Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired

I’m happy to announce Positive Writer’s 4th Writing Contest. This contest is all about you.


I usually celebrate a new book’s release with a writing contest, but this time I’m crazy behind.

Inspired Writer was published last summer and the launch was phenomenal. I’d like to say I expected the great interest, but the truth is I was caught by surprise and playing catch up caused a major delay in getting this contest posted.

Intention: Go After It!

The intention behind Inspired Writer was (and is) to teach writers and artists how and where to find inspiration. Truth is, most people say that they need to get to writing and stop waiting around for inspiration. Well, isn’t that the problem? You can’t merely wait for inspiration, you have to go after it.

You just need to know how and where to find it.

Our writing needs inspiration, otherwise, our words are bland and lifeless without it. Inherently we know this, but often we forge on without it because it’s so damn difficult to catch lightning in a bottle. Or, so it seems.

Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.

― Jack London

How to Be Inspired

Inspiring Stories

One way to be inspired is through other peoples’ inspiring stories. When someone shares an inspiring story with us, we tend to become inspired by it and find ourselves compelled to create something of our own. The more inspiring the story, the more inspired we become.

It’s human nature. This is one of the reasons why we love inspirational music, books, and movies, and many other art forms.

Another way to be inspired is too often the most overlooked, and yet each of us has the power to use it every… single… day:

Inspire Someone Else

It’s no wonder that teachers, coaches, instructors, and yes, writers and artists, are often some of the most inspired people you’ll ever meet.

Why? Because they inspire others. There are few ways that are more fulfilling than inspiring others. It’s one of the fastest ways to become inspired.

And here’s the thing, most of us do it without realizing it.

If you write a story about an experience of yours and you’re genuine about it, in other words, you share the ugly parts of yourself, sharing the struggles and the pain of your experience, whether there is a happy ending or a not-so-happy ending, you WILL inspire someone. I promise you. And, even if it wasn’t your goal, you will, in turn, be inspired.

It’s self-fulfilling in the best way because you’re inspiring someone else and quite possibly many others. And you don’t have to just do it accidently or by happenstance. You can write inspiring work right now!

You have a story to share. You do. I promise.

We need your story.

That, my fellow scribblers, is what this contest is all about.

The Contest:

It’s easy to enter. Write an essay (blog post) with the intention of Inspiring Someone Else (a fellow writer perhaps) by sharing a personal story of yours.

Maybe you tried something and it didn’t work out, but you kept at it? Maybe you tried something and it did work out? Maybe you didn’t try anything and you’re still stuck, but you’re learning valuable lessons?

The story is up to you. It doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but it must include 3 positive things you learned from the experience.

I’m not looking for technically perfect stories. I am looking for real stories that I believe will encourage others to face their challenges and ignite their passion for life and writing.

This contest ends 1 May 2017 (extended).

There is no entry fee.

The prizes are:

1st Prize:

->) $95.00 Amazon gift card

->) A personally signed copy of Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins, 21 times New York Times bestselling novelist, and an autographed copy of Writer’s Doubt by yours truly.

->) Full Scholarship for the Writers Crushing Doubt online course. ($399.00 Value)

2nd Prize:

->) $50.00 Amazon gift card

->) Autographed copy of Writer’s Doubt.

->) Full Scholarship for the Writers Crushing Doubt online course. ($399.00 Value)

3rd Prize:

 ->) $25.00 Amazon gift card

->) Full Scholarship for the Writers Crushing Doubt online course. ($399.00 Value)

– – – – – –

How to enter the contest:

1. Post your essay between 300 to 1000 words on your blog. (You need a blog. If you don’t have one yet, it’s easy to start one on WordPress, or even easier, on Medium.)

2. Consider leading into your post with: “I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired. Hosted by Positive Writer.” You can phrase it as you like, but make sure there is a direct link back to this post to qualify.

3. Paste the link to your entry in the comments below.

It’s very important that you put your link in the comments to this post because that’s your official entry. One of my goals for these contests is for the comments to become a resource of links for fellow writers to find an awesome collection of inspirational stories.

  • The winners will be announced via a blog post around the middle of May 2017. (The best way to stay updated is to subscribe.)
  • All 3 of the winning posts will be published as guest posts individually. (Awesome exposure for you.)

