WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Athanatos Christian Ministries has been hosting Christian novel contests for more than five years as part of their mission to use the arts to defend the Christian faith. The 2014 grand prize winner is Paul Bennett, who won with his story, "A Fall of Sparrows." Second place went to Luke Ainsworth for his story, "Everything that Rises."
ACM's director, Dr. Anthony Horvath says, "Paul Bennett's book is a good example of what ACM likes to see succeed. Set in the Civil War, the characters struggle with intangibles such as personal integrity, courage, and the value of every human being, slave or free, but without beating people over the head with the Bible. Instead what we have is a Confederate soldier, who happens to be a Christian, seeking to reconcile his Biblical values with his loyalty to the state of Georgia and slavery. The book does not preach, but rather prompts the reader to consider whether or not they also have conflicting principles and just how one ultimately decides among them."
ACM has since extended an offer to publish the manuscript to Bennett, who accepted. "A Fall of Sparrows" will be released in early 2015.
The contest's second place winner highlights the international prestige of ACM's novel contest. Harkening from Australia, Luke Ainsworth's winning entry exhibits humor and wit as the characters in the story evaluate various worldviews. This is not the first time someone from outside the United States has won a prize in ACM's contest. The grand prize winner of ACM's very first novel contest, Shirley Tucker, hailed from South Africa. Her book, "Diamonds in the Dust" focused on the sex trafficking trade endemic to parts of Africa.
The deadline for entering ACM's fifth annual novel contest is October 6th, 2014.
First prize in the contest receives $1,500 and second prize receives $1,000. ACM has extended offers to publish both winners and non-winners of their contest.
"ACM's contests help promote our view that Christians should be influencing the culture instead of only being influenced by it," Horvath says. "Our annual online apologetics conferences have a similar goal. Nancy Pearcey is this year's keynote speaker."