2008 Writer’s Digest Annual Competition Winners

Jacob M. Appel wins 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition


Jacob M. Appel has collected more than 100 rejection letters. He first submitted work to be considered for The Missouri Review Editors’ Prize at age 15. It wasn’t until he was 34 that he finally won it. “You only see successful writers once they’re successful—not the struggle to get there,” Appel says.

Now, he has another award to place on his shelf.

“The Mistress of Wholesome” focuses on a mistress confronting her lover’s wife within a pristine condo. “Great stories take place in confined places, and from people not being able to say what they want to say,” Appel says. “Comedy comes from tension.”

In addition to being a writer, Appel is a lawyer and teacher who is currently in medical school. Long days at the hospital leave him with no other option than to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to write for an hour before reporting to his 5 a.m. shift. But he still makes time because being a writer is an important part of his daily life.

Read the winning entry | Learn more about Jacob M. Appel