Patrick Henry College, Guildford Media Ltd., and reporter/writer David Aikman announced early February the launch of The Aikman Opportunity Award for Young Christian Writers. The goal of the award, said the organizers, is to identify, encourage, and support a new generation of Christian nonfiction testimony writers. Such writers can inspire both Christians and general readers with true stories of how God has worked transformatively in the lives of individuals and communities.
Most writing contests award prizes for already completed manuscripts. The Aikman Opportunity Award is different. It promises a top prize to the writer who can compose the most compelling and best-reported book proposal of the testimony story he or she wants to write. The prize, of course, will provide a solid financial base for the writer as the manuscript is being assembled.
- Grand prize: $20,000 plus potential for publication
- First runner-up award: $1,500 plus potential for publication
- Second runner-up award: $1,500 plus potential for publication
- Third runner-up award: $1,500 plus potential for publication
To qualify, contestants must reside in Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland and be between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age. All contestants must submit a 1,000 – 1,500 word article that leaves the reader yearning for a longer narrative. The article should focus on a remarkable true story of God’s grace and intervention in the life of an individual and/or their community.
A carefully selected panel of judges will short-list the applicants and create a list of finalists. Upon notification, the finalists will then be required to prepare a 2,000 – 4,000 word proposal outlining their vision and offering verification of the authenticity of their story.
WHY THESE BOOKS NEED TO BE WRITTEN
“I was already a Christian by conviction, having been converted in my early twenties. But all of these experiences confirmed for me the advantage and the wisdom of looking at the world through Christian eyes. I have heard several Christian testimonies during my career — stories that were beautifully crafted about people experiencing the faithfulness of God in a great variety of circumstances. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were many books of these testimonies being published. In recent years, though, the wellspring of good testimony writing has become drier. Yet, today it’s more important than ever to tell people what God is doing in the world. At the end of the day writing, especially Christian writing, is a God-given calling. In this writers’ contest I want to provide a spark of inspiration and a real practical incentive for Christian writers to be started telling the most wonderful story we will ever hear: what God is doing in the lives of ordinary people.”— Dr. Aikman