The Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) invites all writers (and those who have dreamed about writing) to compose a short story.

Over the next year you are invited to participate in an online challenge to write a short story (4,000 words) that, like the parables in the Bible, challenges the reader to reflect deeply on the interaction of faith with an issue that confronts our church and society. Like a progressive feast, participants will move from one assignment to the next, culminating in a polished short story.


  1. Membership in the Presbyterian Writers Guild ($25) and a $20 entrance fee
  2. Commitment to give and receive feedback on each phase of the experience
  3. Commitment to adhere to the deadlines for each phase of the progressive event
  4. Permission to have your story published in a book produced by the PWG


 How the church responds to racial or sexual diversity.

 How the church can be a peacemaker in a violence-prone society.

 How one discerns God’s call for a particular church.

 Pastoral integrity in a guilt-laden society.

 When God’s call conflicts with church expectations.

 Loyalty to Christ and splits in the church.


Over a period of 8 to 10 months, the PWG will send participants an assignment for each phase of their short story project. Participants will work on theme, setting, character development, etc. Depending on the complexity of the assignments, participants will have about a month to complete and submit their work to the PWG who will redistribute their work to various other participants for constructive comments for improvement.

Following the reception of the feedback in one phase, the PWG will send the next step in the writing process. The procedure will repeat with submission and response. This will culminate in the seventh phase in which everyone will submit the final draft of their short story.

This collection of stories will be shared with the other participants and board members to select the top 10 stories for publication in a book tentatively titled Parables for the Contemporary Christian.

The Guild will work with The Presbyterian Outlook and the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation to generate additional exposure for these stories and to engage the larger church in a discussion of the issues that were featured in these modern parables.


September 30, 2016

To enter, enclose your name, expression of interest, and email address to Emily Odom of the Presbyterian Writers Guild. If you are not an active member in the Presbyterian Writers Guild, include along with the $20 entrance fee, a guild membership fee of $25. Make your checks payable to the Presbyterian Writers Guild and send them to Emily Odom, 2336 Strathmoor Blvd., Louisville, KY 40205. The project is open to all interested people regardless of faith identification.

Your entry will be acknowledged and further instructions for the procedure will be sent to you. Please send all questions and future submissions to In case of any confusion, you may also send questions to Steve McCutchan at

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