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Fiction Fantastic contest judges

The Fiction Fantastic youth short story contest is judged by a team of volunteer judges and then by a celebrity judge.

Check out our past celebrity judges.

2024

Sander Moffitt

Sander Moffitt

Sander Moffit is a four-time past Fiction Fantastic contest winner.

“I first entered Fiction Fantastic as a seventh grader, with a mystery short story about a burned-down pet store. I won third place, it was the first time I’d ever been recognized for my creative writing, and it felt like the Best Day Of My Life,” Moffit says. “Since then, I have written nearly a million words across drafts of many short stories and two novels, one of which I queried with literary agents. Participating in Wordcrafters workshops and contests gave me the confidence in my writing to make it a part of my career.”

Moffit, who’s recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in Biology and English, plans on uniting those interests in a career in creative science communication. 

“I want to help others get as excited as I am about rare plant conservation or ctenophora jellyfish with marbles for brains,” she says.

2023

Rosiee Thor

Rosiee Thor

Oregon-based author Rosiee Thor judged the top-scoring entries in each category for the 2023 contest, choosing the final winners.

“I really enjoyed reading the stories. It brought me back to my own experiences of youthful creativity. There’s a joy in the kids’ stories that’s just infectious,” Thor says. “There are a few I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.”

Rosiee Thor (she/they) began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell their mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of plants. They are the author of Tarnished Are The Stars, Fire Becomes Her, Life is Strange: Steph’s Story, and The Meaning of Pride.

2022

Andre Royal, Sr.

Andre Royal, Sr.

Andre Royal Sr., also known as “Chef Andre,” is an influencer and award-winning children’s book author of The Hippo-Critic. His most recent venture is a series of “Color Along Story Books.” His official writing career began as a freelance journalist for the Register-Guard and is now making an impact in the literary community, hospitality industry, and gig economy. He has carved a niche for himself as an entrepreneur and public speaker and consultant, using his creative talents outside the kitchen to further his social media presence, professional network, and established partnerships. Originally from California, now living in the Pacific Northwest, Chef Andre is full of fresh new ideas and always has something simmering on the back burner.

2021

Kristin J. Dawson

Kristin J. Dawson

Andre Royal Sr., also known as “Chef Andre,” is an influencer and award-winning children’s book author of The Hippo-Critic. His most recent venture is a series of “Color Along Story Books.” His official writing career began as a freelance journalist for the Register-Guard and is now making an impact in the literary community, hospitality industry, and gig economy. He has carved a niche for himself as an entrepreneur and public speaker and consultant, using his creative talents outside the kitchen to further his social media presence, professional network, and established partnerships. Originally from California, now living in the Pacific Northwest, Chef Andre is full of fresh new ideas and always has something simmering on the back burner.

2020

J.C. Geiger

J.C. Geiger

J. C. Geiger has eaten the beating heart of a snake, been deported from a full-moon party, and spent a short time locked in a Bolivian prison. He also writes fiction. His short works have appeared in the pages of Murky Depths and Horror Garage, and on stage at The Second City in Chicago. His debut novel Wildman, earned the Kirkus Star, was named as a Top YA Book of 2017 by Amazon editors and featured by Banks Street as one of The Best Children’s Books of the Year. You can follow his adventures online at jcgeiger.com.

2019

Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and teens. She is the author of Jade City (Orbit), which won the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, was nominated for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award, and named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Syfy Wire, and others. Fonda’s young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer (Flux), Exo, and Cross Fire
(Scholastic), have garnered numerous accolades including being named Junior Library Guild Selection, Andre Norton Award finalist, Oregon Book Award finalist, Oregon Spirit Book Award winner, and YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, she currently resides in Portland, OR.