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Inaugural Nicholas Barker Short Fiction Competition Winners

Nicholas Barker competition winner Aline Sluis


On March 15, 2019, Covenant celebrated the winners of the inaugural Nicholas Barker Short Fiction competition. The first place prize was awarded to Aline Sluis ’20 for her story “Staggersville,” and runner up was awarded to Katherine Scott ’19 for her story “Travis.” Named after former Covenant English professor Dr. Nicholas Barker, the contest called for stories by Covenant students that open fresh windows into the theocentric, spiritual world of Scripture.


“The best stories have the power to thrust us into the strange supernaturalism of the biblical world, the very world in which we live and move and have our being,” said Dr. Hans Madueme at the ceremony. “Christian storytelling at its best transfigures the imagination; it jolts us out of our spiritual slumber and reminds us that this world is a theater of God’s glory.”


The ceremony in March honored the winners who read excerpts from their stories and Covenant College Board member Renee Mathis who donated the cash prize. "I found that this blend of the western with the supernatural almost knit itself together before my fingertips, and it was an absolute blast to write," Sluis ’20 said about her story, "Staggersville," a supernatural western. "No amount of words can express how floored I am to be up here and how grateful I am that we were given an opportunity to share work in the first place." A bound edition featuring all the entries and the two winners will be available in Kresge Memorial Library.