2020 Basic+ Word of the Day Short Story Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who sent in stories for our contest! The Word of the Day team loved reading your stories about hope and new beginnings. We wish you all a much better 2021.

And the winner is...

Eva Alexellis (Castellón, Spain)

Runners-up (the people who come in second, third, and fourth but are not the winner): Arianna Federici (Rome, Italy), José Manuel (Pamplona, Spain), Henryk Drozdowicz (Krosno, Poland)


If you are on this list, please look out for an email from us about your prize!

And here’s the winning story by Eva Alexellis fom Castellón

Two FOREIGNERS, father and son, are FOLLOWING a PATH through the forest. It’s a DARK place. There is an OVERWHELMING wind that forces them to close their eyes. The son looks at the father desperately. He’s very tired, his feet are full of blisters and he’s COUGHING. At that moment, a town appears in the distance. He announces his discovery to his father and they decide to spend the night there to gain strength for the JOURNEY. When they arrive there, they are welcomed into an inn even though they have nothing to pay for their STAY.

The next day, the girls in the TOWN are surprised to see this strange boy, who is washing his face NEAR the pond. They wonder where he comes from. His clothes are worn out. They APPROACH him. He has the saddest look anyone has ever seen. Big black eyes that only convey PAIN. They leave without saying anything.

At night, a PARTY is held in the village. Everyone SEEMS eager and overjoyed. The monks at the inn encourage the father and son to go to this party. It’s Saint John’s Eve, starting at sunset on 23 June. Large GATHERINGS of people go to the beach dressed in white and jump ABOVE the bonfires. They appreciate the invitation, but they are not in the mood. Life’s not easy for them.

Some girls call the inn looking for the boy. He is confused but his father encourages him to go. Around him, everyone is singing and dancing. He wonders why he can’t be like them and why they are being so nice to him. Then, a girl stands in front of him and asks him to dance with her. She smiles and he thinks that she’s beautiful. He has never been so alive.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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