Exponent II Essay Contest- Religious Fanfiction
Imagine a universe where Potipher’s Wife had a chance to speak with Bathsheba. How would the story change if Nephi had been the prophetic younger sister? What are the Three Nephites working on right now? If Michelle Obama spent a day with Jane Manning James, what would they do together? What if Eve’s understanding of the gospel came from the lessons she had from Mary about the Plan of Salvation? What would Joan of Arc think of Captain Moroni’s military strategy?
Fanfiction is a genre of writing in which an author takes established characters and settings from the work of a different author and changes or adds to the original canon. The resulting narratives give alternative understandings of the characters or the meaning of the work. Fan fiction often involves crossover characters, like a story where Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Hermione Granger and they battle demons together.
All literature, including scripture, is the beginning of a conversation. Exponent II is inviting you to join in that conversation in an unusually creative kind of way. The annual essay contest for the Winter 2020 issue will be Mormon fanfic, a chance for you to engage with scripture and history by mixing up characters, settings, and endings. Religious fanfic is an opportunity for “authors [to] reimagine stories and texts to find the truths their communities need.”¹ What truths does our community need and how could you reimagine our stories to find those truths? We particularly hope that you’ll move characters from one book of scripture to another in the style of crossover fanfic.
The winner of the contest will receive a one week’s stay at Anam Cara, a writer’s retreat in Ireland. Our sincere thanks go to Sue Booth-Forbes, former Exponent II editor, for making this award available.
Stories should be 700-2400 words and in Google Doc or Word form. They can be sent to exponentiieditor AT gmail DOT com. Authors should identify with the mission of Exponent II. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2019.
¹ Jade Sylvan. “What the Gospels Share with Fanfiction” https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/articles/springsummer2018/what-gospels-share-with-fanfiction