2013 Winners

Contest Statistics


CATEGORY 1 Ages 18 to 21 (300 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “Big Brother/Little Brother” by Rafi Bocarsly (US)
READ Rafi’s story which he says was inspired by his own sibling relationships.
This was the top story by an 18 year old writer. Winner of $100 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer, and publication on the LTC website.

“It is an honor to be published on LTC. This is my first publication and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my work with other people, especially aspiring, thoughtful writers. For me, the world is a blurry place and writing is like putting on the perfect pair of glasses. It makes everything clearer. It’s nice to be able to let other people try on my glasses and see if the prescription fits.” – Rafi

SECOND PLACE – “At the Orphanage” by Adele Spilchen (Canada)
This was the top story by a 21 year old.
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I want extend a huge thank you to the team at Laura Thomas Communications and, of course, to you, Laura. I think this (and every competition you are organizing) is a great opportunity for young, aspiring writers, and being selected for second place when there were so many submissions to the competition is a huge honour. This experience has really boosted my confidence as a writer.” – Adele

THIRD PLACE – “The Ganzfeld Experiment” by Rich Larson (Canada)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“It’s an honor to be picked from such a vast pool of entrants and gives me hope that one day I might achieve some modicum of success in the writing world.” – Rich

FOURTH PLACE – “Birthmark” by Margie Banda (Canada)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I honestly did not expect anything because this was a story I wrote for an English postcard story assignment. After reading “Birthmark” in class, my teacher then suggested possibly entering into a contest in which I found your link on the class website! In all honesty, I never write stories unless it is in class and to find out that my story was appreciated, really motivates me to start writing on my own time! I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to submit my story not only because I was able to win a prize, but to have this realization that my stories can be powerful. And that in itself is an even better reward!” – Margie

FIFTH PLACE – “Doorways” by Ashleigh Mounser (Australia)
This was the top story by a 19 year old writer.
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

SIXTH PLACE – “John” by Freya Berenyi (Australia)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I often find the prospect of entering writing competitions daunting, as it can be difficult to offer something that is very personal to be judged by a stranger. Given the large number of entrants in the Junior Authors Short Story Contest, with stories from all around the world, I was not expecting to receive anything from this competition. Winning this award gives me a sense of validation that my writing is on the right track and encourages me to continue with my creative writing. I write for enjoyment, stress relief and as a way to understand interactions happening around me, so it is nice to have my effort appreciated by an audience external to my immediate family members. This award has given me confidence to enter more competitions in the future and has motivated me to start on my next story soon!” – Freya

“The Death of a Hero” by Diganta Sarkar (India) – Top story by a 20 year old writer.

“It’s an honor to be awarded something as prestigious. This being my first ever exploit in the field of writing, it shall hold a very special place in my heart. Honestly, after getting this recognition, I solemnly believe that I can, actually, pursue my teenage dream of becoming an author. Thank you a lot ma’am, and I do hope to participate in this contest again next year.” – Diganta


CATEGORY 2 Ages 15 to 17 (723 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “Northern Lights” by Celina Wang (Canada)
READ Celina’s story which she says was inspired, in part, by missing her sister.
This was the top story by a 17 year old writer.
Winner of $100 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer, and publication on the LTC website.

“I’ve been writing all my life, but rarely have I ever finished a story, or shown anyone my writing. Writing stories is my passion but it’s really easy for me to fall into ruts, or become disillusioned with the thought that I’ll never get anywhere worthwhile with this, and it’s just a hobby, not a stable, realistic life choice… Winning this competition meant so much to me – it’s shocking, but it also makes me proud, that I’m capable of such an accomplishment, and was capable of it all along. It’s a realization, coming to terms with the idea that I might actually have something special, and I could do something great with it. It’s also made me realize that I have to actively get myself out there, in order to let my words be heard. It’s definitely scary, but there are opportunities out there and it’s up to me to seize them – and I’m definitely glad I did, this time!” – Celina

SECOND PLACE – “The New Mothers” by Benjamin Sonnenberg (US)
This was the top story by a 16 year old writer.
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I should start off by saying that while I am extremely happy with having achieved this, my number one intention is not to win money or prizes or recognition (although that stuff isn’t so bad), but to keep on writing. However, this is the first time someone other than my parents have given me kudos on the writing, and to be honest, it feels pretty darn fantastic. I like to think accomplishments as little rocks you step on to get across the river, the river being the ultimate goal. My ultimate goal is to someday be a published novelist, and while that’s indescribably difficult, I’ve got time, youth, exuberance, and a good bit of passion to try and get across that water. Anyway, I think this was a big step and I really want to thank you for giving it to me.” – Benjamin

