Write On! 2022 Adult Short Story Contest

Write On 2022

Thanks for participating

We are excited to share the results of our annual short story contest for ages 19 and older. The top finishers were announced during a recorded virtual awards presentation Oct. 12. Winners will be mailed their prizes. Download the 2022 Write On anthology.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Loudoun Library Foundation.

2022 Winners and honorable mentions

First Place

Call Me Silver, by Bobbi Carducci

Second Place

Invisible Walls, by Annika Hudson

Third Place

The Eggs from the Market, by Cathy M. Tsang

Honorable Mentions

Ouroboros, by Taryn Noelle Kloeden
The Last Log, by Cara Cavicchia
Prince Alium, by Richard L. Towers
Still Yvonne Evanovich, by Bari Lynn Hein
Tree Hunt, by Elizabeth Morrill
The Snack King, by William Kohudic
The Apology, by Douglas R. Thompson
Diamonds, by E. A. Smiroldo
Picture-Perfect, by Shannon Taft
Only My Mommy Can Be My Mommy, by Alyssa Casanova

10-Year anniversary anthology

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Write On! Adult Short Story Contest. Over the last decade, more than a thousand stories have been submitted to the contest, with staff reading and scoring each submission and delighting in the wide scope of stories that have ranged from hilarious to absurd, joyful to heartbreaking. While choosing a winner each year is always a tall task, their variety well represents the storytelling prowess of the local community. Thank you to everyone who has participated in this contest over the last decade, and here's to the next 10 years of local authors and their incredible tales! Download the Write On! 10-Year Anniversary Anthology.


  • Submissions are accepted July 1, 2022, through Aug. 31, 2022.
  • Writers entering this contest must be at least 19 years old.
  • Only one story per writer may be submitted.
  • Only send the final draft. Sorry, with the number of submissions we receive we can only read your story once.
  • Your work must be in English, original, and previously unpublished (including on the Internet) and not scheduled for publication anywhere before Aug. 31. 
  • A story that is unpublished but has won a monetary award in any other contest is ineligible.
  • Please keep your story content appropriate for all readers.
  • Attach your Microsoft Word readable document (please do not send a PDF) to an email and send it by Aug. 31 (11:59 p.m.) to: writeon@library.loudoun.gov with the title of your short story as the subject line.
  • Your story should be no longer than 2,500 words.
  • First page: Title page with story title only
  • Font: Arial
  • Font size: 12
  • Document name: The document name should be the story’s title. Please do not include your name in the document name.
  • Every page should have a header with the story’s title and page number.
  • Last page: Title of story and your contact information (name, home address, phone number and email address). To help us, please include where you heard about the Write On! Contest.
  • Please note that entries not in compliance with the above will be disqualified.


When and where is the awards ceremony?

The results will be announced online Oct. 12 both here and on LCPL’s YouTube channel.

What should I write about? Is there a theme?

We do not have a theme. This is your chance to get creative! Stories can be inspired by real life, fantasies, nature, adventures or even horror. However, entries need to be “family friendly.”

Why do you have a word limit?

We receive a lot of submissions. We want to make sure everyone gets a fair chance. We don’t want external factors such as font size to influence our judgment. We also want to make sure there is enough time for us to read all submissions. This is why we impose a word limit.

Do I have to be a Loudoun County resident or hold a Loudoun County Library card to take part in the contest?

You do not need to be a Loudoun County Public Library card-holder to enter. You must live in either Loudoun or in the cities Falls Church, Alexandria, Winchester or the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke or Frederick counties in Virginia; Jefferson County, West Virginia; or Montgomery, Washington, Prince George's, Frederick or Charles counties in Maryland to enter.

Can I submit works that have been previously published?

Your work must be previously unpublished and not scheduled for publication anywhere before Aug. 31, 2021. We can accept new works and works that have never been published. This is due to copyright restrictions.

Participants of this program grant Loudoun County Public Library the right to publish their names and work in part or full and use their names and work in print and electronic publications. Participants also waive any copyright protection with respect to the right of Loudoun County Public Library to reproduce their work.