In 2021, Southwest partnered with Wattpad, a leading webnovel platform, to host the Southwest: Storytellers On The Rise writing contest. This contest took place during our 50th Anniversary and celebrated a core value to Southwest of kindness by calling upon the Wattpad community to share stories of kindness rooted in travel.
We received hundreds of heartfelt stories and, from the submissions, selected 10 finalists. The winning story, “Alone in Tombstone,” was written by E.A. Comiskey and is a coming-of-age tale about life, love, and loss. It tells the story of a young woman searching for her place in life when faced with a surprise visitor. As part of the contest prize, Comiskey received a once-in-a-lifetime writing mentorship with Beth Reekles, the Wattpad author behind the global Young Adult sensation and film franchise “The Kissing Booth” from Netflix and Komixx Entertainment, alongside additional prizes to help her writing career take off.
As we continue to look for ways to support On The Rise creatives, we saw the opportunity to work with filmmakers to bring “Alone in Tombstone” to the screen. We worked with Tongal, a global creator community that connects emerging talent to opportunities, to adapt the story into a short film. Kelsey Taylor is a member of the Tongal community, and she directed “Alone in Tombstone.” E.A. Comiskey was a part of the adaptation process, as well, as we hired her as a consultant to incorporate her vision into the film.
Since 2017, we have been proud to support up-and-coming creatives through our On The Rise platform and look forward to continuing to provide a lift in their careers.