The 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Winners

Writer’s Digest would like to congratulate the 101 winners of the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition! For full coverage of the awards, please check out the November/December 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Grand Prize

Melodie Edwards, “Heroine Addiction” (Stage Play and Television/Movie Script). Read Edwards’ winning entry here. An extended Q&A with our grand-prize winner is also available.

Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

  1. John Buentello, “The Terrible Troll”
  2. Barbara Layman, “Day Dreamer and the Sleeping Giants”
  3. Brooklyn West, “The Curse of Sap River”
  4. Lindsay Leslie, “Wanted: Dusk Raiders”
  5. Emma Tennier-Stuart, “1558”
  6. Asha Azariah-Kribbs, “The Teacup Fairy”
  7. Sara Hale, “The Pride of Calhoun County”
  8. James Roth, “Zoo Day”
  9. Sandy Quandt, “Splintered and Shattered on the Inside”
  10. Pamela Love, “A Handful of Rain?”­­

Genre Short Story

  1. Leslie Wibberley, “A North Wind”
  2. Gretchen B. Phelps, “Genesis”
  3. Jill Bisker, “Beyond Measure”
  4. Rowland Creitz, “A Meeting of the Minds”
  5. Diane Walker, “The Last Tea”
  6. Ronan Takagi, “Ake Ome”
  7. Rebekah Newcome, “The Burning in My Chest”
  8. Cassandra Flores, “Of Gods and Dragons”
  9. Alexandria Simmons, “A White Rose for His Lady”
  10. CJ Montgomery, “Rogue”

Inspirational Writing

  1. Mary Novaria, “Change of Heart”
  2. Kristina Raven, “Pea-Sized Lumps”
  3. Marybeth Cobble, “Raspberry”
  4. Paula Drake, “Mission of Hope”
  5. Joyce Putman, “Be There to Meet You”
  6. Tinisha Price, “Hello ‘ME’”
  7. David Allen, “Crossing the Sun”
  8. Jan Stagg, “A Surprise for Samurai”
  9. Nita Carroll, “The Wave”
  10. Teresa Weaver, “Best Words”

Magazine Feature Article

  1. Dyan Neary, “We Need to Talk About Frankie: Prescribing Anti-Psychotic Drugs to Toddlers”
  2. Cheryl Katz, “The Sad Saga of Iceland’s &#$% Balls”
  3. Erin Chesnut, “Standing in the Breach”
  4. Marsha Porter, “My Breast Reduction Surgery”
  5. Debbie Lee, “Local Woodworkers Honor Veterans in Unique Way”
  6. Elaine Howley, “Supernova Sarah Thomas”
  7. Christy Heitger-Ewing, “‘Mr. Roncalli’ Bob Tully: A Blessing at Roncalli High School for the Past 55 Years”
  8. Leslie Wibberley, “The Bare Truth”
  9. Don North, “Coon Thien: The Most Dangerous Battlefield in Vietnam 1967”
  10. Tiffanie Wen, “What I Learnt Using a Friendship App”

Mainstream/Literary Short Story

  1. Laine Cunningham, “The Butterfly Tree”
  2. Natasha Post, “I, Alphabet”
  3. Ilean Tayler, “If All the Stars Went Out”
  4. Marcella Cordova, “Warmth”
  5. Janita Lo, “The Wise Emperor”
  6. Bill Hinthorn, “A Short Guide to West Texas Wildflowers”
  7. Paula Matzek, “Good Will”
  8. Joey Garcia, “Frank Sinatra Saved My Life”
  9. Melissa Crickard, “The Very Pertinent News of Gabriel Vincent de Vil”
  10. Kathy Joyce, “Secrets of an Old Maid”

Memoirs/Personal Essay

  1. Tanya Britton, “Colours of Lenny”
  2. Bethany Loper, “Everything in Between”
  3. Claire Stevens, “On the Nights I Rot”
  4. Sandra Staton-Taiwo, “Perfect Peace”
  5. Christopher Congdon, “We Had Sandwiches”
  6. Vikki Reich, “The Days Are Paper Thin”
  7. Leo Atteberry, “The Rats”
  8. Ann M. Rezelman, “True North”
  9. Kevin Chow, “Your Skin Cells Peeled Off of Your Body and New Ones Did Not Grow in Their Place”
  10. Anja Block, “Dog Days”

Non-Rhyming Poetry

  1. Alison Luterman, “Candle”
  2. Elizabeth Estella, “Park Avenue, Paterson”
  3. Gloria Murray, “Wedding Dream”
  4. Terri Paul, “Stills”
  5. Elizabeth Estella, “Kid”
  6. Vincent Hiscock, “High Sierra”
  7. Pattie Palmer-Baker, “In Terms of Black and White”
  8. Ondrej Pazdirek, “To K.H. Macha: A Confession”
  9. Chivas Sandage, “In the Beginning”
  10. Joan Peck Arnold, “Hey Doc”

Rhyming Poetry

  1. Melissa Cannon, “Voice Lessons”
  2. Tonya Emille Harvey, “The Sisters Belong to the Red-Hot Mamas”
  3. Carla Conley, “Four Is Whenless”
  4. Leland James, “Alzheimer’s”
  5. Herbert Guggenheim, “Poet”
  6. Meghan Stark, “Primaveral Pulse”
  7. Melissa Cannon, “The Angel of Death”
  8. Patricia Powell Hundley, “North Georgia Hyacinths”
  9. Brian Timmerman, “An Overnight Nest”
  10. Harvey Soss, “Alice’s Very Own Alarm Clock”

Stage Play and Television/Movie Script

  1. Emily Hughes, “Juniper Hills”
  2. William Gebby, “North Star”
  3. N. Christopher, “Picking Up”
  4. John Pisano-Thomsen, “Pride & President”
  5. Christin Haws, “Stateline”
  6. Simon Bowler, “Insurrection”
  7. Donna McCullough Noval, “Easter Rising”
  8. Jessika Scott, “Don’t Call Me a Millennial”
  9. Barry Brennessel, “Anh Sang”
  10. Miki Kim, “After the Fall”


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