top of page

🏆Writing Contest Winners🏆

We're very pleased to announce the winners of NBR's Writing Contest!

Patriotic Star Confetti

Winners July 2024

🏆Fiction🏆

1st place
golden quill.png
1st
Place

A Daughter of the Trolls: A Numina Parable

by McKenzie Catron

Are you afraid of the bogeyman?
Eighteen-year-old Sparrow can’t remember a time when she wasn’t. And neither can her mother—or the trolls, imps, gnomes, and faeries who all live in the Glade and call it home. Though Sparrow’s weak heart keeps her wheelchair-bound, she and her mother have dedicated their lives to protecting the Glade, especially from the worst bogeyman of them all: the skin-stealing, poison-ingesting witch called Black Annis.
But one night, Sparrow makes a terrible mistake, and everything she once held dear is taken from her. The Glade is no longer a sanctuary, and the only way Sparrow can save her mother and her friends is to journey out into a monster-ridden world that wasn’t made for her or her wheelchair. Joined by her half-goblin friend, Rush, Sparrow will have to confront her fears before the ones they love are lost forever.
A Daughter of the Trolls will appeal to fans of European folklore and the darker Grimm Brother’s fairytales. This is a spine-tingling young adult fantasy adventure about evil witches, monsters, and the imperfect heroes who face them all. You’ll join Sparrow and her faerie friends on a life-changing journey where they face not only their outer demons but their inner ones as well.

2nd place
2nd
Place

Caretaker (The Goodpasture Chronicles)

by R.J. Halbert

A family desperate for a fresh start finds themselves tangled up in a strange connection to a mysterious old house.

After experiencing marriage troubles and dark pasts, Ian and Lyana Keane are ready to leave Boston behind and move with their two kids—Ariel (15) and Zach (12)—to the sleepy New Hampshire town of Littleton. They are inexplicably drawn to an old house that they all feel an immediate connection to—a home complete with a rich history, extensive grounds, intriguing character, and a Caretaker.

But as time goes on, strange things begin to happen with the house and the family living within its walls. They see recurring symbols, experience realistic hallucinations, uncover mysteries they can’t explain. One by one the Keane family realise that dark forces - or something stronger - are afoot. Be it cursed ancient mythology, dark magic, or just chilling coincidence, the Keane family are forced to rely on Marshall the caretaker for help, but is he really as kind and cooperative as he seems?

One thing is clear: the Keane family is more connected to this house than they could have ever anticipated.

But will it have the power to save their family from tragedy? Or will it tear them apart for good?

3rd place

The Heretic: A Novel (The Heretic Trilogy) 

by Allysha Lavino

Research and inspiration come together in this spellbinding spiritual adventure through history and mystery. Allysha Lavino takes us on a magical journey into the hidden histories of France and the real life secrets buried in code through the ages. This enchanting visionary fiction epic invites us to step into the story and discover how the wisdom of our ancestors could change the modern world forever.

As secret was hidden in the Languedoc of France, but this ancient wisdom has always been a deadly heresy. Cultural anthropologist Lily Ann Harper is on a quest for facts when mysterious Sir Anthony Leclair invites her to Rennes-le-Château, where she is unwittingly thrust back through history. Forced to confront her greatest fears, Lily awakened to a mystical power buried deep inside. Face to face with an age-old enemy, she must choose―embrace the magic of the ancestors and find her place in the Pattern . . . or lose Everything.

Are you ready to become the hero of your own story? HERETIC MEANS “ABLE TO CHOOSE.”

⭐ Honorable Mentions ⭐

🏆Nonfiction🏆

1st place
golden quill.png
1st
Place
Reality Check 1st place.jpg

Reality Check: Making the Best of The Situation - How I Overcame Addiction, Loss, and Prison

by Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino gives fans the inside scoop they’ve been begging for with his explosive tell-all.

In this page-turning whirlwind of action-packed, unbelievable stories, Mike paints a raw and uncensored picture of his rise to stardom, steep fall, and amazing renaissance, all told with unwavering honesty. Divulging everything from drug-fueled orgies to what really happened behind the scenes of reality television’s most loved and dysfunctional family, Mike’s book reveals all for the first time.

In his familiar, straightforward voice, he hilariously tells of intoxicated run-ins with celebrities like The Rock, Robert Downey Jr., Drake, Jay Leno, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Hasselhoff, Jason Statham, Lil Wayne, Kristin Cavallari, Whoopi Goldberg, and more. Alongside the comical moments, he describes more poignant events, such as the frantic searches for opiates to sate excruciating withdrawals, including one such time in Italy, which led to the infamous wall headbutt fight with Ronnie.