THIRD PLACE – “Remember Me” by Valerie Cai (China)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Being a winner feels good-it always does, it would almost be an insult if one felt anything less than ecstatic to win in this competition. However, specifically to myself, this certificate is something special. To understand my point of view, I will have to summarize my story into a sentence: A girl goes to visit her father who has Alzheimer’s, reminisces about her childhood, and struggles to accept the fact that her father cannot remember her name. The father in the story is, in reality, my grandfather. Therefore, to me, this certificate is a symbol of understanding—an understanding that someone took the time to read my story, to ponder upon it, and to relate, and that is the greatest gift of all.” – Valerie

FOURTH PLACE – “How They Judge Pickles” by Victoria Girkins (US)

Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Any writer can show their work to well-meaning family and friends and have them say that it is ‘really good.’ But I always wished I could have a professional author look at my writing and tell me what they really thought. When I saw that I had made it into the top six, a light bulb turned on inside my head. All of a sudden, I realized: I can do this. I can write. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time anymore; I feel like I am investing it into one of the professions of my dreams.” – Victoria

FIFTH PLACE – “The Early Shift” by David Cvelbar (Australia)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

SIXTH PLACE – “Loners” by Mirabelle Eze (Canada)
This was the top story by a 15 year old writer.
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“This contest has proven to me that my dream to be a writer is not just some flimsy aspiration or unachievable goal. That, with hard work and determination, it is bound to become a reality. To place even in the top thirty was incredibly motivating—seeing my name there sent shivers down my spine—hence, one can only imagine how elated I felt upon hearing I placed sixth. In fact, wherever you are, whoever you are, I encourage you, an aspiring author, to keep on aspiring. Whether you placed or not, whether someone has told you that you’re not good enough, whether you’ve felt so infinitesimal for so long, you’re not crazy. You’re not crazy to believe that your words have the power to shape a generation, to entertain a millennium. So, be a reacher, stick that hand out as far as you can and never take it back until you’ve held your dream in the palm of your hands. Laura Thomas has given us all an incredible opportunity, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank-you.” – Mirabelle


CATEGORY 3 Ages 12 to 14 (569 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “That Extra Cup of Tea” by Harsha Pattnaik (India)
READ Harsha’s story
This was the top story by a 13 year old writer.
Winner of $100 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer, and publication on the LTC website.

“This is the first time I’ve ever won a short story competition as gigantic as this. This was truly an international competition and honestly, I felt that I wouldn’t win even the sixth position, let alone the 1st Position. Winning this competition has given me the confidence to continue my writing and has fueled my passion for writing. I’m really thankful to Laura Thomas and her associates for organizing this competition for many aspiring young writers like me. Thanks and thanks again.” – Harsha

SECOND PLACE – “Full of Treasures” by Emily Bruggemann (Australia)
This was the top story by a 14 year old writer. Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to take part in this competition, as soon as I heard about it I knew I had to enter! I never actually expected to hear anything about my story so I was thrilled when I found out that I was a finalist. I have always wanted to be a writer and I have been writing from a very young age. This competion has really strengthened my ambitions and I hope to be a published author one day. Thank you so much for running this competition. The young authors conference sounded so amazing and I was disappointed that I couldn’t take part. I hope you decide to host one in Australia one day. With the Amazon gift card I am hoping to buy your book!” – Emily

THIRD PLACE – “An Alcoholic and a Bowl Collector” by Tegwyn Hughes (Canada)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I felt so elated when I found that that I’d won third place in my age category. This was the second big writing contest that I’ve placed in, and knowing that my stories are appreciated by other people is really motivational to me. This prize means that I’m one step further to someday having a career in writing. Thanks so much for creating this contest, and for all the work you’ve put into it. I really appreciate it!” – Tegwyn

FOURTH PLACE – “Finding Love Within the Landscape” by Reena Mukherjee (Australia)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Being a winner of the Junior Authors Short Story Competition is overwhelming. Almost all the time, young writers like myself feel plagued with self-doubt, and wonder whether or not they will ever be successful in their literary endeavours. Winning the JA Short Story Competition, however, has inspired me and energised me with new hope. It has given me so much courage and motivation to keep writing and entering competitions, and your email announcing my success brought a smile to my face. This prize will allow me to find more books to read, so that I can further my experience of my favourite genres, and will remind me that I do have potential, even when I feel discouraged. Thank you for running this competition – because of it, I feel even more resolved to give more time to fulfilling my goals as a writer.” – Reena

FIFTH PLACE – “Taped Back Together” by Kaitlin Artis (Canada)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Placing in a contest such as this one provides me with the motivation to continue writing. Receiving recognition from a source one does not personally know causes a delightful sensation to manifest in one’s heart.” – Kaitlin

SIXTH PLACE – “Thick Skin” by Dani White (US)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Although it’s nice to have some extra spending money, what’s really great about winning is the validation it provides for me as a writer. No matter what friends, family, or teachers say about one’s writing, nothing is as truly exciting as praise from an unknown, objective source. Writing is something I truly enjoy, and it’s amazing to know that others enjoy reading it too.” – Dani

“Gold Rush” by Amrita Bhasin – Top story by a 12 year old writer.


