Fall, what a wonderful time of year. Football, falling leaves, fires. Life slows down a little in fall. The weather is getting cozy and we’re starting to think about the holidays. This is a time to reconnect with family.

That’s why this quarter, we want your best short story or essay on the theme “True Family Stories.” Base your writing on an old family legend or something funny that happened last week, just so there’s family (literal or metaphorical) involved.

Maybe it’s your crazy grandma who claimed the family was related to Sitting Bull. Or the great uncle who said your fourth cousin was Al Capone’s driver. Maybe it’s last Monday when your baby brother knocked his teeth out and you had to give him a ride to the dentist on your motorcycle as he cried and bled from the mouth. What inspires you?

As always, we love creativity, so you can be flexible in the way that you interpret the theme. But a true story should be the basis of your work. Your submission can be happy, sad, inspiring, or gut-wrenching. Surprise us!

You can simply tell the story, or you can write an essay about it.

Whatever you write, you have to keep it short! All entries MUST be under 1,500 words. (On that note, be sure to follow all of the instructions for submitting your work.) Your entry should be a short story or an essay (not poetry, lyrics, a scan of your diary, etc.).

Writing Contest Prizes!

This contest is an opportunity to prove your work in an open marketplace. See how your work stacks up against others. The contest is judged blind, which means the judges don’t know who wrote which story. The judges aren’t academics and literary snobs, they’re regular readers just like you. In an environment without favoritism, will your story rise to the top?

The winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and have their story published to The Pearl, a new Kingdom Literature publication from the School of Kingdom Writers. This online magazine will feature some of the best work by writers who are exploring the edges of Christian literature.

The runner-up will receive recognition for their achievement and the item of their choice from the School of Kingdom Writers store. Check out the “Get Your Hopes Up” and “Writers Change the World” gear.

This writing contest is open to all English-speaking writers anywhere in the world. There is no cost to enter.

Eliza June Sapphire folklore writer in blue hat
Eliza June Sapphire

This quarter’s contest will be judged by some of the graduates from the School of Kingdom Writers Arche Year Cohorts. A special thanks goes to Eliza June Sapphire for leading this contest. Check out Eliza June’s work on folklore and family stories, which inspired this theme, on her website: ElizaJuneSapphire.com.

We appreciate creativity, so don’t be afraid to stretch the theme. You’re free to take it in unexpected directions. Your entry may be a short story or an essay, just so it’s based on a true story.

All submissions must be received by the end of the day on December 1, 2022.

Curious what it takes to win? Check out past winning submissions on the School of Kingdom Writers website here, or pop over to The Pearl and read the Kingdom Literature there.

How do I enter? Register for a Kingdom Writers Guild account. Registration is free and easy. Once registered, log in to submit your work for this writing contest. All submissions must be received no later than 11:59pm ET on December 1, 2022.

The Kingdom Writers Guild (KWG) is a community of Christian writers. There’s no cost to register and you’ll also have access to classes and a variety of resources.

KWG is a resource provided by the School of Kingdom Writers. Check out our classes, too. We are now accepting applications for our full-time program.

Writing Contest Questions and Fast Info:

Theme: “True family stories.” You can interpret this theme as creatively as you wish. All writing styles are welcome. You may submit a short story or an essay.

When is the deadline? 11:59pm ET on December 1, 2022.

What is the word limit? All submissions must be less than 1,500 words.

Who can participate? Anyone. There is no cost to enter. The writing contest is open to writers of all ages and experience levels. You may live anywhere in the world, but you must have a mailing address in the United States to receive physical prizes.

Do I keep the rights to my work? Yes! We will only publish the contest winner to our website. All others retain complete control and copyrights of their work. Before publishing the winner, we will ask for permission from the author. You can still win even if you’d prefer we not publish your story.

Who will judge? The leadership of the School of Kingdom Writers and graduates of the Arche Year Cohort program will be our judges, led by Eliza June Sapphire, who is helping to organize this quarter’s contest.

What do you win? The winner will receive bragging rights, recognition for their accomplishment, and a $100 Amazon gift card. With the author’s permission, the winning story will also be published by The Pearl.

The runner-up will receive recognition and one item of their choice from the SOKW store–>Check out all of the cool stuff. (You must reside in the United States to receive this prize. International entrants can still win and be recognized if you win, but no prize will be sent.)

How do I enter? Register for a FREE Kingdom Writers Guild account. Registration is easy. Once registered, log in to submit your work for this contest.

I need help! We’d love to assist you. Shoot us an email at contest@sokw.org. Don’t wait until the day of the deadline to ask for help. This contest is administered by volunteers, and we don’t offer 24/7 support. You can also ask questions on the KWG Forum or the Facebook group.

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