No punches are pulled in this unfiltered tale, relating Mike’s darkest thoughts after trying heroin, going to prison, and grieving his wife’s tragic miscarriages. However, like in all true redemption stories, Mike never gave up, and readers are sure to be inspired by his determination to get clean and sober and become the man he is today. With pure candor and vulnerability, he delivers details on the mindset that got him through those dark times and onto the enlightened, sober path he walks today. Through personal anecdotes and invaluable life lessons, Mike teaches readers how to overcome obstacles and embrace change. From conquering personal demons to finding redemption, he proves that it’s never too late to turn your life around and make the best of any situation.

2nd place
Honeymoon at Sea 2nd place.jpg

Honeymoon at Sea:

How I Found Myself Living on a Small Boat 
by Jennifer Silva Redmond 


When Jennifer Shea married Russel Redmond, they made a decision to spend their honeymoon at sea, sailing in Mexico. The voyage tested their new relationship, not just through rocky waters and unexpected weather, but in all the ways that living on a twenty-six-foot sailboat make one reconsider what's truly important.

In this charming, meditative memoir, Jennifer recounts that fateful first year, moving back and forth with the currents of her life. On their voyage, the couple sailed Watchfire to Baja California's Sea of Cortez, where they spent twelve months before sailing south along Mexico and Central America and through the Panama Canal. Jennifer's unique experience on the boat weaves through time as she explores the events that lead to taking her first step onto Watchfire—from her bohemian 1960s childhood in Southern California to the years she spent as a struggling actor in New York.

As Jennifer’s grandfather once said, “If you want to get to know someone, take a long trip in a small boat.”

The memoir begins and ends with the couple on their current sailboat in San Diego and then in Port Townsend, Washington. More than thirty years later, their honeymoon at sea continues.

3rd place
710GfZGw+GL._SY522_.jpg

Belonging Matters: Conversations on Adoption, Family, and Kinship Paperback
by Julie Ryan McGue 


Belonging Matters supports the adoption community while creating a conversation with those not directly touched by adoption. The collection explores the pursuit of identity and the boundaries of family and kinship. It challenges the reader to embrace all of who we come to be, and to discern with whom and where we belong. Because belonging defines the human experience, and it is what nourishes our spirit, fuels us with purpose, and compels us to soar beyond the limitations of our lived experience.

⭐ Honorable Mentions ⭐

Congratulations to ALL Winners and Participants!
We loved reading your books and truly appreciated all of them!

Winners 2023

🏆Fiction🏆

1st place
golden quill.png
1st
Place
The Secret of the Magic eyePad.jpg

The Secret of the Magic eyePad: Putney Hicks Inventor Adventures

by

Marsha Tufft

She dreams of becoming an inventor. First, she has to survive middle school… Putney Hicks just wants things to go right for once. A socially awkward girl dropped among rich kids in an experimental STEM institution, the anxious twelve-year-old can’t seem to see her own potential. But life sprinkles in a surprise when she receives a mysterious tablet housing an advanced, talkative intelligence. Wondering if the friendly pixie in the device is alien or supernatural, Putney is determined to keep it safe while exploring its possibilities. But when competitive art and science projects lead to an ill-advised bet with a wealthy mean girl, the would-be engineer may be in way over her head. Will Putney’s mysterious new mentor help her make it through her first week in class? The Secret of the Magic eyePad is the award-winning first book in the Putney Hicks Inventor Adventures middle grade series. If you like girls in STEM, preteen drama, and clever innovations, then you’ll love Marsha Tufft’s lighthearted tale. Buy The Secret of the Magic eyePad to click through to fabulous fun today!

3rd place
3rd
Place
False Idols.jpg

False Idols

by

Mark Damon Brooks

In a world where superheroes exist, it will take one normal man to remind everyone what it means to be a hero. Malcolm Mills has a problem with the Newton Force. He has his reasons. Yet the rest of the world loves the world’s only superheroes. Gifted with super strength, flight, telepathy, and indestructible skin, the Newton Force aren’t the heroes they appear to be. They’re more comfortable doing commercials and signing autographs than fighting crime. When an exo-suit clad criminal conducts a brazen attack in broad daylight, it results in the death of Malcolm’s friend. Now Malcolm is going to do the one thing the Newton Force won’t. He’s going to find the criminal and save the day. Along the way, Malcolm discovers a criminal who is as brilliant as he is ruthless. And who is rapidly evolving from a low-level villain to a full-fledged supervillain.

