Announcing the Winners of Our Fourth Annual Short Story Contest

October 7, 2021

Thanks to everyone who bravely embraced the challenge of this competition! We received entries spanning a wide range of genres—from historical fiction to romance to fantasy—and after many hours of reading, sorting, and discussing, Josiah and I chose our finalists. The results were close as always, and we hope that will encourage you to participate in future contests. For the moment, however, please join us in showering the victors with accolades and confetti! They’ve earned it.


First Place: “The Girl Who Drove the Getaway Car” (Historical Fiction) by Rachel Leitch

Isla Medlock, the daughter of an upscale fashion designer, would rather devote her time to tinkering with Ford’s latest models than modeling her mother’s creations. When her cousin finagles her a job as the chauffeur for one of the most prestigious families in London, she feels like she’s climbed behind the steering wheel of her dreams—until she realizes he’s placed her in the starring role of a scheme to steal the vehicle.


The protagonist’s distinct personality and the richly crafted setting captured our attention right away. We’re excited to share this story next Thursday!


Meet the Author

Rachel Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! When she’s not hidden away, penning young adult historical adventures, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, rambling through history, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all of her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights.


For more lessons drawn from books and movies and other stories, follow her adventure journal at https://racheljleitch.weebly.com.


Second Place: “Simple Dances” (Contemporary) by Dani Renee

After elderly Mr. Cotter makes a trip to the cemetery with a bouquet for his beloved wife, his growling stomach leads him to his favorite diner. But instead of enjoying his meal in peace and solitude as he’d hoped, a woman with a flapping mouth and a dripping umbrella reminds him that he’s been ignoring another kind of hunger for far too long.


The heartwarming theme and candid yet elegant narrative endeared this story to us. Read it on October 21st!


Meet the Author

Dani Renee is a historical fiction enthusiast, outdoor wanderer, and teller of stories. When her pen meets paper, daring heroines, quirky characters, and adventure-seeking tales unfold. She has a heart for telling stories of old in fresh and invigorating ways. If she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found on a local stage in the latest play that has caught her fancy. Her most recent publication, “Mistaken Shadows,” was featured in the winter 2021 issue of Spark Flash Fiction magazine and won the readers’ choice prize.


Honorable Mention: “Always” (Dystopian) by Emma Wingate

Meet the Author

When Emma was seven years old, she wrote her first story. While it lacked a plot and correctly spelled words, it began her love of writing. Now Emma delights in writing poetry and short stories. She finds great enjoyment in creating sentences that infuse the extraordinary into the ordinary. Reading other people’s work inspires her to improve her own craft, and she’ll often reread stories again and again. Emma is a senior in high school and hopes to major in nursing. When she’s not writing stories or devouring a book, she loves competing in speech and debate, hanging out with family and friends, studying theology, singing dramatic songs, and eating lots of ice cream.


Honorable Mention: “Children of Arnbjørg” (Fantasy) by Sara Francis

Meet the Author

Sara Francis is a coffee-addict who loves to create. Ever since she was little, she’s told stories in everything she does. Whether it’s art, music, design, or literature, everything has a purpose and a deeper meaning for her. Now she’s the author of the sci-fi dystopian trilogy The Terra Testimonies and other publications. Through her work, she hopes to light a torch in the darkness, inspiring others to do the same and make the world bright again. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Honorable Mention: “Hero of the Show” (Contemporary) by Gretchen Whittington

Meet the Author

For as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Gretchen Whittington has been an avid storyteller, creating varying narratives of everything from stuffed animal sagas, to country name short stories, to filming a play-reality TV show with her trusty childhood camera. Now, as a novelist, she finds energy in the smile a witty character’s quip can bring and builds her passion in the hopes of one day making someone think a little deeper about life and Christ through her writing.


Story scribbling doesn’t take all her time, though. When she can be pried from her computer’s keyboard, Gretchen spends her time studying, playing the piano, researching random topics, and enjoying life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her family, pets, and close friends.



Congratulations to all, and be sure to return to our blog to view the first and second place stories that will be published in the coming weeks!


  1. Savannah M.

    Yay! Congratulations, Rachel, and everyone else!

    • Rachel L

      Aw, thank you so much!

    • Rachel L

      Aw thank you so much!

  2. Joelle Stone

    Congrats, y’all!!! Can’t wait to read those awesome stories. 😉

  3. Brian Stansell

    Congratulations, Everyone!
    I am so looking forward to reading your fantastic tales! May the Creator shine His light in every reflection you put to pen and key!
    Many Blessings!

  4. Terah

    GREAT JOB GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMEZING WONDERFUL WORK YA’LL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *so proud*

  5. Lily

    Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions!! Can’t wait to read the winning stories too!


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