Winning Writing

Here we feature some past winners of challenges -
 If you're a featured writer please feel free to display the banner on your blog.
Provide link to this blog so that people know how you became a featured writer! 

These are the badges if you're given an Award. More information is on the left side bar:

First the Featured Writer, not given every prompt from now on, but on special occasions...

There is also a Runner Up Badge 

An Encouragement Award

And now a People's Choice Award, voted by Poll each Challenge

Here are a list of some links to past Featured Writers:

Our Featured Writers for Friday Feb 10th are Erin Kane Spock and Madeleine Maddocks.

Read Erin's story here:

Read Madeleine's story here:

Our Featured Writers for Jan 27 are Adura Ojo and Laura.

Read Adura's poem Auto Tango here:

And Laura's story here:

Our Featured Writer for Jan 13 is Joy Campbell

Read Joy's story here:

Our Featured Writer for Dec 30 is Laura!

10.57 a.m.
"Hey, Ben-meister! You ready dude?"
Ben grunted as his best friend slapped him on the shoulder, making him drop the ends of his neck-tie for the third time in as many minutes.
            "Sodding hell!" Ben muttered, grabbing the ends in annoyance. How did you do this again? Something about a fox chasing a rabbit around a tree and down a hole?
            Dan smirked at him. "What’s up? Getting cold feet? Dreading the ball and chain?”
            "Shut it!”
            “You know she’ll be waiting for you? She’ll be there in her big white dress, ready to make you into her life-long slave…”
            Ben wrapped the ends of the silk tie firmly around once, twice, concentrating hard.
            "You realize that this is the end of your life as you know it?”
            Ben tightened his tie. Too tight. He could feel it grasping at his neck through his stiff, starched collar. He yanked at it with a shaking hand. It made it worse, tightening the knot into a hardened ball, which pressed painfully against his Adam’s apple. There was no undoing it, no way out. He was stuck. He was the rabbit getting chased down the hole.
            “Will you hurry up? It’s the bride’s job to be late, doofus – don’t steal her thunder or she’ll make you pay for it. For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life"
            Ben turned his back on his friend, glancing at his reflection in the small vanity mirror. His eyes stared back, hollow and haunted.
            “I can’t do this,” he muttered.
            “Mate, don’t be a girl!” Dan grasped him by the shoulder and swung him around. “It’s fine – here.” He reached up and tightened the tie even further. “Now let’s get the hell down there and sign the rest of your life away!” Dan shoved Ben towards the door, hustled him into the corridor and slammed the door behind them.

12.07 p.m
            “Thank goodness that’s over,” Bella sighed, flicking on the light and dragging her full white skirts into the room.
            “What do you mean? Thought this was meant to be the best moment of your life. The whole bride thing?” Ben leaned against the vanity counter, his hand worrying at his neck-tie.
            "No Ben -  this is just the beginning. Here.” Bella reached up and with gentle ease, slid the tie from his throat, kissing him as she did so.

In that minute, Ben could breathe again.

Our Featured Writer for Dec 16 is Heaven, with Christmas Star.

the winter of content
drapes her thin shoulders
as she prepares their late dinner 
sprinkling pepper on casserole
warming kitchen fire, 
she hums a christmas song

the days are shorter now,
folding under bed of snow
slumbering nights envelops
house in mellowed lantern sky
frosted windows peek ceiling of
red bells, cones and festive boughs

paring small potatoes and carrots
she muses on months past,  

when he got his pink slip from 
his work, and she too lost her job. 
with a sigh, she gathers vegetable 
stirring them in the boiling soup.

outside, the cold breeze stings his face.
finding work in the factory has been 

a tasteless mutton on his plate, but mounting 
bills must be paid, so he toils and waits
for the clock to sigh it was time to go.   

gathering thick coat, he trudges his truck 
through the slippery road, a long journey home.  

lighting the advent candles, she rearranges
home baked cookies, cheese, ham and fruits in
season’s platter.   a luxury in these hard times,

but she insisted on a nice dinner, specially 
christmas eve.  her hands linger on the table linen, 
as she waits for her husband to arrive home.