Most bloggers are looking for a fresh topic to write about, so here you go, and you just so happen to be able to enter it into a fun contest, too.

The most heartfelt, inspiring story that teaches us valuable lessons learned will win.

We need your story.

Get ready, set, go!

If you have any questions, please ask via the comments and I’ll also answer in the comments in case others have the same question.

Have fun!

NOTE about entries: If you enter an essay into this contest you agree to allow free use of the article for possible publication as a guest post, use in compilations, ebooks and other means with full credit to you as the author, but not with financial compensation for the work (excluding any prize possibly won). This contest is void wherever prohibited by local laws.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins
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  • Pwnixer


    Good luck to everyone submitting to the contest! 😀

  • N K

    Wow exciting !! But I’m already too caught up in stuff to participate.. But there’s time! Let’s see !!

  • Jas Nafriya
  • kerrieannwild
    • Thanks for entering, Kerrie Ann. Just remember that you need to add a direct link back to this post. You can just add the link to the word “Contest.”

      • kerrieannwild

        Have done that now!

  • Ekta Garg

    Quick question about the note about the entries. It starts, “If you enter an essay into this contest you agree to transfer all rights to the article for possible publication as a guest post…” Does this mean Positive Writer retains all rights to the post we write for this contest? Even though we’re posting our entries on our own blogs, we won’t have any ownership of those posts? Just wanted to clarify. Thank you!

    • Hi Ekta, the rights will transfer to me. I have to add that because many of the entries will be used as guest posts here on PW and they may end up in compilations later. The top 3 will for certain and maybe one or two honorable mentions. However, PW has over 100,000 monthly readers and any posts that are used will pay off in exposure for the writer; however, it’s understandable if anyone would rather not.

      • Ekta Garg

        Hi, Bryan, and thanks for answering my question. I don’t know how other writers feel, but I’m not comfortable giving over complete ownership of my articles/posts to someone else. While I understand the need to retain some ownership of the posts for use on PW as well as in future compilations, it might be more fair for PW to claim non-exclusive rights. You could require that writers add something like “This post first appeared in conjunction with a writing contest on Positive Writer” along with a hyperlink back to this site, which will guarantee a redirect of readers to PW. That way writers can still own their work and you also get to use the articles in the future. It’s a win-win for all involved. Just a thought. Thank you for answering!

        • I’ll look into it for the next contest. It hasn’t been a raised issue until now so I’ll consider what changes I can make. TBH I followed the same procedure as many other writing contests, it’s just most put them in small print. 🙂

  • Jay Harrington

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate Bryan. Here’s my entry:


  • Ter Scott

    Bryan, thanks for all!

    This is a great blog article and I may take you up on the contest! May I ask a favor? I know that you are extremely busy but if you can manage to carve out a few minutes, I would be greatly honored. I’m looking to help self-help authors; plus I’m also looking for examples and stories by non authors too on how positive techniques have helped: http://tinyurl.com/j922xrc Thanks. Ter Scott!

  • Karen Lauerman Beidelman
  • Here’s my entry! Thank you for hosting this contest!


    • Karen Lauerman Beidelman

      I loved your entry! Keep writing!

  • T.Hi
  • Nehemiah Lopez

    Currently finished Writers Doubt. Here’s my entry for this contest https://writingforthem.wordpress.com/

  • Karen Saari

    Here is my entry – http://karensaari.com/2017/02/21/dont-believe-everything-hear/ Thank you for the contest! 🙂

  • John
  • Tatum Rangel

    Thank you for this opportunity! Here’s the link to my blog: https://justathoughtblogger.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/words-of-discouragement-i-think-not/

  • Can you clarify this before I enter this contest. I have written a post on my blog related to an inspired story of a writer who finally got a motivation to write genuinely. I published this as my own story. This is not my personal life story but which I wrote to myself on how to get inspired towards healthy writing. Will this be allowed in this context? Please let me know.

  • Leslie Sanker
  • Samantha
  • Margie Hord


    This is my post. I started a blog at last because of your challenge!

  • Janet Sobczyk


    This is my post. I started my blog of poetry, photos, and stories several years ago. Thanks for offering this inspiring contest. It was referred to me through the Wordsowers Christian Writers group, of which I am a new member.

