The 2017 Stories of Life competition aims to provide a clear forum for telling stories of life and faith. It provides a way for each of us to start thinking about how we can put into words the difference Jesus makes in our lives.
We are looking for stories that are interesting, lively, possibly quirky, and which touch on both light and serious subjects. We love tales laced with warmth and humour that show evidence of God’s reality.
The stories can be about any aspect of faith, so lateral thinking is welcomed. We love reading about how our extraordinary God has touched ordinary lives. You can tell us about how you came to know Jesus, about how he healed you or miraculously provided for you, or you can relate how he gave you strength when things were tough. Stories in last year’s competition included subjects such as the impact of the the gift of a chicken (see the title of the anthology), healing from depression, underwear (two stories featured undies!), a dog, living in the bush, salvation, mountain rescue, etc.
Whatever the topic, we encourage you to write your story in a way that ordinary people, who may never have been part of a faith community, can understand. Try to avoid Christian jargon, be real and be true and your story will have the power to transform.
Note that we are not looking for devotionals or reflections on a bible passage. We want stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. This year we have expanded the competition to include biography. You can write a biographical story of another person (with their permission) in a journalistic style, but don’t just tell us the facts. The stories we love will be true – but also touch our hearts.
We want to recognise and encourage excellent writing too, because the printed word and the power of story is vital for sharing the gospel with a world that is hungry for truth. So while the prizes on offer here are a definite incentive, and a way to recognise the gifts and talents of a select few, we are also looking to generate a much larger collection of inspiring stories for publication and/or radio broadcast. In fact, all shortlisted entries will be included in an anthology of stories to be published in Australia by Morning Star Publishing. Some entries (mostly ones from the ‘short’ category) will be chosen to be read on radio at 107.9 Life and others may be included in the Eternity Matters column of various newspapers. Eternity Matters is looking to recruit people who can write biography well.
To help you tell your story in the most effective way, we’ll be providing access to a whole host of practical writing tips and resources throughout the competition. So start thinking and get writing, and join us in making the most of this powerful and creative approach to sharing Jesus with the world!