Skip to main content

84th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition Winners

Writer’s Digest would like to congratulate the 101 winners of the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition! For full coverage of the awards, please check out the November/December 2015 issue of Writer’s Digest.

Grand Prize

Brenda Scott Royce, “Alphabet Games” (Mainstream/Literary Fiction). Read Royce’s winning entry here. An extended Q&A with our winner is also available.

Children’s/Young Adult Fiction

  1. Tonja E. Betts, “How to X-ray Your Zebra”
  2. A. Reslan, “Ribbon”
  3. Patricia Prakope, “#Weird!”
  4. Kenda Henthorn, “Harley and Marley”
  5. Katelyn Sather, “Shallows”
  6. Lesia Stangret, “Children’s Food the Monster’s Way”
  7. Patricia Clune O’Hanlon, “A Kid Named Musimbwa”
  8. Mary Bleckwehl, “The Attention Invention”
  9. Lesia Stangret, “Farm in Chaos: Vowels Quit!”
  10. Megan Boudreau, “A Camel in Sheep’s Clothing”

Genre Short Story

  1. Wilder Merrill, “The Mail Goddess”
  2. Wilder Merrill, “One Shot – One Kill”
  3. Marian Bickenbach, “Seeing Double”
  4. Jessika O’Sullivan, “Petersburg, Antietam, Chancellorsville”
  5. Diane Fitzsimmons, “Namesake”
  6. Laura Osborn-Coffey, “I Never Meant to Do Good”
  7. Brian Brickner, “Potential”
  8. Phoebe Otis, “Remember Me”
  9. Wilder Merrill, “A Bad Place to Visit and a Worse Place to Live”
  10. Michael Ainaire, “A Night on Clayton’s Farm”

Inspirational Writing

  1. Sharon Delaney, “Salve Regina”
  2. Carl F. Smith, “A Christmas Story”
  3. Angie Sarhan, “Angels Calling”
  4. Nancy Hoag, “Why Make Their Hunger My Problem”
  5. Jacqueline C. Goodyear, “Living with a Warrior’s Heart”
  6. Barbara Altamirano, “God is Found in Imperfection”
  7. Sheryl H. Boldt, “My Husband Gave Me 30 Days”
  8. Sue Lawrence, “Blisters, Bibles and Barbeque: 20 Years of Walking with an Old Rugged Cross”
  9. Charity Ayres, “What’s Left Behind: Daddy’s Girl”
  10. Audrey Obremski, “Learning to Mind My Own Business”

Magazine Feature Article

  1. Rebecca L. Rhoades, “Plain People, Fancy Cheese”
  2. Elaine K. Howley, “Bearing Witness”
  3. Amy Fish, “Pancakes for Breakfast, Crepes for Lunch”
  4. Lisa Hoadley, “Even the Food Bank is Broke”
  5. Linda Mereness Kleinschmidt, “Discover Music When You Write”
  6. Leslie Wibberley, “Raising a Child with Special Needs: A Different Perspective”
  7. Karin Goodwin, “My Jade Egg (2K)”
  8. Emily MacGregor, “The Inner Thoughts of this Almost-Vegan (No, It's Not Because I Think I'm Better Than You)”
  9. Paraskevi Maddox, “Cuba Unraveled”
  10. Sheryl Aronson, “How to Be Parisian in One Hour”

Mainstream/Literary Short Story

  1. Kalyn Josephson, “A Bit Scruffy”
  2. Cindy Vining, “Hair Cuts”
  3. Barbara Weitzner, “Roz the Boz”
  4. Charlie Richards, “A Kind of Tempered Happiness”
  5. Nicole Dell, “The List”
  6. Brown Cardwell, “Edith”
  7. Vicky Savage, “Nowhere, Man”
  8. Sandra Windsor, “Forty-Two Dodger Blue”
  9. Jim Holladay, “The Empty Rocking Chair”
  10. Janet Martinez, “Amy’s Shoes”