the old brick house glitters in purple night
white dust swirling, he opens the front door

shrugging off the day's bitterness from his voice,   
he calls out a hearty greeting, "I'm home."
the aroma of home cooked food welcomes
and warms his ice numbed hands.  

taking off his woolen scarf, he embraces her, 
saying, "I have a surprise for you."   

laughing she extends her hands in excitement  

he places a brown box wrapped in red ribbons near
pine decorated tree.   he looks at her, his heart racing 

her eyes are shining, radiant bright 
as she peels away paper tissues 
to hold the classic books she always wanted to read.

her long hair is gone, skin pale from 
chemo sessions, and frail from weight loss.   
but her fierce spirit radiates, and 
so does hope... fluttering, sparkling in his chest.

she is still the brightest star in his life

Our Featured Writer for Challenge No 26, response to image, is N R Williams.


Jane trudged through the snow drifts that covered the sidewalk. At one point, she was forced to step into the street. The chill of the night hadn't yet frozen the melting snow and her warn boot splashed through newly formed ice allowing the frozen water to seep in through the hole in her sole. Instantly, her toes turned numb. She gritted her teeth, readjusting the plastic grocery bags that cut into her bare hands. Her car was still in the parking lot, dead.

Tomorrow was her thirtieth birthday. It was also the one year anniversary of Tom's abandonment. He'd come home to their little house, packed his bags and left. No explanation. On Christmas morning he called from Florida to wish their three children Merry Christmas. He wasn't alone. She heard the woman in the background.

Thank God for her mother. Without her help the part-time job would be impossible. At least Tom paid the mortgage. But she still had the utilities and other expenses. Her parents provided clothing for her wild boys. Would they grow to be like Tom?

The glow from the neighbor's house made her smile. She barely knew Martin. Of course she exchanged pleasantries with him when they passed. He was a widower, a year and a half now. Last Christmas his home had been dark with grief. This year he had pulled off a cheerful letter to everyone he knew including Jane. In the summer he held neighborhood barbecues and filled his lawn with water games for the children. Martin had no children of his own. Now, gazing at the warm windows, Jane wanted to ring his bell and ask if she could warm up by his fire. But she didn't. Her children and mother waited at home.

Suddenly Martin's door burst open and out ran her three boys. "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy," they called. Jane dropped the groceries in the nearest snow bank and knelt to receive the hugs of her little ones. Martin stood in his door. "Come in," he yelled.

"How kind of you," Jane said, as she entered his home.

Christmas lights hung from the banister and over the mantel. A dinner encompassed his dining table where her parents sat waiting.

"I thought you might be hungry," he said.

In the course of the past year she had lost twenty pounds and all her clothes hung on her as if she were a clothes line. He took the groceries and put them in his refrigerator still in the plastic bags. They ate, roast beef, French bread, carrots and peas and for dessert apple pie. Jane hadn't felt so satisfied in a long time.

She busied herself to clear the table and found a moment alone in Martin's kitchen with him. "Thank you," she said. "You can't imagine how much this means to me."

He smiled. A young man still, she guessed him to be around 38.

"I know how difficult life has become for you."

A tear meandered along her cheek and Jane turned so he wouldn’t see. When the dishwasher was humming and all the left-overs put away, Jane followed Martin to the living room. There her parents waited, watching her three boys as they ran their toy cars over the carpet.

Martin stopped. "Look up," he said.

Mistletoe dangled from the over head light. Martin pulled her close and gave her a kiss that made her quiver like a high school girl.

"I'd like to spend more time with you," he whispered in her ear.

Jane could barely breathe. "Me too."


Somehow this disappeared, but it was Madeleine Maddocks.

Featured Writer for Rock Candy - Challenge No. 22: I give you Ruth Madison.

