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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Popular Christian Journalism Contest Calls for Entries for 2009 Awards

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

LANSING, MI (ANS) -- One of the most popular journalism contests in the nation is known as the Amy Writing Awards, presented by The Amy Foundation, founded in 1976 by W. James Russell and his wife Phyllis, and named after their daughter.

The Amy Writing Awards is a call to present biblical truth reinforced with scripture in secular, non-religious publications. First prize is $10,000 with a total of $34,000 given annually to the authors of the 15 award-winning articles.

The Amy Foundation Writing Awards program is designed to recognize creative, skillful writing that applies in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner the biblical principles to issues affecting the world today, with an emphasis on discipling.

The Amy Foundation awarded $34,000 to 15 Writers in 2008. The First Prize of $10,000 went to Tony Woodlief for an article in The Wall Street Journal

Tony Woodlief received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina in Political Science (1990) and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Dept. of Political Science (2002).

Woodlief's background is in non-profit management, policy analysis, business consulting, education, and corporate training, with strong presentation and writing skills. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, National Review, and WORLD Magazine, where he is a regular contributor. His short stories have appeared in Ruminate and Image, and his spiritual memoir, 'Somewhere More Holy', will be published by Zondervan in 2010.

According to The Amy Foundation, his winning article, "OK, Virginia, There's No Santa Claus. But There Is God" thoughtfully revolves around a conversation with his 8-year old son Caleb, who says "I know there’s no Santa Claus." Acknowledging that "Caleb and his brothers will figure out the Santa secret eventually," Woodlief resists "the elevation of science and reason to the exclusion of magic, of mystery, of faith."

As winner of the Amy Writing Awards $10,000 first prize, Tony Woodlief joined a growing list of authors who for 24 years have shown how a compelling presentation of biblical truth applied to the serious issues of life earns a legitimate place in mainstream print journalism.

The Amy Foundation presented the $10,000 first prize to Mr. Woodlief at the 2009 annual Michigan Prayer Breakfast, Wednesday, May 6, in Lansing. This first prize presentation was the Amy Foundation’s celebration of the 24th anniversary of the Amy Writing Awards.

The Amy Writing Awards program encourages writers to apply biblical principles to contemporary issues. Articles considered for awards must appear in mainstream print or online news publications and include at least one Bible quotation. The 2008 winning entries were selected from nearly 700 submissions published in the mainstream media (print and online) last year.

This year, The Amy Foundation is celebrating the 25th year of the Amy Writing Awards program. Last year more than 600 articles were submitted. Cash prizes totaling $34,000 were presented to fifteen authors in May for articles published in 2008. These include the $10,000 first prize award, $5,000 second prize, $4,000 third prize, $3,000 fourth prize, $2,000 fifth prize, as well as ten $1,000 awards of Outstanding Merit. For articles published during 2009, prizes will be awarded in May, 2010.

To be eligible, submitted articles must be published in a secular, non-religious publication (either printed or online) and must be reinforced with at least one passage of scripture. Each author may submit up to ten entries.

There is no entry fee. A submission form is available on The Amy Foundation website (www.amyfound.org  ). Past Amy Writing Award winning articles are posted on their website as well as printed in their annual booklet of prize-winning entries.

Entries for this year's awards must be postmarked on or before January 31, 2010 to qualify for the 2009 Amy Writing Awards. Please note that January 31, 2010 is a Sunday. Entries must be postmarked by that date. Entries published in 2009 but postmarked on or after February 1st, 2010 will be disqualified.

Entries may be submitted to:

The Amy Foundation Writing Awards
P.O. Box 16091
Lansing, MI 48901
(517) 323-6233

ELIGIBILITY

* The article must have been published in a mainstream, non-religious publication (either printed or online), as determined by the Awards Panel.
* The article must contain at least one passage of scripture.
* The article must have been published between January 1 and December 31 of the current calendar year.
* Books, poetry, fiction and/or manuscripts are not accepted.

CONTENT

* God's word must be quoted directly from the Bible and the Bible must be acknowledged as the source.
* Biblical quotations must be taken from an accepted and popular edition of the Bible, such as the New International Version, The Living Bible, the King James, or the Revised Standard Version.
* The article must present the biblical principles on an issue as relevant, timely and deserving of thoughtful consideration, with an emphasis on discipling.
* Examples of issues for consideration, but not limited to these, are family life, divorce, values, pornography, morality, U.S. National interests, abortion, religion and addictions. The biblical impact on individual character and outlook are also appropriate issues.
* The need for obedience through biblical truth should be evident.

JUDGING GUIDELINES

In addition to content, qualified articles will be judged on the following primary considerations:

* Persuasive power of the article. We are looking for articles that contain a discipling message, not articles that tug at emotional heartstrings.
* Author's skill in relating God's word to current interest issues.
* Author's sensitivity in presenting a biblical perspective to the search for meaning in life.
* Extent to which creativity and skillfulness are used to present God's position on issues affecting the world today in a sensitive, thought-provoking manner.
* Decisions by the Judges and Awards Panel will be final.

SUBMISSION

* Submission of a printed entry must be in the form of the actual full page(s) or tear sheet(s) from the newspaper or magazine containing the publication name and date.
* Submission of an online entry must be in the form of a printout of the article on the website of the newspaper or magazine. The web address (URL) of the article and the contact information for the online editor must also be submitted.
* The total number of qualified entries (both printed and/or online) that may be submitted by a single author is limited to ten.
* All entries must be postmarked on or before January 31 of the following year.
* Entries will not be returned.
* Articles may be submitted to: The Amy Foundation Writing Awards, P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091. Winners are notified by May 1.

SUPPLEMENTAL CONTEST RULES FOR ONLINE ARTICLES ONLY

Beginning with the 2008 Amy Writing Awards, articles are accepted that have been published on the web pages of mainstream, non-religious newspaper, news or e-magazine websites as determined by the Amy Writing Awards panel. Articles published in print, as well as those published online will be judged in one contest.

If a submission did not appear in a print newspaper or magazine, but was posted on a mainstream, non-religious newspaper, news or e-magazine website, the rules remain the same as for those articles that appeared in a newspaper or magazine except:

* Only online articles that appear on mainstream, non-religious news or e-magazine websites as determined by the Amy Writing Awards panel will be accepted. Decisions of the judges are final.
* Articles or entries from “blogs” or newsletters are not eligible.
* Only entries sent in a printed format on paper exactly how they appeared on the website will be accepted. URL addresses of columns will not be accepted as an entry. Articles must be sent via US Mail, not via email.


** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station. Michael has traveled to Albania and the former Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany and the former Czechoslovakia, Israel,and Canada. He has reported for ANS from Jordan, China, Russia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- Michael Ireland Media Missionary (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.'

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