All posts by May-Kuan Lim

Uprooted by May-Kuan Lim

Last year, May-Kuan’s story, Uprooted, was published in the 2018 anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy, and read on 1079Life over summer.

Uprooted by May-Kuan Lim

Since December 2017, I’ve enjoyed being part of the Stories of Life team. I am the administrator, which means I have no part in selecting, editing or judging entries, but I get to collate stories and correspond with many fabulous Stories of Life contributors.

I’ve written narrative non-fiction for many years, and try to bear witness to the happenings around me in the best possible way. Someone called this the art of fact. ‘Uprooted‘ describes an incident that happened to me when I was mid-way through writing my book on refugee resettlement. It provided me the impetus to complete the manuscript. Since then, I’ve started publishing my book, Refuge, serially online at my website.

As the administrator of this competition, May-Kuan’s story was not eligible for a prize, but the editing panel felt it was suitable for inclusion into the 2018 anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy.

Could your story be in the 2019 anthology? We hope so. Only 11 days left to submit your true story of faith and testimony. On our website you’ll find resources to help you, categories and prizes and if you have any trouble with submissions, please email storiesoflifecompetition@gmail.com and we will do our best to assist you.

Under the Frangipani Tree by Ester de Boer

Reflecting on the 2018 Stories of Life year, we have a lot to thank Ester for. She contributed three things to our anthology:

  • the title story, Three Dummies in a Dinghy (Tabor Stories of Life category). The Stories of Life team chose this as the title for its uniqueness and potential visual appeal.
  • artwork for our cover. (Surprise, surprise, we couldn’t find anything that depicted three dummies in a dinghy – thank goodness Ester is also an artist.)
  • story that won first prize in the Eternity Matters Short Stories of Life category: Under the Frangipani Tree
Under the Frangipani Tree by Ester de Boer
2018 anthology

Note: Everyone can submit a maximum one story per category . We have three categories: Tabor Open Stories of Life (between 1000 and 1500 words), Eternity Matters Short Stories of Life (max 500 words), Lutheran Education Young Stories of Life (between 500 and 1000 words). The Young Stories of Life is for writers aged 17 years and below as of 31 July 2019.

Anyway, back to Ester. We wrote to her last year to ask for photos she might like to share, or a backstory. This is how she replied:

Three Dummies in a Dinghy

The two stories I entered into Stories of Life this year really are as different as chalk and cheese. You’d think they were penned by two different people, although of course the subject matter of each required a different style and pace of writing.

Without realising it, I had kind of given my testimony- a before and after snapshot of myself. I am vague about dates during that period of my life because, frankly, I lived a bit of a crazy existence! I do know, however, that Three Dummies took place about a year before I came to the Lord. It was one incident in a chain of events that got me exactly where God wanted me- like an unwitting piece in a really cleverly-played chess game.

I have photos from this stay, but none that I really care to show! (me wearing skimpy clothes with a gun on my hip is not a good look for someone who is now a primary school teacher)

On that Rockhampton road trip (that turned into an extended stay due to the flood), I had a few hard reality checks that told me that it was time to get my act together- God was pulling on my heart.

While trapped by the flood, I stumbled upon an article for a fashion design course in Brisbane for $99 over just three weeks, so I planned to get to Brisbane to do it. Through a series of equally crazy experiences involving hitchhiking and even a yacht (!!!) I finally got down to Brisbane only to discover that it was a misprint. The course was actually $990 and went for nine weeks! Plus by then I had only five dollars left. Thankfully, someone handed me the number of a lovely Christian woman who took in street kids and she took me in. I also got my first job in Fortitude Valley, and almost all my work mates decided to start going to church as well (since when does that happen?) So, I was the victim of a setup- God’s a great strategist!

