Castles in the Sky – Publishing opportunities for students

Scene from Frankenstein directed by James WhaleThe Crosslight team are welcoming submissions from students in Year 9 who are interested in writing, illustration and photography. Successful entrants are to be featured in an end of year edition of the paper, receiving a published credit. A financial reward has also been proposed, called the Shelley Prize, named for the 19th century writer Mary Shelley, who published her iconic novel Frankenstein at the age of 21.

The project is designed to showcase the lives of students who are members of the wider church community, with the Crosslight team providing critical feedback of all submissions.

The current trend today is that young writers and artists publish their work online in blogs or through social media for free in the hope of gaining attention. While granting potential exposure to a very large audience, online publishing has limited avenues for financial gain.

Then there is the lack of critical feedback for students looking online to develop professionally, with populism excluding individual voices.

The Shelley Prize looks to generate an ongoing dialogue between the synod and students within the church, providing a platform to express their own individual experience of the world today, as well as help begin a professional portfolio.

The Australian Religious Press Association ( also invites submissions from young Australian and New Zealand Christian journalists for the annual Ramon Williams ARPA Scholarships programme.

With individual prizes of $1500 for applicants under the age of 33 who have been published in the religious press, the Ramon Williams Scholarship represents an excellent opportunity to develop their writing career.

Winners will attend the ARPA conference for free, with a weekend of journalism seminars, lectures and forums on offer. Now more than ever in the age of viral ‘free’ news content, the value of mentorship and networking through such events cannot be understated.

Mary Shelley as a young woman was exposed to challenging ideas from an early age, fostering a keen intellectual curiousity which led to a life of passionate political writing and enduring imaginative prose. It is important to try and do the same for the youth of today in an age when the signal to noise makes it difficult for new voices to be heard.

The closing date for the Ramon Williams ARPA scholarship for 2016 is Monday 20 May at 5pm (AEST). Applications can be emailed to the ARPS Executive Officer, Mrs Elizabeth Harris:

For expressions of interest for the Shelley Prize email

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