84th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition Winners - Writer's Digest

84th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition Winners

Publish date:

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”

Bearing vs. Baring vs. Barring (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use bearing vs. baring vs. barring on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Former Writer's Digest managing editor Zachary Petit shares his list of 15 things a writer should never do, based on interviews with successful authors as well as his own occasional literary forays and flails.


Evie Green: Imaginary Friends and Allowing Change

Author Evie Green explains why she was surprised to end writing a horror novel and how she learned to trust the editorial process.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The 3 Prime Rules of Horror Writing, Contest Deadlines, and More!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series! There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. So we're going to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.


Lenora Bell: When Fairy Tales Meet Reality TV

Bestselling historical romance author Lenora Bell discusses researching, avoiding info-dumps while still charming readers, and how her latest book was inspired by her life.


Three Keys to Crafting Chemistry Between Characters

Romance author Michelle Major explains her three go-to tips for ensuring your characters have believable chemistry.

Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

Take Two: Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

No one wants to break the bank to learn how to write a screenplay. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares practical tips on saving money on the pursuit of a screenwriting career.


10 Epic Quotes From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Here are 10 epic quotes from Watership Down, by Richard Adams. The story of a group of rabbits who escape an impending danger to find a new home, Watership Down is filled with moments of survival, faith, friendship, fear, and hope.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quintilla Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the quintilla.