Announcing: 2011 SharperIron Writing Contest

It’s that time again! SharperIron is inviting anyone with writing talent to submit an article for our 3rd annual Writing Contest. This year, we’ll be selecting up to four winning articles and awarding each a spot on the front page as well as $75 (but you could win a good bit more! See below.) If you submit more than one article, you might even win more than once.

Below, you’ll find the usual details, but first, note that a few things are different this year.

  • Registered users can click the “like this” link on contest articles to give them votes. The “likes” count will be a factor (not the only factor) in choosing the winning submissions.
  • All contest submissions this year will be tagged “2011 Contest,” so you’ll be able to view all the contest entries in one place by clicking here.
  • To encourage writers to submit, we’re simultaneously running a “Chip-In” campaign. Donations to the campaign will be divided up among the winners, in addition to the $75 prize. A percentage may be divided among the non-winners as a consolation prize.

The deadline for turning in an article for the contest is midnight, July 15.

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Random Thoughts on the Year Ahead

Please consider this post as being intentionally below our usual front page standards. “Intentionally,” because we’re coming off of a holiday and I haven’t completely taken my heels off my desk yet.

What I aim to do here is share some pretty much random thoughts on the year past and the one head from a SharperIron point of view.

The year past

Over all, twenty-ten was not a bad year for SI. Site traffic was down about 3% compared to the year before, but from October 1 on, was higher than the year before by a significant and increasing margin. November increased over October and December increased over November. It’s hard to tell yet whether that represents a trend. But I’m encouraged by the fact that we began 2010 with traffic levels below those of 2009 and finished the year well above them.

Of course, site traffic is kind of like church attendance. It’s just the easiest factor to look at to gauge how you’re doing—not necessarily the most meaningful one.

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And the Winner Is . . .

The long awaited 2010 Writing Contest restuls are in. There were numerous strong entries this year and we wish we could give awards for many more of them. Many thanks to all of you who contributed articles!

Per the announcement earlier this year, we narrowed the winners to three. Two of the three have already been published. The third is scheduled to post tomorrow.

Each winner will receive $125. If you have suggestions for next year’s contest, we’d be happy to hear them.

The winning articles

Why Christians Sin by Robert Byers

Toward a Theology of Facebook by Hannah Anderson

Let the Minutiae Speak by Bob Hayton (posts tomorrow).


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About Those Contest Winners

Our 2010 Writing Contest ended over a month ago. So some of you are probably wondering, when will the winners be announced? Well, this is not that announcement! 

But it’s coming soon. Several excellent articles were submitted this year, and we’ve already posted a few of them. Our panel of volunteer judges is slowly narrowing the choices down to three winners. We should have the decision nailed down in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, our thanks to all of you who contributed pieces for the contest this year.

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Writing Contest Winners

The winners of our first-ever SharperIron writing contest have been chosen!

They are John P. Davis for “My Journey Out of Dispensationalism” and Paul J. Scharf for “Why I Am a Dispensationalist.” These contestants will receive prize checks in the mail shortly and their articles will be published here in sequence within a few weeks.

We much appreciate everyone who participated. Several of the other contest entries will be appearing here at SI in the weeks ahead.

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