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Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest

April 2022 Winners

In the 4th iteration of the Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest, we decided to continue offering this contest internationally. This time, the theme was the power of words. We received over 600 entries from 42 different countries and are delighted to share the following winners with you:

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First Place: $1,000 USD goes to Lauren St. George from the United States.

Refuge means trading the sound of exploding shells for the clatter of unfamiliar languages. Exchanging a city of rubble for the garish brightness of his new classroom. On his first day, the children swarm him, 360 degrees of eager, alien sounds slipping past white teeth.

 

Class begins and he is forgotten. Untethered by understanding, he drifts, carried by a current of homesickness and unbelonging.

 

A tap on his wrist pulls him to the surface. The girl leans close to him.

Salaam, she whispers.

Salaam, he repeats.

The familiar tug at the corner of his lips feels almost like home.

​​Second Place: $450 writing coaching package goes to Gillian Musoka from Kenya.

Post-Independence Possibilities

 

The heat and dryness of those days lent themselves to widespread hostility. At the rallies, our jostling bodies could have started fires. He stood out immediately from the pyromaniacal parade of our political scene, an upright man. One unbowed by the indignities of subjugation. In speeches, his words poured forth like a rainmaker's miracle, filling and sealing the cracks in our parched earth. He insisted that our land was fertile enough. "We must dare to invent the future," he said, and we let him collect us— like so many droplets—into the flow of a mighty river. 

Third Place: $250 developmental or diversity editing package goes to Cluny Smith from the United States. 

The Power of Words

 

You said my hair

Was a stinky leaf on fire.

You said my eyes

Were ugly blue blobs.

You said my clothes

Looked like the rags

A poor servant would wear,

Which I was.

 

You said my hair

Was a beautiful rose.

You said my eyes

Were gorgeous little oceans.

You said my clothes

Looked like the dress

A princess goddess would wear,

Which I was.

 

Everyday you make me smile.

Everyday you make me cry.

This is the power of words.

Congratulations, Lauren, Gillian, and Cluny! And congratulations to everyone who dared to dream and created a little bit of power in this world. You matter. Your dreams matter. Keep writing.

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Curious how you can create a winning entry? Request feedback on your entry and we'll tell you what we love about your piece as well as ways to make it even better.

You get tips right from the source custom-tailored to meet our judges' expectations, help you hone your craft, and create the kind of entry that's selected as a winner in the Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest.

Thank You

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has dared to dream and share your words, story, and heart with us. You matter. Your dreams matter. Keep writing.

Please keep in touch and sign up for our email list to to receive details about the current contest, writing tips, and inspiration.