Brave Enough To Write

10,000 words or less, all genres except erotica $20 donation to enter 100% tax deductible

This contest is a charity fundraiser. 

All proceeds go toward our mission of providing free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools.

$1,000 prize for Winner 18 and over category

$1,000 prize for Winner 17 and under category

Contest runs Jan. 15th 2019 thru June 15th 2019

The Details

Our “Brave Enough To Write” Short story contest is a fundraiser that also promotes literacy, writing, and authors. 

The format is simple,

Submit an unpublished short story 10,000 words or less in any genre except erotica.

Entry fee of $20 is  a 100% tax deductible donation and all proceeds go directly toward providing our programs and scholarships to students. 

Prizes are $1,000 for the best author 18 years old and above and $1,000 for best 17 years and under author.

One winner per year in each category will be selected to receive the BETW Lion of Literature Award. 

Authors retain full ownership of their work. ​

In the future we are looking to publish a  collection of winning stories and runner ups and any proceeds from that will be split evenly with the authors.

We launched this contest first in 2017 with prizes totally $1,500.The top prize of $1,000 was won by Sarah Tehuitoa  of Pahrump Nevada. The $500 prize was won by Isabel Adams of Weare New Hampshire.

Our goal is to raise raise financial support and awareness for our mission in such a way that aligns with our core philosophy of inspiring people to achieve their dreams.


Jessica Rathmann Takes 2nd Nationwide in Short Story Contest


Jessica Rathman

Jessica Rathmann is a 14 year old writing & reading fandom fan of San Antonio, Texas. She has always enjoyed writing and has taken it seriously for the past two years. She admins a young writers group on Facebook and her favorite authors currently are Sarah J Maas, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, and J.K. Rowling.

Her contest entry, The Story Gets Harder with Every Word is a cautionary tale that could come straight out of today’s headlines. It is written with a depth of emotion and gravitas that belies the author’s young age. This may be a fictional story but it delivers a message that is all to real and that EVERYONE should hear.

In the eyes of the judges, Jessica’s story stood out above all the entries in her category but one, and earned her second place the 17 years old and under category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!

Read The Story Gets Harder With Every Word

You can also follow Jessica on her blog, Here

Maddie Guerrera Gets The Bronze In Nationwide Short Story Contest

Madison Guerrera


Madison “Maddie” Guerrera is a freshman at Faith Preparatory School in New Milford, CT.  She enjoys writing, musical theater, 1930’s cartoons and photography.  She has performed in many different musicals and plays at the local theaters and hopes to one day become and actress on Broadway and a playwright.  Her natural curiosity and strong desire to overcome new challenges give Maddie her inspiration when writing.

Madison submitted a fictional autobiographical tale set in the pre-Civil War South. Her “Diary Of Susie Valentine” navigates one of the darkest moments of America’s existence with the kind of faith and imagination found only in the heart of a child, and in the pen of a budding novelist. Which is why she placed third the 17 years old and under category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. Learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!

Read Diary_of_Susie_Valentine

Chris Cassone Takes 4th place in Brave Enough To Write Short Story Contest

Chris Cassone of Patterson New York is a writer of songs, stories, fiction and screenplays.
His Beatles fan fiction,  ode to the sun and angst filled days of summer in upstate New York  wowed the judges garnered Chris fourth place in the nationwide 18 and over category of the Brave Enough To Write short story contest. the contest was held as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Brave Enough To Fail which provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
Read it here.
Chris is the composer of 18 songs for “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die – The Musical” which premiered this past June in the 1000 seat Charleston Music Hall. Now it is on its way to off-Broadway.

Last year he had his first top ten record, co-writing with old friend Ace Frehley (former KISS founder and guitarist) on his Billboard #9 CD, “Space Invader”. This came on the heels of his You Tube hit, “Route 22,” about the road from the Bronx to Canada. In 2012 he led the BBQ All Stars on a tour of BBQ festivals with “My Baby Loves BBQ”.

Chris started his path as a recording engineer in the late 70’s to better document his songs, mentoring with hit maker, Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Frampton) where he learned the art of production and the need for story in the song. He worked with Dr. John, Mercer Ellington and Billy Joel, among many others. Old friend, Chazz Palminteri and director Robert DeNiro, tapped him to record the music for A Bronx Tale in 1992.

