Just a reminder. If you didn’t win this writing contest it doesn’t mean:

  • you’re not a writer.
  • your words weren’t moving.

You are a writer if you choose to be one. Your words are powerful things, adding meaning to your life and to the lives of those around you.

This blog is about the process, about the discipline. If you didn’t win, ask yourself if you’re willing to work harder. Are you willing to read more? Are you willing to write more stories and submit them to more contests? Are you willing to practice here six days a week?

If you’re not willing to work harder, that’s fine. Writing is a rewarding pastime, whether you do it as a discipline or a hobby, and we’d love for you to join us as much as you like.

But maybe this is the push you need. Maybe you’ve been wanting to get more focused, to be more disciplined.

Six days a week, we practice. Six days a week we work on our writing craft. Maybe it’s time to get serious and start showing up to the blank page every day.

America Is

Photo by Keoni Cabral

The Judges

Before I announce the winner, I have to say a huge thank you to the judges: Kristi Boyce, Debra Atwood, Nancy Vandre, Lisa Burgess, Patricia Hunter, and Danielle Duvick, who were almost all previous winners of our writing contest. They work hard making sure your stories are well read and well represented. If you haven’t yet read their winning stories, you’re missing out.

Now, let’s get started….

Honorable Mentions

The first honorable mention goes Robert’s story, which I’m calling Joey’s Return, about a boy whose older brother has just returned from Vietnam. Robert captures the voice and psyche of a child amazingly well, and I love the story’s redemptive outlook.

The second honorable mention goes to Oddznns’ America is Mỹ, a story about a refugee family, fleeing the Vietnam War, who lands in Alaska. This is a dense, powerful, and beautifully written glimpse into the lives of a family who discovered both sides of the American dream.

Runner Up

The runner up is Marla’s Dear Mrs. Roosevelt, about a scrappy artist who loses everything during the Great Depression but still finds a way to love. Marla is a very gifted writer and her prose sings. I love how it shows the toughness of the human spirit. This really was a wonderful story.

The Winner of Show Off: America Is…

The winner of the “America Is…” Show Off Writing Contest is Bob Vander Lugt’s If I Had a Hammer.

This story speaks for itself. If you haven’t read it already, I encourage you to read it now.

Congratulations Bob! And congratulations to all of you, whether you were mentioned or not. I hope to see you next time.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let’s Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).