Monday, August 31, 2020

Saturday Surprise: Summer Short Story Writing Contest

Note: This will remain at the top as a sticky post until August 31. 

"The Gentling of Whirlwind" is a summer short-story writing contest of less than 2,500 words. It's based on the story in Dangerous Decision, where Chad and Mitch round up a rogue stallion that has been gathering up the mares on the range. He escapes from his corral when Andi and Virginia have their little "disaster" one Saturday afternoon, but Whirlwind is later caught. In the anniversary edition of Dangerous Decision, the idea of gentling Whirlwind is expanded.

Watch the video, which explains the writing prompt. Then read the rules and prize list. I think this will be a fun contest for the end of the summer. If the video moves too fast, you can read the text at the bottom of this post. Once again, it will be narrowed down to the top 5 stories, and then it will be a Reader's Choice voting.

(I am not accepting entries by email. This is a way to keep the formatting of the stories the same and hopefully will be less work for me.)
1. Contest runs August 1 - August 31.
2. Contest open to ages 10-17, US residents only (shipping issues). If you would like to enter for the joy of winning and are okay without receiving physical prizes (E-prizes only), then I'll accept entries from anywhere in the world. :-)
3. Story must stay under 2,500 words.

4. An independent judge will narrow the stories down to the TOP FIVE. Then it will be a READER'S CHOICE voting.
5. Prizes awarded to First and Second places

First place: Circle C mug, horse art engraving kit, and choose a journal
Second place: choose a journal and a Circle C pen


After Andi loses her memory, she has no knowledge of who Whirlwind is or why Chad thinks she would like to help him.

      Except for her bad dreams, Andi had remembered nothing of importance in the three weeks since she had been found. Her family had gone to great lengths to help her regain her memory, but nothing seemed to work.
     Just before heading out for the high country, Chad had shown Andi a big, dappled-gray stallion prancing around inside the corral. “When roundup’s over, you and I are going to gentle Whirlwind,” he promised, all smiles. “Now, how does that sound?”
     Andi stared blankly at the horse. For some reason, Chad expected her to be excited by this offer. Why? She swallowed in uncertainty and mumbled an answer. When her brother’s shoulders sagged and he walked away, she knew it was the wrong answer.

Later, after her memory returns . . .

     Andi’s joy bubbled over. “I’m going to hug my mother and my sister, and then I’m going to hug Taffy.” There were so many things Andi wanted to do that she started talking faster. “When Chad and Mitch get back from roundup, I’ll hug them too. And then”—she laughed—“I’m going to hold Chad to his promise to let me help gentle Whirlwind.”  
Happy Writing! 


  1. So fun! Hopefully I'll have time*bites nails*

  2. This looks so fun! I doubt I'll be able to enter, though. :-(

  3. Looks fun! It's gonna be hard to make it less than 2500 but it will be fun! Thanks Mrs. M!

  4. I can't wait to start writing!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Oh yay! I hope I'll be able to enter.

  6. Hey, how short can the story be? Like, it has to be under 2,500 words, but is the story disqualified if it's TOO short?

    1. No, I'm not concerned about a minimum. Just trying to keep the stories from being too long.

    2. I'm totally gonna' enter!
      2,500?! Awww Well that's a Challenge staying under.
      Thanks Mrs. Marlow!


    3. I just entered mine in.
      How many can you enter?

    4. Did you get a reply from Google Forms that your entry made it in?

    5. Uhm I pushed submit and it had something on it but uh, I forgot.
      It said SOMETHING after i pushed it.

    6. Its funny cause I get scared to make it too long and stuff.
      I couldn't think of anything too good so it ended up short but not TOO short.

    7. I have one so far, from Caitlyn. Is that you, Live4God?

    8. I will sure be entering, but I'm gonna wait to like the 20th so I can perfect my story. I think it is pretty good now, but time and small corrections will make it better.


Let Andi know what you think!