CATEGORY 4 Ages 9 to 11 (251 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “One Big Mistake” by Venika Vachani (UAE)
READ Venika’s story which she says was inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
This was the top story submitted by an 11 year old writer.
Winner of $100 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer, and publication on the LTC website.

“This prize definitely means a lot to me. I have always loved to write and I feel this is an amazing opportunity for all of us young writers. Winning this contest definitely encouraged me to write more and pursue my goals… I learnt a lot from this experience and this is definitely one of the moments that makes me glad to be a writer.” – Venika

SECOND PLACE – “Forgotten Dreams” by Izzy Parfitt (Australia)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to be in this competition. The prize for me isn’t the money or even coming second, for me it is just the joy of entering my own work in a competition.” – Izzy

THIRD PLACE – “Flying Free” by Shaylin Healy (US)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Winning means a lot to me, I entered this contest to find the outcome, and was dazzled when I was a finalist. I stopped there, knowing that I wouldn’t get much farther. When I found out I won, it was a huge boost to my self esteem, and my entire family was overjoyed. This is a really big deal, it’s amazing to me that somebody noticed my story. Thank you, Laura Thomas, for making this all possible, I will definitely enter next year!” – Shaylin

FOURTH PLACE – “Summer Barlow” by Rylee Andrus (US)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“Thank you so much for selecting me as a winner. My sister and I love to write and this was my first story contest, and I am very excited that I won. Thank you so much! Winning this story contest has inspired me to be more serious about writing and to be better. Thank you so much.” – Rylee

FIFTH PLACE – “Two Legs and Banished Second Thoughts” by Laura Jones (UK)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I’m so happy I’m a winner. I hope to be an author when I grow up, and placing in these exciting, wonderful and helpful competitions are such amazing experiences. I’m so grateful that there are competitions like this – they make you smile and feel good about yourself! This competition has made me so happy over the last few days! Thank you!” – Laura

SIXTH PLACE – “Remember Me” by Zoe Johnson (US)
Winner of $25 Amazon gift card.

“I am very happy to be winner. I didn’t think I would be out of all the kids that entered. But I knew I definitely wouldn’t win if I didn’t try, and I did end up as one of the winners! Now I’m encouraged to enter more writing contests, though I know I won’t win them all. Each time I enter one I’ll have more practice and a greater chance of winning. I can’t wait for the next Junior Authors contest! I’m also grateful for the prize. I’ll probably buy Polly Wants to be a Writer with it. And with the left over money I’ll buy other books and writing materials. I am very grateful for your generosity.”


“Cherry Blossoms” by Lauren Ginn (US) – Top story by a 10 year old writer.
“Cloud Followers” by Molly Tamsin Macleod (UK) – Top story by a 9 year old writer.

“It feels exciting to receive a Special Mention as a Top 10 year old because I am sure the other stories were excellent too. I’m happy others enjoyed reading my story or maybe it makes them feel like somebody understands.  I already have the title for my next story and I can’t wait for the next contest!” – Lauren

“It feels brilliant to have had a special mention in an international story competition. It has inspired me to write more stories. I will definitely enter this competition again next year.” – Molly


CATEGORY 1 FINALISTS – Ages 18 to 21

Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 300 entries in this category.

“The Angel of Judgement” by J. Saunders

The Aperture” by P. Chakraborty

“Appalachia Me” by J. Bissell

“At the Orphanage” by A. Spilchen

“The Better of Two” by E. Loke

“Big Brother/Little Brother” by R. Bocarsly

“Birthmark” by M. Banda

“A Boy’s Best Friend” by K. Desmond

“Creating a Cool Kid” by J. Bartley

“The Death of a Hero” by D.Sarkar

“Diversity?” by S. Purewal

“Doorways” by A. Mounser

“Fireflies” by M. Stull

“The Ganzfeld Experiment” by R. Larson

“Her Mother’s Teapot” by R. Reintjens

“Homeroom” by N. Weisman

“In a Moment” by V. Ngai

“It Is Actually Happening” by J. Lim

“John” by F. Berenyi

“Killing Time” by M. Anderson

“Planting a Place” by T. Samija

“A Skip and a Hop by” by S. Chaffee

“Special” by M. Boerchers

“To Believe or Not to Believe” by S. Keerthi

“A View of the Ocean” by R. Fields

“Zephyr” by M. Gammanpila


CATEGORY 2 FINALISTS – Ages 15 to 17

Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 723 entries in this category.

