When this contest originally went live, the aim was for it to appear in Opium11 in Fall 2011 (following Opium100: A Century of Literary Humor). Now, the contest finalists and winner will appear in Opium39, which will release in Fall 2011 — but there won't be an Opium100...at least not yet.
Because of the wait, everything has been pushed back, but if you haven't heard about your contest entry, that means you're still in the running. Finalists will be announced by July 31.
We can't apologize enough for our lack of communication about this, we just kept thinking the money would arrive to do everything we planned in the order we planned, and when it didn't things became difficult for us to manage, and we became frustrated, and recognized we were disappointing readers and subscribers and Opium loyalists, and our hearts were sort of breaking.
Anyway, we'll be in touch soon. If you've been impatient, you've had a right to be. But we'll have answers for you soon.
— Todd Zuniga, Opium founder
Opium Magazine’s Shya Scanlon 7-Line Story Contest
Judged by Amy Hempel
We’re thrilled to announce the return of Opium Magazine’s Shya Scanlon 7-Line Story Contest, judged by the brilliant Amy Hempel. To snare the grand prize of $1,000 (or the second- and third-place prize of $100), we ask that you submit a story seven lines or shorter.
The rules? Write a story or prose poem that is seven lines or less (8.5" x 11" paper with 1" margins). The winning story along with runners-up — and as many as 10 finalists — will be featured in Opium11, slated for release in March 2011. (We will not accept previously published work.)
The Deadline: October 4, 2010 (midnight EST)
The Cost: $10 for a single entry; $17.50 for two (to pay: shop.opiummagazine.com)
How to Submit: Submit your 7-Line story/poem by clicking here. (Make sure to tag your entry “Contest.” And, please, no .wpd files!). Then head to Opium’s Store (click the links above) to pay via credit card (sorry for the inconvenience, but we no longer accept Paypal for contest entries).
The Judge: Amy Hempel is the author of the books Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, The Dog of the Marriage and The Collected Stories. She has won many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, Rea Award for the Short Story, and is the recipient of the Hobson Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
The Reward: $1,000 for 1st Place, $100 for 2nd and 3rd Place, and publication in Opium11.
The Odds: We can’t know this until all entries are in, but we typically receive over 300 entries. We tend to publish as many as 30 of the non-finalists on our Web site.
Our first two 7-Line Story contests, featured in Opium4: Live Well (No Matter What) judged by Christopher Kennedy (won by John Colasacco) & Opium7:7 judged by Brian Evenson (won by Julius Kalamarz). While the issues are now out of print or nearly so, you can order the PDF's of the bookmark contest finalists from the two issues.
Read this stellar example of a 7-Line Story that we love (from Opium7:7):
Postcard from Mykonos
by Thomas Cooper
Estimated reading time: 30 seconds
When H and J were on vacations they wrote postcards to the Mortimers, a couple they
never knew or met. They imagined the Mortimers at home, captivated, when they received
postcards from San Tropez, Tokyo, Madrid. “Maybe we’ll visit this Thanksgiving,” he wrote.
“Why didn’t you meet us in Bangkok?” she wrote. It went on for years. But this morning,
alone in Mykonos for Christmas, at a desk window overlooking the Aegean sea, he writes
on the back of a hotel postcard that he has news he must share in person, and that he’ll
soon be on his way.