Announcing the winners of the 2021 Iron Pen Contest — Virtual Awards Reading Saturday, March 13, 2pm CST

Hello Iron Pen Contestants!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in Iron Pen 2021. We received many terrific entries, and our judges had difficult decisions to make in their evaluations. Without any further ado, here are the winners of the 2021 Iron Pen contest by category:


1st Place: Barbara Schmidt
2nd Place: Hannah Scott-Ravikumar
3rd Place: Monica Flink
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Bert


1st Place: Emily Kingery
2nd Place: Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
3rd Place: Jeanne Anderson
Honorable Mention: James O’Brien


1st place: Ryan Christensen
2nd place: Danny Hankner
3rd place: Michelle Opsahl
Honorable Mention: Jennifer Palmer
Honorable Mention: Tony Cardoso

Congrats to all of our winners! The Virtual Award Ceremony and Reading is this Saturday, March 13 at 2pm CST via Zoom / Facebook Live / YouTube. The winners, 2nd, 3rd Places and Honorable Mentions will be our featured readers, but anyone who participated is welcome to read their entry to this year’s contest (please contact Sarah Elgatian if you’d like to read: Please let us know if you plan to attend, and if you plan to read, so we have an idea of the schedule. Thanks!

We will be mailing the medals, books, and certificates for our winners soon, and we’ll also have our drawing for the full registration to the David R. Collins Writing Conference during the event on Saturday (please note that you do not need to be present to win the conference registration—anyone with a paid Iron Pen Entry will be included in the raffle, and each paid entry enters your name one time—so, for example, if you entered in all 3 categories, your name will be in the drawing 3 times). You are of course welcome & encouraged to help spread the word about the event; here’s the event page.

We hope you had fun with this year’s prompt—everyone certainly did a great job of going from zero to finished piece in a mere 24 hours! Thank you all so much again! Please let me know if you have any other questions about the contest or the Award Ceremony this Saturday 3/13. Thanks again and have a good day…

All best,