Speechless Short-Story Contest Winners!

Chelsea Knot is a big gossip. But she takes things too far when she shares a secret and someone almost dies. Overcome with guilt, she decides to take a vow of silence. It leaves her vulnerable to bullying, but also opens her up to new friendships.

Inspired by Speechless by Hannah Harrington, we challenged you to write about a character who learns the power of words. You wrote, voted, and we sent the 10 most-hearted stories to Hannah Harrington for judging.

Now we’re pleased to announce the winning stories. Check out the stories below and congratulate your fellow Figs!

First Place: Columbine Cliffs by Julia Hou

Hannah says:  “I had no idea what to expect going into this story, but I was immediately intrigued, and the ending was a twist I didn’t see coming. There was a nice sense of getting to know the characters through their voices in such a short span. I thought the last sentence in particular was very impactful. There were some beautiful turns of phrase.”

Congrats, Julia! You will receive copies of Speechless and Saving June by Hannah Harrington, the Iron Fey boxed set by Julie Kagawa, and three, yet-to-be-released Harlequin Teen books.

First Runner-Up: Locks of Love by Sally Balboa

Hannah says: “My favorite part of this story was the main character, Tara. It is a big risk to write a character who to the reader will be very unsympathetic, and I liked that she wasn’t really redeemed in the end—a big revelation and turnaround would have felt rushed and unbelievable. I had a very good sense of who the character was from the very beginning. The setting of the whole scene was also painted very vividly. I really enjoyed this piece for getting a message across and creating a believable character.”

Well done, Sally! You’ll receive copies of Speechless and Saving June.

Second Runner-Up: Promise Not to Tell by Brenna Helquist

Hannah says: “I love stories about friendship, which meant I really enoyed this one. This story was really dream-like in a way, and I liked the tone of the writing. I could really picture what kind of life this character had, just from the descriptions and little details. For example, the description of Caitlin holding the melting ice cream as she awaits the bad news of Kyla’s fate was very subtle but effective. Overall, I thought this was a very painful and sadly beautiful read.”

Way to go, Brenna! You will receive copies of Speechless and Saving June.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who entered!

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