His next production, The Cakeman Chronicles, is a one man musical about the intrigue around his family bakery in New York in the 50’s and 60’s, including his finagling into concerts using sheet cakes.

Ladies Sweep Brave Enough To Write Contest

The Winners

Sarah Tehuiotoa (Left)of Pahrump Nevada winner of $1,000 in the 18 and older category and Isabel Adams (Right) of Weare New Hampshire winner of $500 in the 17 and under category


First of all,

Thank you so very much to each and every writer that participated in our very first Brave Enough To Write, short story contest fundraiser. By entering, you are not only following your dream, you are also helping to inspire young people all across America to follow their dreams. So thank you again for supporting our mission to provide free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!

#Girlpower was in full effect as two young ladies from opposite ends of the country won the first, Brave Enough to Write, short story contest.

The competition was fierce. A lot of outstanding writers submitted great stories in both categories and our judges really had their work cut out for them. In the end, two stories had just enough of an edge to put their authors over the top.

Sarah Tehuitoa, Winner 18 and over category $1,000 

Sarah Tehuitoa is a 21 year old English major who lives in Pahrump Nevada and commutes weekly to classes at University of Las Vegas.  She is working her way through college by working at a grocery store. She entered the contest on her 21st birthday. Sarah says,

“All I have ever wanted to be is a writer. It has been my dream ever since I was little and I haven’t been able to give it up.”

Her short story, “The Sands of Time” is a gritty (pun intended) tale of love, loss, despair, and just maybe a shot at redemption with a dash of magic thrown in as a tantalizing garnish.

Contest judge Ethan Carey, host of the Rock & Roll Morning Show on WRKI I-95FM,  says Miss Tehuitoa’s writing style reminds him of James Patterson or Daniel Silva.

Read The Sands of Time here The_Sands_of_Time_by_Sarah_Tehuiotoa


Isabel Adams, Winner 17 and under category $500 

Isabel Adams is a 17 year old homeschooled student from Weare New Hampshire. She’s always had a passion for writing, photography, singing, and gospel music. Isabel is also a former Vice President and lead writer for FYI Teen Magazine. Her story, “Spirit of the Warrior”, is a coming-of-age story set in the early American west.

Contest judge Lauren Porosoff, English and writing teacher at the Fieldston School in New York City and author of “Empower Your Students” says Isabel’s story has a relatable message about empowerment, perseverance, and bravery along with great imagery reminiscent of young adult adventure stories.

Read Spirit of the Warrior here Spirit of_The_Warrior


Runners up in the 18 and older category


2nd Place: Love, Life, and Bacon by David Moore of Saint Charles, MO.

3rd Place: The Library by Molly Brewer of Mooresville, IN.

4th Place My Summer with the Beatles by Christopher Cassone of Patterson, NY.

Runners up in the 17 and under category


2nd Place: The Story Gets Harder with Every Word by Jessica Rathmann of San Antonio, TX.

3rd Place: Diary of Susie Valentine by Madison Guerrera of New Milford, CT.

4th Place The Escort by Allissa Brianna- Riley Vernon of Lolo, MT.

Brave Enough To Write is Sponsored by 

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Write a Short Story & Win Long Green $




Follow your passion for Writing, support a Charity that inspires Kids AND win $1,000!

The Brave Enough To Write short story contest has two age categories and two prizes.

17 years and under prize is $500.

18 years and over prize is $1,000.

All funds raised by this contest will go toward the prizes, and to provide free motivational programs and scholarships to in-need schools.

Also the winners in addition to getting the prize money, will have their story and accomplishment promoted to the youth we serve and the general public, as an example of what can happen when you have the courage to go after your dreams.


Contest Rules :

  •  Online Submissions only
  • All stories must be previously unpublished in
  • Submission fee $20.00 US
  • Max word count: 10,000.
  • All readings are blind
  • Each story must be accompanied by a cover sheet that includes the writer’s name, age, the title of the story, his or her complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and the word count of the work submitted.


  • The title page and story must be submitted as one document, as an attachment. The author’s name should not appear on the story. Only the title of the story should appear on the manuscript.


  • Writers may submit multiple entries, but these must be submitted as separate Microsoft Word documents, or PDFs with separate cover sheets and separate entry fees.


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