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Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest

November 2022 Winners

We left the theme open this time and judged the pieces on creativity and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible. In addition, we were looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling story.

We received over 900 entries from 40 different countries and are delighted to share the following winners with you:

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First Place: $1,000 USD goes to Ella Wong from Hong Kong.

When you peel apples, layers of sunset scarlet curling to petals in your hands, like bits of fiery sky dancing onto you, only you — you feel special.

When you slice apples, blade shearing through flesh with the crisp crunch of wind on sea, like the breeze is kissing you shimmering pearls — you tingle with pleasure.

When you bake apples into warm golden crusts, the tick of the oven a countdown to joy, honeyed fragrance embroidering the air  — you fill with buttery sweetness.

And when you gift apple pie to someone, their shining smile tickling away the shadows  — you feel loved.​



Second Place: $450 writing coaching package goes to Federico De Palma from the United States.


Stars shook the cosmos in
explosions of liquid light.
Atoms, almost cheating,
bended every rule to fuse
into new elements.

Time changed colors
and space itself dilated,
in an almost magical way.

All of this, and more,
for billions of years,
time and time again.

All to have you here, now,
                     smiling at me.​



Third Place: $250 developmental or diversity editing package goes to Jen Emery from the United Kingdom. 

Too many of us, too long indoors, and the sky is lowering, glowering, threatening rain.

The littlest and I slip out in the mustard dusk to buy eggs, parsley, another bottle of wine.

He is fractious, a rackety marionette, attention snagging on the splintered fence with spyholes, a coot fussing her chicks.
In the verge, a clutch of buttercups. He stretches, presses a flower to my neck.

You love butter, Mum! He smiles.

Do I?

I kneel and cup his chin, raise the petals. His face tilts and fills the charcoal sky
with yellow light, a bright benediction.


Congratulations, Ella, Federico, and Jen! And congratulations to everyone who dared to dream and created a little bit of inspiration 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.