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.
We’re thrilled that Penny Reeves, David Rawlings and Valerie Volk have kindly agreed to be our 2021 judges in the Youth, Short and Open categories respectively. Here’s a bit about them.
Penny Reeves for the Youth category
Penny Reeve (also writing as Penny Jaye and Ella Shine) is the award-winning, Australian author of more than 20 books for children. She writes picture books, junior fiction, children’s Bible studies and young adult fiction. She has a Master of Arts in writing and literature and is an experienced writing workshop leader, conference presenter and writing coach with a particular interest in equipping Christian children’s writers. You can learn more about Penny at www.pennyreeve.com and www.pennyjaye.com.
David Rawlings for the Short category
David Rawlings is an award-winning South Australian author who asks deep questions in his novels. He writes modern-day parables – stories that lift the lid on life and allow God to whisper to us all. Stories about how we deal with this thing called life. Stories wrapped around values we can identify with and desperately need.
While David has been writing corporately for nearly 30 years, his debut novel – The Baggage Handler – won the 2019 Christy Award for Best First Novel. His second novel – The Camera Never Lies – focuses on honesty in relationships and is now available and Where the Road Bends – a novel based finding yourself while lost in outback Australia – is now out through Koorong and Amazon.
He is published through the Thomas Nelson imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing in the USA. You can read excerpts of David’s books at www.davidrawlings.com.au and also connect in the usual social places of Facebook and Instagram.
Valerie Volk for the Open category
Valerie Volk has always been a closet writer so, after an academic background in English, History and Education, she retired from teaching and lecturing, and did two things she’d always wanted to do: completing a PhD and then Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Now she writes!
In the last twelve years she has published several hundred award-winning poems and short stories in journals and anthologies, as well as ten books, including historical fiction novels, such as In Search of Anna, verse novels like A Promise of Peaches and Passion Play, and biblical fiction like Bystanders. She is well known for her poetry collections, like the Caleb Prize-winning In Due Season, and MarkingTime, as well as travel books.
She has edited a major poetry collection for Friendly Street Poets, Kaleidoscope, and judged a number of competitions. Now she is looking forward to her appointment as a judge of the 2021 Stories of Life submissions.
Books are selling fast at these discount prices. Hurry and grab a copy if you haven’t read either of them. They’re full of gems – very short stories, just the thing when life gets too busy for reading long books, but you still need that little lift-me-up.
To kick off the 2021 competition, we’re having a special deal on our 2019 and 2020 anthologies, only $14 per copy, while stocks last. Each book has about 40 short stories of life and faith, from a sound-tech guy working on subtitles to a lady in retail asking existential questions, from piano solos to moving house, from facing mortality to an invitation to dance.
A great way to start thinking about your own story, told in your unique voice, is to read how other people have told their stories, and indeed, the unexpected places they found those stories.
The 2021 Stories of Life monthly focus:
April – Reading Month
May – Writing Month
June – Feedback Month
July – Submission Month
Submission period April – 31 July.
Pick up one or two books todayand start jotting down ideas for your own story of life. Then in May, when we start shining a spotlight on the many writing resources we’ve developed over the past 5 years, you’ll be all set to start writing! Will 2021 be the year your story of faith and testimony is published? We hope so!
Submissions closed. Stories to be published announced in October.