2023 Story-Writing Contest Book

I’m excited to start gearing up for the annual story-writing contest. It’s a lot of work, and the first step is creating the cover and title for the 12-story collection. I don’t usually do this myself. I prefer that you young writers have a chance to choose a title and cover.

This is how it works. Readers may suggest any title they like. We usually end up with quite a long list! I run the list of a dozen or more titles through my own mind and also by a couple of trusted author friends. The list is narrowed down to the top four. Then you get to vote on which of those four will be the title of the book. We do the same thing with the cover image for the book.

Current contest book titles
  • Way Out West (2013)
  • Beneath the Western Sky (2014-2015)
  • Along the Western Trail (2016)
  • Into the Sunset (2018)
  • Western Sunrise (2019)
  • Lassoing Adventure (2020)
  • Beyond the Rising Sun (2021)
Past title suggestions to get you started

These are a few suggested titles from past contests. You can suggest anything you want in the comments. If you like one of these, let me know which one and that will weigh heavily when we are narrowing it down to only four. After that, you can vote on which one you like the best. The title with the most votes will be the 2023 title for the contest book.

  • Across the Foothills
  • Under a Painted Sky
  • Under a California Sky
  • Chasing the Wind
  • Chasing the Dawn
  • Under a Summer Sky
  • Western Breezes
Cover image

You may submit one (or two) fun images for a possible cover, but no more than two (I prefer not to be flooded with hundreds of photo links). Go to DepositPhotos.com to find a photo you like. Copy the URL link of the photo and paste it in the comments. It would be nice (but not required) if you tell me why a certain photo appeals to you. If you have time, you are welcome to click on other commentors’ links and reply to them if you like them.

Do not find photos on Google Images or anyplace else (images are copyrighted and I can’t use them). I use photos only from DepositPhotos, where I have an account. See covers already published: Annual Contest >>

Below are random covers and titles from past contest suggestions. Any cover can be used with any title. I have posted these to give you an idea. If you like any of the images below, tell me in the comments.

You may submit title and image possibilities September 6 – 12 (one week). Then I’ll put up the top 5 titles on Tuesday, September 13. You will vote, September 13 – September 19. Once I have the winning cover, you will then vote for the cover design you think best fits the cover that “won” the vote. You will have four days to vote on the cover design (September 20- 23). The final cover for the 2023 annual contest will be posted on Saturday, September 24.

I know I changed things around a bit from the original post. I was going to have you vote for the title and the cover at the same time, but it seems to me you should vote for the title first, and then vote for the cover that best matches it. So I have revised the dates a bit.

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

107 thoughts on “2023 Story-Writing Contest Book

  1. For the photos, I like under a painted sky and the second one of across the foothills
    For a name, I really like under painted skyπŸ₯°


  2. I also like the 2021 Across the Foothills. Under a Painted Sky; Under California Skies; and Western Breezes are really nice covers as well πŸ™‚


  3. I think that my favorite cover would have to be Under a Painted Sky! And I think that these two pictures would look great as well. The horse running reminds me of something that would go with “Chasing the Wind,” “Western Breezes,” or “Chasing the Dawn.”
    I don’t think that you could go too wrong with a picture as long as there is a horse and a sunset! πŸ™‚


    1. I actually meant to attach the link to this picture not the Arabian horse grazing in the pasture… πŸ™‚ Sorry about that!


  4. My favorite title is definitely “Chasing the Wind”!! And I like it best with the picture that you currently have with it! It is the uniquest cover that you have done so far…all the others look kind of similar to other covers done in the past.


    1. It is beautiful, but can you see that I would not be able to make a cover out of it because it is horizontal instead of vertical? I need photos that can be put on 5.5×8.5 covers.


  5. I really like the title “Under a Painted Sky”, and the photos of “Across the Foothills” (2021) and “Under California Skies”. A title idea could have something to do with “Dream” (“Dreaming of Adventure” or “Chasing Dreams” for example), in connection with the writers’ dreams of sharing their stories with others through this book πŸ™‚


  6. Mrs. M. I have a few questions…
    Do you have a goal (like a 1,000 words) wheb you write? And did you already write all the Circle C Adventures when you got a contract?


    1. I can, but a lot of this already offered ideas on other random posts so I have compiled a nice list already. I think if I planned a post for ideas, I would get the ideas I have already listed.


    1. No, those are huge novels, not just short, fun stories. I could not do those myself. I would have to hire my narrator, and I haven’t sold enough of the other audios to be able to afford her work.


    1. I will go with the titles first. I’ve already got a sense of the top 5 titles that you guys are leaning toward. Once the title is determined, that will really help narrow down the titles. For example, if everybody choose “Chasing the Wind” then a peaceful setting in the mist will not be an option. πŸ™‚
      And that’s why I have you guys! You are going to vote for the top cover title and picture.


    1. How did you get that picture to stick in the comments?
      I tried to get the URL, but it won’t go to Deposit Photos so I can’t use it. I must have a working link, not just the picture.
      When I copied and pasted the link (which showed with the picture), it sent me to a picture of a pregnant lady. So not the same thing! LOL


      1. I’m so so sorry. The page wasn’t responding and I accidently posted three comments.

        And the picture didn’t work in all three.


  7. For the title, I like Chasing the Wind and Under a Painted Sky. I also have a few of my own:
    Into\Over the Foothills
    Into\Over the Mountains

    For the cover, I like the photos for Under a Painted Sky, Under California Skies, Chasing the Wind, and Western Breezes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For the Annual contest, can i renter a story from a Seasonal contest that didn’t place? And i didn’t request it to be put up as fan fiction


    1. That is up to you, of course. But if it didn’t place in a Seasonal Contest, what makes you think it will place in the Annual Contest? I recommend going over whatever story it is and see what you can do to revise it. If it was a runner up, then no you can’t re-enter it.
      Good luck!


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