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”
Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson discusses how she never gave up on her story, how she worked through internal doubts, and how research lead her out of romance and into historical fiction.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Seven New Courses, Writing Prompts, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce seven new courses, our Editorial Calendar, and more!

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Crystal Wilkinson: On The Vulnerability of Memoir Writing

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson discusses how each project has its own process and the difference between writing fiction and her new memoir, Perfect Black.

From Script

Approaching Comedy from a Personal Perspective and Tapping into Your Unique Writer’s Voice (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, interviews with masters of comedy, screenwriter Tim Long ('The Simpsons') and writer-director Dan Mazer (Borat Subsequent Movie) about their collaboration on their film 'The Exchange', and filmmaker Trent O’Donnell on his new film 'Ride the Eagle' co-written with actor Jake Johnson ('New Girl'). Plus, tips on how to tap into your unique voice and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Accepting Feedback on Your Writing

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not accepting feedback on your writing.

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Writer's Digest Best Creativity Websites 2021

Here are the top creativity websites as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Proest Dalgron: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn proest dalgron, a Welsh quatrain form.