Past Winners and Charities

From 2005 to 2018, Bards and Sages operated an annual writing competition to benefit various charities. Though we no longer sponsor the competition, we maintain this record of previous winners.

 2002 International Women’s Writing Guild

Our annual writing contest did not start out as an annual event.  The very first contest was held in 2002 to benefit the International Women’s Writing Guild.  Winners were awarded one year membership’s to the organization. 

 2005 American Red Cross

In response to the tsunami caused by the massive 2004 earthquake in the Indian Ocean, Bards and Sages held a new contest to benefit the Red Cross’s relief efforts. The 2005 contest ambitiously awarded separate prizes for flash fiction, short fiction, and poetry.  All winners were published in the first Bardic Tales and Sage Advice anthology.  

 2006 Speculative Literature Foundation

 The 2006 contest was open to novellas and benefited the Speculative Literature Foundation. Besides cash prizes, the winners were invited to publish their novellas with Bards and Sages. 

Grand Prize:  Johnathan Sharp for Misplaced

 2nd Place: Lynn Veach Sadler for Foot Ways

 3rd Place: Peter A. Balaskas for The Grandmaster

 Honorable Mention: Phillip Collins for Of Angelic Blood

 Honorable Mention: Damon O’Reilly for A Matter of Judgement

 2007 DonorsChoose.org

Winners of the 2007 awards were published in Legendary Horrors, a collection of horror stories from both new writers and classic works.

Grand Prize: David Hart for Mud Hollow Bridge

2nd Place: Richard Deal for A Gypsy’s Gift to Lucas

3rd Place: Tim Kane for Zombie Maker

Honorable Mention: Brian Pettera for Night Tales Not Told

2008 Children’s Literacy Initiative

Grand Prize:  Brian Pettera with The Golden Path

 2nd Place: David Lawrence with Blood of the World (published in the July 2009 issue of the Bards and Sages Quarterly)

 3rd Place: Ken Thomas with The Mysteries of London (published in the October 2009 issue of the Bards and Sages Quarterly)

2009 Kiva.org

In 2009, Bards and Sages decided to showcase contest winners in an annual publication and turned the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice original anthology into an annual series.

Grand Prize:  Anna Cates with The Frog King

2nd Place: Megann McVey with Wealth Beyond Measure

3rd Place: Lynn Veach Sadler with Evolution of the Beagle/Beagle

Honorable Mention: Dawn Corrigan with The Ballad of Johnny Lover 

2010 Doctors Without Borders

Grand Prize: Chloe Wendell for Lorcan

2nd Place: Jason Pernsen for There Will Be Time to Pray Later

3rd Place: Rebecca Bryant-Thomas for The Legend of Wintersprite Vail

Honorable Mention: N.J. Morris for The Stone of Scoolana

2011 DonorsChoose.org

 Grand Prize: Lynn Veach Sadler for Firedrake

2nd Place: Rina Brice-Jones for Why I Had to Murder My Computer

3rd Place: Christine E. Schulze for Follow Me

Honorable Mention: Bonnie Steele for Flora, Not Fauna

Honorable Mention: E.F. Barrington for Darksiding on a Sunday Afternoon

2012 Children’s Literacy Initiative

Grand Prize: Tracie Leigh Richmond for A Variable Conclusion


2nd Place: Lynn Veach Sadler for Last American Gypsy


3rd Place: David Lawrence for The Talking Pen


Honorable Mention: Veronica Cavanaugh-Sullivan for Forgetting Memory Lane


Honorable Mention: Viktor Kowalski for The Oath

2013 DonorsChoose.org

Grand Prize: Marjorie Bruno-Hawkins for The Gates of Hell are Pretty Today

2nd Place: C.R. Hodges for Gho

3rd Place: Ian Smith for Dragon’s Folly

Honorable Mention: Lee Weathersby for Condor 3000

Honorable Mention: Bethany Edwards for Malcolm’s Box

Honorable Mention: Louis Hartman for The Sadness of Happier Times

2014 Volunteers of America

Grand Prize: Anna-Marie Scott for My Bloody Cacophony

2nd Place: Thaxson Patterson II for The Gunslinger with No Hands

3rd Place: Carma Lynn Park for The fa Liri Line

Honorable Mention: Matthew William Brown for Train of Thought

Honorable Mention: Russell Paul for Obsolete Technology

2015 Kiva.org

Grand Prize: Verity Mendes for Bloom

2nd Place: James Zahardis for The Super-Man in Black

3rd Place: Teo Kos for Nigredo

Honorable Mention: Anna Cates for Story of the Gods

Honorable Mention: Derek James Cottrell for Comes a Hunter

Honorable Mention: Aaron Vlek for  How Coyote Lost His tail in a Poker Game

2016 DonorsChoose.org

Grand Prize: James Zaharis for Ellie the Centauress

2nd Place: Hiroko Talbot For As I Storm the Keep Alone

3rd Place: Anna Cates for Lover’s Grove

Honorable Mention: Michael Housemann for Yesterday’s Tears

Honorable Mention: Philamena Fitzpatrick for Assassin Lessons

2017 Multiple Choice

(entrants selected between the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, or Electronic Privacy Information Center)

Grand Prize: Liz Schriftsteller for Confessions of a Post-Modern Galatea

2nd Place: Jessica Simms for More Than Blood

Third Place: Raz Greenberg for The Calm Before

Honorable Mention: Margret Treiber for Technicolor Peace Joy

Honorable Mention: Anna Cates for The Courtesan of Xanadu Street

2018 Author Choice

Winners were able to designate a portion of their prize to a non-profit animal shelter or environmental organization of their choice.

Grand Prize

H I R A E T H by Kerri Caldwell 

Norfolk SPCA

Second Place

That One Time I Broke into a House, Killed the Homeowner, and Took His Family Hostage by J.D. Gordon 

American Prairie Reserve

Third Place

By the Stars by Jessica Marie Baumgartner 

Open Door Animal Sanctuary

Honorable Mention

Hyena Woman by Aaron Vlek