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APPRECIATING the 'Unscramble' Challenge Winners

and all of the amazing participants :)

By Heather HublerPublished about a month ago โ€ข Updated about a month ago โ€ข 3 min read
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APPRECIATION - My twelve-letter word for all of you in response to your genius in taking on my slightly crazy challenge. I know this one seemed a bit daunting, but the creators on this platform showed up with incredible style, creativity, wit, and sheer bravery for indulging this idea of mine.

If I counted correctly, there were thirty-three entries, six of which received Top Story. Kudos to everyone that entered and much gratitude to all of the readers!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a fair number of micro fiction entries amongst the throng of poems, and quite a wide variety of words and themes.

Some creators were able to exclusively (or just shy of) use only unscrambled words in their entries. Others added in additional levels of form constraints, making their piece an abecedarian or a villanelle or even a pantoum. And there was one creator, with special permission from the judging committee (read that as yours truly) that used a slightly made up word.

Whew! Needless to say, this challenge was incredibly difficult to narrow down to a short list. And I'm forever grateful for your engagement - thank you.

I could certainly wax poetic about every one of these entries, which I have on each individual story, but I'll get right to the awarding? Knighting? Bestowment? Choose your title :)


Well, here we are...the unveiling! I promised a first place, second place and probably some third place winners, and that's pretty much what I stuck with this time, just slightly expanded.

First-place winner for Poetry ($20) - Wordsmithing by D.K. Shepard

Not only did D.K. use an incredible 76 unscrambled words, but the piece was still cohesive and flowed so well. I was in love with the 12-letter word choice, wordsmithing, right from the title. This was everything I'd hoped for out of this challenge and just so happened to be the last official entry. Kudos to you, D.K., for absolutely showing up for this challenge. Wordsmith, indeed.

First-place winner for Micro fiction ($20) - Acknowledged by Lamar Wiggins

Lamar's amazing piece received a top story from Vocal and after reading, it's not hard to see why. This micro had it allโ€“a bit of suspense, mystery and some serious emotional resonance. And then the revelation starts to unwind, and you realize what it's all about. I was simply blown away by the powerful, overall message. Fantastic!!

Second-place winner for Poetry ($10) - Asphyxiation by Paul Stewart

I knew right away when I read this entry that it would be a contender in this challenge. Paul delivered a poetic masterpiece. The main word delivers such a punch right from the start, and then the image hits, not just the visual, haunting one, but the scene that begins to play in your mind as the poem continues, slowly suffocating you. Brilliant work!

Second-place winner for Micro fiction ($10) - Serendipitic by Celia in Underland

This was a full-on story with a beginning, middle and end! I know that sounds redundant to say as it's placing in a micro fiction category, but with the word constraints, this unfolded so seamlessly. And it was quite an engaging story too with such a clever conclusion. I was ready to follow along on the character's next adventure! A++

Third-place winner for Poetry ($5) - Competitions by Thavien Yliaster

Thavien came with his A game for the challenge and wowed me with this 'competitive' piece. His use of language was really top notch. And of course it appealed to my nerdy, science side with words like isotonic, osmotic and septic. There was also a skillful display of rhyming which made the whole thing have a rap kind of feel. It all just worked so well!

Third-place winner for Micro fiction ($5) - Flex by Kendall Defoe

With three entries in the mix, Kendall kept coming with his wonderful micro fiction piece. I felt the struggle of this person, their internal conflict playing out in the confines of a weight room. And the last line was gold, bringing it all home. I felt lighter for having read it, if that makes any sense. But you don't have to trust my judgement, you can read for yourselves and see! Wonderful work, Kendall :)


If you didn't get a chance to read all of the entries, I highly encourage you to take a look at them. Really clever work. I've included the original challenge piece with all the links in the comments.

As always, this was an incredible pleasure and honor to host.

Until next time,


Note: Monies will be paid as tips to the winning Vocal stories by Wednesday, May 1st, 2024.


