Minnesota Christian Writers Guild’s 2017 Writing Contest

Today’s Christian Writing Advantage Contest with Today’s Christian Living Magazine

All entries and the judging of them is kept highly confidential. We do not identify the judge, and he/she will not know your name.

Your work will be returned to you with the judge’s notes. This is an opportunity to have your work evaluated and critiqued by a professional editor.

Things to think about:

  • Opening line: Does it draw the reader in to read more?
  • Title: Does it describe your topic, while remaining simple? Does it grab attention?
  • Quality Control: Have you polished your manuscript? Is it free from grammatical or mechanical snags?
  • Format and techniques:
  • Minnesota Christian Writers Guild’s 2017 Writing Contest with Today’s Christian Living Magazine

Objective:

Write a personal experience article according to the guidelines of Today’s Christian Living for the opportunity to win a cash prize from MCWG and a mentoring session with a local editor to strengthen your article (and give you an advantage) before submission to Today’s Christian Living’s writing contest (and more prizes and publication).

Topic:
Everyday people who are making a difference for Jesus.

Length:
800 to 1,200 words.

Due Date:
Entries due by March 13 at 8:30 p.m. Entries may be submitted at the meeting or by postal mail to

Minnesota Christian Writers Guild, P.O. Box 1614, Maple Grove, MN 55311.

Guidelines:

  • All entrants must be members of MCWG.
  • There is a $5 entry fee.
  • Manuscripts must include a title and be typed, double-spaced, and previously unpublished.
  • Minimum word count: 800. Maximum word count: 1200. Word count must appear at the top left of the manuscript on page one.
  • Include an unattached cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email, and TITLE of ARTICLE. Do not include your name or contact information on the manuscript itself. This retains confidentiality during the judging process.
  • Deadline: Monday, March 13, 2017, at 8:30 p.m. (end of the Guild meeting.)
  • Submit printed entry article and $5 entry fee in an envelope, in person at the meeting or by mail.
  • Manuscripts accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned.
  • The decision of the judge is final. The judge will remain anonymous.
  • Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the April 10, 2016, MCWG meeting.
  • 1st Prize = $75; 2nd Prize = $50; 3rd Prize = $25 PLUS: a mentoring session with an editor to receive suggestions for strengthening your article prior to submission to Today’s Christian Living magazine’s 2017 contest.

Tips for Submitting a Winning Entry

To write a compelling, award-winning article for the annual writing contest, study stories from past issues of Today’s Christian Living (previously titled Significant Living before the July 2014 issue). Today’s Christian Living is an inspirational magazine, so it can focus on articles showing how Jesus has transformed a person’s life. These stories illustrate how their lives glorify God rather than emphasizing information, preaching, or teaching. (They generally reserve teaching and informational articles for their staff columnists.)

Before writing a story about other people, make sure you have their permission. Then allow them to read the story and approve it before you submit the story. Even if you feel you are being complimentary, they may not want their story in print.

Rather than trying to cover too many details about a person’s life, focus on just one or two main events and develop those in more depth. Readers are more able to relate to a story when focused on a specific situation rather than giving a laundry list of general facts about a person or a ministry. Help the reader visualize the story through vivid details. You can also include dialogue to help engage readers in the story.

AFTER THE MCWG CONTEST:

Entries may be entered in Today’s Christian Living Writing Contest. Here are some tips for Submitting Your MCWG Winning Entry to Today’s Christian Living Contest:

  • With your contest submission to Today’s Christian Living, include three to five quality, high-resolution color photos to illustrate the article, a quality, high-resolution color photo (headshot) of the author, and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.
  • Photos must be royalty-free (where you have purchased the right to use the image. You can find images at iStock Photo, images that are 5” x 7” at a resolution of 300 dpi. If you elect to take your own and not purchase, most digital cameras (do not use your camera phone) are capable of taking high-quality photos, but make sure the camera is set to 300 dpi. High-resolution print quality photos are generally 2 to 3 MB or larger. However, to ensure photos are able to be emailed, keep each photo less than 8 MB. The standard digital camera format JPEG is the best format to submit. Keep in mind that good composition, lighting, and focus are essential to good photography.

  • Rights and Requirements: Do not submit articles that you have written for other publications. All articles and photos must be exclusive to Today’s Christian Living, and the content must be original. All completed articles are subject to editing for space, style, and content. Additional rights and requirements are outlined in an Author’s Contract, provided to writers upon article acceptance. Contracts must be signed and returned.

  • Stories and photos for Today’s Christian Living‘s contest may be sent via email HERE. Include 2017 Writing Contest Entry in the subject line.