by Joe Bunting
In August, we hosted the Fall Writing Contest in partnership with Short Fiction Break literary magazine. Entering this writing contest was a huge accomplishment for all our writers, and we want to celebrate the winners here on The Write Practice.
We received over 300 entries to this contest from so many talented writers. The judges thoroughly enjoyed reading all your stories, and with such an amazing selection, you made their job of choosing just a handful of winners very difficult.
You should be proud. We’re very proud of you.
The Difficult Part of Contests
The thing about writing contests is, when you select one—or even several—winners, you create a lot of not-winners. (That’s different from being a loser, I think.) I’ve been there many times. Rejection is simply a part of writing.
I believe that if you’re measuring your success as a writer by how many times you’ve been published, you’re using the wrong metric. Instead, count how many times you’ve been rejected. That’s a much more accurate indicator of your effort, discipline, and seriousness as a writer.
Rather than trying to get everyone to like your stories, get as much feedback about how to improve as you can. Rather than trying to justify how good you are, work to get better.
If you do this for long enough, you won’t need anyone to tell you you’re a success. You’ll be a success all on your own.
Before I announce the winners, I want to say an enormous THANK YOU to the terrific judges who have worked tirelessly over the past month to read and consider our hundreds of entries. Without their immeasurable effort, this contest would not have been possible.
A huge thank you to these incredible writers:
Jacklyn Carroll is writer from the South. She has a degree in English and is working on getting her master’s in Professional and Technical Writing. She currently works as a technical writer, writing documentation by day and fiction by night. Jacklyn can be found on Twitter (@jacklyn_lee) and her website. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching movies, listening to K-pop or hanging out with her cat, Dolly.
David Chase decided to write a book. It sucked. So he wrote another book. It too sucked. Then he wrote another book! It read like a history textbook, was too long and sucked. But the fourth book! He worked with some other authors and got some help and so The Gods Themselves: Artemis was born! And so it begins!
JD Edwin is a lover of all types of stories, from Stephen King to Sophie Kinsella and everything in between. In between managing a full time job and a family, she writes short stories, drafts novels that never seem to be completed, and creates art in oils, pens, and digital mediums.You can follow her latest exploits on Instagram (@remethart).
David Emery was found on the back porch in a puddle of green slime (according to his sisters). He has two published short stories, has won a Writers of the Future Honorable Mention, and has acted as a writing contest judge. You can find free stories here, his blog here, and sign up for his mailing list here.
Sarah Gribble physically resides somewhere in Ohio, but where her mind resides depends on the day. Her writing has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, the most recent being the bestselling Infinite Darkness anthology. You can find her at Sarah’s Typos and on Facebook and Twitter (@sarahstypos).
Erin Halden writes. Sometimes she gets paid, sometimes she doesn’t. She keeps writing anyway. She got her start as editor-in-chief and sole reporter for Spot News, the main daily newspaper on Jupiter (at the age of seven, no less). She can be found on her website and on Facebook and Twitter (@erinhalden).
Lesley Howard’s fiction has appeared in The Lascaux Prize Anthology 2015 and her poetry was included in an installation at the Moss Arts Center. She is currently an MFA candidate in Warren Wilson College’s low-res program, and leads writing workshops upon occasion, too. She blogs about writing at ArtOfPractice.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@LHowardwrites).
When she’s not chasing after her three children, Allison Walters Luther is crafting fiction in the historical, women’s, and thriller genres. You can read more about her and her work at allisonwaltersluther.com. She also occasionally blogs about her family’s journey with autism at simondoesntsay.com, and she spends way too much time on Twitter at @AllisonLuther.
Marcy McKay knew she wanted to write stories ever since she read about Oompa Loompas in fourth grade. She’s an award-winning short story author and copywriter as well as a freelance journalist. Marcy lives in Texas with her husband and two teens, who all still like her . . . most of the time. Connect with her at marcymckay.com.
Author and caffeine addict David H. Safford coaches writers who want to take their story-telling to the next level. Make your story an instant favorite with his free new book, The 10 Reasons Readers Quit Your Book (and How to Win Them Back). Get the book, innovative coaching, creative strategies, and more at davidsafford.com.
Alice Sudlow is a Story Grid certified editor who works on our team here at The Write Practice and edits Short Fiction Break literary magazine. She has a deep love for young adult novels and a talent for scouring dirty countertops and comma-spliced prose.
We were supported in this contest by some pretty amazing sponsors who have provided incredible prizes. They’re definitely worth checking out:
Scrivener Superpowers by M.G. Herron is the ultimate guide to Scrivener for creative writers.
Becoming Writer is the premier workshopping community from The Write Practice.
Just to recap: The grand prize winning story has been featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. The winner is invited to become a monthly contributor to the literary magazine. They’ll receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer, normally $180, as well as a cash prize of $300.
Two runners-up have had their stories featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. They will also receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer, normally $180, and a $100 cash prize each.
Ready to hear the winners?
Here we go.
The judges were faced with a slew of excellent stories to choose from. I’m not exaggerating when I say your great writing made their job very difficult.
You can find a shortlist of the judges’ favorites on Short Fiction Break. They are all well worth a read, so head over to Short Fiction Break and check them out.
All these excellent stories, listed alphabetically by author, were featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break:
“A Swell Piece of Corn” by Emily Brady. This is an adorable tale of childhood crushes and school play mishaps. Will Eric impress his crush with a role in the school Thanksgiving play, or will his stage fright bring his plans crashing down?
“It Happened on the 218” by Chris Murphy. This profound and heartwarming story left judges thinking about it long after they finished. Lee has been trying to move on from a breakup for months—but a stranger on the bus won’t allow him to let it go.
The winner of our Fall Writing Contest and recipient of the Grand Prize is . . .
“The Cidery” by Carrie Muller. This beautiful, haunting tale of one woman unleashing her fury on an apple orchard received high praise from the judges. Its elegant prose and immersive imagery captured the emotion of the scene
Congratulations to Carrie, and to everyone who entered this writing contest! This was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to reading the stories from the next one.
Share your congratulations in the comments!