Former resident wins national writing contest

By Joel McNeese

The Calhoun County Journal

Former Webster Countian Whitney White has been named a finalist in a national writing contest sponsored by Faith Radio that will enable her to travel to St. Paul, Minnesota, in July to take part in a writers’ conference.

The Big Creek resident’s entry, “Heart Change,” was the top vote-getter overall in both fiction and non-fiction categories, and was then named a finalist in the fiction category by a panel of judges.

In St. Paul, White will have the opportunity to meet with acquisitions editors from Bethany House publishing about her entry at the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal for me,” White said. “So many (local) people … backed me and voted for me. I’m very appreciative.”

The requirements for the contest’s submissions were that they had to center around the verse Micah 6:8 and could only be 1,000 words in length.

“I chose to write fictitiously about an execution, because very few people can relate to that on a personal level. However, as a result of that many are curious and drawn to those emotions,” White said.

“In 2008, when I was 20, I attended an execution in Parchman. While the execution was taking place, I was holding the hand of the victim’s husband. He had waited for that moment for 20 years after his wife was brutally murdered. It was an experience that had a great impact on me and one I will never forget.”

“I also chose this route because it was easy to center on Micah 6:8 — ‘Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God (CSB).’

“As humans, especially in this situation, it is easy and almost seems acceptable to be everything opposite of this verse. But through my submission the main character learns the only way to true freedom is through forgiveness and living as the Lord requires — as stated in this verse.”