Monthly Writing Contests

The first writing contest for Musings of Mistress of the Dark Path began in June of 2011.  They continued for almost two years with numerous winners that included both new and experienced writers.  The April 2013 writing contest was the last to be held for the blog.  While there is no plan to resume them in the future, the list (with links) to all contests and the finalists will remain here for anyone to look at.  There are some wonderful stories worth reading.

Previous Contest Winners and Finalists:

June 2011

1) Tim Greaton*
2) Lynn Hallbrooks
3) R.C. Drake

July 2011

1) Janet Moules (AKA- Alex Le Soum)*
2) Angela Wallace
3) M R Mortimer (AKA-Anthias)

August 2011

1) Recluse (AKA- Jon)*
2) Matthew Hopkins
3) M R Mortimer (AKA-Anthias)

September 2011

1) Charity Parkerson*
2) Ella Stradling (Ixtila)
3) Goran Zidar

October 2011

1)  Laila Murphy*
2) Rosen
3) Anthony Bellaleigh
4) Tim Greaton

November 2011

1) J.E. Lowder*
2) Edwin Stark**
3) Kira Zidar

December 2011

1) J Bryden Lloyd*
2) Ella Stradling (Ixtila)**
3) Mary

February 2012

1) Anthony Bellaleigh*
2) M. Cheykota**
3) Duncan MacPherson

March 2012

1) Charity Parkerson*
2) Ray Blowers**
3) Lynn Hallbrooks

April 2012

1) DOBrien*
2) Sarah Fredricks**
3) Debra Dunbar

May 2012

1) Jon Recluse*
2) Tim Greaton**
3) Brent Butler

June 2012

1) NyiNya*
2) Caterina Torres**
3) Edwin Stark

July 2012

1) Charity Parkerson*
2) MaryG**

October 2012 

1) The Travel Gypsy*
2) NyiNya**

November-December 2012

1) Charity Parkerson*
2) Jon Recluse**
3) Catherine Woodruff

February 2013

1) Sarah Fredricks*
2) Stacey Roberts**
3) Debra Dunbar
4) Christie Stratos

March 2013

1) Mark Henwick*
2) Paul Venderley**

April 2013

1) Regina Puckett
2) Charity Parkerson
3) Kristin Bush

*Winner of contest
**Runner up of contest

28 Responses to “Monthly Writing Contests”

  1. […] First, I have posted a new page covering the basics of the monthly writing contests.  It explains what they are about and the basic rules.  You will also find the names of all finalists and winners for each month it has been held so far.  Links to previous competitions are provided as well.  Anyone who has questions, comments, or suggestions for the contests may leave them on that page.  This is the link- Monthly Writing Contests. […]

  2. […] September Writing Contest The September writing contest is here.  It is time to test your skills once again.  We have had some excellent stories submitted in the past and I hope to see many more in the future.  Anyone is welcome to submit a story whether they have participated before or not.  The only people who will not qualify for a finalist spot are the ones who have won in the last three months.  For more information, you can find previous winners, links to earlier contests, and basic details on the competition here. […]

  3. […] you never know when it will be your turn to shine!  All winners and finalists are listed on the Monthly Writing Contests […]

  4. Congrats Charity!!! Great story.

  5. This could be the most awaited and most challenging, of all contests. I am glad you have opened the race up to new genre, although given the nature of the beast, a touch of the supernatural, haunting, bloodthirsty, or simply eerie is always welcome. I am far too modest to participate, and could not possibly speak or write some of those words and phrases…but am eager to see what some of the usual subjects come up with here. Brilliant idea. And just to be festive, why not require a rabies infested wolverine to be part of one contest’s required characters. You know they are entertaining creatures even without the virus, but when they start frothing, Lookout! The fun really begins. Just a suggestion.


    • Oh, yeah, NN. Because you would not have been one of the guilty parties who contributed to the naughty list, lol. I do like your suggestion for the wolverine. Brilliant idea! I think I’ll include that in some form for the October contest. Plus you’ll be eligible to participate again by then!

