Results of the Spring Writing Competition 2012

June 5, 2012

I am excited to share with you the results from this year’s Spring Writing Competition! I enjoyed reading every entry. There were some I went back to read several times just because I loved them so much!  The hardest part about judging a writing competition is that you have to rate the entries.  I HATE this part.  Each entry was unique, well written, and SO different from the others. But, for the sake of the contest, here are the winners from 3rd to 1st:  

3)  Socialized Medicine by J. Todd Cumming

My favorite passage from his entry:  

“My name is Linda Worthington, and I’m with the Bureau of Medicine and Hospitals. You may be happy to know that, after reviewing his records and judging his needs, we have approved his request for emergency surgery.”

“… what?”

"We’ve approved his request for emergency surgery to reattach both his arms. That was the application to the Bureau of Medicine and Hospitals was for, after all.”


I can’t believe I’m hearing this.”


Well, Mrs. Woodhouse, we are here to help. It’s good that you filled out the Form 1124-B as well, explaining why Mr. Woodhouse was incapable of filling out the Form 12A, Request for Immediate Surgery. I’m not entirely sure if it allows me to communicate with you in regards to this matter. We do need to preserve Mr. Woodhouse’s right to privacy, after all. However, as Form 1124-B authorized you to request the surgery in the first place, I suppose I can tell you what I can.”

“Miss Worthington, I have no idea what kind of sick joke you think you’re playing. My husband died three weeks ago on the floor of that hospital, waiting for approval to begin surgery.”

“Again, my condolences on your loss. We did treat the request with as much expediency as the situation warranted...”


2)  Fleeing the Praxis with Cameron by Collin Simonsen

My favorite passage from his entry:


“Yes, Honey?”

“Don’t call me that.”


“Do you have any secrets that you don’t tell anyone?” Leslie said.

“Well, yes.”

“Like what?”

“Well, not many people know I have a pet rooster named Lucky.”

“You do?”


“Where is he?”

Cameron pointed to the stricken ship, as a small explosion shook it. They laughed.

“I don’t think Lucky is the right name for him.”

“Maybe if he survives I’ll change his name to Very Lucky. What about you, Leslie? Any secrets?”

Leslie looked at her feet.  The pod began to shake a little bit.

“We’re entering the atmosphere.” Cameron said.

“I’m not completely human.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

Leslie raised her index finger, and then, using her other hand, uncapped it, revealing a USB drive.

“This is how I saved the Praxis…”

1)  The King’s Treasury by Miriam Seegmiller Leman

I was in love with this entry.  Written for children, it is a uniquely creative twist on the old nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Six Pence”.  One of my favorite passages: 

“…King Thomas determined to reduce spending at the palace.  He closed half of the palace and dismissed thirty servants.  He ordered half of the royal gardens replanted in grass and sent away thirty gardeners.  Then he marched to the palace kitchens to command the chef to prepare less costly meals.  Queen Valerie was already there.

“Bake an enormous pie made from two dozen pheasants for the next feast,” she commanded the chef.

“Darling,” the King interrupted, “pheasants are costly. Couldn’t you serve chicken?  And why serve honey at every feast?  Honey costs more than pearls these days.”

The Queen gave a carefree laugh and waltzed out.

The chief plowman rushed in.

“King Thomas, an enormous flock of thrushes is eating your fields!”

The King groaned.  If he lost his crops he would be ruined!


Summon the best huntsmen to protect my fields day and night!”  Then he had a marvelous idea.  “Have the thrushes they kill brought to the royal kitchens.”  The king rubbed his hands together with a grin.  Thrushes were free, pheasants were not!  They would secretly exchange thrushes for pheasants in the Queen’s enormous pie. 

The Queen’s feast was a grand success.  Hungry guests savored the delectable dishes, especially the pie.

“What fine meat pie!  It must have peacock or some equally exotic meat.”

