CONVOCATORIA «Palabras de Mormón» Certamen literario

CONVOCATORIA
«Palabras de Mormón»
Certamen literario

La Cofradía de Letras Mormonas, con el apoyo de Mormon Lit Lab y la Asociación de Escritores SUD del Perú, convoca a los miembros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, a simpatizantes y al público en general, a enviar sus obras a concurso conforme las siguientes bases…

BASES

  1. La característica principal de las obras es que se engloben dentro de lo llamado literatura mormona, es decir, que versen sobre temas SUD o sean de autoría SUD. Para consultar ejemplos de este tipo de literatura, invitamos a los autores a ver este y otros números de El Pregonero de Deseret.
  2. El idioma principal de las obras será forzosamente el español.
  3. La extensión máxima de las obras es 2 000 palabras. Cualquier obra que exceda ese límite será automáticamente descalificada.
  4. Se podrán presentar obras en los siguientes géneros: poesía, cuento, microcuento, ensayo, teatro, crónica o memorias.
  5. No se tendrá en cuenta bajo ningún concepto obra alguna que exhiba excesivas faltas de ortografía, errores de puntuación o cuya falta a la gramática los haga ininteligibles.
  6. Los autores podrán presentar hasta 3 trabajos, siempre y cuando sean en distintos géneros.
  7. Las obras serán enviadas a la dirección de correo electrónico cofradiadeletrasmormonas@gmail.com. En el cuerpo del correo, los autores deberán incluir su nombre, datos de contacto y título de la obra. La obra se adjuntará en formatos de Word o RTF.
  8. El plazo para presentar abre con la presente convocatoria y cierra el 1 de abril de 2020 a la medianoche. Se descalificará toda obra enviada con un horario y día posterior a este límite.
  9. De entre las obras presentadas se seleccionará a varios finalistas, de entre los que se escogerá a dos accésits y un ganador. La Cofradía de Letras Mormonas anunciará a las obras finalistas y a la ganadora en El Pregonero de Deseret y en su grupo de Facebook. También podrán aparecer en la web Mormon Lit Blitz.
  10. Los premios serán los siguientes: por la obra ganadora, 100 USD; por el primer accésit, 50 USD; por el segundo accésit, 25 USD. El jurado podrá declarar nulo el concurso en caso de que ninguna obra reúna suficientes condiciones literarias.
  11. Los participantes ceden a la Cofradía de Letras Mormonas los derechos para reproducir, editar y publicar sus obras en las plataformas de ésta y de Mormon Lit Lab. Todos los otros derechos se reservan en los respectivos autores.
  12. La Cofradía de Letras Mormonas se reserva el derecho de publicar o no las obras en El Pregonero de Deseret.

Book of Mormon Creative Reading List

As we study the Book of Mormon this year, many people will turn to commentaries and scholarly works for additional insight. It’s a good time for those: from the Maxwell Institute’s new 12-part The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions series to four new Book of Mormon-related titles forthcoming at BCC Press in January alone, there’s plenty of new material to consider.

At the Mormon Lit Lab, of course, we also feel strongly about the power of literature to invite our imaginations into conversation with scripture.

Over the past eight years, a handful of Mormon Lit Blitz finalists have drawn inspiration and imagery from the Book of Mormon. At a glance, we noticed:
“Remnant” by Sarah Dunster
“New Rhythm” by Tanya Hanamaikai
“Daughters of Ishmael” by Annaliese Lemmon
“Rumors of Wars” by Zachary Lunn
“Curelom Riders” by Annaliese Lemmon
“Slippery” by Stephen Carter
“Living Scriptures” by Scott Hales

We’d also encourage you to take time this year to try out a poetry collection or novel inspired by the Book of Mormon. Some options include:
Estampas del Libro de Mormón by Gabriel González Núñez 
Psalm and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through the Book of Mormon by Mark Bennion
The Book of Laman and The Book of Abish by Mettie Ivie Harrison
The Nephiad by Michael R. Collings
“Book of Mormon Story” by James Goldberg (in Out of the Mount: 19 from New Play Project)
Daughters of Jared, Alma the Youngerand Ammon by H. B. Moore
“Gift of the King’s Jeweler” by Steven Peck (in Wandering Realities: Mormonism Short Fiction)

We’d love to take time at different points during the year to share more short works inspired by the Book of Mormon. If you have a poem, short story, or essay under 1,000 words you’d like to share, please submit by email to everydaymormonwriter@gmail.com with “Book of Mormon Lit” in the subject line and we’ll consider it for online publication.

