17 yrs.)
- "One Gray Arrow" by Sydney E. Froemke, Lindstrom MN (17 yrs.)
Youth Division - Finalists
- "Awake" by Jenna Bao, Cincinnati, OH (16 yrs.)
- "The Endless War" by Nicole Nixon, Pinecrest, FL (16 yrs.)
- "Half a Picture" by Victor Wall, Denver, CO (14 yrs.)
- "I’m Special" by Vincent Phan, 16, Houston, TX (16 yrs.)
- "Morning Routine" by Kaya Dierks, San Francisco, CA (14 yrs.)
- "Once" by Ray Shek, Gainesville, FL (17 yrs.)
- "The Receptionist" by Vanit Shah, Ontario, Canada (15 yrs.)
- "Rewind" by Nini Nguyen, Houston, TX (17 yrs.)
- "A Savory Bite by Seth Roetenberger" by Amelia OH (16 yrs.)
- "The Shogun of Alabaster and Indigo" by C. Rollins, Houston, TX (17 yrs.)
- "The Theseian Delusion" by Harsimran Kalsi, Brookfield, WI (17 yrs.)
- "Rotten" Bronwyn Hughes, Greendale, WI (17 yrs.)
List of Past Winners
Linked below are the lists of winners from each year, 2008 to present. In each list will be found copies of the winning entries.