Ages: 13-14
Second Official FW Contest with Prizes
Amy Sparrow (mod)

Topic: Summer of Hope
Word Count: 150-750
Deadline: April 28th, 2013
Prizes: $15 for the 1st place winners in each age group (7-11 and 12-16), $10 for the 2nd place winners, and publication of the two 1st place winning entries in the FaithWriters' online magazine.

Stretch your imaginations. The theme for this contest will be a Summer of Hope. You can write about a time when you hoped for something or your dreams for the future. Show how hope or faith helped the character through a tough time. Also remember the summer part, so it could be set at a Christian Camp or on a family vacation. Think about how Jesus helps you hope or have faith. Be creative and try to think out of the box. As long as the story is about hope and summer, then we want to read it.

The story should be your best work. Take some time going over it several times. It needs to be at least 150 words, but not more than 750. We encourage you to ask a friend or parent to help you proofread it.

It can be any genre from poetry to fiction, to romance to fantasy, to testimonial to a devotional, and everything in between. Remember that it needs to be age appropriate, and although it doesn't need to have a Christian message, it should be suitable for Christian readers.

The contest begins on March 28th and will end on April 28th at Midnight (New York time). The judges will rate them according to the following criteria:

Beginning—does it grab the reader's attention? Is there a clear conflict? Does it make sense? Would you (the judge) want to keep reading it, if you weren't judging?

Transitions—are there smooth transitions from each paragraph to the next? Does it follow a natural order? Is the dialog natural? Do the words flow off the page?

Ending—does it leave the reader satisfied? Is the ending natural or rushed? Is it too open-ended or tied up too neatly?

Craft—Does it have errors? Is the author consistent with the tense? Are there grammar or punctuation errors? Is it about a summer of hope? Is the whole story about the topic phrase or is it just mentioned in passing?

Creative—Is it unique? Does it stand out from the others? Is it told from a unique perspective? Did you use the topic in a creative way?

Message—Is there a clear message? Does it make the reader stop and think? Is there a clear reason for the story, either to make the reader laugh or learn a lesson? Is the message apparent, but not preachy? Would the reader recommend the piece to a friend?

Tell your friends about the contest, too. This is a great opportunity for everyone from ages 7 to 16. Get writing!

Note that how you submit has CHANGED as of 4/5/13.

To SUBMIT your stories, email them to FaithWriter member ken_ebright [at] um.att [dot] com with the story pasted on the bottom in the text of the email. Do not post your entry here on the FW site until after the judging is finished. Ken will remove the author names and upload them to a private site so they can be anonymous when we judge them.

Check that you include all of this information in the top of the email, or your entry may be disqualified:

~ Your entry's title

~ Your real name, but if you prefer to use a pen name in public, list that as well and let us know you want only it used.

~ Your age

~ Contact information: email and a phone number (this information will not be shared, but is just for me in case I need to contact you quickly)

~ A biography about yourself to be included in the magazine under your entry if yours wins. This should be one paragraph and written in third person.

Good luck and have fun!
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