Category Archives: A 2021 Announcement

Radio Farewell

Stories Of Life has been encouraging and presenting brilliant true stories of faith and testimony for over 6 years now. 300 or so stories have been told, many of them have even become radio stories through our partner 1079Life. The radio folk now find themselves needing to change the way they present their Sunday afternoons on air and so the stories will not be broadcast on radio this year. We at Stories of life really want to thank 1079Life for their support over the years and their help in establishing the competition and the publication. The stories that have been recorded over the first five years can be found here.



Congratulations to our 2021 winners

2021 announcement of prize winners and  launch of The Labyrinth and other stories of life

Open category winners

First place to Jo Wanmer for Mum, meet my mother

Second Place to Jo-Anne Berthelsen for The Rainbow

Third Place to Lynda Wake for My Black Dogs

Short category winners

First Place to Ruth C Hall for My Shadow

Second Place to Colleen Russell for Just in time

Third Place to Dienece Darling for Lessons from Toilet Training

Youth category winners

First Place to Baxter Gierus-Heintze for The Unexpected Calling

Second Place to Shaoey C for Small Things

Third Place to H. S. Jones for Forgiveness is a blossoming flower

Special thanks to Tabor for hosting us, and Omega writers for sponsoring the prizes.

Book launch – save the date

Congrats to Tracey Price whose story gives our 2021 anthology its title, The Labyrinth & other stories of life. Less than a month away to our book launch and announcement of prize winners! Books will be available for AUD 20 per copy at the launch and also online.

Date: Thursday 4 November

Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm start

Venue: Tabor Adelaide, 181 Goodwood Road, Millswood, SA.

Livestreamed on Facebook.

Announcing our 2021 contributors

Stories of Life is in its sixth year, and we were delighted to receive more entries than ever before, many of them incredible, heart-felt stories of faith.

It made our job of selecting entries for publication very difficult. We sincerely thank everyone who submitted a story of life, and offer our warmest congratulations the following people, whose stories will be published in the 2021 Stories of Life anthology.

Open Category

God sent his angels by Aileen Huf

The courage to go by Anne-Marie Doecke

Birthday catalyst by Boo Hooi Jimmy Khoo

A very perfect day by Charles Yuen

I wrote a poem about it by Claire Bell

The gift of a rabbit by Diana Davison

Saved by a rat by Emily J. Maurits

My guardian Yoda by Ester de Boer

We carry on by Esther Cremona

Planes, cars and God’s intervention by Ivan Francis

The turnaround by Jacqueline Waters

The vow by Jane Schope

Life is precious by Janelle Francis

An old car and a hiccough by Jenny Glazebrook

A mended heart by Jenny Woolsey

The rainbow by Jo-Anne Berthelsen

Mum, meet my mother by Jo Wanmer

Green Velvet by Joy Leabrooke

My protector by Karen Curran

Proude by name, house-proud by nature by Ling Ai Mee

My black dogs by Lynda Wake

The sound of children playing by May-Kuan Lim

Grace by Nadia Konik

Twenty by Robert Riggs

Finding God on the streets by Ruth C. Hall

Am I going to heaven by Sarah Brown

Lord, help me be a mother by Sherry Thompson

Rescued by Susan Brown

The wise old owl by Val Russell


Short Category

Café La Renaissance by Bernice Shen

Immanuel: not just a Christmas story by Claire Bell

Just in time by Colleen Russell

An unseen guide by Craig Chapman

Lessons from toilet training by Dienece Darling

The sergeant’s boots by Elaine Rendell

Don’t flush the toilet by Gaynor Faulkner

I dined in style by Helena Stretton

My first sprout of faith by Janice D. Green

Who would you choose? by Jenine Altmann

Tears for a baby by Jo Wanmer

Incident at Peats Ridge by Jonathan Mowen

The view from a sardine by June Hopkins

The gift by Juni Desireé Hoel

Set free from darkness by Ket Pang

Held in my heart by Kylie Gardiner

I had been seen by Lisa Birch

Miracle baby by Maggie Nerz Iribarne

Fishing for faith by R. J. Rodda

My Shadow by Ruth C. Hall

Mt Morgan Prayer Meeting by Tony Koch

Labyrinth Life by Tracey Price

Pinball by Tsung Chung



The unexpected calling by Baxter Gierus-Heintze

Forgiveness is a blossoming flower by H. S. Jones

Small things by Shaoey C.

More information to follow on the title of the 2021 anthology and date of the book launch when prize winners will be announced. We thank our sponsors Omega Writers and our supporters Tabor College and Immortalise for making this competition possible.


Pete and Aiden on Feedback Month

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.


2021 Stories of Life Judges

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 Reeve, photo from Penny’s website.

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 and


David Rawlings, photo supplied.

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 and also connect in the usual social places of Facebook and Instagram.

Valerie Volk, photo supplied.

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 Marking Time,  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.

Competition Launch Deal

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!