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13th Annual Mormon Lit Blitz Winners



Thank you to everyone who read the finalists in this year’s contest. We love sharing these pieces with you! It's wonderful to see voters support their favorite writers and discover new voices. We're now ready to announce the Audience Choice winner and our Judges' Choice award.



Audience Choice Award


In audience voting, the top four pieces are:


4th place:



3rd place:


“Abrahamic Sacrifice” by Annaliese Lemmon


2nd place:


“El Don” / "The Gift" by R. de la Lanza


and


1st place:



Congratulations!

Judges' Choice


In addition to the audience choice award, we ask a guest judge to honor another piece for its quality of writing. This year's guest judge is Darlene Young, the author of three collections of poetry (most recently, Count Me In from Signature), a teacher of writing at BYU, and a passionate fan of Mormon literature. This year's judge's choice award goes to:


“El Don” / "The Gift"  by R. de la Lanza, translated by James Goldberg.


Judge's Statement:


You may have noticed, as I have, that there are no posted aesthetic statements about what makes a winner in the Mormon Lit Blitz. When I agreed to judge, I asked for guidelines about what our directors value in this arena, but was invited to decide for myself how to judge. So: should I reward the most creative? The funniest? The most accomplished? The most Mormon? Rather than setting up a rubric for myself, I decided I would know the winner when I saw it.

 

. . . and then I loved everything I read, each for different reasons.  I think I could write an award citation for any of the finalists telling you why I like it. But in the end, I chose the peace that moved to me the most, artistically and emotionally. What I mean is that this piece speaks to me in the way that good art should--it is highly accomplished, but more than that, it speaks to me of human concerns. Here, the concerns also happen to be deeply Mormon in nature.  I like to see a Mormon contest reward art that speaks specifically to the LDS experience. In this piece, a reader who isn’t familiar with the culture will not know what is at stake, what tensions are working here, and yet, when we do understand these things, we see that the themes de la Lanza is wrestling with are actually universal. What is the moral way to use power? If one can relieve another of a burden, is it always best to do so? de la Lanza elegantly sets up the situation so that we feel all that is at stake. This story is true in the way that all good art is true: real human issues told movingly and well. I can’t think of a more better justification for rewarding this piece the judge’s choice award.

 

Congratulations!


Next Contest


It’s beginning to look a lot like…holiday story time! We are pleased to announce the Holiday Lit Blitz, a specialty contest for short Mormon literature focused on the holidays. Deck our inbox with works under 1,000 words in any genre which both resonate with a Latter-day Saint audience and incorporate a holiday. Submissions may be written in any language. Previously published material and simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Up to three submissions are allowed per author. Submissions are due by the end of day on 4 November 2024. If you’re interested in submitting, please see the full submission details here.

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