2nd place
2nd
Place
Seriously, Murder.jpg

Seriously, Murder?

by

Monica Hoopes

Alice Humphries is a small-town Jersey lawyer, and she knows what she’s doing. Kind of. And hell—even if she doesn’t, she and her best friend Don can normally figure it out. They are recent law school grads who’ve opened up their own practice, and they’ll take just about any case they can get to keep the electricity on and buy donuts on Fridays. But when they’re assigned to a high-profile murder through the Public Defender’s Office, they find themselves in over their heads. The victim: a well-known divorce attorney found shot to death in his office. Their client: his blond, botoxed, and bitchy wife. Alice and Don have to get her out of jail, keep her out of jail, and figure out what the hell they’re doing in the process. And meanwhile, they still have two other clients to contend with: a 23 year-old hot-blooded drama queen who pelts her on-again-off-again older lover with snowballs and erects giant snow penises on the hood of his car, and a brash-mouthed Texas pageant mom who assaults a fellow contestant with a giant cupcake and stuffs her four-year old’s bra for the win. And then there’s sexy Assistant Prosecutor/enemy of the defense, Jake Harris. Alice can’t figure out whether she wants to strangle him or make out with him, but the feeling is definitely mutual. Seriously, Murder? is the first installment in a laugh-out-loud romcom murder mystery series that will keep you wanting more! Don and Alice are at the heart of this story, and they just might save the day (if they don't kill each other, first).

🏆Nonfiction🏆

3rd place
3rd
Place
The Luckiest Unlucky Person I Know.jpg

The Luckiest Unlucky Person I Know: A Practical Memoir

by

Kristin Smith Westbrook

“I’m sorry to report this, my dear, but you have invasive ductal carcinoma,” the doctor said. Carcinoma, I thought. Sounds like a fun, funky dance step from the ’60s. Come on, everybody, let’s do the carcinoma! Ever wonder how to live your best life when you’re in the middle of your worst nightmare? If so, this is the guidebook for you. The Luckiest Unlucky Person I Know is a memoir that offers practical exercises to find clarity and balance in the face of adversity. Through personal stories of living with metastatic breast cancer, surviving a near-death experience, and managing grief and loss, this book will inspire you to approach challenges and adversities with humor, grace, and gratitude. If you are living with a chronic disease, trauma, grief, or a difficult obstacle in your life, the lessons in The Luckiest Unlucky Person I Know will have you feeling lucky too.

1st place
golden quill.png
1st
Place
ER Doctor Tales of an emergency room doctor.jpg

ER Doctor: Tales of an emergency room doctor

by

Paul Weinberg, M.D.

Paul Weinberg spent 30 years in the Emergency Room (or ER) as a medical doctor and has seen everything, Described as "a strange career" by the author, entry into the field is unrestricted and open to all who are brave (or foolish) enough to start into the stream without the knowledge of the tsunami ahead. The strangeness of the practice is apparent from the very first visit to a busy urban ER. The swarm of commotion and great vividness of the scene can be dizzying. The relentlessness of the torrent and its strange day and night rhythms can enthral and repel like no other practice or job. In turns shocking, sad and funny, this book contains remarkable tales, inside stories and the experiences of a doctor's career in ER. Emergency medicine in America is a critical asset to its healthcare system. The ER doctor is located at the interface of the public and the first point of healthcare. If a doctor is needed outside of office hours, nights, or holidays, if the patient is uninsured or has inadequate insurance, or is of such a social state that they might be unpleasant to be around, no one is turned away at the ER. In short, the life of the ER doc is one where no situation is off limits.

2nd place
2nd
Place
The Life She Once Knew.jpg

The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor

by

 Vanna Nguyen

In 1981, a young woman faced death as she lay on the floor of a small boat in the South China Sea fleeing the life she once knew in Vietnam. In 2008, her teenage daughter lay fighting for her life after being brutally raped and abandoned while returning books at a library near Tampa, Florida. The attack in front of the Bloomingdale library left Queena with a traumatic brain injury, sentenced to a life unable to walk, see, or speak. As Vanna Nguyen lovingly poured herself into caring for her now severely disabled daughter, she also battled with reliving her own Vietnam War survival story. And she must decide, can she forgive the attacker whose unforgivable decision changed both their lives as they knew them forever? In The Life She Once Knew, Vanna candidly chronicles the deeply spiritual and emotionally powerful journeys of these two strong women as they fight for their lives and their futures decades apart.

bottom of page