King Thomas smiled as he ate.  The thrushes tasted just like chicken. The chirping of thrushes in his fields entered through the windows and he almost chortled to think that dowdy, black birds now crossed the palates of nobles.”


Thank you to all those who entered this spring’s competition!  I look forward to hosting more writing contests later this summer and fall.  I hope all who entered found their feedback helpful.  Always remember that writing is a journey.  Once a piece is completed, it is set aside, and we prepare to start the journey anew.  Enjoy each moment of the journey! (Winners, please check your e-mails for codes to your free editing packages.)

-Jessica Drollette 
Editor of Mystic Manuscripts  


Calling All Writers! First Short Story Contest of 2012.

March 29, 2012

What an exciting adventure!  I've been looking forward to hosting this contest for several weeks.  And now that the novel Curse of the Beast by Ashley Lavering is published, I can breathe easier for a while and focus more on hosting Mystic Manuscripts’ first writing contest.  

Do you want to see your work in print?  Unsure if your work is up to par?  Have you been published before and want the chance to show off your skills?  Send your submissions to the Mystic Manuscripts Spring Writing C...

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Database of Literary Journals By And For Women Writers

March 8, 2012
Finding the perfect place for your manuscript, your articles, and your poetry can often be the hardest part of submitting your work.  To celebrate the 101's International Women's Day, Writer's Relief put together a list of MANY literary journals that promote work for women by women.  Check it out!

Lit Mag Spotlight: Literary Journals By And For Women Writers  by Writer's Relief

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Rejection--it hurts. But here's how to lessen the blow.

March 8, 2012

Does anyone enjoy receiving rejection letters?  We all know in the writing business that rejection letters often have their own file drawer, but the sting that sometimes accompanies rejection can be lessened by following some great advice by Tamela Hancock Murray from the Steve Laube Agency.

What is the worst (or best) rejection letter you've ever received?
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Keeping up with the Barns's (and Amazon!)

March 6, 2012

Are you following the publishing world debacle?  If you are, check out this article written recently on up-to-date information on the publishing ecosystem.  If you are not, this is a great article to get your feet wet.  

To summarize

The publishing world is moving through a shift--one that may take years to settle.  Like ripples in a rainstorm, the extent of effect it with have on not only publishers, but authors and even readers, is hard to tell.  One thing is clear: Amazon and Barnes and No...
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"I wish someone told me..." Writing Prompt Winners!

February 20, 2012
Hello my wonderful writing friends!  Thank you for your patience as I evaluated the entries for this competition.  I decided it wouldn't be too wise to judge them while on high doses of hydrocodone and pain.  But, here they are for your enjoyment!  

There were so many wonderful entries it was difficult to choose.  Several made me laugh out loud (not a great idea with stitches, but worth the endorphin rush) and some made me ponder deeply.  Without further rambling, let's get to the results!

#1: ...

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Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price?

February 20, 2012

If you publish through, be aware of their right to change your pricing at any time. BUT, if you sign with them at $2.99, you will receive the 70% royalty rate, even if they drop your book to $0.99 (compared to the 35% rate that you sign for at $0.99/book in the beginning). This article is fascinating. Take the time to read the comments section as well.  Who Controls Your Amazon E-book Price? by Jim C. Hines.
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Why you should shoot adverbs on sight

February 13, 2012

Do you remember your third grade teacher drilling adverbs into your brain like your writing depended on them?  They may have served a purpose for our younger years, but for professional writers, they should be shot out of your writing forever.  Follow the link below to find out why.  You'll discover one valuable tip to whittle down any style of writing to its most precise and profound level. 

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Tip of the Day: Imagination...

February 13, 2012
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” - George Bernard Shaw 
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Tip of the Day:

February 13, 2012
As we embark into the new year, remember that setting goals is a wonderfully soul-stimulating process, but accomplishing what you set out to do is the real journey. Aim for the horizon, but remember that each small step on that pathway leads to the final  destination.

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