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Presbyterian Writers Guild announces ‘Ash Wednesday’ writing contest

Submissions are being sought in several writing categories

by Jerry Van Marter and Emily Enders Odom, Presbyterian Writers Guild | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Ahna Ziegler via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — In its eagerness to support and encourage Presbyterian writers, the Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) announces a writing contest titled “Ash Wednesday.”

Winners will be named in three separate writing categories, Personal Essay/Reflection, Poem and Litany/Prayer. There is a 500-word limit for all entries.

One Grand prize winner of the “Ash Wednesday” contest will receive a $100 cash prize. The winner in each category will also receive a complimentary, yearlong membership renewal in the Guild. The PWG will publish all winners on its website and will attempt to place winning entries in other Presbyterian media.

Entries will be judged by distinguished winners of PWG honors: The Rev. John Buchanan, Moderator of the 208th General Assembly (1996), former editor and publisher of The Christian Century and a winner of the David Steele Distinguished Writer Award; Jane Kurtz, winner of the 2020 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award; and Caroline Kurtz, winner of the Best First Book Award for the best first book by a Presbyterian author written during 2018-2019.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Entrants are asked to email their submissions no later than Friday, Feb. 5, to the Rev. Jerry Van Marter, PWG Secretary, at, with their submission pasted into the body of their message or attached as a separate Word document. Writers must include their name, their Presbyterian affiliation, and the category in which they are submitting. There is no entry fee for Guild members. Non-members are asked to remit $25, which entitles them to a year’s membership in the Guild.

For instructions on how to remit the $25 annual membership dues, entrants may visit the Guild’s website or contact PWG treasurer, the Rev. Bill Lancaster, by email for a PayPal invitation.

“As we anticipate a Lenten season unlike any other we have known, it is our prayer that the diverse and creative voices of Presbyterian writers will help us to uniquely prepare for the 40-day journey that is before us,” said the Rev. Emily Enders Odom, PWG president.

The Rev. Jerry Van Marter is secretary of the Presbyterian Writers Guild; the Rev. Emily Enders Odom is its president.

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