Another Pro Sale to Story Unlikely and The Best Way to Lose!

The pro literary magazine Story Unlikely just announced to their 10,000 subscribers the results of their 2024 Annual Writing Contest. Over 2,500 entries were submitted. No, I didn’t win the grand prize of $750. So why am I happy? I’m glad you asked!

This is a blind submission contest, which means no names are included on the judged manuscripts. Paid website subscribers get a bonus where they can submit up to three stories in the contest, and I took advantage of that. Their team voted on contest submissions by merit alone and selected nine finalists. From these nine they chose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place. As Maxwell Smart said, “Missed it by that much!” But for me, my results felt better than a win (not that I wouldn’t have liked the money!). You see, 𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐓𝐇𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭! 𝐈𝐧 𝐚 𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝟐,𝟓𝟎𝟎+ 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬! The editor told me no one else came close to that accomplishment. And then he sent me a contract and bought “Grasshoppers Against the Jar.”

And there’s more icing on this cake. I set this contest as a writing challenge for my Wulf Pack Writers group and two of our writers—Brittany Rainsdon and Robert Stahl—made finalist as well! That means of the nine finalists in this international literary contest, over half were Wulf Pack Writers’ stories. So cool!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll subscribe to Story Unlikely and read all these amazing stories in an upcoming issue. Here’s a few snippets below that you can read from their latest issue, including the editor’s kind words about my results. He even commended my teaching ability and told his readers to get my book HOW TO WRITE A HOWLING GOOD STORY. 



 Our annual short story contest was a huge success, with over over 2,500 submissions received! Our benevolent volunteers worked tirelessly to sift these down to the top three winning stories. So here we are, proud to announce our winners, finalists and honorable mentions (and may I mention that all Paying Members who receive honorable mention or higher received personal feedback from our very own editor-in-chief – of which numerous stories this year did!). Congrats to the winners and everyone whose name made it this far – the competition was fierce, and ya’ll earned your certificates. So plaster them all over your social media feeds to proudly declare to the world, “I almost won an international writing competition!…but not quite.”

Winning Stories

1st place – Five Miles to Epworth by Zack Harmes (will be featured in September issue)

2nd place – Range Unknown by Josie Turner (will be featured in August issue)

3rd place – The Pack by Sarah Cannavo (featured this issue!)


Andrew Hughes – The Thousand Mile Track

Brittany Rainsdon – Rainbow Baby

Robert Stahl – Dead Presidents

Wulf Moon – Grasshoppers Against the Jar

Wulf Moon – The Weeping Tree

Wulf Moon – Time Dusting

And then editor Danny Hankner shared tips to help writers win and said the following, including a nod to my bestselling writing book:

Learn from the best by reading our Writer’s Gym, which features in-depth articles on writing by some of the best writers in the business. For example, one of our featured authors is a guy named Wulf Moon. If that name isn’t familiar (we’ve published his work previously), take a peak up at the finalists – Moon managed to snag not one but ALL THREE stories (Paying Members can submit up to 3 stories, FY!), and remember, this is from an effectively blind contest. We didn’t know his identity until placing was established. For all three of his stories to be contenders is just astounding! And equally as impressive, Moon’s writer’s group – The Wulf Pack – managed to find their way to 5 out of the top 9 spots. Incredible! So yes, Moon knows what he’s talking about, and you should absolutely listen to our shameless membership plugs so you can do well in this contest too! (or read his book, or both!)


With my recent First Place wins in the Southeastern Writers Association 50th Anniversary Writing Contests, I’ve won over fifty regional, national, and international writing contests. I didn’t say it, the editor of Story Unlikely just said it: “Moon knows what he’s talking about.” And what did he say about a writing group achieving five out of the nine top spots in his international contest with over 2500 submissions? “Incredible!”

If you’re a writer and haven’t joined the Wulf Pack Writers tier on my Patreon page where I coach writers, you’re missing out! Winners do happen here, and we can help! Or take one of my masterclasses or webinars and sharpen your skills. Your blade has to be sharper than anyone else’s to cut through the competition. Get the edge you need to win!

Here’s the link to my bestselling book HOW TO WRITE A HOWLING GOOD STORY (#38 on Amazon’s Best Seller list today in Fiction Writing books). Shhh, it’s also in a massive sale right now on Smashwords. Click HERE.

Here’s the link to join my Wulf Pack Writers group on Patreon. Click HERE.

Here’s the link to my on-demand recorded workshops to give you a leg up, including my newest masterclass based on my bestselling book! Click HERE.


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