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Christian Storytellers Manifesto

Calling Christian Fiction to High Standards

Foreword

Where will Christian fiction be in a decade?

Ultimately, that depends upon you. Do you want to craft temporary entertainment, or art that endures?

Many writers focus on what sells right now, and producing marketable fiction is a challenge no matter who you’re trying to reach. But imagine how much more memorable and meaningful your stories would be if you delved deeper than current trends.

Christian authors of the past who dedicated themselves to timeless techniques and themes continue to touch hearts through the centuries. Wouldn’t you love to see more of those kinds of books published in our modern culture? And wouldn’t you love for yours to be one of them?

To pursue that dream, you need a vision that inspires you, holds you accountable, and keeps you on course.

This manifesto clarifies the principles and practices that lead to engaging, faith-grounded stories. It declares a commitment to exceptional rather than average literature. And it unites like-minded writers who will support each other as, together, they strive to raise Christian fiction to new levels.

Are you ready to join the movement? Sign your name below!

The Manifesto

As human beings created in God’s image, enabled to sub-create stories that reflect and reveal God’s story, and enlightened by the Word to see and display this reality, we resolve the following:

We resolve to be passionate and dedicated in our pursuit of excellent storytelling, knowing that we are reflecting the Creator’s image within us and fulfilling God’s commands to take dominion over the earth, love fellow image bearers, and steward the resources He has provided.

– We resolve to fearlessly embrace and wisely exercise imagination as a gift from God, trusting Him to use it, not by limiting our creativity but by benevolently directing it.

– We resolve to look for ways to explore meaningful themes while delighting our readers, avoiding futile attempts to depict truth devoid of beauty.

– We resolve to infuse our storytelling with truth, being bold and unafraid of our stance while presenting it with love and tact, recognizing that truth in storytelling is best communicated when shown, not told.

– We resolve to avoid pointing readers toward false sources of hope or unbiblical answers to thematic questions, but to seriously consider how we can naturally and powerfully portray or allude to God’s reality in our stories.

– We resolve to craft characters who remain true to how flawed human beings live and act, affirming that Christian storytellers have the freedom to portray the full human experience in all its beauty and depravity, not to glorify or endorse sin but to accurately reveal the brokenness of the world.

– We resolve to seek to understand readers’ thought processes, emotions, and worldviews so we can connect meaningfully with them in our storytelling, knowing that human nature is repelled by simplistic representations.

– We resolve, in light of God’s ultimate victory in our fallen world, to paint traces of hope in even the darkest situations.

– We resolve to accurately represent beliefs that differ from our own in order to help readers understand people rightly and challenge misconceptions.

– We resolve to strive for excellence and not settle for mediocrity by developing a competent command of grammar and style, understanding that skilled use of language points to the splendor of God’s created order.

We resolve to let our work shine before others in an effort to reach, encourage, and challenge them.

– We resolve to exhibit Christlikeness by nurturing authentic connections with readers that transcend their potential as customers, building a rapport with fellow authors, and responding to critics with patience and grace.

We resolve to base our confidence in God and not the opinions of others, to rely on God by praying over our writing, and to bury ourselves in Scripture, for we can only exemplify truth when we are immersed in it ourselves.

We resolve to be teachable, weighing the advice of others because we always have room to grow, and to be humble, acknowledging that we are not writing the greatest story but merely pointing readers to it.

– We resolve to remember that the purpose of storytelling is to glorify God and that our worth is not founded in our authorship, but in being sons and daughters of the King.

