Nathaniel Wilmer

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How can I be a Writing Challenge guest judge?

You may have noticed, at the end of every announcement of Writing Challenge winners and runners-up, that there’s a short paragraph thanking each of the judges. While many of the judges are the same from challenge to challenge, there’s also usually a note thanking a special guest judge. But who are these guest judges? How are they chosen?

Winning a Writing Challenge comes with a fair number of perks: You not only get to choose the next challenge and request a snazzy winner’s banner, you can also serve as a judge for the next round. Because the previous round’s winner picks the next round’s theme, s/he won’t be able to enter a story, so acting as a guest judge for the round is an extra bonus: You not only get to pick the theme, you also get to judge how close to your vision the round’s writers interpreted it!

However, guest judges aren’t made up solely of the winners of previous rounds. Starting in mid-2014, runners-up were also approached about being guest judges, though it wasn’t until the current round that any of them decided that they would like to do so. However, the result will be a great panel of judges for the November & December Writing Challenge: Not only the usual judges, but also the writers behind Ensigns Nathaniel Wilmer and Leland Bishop and Ambassador Della Vetri. It’ll be wonderful!

Don’t forget, the November & December challenge, “Love & Betrayal,” is now open! Head over to the Writing Challenge forums to learn more and submit your own entry.


Nathaniel Wilmer Wins “Run Shivers Down My Spine” Writing Challenge

Many and varied congratulations to the writer behind Nathaniel Wilmer, the winner of the “Run Shivers Down My Spine” Writing Challenge! His winning story, “Heritage of the Lost,” impressed the judges amidst a strong and varied field of great contenders. In fact, the Challenge hasn’t seen so many contestants in many months, which made this winning story especially memorable. According to the judges, “Heritage of the Lost” stood out especially:

…dropping the descriptions of Charlotte Farnsworth’s life in between the the status of the antiquated house played well throughout the story, and made the reader want to know more about her, and of her mad grandfather. … Wilmer’s strong command of the English language, grabbed this reader’s attention and never failed to deliver the unwritten promise of  the drama and suspense of Charlotte’s heritage, and when the end came, all he had written came to life all over again.  “Trelane.” Charlotte choked on the name. “Your name… is… Trelane….” And there was no question (or question mark) or doubt as to the identity of the specter who dwell within the pistol.

If you haven’t yet, please offer the winner, the runners-up, and all our fine writers some congratulations!

Our winner has kindly provided the theme for our November and December Writing Challenge: “Love & Betrayal.” Head over to the Writing Challenge forums to learn more!

As always, don’t forget that you can pick up a complete collection of all this round’s short stories, in PDF format, for free. Get yours here!


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