  • Carrie Aulenbacher

    Thank you for the deadline extension – it helped give me time to decide on entering this contest. My heart is literally pounding as I submit this link………..


    • Arizona Tape

      I read your entry and I wanted to let you know how beautiful your story is. What a courage you have for sharing such a personal experience with the world.

      • Carrie Aulenbacher

        That means a lot, @arizonatape:disqus . Truly. Not many people knew for the longest time and I’m still very nervous about it being out there, but this contest helped me decide that it’s time. So I just hope it helps someone else not feel so alone!

    • samcarter44

      Thank you for having the courage to share your story. You did a wonderful job. Have a great day!

      • Carrie Aulenbacher

        Thanks so much; I still cry over it but I feel your comments help. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

  • samcarter44
    • As a former caregiver, I am very appreciative of the message of your post. I know how hard it is to show vulnerability when you are a caregiver, thank you for doing that.

  • Mary Flaherty

    Adding my to the pot…may we all be inspired by our fellow writers. http://sonriseinsights.com/meet-my-anti-muses/

  • Judy Peterman Blackburn

    Here is my post as well. Thank you for the opportunity. http://judy-blackburn.com/you-deserve-to-be-inspired

    • samcarter44

      I enjoyed reading your memories from your childhood. I also left a comment on your blog. Have a great day!

      • Judy Peterman Blackburn

        Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leaving a comment. I read your post as well and left a comment. I believe it’s okay to cry in public. Emotion has overcome me at times too. We keep going. You have a great day too! 🙂

  • ragland

    This contest must be what I was saving this story for!


    • samcarter44

      I enjoyed reading your story and liked your takeaways too. Have a great day!

      • ragland

        Thanks for the kind words!

  • Yemisi

    Hi Bryan,
    Thank you for this opportunity to look inwards to inspire others. I am already greatly inspired by most of the other entries I have read. @carrieaulenbacher:disqus again, thank you for sharing your story. I am greatly blessed by it.

    Here’s my post:

    • samcarter44

      You have a very inspiring story yourself. I was blessed by reading it. Have a wonderful day!

      • Yemisi

        Thank you Sam! I’m glad you were inspired by it.

  • Meril Elizabeth Varghese


    Ps. This piece of writing was originally written by me and posted in a forum last year, reposting it as the title itself seems so apt for the contest.

  • ThePastryPoet

    Firstly, thank you so much for this great opportunity. I had a small question, the last date of entry is mentioned as 1 May 2017, but the results are to be announced in the middle of April? Now I’m a little confused as to when I can submit my entry. Can you help me?
    Thank you once again

    • Sorry for the confusion. I just updated it to the middle of May. Thanks!

      • ThePastryPoet

        No problem at all. Thank you for your prompt reply!
        For anyone looking for a fun blog about books, writing and baking, feel free to check out my new blog http://www.thepastrypoet.wordpress.com. I created it on Saturday because my adolescent mind had a lot to say, and nowhere to say it.
        Thanks again for the reply @Bryan Hutchinson

      • So the contest ends in the middle of may, so I have a little more time to submit it?

  • Logan Derrick

    This is my first blog post, which I started officially as of today. My website is not quite finished yet, but I didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity.
    Thank you for this chance and for your truly inspiring blog!

  • Raechel
    • samcarter44

      This was great! I also loved the name of your blog. Have a great day!

  • April Jordan

    I’m so happy I found this! I love the positivity you share with all us bloggers/writers! You’re such an inspiration, and you’ve given me the push I needed to get this out here! I hope that I touch someone’s life in some way and help them work towards healing by sharing my story! Here’s my blog post https://wordpress.com/post/thisisfreedomelite.wordpress.com/230 Many blessings and lots of love to everyone!

    April Jordan

  • Ann van Wijgerden

    Thanks so much Bryan for giving me this opportunity! Whether it wins anything or not, I realize – I actually needed to write this. Thanks again!
    Here’s my entry: https://crackedceiling.blog/2017/04/12/you-deserve-to-be-inspired-find-your-voice/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

    • samcarter44

      Loved this! I also left a comment on your blog. Have a great day!