“The Agony of Insanity” by H. Brown

“Behind Enemy Lines” by R. Ahmed

“Borderless” by C. Zhi

“Chasing Dreams” by Chan

“Clouds” by C. Chu

“Counting” by N. Nixon

“A Different Year” by L. Erdos

“The Early Shift” by D. Cvelbar

“Failure to Live” by G. Pridden

“Far From Home” by T. Morand

“Fifteen Years” by C. Burgess

“Freedom” by H. Chung

“A Friendly Gesture” by S. Pedersen

“Ghost Girl” by K. Schlachter

“The Gift” by K. Pananjady

“Hide and Seek” by O. Barista

“Home” by K. Petroff

“How They Judge Pickles” by V. Girkins

“It Doesn’t Snow” by M. Burger

“Last Minute” by K. Ng

“Letting Go” by A. Mann

“Lip Gloss” by J. Langova

“Live” by C. Jacobs

“Loners” by M. Eze

“Marching” by A. Greene

“Natalya” D. Francisco

“Northern Lights” by C. Wang

“The New Mothers” by B. Sonnenberg

“On the Wall” by M. Campbell

“Passionote” by E. Turner

“Peaches and Old Quilts” by E. Mak

“Perfect” by A. Timmons

“The Photograph” by N. Dynes

“Pianissimo” by X. Zhang

“Remember Me” by V. Cai

“Saving Yourself” by J. Pi

“The Secret” by R. Collins

“Silent Song” by S. Weeks

“Skyscrapers” by N. Jung

“Stargazing” by R. McDaniel

“Tears” by S. Chatterjee

“To My Brother” by L. Xu


CATEGORY 3 FINALISTS – Ages 12 to 14

Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 569 entries in this category.

“The Abyss” by T. Tissera

“An Alcoholic and a Bowl Collector” by T. Hughes

“The Decider: A Medieval Story” by J. Cleary-Gorton. Jason in the news.

“Diary of a Dog” by O. Leishman

“A Final Embrace” by I. Abbey

“Finding a Topic” by N. Vanukuru

“Finding Love Within the Landscape” by R. Mukherjee

“Full of Treasures” by E. Bruggemann

“Girl with Scars” by S.Dhakal

“Going With the Flow” by S. Tan

“Gold Rush” by A. Bhasin

“Good for Nothing Friends” by A. Shukla

“A Goodbye From Heaven” by R. Webster

“Guinevere of Eriyad” by K. Knott

“Gunpoint” by N. Wang

“A Healthy Kind of Green” by S. Castro

“Hope and Healing” by S. Ret

“The Hunt” by E. Smibert

“A Night of Frozen Time” by G. Dolgonos

“Persuasive Demons” by N. Luz

“Sapphire” by Y. Zhao

“Spiral of Lies” by Y. Lo

“Taped Back Together” by K. Artis

“That Extra Cup of Tea” by H. Pattnaik

“Thick Skin” by D. White

“This is Jane” by M. Sawyer

“Twin Princes” by J. Ball

“Twisted Revenge” by G. Griffiths

“The White Picket Fence” by R. Trombly

“Who You Used to Be” by E. Li

“Winker” by S. Taylor

“The Wolf Queen” by M. Rocha

“Writer’s Block” by R. Basu

“Ziana’s Evil” by A. Lee



Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 251 entries in this category.

“2300 AD” by E. Dunnachie

“Always in My Heart” by S. MacSwain

“Bald Eagles and Ravens” by A.Bae

“Catherine’s Dreams of Wisdom” by S. Ryan

“Cherry Blossoms” by L. Ginn

“Cloud Flowers” by M. Macleod

“Crocodile Tears” by A. Dunnachie

“Dragon Shadow” by S. Nica

“Dreadful Choices” by J. Nunes

“The Edge of a Nightmare” by M. Rai

“Eliarsis the Punisher” by K. Giffin

“The Eternal Spark” by J. Bekar

“Finally Free” by M. Scott-Weabury

“Flying Fear” by M. Hara

“Flying Free” by S. Healey

“Forgotten Dreams” by I. Parfitt

“The Kingdom of Koll” by A. Shanks

“No So Little Bo Peep” by L. Kinzy

“One Big Mistake” by V. Vachani

“Orphan” by E. Reynolds

“The Performance” by A. Torre

“Remember Me” by Z. Johnson

“Saying Goodbye” by E. Black

“The Science Fair” by Y. Cheng

“Summer Barlow” by R. Andrus

“The Tumultuous Tornado” by C.Lopes

“Two Legs” by L. Jones

“The War of Planet Segisia” by A. Hahne

“Without a Trace” by G. Atticks

‘The Youngest One” by E. Howell



298 comments on “2013 Winners

  1. saphira klearman

    Did you get my story ‘Slave’? I’m worryed


    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Saphira. I have it. All is well. No need to worry. :-)

