Family and Imperfection Writing Contest WINNERS ANNOUNCED


Congratulations to everyone who entered our very first Writing Contest.


I read each of the 53 total entries – WAY more than I anticipated receiving – and was truly humbled by your vulnerability, your humor, your grace and your writing chops. Writing is hard work, and I appreciate each person who took the time and the risk to enter this contest. It was an exceptionally strong pool of essays, and I was so very glad I decided not to judge this one myself! 

Without further ado, I’m very pleased to announce our 
5 Writing Contest Winners:

Jen Hulfish of This Life Unconventional
Lora Lyon of My Camo Kids
Dawn Reed
Jenny Roth

Mandy Smith of Smith Silliness

And, because we received so many truly excellent entries, our
2 Honorable Mentions:

Michelle Ruth Frindell of Maple Leaf Kitchen
Dominique Dobson of Entertaining Morsels

Each winning and honorable mention essay will appear individually here on the 5 Kids blog during the next 3 weeks, one every Friday and Monday in the order listed above. I can hardly wait for you to see them! And stay tuned for an announcement after the 5 winning entries have been published here to find out which will be selected to appear at Mamapedia, our awesome partner in this contest.

In the meantime, please do check out the blogs above and the following excellent entries, all of which placed in the Top 15 and are now published on the authors’ blogs:


And many, many thanks to our judges who had an impossible job. I got to read and cry or read and laugh; they had to read, cry, laugh and then JUDGE. Blerg. In the weeks to come, as I share our winning essays, I’ll also share our judges’ notes on why each entry was selected. For now, I’m pleased to introduce you to three very well-read women whom I love very much.

Korie.ChocolateKorie Buerkle is the mother of two imaginative young children, and the wife of the talented graphic designer and amazing stay-at-home dad, Brandon Buerkle. She is a Children’s Librarian and loves creating storytimes and book clubs when she is not doing other administrative things that are not as much fun.

MeghanRogersCzarnecki2Meghan Rogers-Czarnecki works at her family’s independent bookstore, Chapters Books and Coffee where she loves chatting with customers about good books as well as their personal stories, which are often just as compelling. She spends way too much time reading, negotiating with her three children, and cooking to have any left over for cleaning her house, so imperfection is near and dear to her heart. 

AjSchwanzAj Schwanz is the Chief Manager of Consumption for her tribe at their humble abode in Dundee, Oregon. She writes single-sentence bios for herself and then gives Beth Woolsey permission to write the rest. 😀 Beth and Aj share a deep love of well-written words which they usually find in YA fantasy novels and occasionally on a completely inappropriate Canadian television series about the fae underworld**, about which they text regularly. Whereas Beth just Makes Up Crap on her blog, Aj worked Real Jobs in the Writing World as a Young Adult librarian and as an editor for Barclay Press. 


P.S. All entries are listed in alphabetical order by author’s name, not by placement in the contest. Just, you know, FYI.

P.P.S. If you’re looking for today’s project as part of our 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Project series, you can find it on Facebook here. Anytime you don’t see one listed on the blog, head on over to our 5 Kids Facebook community. We have fun there. 



Aj, having not seen the bio I wrote for her (above) until I posted it today, said I had no business outing our mutual love of a certain wildly inappropriate Canadian television series about the fae underworld without also including the photo I texted her two weeks ago of the Lego miniatures that represent the show’s main characters which I, *ahem*, spent an hour crafting and then photographing at the Lego store whilst my 1st graders built race cars and significantly more appropriate miniatures of their own. Like the one of the mermaid with a beard.

I’d like to publicly apologize to Aj for my thoughtlessness and correct my oversight here:

photo (85)

I think we can all agree Aj was right and I was wrong.

P.S. If you like trashy, swear-y, drink-y, ComiCon-y, funny, gory shows about fairies, Lost Girl is TOTALLY the show for you.

P.P.S. If you don’t like trashy, swear-y, drink-y, ComiCon-y, funny, gory shows about fairies, you should probably skip it.

Old Wood Pencil image credit gubgib via

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14 responses to “Family and Imperfection Writing Contest WINNERS ANNOUNCED”

  1. I’d never even HEARD of Lost Girl but then I randomly talked to Rob Archer on Twitter and he randomly followed me so we’re probably best friends now and I SHOULD watch it to be supportive. Also I am SUPER Comic Con-y.

  2. Thanks so very much for giving me a chance to step outside my comfort zone and write about being vulnerable. I’m so honored to be listed next to these amazing women!

  3. Thanks for showcasing my essay even though I didn’t quite make it into the very top! I really appreciate the linkage.

    Also, I’ve heard of Lost Girl offhand, but that Lego figurine set now really makes me want to find out more.

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