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Presbyterian Writers Guild announces new writing contest

Organization issues challenge to writers to craft parables for the contemporary Christian

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – Building on the momentum and success of its inaugural writing contest last year—in which the winning submissions were recently published in a book titled An Experiment in Modern Parables that debuted at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland, Oregon, last month—the Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) calls all writers and anyone who has ever dreamed about writing to compose a short story.

The new contest, which will unfold over the course of the coming year, invites writers to write a 4,000-word short story that, like the parables in the Bible, will challenge readers to reflect deeply on the interaction of faith with an issue that confronts church and society. Like a progressive feast, participants will move from one assignment to the next, culminating in a polished short story.

Contest entrants are asked to engage one of the following issues in their submission:

  • How the church responds to racial or sexual diversity.
  • How the church can be a peacemaker in a violence-prone society.
  • How one discerns God’s call for a particular church.
  • Pastoral integrity in a guilt-laden society.
  • When God’s call conflicts with church expectations.
  • Loyalty to Christ and splits in the church.

The top 10 stories selected will be published in a book tentatively titled Parables for the Contemporary Christian. In addition, the guild will work with The Presbyterian Outlook and the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation to generate additional exposure for these stories and to engage the larger church in a discussion of the issues featured in these modern parables.

Open to all members of the PWG, the contest welcomes the participation of all interested writers regardless of their faith identification. For those who are not currently active PWG members, annual membership dues in the amount of $25 may be remitted to the guild along with the $20 contest entrance fee. Contest entry deadline is September 30, 2016.

“This is your opportunity to spread your wings and share your gifts with the larger church,” says the Rev. Stephen McCutchan, a PWG board member who is coordinating the contest on behalf of the guild.


For complete details on the contest or to learn how to join the guild, visit the PWG’s website.

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