Tag Archives: creative writing

Stories of Life – more than a writing competition

In the lead-up to our 2019 book launch and prize winner announcement tomorrow, here is a summary of the different aspects of Stories of Life: writing competition, book publication, radio broadcast and an online community that celebrates life and faith.

Writing Competition

From 1 April to 31 July each year, we accept submissions of stories of faith and testimony from around the world. Entries are submitted online in one of three categories: Open, Short, Youth.

We are indebted to our sponsors Tabor College, Eternity Matters and Lutheran Education for sponsoring the cash prizes in each category: first (AUD500), second (AUD300) and third (AUD200).

Unusual for a writing competition, each year we nominate different judges. The judges receive stories in their categories as anonymous entries. This year we’ve been privileged to have the following judges: screenwriter and YouTuber Simon Kennedy (Open); radio host Kit Densley (Short); author and music teacher Ruth Bonetti (Youth).

A highly anticipated part of the book launch is the announcement of prize winners. All stories that are to be published are in the running for a prize.

Book Publication

Once our submission period closes on 31 July, the Stories of Life editorial team selects the best entries for compilation and publication in an anthology. Since 2016, we have published over a hundred short stories in three anthologies: A Chicken can Make a Difference, The Gecko Renewal, Three Dummies in a Dinghy.

2019 Stories of Life anthology

Tomorrow, apart from announcing the prize winners, we will be launching the fourth book in the series: Papa’s Shoes. Radio host and short story judge Kit Densley will be at the launch tomorrow and she has kindly agreed to read the title story, Papa’s Shoes. Books will be available for purchase at $20 per copy at the launch and thereafter in Koorong and online.

Radio Broadcast

1079 Life has been a strong supporter of this competition since its inception. Every year selected stories from the anthology are read (by the story writers where possible), recorded, and broadcast over summer and throughout the year.

Kaitlin at the 1079 Life studios in Adelaide recording her story, The Golden Detour

Online Community

The audio clips from the radio broadcasts are archived on this website by year of publication: 2016, 2017, 2018. Throughout the year we also publish blog posts to share photos and backstories from contributors to the anthology. In addition, we like to promote and support any other publication by Stories of Life alumni.

In all this, our aim is to promote the telling of stories of life and faith around the world in print, online and on-air.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to our book launch and announcement of prize winners tomorrow at Tabor or online.

Mountain Trails and Mountain Tops

This year, we are thrilled to have several stories that take place on mountains around the world:

  • Kosciuszko Tough by Hannah Morrison. Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia at 2228m.
  • One Blue Arrow at a Time by Naomi Currie about climbing St Mary’s Peak (Ngarri Mudlanha), 1168m, in the Flinders Rangers.
  • My Journey Climbing Mount Kinabalu by Leanne Low. Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia at 4095m.
  • The Golden Detour by Kaitlin Turland on climbing Mount Catherine, Egypt, 2,629m.

As can be imagined, mountain climbing pushes us to the limits of our endurance, and awes us with spectacular reminders of the greatness of God. These stories carry us along in the physical challenge, but also enable us to experience, vicariously, what it is to:

  • lean 20 degrees into wind gusting at 60km/hr in order to help your eight-year-old sister continue climbing (Kosciuszko Tough)
  • feel gear envy when your water bottle is a freebie emblazoned with sponsor’s logos, but others have ‘the lightweight backpack with inbuilt water-cooler and sipping tube’. (One Blue Arrow at a Time)
  • prepare for months as the youngest member of a group comprising five families (My Journey Climbing Mount Kinabalu)
  • give in to hot and tired frustration when your Bedouin guide leads you downhill when the summit is so close that you can see it in your mind’s eye (The Golden Detour)

If your reading chair beckons, but you still want to feel some of that mountain-climbing adrenalin and learn some of those life lessons, pick up a copy of Papa’s Shoes at the book launch or online. Only one week to go.

Hospital wards and graveyards

In life writing, it is the generosity of the writer to open a window into their reality, and it is the privilege of the reader to enter into that reality.

Papa’s Shoes, our 2019 Stories of Life anthology, is filled with stories of people encountering God somehow, somewhere. Some of these encounters take place, as you might expect, in places such as hospital wards and graveyards. Today we introduce you to four of the stories in Papa’s Shoes along the themes of healing and suffering, death and life.

In No place like Home by Gaynor Faulkner, her seven-year-old-self is hospitalised at a time when parents weren’t allowed to stay with their children. Snoring old ladies and stern matrons populate Faulkner’s story. Her hospital experience is a far cry from the Neurology Ward where Emily Maurits’ young sister was an inpatient. In Confessions of a Realist, Maurits prays a daring prayer after ’86 days, 10 operations and plenty of easily manageable prayers’.

Craig Chapman takes the title of his story – One of the Six – from the statistic that ‘Every day, eight Australians take their own lives. Six of those are men.’, while Claire-Louise Watson’s title Arise is taken from the story of Jesus raising a little girl in the bible. Watson’s story, however, centres on what happens after doctors tell her that there is nothing else they can do for her own little girl.

These stories are short, but they are not little. We commend them to you. You can read these stories and many others in our 2019 Stories of Life anthology, Papa’s Shoes, available at our 7 November book launch and online thereafter.

2019 Stories of Life Book Launch

We’re excited to announce the title of our 2019 Stories of Life: Papa’s Shoes. Congratulate Valmai Redhead from New Zealand on having her story selected as the title story.

The 2019 Stories of Life anthology, Papa’s Shoes

Book launch and announcement of prize winners

  • Date: Thursday, 7 November
  • Time: 6:30pm for 7pm start
  • Venue: Tabor, 181 Goodwood Road, Millswood, Adelaide.

Copies of the book will be available at $20 each. Here’s one of our editors, Pete Court, showing you around the launch venue and issuing an open invitation to this event.