Saturday, March 15, 2014

2014 Writing Contest Winners!

Our judges say that choosing was no small feat!

But for now...

This is it, folks. 
The moment you've been waiting for. 

Out of nearly 300 entries total, we are very proud to announce. . .

The Rate Your Story 2014 Writing Contest WINNERS!

Picture Book Category - Prize Winners

Credit: Roxyanne Young
1st Place

How We Made the Sky. . .Cry 
by Anne C. Bromley
and Jane L. Patton
A lyrical, free verse picture book about six-year-old Callie’s unique solution to the severe drought that has befallen her town.

2nd Place
Ribbit! Ribbit! Gotta Go! 
by Jill Proctor
When Froggy escapes from his cardboard dungeon he leads his captor, giggling school children, and a broom-wielding teacher on a flagpole-flying, death-defying chase, ultimately winning his freedom to return home to his children.

3rd Place
Little Orphan Sandy: The True Story of a Stray That Became a Star 
by Nancy Churnin
The true story of a teen who rescues a dirty, neglected and frightened dog and turns him into a Broadway star.

Picture Book Category - Honorable Mentions

A Tad Too Short 
by Heather Preusser
When Tad tries to follow his older brothers aboard the Buccaneer at Pirate Playland, the burly pirate at the other end of the plank says he’s too short, so Tad finds some friends and develops a plan to pull one past the pirate.

Funny-Face Grace 
by Krisann Bergo Brown
When Grace makes a silly face that gets stuck, she sets off a hilarious epidemic that changes the face of the world.

No Dragons Allowed 
by Kevin White
Harold the dragon's simple quest for an egg from the castle (needed to bake a cake) turns into a tale of disguises, favors, and acceptance as they all discover unity in their diversity.

Run! Run! Run! The Amazing Story of Elizabeth Zane 
by Sue Frye
In 1782, Elizabeth Zane easily outran every boy at Fort Henry, and when the fort came under siege, she made her famous run through flying arrows to grab the hidden stash of gunpowder – which saved the fort.   

Pumpkins and Promises: America’s First Halloween
by Nancy Churnin
Historical fiction about an Irish immigrant girl in 1851 who teaches her American friend about her favorite Irish holiday, Halloween, and how together they give the celebration an American twist by carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns instead of the traditional turnips.

Novel/Novella Category - Prize Winners

1st Place
30-Minute Superhero
by Sandy Grubb
Ten-year-old Nick would rather impress his friends than their mothers, but when shaking his Mr. Nice Guy image proves impossible, he takes it undercover like his old hero Superman, only to be faced with a mystery that must be solved … and time is running out.

2nd Place
Perfecting Albert Hall
by Irene Wittig
Perfecting Albert Hall is the story of a lonely, middle-aged man whose need for purpose takes him to Uganda to search for his friend’s missing child.

3rd Place
The Case of the Missing Hand
by Marcia Berneger
If Robbie and Becca don't solve the case of the missing hand, and the ensuing attempted murder, their grandparents could spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Novel/Novella Category - Honorable Mentions

Hoofin’ it to Hollywood
by Kenda Henthorn
Twelve year old Katie Kitchen dreams of Hollywood stardom, but instead, she’s stuck competing against her two older brothers for a role in her parent’s small-time, small-town western movie where it seems summer can’t get any worse—until Josh Sullivan steals her heart—and her part in the movie.

Mom Wars
by Mindy Alyse Weiss
Twelve year-old Jennifer Michaels is already at war with Mom over money issues and Dad’s disappearance when two unpredictable boys, a mysterious check, and a summer filled with secrets turn her world upside-down.

Before I Sleep
by Patti Richards
Only the Wordkeeper knows why forest darkness causes death, and Ada must find him before time runs out for her mother and her world.

Everything Else Category - Top Winners

1st Place
“Ernie Buford, Ripsnortin’ Whopper Teller” (short story)
by Sherry Walz
Ernie Buford hails from a long line of whopper tellers, but he doesn’t believe in his own ability to tell incredible tales – that is – until the day he tangles with a rough and tumble tornado.

