Hey, I can finally lift the lid. Dave Long, acquisitions editor for Bethany House Publishing, informed me the end of October that my short story, When Bill Left the Porch, was selected as a finalist for his contest. I was asked to sit on the info for the last couple of months, so I'm pretty jazzed that Dave has started to get things rolling.
Yesterday, he unveiled the first of the stories at his Faith in Fiction blog. For the next two weeks, he'll be announcing the finalists and, I guess, discussing the stories and what made them finalists. The stories were also forwarded to the arts editor of a respected online Christian arts journal for consideration for their next issue. But where it goes from there is anybody's guess.
This whole process is interesting for several reasons. (1) It's refreshing to see different angles brought to a familiar subject. I know that's what I attempted to do in my story and I'm assuming that most of the tales will have a non-traditional, unconventional approach. This ability to put a unique spin on a tired, redundant theme, seems pivitol to publication today. (2) This gives us a window into what kind of story and style catches the eye of an editor. Let's face it, those of us seeking publication must be able to get the attention of someone who reads probably thousands of stories each year. This is no easy task and one we must labor greatly to achieve. (3) It is wonderful to see an assemblage of talented, aspiring Christian authors on one stage. Some day, these finalists may become voices in the writing community, representatives of the Greatest Story Ever Told. It is heavy on my heart that Christian artists will, one day, be at the forefront of the arts -- wise, persuasive, hip and gifted artisans for the Master. May this contest and all our endeavors work toward this end.
So if you get a chance, head on over to Faith in Fiction and follow the stories the next two weeks. Grace and Peace to you and yours this holiday season!