Thanks first to our thirteen wonderful finalists–and for you readers, who contributed to the more than 10,000 views of their pieces. Tonight we are pleased to announce voters’ top five selections. They are
5) “Second Coming” by Emily Harris Adams
4) “Red Rock” by Marianne Hales Harding
3) “No Substitute for Chocolate” by Jeanna Mason Stay
2) “In Bulk” by Marilyn Nielsen
and our Grand Prize Winner…
1) “Stillborn” by Merrijane Rice
Congratulations! When we started the Lit Blitz, we knew there was an audience for LDS literary works, but we’ve been impressed and encouraged by how strong and supportive that audience has been. Since we were also impressed by the quality of submissions the contest received, we’ve decided to launch a new online literary venue called Everyday Mormon Writer. This week we’re featuring a poem by Lit Blitz Semi-Finalist Jake Balser and art by Nick Stephens. We will feature one work per week for the next few months as we build up a body of quality work until we are able to publish every weekday. Any works that were submitted to the Lit Blitz will be considered for publication on Everyday Mormon Writer. We also encourage you to submit other short works; details can be found on our Submissions page.
Thanks once again for your interest and support.
Nicole Wilkes Goldberg
We have loved sharing the work of all thirteen finalists.
But we only have one Grand Prize.
The winner of the Mormon Lit Blitz will be selected by audience vote. Voters must first read (or hear, in the case of voters who are not yet literate) at least five of the Mormon Lit Blitz finalists and then rank their top five. These five ranked votes should then be emailed to email@example.com with VOTE in the subject line. (One vote per person please, even if you have multiple email accounts.)
First place votes will be counted as five points, second as fourth, and so on. The piece with the most points by the end of March 15th will win.
Again, in order to be valid, votes must:
1) Be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with VOTE in the subject line.
2) Include five pieces ranked from 1st favorite through 5th favorite. Listing votes either by title or by author is acceptable.
Feel free to include any other feedback you have on the Mormon Lit Blitz in the body of the email below your vote list.
As a reminder, the finalists are
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,”
and Marianne Hales Harding’s “Red Rock.”
You can’t take a picture of this.
No matter the angle, the pictures are just rocks, sky, water.
Nothing stirs in me when I look at them.
I am still caught in the swell of forgettable catastrophes, tight and hurried.
I delete every one of them. And then I take a few more. Continue reading Day Thirteen: Marianne Hales Harding
The Hearts of the Fathers
My dad thinks he only taught me one thing growing up. Every chance he got he would remind us, “Kids, never fight a monkey.” Continue reading Day Twelve: Jeanine Bee
At the moment the languages were confounded, I was bent over a parchment, trying to ignore the sounds of construction that by then filled the city. I had no interest in the project myself. Indeed, I was apprehensive about its appalling hubris and the mind-boggling safety issues it presented. This was philosophical and personal. My brother oversaw construction of the balustrades that wound their way up the tower—a feat of engineering science I could never grasp, but that gripped him like a childhood fever: numbers were his, letters mine. Daring was also his: he always took on the most perilous duties himself.
I kept my misgivings to myself, however, even from him. The prophets who had spoken warnings of judgment and destruction were dead or in the quarries, Continue reading Day Eleven: Jonathon Penny
I’ve been spending a lot of time in hospitals lately. And the thing about hospitals is that they make you think a lot about cycles of life and death. For one thing, you can’t avoid it. Death, that is. In normal life you can meet the thought of your own mortality with a healthy dose of denial. And even when you go into the hospital, you can cling to that denial. Death is what’s happening to the other people. You, on the other hand, well, you’re just there to have something taken care of.
You can hold on to that delusion until night.
Because at night, in the hospital, everything changes.
Continue reading Day Ten: Kerry Spencer
Cada Regalo Perfecto
Watching three orphans scramble on half-buried tires,
and the others grip pencils and crayons as if we’d given them chocolate,
I turn my purse inside out. Continue reading Day Nine: Deja Earley
The Shoe App
Catherine liked setting up her laptop in the café because the internet was free and she had hacked the video camera feed outside. From that she had created an app that would ping anytime a man over six feet entered the store.
Graced with her father’s lanky genes, she had hit 5’10 in the tenth grade and stayed there. Worse, she had an addiction to three inch heels, courtesy of her mother, a heritage she clung to since she passed. So she needed the man in her life to tow the 6 feet tall line.
Otherwise the thousands of dollars she had invested in shoes would go to waste on their custom built racks in her generous walk-in closet. Her mother had always said “A good pair of shoes will chase away the blues.” Something Catherine had desperately needed after she was gone. Her obsession was more than mere vanity.
She would burn her shoes before she allowed others to label her as vain.
Catherine was chic, savvy, fashionable, and determined. Not vain. Continue reading Day Eight: Emily Debenham
Oil of Gladness
The Elders’ Quorum president held up the quart-sized bottle for everyone to see. “For anointings we use olive oil—preferably extra virgin,” he explained. The women murmured in approval. They knew that extra virgin, product of the first pressing of the olives, is the best.
The liquid in the bottle shone a rich yellow. Pretty, but not as impressive as the olive oil my grandmother poured freely in the days of my childhood. Imported from Greece, the thick green oil came in square, gallon-sized cans marked in geometric Greek. The filigreed designs in red and gold reminded me of the stained-glass windows in the Greek Orthodox church, where I fidgeted every Easter, nose wrinkling from incense, under the eye of the emaciated Christ hanging above the nave. Continue reading Day Seven: Kathryn Soper
You were wanted,
not an accident.
Your first fluttering cells
set plans pulsing—
names, knitting, nursery colors,
Though two others came before,
I saved a part for you.
Continue reading Day Six: Merrijane Rice