2013 Writing Contests | Maranatha Christian Writers' Conference

2013 Writing Contests

In honor of our past director, Leona Hertel, we are sponsoring our 5th Annual Leona Hertel Awards Contests. Leona worked tirelessly on the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference, and we are still blessed today by the seeds she sowed in the lives of fledgling writers.

Your winning submission will earn you $50 in cash,  a $50 in credit at our bookstore, and professional editing by our Somersault partners prior to publication on our website.

Follow guidelines carefully.  You must be a full-time registrant, and you may submit to only one category. Please include the category, title, and your contact information ONLY on a cover page.  Do not put personal information on the pages of the actual entry. Submissions will be forwarded to judges anonymously.  All submissions are to be sent to Yvonne Albright, contest coordinator:
Yvonne Albright
2045 Payton Lane N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

You must be registered before submitting. Deadline for article and devotional submissions is September 1.  The short story deadline is August 1.  Please follow guidelines carefully to avoid disqualification.

All winners will be announced at our awards banquet on Friday evening.


Judged by James Barrett

Jim Barrett is Executive Vice President of The Amy Foundation. The Amy Foundation sponsors the annual Amy Writing Awards, a program which encourages writers to promote biblical truth in the secular media, both online and in print. There are 15 annual prizes awarded totaling $34,000.

CONTENT for Maranatha Article or Op/Ed Contest – The article must contain at least  one passage of scripture.

  • God’s word must be quoted directly  from the Bible and the Bible must be acknowledged as the source.
  • Biblical quotations must be taken from an accepted and popular edition of the Bible, such as the New International Version, The Living Bible, the King James, or the Revised  Standard Version.
  • The article must present the  biblical principles on an issue as relevant, timely and deserving of  thoughtful consideration, with an emphasis on discipling.
  • Examples of issues for consideration, but not limited to these, are family life, divorce, values, pornography, morality, U.S. National interests, abortion, religion and  addictions. The biblical impact on individual character and outlook are  also appropriate issues.
  • The need for obedience through biblical truth should be evident.
  • Articles should not exceed 750 words.

JUDGING GUIDELINES – In addition to content, articles will be judged on the following primary considerations:

  • Persuasive power of the article  and a discipling message.
  • Author’s skill in relating God’s  word to current interest issues.
  • Extent to which creativity and   skillfulness are used to present God’s position on issues affecting the      world today in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner.

For examples of past Amy Foundation prize-winning articles, visit www.amyfound.org.

Judged by Eddie Jones

Eddie  Jones is a North Carolina-based writer and Acquisition Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. At the Maranatha Christian Writers’ Conference Eddie will be looking for niche devotional books, daily devotions for ChristianDevotions.us and fiction for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Guidelines for Devotional Contest


400-800 words

Single space lines and double space between paragraphs

(in Word paragraph formatting is: Indention 0, 0, Spacing [Before, After] auto, auto – Single, Special indent first line.0 )

Block format – do not indent

1 scripture text reference

Header should read as follows:

devotional title                       word count

Devotional aspects:  Each devotion should lead with a strong hook in the first line. Devotions will be judged according to how well the author:

1)   Engages the reader’s imagination

2)   Twangs an emotion

3)   Accurately interprets the scripture verse

4)   Provides a compelling and concise nugget of God’s truth (Who is your neighbor)

5)   Shows a strong practical application

6)   Presents a challenge to the reader – offers the opportunity to make a decision.

7)   Delivers a strong take away

Devotions should avoid preaching, be clean and crisp grammatically.

Dialogue, when used, should move the devotion forward.

The key to a good devotion takes a scripture and teaches through stories and examples.

While there are hundreds of ways to present devotions, every devotion should contain these basics. Devotions entered that do not follow the guidelines will be disqualified. Read the guidelines carefully.


Judged by Linda Glaz
Linda Glaz is an agent for Hartline Literary Agency . She was also a judge for the Genesis contest for the American Christian Fiction Writers, a judge for the Emily Award for the West Houston Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and on the faculty for Faithwriters.com annual conference in 2010 and 2011.


5000 word short story, any genre, with an inspirational starting point.
1″ margins, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman Word Doc.
Deadline August 1, 20