By Crista Richey
Patrick Henry College
This year, Patrick Henry College invites aspiring writers to answer the call – more specifically, A Call to Pens. PHC’s first short story competition for students ages 12-18 was set in motion last year by PHC student, Peter Forbes (now an alumnus of PHC) who wanted to support the college and give young writers an opportunity to create original works of fiction that thoughtfully reflected a Christian worldview. Over 250 students nationwide responded to the “call” with mature, well-written stories, and we eagerly await the response of participants this year.
A Call to Pens is a contest with a broader mission than winning prizes. If we wish to shape the culture, we must first engage it – in all aspects of life. Quality Christian literature engages the culture in a less direct manner than other vocations, but it is no less important.
“The pen really is mightier than the sword,” says Dr. Gene Veith, Provost at PHC and author of several books regarding Christianity and culture. “Writers really are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind. Writers played a major role in bringing down the Soviet Empire simply by writing stories that changed people’s sensibility. Changing our own culture in a more God-pleasing direction cannot be done by political action alone. Changing the culture is a cultural task, and for that we need Christian writers. The Call to Pens contest is designed to help raise up those writers.”
For those interested in entering the contest, please visit www.phc.edu/acalltopens.php. There will be two separate divisions, each with a separate theme, based on age. Several cash prizes will be awarded to the top writers in each division. All proceeds of the competition will be given to PHC’s Annual Scholarship Fund. The entry deadline is December 30th, 2009; winners will be announced in March, 2010.