About the Creator

Heather Hubler



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OMG creators

Mike Dharr Cathy DanaS Babs Brin

Gina Tiff Grz KJ Thavien CH Kelli

Veronica BrentonF Paul Dean Holly Lamar

Caroline Melissa JS Donna Moe

Gerald DanaC JBaz Kristen Randy

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (24)

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  • Gina C.29 days ago

    Some amazing pieces here! I definitely need to catch up on all of them, but the creativity here is so inspiratonal! Congratulations to all the winners in this awesome challenge!

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Congratulations to all the winners! Excited for each of you.

  • The Dani Writerabout a month ago

    Wowsers! I don't know where the wonderment begins and ends! Those written pieces all sound phenomenal. I am so behind in my reading but I hope to catch some of these "juice-ees" real soon. Mega congrats to the winners and special woot-WOOT to you Heather for thinking this all up and running to the top with it!

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    Oh wow. Wasn't really expecting that. Thank you...to be up there with such amazing entries, I'm delighted. This appealled to the word nerd in me so much, and I just wanna say thanks and well done to you first, Heather. This was so fun. I had like two others in the can...not finished...but I might still do something with them...that was how creative this challenge got me going. Then I just wanna say....DK and Lamar...you really bloody brought it. I only just read DK's a few minutes ago and I'm glad I hadn't read it before entering anything, because I feel like the minute that was published it was a winner. Lamar, you pulled a blinder out of the bag too! And then to Celia, Kendall, Thavien, just all bloody great. Such good company to be in...and I will try to get through all the other entires...the ones I've already read have been amazing. Just another example of the talent and skill on display here. Anyway. I'll shush now lol.

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    Bravo to the winners, and of course to Heather!

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    I have mine sitting in my drafts, where it will forever remain.*Sigh* Kudos to the winners! Thanks for the challenge, Heather.

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats to everyone! Great work!๐Ÿฅณ

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿคฉ Wow! I'm beneath words right now. First off, thank you for creating such a challenging challenge. Second, congrats to all who participated! These creator challenges help to spark inspiration and keep our minds busy trying to figure out the best way to approach them. Can't wait for your next one! Thank you!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    All of them were such great entries! Congratulations to all the winners! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’–๐ŸŽŠ

  • Grz Colmabout a month ago

    Cool! Donโ€™t think I read all of these as yet but congrats all!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅณ

  • Thanks for a great challenge with such diverse entries.

  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Congratulations to the Winners ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    Thank you for the fun, Heather, and congratulations to all the winners! I'm looking forward to reading all the entries!

  • Hayley Mattoabout a month ago

    Congrats everyone!! This was such a fun challenge!

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Great stories and poems and an exciting challenge!!! Congratulations to all!

  • Congratulations everyone

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Yay. Congrats to all the brilliant winners. These truly was a great challenge.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    Congrats to all the winners and thank you to Heather for running this challenge!! It was so much fun to play along!!

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    Dear Heather, I thank you for the bronze! KD ;)

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    Oh, wow! I am thrilled and so honored! My 11th hour late night brain was struggling to determine whether I should even submit what I worked on, but Iโ€™m so glad I did! This challenge was so much fun to participate in! Thank you, Heather, for hosting and facilitating so many great pieces!

  • Joe Pattersonabout a month ago

    Great job double H, youโ€™re really building the vocal Community to be better.

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    I remember when "Serendipitic" was still "Serendipity." Sadly, I didn't get to read it before the original content was quick edited to deletion. I still wonder what the original stuff was. It read like it was good based off the comments' section. I think I read that piece by Lamar. His stuff always hits different and makes You think "Why did I not think of that? It was staring my in front of me and that's not even my blindspot." I gotta type, Heather, You always choose great pieces for winning. Plus, I like to think that if somebody had more than one winning entry based on Your standards You select Your favorite work of theirs ensuring that other authors are allowed to have their work shine as well. That being typed, great work earns its credit when credit is due. Yet, I do wonder if You've ever come across creators that have multiple entries that would win based upon Your judging standards. Like I know that people that have won official Vocal challenges have entered into Your challenges. So that's just my food for thought.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Awesome!!! Congratulations to the winners!!! โ™ฅ โ™ฅ โ™ฅ

  • Sandra Matosabout a month ago

    Congrats to all of the winners! Thank you, Heather, for having this exciting challenge! I enjoyed it. I am off to read the winners now! (those I haven't already read)

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