  • Xhesika Banushi

    I read almost all of the stories. You guys are amazing! Best of luck to you all.
    And thank you, Bryan for giving us this opportunity. All the best.
    This is my entry: https://xhesikasworld.blogspot.al/2017/04/you-deserve-to-be-inspired.html

  • Karry S.
  • Rachel Rumbelow

    Thank you for the extension. This contest helped me get moving and start my blog. Thank you for that as well. Here is my entry – http://www.rachelrumbelow.com/2017/04/12/neverfinished/

    • samcarter44

      This is wonderful! I left a comment on your blog as well. Have a great day!

      • Thank you so much!!! Your comment meant a lot to me. Thank you for all the support you are showing everybody. : ) Cheers to you!

  • Anne Marie Claes

    Here is my post, fellow writers and readers. I do hope you enjoy it! And as my native language is Dutch, I am sure you would write some things in a different way. So be it. 🙂 http://readawriter.siterubix.com/swimming-and-writing

    • samcarter44

      I liked your imagery of how swimming and writing related to each other. I also left a comment on your blog. Have a great day!

      • Anne Marie Claes

        Thank you very much Sam! It is nice to see that you like my blog. It is a boost for me! I wish you a nice day.

    • Your post was a fun read. I hope to learn to swim someday. Best wishes in the contest. 🙂

      • Anne Marie Claes

        Thank you M.L Swimming is nice indeed. I’m sure you’ll like it too. “Fun read” sounds good to me! Good luck to you 🙂

  • 4 Season’s Farm

    Thank you for this opportunity. I have a blog, but this is my firs ever writing contest. It is exciting to connect with other aspiring, and professional authors. I look forward to reading these stories. Thanks again. Here is my link.

    • samcarter44

      I loved what you wrote and left a comment as well. Have a great day!

      • 4 Season’s Farm

        Thank you very much.

  • Arizona Tape

    I did something different today. Instead of trying to inspire you directly, I start by trying to inspire myself.


    My story might not be exactly what you asked for, but this is the story that I needed to write. Thank you for inspiring me.

    • samcarter44

      You did a great job with this! Left a comment on your blog too. Have a great day!

      • Arizona Tape

        I found your comment, it really made my day! I am so happy to have encouraged you. Thank you for reading my story.


  • Donna Harper
    • Unfortunately, your link isn’t working, Donna. It looks like you might have shared the link from the editing part of your post instead of directly from your blog. If you hit publish from the editing post page and then click on the automated link provided at the top of the editing page, that will take you to the correct post and give you the better link. Hope that helps.

    • Anne Marie Claes

      Hello Donna, I tried to read your blog, but the link does not work. Even when I google you, I cannot read your blog. Perhaps you could try to post it again? Have a nice day.

  • Jeremy

    Ive had that gut feeling most my life that I’m really lacking mental stability. Years go by trying to pretend I’m just as competent as everyone else. Realizing classmates were laughing at me not a bunch laughing with me. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to understand every assignment without a teacher to explain it more detailed. I couldn’t ever fit in school even though I loved it. As a teen i had more problems trying to figure out who I was and what I was gonna do to escape the months an months of me being alone. Having none that could really comprehend me cause I couldn’t make sense of anything I’d try explaining. I got to the point where you’re at the age to start being a man and taking responsibly for yourself​ no more help from the parents. I haven’t had a lot of help from them anyways. I had this fired rage against them because I was just their charity case and monthly checks. When that came to a stop I was getting kicked out because I spent most my teenage years thinking how I’d get to experience death. I had this undeniable attraction to the feeling of death. Now I see how close my death is an has been I keep telling myself I’m finally figuring out who I really am. It’s been years comin that I didn’t Wana believe the truth but now I accept it and enjoy the little things in life that doesn’t involve intelligence or lots of money. To be honest I don’t understand very much about society, I’m done trying to pretend I’m something that I’m not and I’m gonna start looking for the help that’ll teach me how to deal with being incompetent. Who will take care of my financial stability, housing and exct. I know what I need to do . Just don’t know where to start. I ain’t ever did anything on my own