Memoir/Personal Essay

  1. Lynne M. Smelser, “How to Write a Bad Essay for All the Right Reasons”
  2. Iryn Tushabe, “The Star in My Dream”
  3. Anne Gudger, “J.’s Paint Sweatshirt”
  4. Sandra Louise Staton-Taiwo, “Perfect Peace”
  5. Morgan Smith, “One Eyed in Juarez”
  6. Annie Kochevar, “After Prom”
  7. Erin Davis, “An Introduction”
  8. Roz Spafford, “Left Behind”
  9. Sondra Raines Brooks, “Vincent”
  10. Susette V. Shreve, “With Love …”

Nonrhyming Poetry

  1. George Amabile, “Mind Set”
  2. Marya Smith, “Flyaway Nest”
  3. Chuck Miceli, “Miner’s Lament”
  4. Carmen Bugan, “A walk with my father on the Iron Curtain”
  5. Jan Hanson, “Seventy-Seven Degrees”
  6. Frank McNair, “The Steps My Best Friend Built”
  7. Suellen Wedmore, “My Life as a Sewing Machine”
  8. Daniel I. Beilman, “The Night of Broken Glass”
  9. Paul Weidknecht, “Shadow of the Kayak”
  10. Lynn Shaffer, “Foaling Barn at Daybreak”

Rhyming Poetry

  1. Vince Gotera, “What Matters”
  2. Robbie Lunt, “Lighting Designer’s Lament”
  3. Melissa Cannon, “Marianne Moore Names the Galaxie”
  4. Jeannette Barnes, “For the People Who Came to Hear”
  5. Rachael Scandarion, “This. Shell.���
  6. Kathleen McClung, “Nashville Labyrinth”
  7. Lynn Shaffer, “Epileptic”
  8. Melissa Cannon, “Nocturne for Too-Early Birds”
  9. Helen Mesick, “Waltzing With Bears”
  10. Valerie Graham Campbell, “My Mother’s Wake”

Stage Play

  1. Craig J. Donald, “Riding the Circuit”
  2. Robert Tsonos, “It’s Time”
  3. Diane Baia Hale, “The Marble Muse”
  4. Cary Pepper, “Cufflinked”
  5. Suzanne Kelman, “Over My Dead Body”
  6. Rae Binstock, “We Are the Light of the World”
  7. Brown Cardwell, “Ben’s Place”
  8. Chris Early, “Being Ten”
  9. Vanessa Garcia, “The Crocodile’s Bite”
  10. Wayne Christensen, “Eve’s Garden”

Television/Movie Script

  1. Kimberly Fears, “The Casius Tournament”
  2. Julie M. Mockett, “Liberation”
  3. Denise Johnson, “love take two”
  4. Davern Wright, “Twisted”
  5. Louis Spirito and Gary McGill, “Out-rageous”
  6. John Pisano-Thomsen, “Dietrich Danzig”
  7. Eugene Varney, “The Matchless Tabors”
  8. Nicholas Kats, “Ruth”
  9. Mitch Smith, “Conheartists.com”
  10. Lynne M Smelser, “The Last Caller”
Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

Adalyn Grace: On Writing for Escape

New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace discusses combining her favorite genres into her new YA fantasy novel, Belladonna.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our September/October Cover Reveal, a Competition Deadline Reminder, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our September/October 2022 cover, a competition deadline reminder, and more!

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Writing Nonfiction History vs. Historical Fiction

Author John Cameron discusses how nonfiction history and historical fiction are more similar than they are different.

Bob Eckstein | Publishing Survival Tips

Top 10+ Survival Tips for Publishing

Poignant advice from some of the funniest people in publishing.

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

Zac Bissonnette: On the Passionate Community of Mystery Lovers

New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette discusses the process of writing his new cozy mystery, A Killing in Costumes.

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

My Long, Winding, and Very Crooked Writing Journey

Every writer’s publishing story is different. Here, author Sharon M. Peterson shares her journey from writing to publishing.

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Writer's Digest July/Aug 2022

The WD Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The bestselling author of Mexican Gothic shares her approach to world-building, character development, and what she’s learned about the business of writing in this interview from the July/August 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

Thinking of starting your own newsletter? Let freelance writer Sian Meades-Williams lay out 9 pros and cons of writing a newsletter.