It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the Society’s 2021 Short Story Writing Contest.

We want to thank our incredible judges Lanee Lane and Savannah J. Goins, led by Kaitlynn McShea, for your time and care in selecting our winners!

And of course, our gratitude is extended to each and every woman who submitted her work. We have been honored to read your writing, and hope to again.

Grand Prize Winner:

Sara E. Belanger is a fantasy author. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her fiancé, son, and two dogs. Her novel, Imaginary Demons, was published in 2011 and she is currently working on other untold stories.

Congratulations to Sara E. Belanger with her contemporary piece, “Fly High.”

Josephine is a mother going through the motions of taking care of a child with a potentially fatal illness. Glimpse into joyous memories with her son. Shudder at the downright abusiveness of her marriage. The struggles of having an ill child become real as Josephine grapples to keep her own sanity while coming up with enough money to pay for a life-saving treatment. Without help from her estranged husband and short on money, how will Josephine afford the treatment to save her son’s life?

Read “Fly High”

Runners-Up:

List is in first place and second respectively.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Glass with her literary fiction, “Family From Boise” and Lorrie Morales with her non-fiction work, “The Little Black Book”

Long List Qualifiers:

List is in alphabetical order by last name.

Second round of judging will take place from March 1st-13th and Short List Qualifiers will be posted March 14th.

Congratulations to the following authors who have made it through the first round of judging:

“The Dragon” by Tina Anton

“Fly High” by Sara E. Belanger 

“Magdeline’s Mercantile” by Terri Clifton

“The Gardener and the Lady” by E.K. Doolin

“Family from Boise” by Elizabeth Glass

“Ghoulish Eyes at the Wicked Woods” by Dawn Husted

“The Little Black Book” by Lorrie Morales 

“Little Things” by Jordan Nishkian

“Domestic Pleasure” by Julia Nusbaum

“Nisha and the Revolution” by Judith Pratt

“Mañana Mama” by Diane Serio

“The Long Voyage Home” by Doris Smith

“Lamb’s Blood” by Carissa Stevens

“Tiger Lily” by Mollie Williamson

“Flat” by Marissa Yates

Contest Details:

Contest Begins Jan 1 and closes midnight EST Feb 28.

Submit your best short story – any genre, any theme. Word count must be 1k-3k.

$5 reading fee per piece – nonrefundable and payable at submission. This fee is used to pay our judges and supply the prizes.

Multiple and simultaneous submissions are accepted. We ask that you let us know ASAP if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Initial review for Long List Finalists will be completed by Submissions & Publications Admin, Kaitlynn McShea.

(Long List Finalists announced March 1st.)

Review of Short List Finalists will be by guest panel judges, authors Lanee Lane & Savannah J. Goins.

(Short List Finalists announced March 14th.)

Winners announced April 2nd.

Prize Details:

One Grand Prize Winner will receive:

$100 cash, Society swag, free Society membership when it opens, full feature week on all social media channels, & publication on HLWomenWriters.com

Two Runners-Up Winners will receive:

Society swag & publication on HLWomenWriters.com