Mormon Lit Blitz Contest Semi-Finalists (three of four)

Out of 200 submissions, a panel of judges has selected 32 semi-finalists. Out of these 32, twelve will be selected to compete in the final round for audience votes and the prize Kindle.

Today, we announced eight more semi-finalists on Facebook and Twitter. As a recap, here they are:


Giving up social cola drinking to symbolically support an alcoholic brother is only the beginning of Jared’s legendary powers of self-restraint.

Giovanni doesn’t see a light just after he dies; he has a hard time seeing anything at all until he learns to focus.

“The Shoe App”
Because she’s 5’10 and loves high heels, Catherine is excited to meet two tall, handsome men in nice suits—and black nametags.


“London Portraits”
“He gazes at the dust-charged sunbeams/ as though they are angels.”

“In Bulk”
An ode to giant jars of Costco mayonnaise, endless desert skies, and other manifestations of Wordsworthian abundance.

“I Teach Six-Year-Olds about Jesus in Sunday School”
You’ve been showered in spit and had your skirt soaked with a little girl’s tears. But you know that this is the world God so loved.

“Red Rock”
“What is it about this place that unwinds the soul, one chink at a time?”


“A Lesson in Conversational Slovene”
Two new missionaries struggling to master the language find reliable, if reticent, teachers in a retirement center.

Mormon Lit Blitz Contest Semi-Finalists (part two of four)

Out of 200 submissions, a panel of judges has selected 32 semi-finalists. Out of these 32, twelve will be selected to compete in the final round for audience votes and the prize Kindle.

Today, we announced eight more semi-finalists on Facebook and Twitter. As a recap, here they are:


She’d love to read about the “Mother and Baby” sculpture, but she’s got to stumble over her children just to get to the placard.

“Cada Regalo Perfecto”
Though unprepared, this poet seeks to give the best gifts.

“Second Coming”
Some simple advice for William Butler Yeats.

“She looked old, and he was old…”


“Oil of Gladness”
What it meant to one sister to carry a vial of consecrated oil in her purse.


A scholar in Babel wrestles with the loss of the old language.

“Count the Tear Stains on the Page”
Who do you talk to when you hate yourself?

“The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop”
“He had seen too many companionships ruined over petty things. Had ruined a few of them himself. And this was not a mistake he was going to make again.”

Mormon Lit Blitz Contest Semi-Finalists (part one of four)

Out of 200 submissions, a panel of judges has selected 32 semi-finalists. Out of these 32, twelve will be selected to compete in the final round for audience votes and the prize Kindle.

Today, we announced eight semi-finalists on Facebook and Twitter. As a recap, here they are:


“Without Compulsory Means”
One of the most famous passages in the Doctrine & Covenants calls for persuasion through long-suffering and love. But how long will a couple have to suffer as they try to gently persuade their three-year-old son with Down Syndrome to make a change he doesn’t want?

“The Gloaming”
There’s day and there’s night, but there’s also twilight. There’s the world of the living and the world of the dead: but what’s in between?


“No Substitute for Chocolate”
Fathers’ Day brings calorie-laden sweets; Mother’s Day means flowers—and one more thing to take care of. That’s a cold, hard tradition one woman is determined to shake.

“Forgotten Memories”
If you could lock up memories that come unbidden, which would you choose to protect yourself from?

So, a man walks into the end of the world…and realizes he’ll have to improvise on that whole lamps-prepared-with-oil thing…


“The Cordwainer”

What a Montevideo cobbler didn’t know he taught one sister missionary.
“The New Beginning Ghazal”
A slice of Eden’s story contemplated in an ancient Iranian poetic form.

Where does faith fit when the most beautiful plans melt away?

Mormon Lit Blitz Semi-Finalists

THANK YOU to everyone who submitted work to the Mormon Lit Blitz Contest. We received roughly 200 submissions in many different forms and styles, and about as many different topics. Having read through a significant portion of the submissions as a member of the judging panel, I was impressed by the sheer conceptual imagination of the writers. You took various elements of Mormon life and approached them in ways that helped me see them anew, that gave dimension and weight to your experiences, values, and dilemmas. It made judging both enjoyable, because we got to read so much engaging work, and difficult–because we were supposed to turn a list of 200 into a list of 20-30.

