Congratulations, folks. You made us cry. I’m serious. We found the entries to the #200 Challenge truly moving, and we are so glad to hear what Vocal means to all of you. It hasn’t been easy sometimes, keeping the show on the road — but you are what makes it possible, and you are what makes it worthwhile, and we are so lucky to have a reminder of that in all the entries to this challenge.
One of the things that is most meaningful is seeing how our Vocal creators have built a real community; as our winner, Catherine Dorian, demonstrates in her lovely piece, This Heaven We Have Here. With candor and style, she illuminates the challenges of being a writer, a teacher, a daughter, and recognizes the strength that can be found in the support of others, and in simply choosing to go on. “Don’t let the fear of criticism drive you from the Heaven that so lovingly awaits your stories,” she ends. Amen to that.
In second place is Jen Gossoo; in My Year of Rebecoming she reveals the inspiration she drew from our Fantasy Prologue Challenge — she was our winner, and congratulations again — and promises "to show up for this creative act that simultaneously nourishes my soul and strikes mortal dread into every limb and neuron when I force myself to sit down and confront a blank page”.
It seemed especially hard to choose our runners-up this time round as there were so many wonderful entries, and it was so great to hear from all of you. But a shout-out to William Rudyard for Heart to Heart — thanks for resolving to find your purpose and place on Vocal, William, we appreciate your honesty and your commitment. Bri Craig, in How to come un-lost, engages with the aftermath of grief following the death of a beloved sister-in-law: amidst struggle, “It's okay to write and exist imperfectly,” she reminds us. And Matthew Fromm, in Of Machines and Men, turns our question on its head and interrogates what it means to have goals and aspirations in the first place.
Usually we like to end these pieces with something clever of our own: but this time we’re just left with heartfelt gratitude for your continuing commitment to our platform. It means the world to us.
You can check out the full list of winners HERE and learn about our current challenges below:
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented