Positive Writer

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

You Are A Writer Contest Winners

First, I want to thank everyone who participated. Thank you!

There were 126 awesome entries. 

I read many of them several times before choosing the Top 3.

you are a writer

YOU ARE A WRITER

The most important criteria for the “You Are A Writer!” writing contest was for you to share your story with the goal to inspire aspiring writers.

The final decision was more than difficult, and I was torn between many of the entries. What it eventually came down to were the stories that I kept coming back to because they touched me emotionally.

There was one story in particular, which moved me so much so that I have never been able to stop thinking about it. It truly made me consider what it means to have hope in the midst of chaos. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me just say that for this young lady to make it through a raging war outside her window to become a writer, is beyond awe-inspiring. She is the winner of this contest.

Without further ado here are the winners of the Positive Writer “You Are A Writer!” writing contest:

1st Place: My First Poem A Story by Sal (Posted in full below.)

2nd Place: I Am A Writer by Andria Bicknell

3rd Place: When I realized I was a Writer by Robert Duvall

CONGRATULATIONS!

Here’s the winning entry:

My First Poem A Story

The war held heavy nights, some nights we couldn’t taste sleep because of the fights, terror, and fire.

That night when I became a writer was a dark one, and by dark I mean both the darkness that fell over our hearts and the power outage that swept over the city.

Photo Cred: Dreamstime

Photo Cred: Dreamstime

English is my second language, but I’ve always loved it, read tons of books, breathed it, till I reached a point where I’d actually think in it, dream in it.

All we could hear that night was the bombing sounds coming from afar, the gun fights emerging now and then disturbing the few silent moments between every explosion, and the sound of our neighbors baby crying terrified.

All we could think of was that it was our last night on this Earth, that finally we were going to abandon the war our country was going through and meet our creator peacefully, and as I sat in my empty room gazing at the last burning candle in my room the flame somewhat struck my mind, and my hand picked up a pen involuntary and started writing the first poem in the English language I’ve ever written:

Every breath of life counts,
every struggle to survive in those days.

I thought about the pain the children felt as our neighbors baby kept on crying.

Darkness surrounded the world with clouds,
enormous, vicious clouds of shade.

“Succumb to misery my little children,
my poor wretched suffering slaves”,

hissed the darkness throughout space,
and death came swiftly hovering
over this eternal night of hate…

Wind came in from outside (we kept our windows open even in winter to avoid the compact the bombs made as they exploded, thus avoid having our windows glass shattered), it blew causing the flame of the dying candle to flicker changing the shadows it made against the wall.

Gazing at this insignificant scene my hand moved again:

A single candle burns with light,
trying hard not to fade.
Facing it….. sat I
gazing at the lonely flame.
watching it grow bigger in mind,
rise higher to the sky in a race.

Sighing I thought about freedom, about being able to get out of my home without having to think whether I was going to make it back or not:

For this very thought my heart aches
knowing that it’s only an image in my brain
certain that this terror will never come to end.

A deafening sound made me creep under my bed, my parents shouted that it was ok, and rushed to my younger sisters room.

In that state I thought about death, how relieving it would be, how peaceful, how much I’d be glad to get rid of war in any way possible.

Slowly reaching my hand up I took both the pen and the paper and started writing when interrupted by my father opening the door.

After assuring him that I was fine he asked me to join everyone in the living room, I nodded ”just two more minutes” I pleaded as he gently closed the door:

So I lie with eyes wide open,
waiting for them to close my grave.
Listening to the sweet melancholy
that in my heart consistently plays.
Willingly giving in to the everlasting sleep
that with kisses shall fill my cheeks
and forever shall my soul embrace.

Dropping the pen down I rested my head on my arms and closed my eyes, moments later the electricity came back just as my candle finally died. Quickly getting out from under the bed I ran to my computer to check out what was on Facebook, and just when my happiness was at it’s highest the power went off again after only half an hour forcing us all to go to sleep.

The next day I woke up half falling down, the two armies were fighting, and I cursed both of them for waking me up so early. Glancing down I saw part of my paper, picked it up and read, I read it twice then tossed myself back on the bed happy that I had written a poem! An amateur but still a poem!….

