Writing Contest! 

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Writing Contest! 

Writing Contest! 

Do you like to write? Do you want to put your skills to the test in a brutal competition? If so, this is the place for you! 

Here's how it will work. For the first round, I will give a short writing prompt. It is your job to write and submit a short story before the deadline. I will judge your stories on the deadline.The winner of the round will get to choose the next prompt and be the next judge. 

A few other rules:

-I'm going to say that the word count should be under 750 words (but don't stress too much if you go over)

-You will have about a week and a half of writing time (but if you need extra time, just ask!)

-If the new judge does not post the prompt or does not judge by a week's time (after the results/deadline), the second place winner will be the next judge. If the second place winner already submitted for that round, then someone random can judge. Also, if the judge needs more time, just let us know and you will get it. 

-There doesn't have to be a prompt. If a judge wants to do a freestyle round then they can. 


Don't worry too much about the rules though. You can write whatever you want, as long as it fits the prompt is some way. 

The first prompt is betrayal and your stories are due on February 22th. 

Happy Writing! 



submitted by Leo, age have fun, oops, a very long post
(February 11, 2021 - 2:07 pm)

Oh wow. Just wow, this is... Awesome? Epic? Haunting? None of those seem to cut it.

submitted by Jaybells, age Obscure, Lost in the Universe
(March 23, 2021 - 9:11 am)


“You?” I’ve never heard his voice sound so cold before. My hands curl into fists at my side, the ragged edges of my nails digging deep into the palms of my hands. I had never expected anyone on his side to be so friendly and nice. I had never expected revealing my secret would be so hard.

“Listen, Finn--” I start, hating the way my voice shakes.

“Stop,” he cuts in, “I don’t want to hear your excuses. I get it. We were dumb, thinking you were one of us.” I squeeze my eyes shut, hiding the tears that are threatening to fall. When I open them again a moment later, Finn hasn’t moved. His eyes search the room, looking anywhere but at me. I swallow hard. I’d always envisioned feeling so proud at this moment. So relieved that my mission was over. So ecstatic, that I, the general’s youngest daughter, had pulled this off. But, instead, all I feel is shame. Hot shame twisting through my mind. Who would have thought that I could become friends with people so strongly against the cause I’m so invested in? I turn away from Finn, unable to hold back the tears drowning my eyes.

“I’m so sorry,” I whisper before walking away.


“You?” My voice is hard. So hard that I barely recognize it. Luciana looks trapped. Torn between her cause and her conscience. Her hands are in fists tight enough to turn her knuckles white.

“Listen, Finn--” Her voice trembles ever so slightly.

“Stop. I don’t want to hear your excuses. I get it. We were dumb, thinking you were one of us.” The look on her face makes me believe, only for a second that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t pretending. No. I can’t think that way. Luciana is a spy for the other side. She’s nonsensical and foolish, just like the rest of them. I look away. I feel so gullible. Luciana was a good spy, though. No one could refute that. She had us all fooled. I hate that I thought of her as a friend. Who would have thought that I could become friends with someone so strongly against the cause I’ve dedicated my life to? Luciana turns away from me, but not before I catch a glimpse of the tears flooding her strange grey-green eyes.

“I’m so sorry.” Her voice is quiet, nothing more than a whisper, but it echos loudly in my mind. As I listen to her footsteps fade into the distance, something my great-grandmother once told me comes to mind: there are two sides to every story. Until now, that had never seemed quite true.


My writing is definitely not usually that dramatic, but I enjoyed working with that prompt! :)

submitted by peppermint, age 13, Pantala
(February 15, 2021 - 1:05 pm)

A weird little piece. It's 300 words long. Thanks for the prompt, Leo!


I was crying, tears sticking my lashes together. The icy metal handcuffs chafed my wrists, leaden against the cuffs of my pajamas. Lulu’s instructions would be futile, I knew, for no matter what I tried, I’d be killed within the day cycle. That was what they did when they dragged you from your home in your sleep.

