This is a guest post by Katherine Cowley¸ one of the editors of the 2016 Mormon Lit Blitz.
Today is the final day of the Mormon Lit Blitz, an annual competition now in its fifth year. The goal of this competition is to find and publish Mormon micro-literature—short pieces, all under 1000 words, which can be consumed quickly yet linger in your mind for much longer. Reader voting starts on this Monday, June 6 th , and we hope that you will vote for your favorite pieces.
But before we get into that, a little summary of this year’s Blitz.
We had 114 incredible entries, but were only able to publish 12 finalists. Of these finalists, 5 are poems, 4 are short stories, and 3 are personal essays. The shortest finalist is 52 words; the longest, including the title, is exactly 1000 words.
I could go on, analyzing how many pieces are historical, contemporary, or futuristic, or how many were written by men and by women. But there’s only so much you can get from the numbers, because in the end, literature isn’t about numbers or statistics.
Literature is about the ability of words to slip inside us and then leave us changed for the better.
Literature is about a mother figuring out why she always sits on the back row of church, an LDS soldier trying to remember to pray, a missionary questioning the gift she has been given, and a woman leaving behind a continent she loves. It’s about pressing forward after loss and looking back on those you have left behind. It’s about those funny moments with our children, unexpected missionary opportunities, and those spiritual experiences that are rather hard to explain. It’s about abandoning false gods, those moments of key decision, and how we can be both foolish and wise.
We hope you take a few minutes to visit lit.mormonartist.net and read these short pieces. Then, from Monday, June 6th, to Saturday, June 11th, we invite you to return to lit.mormonartist.net and vote for your four favorite works. We have only one cash prize (a sum of precisely $100), and it’s up to you as a reader to determine who will win both bragging rights and the opportunity to pay a little extra tithing this month.