“We must read, and think, and feel, and pray, and then bring forth our thoughts, and polish and preserve them. This will make literature.”—Orson F. Whitney
Fifty years ago, most schools taught that making literature was a matter of combining great language and universal human values. Since then, millions of readers have decided that context also counts: that it’s nice to get our grand human dilemmas through the lens of very specific cultures with their unique values, traditions, tensions.
Mormon Artist magazine is hosting the Mormon Lit Blitz, an online literary contest organized by James Goldberg and Scott Hales. We believe that Mormon experience is rich enough to inspire engaging poems, stories, and essays—and are ready to offer thirteen pieces as proof.
From March 1st to March 15th, readers may vote for the pieces they like best, and the author of the winning piece will be awarded a Kindle loaded with works of Mormon literature. Instructions for voting can be found here.
[LDSP Note: As with my short story contests, please vote for the piece you like best, not for your friends.]
The thirteen pieces featured in the contest were selected from almost two hundred entries from four different countries. They were written to appeal broadly to Latter-day Saint audiences, particularly committed members of the Church. However, the judges were careful to select artistic works that avoided the cheesiness and preachiness that people often associate with Mormon literature.
We hope you will enjoy the Mormon Lit Blitz. Please support the finalists by reading their work and voting for your favorites.
Marilyn Nielson’s “In Bulk,”
Wm Morris’s “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop,”
Jeanna Mason Stay’s “No Substitute for Chocolate,”
Emily Harris Adams’ “Second Coming,”
Sandra Tayler’s “The Road Not Taken,”
Merrijane Rice’s “Stillborn,”
Kathryn Soper’s “Oil of Gladness,”
Emily Debenham’s “The Shoe App,”
Deja Earley’s “Cada Regalo Perfecto,”
Kerry Spencer’s “The Gloaming,”
Jonathon Penny’s “Babel,”
Jeanine Bee’s “The Hearts of the Fathers,”
Marianne Hales Harding’s “Red Rock.”