Hazel Barker’s story An Angel in Heaven about losing her baby was published in the 2020 Stories of Life anthology. This is what she told us:
I wrote this story in the hope that anyone who grieved would turn to God for strength and support. My husband and my religious beliefs were a comfort to me when I grieved. We supported each other, and the Lord gave us the strength to bear our cross.
My story, An Angel in Heaven is especially for women who have lost their babies to know that they are not alone in their grief. Experiencing something like the death of a child can only be fully understood for those who have suffered the same loss.
Do you have a story of faith to tell? We’d love to hear it. Entry guidelines here. Feature photograph of Hazel Barker supplied.
Last year, Rhonda Pooley’s story ‘Invitation to Dance’ was published in The Swimmer and other stories of life.
‘Invitation to Dance’ is about how Rhonda visited Cambodia to celebrate Cambodian traditional instruments, and how she participated in this celebration through prayer, music and dance.
The events referred to in this story have greatly impacted my life. They show me that God has a uniquely designed purpose for everyone and that he will bring it to pass if we are faithful to follow his leading – no matter how long it takes!
Do you have a story to tell? We would love to read it. From Rhonda’s story, and the many other stories in our archives, you can tell that a story of life can be set anywhere, and can be about practically anything. That’s the beauty of an anthology! What’s your story? Five days left to submit.
I am so very thankful to have my story ‘Slightly Awkward’ published in the 2020 Stories of Life Anthology.
A few people have asked me the length of time I took to write the story I submitted. In truth, the actual written component was reasonably quick and straightforward. However, my answer is “It took me 47 years to write!”. Life each day as a person with a chronic and progressive illness is both daunting and great, along with experiences that are just plain satirical with a pinch of whimsy.
My goal was to share an honest story that had joy interspersed with the frustrations that some tasks can bring in my situation. To show that a life imperfect is perfectly okay!
Colleen Russell’s story, ‘God’s Love in the Home’, was published in our 2020 Stories of Life anthology. The story is based on her own family, her own life. Her advice to wordsmiths is:
When you have loved, when you have been loved, express these cherished memories in your telling and in your writing, because these are God’s words and the reader will recognise them as such.
Calling all wordsmiths to take advantage of Feedback Month. Send us your story drafts and one of our experienced editors will give you constructive feedback. We want to work with you to give you best chance of getting your story of life published in our 2021 anthology.
Pete and Aiden talk about Stories of Life and Feedback Month, including this very practical tip from Pete:
You have to timetable creativity.
So, schedule some time in your diary to write, collect the bits of writing you produce, send it to us before the end of June, and we will get some professional creative writing teachers/tutors to get feedback to you. (They’re all very nice and affirming – don’t worry.)
As far as we know, Stories of Life is the only writing competition in the world to give personalised feedback on story drafts before submissions. This is because we want your story in our 2021 anthology, and we want to help you make your story the best it can be.
Let us work with you to make your story awesome! Submit story drafts here.
Last year, Val Russell’s story ‘Misunderstood’ was published in The Swimmer and other stories of life. It’s the story from when Val was a child, migrating from England to Australia, flying via Bahrain. Val describes that huge journey from the perspective of her younger self, a little girl with autism.
SOL: What led you to write this story?
Val: I think the fact that females with Autism go very much unnoticed and people need to know the internal impact it can have on a child when no one knows or understands.. When I tell people i have autism they often say ‘but you don’t look or act like you have autism’. People need to know what it’s like having autism, so they can begin to understand and relate appropriately.
SOL: What has being published has meant to you?
Val: I was very very shocked that my story was published. I am encouraged to continue writing the story.
SOL: Have you received any feedback from people?
Val: Feedback has been very minimal. I think my story is different and people don’t know what to make of it. Thats my guess anyway.
Last year, Martina Kontos won the first prize in the Open category. Dr James Cooper, Head of Creative Writing at Tabor, presented the award to her at the 2020 launch of the anthology, The Swimmer and other stories of life. Martina’s winning story ‘Graves to Gardens’ about anxiety and depression was also broadcast on 1079 Life.
If you enjoyed Martina’s story, do take advantage of our competition launch deal and get a copy of our 2019 and 2020 anthologies at AUD14 per copy, excluding postage. Both books are filled with over 40 true short stories of life.
Submissions closed. Stories to be published announced in October.