First-Time Medium Writer Wins The Grand Prize

Congratulations, Randi Ragan — you are an inspiration!

Adelina Vasile


Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

The Medium Writers Challenge official results were published today. You can read the initial post from the Medium Blog here — And the Winners Are.

Someone won both the grand prize and death prompt, with the Keeper of the Place story.

That someone is Randi Ragan. As amazing as it might seem that she won two prizes, what is really spectacular is that she was a first-time Medium writer.

Her About page makes it very clear:

Screenshot by Adelina Vasile from Randi Ragan’s About page.

Basically, Randi became a Medium member in September 2021.

Her winning story was published on August 9 and was the only story she published, until 4 hours ago when she wrote that The Improbable Happened:

Last week, Jermaine Hall, VP of Content at Medium, called and informed me of my wins for both my prompt (Death) and the Grand Prize. I am still in a state of fizzy shock, almost constantly headachy and with rattled nerve endings that make me feel over-caffeinated and slightly queasy.

In this surreal state I find myself in, I feel the need to describe as much to myself as to you how this happened, to push it like a handprint into Grauman’s cement, to make it more real. Writing something down makes it more real, doesn’t it?

Randi says she entered the challenge hopeful, but without too many expectations:

I have never won anything in my life; why would this time be different? Except that it was. Astonishingly so.

As Elizabeth Dawber jumped on a quick analysis of the official results, she noted that all winners have small followings. According to Elizabeth, at 8 pm on 12 October, Central European Time, Randi Ragan had only 7 followers.

While I’m writing this, at 00:30 Central European Time, Randi has 63 followers and counting. Obviously, she can only go up from here.



Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.