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The mission of Maranatha is to develop leaders for ministry in the local church and the world “To the Praise of His Glory.” Part of developing such leaders is to encourage the use of creativity and imagination. A creative writing contest is being offered to any Maranatha student who wishes to develop and share his or her creative imagination. Please read and follow these directions:

  • Write a 5-page short story.
  • Use Times Roman 12-point, double space, and maintain a one-inch margin.
  • Place a header on each page which includes your student ID number and the page number.
  • Center the title on the first page of the entry.
  • Email your entry to the Financial Aid Office at by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2024.
    • In the email include your name, brief biographical information, and the reason for choosing to enter this contest.
    • Attach your short story as a PDF file.
  • To maintain anonymity, authors’ names will not be provided to the judges.
  • By entering this contest, entrants affirm that this is an original work and grant Maranatha the non-exclusive right to edit and publish this story.

The judges are looking for stories that are original, subtle, engaging, and interesting. Show, don’t tell. Avoid cliche genres such as spiritual allegory, fiction based on a Bible story, and other Christian fiction cliches found here.

 For helpful tips on writing a good short story, see this page.

The winning author will be awarded a check for $100 and a copy of Dr. Steve Stratford’s published book, Kate Canby and the Holocharm of Time, which inspired this contest. The winning story will be published on Maranatha’s website and considered for inclusion in other Maranatha publications. The prize will be presented at the Scholarship Dinner in April.

Our judges look forward to reading your entries, and the University looks forward to celebrating the creativity and imagination that future servants are developing.


Read the 2023 winners’ stories:

First Place: Susanna Berrey, A Shared Summer

Second Place: Isabella Robison, Seven Years