Happy Endings Writing Contest

I recently got in a discussion at Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists about happy endings–are they cheesy? Unrealistic? Do you like them or find them trite?

I won’t delve into that argument here. Maybe I’ll save it for a later post. But it did give me an idea for Up and Writing’s very first ever contest.Ooooh.

I want to hear your very best real-life happy ending. When did you fight the proverbial dragon and win? When did you find true love? When did everything look dark, only to end in a “eucatastrophe” (a term coined by Tolkien, meaning the opposite of catastrophe)?

The winner will receive a freeย YA fantasy/sci fi book. You can leave your stories as comments here, or e-mail them to me at rachel_heston_davis@yahoo.com. If you leave them as comments, please leave your e-mail so I can contact you if you win.

This contest runs for exactly one week–until Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the end of the day. On Wednesday morning, I’ll reveal the answers and e-mail the winner.

Can’t wait to hear your stories!




Filed under Contest

6 responses to “Happy Endings Writing Contest

  1. This is a great idea! I don’t have any stories to contribute but I just wanted to give you my support. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Oh, crud. You got my wheels spinning but so far nothing. I shall return by the 15th with a “real Life” happy ending even if I have to make it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hil

    I just avoid books that can be classified as happy/sad endings. When it comes to stuff that really matters real life is so complicated I’ve usually seen a middling of it anyway. The journey is often so sad that even if you got the result you wanted in the end the whole of it is not happy.

    The few times things all align for you it is no wonder we are tempted to call it a miracle. When my sister was in first grade she got a really bad fever and started hallucinating. Mom tried to call the local doctor but he didn’t answer his phone so she took her straight to the hospital and found out she had spinal meningitis. Later she came home from the hospital to find a message from the doctor. He had called back to say they should put her in a cold bath. It was just a fever. Had he answered the phone and she had done that my sister would have been dead as they had just gotten to her in time as it was.

    Sometimes in real life things like that happens. Rarely. For the seasoned readers we don’t always want to read stuff like that. It seems too perfect and unrealistic. Because it is. Odds were against my sister and whatever you want to call happened, intervened, defied, and we got the unlikely happy ending. If every book went like that it would be boring though. We usually want to read things done by human devices and done logically even if the ending isn’t happy. Deus Ex Machina is rarely appreciated.

    I prefer a story work logically. If the writer forces a happy ending I cry foul. If the writer kills a character off for the sake of pumping up the tragedy rather than something that makes sense I cry foul too (Joss and Russell, I’m talking to you pals. Stop doing that. It is lazy. It is like the anti-Deus Ex Machina where you kill someone off because otherwise you don’t think it would be gritty enough even if it is character abuse and makes no sense.).

    I also don’t like it when the writer leaves only one way for things to happen. I hate when an ending seems inevitable. Not that I want something to come out of left field, but I want the natural drama to be carried out to the end and not have it be a march to death row or a march down the aisle either. There should be numerous possibilities until the end of the book.

  4. rachelhestondavis


    Yeah, I like books to leave lots of possibilities open until the end, as well. Not only does it keep you entertained as a reader, but it reflects real life fairly accurately, as most of us have tons of choices every day and not one set path.

  5. Fishy

    I’ve really spent several days trying to figure out when I’ve had a truly happy ending in my life, but I can’t think of any specific instance. Can I just claim my entire life as a beat-the-odds, did-lots-of-things-someone-in-my-economic-and-life-bracket-shouldn’t-be-able-to-do thing?

    1) I turned out semi-normal despite overwhelming influences to turn me into…well, someone like my middle sister and/or father.

    2) I went to college, did well, and graduated.

    3) I have really great friends who don’t ask me how I am without waiting for an honest answer.

    4) I actually try to maintain my marriage.

    I suppose this is actually more of an exercise in building my own self-esteem, but it seemed okay to post here. I just wish I could isolate something from all these years to make it seem like I “fought the proverbial dragon and won.”

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