I never thought I’d be in a short story collection!

So I did a thing back in May – and won 3rd place in a contest and now my story is being published in a short story collection that is going to be releasing at the end of July! You can check that out here: 

Below, I’ve highlighted the stories, the other authors in the collection, and their inspiration in writing their stories.

the stories

Love in Lockdown by Joi Copeland
Being a germaphobe during a global pandemic sent Riley Smith’s anxiety level to new heights. Receiving a text she thought was from her brother, Riley confides in him regarding her anxiety attacks. Realizing the person on the other end of the phone is not her brother, Riley comes face to face with her past.

Stray Dog Love by Rebekah Rodda
Jemma is just coping with working full-time and managing her volunteer-run stray dog sanctuary in the country of Georgia. Then the coronavirus hits, causing her school to shut down and her all her staff to leave except for one: Murray. He’s fun to be around with a faith she finds intriguing but he’s only planning to stay for a few short weeks. Will Jemma ever find someone who loves her and the dogs enough to stick around?

Fear No More by Sara Beth Williams
Growing up together, Jocelyn’s brother’s best friend Brent was nothing short of obnoxious. Now they’re older and he’s still obnoxious, but also incredibly handsome and alluring. If only he would stay in town longer than two days.
When they finally close the states-wide distance between them and begin a solid relationship, a world pandemic erupts, ripping apart the very fabric of everything Jocelyn holds dear.

No Better Time by Audrey Appenzeller
Jen Turner’s life was hard before the pandemic hit. Now it’s impossible. Shaky job situation. Mounting bills. And a twenty-year old car that’s more rust than metal. As life crumbles around her, Jen discovers help might come from unexpected places.

the authors

I asked each author, Why did you choose to enter this contest and what inspired the story that you wrote for The Covid Diaries? 

Here’s what they had to say:

I chose to enter this contest because I wanted to “put myself out there”.  I wrote this story because I struggle with anxiety. And my youngest sister is a germaphobe and I knew this pandemic would hit her hard. I try to have my stories have a deeper meaning. As a Christian for almost 30 years, I struggled with why I had anxiety and even more so, going on medication. I felt all the Bible verses about anxiety should apply to me and I should be fine. I didn’t understand it was a medical issue, not a faith issue, until my doctor told me if I was sick, I would seek treatment. The same should happen for my mental health

– Joi Copeland

I chose to enter this contest because I hoped to encourage others during the pandemic, and this contest was a context for doing that via writing a short story.

The inspiration behind my story comes from testimonies of God’s work in real-life people. I’ve changed the context to a COVID-19 setting, and I’ve fictionalized the real-life details, but I kept the heart of God’s mysterious ways intact.

– Audrey Appenzeller

 I decided to enter this contest because I was intrigued by the idea – to write an inspirational contemporary story with a lock down theme. I don’t often write contemporary stories so I also saw it as a bit of a challenge. I was inspired to write this story because of the many stray dogs I see on the streets of Georgia. I know there are people that do look out for them and this story is something of a tribute to them

Rebekah Rodda

Of course I chose to answer the same questions as well.

I chose to enter this contest because I wanted and needed to challenge myself and I’d never written a short story before. The idea for this story stemmed from the fear that I witnessed for the first 2 months, perpetuated by the media. It was everywhere. I’m actually terrified of pandemic diseases – I refuse to watch movies in which diseases destroy the earth. I’ve walked out of theaters. Books of the same nature make me cringe.

Yet God miraculously protected me from myself and my own paranoia. He has been my rock.

I write emotional romance and so it is that, but I also wanted to convey the reliance on God, and that while fear is still present, God is our protector.

– Sara Beth Williams

More about the authors

Joi Copeland is a multi-published author. You can find out more about Joi on her website:

You can find out more about Audrey on her website:

Rebekah lives in Georgia and writes on Whattpad, and you can also find her on Facebook.

The COVID diaries Short story collection

Now available on Amazon

Pre Order Sale price of 0.99!