Creative Writing Contest: The Winning Entries

We received a lot of strong submissions for the Creative Writing Contest, and we’re thrilled to finally announce the winners. (I was the slowest judge — my bad.)

This post lists the winners, and a few other notes.

Note on private submissions

Some winners originally shared their entries through a private form so that they could submit them elsewhere if they didn’t win a prize.

I’ve now cross-posted those entries, with the date of their original submission, so that everyone can read them. (I’ve used the Forum Archives account if the author didn’t have a Forum account.)

These newly available entries include our first-prize winner!

First prize

The $10,000 first prize goes to atb, for The Unweaving of a Beautiful Thing:

It had been eighteen minutes since Death had arrived and the witch had refused to be taken.

The spell was like spiderweb, intricate threads woven into the world, and Death had paused to admire it. They’d known that the witch might fight, for the powerful often greeted them with defiance. Fire had been flung at Death in every hue, while others they’d visited had attempted deceit, offering up innocents cloaked in their own guise. One wizard had tried a love spell, not understanding that Death already loved them all. But the witch’s web was something new; it was an attempt to trap Death in its threads. It was elegant and audacious and cunning, and yet…

“You are aware,” said Death, “that this approach will fail?”

Second prizes

We had promised that at least one of these prizes would go to a nonfiction entry, but we had two fiction entries in a perfect tie for second. As a result, we’ve added a third “second prize” to account for our highest-scoring nonfiction entry.

These $3,000 prizes go to:

Third prizes

Because of the extra second prize, we’re only awarding three “third prizes”.

These $1,000 third prizes go to:

Honorable mentions

These eight entries earned a $250 Honorable Mention prize:

What’s next for the winners?

I’ve contacted the authors to let them know how they can collect their prizes. If you’re a winner and didn’t get an email, send me a DM.

Because I’m no longer at CEA, I’ll leave detailed plans to the next Content Specialist. But I do think we’ll be widely sharing the entries on social media, and I expect that we may end up using them (with authors’ permission) in some of our online resources.

If you think any of this work should be read more widely, please share it yourself! Let’s get these people the readers they deserve.

Also: If you have any ideas for how CEA could make use of all this great writing, leave a comment or send me a message!