  6. Ms. A, the only words on that list that could possibly have made their way past my rosy and virginal (shut up) lips are ‘fiery core’ and then only if I were on the trail of one of those volcano-dwelling and rabies infected wolverines, which as you know, is my hobby, hence the blisters, scars, drool, and tendency to bite with some ferocity. That and hat-modeling. If you give me a hat, I will show you. Or bite you…depends on what the virus is up to that day. Still, it makes things interesting. Ooops, gotta go. Mailman is here. Heh heh.

  7. Heir of the Dog
    by NyiNya

    Walking the dog used to be fun. That last walk of the day, when the streets finally cool down and there’s a light breeze, is relaxing and a nice way to unwind. Until the damn werecritters showed up.

    It all started about a few weeks ago, right after my birthday. The weather was hot. Autumn always is hereabouts. I took Oliver, my cocker spaniel, down to the river, hoping it would be little cooler. It’s not really a river anymore, but it used to be. About 30 years ago, they turned the L.A. River into a giant storm cement storm drain that carries rainwater, melted snow runoff from the mountains, and the occasional homeless person out to sea. We call this and the weedy no man’s land that surrounds it ‘The Wash.’ I don’t know why. We just do. A footbridge takes you across The Wash to a little enclave of houses on the other side.. The Wash itself is not for walking. It is home to raccoons, skunks, possums, rats—all the creatures that haunt the fringes of human habitation. And sometimes something else.

    Oliver loves walking the footbridge and going to Stepford…which is my nickname for that weird, perfectly groomed neighborhood on the other side. Lawns are trimmed within an inch of their lives. Shrubs and hedges are so precisely squared off, they must use lasers and a slide rule. The houses are neat, the flower beds weed free, and the appropriate decorations always appear on front doors and in windows as each holiday rolls around. Looks completely normal, which right away tipped me off that something was wrong. It’s not just the anal yardwork; it’s the absence of people that made me smell something fishy. Nobody watering the lawn, no kids yelling and running through sprinklers or riding their bikes and skateboards up and down the street, no smell of hamburgers on the grill, no sounds of splashing from backyard pools. Of course I usually walk there around 10 or 10:30 at night, but still. It just seems, you know, weird.

    And then I met Bonnie and it got even weirder.

    I met her mid-Bridge. She was in her fifties, a little plump, not the kind of person who stands out in a crowd. They never are. She was walking a fat little Doxy…one of those bologna sausages on legs. “Hot night” she said. “Cooling off now,” I replied, while Oliver and her Vollmondy introduced themselves. Oliver took an instant shine to both of them.

    I’d see Bonnie every so often, and we’d stop and chat about the weather and our dogs the way dog-walking friends do. It all seemed almost normal. Until I met her husband.

    It was in early October. A gorgeous night, the full moon making it almost bright as daylight outside, a little bit of chill in the air…not usual at all for this time of year. I was walking Oliver toward Stepford and saw Bonnie. She didn’t have Vollmondy with her. She was with a man…holding hands and gazing up at him adoringly. “NyiNya, you never met my husband. Werner, this is NyiNya.” He was a little on the stout side, a tangle of beard pretty much obscured his face. A knitted cap was pulled right down to his bushy eyebrows. All I could see was facial hair. He nodded and grinned. He had very large teeth. “Werner doesn’t speak much English,” Bonnie said. “He’s a captain on a cargo freighter…he only gets home for a day or two every month or so, but since this is our tenth wedding anniversary, he’s taking a long leave.” She pronounced his name ‘verner.’ “How nice, I said. “How’s it goin, Verner. Interesting name. Carpathian maybe? You from around those parts or something?” Werner replied, “Nah, I’m from Poughkeepsie. The name is Dutch.” His voice low and guttural, just as I expected. “Where’s the puppy?” I asked. “He’s at my sister’s house,” Bonnie answered. “She’s babysitting. We’re, we’re going on vacation tomorrow. You won’t see us for a couple of days.” I could see the moon reflecting in Werner-with-a-V’s eyes.