2nd Place
“Stubborn Sam”
by Carol Woodson
A very active youngster gets more than she bargained for.

3rd Place
“I Can Do That Job in Six Sh*ts and Ten Son of a Bi*ches”
(short story)
by Mary Jo Wagner
The story of what happens when one rather non-mechanical man decides to fix a garage door opener, and prompts his children to count the swear words until the typical disaster is over.

Everything Else Category - Honorable Mentions

“Princess Polymita and Zunzun, the Hummingbird Prince: A Cuban Love Story Retold”
(folk tale)
by Betty Matthews
When Polymita, the world’s largest and most colorful land snail, despairs about her beauty and self-worth, Zunzuncito, the world’s smallest hummingbird  must tell the story behind their unusual friendship.

Ethan to the Rescue
(chapter book)
by Sheri McCrimmon
Ethan finds out superheroes have a hard life when practice rescues turn into embarrassing disasters and epic problems loom.

“Helpers of 9/11”
(nonfiction essay)
by Jacquie Sewell
In the midst of the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attack, the strength of our nation shone bright in the actions of the many Americans who answered the call to come and help.

The Magic Nose Pinchers
(chapter book)
by Danielle Dufayet
Isabelle, the French mouse, loves beauty and cleanliness, so her husband invents a pair of magic glasses that she wears everyday until one day they fall off her nose and she gets a shocking and heartbreaking surprise.

Congratulations, all!

Also, we'd like to extend a very special thank you
to the prize donors, including:

Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary

Madeline Smoot, CBAY Books

Miranda Paul, Children's Author

Our many, many judges!


  1. fantastic. 21 new potential new books to read. Well done everyone. Congratulations winners. Fantastic job everyone who entered and thanks RYS.

  2. Congratulations to all! Thanks to RYS for all you do to encourage writers.

  3. Congratulations to all the winners! And thank you RYS for offering such great opportunities!

  4. Great pitches! Congratulations to all.

  5. Thank you prize donors and judges for this fun contest. Congratulations winners!

  6. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to RYS for putting on this great contest.

  7. Congratulations to all the winners! And RYS and judges for putting on the contest.

  8. Congratulations to all the winners! And special happy and warm congratulations to my critique buddy, the incredibly talented Krisann Brown!

  9. So excited to see such great talent...and anxious to see these books in print one day!
    Congratulations to all of the winners and participants...and a BIG THANK YOU to the generous donors and hard-working judges of RYS!

  10. Congratulations to the winners. Thank you RYS for the opportunity to participate in this worthy event.

  11. Amazing talent! What a treasure trove of stories! Judges, kudos and Ty to all who donated prizes!

  12. Congratulations to all the winners!!

  13. Congratulations to all the winners! I hope to see your books on shelves soon!

  14. Big congratulations to all, especially the many Children's Book Academy graduates here. Wahoo!! And thank you for all the hard work that went into this contest.

  15. Congratulations! Sounds like a lot of great stories.

  16. Thanks, everyone, for stopping to congratulate the winners. I'd like to acknowledge everyone who entered—that takes courage and effort. Our hope is to see ALL RYS users published one day! Keep on keeping on, everyone.

  17. Congratulations to all the winners, good for you!! And thank you RYS for the opportunity to participate in this fun and exciting contest!

  18. Oh that’s awesome!!!!

    I recently came across an International Short story contest on Tallenge with $100 prize money & a chance to win Annual contest with $10000 prize.

    You can Sign up & participate for free. For further details about the contest please visit

    I seen lot of Short story writers around the globe participating in the contest :-)

  19. I wonder if I could read the actual entries. Those blurbs are pretty awesome. Hahaha! Anyway, online writing competitions are the best way to encourage other writers to showcase their talent, as well as to give them confidence in their pieces. It can also push them to their limits or allow them to try other genres where they could fit in. Kudos to all the winners! :)

    Michelle Scott @ Skild


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