A man is riding a bike on a hill.
Close this search box.
A watercolor illustration of a typewriter with a note on it.

Who Won Kell’s 1K Contest?

by Kellyn Roth |
January 12, 2019

Heyyyyyy, y’all! I’ve been crazy busy! *making up excuses for not getting stuff done* #likeapro #afakepro

So yep, I went ahead and skipped this last week both because I was exhausted, sick (feverish symptoms? Might just be girl stuff, but who knows), and I had a bunch of stuff to do.

Also, last week basically killed me, but I did it! And this week I got to rest up a little, feel somewhat productive, etc. ???

Here we are.

Finally, finally Kell manages to get it together and announce the results! ???

In case you need a refresher, I talk about what the 1K challenge is (was) in this post! Basically, a bunch of people wrote short stories … and they might win prizes! ?

SO … this is something the people who entered the giveaway will want to know:

I made covers!

So, while going over the stories, I realized I had ideas for covers for a lot of them! So I made some. They’re awful! ?

Y’all are welcome to grab them and use them for whatever you want! They’re just for blog decorations, and because I had some extra time this week. ?

And now …

A bunch of mini reviews before I announce the winners!

Basically, I realized that I hate how when I enter a contest of this sort I don’t know why I lost … or why I won, for that matter! So I’m giving you the ability to know!

The Mini Reviews

Entry #1: Hope for the Holidays by Allison Tebo

Length: 995

Rating: 4/5

Review: Very cute. It reminded me of Christmas comedy movies (it would make a good one!), and I really did enjoy it. But it gave my suspension of disbelief a run for its money and seemed quite rushed, even for a short story, and fell just under the word count limit at 995 words. (That didn’t remove it from the running, though; I’m not that cruel!)

Entry #2: I’ll Be Home Even if I’m Late by Kaylee Harrison

Length: 1,025

Rating: 3/5

Review: This was a sweet story, though a bit confusing. The author chose my favorite era for shorts, y’know. ? I got messed up switching between the POVs as well as by the timeline/where we were/who was talking. Not necessarily historically accurate since I believe the song released in 1943 when the MC was already in prison, right? Perhaps I misunderstood. (either way, I’m not judging it based on that)

Entry #3: Burdens by Michaela Bush

Length: 1,811

Rating: 4/5

Review: Kelsey was actually a name my parents talked about. *shrugs* Very cute! Predictable, but ain’t nothing wrong with that. Love the emotions and the God in this little story. There was nothing technically wrong with it, though I didn’t really connect to the character or story personally. It was perhaps a bit disconnected as Kelsey’s thoughts rambled about.

Entry #4: The Wolpertinger by Merie Shen

Length: 1,126

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: THE NAMES WILL AND RUBY, YES. The mythical creature aspect was awesome! I love the sound of that thingy. It does indeed sound adorable. It felt a little incompleted, and I’m not sure I understand who Will, Ruby, and the narrator were/what the setting was, but it wasn’t bad.

Entry #5: Tag-along by Eva Schon

Length: 1,908

Rating: 5/5

Review: Related to this one on a personal level! Not that I’ve ever experienced the same thing, but I get being a little sister, and I get having a big brother who just doesn’t get it. Also, the writing style on this one is perfect. Also, the setting was very well done! The story was well-formulated, too. Good job, author!

Entry #6: Grit by Angie Thompson

Length: 1,977

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Well done! This story was well-written, well-edited, and was a great example of a short story which had all the parts of a full-length novel. It worked very well. It touched my emotions, too, and was relatable. The message was great, too! It did feel a little wordy to me, with some longer paragraphs that were somewhat difficult to get through. It probably could’ve been cut down a bit.

Entry #7: Reunion at Gettysburg by H.S. Killian

Length: 1,033

Rating: 5/5

Review: This story was both emotional, well-written, and set in a time period I adore! Plus, it had romance! How could I resist? I instantly found myself like Alice—as well as Zeke. There was not a word wasted. Honestly, I want to read more about theses characters! I applaud Ms. Killian for her writing! I’d love to see it turned into a full-length novel, honestly, haha.

Entry #8: Satisfied by Parker Hankins

Length: 1,050

Rating: 4/5

Review: There was nothing technically wrong with this story. It was well-written! It did seem a bit rushed to me, but of course there wasn’t a lot of time for that. I suppose the reason it doesn’t get a higher rating is because it just didn’t speak to me, or maybe I’m too used to this sort of story to be excited by it. Either way, it’s not really due to the story so much as to me.

Entry #9: These Three Things by Gracelyn Buckner

Length: 1,418

Rating: 5/5

Review: Is it possible to fall in love with two people (both Jeremy and Ana) just for 1,418 words? Because I did! This story was brilliant. I’d absolutely read a full novel about them! Like, Gracelyn. Gracelyn, darling, could you write this book only like continue their relationship and do like a long distant thing and Jeremy could get closer to getting over his anxiety, and you could keep doing lists like at the beginning and end of this list? (Am I fangirling? Yes, yes, I am!)

