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

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 A $1,000 prize is given for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age.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 The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award is given annually for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age.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. With the Australian Christian Teen Writer Award we discover and encourage writers of the future.

2018 Results

Winner

Jessica Dinning
The Mirror

In an image-obsessed world, a teenage girl’s fight to overcome insecurity about her body and identity is depicted with insight and candour. The subject is highly relevant and the writing is inventive and stylish.

 

An extract from The Mirror

 

I followed my friends into the bathroom for our morning routine.

Step 1: Ensure your skirt is just the right length. Not so far above your knees that you’re inviting that detention slip but not so low that only your calves are the star of the show.

As I wriggled my skirt around my belly, I couldn’t help noticing my legs.

They didn’t look like the well-toned limbs that my sporting friends had. They looked a little straight. No curves.
I examined them for a few seconds longer and got annoyed, so I decided to move onto the next step.

Step 2: Take out your phone and bring yourself up-to-date on the latest Instagram stories.

They rolled by like sluggish YouTube ads. The buffering was terrible—Instagram was slow on my brick of a phone. I decided that it wasn’t doing much for my image, so I transitioned to the final step.

Step 3: Review your face in the mirror.

It mustn’t look too beautified—just some cute tendrils here, some clear skin there.

I twirled my hair around my finger until my tendrils were sufficiently curled. They didn’t look that bad—it was just the picture they were framing that wasn’t the greatest.

Plain, boring, ugly me. Okay, I’m not eyesore ugly, but I’m not drop-dead gorgeous either. I can’t change what I look like, no matter how hard I try. And I don’t know what to do about it.

Second Prize

Abigail Hewagama
Bella’s Story

 

When it seems she has nothing more to lose, Bella discovers purpose and meaning. Her experience of loss and abandonment is described with sensitivity and nuance. Her newfound capacity to comfort and love others is as natural as it is unexpected.

Third Prize

Sharon Jeikishore
Impossible Made Possible

 

Sophie’s plans to take revenge on those who bully her are derailed by the God of forgiveness and reconciliation. The development of the characters and plot is thoughtful and well sustained. This is an exciting story of personal transformation and the power of prayer.

Award criteria

 

With the Australian Christian Teen Writer Award we 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

 

2018 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Jessica Dinning for ‘The Mirror’
2nd Prize. Abigail Hewagama for ‘Bella’s Story’
3nd Prize. Sharon Jeikishore for  ‘Impossible Made Possible’

Open 2018 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2017 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Winner. Tanya Strydom for ‘Sir Tain and the Peasant’s Sword’
2nd Prize. Caylie Ellen Moore for ‘Tethered’
3nd Prize. Jessica Dinning for ‘Deserted’

Open 2017 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2016 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award

Winner. Annie-Jo Vogler for ‘All the Ways We Are’
2nd Prize. Elizabeth Stinton for ‘Meeting’
3nd Prize. Obed Wallis for ‘Bellum Ex Animo’

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.