The woman across from me cleared her throat. “When you’ve quite finished crying, we have a final destination.”

I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud. “You mean the… the…”

“Yes.” She waited placidly for me to blink away tears.

“But why? What have I done?” The false bravado was nothing but a veil, one she could see through without effort.

The woman sighed. “Our sources tell us that you led an attack on the ship’s generator. A capital crime.”

Lulu would have told me to be strong, to deny everything. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You, as well as three other officers,” the woman continued, ignoring me, “were spotted by an eyewitness, who was brave enough to come forward.”

I blinked. “An eyewitness?” Lulu had sworn up and down we weren’t seen. “Who?”

The woman pursed her lips. “I’m afraid that’s confidential.”


The word slipped into my mind like an icicle. Someone had given us up. How? The guards supported our cause, and Lulu had enough money to allow for those who didn’t. Had a civilian reported us?

No, that wasn’t possible. Dark or Zandra must have ratted us out. Beneath the handcuffs, I clenched my fists.

“Which one?” I asked, nearly begging. Tears threatened to flood my eyes again. I had to get out, had to punish the traitor…

The woman sighed and pushed up her glasses. “I believe you were reported by an officer named Lulu.”


submitted by Summer, age tau, Nowhere at all
(February 15, 2021 - 8:21 pm)

Ooh, that was really good!

submitted by peppermint, In the garden
(February 15, 2021 - 10:48 pm)

I can feel dirt crawling upon my skin and my veins as the sleepy guard asks me questions. They rub at their eyes with one hand and tap lazily at their Noti with the other. I see a picture of General Innoxi projected from the transparent screen, and I feel guilt seize my body for a small moment.

"You've done well, Private," the guard says. They turn off their Noti and put it in their pocket. "You're dismissed."

"You've done well," says Amíc. His smile buzzes through his words and I can feel it even though I'm looking at a garden, separated from the two of us by a glass wall.

"I am a little overwhelmed," I admit, my right hand buried deep in my pocket. Amíc's scaled hand finds its way to my shoulder.

"Yeah, I bet. This is a big honor."

"This is a big honor for you, Menda," the Falamino reminds me, their dragonic figure enveloped in whirring robotic arms all clamoring to serve their master. "With Innoxi behind bars... everyone is shocked..."

"I'm shocked that it was Innoxi," Amíc says. I nod absent-mindedly, trying to focus on one of the Utqé blooms beyond the glass wall. "I mean, when I heard that there was a spy, you know how I was questioning all those guys who were mean to you when you first came..."

"They'll be mean to you at first," my father whispers, wrapping a coat and some advice around my small body as I wait for the travel pod to arrive. "They've never had a Pfixeploran soldier before. But you must ignore them. Fitting in is not your mission. We are allied to the Falamino, always."

"He seemed to hate the Falamino, always. As he should have," Amíc adds.

"He did," I say quietly. Innoxi. Oh, he did hate the Falamino, just like every solider here. Except for me.

I look at Amíc. He does not deserve this naivety. He thinks his best friend is the one who caught the spy...

"I know that you're the spy, Menda," Innoxi whispers.

I bolt upright. Innoxi has a piece of paper crumpled in his hand. It's the letter I received this morning- with a coded message at the bottom from one of the Falamino's generals. I've been caught.

"You look like you've been caught putting mud in the admiral's boots," Amíc jokes, seeing that something is wrong. I snap out of it. I can't let myself slip up... again.

"I am okay," I reply.

I am not okay. Adrenaline burns, thick and fierce, through my veins as I dart around in the shadows, following on Innoxi's heels. I cannot fail. The Falamino is counting on me. The Pfixeplorans are counting on me. There are so many people I have a duty to. Innoxi cannot ruin my mission.

