Help Support Global Literacy AND Read My Very First Short Story


Something very exciting happened to me a couple months ago: I won a writing contest! I’d been slowly inching my way toward becoming a fiction writer and finally decided to apply to a creative writing program this year. The only problem was that I needed to write a short story for the application. And I’d never done that before.

My very first book cover!

My very first book cover!


Luckily, I had a few ideas floating around in my brain, so I picked the one that felt the most well-developed and started typing. I’m tempted to say that before I knew it, I had my story ready to go, but that wasn’t the case. I wrote and re-wrote, read and re-read, and made tons of edits before the story felt finished.

I sent in my application and began the agonizing process of waiting to hear back (long story short I got wait-listed, then accepted!). In the meantime, I started submitting my story to a few different writing contests and literary magazines - just for practice. I was fully prepared to receive a slew of rejections (which I did) and felt ready to embrace the experience.

About a month later, I got an email informing me that my story had been accepted to the Story Shares library and that I might be a finalist in the Story of the Year Contest! Story Shares is an awesome non-profit, dedicated to helping expand global literacy. You can read all about the organization here!

On the morning the winners were being announced, I pulled up the Story Shares contest website to see if I’d gotten an honorable mention. And I was shocked to see this!

Story Shares Winner.PNG

Oh. My. God. I still can’t believe I won! And it keeps getting better: Story Shares turned my short story into a book! It’s available as a Kindle or paperback book on Amazon. Crazy right?

As I was writing this story, I grew to love Zigg, the main character. So, winning the Character-Based Award felt extra special :)

As I was writing this story, I grew to love Zigg, the main character. So, winning the Character-Based Award felt extra special :)

You can buy my little book here if you want to give it a read (full disclosure - it’s a sad story, but stick with it until the end). All proceeds go to Story Shares. And, if you buy A Runaway Tale between now and December 31st, you could help me win the Best Sellers Challenge! If I sell 100 copies, Story Shares will donate my book, along with a lesson plan to a library of my choice.

All of this has been a much needed reminder that I should keep putting myself out there and working toward my goals. I’m going to get a lot of rejections along the way, but that’s just part of the journey!

Jaclyn Westlake