  • sk82
  • Shania


    Its the newest writing… face

    • Anne Marie Claes

      Hello Shania, It is difficult for a woman to be “normal” when meeting a beautiful girl or woman, as it makes you insecure and opens the door to all kinds of projection: she’ll not like me, she’ll mock me, … So to a certain degree, the attitude from people towards you has a lot do do with their own feelings of insecurity. Enjoy your beauty! I like your blog and in my humble opinion, making it a bit shorter would give it more strength. I appreciate the honesty in your writing 🙂

    • Emotional post, Shania. I really felt for you, but you’ll be okay. Just be yourself and don’t try to be like anybody else, or allow other people’s judgmental words or actions to affect how you perceive yourself. I definitely know what it’s like to be prejudged by others because of my religious beliefs, and because I don’t look like my age. I think maybe my quiet personality is part of the reason I am mistaken to be younger than what I am, but it’s no biggie.

  • Phil Bryson

    Here is my entry for the competitio I hope you like it but there is some good writing here.. http://platonicmedia.co.uk/philsblog/

    • 4 Season’s Farm

      I enjoyed your story!

  • Today is a great day to step outside my comfort zone. Thank you for the opportunity to share. Here is my entry – http://www.katiemae.online/why-empathy-is-one-of-your-most-important-qualities/

    • Anne Marie Claes

      Hello Katie,Empathy is very important indeed. It’s nice what you did for the mother of that boy. I liked your post. It is very human and good to read.

      • Thank you Anne Marie. I appreciate your comment and your visit.

    • samcarter44

      You did a wonderful job with this! I also left a comment. Have a great day!

      • Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. You brought a smile to my face.

    • Callie Brady

      Wow, your blog post was an emotional, powerful piece, and a great example of inspirational storytelling. As a mother myself, I want to hug my son a little tighter today, and remind him of how much I love him. Thank you for your story.

      • Thank you Callie for your kind words and for reading my post. Blessings to you and your son.

  • Here’s my entry about my experience this past weekend. Best wishes to all. 🙂 http://wr8ter3.wixsite.com/mlbullbooksandblog/single-post/2017/04/19/Community-Clean-up-Keep-5th-Clean

    • Anne Marie Claes

      Hello M.L., I did pick up an empty can of coca cola last summer, at the bus stop here in Spain. A man just threw it on the ground and I went for it, put it in the bin and said with a smile to him that it was better this way. At first, he was surprised, then he laughed. And I was glad that the can was in the bin. I liked your post and I think it is nice to clean the streets and clear people’s hearts at the same time.

  • Reyna Favis

    And allow me to present “The Introvert’s Lame Superpower” posted on the Introvert Broadcasting Network

  • Callie Brady

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to introduce my new blog to the world! Here is the link to my blog post “The Search for Inspiration and Facing the Demon of Self-Doubt at: https://www.calliebrady.com/2017/04/search-for-inspiration/

    • Great post and insight on our inner critic. Thank you for sharing!

      • Callie Brady

        Thank you so much, I appreciate that!

  • I finish with my inspiration story. I hope you like my story and enjoy.


  • Alicia Luciano Assad

    “The Unexpected Gifts Of Adversity” Failure motivated me to write, trauma gave me courage to share my work, and loss inspired me to choose a positive narrative.

  • Johanne Winwood

    A time to reflect on what I learned from a difficult experience. I hope it gives someone else hope. https://jowinwood.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/positive-writer-contest.html

  • thakral.ina
  • Libby Oberg


    I’m going to enjoy reading all of these posts!

  • Sarah Odeda Cleland

    This is a story I have been trying to write for 4 years, thanks for creating a platform and a deadline to share it!

  • ThePastryPoet

    Hey Bryan, can you tell me the FINAL word count? How much can we stretch it, if at all? Currently in the process of editing my entry.

  • ThePastryPoet

    sorry, I meant word limit, not count

  • Indira Anand

    Thank you for the opportunity. Here’s my entry to the contest:


  • Fran Robinson

    My story is a bit unordinary but that’s the fun in life right? Inspiration comes in all forms, you just gotta find it! Happy reading!

  • My story is a bit unordinary but that’s the fun in life right? Inspiration comes in all forms, you just gotta find it! Happy reading!

  • Inspiration from the girl with a rosy background. Hope you feel inspired!