"At least you ruined Innoxi's mission, whatever it was." I am used to Amíc's constant talking. The sound of his voice is a happy compromise between silence and chaos. "The Falamino is putting almost everyone in danger... and no offense to you, but the way they claim that they're going to free the Pfixeplorans..."

I am going to help the Falamino free the Pfixeplorans. The incriminating letter is still planted in Innoxi's hands, but now it is addressed to him. He is the Falamino's spy in the eyes of everyone else, and I, a Pfixeploran, have just proved my undying loyalty to the Union. We are not enemies. I have caught the spy.

"I caught the spy."

I whisper the simple sentence. It sounds right. Everything from my cowardice when my dad dropped me off on my way to the Union camp; my feeling of dread when Innoxi discovered me; my triumph when I framed Innoxi; my brief guilt when he was arrested; and my pride when the Falamino praised me- they all fit together like a beautiful puzzle. I am a hero. The Pfixeplorans will rise.

When Amíc and I say goodbye, I relax my fingers from their grip on the knife in my pocket. My friend doesn't deserve a personal betrayal from me, but I am prepared to serve the Falamino however I must.

submitted by Luna-Starr, age 27 eons, Existential Ponderment
(February 16, 2021 - 10:53 pm)
submitted by TOP
(February 18, 2021 - 4:17 pm)
submitted by Tippity-top-TOP!
(February 19, 2021 - 11:26 am)

"I thought you said that you weren't going."

Irene glanced nervously at Sasha, who's peeling blue nails were digging into her phone case.

A muffled crackle of static came through.

"No but–"

Irene looked back down at her own hands. Her nails were emerald green, painted with tiny specks of yellow to match her velvet green prom dress and fake gold jewelry. 

"Who am I with? I'm with Irene! Why?!" Sasha yelled, voice breaking.

Shuffling her feet nervously, Irene pulled out her phone to check the time. She should be going soon.

A pause, and then Sasha snapped, "Fine, I'll put you on speaker."

Jacob's voice came out of the phone, crackly. "I'm sorry, but the boys convinced me to go, and I said I'd help Nick–"

"You ditched me last week and said you weren't going to prom! I told you that I wouldn't go if you weren't going!"

"I'm sorry, but Nick really–" Jacob said apologetically.

"I don't care about Nick, you shouldn't have ditched me!" Sasha exclaimed, her voice rising two octaves.

"I'm sorry."

Sasha looked at her phone. "Fine, whatever. I'm breaking up with you after this."


With that, Sasha ended the call, and flopped down on her bed. Irene sat down next to her, Sasha's casual t-shirt and jeans in stark comparison to her pretty green dress, all dolled up.

"Ughhhh," Sasha groaned, muffled in the sheets and pillows, "I should've just gone with you, as friends."

Irene shrugged, giving Sasha a tentative hug. She had told Sasha she was going to prom alone, and once Jacob had said he wasn't going, she had suggested Sasha to go with her. Sasha had promptly refused, saying she would probably call Jacob. And then Jacob had changed his mind, seemingly last minute.

"It's alright, it's alright," Sasha mumbled, seeming close to crying, "I don't want to ruin your night. You should get going."

"Awwwww, I'll come back and watch Frozen with you again after prom," Irene suggested, "and we can make cookies together!"

Sasha laughed weakly. "That sounds nice. But it's prom! Come on, hurry up, do you have everything?!"

Irene nodded, and she and Sasha stood up. "Well. Good luck!" Sasha exclaimed, giving Irene a hug, "I think I'm going to go–"

Sasha broke off, close to tears, and pointed to the bathroom. Irene nodded, giving her one last hug, and stepped out of the room.

As she walked out of the house, Irene checked her phone. There were a few new texts under Jacob's contact name.

at least she believes the part about nick
i'll meet you at the mpr

Irene stopped for just a moment to text back, 'yea, i'm coming'.

Irene grinned. She had gotten a date to prom after all.