Happy reading–and writing!

-Mormon Lit Lab

2019 Mormon Lit Blitz Winner

As always, we owe thanks to all the writers who submitted to this year’s Mormon Lit Blitz and to the many readers who read the finalists, shared them on social media, and cast votes in the contest. Special thanks go to the core of supporters who have pledged a monthly contribution on the Mormon Lit Lab Patreon page: their support has been vital to our expanding efforts to support writers.

We’ve tallied the votes and the top pieces are:

4. “The Hills of Heaven” by Scott Hales

3. “Paradisiacal Glory” by Katherine Cowley

2. “The Casting Out of Spirits” by Jeanine Bee

and this year’s winner

1. “The Seven Deadly Housewarmers” by Emily Harris Adams

Congratulations!

We hope you’ll join us for next year’s contest and other events. To keep posted on future contests, we encourage you to sign up for our email list.

Voting for the 2019 Mormon Lit Blitz

The time has come to choose the winner of the Mormon Lit Blitz!

Voting Instructions

As per tradition, the audience chooses our annual Mormon Lit Blitz winner. To vote, look through the pieces, choose your favorite four, and email their titles (rather than author to avoid confusion) in ranked order to everydaymormonwriter@gmail.com.

Voting is open from Monday, July 15th until the end of the day on Saturday, July 20th. The winner of the $100 Grand Prize will be announced on Monday, July 22nd.

“Paradisiacal Glory” by Katherine Cowley
“Before the Healing” by Merrijane Rice
“How Do We Make Sense of What Will Be When We Hold Remnants of What Once Was?” by Steven Peck
“Separation” by Mark Penny
“Un dios en quien confiar” (in Spanish and in English translation) by Gabriel González Núñez
“The Casting Out of Spirits” by Jeanine Bee
“The Seven Deadly Housewarmers” by Emily Harris Adams
“The Investigator” by Jeanine Bee
“The Hills of Heaven” by Scott Hales
“As minhas férias na ilha de Santo Antão” (in Portuguese and in English translation) by César Augusto Medina Fortes
“Remnant” by Sarah Dunster
“Low Tide” by Merrijane Rice

Again: in order to be counted, votes must contain a ranking of the reader’s four favorite pieces, listed by title or keyword from title, and must be emailed to everydaymormonwriter@gmail.com by the end of the day Saturday, July 20th. Voters should have at least skimmed all twelve pieces. We also welcome comments and feedback on the contest in vote emails.

Our Patreon

If you are interested in supporting these contests and other Mormon literature initiatives, please visit our Patreon for Mormon Lit Lab.

“Low Tide” by Merrijane Rice

My father is leaving.
He ebbs and flows—
we call him back,
but each time he slips
a little further.
He is tired, he says, impatient
for his journey home.

I urge on him just one more day
and he laughs.
I suppose he wonders, for what?
Is there any good thing he can teach
that he hasn’t lived for my instruction
every other day of thousands?

Perhaps just this:
How to let go without regret,
to suppress love like the moon
that pulls and wills him always
back to shore.

“Remnant” by Sarah Dunster

“Wo unto them that decree unrighteous decrees…”
-2 Nephi 20

You Scythians, you Legrees
of those whose shoes are sopping
from the Aegean, who drive my fair ones
to capsize in the wasteland, who watch
from hills as reunions crowd the
borders, broken;  who leave the
straightforward gifts unspoken who
say you will give but give only in token
grief will descend on you like  

the shutting of the Red Sea.

You who squander the birthright
of the remnant of my people,
who auction the virginity of my
children in exile, who set fire
to canvas steeples, who drive
women as cattle and men as
soldiers in a forced battle
you will be blown, lukewarm, from
the vein of Him who knows the grains  

on each pair of drowned feet.

