It’s that time again! SharperIron is inviting anyone with writing talent to submit an article for our 2nd annual Writing Contest. This year, we’ll be selecting up to three winning articles and awarding each a spot on the front page as well as $125. If you submit more than one article, you might even win more than once.
The deadline for turning in an article for the contest is midnight, June 30.
Articles should be about 1200 to 1700 words in length and not previously published. They may be on any topic. The topics below are of special interest and are a factor in evaluating winners, but not a major factor. We like surprises, too.
Please include a brief bio with your submission and email it in .doc or .odt format to
The contest is open to past writers for SI as well as those who have never written for us before.
- Internet and new communication technologies in the life of a Christian
- Scriptural church government (what does the Bible mandate, what does it allow, which is preferable: a plurality of elders, a pastor, a combination of both?)
- What is the proper role of women in “leadership” in churches? (should a woman be a Sunday School Superintendent, for example?)
- Does the Christian day school have a future? If so, what might it be?
- A commonly misunderstood passage of Scripture
- The role of spiritual disciplines in Christian growth
- Is there any value in electing wise and just political leaders vs. the alternative?
- Advice for parents in our times
Readers: feel free to suggest additional topics or contest ideas in the thread!
Criteria for judging
- Helpful: speaks to an important problem of belief or practice
- Thought-provoking: raises good questions to encourage reflection and discussion
- Skillful: good writing quality that is clear, concise and doesn’t require a great deal of editing (Format matters, too. See Writing for SharperIron. We recommend having several people proof read your draft before you turn it in.)
- Scriptural: attentive to relevant biblical principles and passages (We understand that some articles may focus on application or deal with topics Scripture does not say much about directly.)
- Creative: interesting, engaging creative presentation helps
- Researched: some interaction with important published work on the topic (We’re not looking for academic research-paper-level interaction with dozens of footnotes, but some attention to a few important efforts on the subject is a plus.)
We would tell you who’s judging, but then we’d have to kill you. Actually, the details on that are yet to be determined. There is some possibility that we’ll have a mechanism in place that allows readers to vote so that can be a major factor. Most likely, the SI editorial and moderating team will act as the final judges.
By submitting an article for the contest, you grant SharperIron the right to publish your article whether or not it is one of the winners. Some may be published before the end of the contest period. We really wish we could compensate every writer, but will have to select a few that stand out. Please understand as well that not all contest entries will be used—though, judging from last year’s results, most of them will be.