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Published:July 2nd, 2012 14:37 EST
Missouri Writing Duo to Receive Top Awards

Missouri Writing Duo to Receive Top Awards

By SOP newswire

Athanatos Christian Ministries selected a pair of Missouri writers to receive the top awards in their annual Christian novel contest. Derek Elkins, out of Grain Valley, won first prize for his story "Life Unworthy of Life." Chris Morrow, of Webb City, won the runner-up award for his story "The Devil`s Choir." The duo share $2,500 in awards and ACM has subsequently signed both men to publishing deals. 

ACM`s Executive Director, Anthony Horvath, tongue in cheek, insists that their contest does not show favoritism to any particular state of the union. He says, "Derek and Chris may be both from Missouri but their stories are almost a world apart. `Life Unworthy of Life` is an inside look at the Nazi effort to eliminate the mentally ill and physically handicapped through their T4 program. Chris`s story tracks a serial killer through America`s heartland and probes the evil of Man`s heart. I guess when I put it that way, their stories are not so different, after all." 

The Christian novel contest website may offer a publishing contract to its novel contest winners, but that this isn`t automatic. Horvath indicates that this year`s winners are in line with his ministry`s objectives for using Story to promote or defend the Christian faith, which made them ideal titles to publish. "Life Unworthy of Life" addresses the value of human life within and without the Christian worldview while "The Devil`s Choir" explores whether or not there are unseen realities. 

Last year`s contest winner, Shirley Tucker, was also extended a publishing deal for her story, "Diamonds in the Dust." This story highlights the racial tensions and extreme poverty in her home country of South Africa. She will be on a tour through the upper Midwest this August. 

Last year`s runner-up, Robert Abernathy, had his story published by Cross Books, a division of LifeWay. 

Derek Elkins and Chris Morrow should see their winning novels officially released by Christmas of 2012 and will join Shirley at ACM`s online writing conference this August. 

The 2013 Christian Novel Contest is currently underway, accepting entries through September 1st, 2012. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2013, and ACM will once again think about publishing them, as well. 

To arrange an interview with any of these authors of ACM`s director, send an email to or call 202-280-7971.