    “Funny you never mentioned a sister,” I said. “Or a husband. And you didn’t tell me about any vacation either.” Bonnie looked at me strangely. “Well, no, I didn’t…I mean, I only see you once in a blue moon when I walk this way…why would I?” she asked. I stepped a little closer and said “Bonnie, are you hiding something…are you keeping something from me? Some kind of secret maybe?” The uneasy look in her eyes spoke volumes.

    Okay, I’m no genius, but I’m no idiot either. It took me a hot five seconds to figure things out. Werner was a werewolf. Okay, technically a were-dachshund, but whatever. I was intrigued, having met a few of the shape shifters in my time. My first one was the old lady who lived downstairs from us when I was a kid. She was always yelling at me for jumping on the stairs and making noise. She had all her teeth and had to be 70 if she was a day. Dead Giveaway. And her name? Mrs. Wolfe. Like she was taunting me. She was the first one I had to, you know, handle. My grandmother had Second Sight. She saw things. She dreamed that her daughter Stella would wear a crown of fire. The next day, the little girl was struck by lightning and killed. She was the one who told me I had the gift of seeing the beast. My sister swore she said “being the beast,” but my sister never liked me much. I took care of her too. But that’s another story.

    “Bonnie, you can level with me. I know everything,” I said. She looked at me quizzically. “Know what?” she asked. “About Werner…and Vollmondy…which means ‘full moon’ in German. That’s what I know. Your husband is a were-dachshund. It’s a full moon, so he transformed. I’ve heard about this…werewolves mating with dogs. It happens. But Bonnie, how can you stand to be around him? You’re no better than he is for harboring him. Or maybe you’re one of them too.” That’s when I noticed how pointed her nose was, how pronounced her incisors. Sure, now it was all very clear indeed. Bonnie and her husband were both shape shifters. And then the penny dropped. That whole neighborhood was probably crawling with them. Stepford was a nest of shape shifters.

    Bonnie stared at me. Even Werner looked … I think … concerned. Certainly the hair on his face was moving in a twitchy way. “Uh, that’s interesting,” she said. “Look, we have to go now. Home. Um, nice chatting with you” – as she spoke, both of them kept backing away and when they reached their end of the bridge, turned and walked…well, ran, really, racing down the block and not looking back. A guilty conscience is its own accuser.

    “Well, Oliver,” I said. “Looks like I outted another one.” A few days went by before I spotted her again. She was walking Vollmondy. When she saw me, she turned on her heel and hustled off in the opposite direction. It was okay with me, I have nothing against werewolves, weredoxies, werewhatevers, but I’m not going to seek out their company. But I’m certainly not going to tolerate one in my neighborhood either. It’s not personal. It’s just, you know, something you have to do. It’s three more days until Halloween. I have my costume ready. I’m going to be a clown. I have a mask, a wig, big baggy outfit. I figure I can change into it on one of the sidestreets. Won’t take but a second. And after I’m done, I can ditch it in some dumpster. Impossible to trace. And I have a gallon of kerosene and plenty of matches. Some people swear by silver, but burning them out works too. Fire. The Purifier. I used to use a silver knife, but it’s messy. And it takes too long. I had a whole block to sort out. After a while you just want to get the job done and fire is easier. Not as much fun maybe, but you don’t have to get close, win their trust, stuff like that. Like I said, it’s not personal. This is a nice, quiet neighborhood. Who needs a monster roaming around?

    • This NyiNya is an evil woman, but I like her style! If I run into any weres, I know who to turn to. Thanks for sharing your creepy halloween story!

  8. just checking that is is the right spot to post our October story?

  9. Ooops, sorry, MOTDP. Do I need to move my thingy to a new page? Susan, thank you for recognizing my inner evil. I may have no sense of direction. but I am bad to the bone.

