Twelfth Annual Popular Fiction Awards: List of Winners

Publish date:

Writer’s Digest would like to congratulate the winners of the 12th Annual Popular Fiction Awards. Each year, writers submit their very best short stories in one of six categories: crime, horror, romance, science fiction, thriller, and young adult. The winners of this year’s awards were chosen from over 1,000 entries and represent the very best in genre fiction. Please join us in congratulating our winners!

For complete coverage of the awards, see the May/June 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest. The stories of the Grand Prize winner and the First Place winner in each genre have been posted for you to read and enjoy (see the links below).

For more details on next year’s competition, click here!

Grand Prize

“Party Tricks” by Travis Madden (read it here)

For an extended interview with Madden, click here.


First Place
“Sister’s Night Out” by Darian Chavez (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Murder at the Trocodero” by Thomas Belton

“Nine Dead Dope Dealers” by Sara Jacobelli

“Stalked” by Jean Rover

“The Ultimate Mystery: Why” by Mal King


First Place

“Oakland Mothers, Oakland Wives” by Corey Quinlan Taylor (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Gone Fishing” by Caleb Stephens

“Parlor Games” by Chris Page

“The Scarecrow Man” by Sarah Stevens

“Special Delivery” by W.D. County


First Place

“Ladybug” by Gail Bartley (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Fix-Me-Up” by Daniel Kushnir

“Furtive Glances” by Buddy Heywood

“Indigo Dawn” by Laura Fearon

“A String of Beads” by Glenda Winders”

Science Fiction

First Place

“The Weight of Bliss” by A.M. Justice (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Ferris Wheel” by Thomas Drago

“The Master Carpenter” by Roehl Sybing

“Matters of Taste” by Brandon Crilly

“What if this is all I am” by E.C. Barrett


First Place

“Chasing Hair of Gold” by Ashley Earley (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Aggravated” by Didi Oviatt

“The Collector” by Allen Rosu

“Dark Lies” by Inge-Lise Goss

“Scents and Sensibility” by Michael Sano

Young Adult

First Place

“The Call of Llyn Caldwell” by Tamara Grubbs (read it here)

Honorable Mentions

“Billy Goats Gruff: A Retelling” by Catherine Lyon

“Coach Psycho’s Life Lesson” by Patrick Valentine

“Eyes Wide Shut” by Nikki Mann

“Old Firecrackers” by Carlos Ferr