Winners! Results of The Ink Well Summer Contest


Image source: hudsoncrafted on Pixabay

Hello and thank you to all the brave and talented writers who participated in The Ink Well two-week summer short story contest and workshop. Your work was wonderful to read, and we couldn't be more pleased with the response of the community, the work you put into your wonderful stories, and the support and feedback you gave to one another in the workshop process.

Qualifying Participants and Story Highlights

A total of 14 writers completed the requirements of the contest, which was a two-week process with a workshop component:

  • The first week was for drafting a story based on one of the 50 loglines provided. Additionally, all contestants were required to read and provide feedback on at least two other contestants' stories to continue to week two.
  • The second week was for polishing your story based on feedback given.

You must have completed all requirements of these two phases to qualify.

You can read the initial contest post here and the final rules and tips here.

Before announcing the winners, we would like to take the opportunity to share some highlights from all 14 of the delightful final entries. These are organized below, alphabetically.

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AuthorStoryQuoteWhat We Loved
@aimharryianneThe StoneSomebody pushed the button and started to move up, but one of them pressed the emergency stop button and shouted, “You will all do as I say, those who are going to the 13th floor!."The sense of unease that something bad is going to happen to one of the students... or perhaps all of them.
@amberkashifJack in JimmyOnce he was surfing the internet when Diana found him reading aloud a language he had never studied. Initially, Diana thought he was merely mumbling but when she observed him repeatedly, she realized he really understood and spoke that language.Something is very odd about Jimmy, and the story pulls us in as we anticipate learning the cause of his strange behaviors.
@bruno-kemaNo StrangersStanding in the middle of the street, the men looked at each other, recognition evident on their faces. Each knew the other could remember him. And the memory of their first encounter was still fresh in their minds.Highly unusual circumstances, a frightening and impactful event, and a second chance encounter.
@deeanndmathewsHow to Wreck a Birthday Party By Giving a Jade Necklace as a GiftFor weeks, Captain Hamilton had been tracking a wave of burglaries in southern Virginia, and was dismayed to discover that the wave was not coming from outside Lofton County, VA, in which Tinyville sat.An entrapment and clever capture of a local thief whose family actually names their kids after famous criminals.
@diebitchKimchi ConundrumMo-gun looked at his sister. Her pearls glistening oddly in contrast to a modest plaid dress with an apron tied around it. His eyes flickered around the house which was swamped in boxes holding the remnants of a once happy family home.A tapestry of family members and complex relationships, all made more complicated by food.
@dwixerTrappedHe tore a piece from the overcoat he wore and tied his ankle to prevent the blood from gushing. He crawled a little farther and couldn't move anymore.Great use of tension and an intriguing fantastical creature.
@hillarypowersThe Hate in His EyesLina leaned on her husband, doing her best to stifle her sobs as they walked away from the scene of yet another murder. It had only been ten minutes since they witnessed the shooting of Bartholomew, the Jewish septuagenarian who ran the bakery downtown, by men of the Kriminalpolizei. They were made to watch it. All civilians had to.Excellent character development, and Lina's total transformation from fear and sorrow to intense purpose by the end of the story.
@justclickindivaThe Last ConfrontationHis battle confrontations left him with an unsteady gait, while his propensity for the decanter left him with an inaccurate aim.A bizarre domestic squabble and an unforeseen story twist with an argumentative ghost.
@kaerpediemNobody Puts Jonny Castle in the CornerAs Jonny Castle walked through the desolate town, he thought of his mother and her obsession with the hero from the movie Dirty Dancing.That creepy feeling that something is very, very wrong... and then finding out what it is.
@kemmybThe Journey Through The CornfieldIt was a moonless night with tiny stars in the sky. The boys veered off the tarred road into the cornfield. As they walked briskly, they saw the scarecrow hanging on a tall stick in the middle of the field.The sense of terror when the scarecrow comes after the boys... and then it turns out there's more than one of them.
@ricardo993Taltahim AldhikrayatI’m in the middle of the desert, looking for the Hadaya Tadhkaria Oasis, a mythical place of incalculable beauty. Few people have been there, often by accident and not by merit. Contrary to me, I go desperate.Imagining what it must be like to love someone completely... and then forget them.
@sunnyagThe Story Begins When I Was SixWhat a lovely feeling that was! At that point, I thought I owned the world.An intriguing examination of destiny, will, and finding one's way in the world.
@ubani1The InvestigationThey began by threatening my job if I didn't drop the case. When I paid them no attention, they began to threaten my life. That still didn't work because I kept digging tenaciously, getting close to the truth about what caused my mother to abandon me.The narrator's deep desire to uncover the past and learn the truth.
@wrestlingdesiresThe Discovery of the CenturyAt first it was exciting to dig for dinosaur bones, but they didn't find anything except beach sand brought in by the tide, mud, sharp rocks, and plenty of icy water.The imaginative sci-fi adventure of two boys and their thrilling discovery.

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Contest Winners!

Friends, selecting winners from all those splendid choices was not an easy task! In selecting the winning entries, the qualities we looked for were:

  • Originality: Fresh and interesting writing themes, characters and conflicts.
  • Quality of writing: Nice “turns of phrase”, settings that are so well described we can “see” them, well-defined characters and good dialog.
  • Quality of editing: Good sentence structure, grammar and punctuation.
  • Overall great story: A captivating and memorable tale with all the important elements of a good short story, including character development, a good setting, dialog between characters, an interesting conflict, and a resolution of the conflict.

Congratulations to the winners:

Rewards will be in your wallets shortly.

Thank you everyone! We hope you enjoyed the contest as much as we did. Please drop a comment to let us know how you liked the workshop aspect of the contest, and if you would like to participate in a contest of this type again. We appreciate the feedback!

@jayna, @agmoore and @gracielaacevedo

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