    • Yep, NyiNya, I don’t have the ability to move your story to another post. Just copy it into a comment on the one for the October Contest (linked above) and you’ll be set. As for your inner evil, I’d say it shines out like bright beacon, but it’s more like a hovering darkness waiting to jump out at unsuspecting victims.

  10. Oy, now I’m really lost…I can’t find a link and this is the only place where I can find comments, any I already have the story here. Can you explain for me where to go like you were telling it to a dog? Sometimes that helps.

    I’ll tell you one thing. I’d be a hell of lot more evil if I wasn’t always having to figure out where I was and how I got there and how to get out.

    Somebody please come and get me.

  11. Okay, I think I did it. I feel like one of those Chilean miners seeing the light. I think I’m where I’m supposed to be, but if there is an adult nearby who could check, it would be an act of kindness. I’m not just slow, I’m old.

    • Um, NyiNya. I’m not seeing your story at the link I gave you (or anywhere else on the blog). What did you do?

      • Nevermind, It just popped up in the proper place at the link I sent you. Congratulations, you have finally found your way and gotten the story posted in the place it was supposed to go. Not all hope is lost for you yet.

  12. Thank goodness. I was going to ask you to throw some sandwiches and a thermos of coffee down to me…it was starting to look like I’d never get out. That is exactly how I ended up living in Belgium.


  13. Now this is where I come in handy. My secret Super Hero identity is Slap YOu On The Back When You Choke Woman. I’m having trouble getting the costume finished because you need a really long shirt for the name.

    Most of the better names were taken, but still, there is a real need for my power. And I know it’s not really a super power, but I am good at it.

  14. I know how busy you are with your own writing career and while I miss the writing contests, your book opened up a whole new genre for me. I must say, now that I’m an expert with a total of 4 ‘urban fantasy’ books to my credit, Darkness Haunts is still my favorite. It’s original, fun, just enough gory (to suit my zombie-phile darkest side) and just a good read). I’m looking forward to the next book. But having said that, I want my to eat my cake and have it too. Okay, make that pie. I like pie better. But I digress. After book 2, will you be taking a well deserved break and reviving the writing contests? It was such a great source for original short stories. Some of the stories written by non-pros were so fresh…they broke the rules, went out of the lines, and just rocked. Failing that, can you at least send me some pie?

    • lol, NN. You and your food fetish! I may consider bringing the contests back as a quarterly thing. We’ll have to see. I’m still a bit burned out from this latest book release so I need some time before I do any major planning for this blog. There is one other idea in the works that I’m still playing with as well. I will let you know, though 🙂

  15. It’s not a fetish. I just don’t get enough pie. I’m reading the new book this weekend. Perfect way to chill on a boiling hot L.A. day in July.

  16. Only the liverwurst and jalapeno jelly sandwich on Russian bread is a fetish. The rest is just, you know, a minor obsession. Oh, and probably the rhubarb pie. But only if its warm with vanilla ice cream kind of melting into it. Plus the crust has to be really, really flaky. And eggplant parmesan. Oh yeah, shrimp and grits too. And really, really crisp french fries with ketchup. Heinz ketchup. Maybe one or two others…

  17. The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful art of poetry or writing a story that is worth telling everyone! And welcome to all having the ability to dream… Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.
    Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.
    And/or write a short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed.
    Multiple and simultaneous poetry and short story entries are accepted.
    Writing First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100.
    Poetry First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125. Third Prize: $50.
    Entry fees:
    $10 per short story, $5 per poem.
    To send entries: Include title(s) with your story (ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation. Fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM”
    Mail to:
    Dream Quest One
    Poetry & Writing Contest
    P.O. Box 3141
    Chicago, IL 60654
    Visit for details on how to enter!

    No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. “And remember, in whatever you do, it’s okay to dream, for dreams do come true.” –Dream Quest One

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