Yes I know I'm technically on hiatus but you know what, this was too fun to pass up :D :D 

submitted by Rainbow Riot
(February 19, 2021 - 2:18 pm)

Everyone's stories are awesome! I will post the results tomorrow!

submitted by Top, it’s Leo
(February 21, 2021 - 8:41 am)

Just want to clarify, you said stories are due on February 22nd?  Does this mean you will judge tomorrow or that my story must be in by tomorrow?  I ask because I have a story I would like to submit, I am just putting finishing touches on it.

submitted by Peregrine
(February 21, 2021 - 10:48 am)

I'm planning to judge tomorrow but I'll wait until your story is in before I judge!

submitted by Leo
(February 21, 2021 - 1:35 pm)

Thank so you much for waiting for me, Leo!  I really appreciate it.  Thank you also for starting this contest.  I really enjoyed writing the below.

Author's note:  I did not, repeat did not, name the character after the Leo who started this contest.  The character walked into my head with the name Leo and I couldn't change it to anything else.  Nothing fit with the character.  

Also, I am open to (and would love to recieve) feedback from anyone and everyone.


Betrayal ( ~ 693 words)


"You promised", her voice was a choked whisper, teetering on the edge of tears.  "You promised."

Flurries of snow drifted around her, catching in her eyelashes.  She blinked them away.   The light wind kissed her cheeks with icy breath.

"Things change, Marianne.  People change."  He stepped forward, boots crunching in the snow, and placed a gloved hand on her shoulder.  "We've grown apart.  We aren't children anymore."  His voice was heavy.

"What happened?", she asked angrily.  "What changed? You wouldn't have done this before."  No sign of tears now.  But it was as if something pressed against her eyes.  "Isn't home enough for you?  There are things here you can do to make a difference."

A pause.  The snow flurries thickened.  His form looked ghostly, insubstantial.  But the weight of his hand on her shoulder belied that.

"I saw -- things.  Terrible things.  Things that would change anybody.  War changes everyone, at home and on the front.  I have changed.  You have changed."

"We could have changed together."  She knew she was being unfair.  She knew time changed people.  And their bond had been unusual in the first place.  Things changed so easily.

"I needed you, Leo. Needed you.  And you weren't there for me like you had promised."  Her voice tightened again on the last word.

Leo was silent.  Then, "I'm sorry."  His voice was a whisper.

Marianne turned, letting his hand fall off her shoulder to hang at his side, and walked away.  Angry at him, angry at herself; struggling against tears.  Leaving him alone, farther and farther behind her, until he was only a dark gray form in the snow.

Her mittened hand closed in a fist which she pressed against her chest, over the locket she always wore.  She didn't need to reach a cold hand inside to her coat to open the locket and read the slip of paper she had torn off a letter.  She had read it so often, she knew every crease and tear, every neatly penned letter,

"If you ever need me, Marianne, I will be there for you.  I promise.  

Your brother,


Promises are broken all the time.  She should have known that.  She shouldn't have trusted his words so much.  No matter how much she loved him.  But their brother-sister bond had been so close.  They had been closer than best friends.  And he had always kept his promises before.


* * *


Inside her room she peeled off her snowy layers and left them in a heap next to her door.  She crossed to her desk and removed her locket, opening it and unfolding the paper inside.  She scanned the words.

"...I will be there for you.  I promise."  The words echoed in her head.  PromiseShe laughed bitterly and tears ran down her cheeks.  Hands clenched, she pressed them against her eyes.  Promises.

Her heart was torn and seemed an unbearable weight in her chest.  She loved Leo, and he had betrayed her.

She closed her eyes.  Unbidden a scrap of memory rose through the of the turmoil in her mind.

"Of course I will!", a young Marianne said indignantly to her brother's question.  "I will always support you!"  Leo grinned, relieved.  "Promise?", he said.  Half teasingly, half serious.  "I promise."  Leo swept Marianne off her feet in a hug.  Marianne squeezed him back, laughing happily.

