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, 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 next year’s contest and we’d love to hear any suggestions you may have to offer. 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



Announcing our Winners!

Level A (3rd- 4th grade)

Hard Times

Hard Times

by Juliana McIrvin | First Place

Two Women and a War

Two Women and a War

by Vincent Lorelle | Second Place

The Faith of One Family

The Faith of One Family

by Caleb Oppelt | Third Place

Level B (5th- 6th grade)

All Things Work Together

All Things Work Together

by Rebekah Taepke | First Place

The Long Journey

The Long Journey

by Kaleigh Garrett | Second Place

The Crossing of the Aliákmon

The Crossing of the Aliákmon

by Suzie Wilson | Third Place

Level C (7th- 8th grade)



by Bethany J. Boone | First Place

The Transformation of Gus Bancroft

The Transformation of Gus Bancroft

by Claire Spencer | Second Place

Back When It Was Today

Back When It Was Today

by Amie Rehmann | Third Place

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



Lidia Rozdilsky

homeschool parent

The quality of the work of the children that won was impressive on so many levels, and very much deserves the recognition it got. As a writer and multi-lingual person myself, I would like to say "chapeau" to you all who have cultivated such love for the written word in your children, because, talent aside, such work can only come through due to exposure to quality literature. We are hoping you will organize more such competitions and are looking forward to promoting your work.

%d bloggers like this: