The Shya Scanlon 7-Line Contest

18 May 2008

Opium’s wacky contests have led to loads of sensational work, from the 500-Word Memoir contest judged by Daniel Handler (for Opium5) to the 250-Word Bookmark Contest judged by Aimee Bender that will debut along with Opium6. Now it’s time to reignite Opium4’s contest–The Shya Scanlon 7-Line Story Contest–this time judged by Brian Evenson.

The rules? Easy. Write a story that is seven lines or less within margins that are 8.5″ or less. Fiction, non-fiction, prose poetry or any other excellence is allowed. The winning story, along with a handful of finalists, will appear in Opium7 which will debut on Oct. 6. Below, read two shining examples–finalists from Opium4.

Enter, and tell the world so they can enter, too!
The Deadline: August 15, 2008
The Reward: $1,000, and publication in Opium7.
The Cost: $10 for a single entry; $17.50 for two
How to Submit: Send your story to, and pay the entry fee(s)
The Odds: We can’t know this until all entries are in, but know that we do publish many stories from our contests (10 appear in Opium6, along with over 30 on
The Judge: Brian Evenson is the Director of the Literary Arts Program at Brown University. He is the author of six books of fiction, most recently The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection) and The Brotherhood of Mutilation. He has translated work by Chrstian Gailly, Jean Frèmon and Jacques Jouet. He has received an O. Henry Prize as well as an NEA fellowship.

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