Featured Signers

Wayne Thomas Batson

Wayne Thomas Batson

Author: The Door Within

Sharon Hinck

Sharon Hinck

Author: The Restorer, The Restorer’s Son, The Deliverer

Anna Raats

Anna Raats

Chief Operating Officer of Ambassador International

Faith Blum

Faith Blum

Author: Hymns of the West, Orphans of the West

S. D. Grimm

S. D. Grimm

Author: Scarlet Moon, Phoenix Fire, Summoner

Kyle Robert Shultz

Kyle Robert Shultz

Author: The Beast of Talesend, Horseman, The Janus Elixir

Paul Regnier

Paul Regnier

Author: The Emerald Enigma, The Iron Gauntlet

Morgan L. Busse

Morgan L. Busse

Author: Daughter of Light, Tainted, Mark of the Raven

Nicole Sager

Nicole Sager

Author: The Heart of Arcrea, Hebbros, Burdney

Jaye L. Knight

Jaye L. Knight

Author: Resistance, The King’s Scrolls, Samara’s Peril, Exiles

Nate Philbrick

Nate Philbrick

Author: Broken City of Crows, Where the Woods Grow Wild

K. L. Pierce

K. L. Pierce

Author: Two Lives Three Choices

Aleigha Israel

Aleigha Israel

Author: A Light for Christ Trilogy

Hannah Heath

Hannah Heath

Author: Colors of Fear, Skies of Dripping Gold

Kim Vandel

Kim Vandel

Author: Into the Fire, Among the Flames

Add Your Signature 

Christian Storytellers Manifesto

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Further Reading

Every year, we run a new in-depth article series that unpacks the practical applications of the manifesto resolutions in detail. Learn how to live out the manifesto by clicking one of the article series below.

(Why download? Resolutions work best when they’re visible. Sign a physical copy and put it somewhere it will inspire you.)

View All 588 Signatures

588 Esther Squires Nov 30, 2021
587 Grace Benham Nov 28, 2021
586 Jethro de la Hoyde Nov 25, 2021
585 Anna Knipe Nov 20, 2021
584 Lucy Grecu Nov 18, 2021
583 Melissa M Nov 11, 2021
582 Ashlyn McKayla Ohm Nov 10, 2021
581 Kristen Hogeterp Nov 09, 2021
580 Sarah Scheele Nov 06, 2021
579 MaryAnn Diorio Nov 04, 2021
578 Lorelei Angelino Nov 03, 2021
577 Rachel H. Nov 02, 2021
576 Tim Detwiler Nov 02, 2021
575 Khianna Brown Nov 01, 2021
574 Sandy Smeenk Nov 01, 2021
573 E. Leet Oct 31, 2021
572 Sierra Barrix Oct 31, 2021
571 Amber Gaskill Oct 31, 2021
570 Emma Cox Oct 30, 2021
569 Kevin Barron Oct 30, 2021
568 Timothy Pattimore Oct 30, 2021
567 Trisha Sparrow Oct 30, 2021
566 Isabela Pinheiro Oct 30, 2021
565 Angela Young Oct 30, 2021
564 Katie Ellis Oct 30, 2021
563 Elena Northern Oct 30, 2021
562 Kaydte Crumm Oct 30, 2021
561 Karina White Oct 30, 2021
560 Siddhi Mishra Oct 30, 2021
559 Madelyn B. Oct 30, 2021
558 Jessica Ostrander Oct 30, 2021
557 Rachel Judy Oct 30, 2021
556 Jenna Van Mourik Oct 30, 2021
555 Anna Johnson Oct 30, 2021
554 Mary Gaughan Oct 30, 2021
553 Melissa Place Oct 29, 2021
552 Rachel Leitch Oct 29, 2021
551 Kristina Allardice Oct 29, 2021
550 Opeyemi Odetunde Oct 29, 2021
549 K.A. Ramstad Oct 29, 2021
548 Megan Liles Oct 29, 2021
547 Riah Black Oct 29, 2021
546 Simeon Shedd Oct 29, 2021
545 Samantha A. Oct 29, 2021
544 Morgan Smith Oct 29, 2021
543 Rebecca Todd Oct 29, 2021
542 Kathleen Stewart Oct 29, 2021
541 Annika Crum Oct 29, 2021
540 Gwyneth Wise Oct 29, 2021
539 Amber Ravatsaas Oct 29, 2021

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