My first poem. It wasn’t what I expected for a first, I always thought kids wrote about butterflies, teens about super natural stuff, but still I was proud, somehow satisfied with what I had, I ran to my parents room and read it, they helped me with the name ”Aurora.. the lost hope”

I was a sixteen years old girl turning into a writer, and that’s when I started living to write.

Aurora…the lost hope

Every breath of life counts,
every struggle to survive in those days.

Darkness surrounded the world with clouds,
enormous, vicious clouds of shade.

”Succumb to misery my little children,
my poor wretched suffering slaves”,

hissed the darkness throughout space,
and death came swiftly hovering
over this eternal night of hate…

A single candle burns with light,
trying hard not to fade.
Facing it….. sat I
gazing at the lonely flame.
watching it grow bigger in mind,
rise higher to the sky in a race.

For this very thought my heart aches
knowing that it’s only an image in my brain
certain that this terror will never come to end.

So I lie with eyes wide open,
waiting for them to close my grave.
Listening to the sweet melancholy
that in my heart consistently plays.
Willingly giving in to the everlasting sleep
that with kisses shall fill my cheeks
and forever shall my soul embrace.

© 2013 Aurora (Sal)

Join me in congratulating the winners in the comments! 

Over the next few months I will be contacting authors in this contest for the inclusion of their entries in a compilation eBook. I hope to have the eBook completed by early 2014 or sooner.

(Top 3, if you have not received my email within the next 3 days, please contact me.)

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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  • Christa Sterken

    Congrats to the winners, and based on the piece you shared here, a well deserved champion!

  • Congratulations to the top three! Really nice.

  • LadyJevonnahEllison

    Congratulations! I’m here at the #StartConf with @JeffGoins in Nashville and reading this piece really brought a great element to the fantastic content being offered at the conference! Congratulations again to all the winners!

  • Thanks, Bryan, for allowing all of us the opportunity to contribute our stories. Congratulations to the winners!

  • Andria R Bicknell

    Bryan Hutchinson, you made my day! My week! My year! I am so honored…and quite frankly, a little giddy. Thank you so much! 🙂

    And Sal, wow. What a moving story. My favorite line is: “So I lie with eyes wide open, waiting for them to close my grave.” So poignant. Brilliant. Congratulations to you!

    • Congratulations, Andria! Can you please send me a message with your email address? I need it for the gift card. Thank you!

    • Sal Majak

      thank you so much Andrea 😀

  • Congratulations to all of you writers!

  • La McCoy

    This is so exciting!

  • Congratulations to the winners! 🙂

  • Lauren R. Tharp

    Congratulations to Sal, Andria, and Robert! 🙂

    I can’t wait until next week’s contests go up. This has reignited my love for entering contests.

    I don’t know if you want to use my entry in the e-book version or not, but, if you do, my answer’s “yes.”

    • Yes, I do, Lauren. You’ll be receiving an email from me about it. 🙂 It may take a couple weeks, maybe even a month or so, for me to contact everyone.

      • Lauren R. Tharp

        Barring unforeseen circumstances, I should still be around in a month. I’ll talk to you then! ;D

  • Sal Majak

    thanks so very much Bryan!!!!! I am really honored!
    and congratulations for everyone!

    • Your story needed to be told and I am immeasurably impressed by you.

      Your gift card should reach you before Friday. Again, congrats!

  • Instead of replying to everyone who wants to know if they are in the eBook compilation: you’re likely to be included, but it will be a while before I get to everyone. I am launching my new book the next two weeks so that is the priority, then the compilation of your awesome entries. 🙂

  • Bryan, thank you for the competition. It was great fun and the winners are great writers. Congratulations to them. This is a winning recipe. I love entering writing contests. Keep them coming, please.
    High and dry in South Africa for the next six months. Miss the ocean already.

  • Congratulations, winners! Great contest, and such inspiring entries 🙂

  • I am so glad I kept bringing up these winners each time my browser crashed. Tonight I finally read the entries and found them moving. Thank you Bryan for bringing us all together!

  • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

    Congratulations to the all of the winners and to all who contributed – and to Bryan for coming up with such an awesome idea!

    ~~~~~
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore, ADDerWorld & ethosconsultancynz – dot com)
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  • themagicviolinist

    Congrats to the winners!!! 😀 I’m excited to see the winners of the image contest!