Challenge into Change Writing Contest

Write to heal. Share to inspire.

Our Challenge into Change Celebration at the Virginia Festival of the Book was an evening of so much inspiration, courage, and wisdom. Thank you to the 200 people who joined us, including LaTanya McQueen, the authors who contributed stories, and all of those in the community who bore witness and supported these extraordinary women's stories of transformation and healing.

We are honored to announce this year’s winners:
First Place, Sheron Sinclair, “She Calls Me, ‘Momma’”
Second Place, Olivia Corianna Winston, “Normal Girl”
Third Place (tie), Mariam Anwary, “More Than They Think”
Third Place (tie), Xochilt Diaz, “Cómo Transformo un Desafío en un Éxito Personal” (“How I Transform a Challenge into Personal Success”)
Third Place (tie), Alison Main, “Saved”

Get Your Copy of the Book

The 2018-19 Challenge into Change book includes the incredible essays and poetry of this year’s 70 participants. Copies are available for a suggested donation of $10 to The Women’s Initiative at our Main Office, 1101 East High St., Charlottesville. The office is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am-5pm; and Tuesday & Thursday: 9am-8 pm.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE in Challenge into Change

Do you have a Challenge into Change story to share?

Each fall The Women’s Initiative invites submissions of 500 words or less about a woman (yourself or someone you know) who transformed a life challenge into an opportunity for change and growth. Both prose and poetry are welcome. First-time writers are encouraged to enter. Participants must be residents of Central Virginia.

Winners receive cash awards; all entrants have the chance to be published in our Challenge into Change book and will be honored at a ceremony at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville.

The deadline for submissions is typically mid-December. Visit or call (434) 872-0047 for details.

Read Past Winners' Work

All entries will have a chance to be published in the Challenge into Change book. Click on the image of the books to read excerpts of past winners.

2015-16 Contest

2015-16 Contest

2016-17 Contest

2016-17 Contest


Call or email us: 434.872.0047 or

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