Entry #10: The Most Important Thing of All by Bea Williams

Length: 1,449

Rating: 5/5

Review: This story was really quite amazing! The message was spot on, and I adored the way it was described. It was somewhere between heartbreaking and perfectly adorable. I didn’t really find myself attached to the main character, and there was nothing specific about his personality that I could latch onto, but that’s a minor issue for such a short story.

Entry #11: The Border Between by Andrea Cox

Length: 1,397

Rating: 5/5

Review: I love this story! It’s well-written, yes, and not confusing, but it’s also meaningful. I mean, a lot of the stories were meaningful, but this story—and especially the ending—really appeals to me. I liked “Fred” a lot (he’s a very funny, sweet guy), and Helene was awesome, too, in a “I feel bad that she’s like she is” way.

Entry #12: Building Love by Katherine Brown

Length: 1,546

Rating: 3/5

Review: This story hit on some great feelings, but it wasn’t overall a standout one to me. I think it was a very sweet little short, though it could have used a bit more of a polish as far as editing and writing goes. I think timeskips and flashbacks and all could simplified or somehow made less confusing.

And now, for the nominees!

These are the stories I honestly couldn’t choose between based on my personal preferences!

There were a lot of amazing stories (there wasn’t any one that didn’t deserve to win, and I had to be very harsh with myself), but these, to me, were the standouts.

Tag-along by Eva Schon

Reunion at Gettsburg by H.S. Killian

These Three Things by Gracelyn Buckner

The Border Between by Andrea Cox

And, honestly? There were a total of three – yes, THREE! – other short stories that I wanted to slip in with those four. But I forced myself to cut it down and pick the best of the best.

I even made a special badge for them:

But, of course, there could only be two winners!

The Winners

And, again, this is so hard it feels like ripping a piece of my soul out!

How?! How could anyone expect me to make this choice! There was something I loved about every one of these stories, I adored everything about all of the nominees … and yet still I must choose!

Promise me that you know that, if you submitted your story to this contest, you are just an amazing writer! I can’t believe the quality of each of these little pieces!

Without further ado …

The second place winner

… of one free ebook cover design by me!

Tag-along by Eva Schon

The first place winner

… of a $20 Amazon gift card and a free ebook cover design by moi!

These Three Things by Gracelyn Buckner

And that’s it! I’ll contact the winners shortly, and we can talk about prizes!


~Kellyn Roth~

Goodreads · Facebook · Twitter


Did you read any of these short stories? Did you enjoy my mini reviews/the whole structure of this post? ALSO, if you have an opinion, which would you have chosen? *sobbing because I couldn’t choose all my favorites*

What do you think of my thoughts?

25 Responses

  1. Aw, I’m totally using that cover! (It isn’t awful!) 😉 I’m sorry it was confusing, I should have only done one POV… Yes, the song came out in 1943, and the story was set the end of 1943, so, I believe the character would have heard it before going to prison.

  2. Oh my word, I won second place?! *is flabbergasted because I never win anything*

    Thank you so much! I loved your cover for my story and the review and everything. <3

    And congratulations to Gracelyn and all the nominees and everyone who entered. I think we all did an awesome job. 🙂

    1. Congratulations, Eva! 😀 I absolutely loved it, haha – it was great. I was super sad that I had to choose between so many great stories! Every did a beyond amazing job!!

  3. Oh, wow, I can’t believe my little story won! Thank you so much for doing this, Kell. 🙂

    Congrats to everyone who entered! I’m definitely gonna go through and read all the entries. They look so awesome. 🙂 <3

    1. Definitely deserved it, Gracelyn! 😀 <3 🙂

      Yes, I was super excited to find that all the stories were entertaining and well-written and all! There wasn't any on that was awful at all.

  4. When I read your review this morning before going to work, it instantly brightened my day! I even jumped around a little bit!

    Also, I’m totally using that cover-it’s so beautiful!!

    Admittedly, I only read Burdens…looks like I’m going on a reading binge later tonight!

    P.S. What if I told you I’ve thought of lengthening Alice & Zeke’s story? Like, maybe novelette length?

    1. Awww, I’m so glad you liked it! 😀 You’re definitely welcome to the cover. 🙂

      OOH!!! I’d say, “I’ll be the first member of the fan club!” 😛 😀

  5. Kellyn, thank you so much for nominating my short story to the final round! And for the beautiful cover. And for the thoughtful, sweet words! This was a really fun contest, and I’m so happy for the winners (congrats, girls!). I’m also thrilled to have received such high praise from you.

What do you think of my thoughts?

Follow my blog

Want to receive notifications of new posts? Let\'s make this happen!

Join 1,618 other subscribers