She opened her eyes, shocked.  She, too, had made a promise.  A promise she hadn't kept.  She had forgotten about that promise.  Forgotten the reason for it.  But she had made a promise and when Leo enlisted she had broken it.  Betrayal.  Leo hadn't even said anything.  Did he remember?

We both betrayed each other, she thought.  

Broken promises.  

But broken things can be made whole.  Not the way they were before, no.  But whole.  Different than it was before.  Once something is broken it won't ever be the same.  But maybe different was better.  Her heart ached.  She would miss the bond they had before, but it would be worse if they had no bond at all.

Forgive.  Her mind lingered on the word. 

Promises.  Betrayal.  Forgiveness.


submitted by Peregrine
(February 22, 2021 - 10:56 am)

Wow, that's so good!

submitted by MoonKitten
(February 22, 2021 - 11:36 am)


submitted by Writing_in_the_dark, age 11, NY but not NYC
(February 22, 2021 - 11:45 am)

Thank you to everyone who entered and can I just say that this was very hard to judge! Everyone did an amazing job! I'm going to list the top 3. Then I will then list the honorable mention that are not arranged from best to worst. 

1st place: Silver Crystal - This piece was really good! I loved the sci-fi aspects and it adresses the prompt wonderfully. The flashback added layer and depth to the characters and an emotional impact. Congratulations, you are the new judge!

2nd place: Morning - I adored this! It was short and sweet. Well, not really sweet since the betrayal was quite evil. I loved the way you switched between a sort of fairy tale setting to real life. The last sentence really hit, great job!

3rd place: Peregine - This was wonderful! It was very soft and sad. I liked that betrayal was mutual and that it makes you think of how much weight a promise has and what happens when it's broken. I also liked the empasis on forgivness. This was lovely.

Honorable Mentions:

Luna-Starr - Great job! I really like the part about the steps fitting together like a puzzle. It seems like we're not sure which side is good even though the main character has chosen. I liked the way that you switched between the Falamino's reaction and Amic's. 

Luminscene - This was a beautiful style! I liked that it was from the view of the betrayer. It was over all a very emotional piece and a lovely take on the prompt. 

Writing_in_the_Dark - This was short and lovely. I liked that the detail of the blood was an important plot point in the betrayal. It feels like there's more story and more character that could be built from the story which is a very good thing. 

Ripley Wren - This was certainly very dark but I thought it was great! The betrayal was very emotionally raw and deep. I love that you also added that it's hard to hate someone that you care for even when they are doing awful things. 

NiiteSkiies - The setting and characters are very cool and the names are great! I like the way that you switched points of view and the betrayal definitely seems to have some layers in it. You did a great job!

moonshine - I very much liked this! The idea and the betrayal were were great. I think a little more detail about what exactly happened would be good, but overall very enjoyable!

Rainbow Riot - Oof. I liked this betrayal a lot and how it wasn't quite as dark but still very much effective. The reveal was great and worked well. Great piece!

Summer - This betrayal was great and I loved the main character's reaction to being betrayed and how they were not able to figure out who the traitor was. Their trust in Lulu made the betrayal seem even more shocking and the story flowed wonderfully!

LazerBat -  This very deep and emotional! I like the way that we're not quite whether the person whose viewpoint we are seeing is good or bad. It's also interesting that by pulling the trigger, the assaisin has betrayed both his parental figure and himself. One thing that you could work on, is the formatting because it is a bit hard to read which everything is clumped together in one paragraph. For example, making idents when a different character talks. 

Sage Wolf - Short and sweet! This fit the prompt well and the betrayal was very unique. Overall, very good writing! 

Just a reminder that the honorable mentions are not ranked! Everyone did a wonderful job and I enjoyed reading your stories so much. Silver Crystal, you are the next judge and get to choose the next prompt! 


submitted by Leo, she/they
(February 22, 2021 - 10:31 pm)