You who have seen my gospel and yet
deny succor to the stricken, who dole
soured law and call it remedy, who have
let my flocks be trampled because
you say freedom is not free, you who
draw out the blood of  the bitten; You.
Who bear the vessels of the Lord yet
deny what is written You who
take crusts from the stricken—
On the day you shed your garment,
what color shall your issue be?

I will send him, says He who made them–
Send Him, a rod of indignation…
I will send him against the wiles of
a hypocrite nation.

“My Vacation on the Island of Santo Antão” by César Augusto Medina Fortes

Translated by Katherine Cowley. Read the original Portuguese version here

School ended on the tenth day of June. This brought us much happiness, for our vacation had officially begun. Our destination was Santo Antão.

We left our house very early, and we went to the docks of São Vicente. We caught master Custódio’s taxi, a Mercedes-Benz, white, with a little plastic dog on the dashboard that shook his head with the movement of the car. The car was brand new. Every newlywed couple requested it as their ride. As you can imagine, I was very happy to ride in the best-looking car on the island. During the trip to the docks, I could not sit still, watching as Mr. Custódio spun the wheel and took the turns. It was something incredible.

When we arrived at Porto Grande, a crowd waited in line to enter the ferry boat to Porto Novo. The sea was a little rough. Even so, there we went. The “ferry boat” was famous for making even the suitcases sick. There were people who became nauseous simply from hearing the name of the ship, and this was the case for Ti Jona. The boat rose and fell on the waves, and we weren’t certain it would return to the surface again. People were shouting, “There are no trees in the sea! There is nothing to hold onto, nothing for us to climb when the ship sinks!”

But we children were excited to arrive on Santo Antão. After an hour of turbulent travel, we arrived. The docks at Porto Novo had a hellish heat and there was nowhere to hide from the scorching sun. There were so many people that it created quite a bustle. Some were leaving and others were preparing to enter the boat in the direction of São Vicente. The docks were small for so many people and so many cars. Holding tight to our luggage, we walked in the direction of the truck that would take us to Chã de Igreja. A 1958 Bedford, of a green color, belonging to master Cuca, was already waiting for us. There we began the car trip that would last some three hours. On the docks, we saw people selling “sucrinha”—little milk candies—in the shape of a cone, as well as quince, apple, cheese, and many other traditional items from the island. The fumes from the truck threatened to make us sick once again. The adults sat in the seats and us kids sat in the truck bed with our suitcases. We left the docks, taking the turn to the main road.

We began the ascent to the Corda region.

As soon as we reached the Delgadinho mountain ridge, silence immediately overtook everyone in the truck. In that place we feared the cliffs on both sides of the road. We closed our eyes and we only breathed after we had traversed the most dangerous section. As we went through a brook, Old Bedford drove slowly, for he had to pass over rocks; it would be a long time before we reached Chã de Igreja.

Chã de Igreja is a small and beautiful village, which appears like a city in miniature. It is a land of polite people, with clean and orderly streets, a lot of sugar cane growing all around, high coconut trees, and the smell of mango everywhere. In the center of the village is a beautiful church, which gives its name to the village of Chã de Igreja.

We arrived at the house of my grandmother Ludovina, who we sometimes called “Vinha” or “Vine.” All of our family members came out to greet us and to help with the suitcases. Fátima was combing the hair of “Ti Tuda.” It was a happiness that encompasses everything. We hugged everyone. It seemed that our entire family was in Chã de Igreja. Our breakfast had fried cassava, mint tea, cachupa stew, and omelets. The smell was irresistible.

My grandmother’s house had many animals. On the next day, early in the morning, I picked up a brass mug and called over my oldest cousin, Aldevino, and asked him for a special favor. “Aldevino, could you please bring me a little bit of the donkey’s milk?”

As one of the “boys of Soncente” and in my holy ignorance, I thought that all the animals gave milk, even the donkey. But off went Aldevino and he returned with a mug full of milk. I drank the milk until all I was left with was a foam mustache. Our vacation was beginning in the best way.

