SparkLit | Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
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Australian Christian Teen Writer Award

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Entries close 31 May

The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award discovers and nurtures writers of the future. A $1,000 prize is given for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age. The winning work will explore a Christian perspective or theme and incorporate, explain or encourage Christian life and values. Supplementary prizes may be awarded. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature and content of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Contribution that the work makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australia.

Entry form and conditions

Download entry form here

We encourage life-changing Christian writing so that lives, communities and cultures are transformed as people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award is given annually for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age. The award carries a prize of $1,000. The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award discovers and encourages writers of the future.

2016 Results

We encourage life-changing Christian writing so that lives, communities and cultures are transformed as people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award is given annually for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age. The award carries a prize of $1,000. The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award discovers and encourages writers of the future.

2017 Results

Winner

Tanya Strydom
Sir Tain and the Peasant’s Sword

 

A coherent and strenuous allegory of Christian grace that is demonstrated not just in sacrificial death but also in community life. The writing is mature, inventive and polished.

 

An extract from Sir Tain and the Peasant’s Sword

“So, where are you from?”
“Here, originally,” replied Tain.
It was Mon’s turn to look surprised. “I have never seen you before,” he said.
“I have been away for several years,” answered Tain vaguely. “Tell me, have the Sians often been raided and oppressed?”
“Yes,” replied Mon slowly, “A few years ago, there was a particularly bad time of house raids. Many Sians were killed by the Imperial Monarch’s Army.”
“I heard about one family where the father, mother, and young daughter were cruelly slaughtered,” continued Tain, hesitantly.
“Yes,” answered Mon sadly, “That was one of the worst.”
Tain looked at him closely. “What would you say if I said I was their son?”
Mon looked at him with genuine sympathy. “Then you escaped the Imperial soldiers and are all alone?”
Tain looked away and said roughly, “I am the soldier who killed them. You can leave me if you like. If you don’t want to be friendly anymore, I understand.”
He heard Mon slowly stand up, but forced himself to continue staring at the ground. He felt Mon’s hand gently touch his head. He looked up, but there was no hate or anger in the face or eyes of the young man. He did not look afraid either. His eyes were full of compassion, as though he could read the misery and chaos in Tain’s soul.
“Come home with me,” he said, “My father will treat you kindly, and my mother will be pleased to have you spend the night in our house.”
Tears filled Tain’s eyes, and he rose to his feet unsteadily.
Mon reached out and helped him up. Tain said nothing, but Mon could see his face, and he knew what Tain was feeling. He slipped his arm under Tain’s shoulders, and together, they walked toward the house.

Second Prize

Caylie Ellen Moore
Tethered

 

During a conversation with a dead patient and friend, a young doctor confronts his guilt, fear and self-loathing. Insightful and convincing.

Third Prize

Jessica Dinning
Deserted

 

A chaotic life is captured with precise and confident language. Phoebe has given up on God. But God, it seems, hasn’t given up on Phoebe.

Winner

Annie-Jo Vogler
All the Ways We Are

 

A beautiful and absorbing story dealing with the uncertainties of life. The teenage protagonists struggle with unexpected events and the challenges and complexities of living in an extended family. The writing is polished and the characters and Christian themes develop logically and naturally.

An extract from All the Ways We Are

‘What’s the point of rules, of someone making up laws, when it takes away from freedom?’
‘Depends on what you think freedom is, I suppose.’
‘I’m not sure what it is.’
She asks tentatively, thinking of a verse on Dad’s paper, ‘What about God?’
‘Nothing’s changed, Audrie. God isn’t anything magical.’
‘No, He’s God. He’s different.’
He stares at her sarcastically with an eyebrow raised. ‘Why doesn’t He make my stupid family function again?’
‘My dad says people have to want to change.’
‘Your dad’s a good bloke, but he doesn’t have all the answers.’
She lets her hands drop into her lap and laces her fingers together. ‘Chester, I’m trying to help you.’
‘I never asked for help. For once, I wanted someone to understand me.’ His glare, meant to wither her, brings tears to her eyes and anger to her soul.
‘I don’t know how to understand you, okay? I wish I could, but I can’t.’ She blinks furiously and takes a deep breath, trying to think clearly. ‘As for understanding, I have problems, too! You never bothered to care!’
‘It’s not my fault. You think I wanted any of this to happen?’

Second Prize

Elizabeth Stinton
Meeting

 

The reader is a reluctant witness to life in the trenches in the aftermath of a devastating battle. The language is as sparse and bare as the prospects facing the protagonists. The fight is far from over. It is dark and cold and God seems more remote than ever.

Third Prize

Obed Wallis
Bellum Ex Animo

 

A mature and sophisticated exploration of the connection between the ­psychological and spiritual, and the healing power of Christ’s love.

Award criteria

The Australian Christian Teen Writers’ Awards aim to discover and encourage writers of the future. A $1,000 prize is given for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age. Supplementary awards may be made. The winning work will explore a Christian perspective or theme and incorporate, explain or encourage Christian life and values. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature and content of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Contribution that the work makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australia.

 

Entry form and conditions

Download entry form here

 

Awards results

2016 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Annie-Jo Vogler for ‘All the Ways We Are’
Open 2016 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2015 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award was withheld in 2015


2014 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award

Winner. Annie-Jo Vogler for ‘Ellesmere Road’
Open 2014 awards results and judge’s comments.


2013 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Alex Chi for ‘Hello God … It’s Me’
2nd Prize. Caroline Dehn for ‘Stage Left’
Open 2013 awards results and judge’s comments.


2012 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Daniel Li for ‘A Short Walk’
2nd Prize. Amber Holmes for ‘The Mask’
Open 2012 awards results and judge’s comments.


2011 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Amber Holmes for ‘Sunshine’
2nd Prize. Christy Tobeck for ‘Who are you anyway?’
Open 2011 awards results and judge’s comments.


2010 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Sarah Longden for ‘Choices’
Open 2010 awards results and judge’s comments.