Challenge into Change Writing Contest

Everyone has a story to tell. WHAT'S YOURS?

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s Challenge into Change at the Virginia Festival of the Book such a success. On Wednesday, March 22, 180 people filled the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to celebrate women’s stories of healing and renewal. All the authors contributed their courage and wisdom; we are so grateful to them for sharing their stories with us.

We are honored to present this year’s winners:
First Place, Aerial Perkins, for her essay “Pretty Brown Girl”
Second Place, Kaity L. Yang, for her poem “Chronic Guest”
Third Place, Becca Pizmoht, for her essay “Alive”

How to Get Your Copy of the Book

The 2016 Challenge into Change book contains the amazing essays and poetry of all of this year's participants. A limited number of copies of the book are available for purchase for $10 each at our office at 1101 East High Street, Charlottesville. You may also order copies from Lulu Press by clicking here. The books will be available through other distributors soon; check back here for details.

About Challenge into Change

Challenge into Change is a forum for real-life stories about women overcoming personal struggles. In our daily lives we don’t often talk to one another about difficult issues such as abuse, racism, becoming a refugee, loss of a loved one, immigration, divorce, illness, mental health crises, poverty, or domestic violence. But the only way we can truly address these experiences will be to shine a light on them and show how we can heal from them. The reflection, encouragement, and wisdom you bring by putting your story to paper will radiate out to our whole community.

Submit Your Work

This year's deadline has passed.

Read Past Winners' Work

All entries will have a chance to be published in the Challenge into Change book. See an excerpt from the 2015 book, including the winning entries, by clicking here.


Call or email us: 434.872.0047 or

Para leer sobre los lineamientos en español del concurso, dé click aquí.