2015 Australian Christian Literature Awards

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I could feel Kade’s heart racing against my back. His breathing was heavy and I realised he was scared too. He’d been caught and injured. He was stuck between three teenage boys and a cliff. He was just as vulnerable, and I was his only protection. If I could just remove myself from the equation, we would be safe. I raised my foot and stamped it as hard as I could on Kade’s left foot. The hiking boot came down heavily. Kade screamed. I moved my foot away and saw the blood and disfigured toes that I’d broken. The sight of it made my stomach lurch. Kade loosened his grip. He dropped the knife downward and cut the back of my hand as I moved to get away. Reece, Harry and Lucas ran forward. I saw them coming with wild anger and stepped aside, momentarily afraid of the violence I saw in their eyes too. The three of them tackled Kade to the ground, and the knife fell over the edge. Reece hit him again, and I think he would have kept hitting him but I yelled at him to stop. I was crying by then. ‘Oh Caity,’ he said when he realised, and he hurried back over and held me. Harry and Lucas stood over Kade, who was unconscious. ‘I thought I was going to die,’ I sobbed into Reece’s chest. Third Prize

Sarah Backholer and Rebecca Nisbet Seasons of Grace Fresh and honest devotions will leave young mothers feeling understood and

less alone. The illustrations are real and the theological reflections appropriate and enlightening. Short chapters match the cadence of a young mother’s hectic and fragmented life. An extract from Seasons of Grace Parenthood is grace upon grace; we receive beyond our capacity and are called to give beyond our capacity. … I fear that in giving unreservedly to another, I’ll somehow lose myself. Babies take when we are not ready to give. It’s easy to end up angry, wearing a constant sense of being owed. Decisions are made out of fear and self-defence, rather than generosity. It’s all we have. Our resources are limited. But his are not. As followers of Jesus, we need not fear losing ourselves—we’re called to do so wholeheartedly. Parenthood takes sacrifice, energy we don’t have, and the humility to cry out for help when we need it. Let us embrace this with fearlessness and resolve, rather than cowering from it in fear. Be courageous! Christ leads the way. Special mention Bethany Buckley The Road Home Judging criteria The Australian Christian Teen Writer Award carries a prize of $1,000 and is offered annually for the best unpublished manuscript written by an Australian citizen under 18 years of age. This award was withheld in 2015. The Young Australian Christian Writer Award carries a prize of $2,500 and is given annually for the best unpublished manuscript written by an Australian citizen under 30 years of age. Supplementary awards may be made. The winning works will explore a Christian perspective or theme and incorporate, explain or encourage Christian life and values. Entries are judged with an eye to the: Original nature and content of the work. Literary style, including suitability for the target audience. Contribution that the work makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australia.

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