Iron Pen Contest 2022 – Selections Announced, Awards Reading Sat. 3/12

Hello Iron Pen Contestants!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in Iron Pen 2022. We received many terrific entries from writers across a record 16 states, and our judges had difficult decisions to make in their evaluations with such strong and various work in each category. Without any further ado, here are the winners of the 2022 Iron Pen Contest, by category (*updated 3/11*):


1st Place: Rachel Rixen, “30 May, 1431”
2nd Place: Jason Martin, “What I first wanted to say was more fire.”
3rd Place: Alison Westerink, “Snow Globe”

Honorable Mention: Chital Subhash Mehta, “The Burning”
Honorable Mention: Hannah Scott-Ravikumar, “Milan, 1349”
Honorable Mention: R.A. Savary, “Change”


1st Place: Deanie Vallone, “Brave New World”
2nd Place: Hannah Showalter, “What I First Wanted To Say Was More Fire”
3rd Place: David Wright, “Sonnet in Which We Try to Translate the Song of
Songs and Terrify Ourselves with Love”

Honorable Mention: Andrew Taw, “Say more, say fire”
Honorable Mention: m.l., “I Don’t Want to Get Coffee with My Abuser and I
Feel Guilty”
Honorable Mention: Mendy Knott, “Fire and Ice”


1st place: Samantha DeFilippo, “Just Enough Fire”
2nd place: Brittany Summers, “I Counted The Stairs”
3rd place: Jeanne Anderson, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires When You
Are Camping in the Forest Next to Your House in Order to Win a Bet”

Honorable Mention: Morgan Rondinelli, (untitled)
Honorable Mention: Erin Lewis, “The Cleansing Ritual”
Honorable Mention: Margaret Sherwin, “Always and Olive Drab”
Honorable Mention: Tammy Davis, “More Fire”
Honorable Mention: John Turner, “The One Sane Thing”

Congrats to all of the winners! 

The Virtual Award Ceremony and Reading is this Saturday, March 12 at 2-4 p.m. CST via Zoom / Facebook Live / YouTube. The winners, 2nd, 3rd Places and Honorable Mentions will be our featured readers, but we want to include as many writers who participated in this year’s contest as we can in the time we have—please let us know if you plan to attend, and if you plan to read, by contacting Sarah Elgatian at Thanks!  

We will be mailing the medals, books, and certificates for our winners soon, and we’ll hold the drawing for the full registration to the David R. Collins Writers’ 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). We’ll also be announcing the Keynote Speaker for the Conference at the event. You are of course welcome and encouraged to help spread the word about the event; here’s the link for the event page:

We hope you had fun with this year’s prompt—everyone did excellent work going from zero to finished piece in a mere 24 hours! We hope to see these works in publications soon. Thank you all so much again! Please let us know if you have any other questions about the contest or the Award Ceremony this Saturday 3/12. Thanks again and have a good day…