In The Beginning 2015 Winners Announced

Fresh New Voices Emerge in The Word Guild’s 2015 In The Beginning Novice Writing Contest.

TORONTO, ONTARIO– One grand prize winner and three runners up are being recognized in the inaugural year of the In The Beginning writing contest, sponsored by The Word Guild. The contest serves as a boost to aspiring writers by giving them a chance to learn the craft under the tutelage of the excellent writers and speakers featured at the Write Canada Conference.

Judges for the contest acknowledge the talents of these aspiring unpublished adults who join the already large number of award-winning Canadian Christian writers.

This year the entrants were asked to write on a theme of their own choosing and could submit in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and first three chapter’s categories.Jeff Gerke said of the contest, “I was impressed with the top entries in each category. It’s an adventure comparing short stories against articles against poetry, but I think the best writing shone through.”

Gerke writes fiction craftsmanship books for Writer’s Digest including The Irresistible Novel, Plot Versus Character, and The First 50 Pages. He is a widely-published Christian novelist, as well as a founder and former publisher of Marcher Lord Press, an award-winning Christian fantasy and science fiction novel press. For more about Jeff and his freelance editing or cover design services, please visit

The Grand Prize winner receives a choice of mentoring sessions with a professional or free registration to Write Canada – Canada’s largest Christian writers’ conference, a prize worth more than $500. Runners up will receive a complimentary 1 year membership for The Word Guild.

The Grand Prize winner and the runners up of the In The Beginning contest will be recognized at the Word Awards gala. The gala dinner will be held at the end of Write Canada’s 31st annual conference, June 11-13 at Novotel, North York. Conference keynote speakers are Bill Fledderus Senior Editor of Faith Today and Cheryl Weber, reporter, TV host and producer at Crossroads International.

Grand Prize Winner:
Heather Bootsma of Brantford, ON for Fairchild’s Children

Non-fiction short piece runner up:
Aloma Jonker of Milton, ON for “Theodicy – How God is Vindicated”

Fiction short piece runner up:
Andrew Mainprize of Vancouver, BC for “Eumanus the Monk”

Poetry runner up:
Todd Anderson of Waterloo, ON for “Mineralogy”

First three chapter runners up:
Andrea Thom of St.Catharines, ON for Ruth – Redeeming the Darkness
Suzuko Shigemitsu of Edmonton, AB for Diamond for Dwarves


The Word Guild is an association of Canadian writers, editors, speakers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and other Christian individuals who are invested in or employed in media. From all parts of Canada and many denominational and cultural backgrounds, they are united in their common passion to positively influence individuals, and ultimately Canadian culture, through life-changing words that bring God’s message of hope.

For more information about The Word Guild, The Word Awards, other awards or other events please visit the contest page or visit and click on Contests & Awards.

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