Our short story contest winners are …
December 1, 2022

Every November is National Novel Writing Month. Each year, the NaNoWriMo nonprofit organization hosts an international novel-writing challenge to promote creative writing. Once again, the UT Libraries and the Judith Anderson Herbert Writing Center joined in the fun by hosting our own short story contest.

Fifty students dropped by our five-hour “write-in” on the evening of November 9. Tutors from the Writing Center were on hand to provide guidance and support. At the kick-off event, contestants were given a choice of three writing prompts and challenged to let their imaginations soar. They were given one week to complete and submit a short story. We received 22 submissions inspired by one of our prompts:

Prompt #1: The garden is being infested by a particularly troublesome family of gnomes.

Prompt #2: You open a book and a note with a letterhead falls out. At the top it says: If you are reading this, …

Prompt #3: Looking through old family photos, multiple generations back, you notice there is a cat in almost every group photo. The same cat — color and pattern: the cat that is currently purring on your lap.

We’re pleased to announce the winners:
1st Place: “Gnome: More Mr. Nice Guy” by Oliver Hall
2nd Place: [Untitled] by Nicholas Quinn Merrick
3rd Place: “What Helps Flowers Grow” by Grace Bass

Honorable mention:
“The Turtle Races of Festus” by John Aaron Anderson
“Ruth 22nd” by Ali Fowler
“Life Never Takes What You Want It To” by Arabella Sarver

Congratulations to each of our writers. Click on the links, below, to read their stories.
“Emily, the Strange” by (Anonymous)
“Grey Diplomacy” by (Anonymous)
[Untitled] by Drew Bradley
“Spectacular” by Laura Lee Cochran
“Slave to No Man” by Tom Fortner
“Here’s What You Need to Know” by Whitney Hale
“The Little Things” by Reese Hickok
“The Garden Shed” by Samantha Keyser
“Photo Memoir” by Zi Xin Khor
“Welcome Home” by Virginia McEvoy
“A Day in the Life of Lamair” by Sydney Murdock
“A Two Hundred Year Secret” by Riya Patel
“A Melancholic Inferno” by Madison L. Russell
“Memories of a Notebook” by Mason Strader
[Untitled] by Kaeman Wilcox
“A Human’s Guide to Surviving in a Firefly-Driven World “by Eric Yang