Under the Frangipani Tree

I came to the Lord a very messed up, hurting girl. The moment I was saved, though, I (a little naively) thought “oh great! Everything’s going to be fine now!” I started going to a youth group with a lot of other young people my age but really feeling like I was from another planet- our experiences of life were so different and I felt like I was so much older than them in experience but so much younger in readiness to face life. Two by two they paired up into smug, neat little Christian couples, while I felt like the one every boy’s mother had warned them about! I jumped into the first possibility of a Christian boyfriend I found and predictably found myself in an abusive relationship that confirmed my sense of worthlessness. That was the backdrop for this story. Where I worked, which park it was in, are irrelevant really- It was just a moment that God reached out to me to show me that HE treasured me. It wasn’t a moment of instant change. Healing took years. It’s something I have never shared until now, frankly because it risks sounding pitiful and a little too imaginative. But it’s mine.

Ester de Boer

It so happens that Ester and is collaborating on an exciting book project with another Stories of Life alumni, Megan Higginson. They’re about to release Raymund the Fear Monster. We wish you well, Ester and Megan. We can’t wait to meet Raymund, not so sure about the Fear Monster.

Like these stories? Why not grab a copy of Three Dummies in a Dinghy or head over to our 2016 and 2017 archives to listen to more Stories of Life.

Could your story be in our 2019 anthology? We hope so. Check out our writing resources and do send us your true story of faith and testimony by 31 July 2019.

The Great Physician by Adah Doebele

Adah’s story, The Great Physician was read on 1079Life and published in the 2018 Stories of Life anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy.

Adah is a Kenyan, who lives in a village in Kenya, 500 km west of Nairobi at the border with Uganda. Adah has written four books, which are available on her website.

When I learned about the Stories of Life competition, I had a very strong urge to enter. It took me a few minutes to write my story and send it.
Australia is a country, a continent that I like very much and have always desired to visit.

When the Stories of Life long list was released with my name on it, I was overjoyed! Learning that my story would be published in the anthology was truly humbling for me. I am very happy and thankful that even though I have not visited Australia yet, my story has preceded me which is a great honour because my hope is for my life testimony to be read and heard as far and wide as possible, to encourage others that God really Is ABLE!  “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Adah Doebele

If you enjoyed Adah’s story, why not grab a copy of Three Dummies in a Dinghy or head over to our archives to listen to past Stories of Life?

Could your story be published in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We hope so. Check out our writing resources or categories and send us your story. We’d love to hear from you. Accepting submissions until 31 July 2019.

An Angel to Watch Over Them by Megan Higginson

Megan Higginson

Megan’s story, An Angel to Watch over Them, was read on 1079Life and published in the 2018 Stories of Life anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy a story that anyone who has ever cared for young children will appreciate.

Megan with her children

Megan shares a bit about what Stories of Life, and writing in general, means to her:

The Stories of Life Competition has been a great opportunity to try out a different type of writing to what I am used to, and to share a snippet of one of the many incredible encounters I’ve had with God over the years.

I usually love exploring different lands, people, make believe planets (or even real ones), and diverse parts of the universe in my stories. The ability to take the reader to somewhere else, or even to explore their own environment with new eyes, is so ​much fun. I’m currently rewriting a middle grade sci-fi novel, have a picture book due out this year, a number of other stories in various stages of completion, and a couple of stories on The Creative Kids Story Collection Vol. 2 due out December 2019. (I have a story in Vol 1. which came out in 2017.)

​One of my favourite things to do is run writing workshops at schools. When I visit schools, I share my journey of growing up with dyslexia and discovering the love of reading and writing. In doing so, I hope to encourage and inspire children to not give up when reading and writing is difficult, and to write their own amazing stories. I’ve had the privilege of running a number of these workshops in my local school community in 2018, and I look forward to running more this year. http://www.meganhigginson.com/school-visits.html

I also speak about living an amazing life even though I’ve lived with a chronic illness for over 14 years. There is more about me on:http://www.meganhigginson.com/about.htmland on my blog:http://www.meganhigginson.com/blog

If you haven’t read Megan’s story, grab a copy of Three Dummies in a Dinghy or head over to our archives to listen to past Stories of Life.