Kaitlyn’s life changed forever in a candy store in the mall.  She was standing in the door, sucking on a red rock candy stick and waiting for Jason to finish choosing.  He was distracted by doing imitations of their teachers to make her laugh. She was gasping around the sweet glaze of the candy when something shifted. She never understood what it was, but suddenly everything in her became very still and it was as though she were seeing Jason for the first time. His head seemed to turn in slow motion, his huge smile like a beacon from a lighthouse.
They had been small children together and she had gotten so used to him that she didn’t really look anymore.  On this day, the fluorescent lights illuminating them, the smell of sugar and shoes and sweat around them, she saw a man instead of a boy. In the same instant she knew that she loved him.
It wasn’t love the way she had expected it. More than a passing emotion flitting across her consciousness, it was a solid base that had always been there. It was like a low-burning fire that had been steadily warming her for years and she hadn’t noticed until just this moment.  The desire that she always felt to be around him made sense.  The way the world seemed to have less color on the days she didn’t see him was explained.  It was just her missing him.
“Hey,” Jason said, “You still here?”  He waved his hand at her.  She smiled and walked closer to the line of candy bins where he sat.  The closer she walked, the more sense she had of some kind of electric field between them, invisible sparks tingling over her skin.  How could she not have seen this before?  Of course she loved him.
He didn’t seem to have noticed the change.  While Kaitlyn felt entirely different than she had five minutes before, suspecting that every molecule of her body might have been replaced by light, Jason was oblivious, continuing to tease her as he always did.  He finished filling his bag with candy and brought it to the counter, tossing it up on the scale that was above his head from where he sat in his wheelchair.   It was just like every Saturday, but it was also different from any day that had come before it.

Our Featured Writer this week is Margo Benson.

“Sold to bidder 134!” The gavel smacked a final time and Meredith heard the collective outbreath of the crowd sitting in the auction room in New York. She thanked the representative, affirmed his fee for the purchase and finalised the arrangements for the ruby to be collected. It was hers!

The Fearful Heart, an unassuming stone of two carats, cleaved into the shape of romance, had finally surfaced, as Meredith knew it would. She had felt the pull of the heart many times but, like a tide never quite finding the shore, the rhythm had faded and been lost. Her own heart thrashed and tore within her each time the ruby disappeared, punishing her for losing the pulse. Seven thousand nights of terror and pain. Screaming nightmares of unrelenting loss.

Meredith calmed her memories as she recalled the journeys the stone had endured. Locked away in boxes, sometimes steel, sometimes velvet. Set into rings, with gold, with diamonds. Forming the centre of a locket; a tie pin, a brooch. Never staying long. Flung across rooms in anger and betrayal, never belonging.


Meredith held her breath. Her body trembled and the enchantments from her lips quivered through the incense. The ruby lay in the eastern corner of the star and Meredith called upon her ancient sisters. Her whole being filled with joy and desire as she sang the sacred words she had held in her heart for so long.

She closed her eyes and saw no darkness. Ruby mist rose and swirled through her mind. Her heart danced as another voice joined her song. Strong hands held her face, smoothed her tears. Nineteen years of waiting for the heartblood of her true love to be released from the stone. Long years, yearning for him.

The Fearful Heart opened, and there would be no more fear.

Our Featured Writer this week is Beverly Diehl.

Our Featured Writer this week is Joy Campbell.

Our Featured Writer this week is Madeleine

Our Featured Writers for 'Heart Stopper' are Roland Yeomans and Madeleine.

Our Featured Writer this week is Ms Queenly with a simmering Kay and Sercio.

Our Featured Writer for August 19 is Kiru Taye for her New Horizons entry:

Our Featured Writer for August 12 is Laura from Chick Lit Love

Our Featured Writer for Challenge No 13, Voices, is Li, from Li's Flash Fiction

Our featured writer for 'She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not, She Loves Me' is Marya (aka Babyrocka).

Our Featured Writer for "Coming Home" is Marsha A. Moore.

Our Featured Writer for Surrender: Sarcasm Goddess.

Our Featured for "Forgiven" is Kerrin Hearfield.

Our Featured writer for "Lies": Donna Hole.

Previous Featured Writers.

Our Featured Writer for "Love Hurts" is non other than Madeleine.

Our Featured Writer for Up, Up & Away: Tarunima.

If you have yet to read Tarunima's entry please go to Tarunima's blog.