for homeschoolers

2016 Sower & Harvest
Short Story Prizes

The competition was open to current homeschool students. Prizes were awarded to all winners.

A Note From the Founder


It’s been a rewarding experience to see our inaugural contest take flight! I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the homeschoolers who participated: this contest was a victory because of you.

We’ve been asked how we came up with the moniker for our contest and it is quite simple to answer. Every entry that arrived in our inbox was a harvest in its own right. Much had to be imagined, learned, articulated and expressed and then revised. It’s difficult to see these short stories as anything other than a bountiful harvest.

As a homeschooling father of three children, I understand the effort it takes in sowing seeds of character, faith, morality, and creativity into the hearts of children. Thus, we acknowledge the parents or guardians who labored every day in the homeschool by planting valuable instruction into the minds and hearts of the writers who participated.

Considering this, then, it only seemed appropriate to inaugurate our contest by naming it the Sower and Harvest Short Story Prizes. Parents are the sowers. The writing from their children is the harvest.

We’re so thankful to God for these talented writers! And we’re grateful to all who entered and made this first year an amazing contest!

Plans are in the works for the next contest and we’d love to hear any suggestions you may have. We hope you sign-up for our newsletter to receive updates and other significant announcements.

We’re ever thankful to God for all our contest participants. Enjoy this harvest of winning stories and please continue to plant throughout the year!


Carlos G. Ortega

Founder, Burning Bush Press



Special Thanks To Our Generous Sponsors





Level A

3rd through 4th grade

1st PlaceHard Times
by Juliana McIrvin
2nd PlaceTwo Women and a War
by Vincent Lorelle
3rd PlaceThe Faith of One Family
by Caleb Oppelt


5th through 6th grade

1st PlaceAll Things Work Together
by Rebekah Taepke
2nd PlaceThe Long Journey
by Kaleigh Garrett
3rd PlaceThe Crossing of the Aliákmon
by Suzie Wilson


7th through 8th grade

1st PlaceLonely
by Bethany J. Boone
2nd PlaceThe Transformation of Gus Bancroft
by Claire Spencer
3rd PlaceBack When It Was Today
by Amie Rehmann

Honorable Mentions

Back to Family by Charis Anne Guilford

Commitment by Amelia Metcalfe

Lily’s Heartbreak by Grace Larsen

The Boy, the Knight, and the Grappling Hook by John B. Jensen

From Ireland to America by Catherine Lorelle

Where’s the Package by Grant Goulart

Wings by Ellie Wilson

Secrets and Treasures by Evan Oppelt

The Mission by Mckenzie Harms

Wildest Dreams by Keona Lau

My Adventure by Camille Haman

The Unexpected Tag Along by Brooke Cox

Act of Kindness by Esther Zhang

Me, A Witness? by Paige Peterman

No Longer a Stranger by Sydney Lee

Thank you for your support