Months passed, and October drew to a close. Vacations were over. It was time to return to São Vicente. On the eve of our departure, we stayed up late, talking about what a wonderful vacation we had had. The next day, our friends from Chã de Igreja came to send us off. When the car was about to round the corner, we turned to face what we had left, and with lumps in our throats and our eyes close to tears, and our hands raised high, we said goodbye to our grandma Ludovina, our beloved “Vine.” With a sad face, she waved to us until the car disappeared down the street.

Inside the truck the smoke fumes were intense. After a few minutes on the road, we fell asleep. When we arrived at the docks of Porto Novo, the heat made it seem as if the ground had caught fire. There was a mess all over the dock with negotiations over a shipment of vegetables. We realized that we were to go on the same boat as before, and we began to feel sick. Some of us even threw up, yet even still we were thrilled to return to São Vicente after such a great vacation.

What I did not know was that my mother had taken us on this “marvelous vacation” with the intention of abandoning us with our grandmother and then moving to Italy, because life on São Vicente was not easy. Many years later, she told us the whole story, explaining that she gave up her trip because during the day we laughed with joy, and at night, she shed tears of sadness at having to leave her children behind, to be raised by other people. She had already purchased the ticket for the journey, but she felt compassion for us and did not travel. She set aside her dream of a better life for both the harsh realities and the joys of living with her children. I believe that she did not regret the decision she made that day. Even now, we still thank our mother for this wise decision.

That was the best vacation of our childhood.

“As minhas férias na ilha de Santo Antão,” César Augusto Medina Fortes

Read the English translation here

As aulas terminaram no dia 10 de Junho. E para a nossa alegria, as férias tinham começado. Santo Antão seria o nosso destino.

Saímos de casa bem cedinho, e fomos para o cais de São Vicente. Apanhamos o táxi de nhô Custódio, um Mercedes-Benz, branco, com um cãozinho de plástico no tablier, que mexia cabeça à medida que o carro andava. Era novinho em folha. Todos solicitavam para transportar os noivos. Como podem imaginar, eu estava muito feliz por andar no carro mais bonito da ilha. Durante o trajeto para o caís, eu não parava quieto, observando como nhô Custódio girava o volante e trocava a mudança. Era algo admirável.

Quando chegamos no Porto Grande, tinha uma multidão esperando na fila para entrar no ferry boat “Porto Novo”. O mar estava um pouco revolto. Mesmo assim lá fomos nós. O “ferry boat”, tinha fama que fazia enjoar até as malas. Tinha gente, que só de ouvir o nome do barco já ficava enjoada, como é o caso da Ti Jona. O barco subia e descia as ondas, sem termos certeza se voltava para a superfície outra vez. Pessoas gritavam: “Mar não tem árvores, vamos afundar.”

Mas nós crianças, estávamos animadas para chegar à Santo Antão. Depois de uma hora de viagem turbulenta, chegamos em Santo Antão. O cais de Porto Novo tinha um calor infernal e não tinha nenhum sítio para se esconder do sol abrasador. Era tanta gente que a azáfama era grande. Uns descendo e outros preparavam-se para entrar no barco em direção à São Vicente. O cais era pequeno para tanta gente e tantos carros. Segurando as nossas tralhas, caminhamos em direção ao camião que nos levaria à Chã de Igreja. O Bedford de 1958, de cor verde, que pertencia à nhe Cuca, já estava a nossa espera. Lá iniciamos a viagem de carro que demoraria umas três horas. No cais, víamos pessoas a vender “sucrinha” em forma de cone, marmelo, maçã, queijo e muitas outras coisas tradicionais da ilha. O carro fazia muito fumo que prometia fazer-nos enjoar mais uma vez. Os adultos sentaram nas cadeiras e nós, as crianças sentámos no fundo da caixa, juntamente com as malas. Saímos do cais, fizemos a curva e entramos na estrada principal.

Iniciamos a subida para a zona de Corda.

Chegámos na zona de Delgadinho e de repente o silêncio tomou conta do camião. O lugar mete medo com os precipícios dos dois lados da estrada. Fechamos os olhos e só respiramos depois de termos atravessado aquela parte perigosa da estrada. Na ribeira, o velho Bedford, ia devagar, pois andava em cima de pedregulhos e iria demorar até chegar em Chã de Igreja.