    • saphira klearman

      Will you email everyone as soon as the winners are out? sorry to annoy you

      • Laura Thomas

        Hi Saphira. I will send out an email to the list when I get back from London.

  2. saphira klearman

    Im going to be ten by june 30th and im in catigory 4 can I submit now? like today?

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Saphira. You can enter any time between now and June 30th. On the entry form there is a place to tell us how old you will be on June 30th. Category 4 is ages 9 to 11.

    • saphira klearman

      When are the winners for this writing competiton going to be annoynced?

      • Laura Thomas

        Hi Saphira. Finalists April 25th and Winers May 18th. Did you get your copy of the souvenir wallpaper? It has the dates on it.

        • saphira klearman

          no i didn’t

          • Laura Thomas

            Hi Saphira. Sorry. I was confused. I see now that you are planning to enter the 2014 short story contest. The souvenir wallpaper is for participants in the 2013 poetry contest, and the dates I gave you were for that contest too. Read all the information at the top of the 2014 short story contest page to find out when the winners are announced for that contest and all the other details you need to know.

  3. saphira klearman

    Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was wondering if there are any other writing competitions out there I want to be a writer when I grow up and my grandpa said that competitions are a good way to start

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Saphira. Our contests are the best place for a young writer to start. Our 7th annual short story contest is on now. The deadline is June 30th. Why not enter?

      • saphira klearman

        I am entering just I was wondering how I enter and can i enter every year?

        • Laura Thomas

          Hi Saphira. Please visit the main contest page for complete rules and instructions on how to participate. You can enter every year.

  4. laura

    Hi laura,
    Do you know of any writing competitions that have a high word limit, e.g 10,000? I’ve recently finished writing a story that would fall into a catagory around that. Thanks.

    • Hi Laura. I don’t, but a quick Google search should tell you what’s out there. I don’t imagine there are many free contests that take short stories that long. That would be a nightmare from an admin and judging POV; tons of hours of labour. You may find some paid competitions that accept stories that long.

      • laura

        Thanks anyway, I might try a few paid ones though, they sound quite fun

  5. Evie

    Hi Laura.

    Just wondering if you finished sending out feedback, because I don’t seem to have got mine. I did request it, didn’t I?
    My story is Saying Goodbye.


    • Hi Evie. Categories 1, 2 and 3 are done. I am working on Category 4 this weekend.

  6. Janelle

    Hello Laura,
    I just received the feedback for my story ‘Midnight.’ Thank you so much! It was wonderful advice and it helped so much.

    • Hi Janelle. I just replied to your question about whether or not you made the finals by email.

  7. Shivagni Kapoor

    Hello Laura:

    I have been keen on reading the other winner’s entries. Could you post the winning entries for the other places too?

    • Hi Shivagni. I publish the winner of each age category. You can link to each one from this page.

  8. Rosemary

    I was wondering if you knew of any other writing competitions for teens? I’ve tried to find some but the only free, good one I could find was yours and as wonderful as it is, it only comes around once a year! I’m in the UK by the way so it probably has to be international. Thanks.

    • Hi Rosemary. I believe other UK young writers have found contests listed on prizemagic.co.uk and christopherfielden.com

  9. Evie


    I was just wondering, for the people who requested feedback, are you sending it out in any particular order? Also, when will you start sending it out?

    Evie ;)

    • Hi Evie. No particular order…just as quickly as I can. :-)

  10. Milana

    Well done all the winners! I can’t wait to read your stories! Yeah, I guess I’m a little dissapointed, but hey, that’s life. Maybe in couple of years I’ll make it in the writing world… :-) Anyway, Laura I wanted to ask you if the mailing lists of the insider mailing list ever get destroyed. So, if I’m on the insider mailing list, am I there until I unsubscribe or do I have to reapply every once in a while? I don’t want to miss out!

    • Hi Milana. I’m working to get the winning stories up ASAP. I won’t delete the Insider Mailing List, so if you stay on it, you won’t miss out. :-)

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