Could your story be published in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We have writing resources to help you get started or check out our categories and send us your story. We’d love to hear from you.

Winner by Grant Lock

Grant Lock, author of ‘I’d rather be blind’ and ‘Shoot Me First’, has contributed a story to each of our Stories of Life anthologies since our inception in 2016.

Listen to his 2016 story, Winner, in the link below. It’s a story filled with horses, and may even go some way in explaining why a sensible Aussie block would travel to dangerous places and say crazy things like ‘Shoot me first’.

Will your story be in our 2019 anthology? We hope so. 36 days left to submit your true story of faith and testimony.

2018

If you’ve enjoyed this story, there’re many other fabulous stories like this in our 2018 anthology, ‘Three dummies in a dinghy‘.

How much longer?

Simon Kennedy, our 2019 Open category judge

Simon Kennedy is our 2019 Stories of Life judge for the Open category. He’s written a blog post today on ‘How much longer?

Simon is a co-creator of the TV series Safe Harbour, a psychological thriller shown on SBS in Australia, and on the BBC. Simon also has his own YouTube channel, ‘Songs with Simon‘ Yup, he’s multi-talented. And he’s our judge. Woohoo!

We are accepting submissions of stories of faith and testimony till 31 July. Could your story be in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We hope so.

Love Doesn’t Age by Hannah Elliot

Hannah’s story, Love Doesn’t Age, was published in the 2018 Stories of Life anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy. It was also broadcast on LifeFM in Adelaide, Australia.

Love doesn’t age by Hannah Elliot, read by Alison Rogers

For more stories like this, head over to our archives for more Stories of Life, or grab a copy of the book.

2018 Stories of Life anthology

Could your story be published in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We have writing resources to help you get started. Check out our categories and send us your story. We’re accepting true stories of faith and testimony until 31 July 2019.

I was a Church Planter for the New Age Movement by Donna Albrecht

In 2018, Donna’s story was published in the Stories of Life anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy, and broadcast on LifeFM in Adelaide, Australia.

Donna Albrecht recording her story at 1079Life

Donna Albrecht’s decade-long search for spiritual meaning left her with a feeling of dread and a fear of death. She lost hope and struggled to stay alive. ‘I didn’t want to live, yet I was terrified of dying.’

‘I was a Church Planter for the New Age Movement’ by Donna Albrecht

For more stories like this, head over to our archives for more Stories of Life, or grab a copy of the book.

2018 Stories of Life anthology

Could your story be published in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We have writing resources to help you get started. Check out our categories and send us your story. We’re accepting true stories of faith and testimony until 31 July 2019.

A String of Beans by Gaynor Faulkner

Gaynor’s story, A String of Beans, won first prize in the 2018 Tabor Open Stories of Life competition last year. Her story was about stumbling upon a church and then a church procession when on holiday in Italy.

Fred and Gaynor by Lake Como in Italy

Last year, the online Stories of Life community had a lot of fun with Gaynor’s story in the lead-up to our 2018 Stories of Life book launch. With no clue as to story or context, people tried to guess the missing word from one of Gaynor’s sentences:

People of all ages scurried out of those massive church doors like _______ evacuating a/an_______________.

Some of the suggestions were:

  • ants evacuating a flood
  • kids evacuating the house when chores need to be done
  • men evacuating a chick-flick

You can read Gaynor’s story, and other first prize category winners, here. For more great stories like this, grab a copy of the 2018 Stories of Life anthology, Three dummies in a dinghy.

Epiphany in Fiji by Wendy Boniface

Wendy’s story, Epiphany in Fiji, was published in the 2018 Stories of Life anthology, Three Dummies in a Dinghy, and broadcast on LifeFM in Adelaide, Australia.

For more stories like this, head over to our archives for more Stories of Life, or grab a copy of the book.

2018

Could your story be published in the 2019 Stories of Life anthology? We have writing resources to help you get started.

Register by 6 June for our Editing Workshop or check out our categories and send us your story. We’d love to hear from you.