Chã de Igreja é uma pequena e bela vila, mas que parece uma cidade em miniatura. Terra de pessoas educadas, com ruas limpas e organizadas, com muita cana à volta, altos coqueiros, com um cheiro de manga por todo o lado. No centro da vila existe uma bonita igreja, a qual dá o nome à vila de Chã da Igreja.

Chegámos na casa da minha avó Ludovina “Vinha”. Todos os nossos familiares saíram para cumprimentar-nos e ajudar com as malas. A Fátima estava a pentear o cabelo da “Ti Tuda”. Era uma alegria total. Abraçamos toda a gente. Parecia que a nossa família inteira estava em Chã de Igreja. O pequeno-almoço tinha mandioca frita, chá de hortelã, cachupa guisada e omeletes. O cheiro era irresistível.

A casa da minha avozinha tinha muitos animais. No dia seguinte, de manhã cedo, apanhei uma caneca de latão e chamei o Aldevino, meu primo mais velho e pedi-lhe um favor especial:

– “Ó Aldevino, bô podia trazeme um bocadim de leite de burro, de favor?”

Eu, como “boys de Soncente” e na minha santa ignorância, pensava que todos os animais davam leite, até o burro. Mas lá foi o Aldevino e voltando com a caneca cheia de leite. Bebi o leite todo e até fiquei com um bigode de espuma. As férias estavam a começar da melhor forma.

O mês de Outubro chegou ao fim. As férias terminaram. Era tempo de voltar para São Vicente. E nós, na véspera da partida, ficamos até tarde, a falar das maravilhosas férias que tivemos. No dia seguinte, amigos de Chã de Igreja foram nos despedir. Quando o carro já ia dobrar a esquina, voltamos a cara para trás, com um nó na garganta e quase chorando, com a mão bem alto, fizemos adeus para a nossa avó Ludovina, a nossa querida “Vinha”. Ela, com uma cara triste, ficou a acenar-nos até o carro desaparecer no fim da rua.

Dentro do caminhão o cheiro do fumo era intenso. Já com alguns minutos na estrada, começamos a dormir. Quando chegamos no cais do Porto Novo, tinha um calor que parecia que o chão estava pegando fogo. Era uma confusão em cima do cais com o negócio de verduras. E lembrar que íamos no mesmo barco, começávamos a ficar enjoados. Podíamos até vomitar, mas estávamos muito felizes a caminho de São Vicente depois de termos passado umas boas férias.

Só não sabia eu, que a minha mãe nos tinha levado para essas “maravilhosas férias” com o intuito de deixar-nos com a nossa avó e depois partir para a Itália, porque a vida em São Vicente não estava fácil. Anos mais tarde, ela contou-nos toda a história, explicando que desistiu da viagem porque, enquanto de dia, nós ríamos de alegria, ela, à noite, chorava de tristeza de ter que deixar os filhos para trás, para serem criados por outras pessoas. Ela já tinha até o bilhete de passagem comprado, mas sentiu pena de nós e não viajou. Deixou o sonho de ter uma vida melhor para ter a realidade e a alegria de viver com os filhos. Creio que ela não se arrependeu da decisão que tomou naquele dia. Nós agradecemos a nossa mãe por esta sábia decisão até hoje.

Foram as melhores férias da nossa infância.

“The Hills of Heaven” by Scott Hales

Ane Kristine knew Jakob was dead when the moon turn blood red over Utah Lake. Her fear was confirmed the following night when she saw his ghost standing along the creek just outside of camp. He was dressed in the same dark suit and black leather boots he always wore to the stone church in Onsøy. His hair was neatly trimmed and long around the ears. His face was pale.

Pregnant with another man’s child, Ane Kristine almost did not stay to speak to him. She had been married to Abraham for over a year, and she had not written to Jakob about her marriage. His last letter to her had convinced her he was no longer in love and would not follow her to the Valley.

Still, seeing her now, only weeks away from her confinement, would surely confuse him. In life, Jakob had never been a jealous man. But how would he be in death? Had he appeared at the creek to punish her for leaving him? Or did he come seeking forgiveness? Ane Kristine shivered in the warm night air. She wanted to run back to her tent and hide beneath her quilt. But then Jakob called her name.