We almost made it. We’re down to 32.

Between now and Wednesday, we’ll be introducing eight semi-finalists a day. You can catch a new title and teaser on Facebook or Twitter every few hours, or else wait and read about the featured semi-finalists on this blog at night. Only 12 of the 32 semi-finalists will go on to be featured as contest finalists and vie for your votes and the prize Kindle, but I think even the short descriptions of the semi-finalists will be a testament to the range of ways in which Mormon faith and creativity can intersect.

Thanks again to everyone who submitted. And enjoy the coming sneak peek at the fruits of the Mormon Lit Blitz Contest.

James Goldberg
Contest Co-Coordinator

Mormon Lit Blitz Contest: 1 Kindle for 1k words

Mormon Artist is pleased to announce a new collaborative project: the Mormon Lit Blitz contest. The project was conceived by James Goldberg and Scott Hales and will be hosted here on the Mormon Artist blog (check back regularly for updates). Send up to three submissions of 1,000 words or less to by January 15, 2012 and you may win a Kindle.

Contest Call for Submissions

What we want: Short work for Mormons to be published and read online.

The details:
“Short” means under 1,000 words.

“Work” means creative writing in any genre, from literary realism to far future science fiction, and in any form: fiction, essay, poetry, even play or screenplay if you can keep it under 1,000 words. Give us a tiny, polished gem we can show off to people who love Mormonism and love great writing but  “know not where to find” a place where the two meet.

“For Mormons” means for committed Latter-day Saints. Yes, that’s an extremely diverse audience (see the “I’m a Mormon” campaign–and your ward members), but it’s also an audience with distinctive shared values and history that don’t often get attention in creative work. We want you to write something that will appeal to us as people who believe in the sacred, who have ridiculous numbers of brothers and sisters we see every week, who worry about being good and faithful servants no matter what our day jobs are and wonder what it will be like to meet our grandparents’ grandparents in heaven. We don’t need your pieces to preach to us. We do need them to combine your creativity and religious commitment in a way that excites us and gives us something cool to talk about with our Mormon friends.

“To be published and read online” means we’re going to post six to twelve finalists’ pieces on the Mormon Artist blog and then ask readers to vote on their favorites.

One catch: since even 1,000 words can be intimidating on a screen, your piece needs a strong hook of no more than 120 words (or eight lines for poetry) to be visible on the main blog page. Mark the end of your hook with [MORE]. Even our editors will only read further if you’ve piqued their interest.

Submission Guidelines: Submissions must have fewer than 1,000 words with a hook no longer than 120 words (or eight lines for poetry). Submissions must be engaging to Latter-day Saints and engage with their Mormon identity in some way.

Authors may submit up to three works. Each submission must be attached to an email as a .doc or .pdf file. The selection process is blind, so the author’s name should not appear on the document.

Email any questions and your submissions to Submission emails should contain the author’s name, the titles of each submission, and contact information (telephone number or email address).

By submitting, authors give us the one-time rights to publish their work electronically. Previously published work is OK if you still have the rights to the piece and if it meets the above contest requirements (don’t forget to add a [MORE] tag to the end of your hook).

The prize: The contest editors will select six to twelve finalists. All finalists will have their short works published online starting in mid-February 2012 and actively promoted across the LDS blogosphere by the Mormon Lit Blitz team.

After all pieces have been published, readers will vote on a single Grand Prize Winner, who will receive a Kindle pre-loaded with LDS literary works, including Parley P. Pratt’s classic short “A Dialogue Between Joseph Smith and the Devil,” Peculiar Pages’ recent Monsters & Mormons anthology, Zarahemla Books’ Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction, the poetry anthology Fire in the Pasture, and recent issues of Mormon Artist magazine.