f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: The Next Short Story Contest

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Next Short Story Contest

Okay, given a few of my posts today and the writings of others around the web, I think it's time to focus back on why we're here: faith in fiction. With that in mind, it seems appropriate that we should think about having the next short story contest.

Last year's Christmas contest (with InFuze partnering) was, I thought, successful. Fun and diverse entries... and I know at least one author nearing a book contract (not with BHP) whose work first got some notice there. I'll post more about that if I hear something.

This time around I'd like to up the difficulty a bit.

One of the most crucial (and hard) things in writing Christian fiction is the "God talk"--making it sound authentic and natural. And one of the hardest things to write is a conversion scene. Yet, this should be the most powerful thing we should read--this should render us awestruck that a name has been written in the Book. (Metaphorically or literally, depending on how much Calvin you like in your theology.)

So, I'd like us to write conversion stories. Simple as that.

We complain a lot about bad conversion stories, so let's see if we can write something more compelling.

Rules (to this point, more may be added)
1. 3000 words or less.
2. I have no definition for what a conversion story is, but we're talking about some Christian salvific experience. It also needs to be fiction, no autobiography or memoir.
3. Deadline will be Friday, September 30, 5:00pm central time. Earlier is appreciated. You can email your entry. One story per writer. Please send it as an attachment rather than in the text of the email.
4. I haven't talked with anybody about partnering on this one, but I'll try to track somebody down. Let me know if you have suggestions or contacts at online journals.
5. There will be prizes for the chosen finalists. They will be more symbolic than impressive. Unless someone wants to give me a grant.
6. But remember, these things get read and a book contract emerged out of the last group.

I'll post this at the discussion board, too. I think people critiqued each others' works last time, and I encourage that again. (If you're not a member of the discussion board, I highly recommend it. It's free and has lots of nice, smart people going deeper-in-depth on these issues in a mature and thoughtful way. Unless I show up.)