“Why are you here?” she whispered back. She began walking towards him, almost against her will. Jakob held out his hands, and she reached for them. Her fingers intertwined with his, as they had always done in Norway, but this time she could not feel his touch. Startled, she pulled her hands away and looked into his gray eyes. He had no pupils.

“Don’t be afraid,” he said.

“What happened to you?” Ane Kristine asked.

“I died. After you left, I became sick.”

“Why are you here?”

“I came for you. Come with me.”

“I have a life here,” said Ane Kristine. “I’m going to have a baby.”

“I’ve been to the other side and seen the hills of heaven,” Jacob said. “Nothing here matters.”

“I can’t,” said Ane Kristine. “I won’t.”

“You will,” said Jakob. “Meet me here tomorrow night. I can take you there.”

***

Ane Kristine awoke the next morning to Diana shouting. Ma Smoot had said something to offend her, and now Diana was taking it out on Abraham. Ane Kristine was still in her tent, so she could not see what was happening. But she could hear everyone well enough. The camp was small, the quarters close, and no one in the family but Ane Kristine knew how to be discreet.

“I can’t live here,” Diana cried. “I’m going back to my mother.”

“Your mother won’t take you,” Abraham said, his voice weary. “She knows your home is here.”

“It ain’t my home,” Diana said. “I need—”

“What you need to do is pray,” said Abraham. “The Lord will help you.”

“I’ve tried to pray!” Diana said. “It don’t ever work!”

Ane Kristine heard shuffling outside her tent, and in a moment Diana burst in and sat down on the ground beside her. “Oh, Annie,” she said. “I can’t do it no more. I can’t.”

Ane Kristine placed her hand on Diana’s knee and patted it gently. She and Diana were around the same age, and they had become pregnant around the same time. But Ane Kristine did not have the same tenderness for Diana that she had for Ma Smoot and Emily, Abraham’s other wives. Diana only spoke to her when no one else would listen—and only then because she thought Ane Kristine did not know enough English to scold her.

***

Later that morning, Diana wrapped herself in a shawl and went to her mother’s tent in another part of camp. Ane Kristine remained in her bedroll, feigning sickness. She did not share Diana’s feelings about their husband or his other wives. They had given her a home and family when no one else would take her in. But now that Jakob had promised to bring her to the hills of heaven, she wondered if she too needed to leave. Seeing Jakob standing beside the creek, his face the shade of moonlight, had reminded her of evenings along the river in Onsøy. The memory hung on her like a shroud of gloom, and she felt as if her grave was already dug. She did not regret coming to Zion. But she did regret coming without Jakob.

An hour past sundown, Ane Kristine found Jakob beside the creek. He did not greet her when she approached him. Instead, he pointed to a rope that hung from a tree branch over the creek. Knowing what he wanted her to do, Ane Kristine removed her shoes and began climbing the tree. When she reached the rope, she pulled it up until she held its end in her hands. The rough cord felt as crisp and light as lace.

“What do I do next?” she asked.

“Make a loop,” he said, “and tie a knot.”

“How?”

“Your hands will show you.”

Ane Kristine formed a loop and watched as her hands twisted and pulled the rope into a tight noose.

“Like that?” she said, holding it out to Jakob.

“Yes,” he said. “Now put it around your neck.”

***

When Ane Kristine opened her eyes, she saw Diana kneeling over her, muddy water dripping from her hair and dress. Startled, Ane Kristine turned her face toward the creek. “Where’s Jakob?” she cried.

Diana placed a calloused hand over Ane Kristine’s mouth. “Hush,” she whispered. “I saw what you done, but don’t worry. I won’t tell no one.”

Ane Kristine shook her head. Let me go, she wanted to say. Nothing here matters. But the words felt heavy and shapeless on her tongue.

“I got so afraid when I saw you in that tree,” Diana said. “You’re all I have here, so I just prayed to God to break that branch.” A tear formed on her cheek, and she wiped it away with a filthy sleeve.

“And He heard me, Annie,” she said. “He finally heard me.”