In June, we hosted the Summer Writing Contest in partnership with JBD Entertainment and Short Fiction Break literary magazine. Entering a writing contest is a huge accomplishment. You took on the challenge of writing a story and sharing it boldly with the judges. Whether your story won or not, that’s worth celebrating!

And now, drumroll, please, as we announce the winners . . .

Summer Writing Contest Winners

We received over 300 entries to this contest from so many talented writers. The judges thoroughly enjoyed reading all your stories, and with such an amazing selection, you made their job of choosing just a handful of winners very difficult.

You should be proud. We’re very proud of you.

We love writing contests. Will you join us for the next one? You can join the Fall Writing Contest here.

The Difficult Part of Contests

The thing about writing contests is, when you select one—or even several—winners, you create a lot of not-winners. (That’s different from being a loser, I think.) I’ve been there many times. Rejection is simply a part of writing.

I believe that if you’re measuring your success as a writer by how many times you’ve been published, you’re using the wrong metric. Instead, count how many times you’ve been rejected. That’s a much more accurate indicator of your effort, discipline, and seriousness as a writer.

Rather than trying to get everyone to like your stories, get as much feedback about how to improve as you can. Rather than trying to justify how good you are, work to get better.

If you do this for long enough, you won’t need anyone to tell you you’re a success. You’ll be a success all on your own.

The Judges

Before I announce the winners, I want to say an enormous THANK YOU to the terrific judges at JBD Entertainment, especially its founder, Carlos Cooper, who have worked tirelessly over the past month to read and consider our hundreds of entries. Without their immeasurable effort, this contest would not have been possible.

JBD Entertainment is a publishing company focused on giving readers and viewers their next great adventure. They produce fun, compelling stories that writers love to write and readers clamor to devour. If you think you have the spunk and talent to join their team, you can submit your information here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Everyone, say thank you to the judges in the comments.)

The Sponsors

We were supported in this contest by some pretty amazing sponsors who have provided incredible prizes. They’re definitely worth checking out:

JBD Entertainment is always on the lookout for talented authors. If you’d like to learn more about publishing with them, you can submit your information here.

Becoming Writer is the premier workshopping community from The Write Practice. Contest participants received six weeks’ access to the workshopping community to get feedback on their short stories, novel chapters, and other writing pieces.

Real Artists Don’t Starve, the new book by bestselling author Jeff Goins, debunks the myth of the starving artist and replaces it with timeless strategies for artistic thriving. Order this amazing book here.


Just to recap: The grand prize winning story was featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break, and the winner is invited to become a monthly contributor to the literary magazine. They’ll receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer, normally $180, as well as a cash prize of $300.

The second place winning story was featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. They will receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer and a $150 cash prize.

The third place winning story was also featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break. They will also receive one year of free membership to Becoming Writer and a $50 cash prize.

Ready to hear the winners?

Here we go.

Shortlisted Stories

The judges were faced with a slew of excellent stories to choose from. I’m not exaggerating when I say your great writing made their job very difficult.

You can find a shortlist of the judges’ favorites on Short Fiction Break. They are all well worth a read, so head over to Short Fiction Break and check them out.

Honorable Mentions

All these excellent stories, listed alphabetically by author, were featured on the front page of Short Fiction Break:

Candy Run by Tim Grahl
The Melting Pot by James Hardesty
The Speech by Nicholas Killham
Chester by John MacIlroy
Honorable Discharge by Chris Murphy

Third Place

The Better Part of Valor by Joslyn Chase. This story gave the judges goosebumps, and its creative dialogue, strong characters, and vivid description kept them hooked until the last line.

Second Place

Whatever Happened to Jeremy Mankin? by David Safford. The quotes in the opening line set this story’s quirky, funny tone, and the fun ride to the end doesn’t disappoint.

Grand Prize

The winner of our Summer Writing Contest and recipient of the Grand Prize is . . .

Subject 34 by Jacklyn Carroll. This story stood out to the judges from the first time they read it. It’s easy to envision as a full-length novel, yet brings together a satisfying story in just a thousand words. The story and dialogue were tight and to the point, pulling us along to the very end. It won the judges over, and we’re pleased to declare it the winner of this contest.

Congratulations to Jacklyn, and to everyone who entered this writing contest! This was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Will you join us for our next contest? Our Fall Writing Contest is now open, and we’d love to read your story! You can enter the contest here.

Share your congratulations in the comments!

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).